“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?

Who the hell benefits here?

We give Israel about 3 billion bucks a year in various forms of aid. According to the Jerusalem Post, “Seventy-four percent of these funds must be spent on the acquisition of U.S. defense equipment, services, and training.”

Secretary Kerry just announced we’ll give the Palestinians several hundred million bucks to help rebuild the buildings Israel blew up in August with some of the military aid we gave it.

Other than American defense companies, who gets anything out of this deal?

The Israelis get the opportunity to buy airplanes and tanks and other military goods, the Palestinians get cash to buy construction materials, I guess, and what the hell does the United States get out of it? Goodwill? Don’t make me laugh.

Quiz answers

Here were the characters:

Pamela Tudsbury
Chicken George
Ralph de Bricassart
Lt. Richard Winters
Benjamin Rush
Woodrow F. Call
Col. Frank Skimmerhorn
Aeryn Sun
Lord Yoshi Torunaga
Rudy Jordache

And here are the answers:

Pamela Tudsbury — Winds of War, War and Remembrance
Chicken George — Roots
Ralph de Bricassart — The Thorn Birds
Lt. Richard Winters — Band of Brothers
Benjamin Rush — John Adams
Woodrow F. Call — Lonesome Dove
Col. Frank Skimmerhorn — Centennial
Aeryn Sun — Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars
Lord Yoshi Torunaga — Shogun
Rudy Jordache — Rich Man, Poor Man

Quiz!

I created a quiz based on television programs. I’ll give you character names, you give me the mini-series they appeared in.

Pamela Tudsbury
Chicken George
Ralph de Bricassart
Lt. Richard Winters
Benjamin Rush
Woodrow F. Call
Col. Frank Skimmerhorn
Aeryn Sun
Lord Yoshi Torunaga
Rudy Jordache

Answers tomorrow!

Again, St. Louis?

There are conflicting reports as to whether the victim was armed or not, but a white cop has once again shot a black kid in the St. Louis area, near the town of Ferguson where Michael Brown was killed a month or two ago.

The cops’ version of the incident has the kid as a fugitive who jumped the cop from some bushes after being chased. The witnesses’ version has him as a bystander who happened along the scene of a chase already going on.

Either way, the African-American citizens of St. Louis are angry. It seems like the cops have declared open season on black teenagers in that city and its suburbs.

Again with a loss to the Cardinals

For the second year in a row the Dodgers were knocked out of the postseason by the Cardinals, and for the second year in a row it was Clayton Kershaw, the Dodgers’ all-world pitcher who went 21-3 with a 1.77 ERA during the season, who lost the final game.

The St. Louis team is rapidly approaching my level of peak dislike, previously held by the Giants of both New York and San Francisco vintage.

Fluoride!

Hawai’i doesn’t fluoridate its water, mostly because people think its the best water in the world and don’t want it messed with. I think that’s foolish, but I’m no policy-maker.

What this means, though, is that the policy maker at my periodontist has decided that when a patient comes in for a cleaning his teeth get painted with Butler White Fluoride Varnish right before he gets out of the chair.

One of the product claims is this: “Thin and easy to apply, feels smooth on the teeth.” Ha! My teeth feel like they’ve got gunk smeared all over them, and I can’t brush it off for 4-6 hours after its application. And it’s ugly, too. Hopefully it works.

Tigers gone, Angels going

The Tigers’ bullpen was terrible this postseason, and that’s why they’re done after being swept in three games by the Orioles. You’d think a team with starters named Scherzer, Verlander and Price would have been able to win several games, but those guys turned out to be mortal, and the Tigers had to call on relief pitchers, none of whom were very good.

The Angels are down 8-2 to the Royals and have used 8 pitchers to this point in an attempt to slow the Kansas City team down. Barring some huge meltdown by the Royals’ bullpen and an offensive explosion by the Angels’ bats, they’re about to be swept by a team which hasn’t even been to the playoffs since 1985.

Ouch for one team, hooray for another

The Nationals lost to the Giants in 18 innings tonight, in a game which lasted more than six hours. Giving up a home run in the top of the 18th and being unable to match it in the bottom of the inning was bad enough, but possibly giving the game away much earlier in the top of the 9th was worse. Jordan Zimmermann, who had retired 20 straight hitters before walking a guy with two out in the 9th, was pulled. In came a closer who’s had some bad history in the playoffs, giving up four runs in a Game Five deciding game in 2012. He promptly surrendered a double and a single and the game was tied. Nine more innings were required to determine who the winner would be.

Now the Nats are down 0-2 to the Giants and have to fly to San Francisco to try to win two games in a row there before coming back to DC and clinching. It is not going to be easy.

In the second game the Dodgers almost did the same thing. Their pitcher, Zack Greinke, went seven very strong innings (and got two hits in three at bats and scored a run as well), giving up only two hits and leaving with a 2-0 lead. His replacement, J.P. Howell, promptly gave up a single to the first guy he faced and a tying home run to the next guy.

Fortunately for all Dodgers fans everywhere, their rightfielder Matt Kemp led off the bottom of the 8th with a home run into the left field seats to retake the lead 3-2 and their closer made it stand up in the 9th.