Oh, Iowa, think twice

Are you really preparing to put a nitwit like Jodi Ernst in the United States Senate to represent you? The woman who has said she’d use a gun to protect herself from the very government she hopes to be elected to?

“I do believe in the right to carry, and I believe in the right to defend myself and my family — whether it’s from an intruder, or whether it’s from the government, should they decide that my rights are no longer important,” Ernst said at the [2012 NRA] rally.

Great. Most people take disputes to courts in this country, but not this pig-castrating, Agenda 21-bashing, Balanced Budget Amendment-loving, entitlement program-slashing right-wing buffoon.

Iowa takes itself and its political standing in this country very seriously, what with its steak fries and early caucuses and so on. It’s at risk of making itself a laughingstock if it votes for a lightweight like this.

Plainspoken intent to steal

Votes, that is.

From the Bergen Record:

[Governor Chris] Christie stressed the need to keep Republicans in charge of states — and overseeing state-level voting regulations — ahead of the next presidential election. Christie made his push at a U.S. Chamber of Commerce event in Washington, D.C., where he ran down a list of states he’s spent time in recently as chairman of the Republican Governors Association questioning whether a Republican presidential nominee would rather have the incumbent GOP governor in power or the Democratic challenger.

“Would you rather have Rick Scott in Florida overseeing the voting mechanism, or Charlie Crist? Would you rather have Scott Walker in Wisconsin overseeing the voting mechanism, or would you rather have Mary Burke? Who would you rather have in Ohio, John Kasich or Ed FitzGerald?” he asked.

I think Norm Orenstein of AEI has the best answer to this:

via Ed Kilgore and Steve Benen.

Glad that’s over

Yesterday (or earlier today, depending on your time zone), Oscar Pistorius was sentenced to five years for “culpable homicide” in the killing of his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. That’s a term we in America might translate as manslaughter or negligent homicide.

I don’t know if that’s the right verdict or not, but I’m very glad the case is over. I get two different hours of BBC news on public radio out here, and the Beeb was almost obsessed with it. I got live audio feeds while the case was being tried. I got live feeds when the judge announced her verdict, and I got live feeds when the sentencing was announced.

I really don’t know why. I mean, sure, Pistorius is a celebrity and a sympathetic one. His physical disability and his work to overcome it and run in the Olympics as well as the Paralympics make him so. He is a handsome guy who had a beautiful girlfriend too. But it was a crime in South Africa. I could understand if the South African press went with wall-to-wall coverage (as I imagine it did), but the veddy British BBC? Staid old Auntie Beeb?

I was puzzled while it was going on and I still am.

Land of the brave?

Not hardly.

  • Navarro College, a two-year college about 60 miles from Dallas, sent out rejection letters to some applicants from Nigeria because the country had a few Ebola cases.
  • A woman boarded a shuttle bus in a Pentagon parking lot Thursday, got off and vomited. A hazmat team responded, the area was cordoned off, military officials going to a Marine Corps ceremony were temporarily quarantined, the woman was put into isolation.
  • A passenger who vomited in the aisle of an American Airlines plane from Dallas to Chicago was allegedly told to stay in the lavatory for the rest of the flight.
  • An elementary school teacher in Maine was put on 21 days’ leave – the incubation period for Ebola — because she went to Dallas for an education conference. While there, she stayed at a hotel about 10 miles from Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, where a patient died of the disease.
  • A middle school principal in Hazelhurst, Mississippi, who went to his brother’s funeral in Africa is now on a weeklong paid vacation. Why? Because parents pulled their kids out of school Friday once they learned of the trip. And where in Africa did the principal go? Zambia, which has reported a total of zero Ebola cases.

Do I have to tell you that none of those people, none, had Ebola?

There’s more idiocy at the link.

What ever happened to common sense? I realize that CNN, Fox and to a lesser degree MSNBC have all been reporting on Ebola nonstop, but there have been eight confirmed cases in the US. EIGHT! Yet we see panicky decisions like those above every day!


A Big Game

In about fifteen minutes, at 8:00PM ET, Florida State’s football team will host Notre Dame’s football team. Each team is undefeated halfway through the season, so the hype has been tremendous. There’s an added dimension to it, because FSU’s quarterback, Jameis Winston, is the reigning Heisman Trophy winner. The trouble is, he’s also a kid who appears to have a sense of entitlement as tall as the Empire State Building and he’s enrolled at an institution which seems to be happy to feed that entitlement. He’s been involved in several controversies, some more serious than others. He has been accused of sexual assault and had the charges dropped under questionable circumstances. He’s been stopped for carrying a BB gun on campus and shooting at squirrels. He’s been involved in several shoplifting incidents, including one for which he was sentenced to do 20 hours of community service. And he’s most recently been accused of selling his autograph, which would be a violation of NCAA rules.

In all of this Mr. Winston has been suspended for one game. The university administration has expressed its full support for the kid. I just heard an interview with his coach, Jimbo Fisher, and his willingness to believe the kid reminded me instantly of the famous Upton Sinclair quotation: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!”

By way of contrast, the U of Hawai’i just suspended its best running back for three games for a DUI arrest. The U of Georgia just suspended its star running back for possibly signing autographs for pay, the same violation Winston is accused of.

Ah, but not Florida State. No, as Christine Brennan of USA Today says, Florida State is :

a school that has put the need to win football games above all else, including an alleged rape, a Title IX violation and, pending an investigation, an NCAA rule that some schools still actually follow.

Oh, no, not THEM!

There can be little more disheartening for a Dodgers fan than to see the hated Giants go to the World Series.

That’s what is happening as of Tuesday next, though. I will be rooting very hard for the Royals to wipe the floor with the orange-and-black team.

Goin’ to Kansas City

The Royals celebrate their win in Game Four of the 2014 ALCS. (Photo: Denny Medley, USA TODAY Sports)

The Royals celebrate their win in Game Four of the 2014 ALCS.
(Photo: Denny Medley, USA TODAY Sports)

The Kansas City Royals swept the Baltimore Orioles in four straight games to win the American League Championship Series. They’re headed for the World Series for the first time in 29 years.

Great! I would have been happy if the Orioles had won too, but this is fun. Now, guys, beat the living hell out of the Giants or Cardinals, willya? Ordinarily I root for the National League’s representative in the Series, but I can’t this time. I have a Dodgers’ fan’s instinctive hatred of the Giants, and losing two series in a row last year and this to the Cardinals has left my feelings toward them…less than charitable.

“Estimated” bills

You could say. For the third month in a row our water/sewer bill is $157.88. There has not been a penny’s worth of fluctuation from month to month.

That’s nonsense. The local water company admits that it estimates bills if it can’t get out to read meters, but this is ludicrous. I’m pretty sure I had a couple of really long showers sometime during September.

“Republican Cuts Kill”

In a Facebook post this morning I wrote the following with a link to a Joan Walsh essay at Salon. Quoting her:

“Isn’t it fair to ask whether the constant denigration of government, and the resulting defunding, now makes it harder to handle what everyone agrees are core government functions?”

I continued in my own words,

Of course it is. Do all the clever (?) Democratic political consultants working on campaigns with three weeks to go have the good sense to point this out, over and over again ad infinitum? I sure as hell hope so.

Well, some clever third party called the Agenda Project has created a one-minute ad for the political class which does just that.

What say you, Democratic candidates? Have you got the courage to use that ad?