Thursday, March 31, 2005

Proposed Ohio Budget Bad For Poor, Middle Class

Hey, we are getting a tax break. The proposed budget passed by the Ohio House contains a 21% income tax cut. That's great, I wonder how I'll spend mine. I guess I'll start by kicking in extra 75¢ per pack of cigarettes I smoke. That's about $375 a year. OK, so I'm still good. I've got money left over. Oh, they are going to tax my electricity. There goes another $25. Wait a second, what's this commercial Activity Tax? They're going to tax my food! While .026% is pretty small it still comes up to an estimated $135 dollars a year. Oh fuck, a beer tax. There goes another $250. Well let's see, that is $785 a year for me in regressive taxes. That is $785 I've got to pay regardless of my income. Ok, let me pull out my handy dandy Ohio tax table to find out the break even point. It's $27,600. The math gets a little fuzzy here. That break even point is without any deductions. That's true, but I could write the $785 of Ohio income taxes off against my federal income taxes. I can't write these new taxes off. That would be another roughly $259 in new taxes and push the pre-deduction break even point to $33,400. I'm pretty sure some of the people I saw last night at the bar are going to get screwed by this. I will still come out ahead, but I'm a single, childless guy who can afford the burden.

We're Still Number One

We think. The new state by state numbers on pollution come out this week. Ohio is expected to retain it's title. Even though the state as lost 300,000 jobs pollution output only dropped by less than 1%. Bush's Pie Skies initiative is really dropping those pollution levels.

Sorry Pinellas Park, Florida. The Circus Is Leaving Town

Terri Schiavo's lifeless body finally stopped breathing today. That means dozens of protesters need to pack up and find a new home. I kind of think of these people as similar to the ones that follow around the Greatful Dead. Maybe we should call them Fed Heads. Those people beating on drums provide a good beat, but can you dance to it? I wonder if anyone is selling nitrous hits? Can you get good weed? Myself, I'd love to get a taste of those sharpie sales. So what's next, the Pope or Reverend Jerry? I'm gonna guess it's the Reverend Jerry Fastwell, I mean Falwell.

Timken Earnings Up After Laying Off 1300 in Ohio

Timken Steel reported better than expected earnings for the first quarter this year. I guess that Chinese sweatshop steel is good for James Timken's pockets. You might remember that President Bush visited a Timken plant in Canton, Ohio on the campaign trail in April of 2003. Workers at the plant loudly cheered as the Bush crowed about how he was going to help manufacturers like the Canton mill. That mill , along with two others, closed within a year of this visit resulting in 1300 layoffs. So while the Timken family (major Bush supporters) is getting fat, their former employees unemployment has now run out. Like I've always said, I don't have of problem with the right's elocution of class warfare, I have a problem with their prosecution of class warfare.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Beisbol Been Berry Berry Good To Me

Could Bud Selig be any dumber? If I was getting threats to get called down on the carpet by Congress about steroids in America's national pastime, I would try to find a doctor that had managed to get into an American medical school to help craft steroid policy. The NYT has the story. Dr. Elliot Pellman claims to have a medical degree for SUNY Stoney Brook, but he does not. Why? Because he attended medical school in sunny Guadalajara, Mexico. You have to admit it's pretty close, sunny and SUNY. Henry Waxman sums it up with this quote.

"Major League Baseball told us Dr. Pellman was their foremost expert, but he was unable to answer even basic questions about the league's steroid policy at the hearing. This new information raises further questions about his credibility and the credibility of baseball's steroid policy."

Baseball has no credibility here. Next Monday is opening day. I can't wait to be sitting in the bleachers at Great America Ballpark listening to the soda jockeys call out Cream and Clear here! Fresh Cream and Clear here!

Nathan "Mud" Hodges In Today's Dispatch

Nathan Hodges has a LTE in today's Dispatch talking about how clean the oil production is on the North Slope in Alaska. Hmm, perhaps he didn't see this article about a pipeline spill on Saturday in The Anchorage Daily News. (I wouldn't have seen it either. Thanx to KOS Diarist Peace Monger.) A 111,300 gallon spill, that certainly must be the largest spill ever, right? Nope. Well, then it had to be that 270,000 gallon spill in 2001, right? Nope, not even in the ball park yet. 672,000 spilled in 1978. The worst part about these spills isn't even the oil, it's the saltwater they mix with the oil to ease pumping. Salt and plant life don't mix. Oh and by the way, there are more than 400 reportable spills every year.

Laura Bush Goes To Afghanistan

CNN has a lame poll up asking if Laura Bush’s visit to Afghanistan will help promote women’s education there. At the time of this writing 39% actually said yes. This trip had to cost and I’m guessing here $250,000 to $300,000. What did this do to help with the education of women in Afghanistan, Nada. Zip. Zero. All this did was help Laura Bush think Laura Bush is helping. Look at me, I’m doing something! The money would have been much better spent sending women’s studies materials there. Although, given the Bush administration’s cultural ignorance the materials would probably been in English and the Bushies would be scratching their heads as to why the books were being used as firewood. Hell, it would have been a better use of money to send the women there guns to protect themselves from the zealots in that part of the world that think women shouldn’t even attend school.

Blogger Has Been a Bitch This Week

But, what do want for free.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

If You Want To Play, Pay

The Ohio Restoration Project is planning on mobilizing 2000 religious leaders to take over Ohio's republican party and elect Ken Blackwell governor. Here is a great quote.

"The establishment of the Ohio Republican Party is out of touch with its base," said Russell Johnson, the pastor of the Fairfield Christian Church and the principal organizer of the project. "It acts as if it lives in Boston, Mass."

I think you're the one out of touch if you believe that. The nut jobs are coming folks, so get ready. One of the reasons this is dangerous is the recent emergence of big box Jesus. These mega churches make it easier to reach large crowds with a single nut job.

However they do have a little problem. It's called the federal tax code. Since 1954, churches have had to remain non-partisan in order to retain their 501-3c tax exempt status. This is a clear violation of non-partisanship. So, how many these churches do you think are willing to give up their exempt status? I'd be willing to wager to number is close to zero.

So if you want to play, you gotta pay. Taxes that is.

Record of the Week

Ivitation by Thirteen Senses. RIYL Keane or Coldplay. Actually this is much better than anything Keane has ever done, but does sound similar. To be honest this rocks much more than anything Coldplay has ever done. Anyway it's good, go buy it.

Onward Christian Soldier

Billmon of Whiskey Bar fame puts the pieces together on Schiavo protesters. Bill Tierney, who basically admits he tortured Iraqis while working for a private security firm working under DOD auspices, is so broken up over Terri Schiavo that he can't bear to leave his vigil at the hospice where she stays. What a fuckwad. Sorry Bill, you can't torture Terri into living longer. She can't feel the 220 volts you put through your Iraqi captives. Do the world a favor and just go away and die. Good to have Billmon back on the scene.

UPDATE: This fucking guy is turning up everywhere. He appeared on Hannity as a "former weapons inspector" who claimed Saddam had a underground uranium plant. Tierney said "I can drive there with my eyes closed." Oh and he was also on Art Bell saying "I would ask God and just get a sense if something was valid or not, and then know if I needed to pursue it."

Monday, March 28, 2005

Debt Xenophobia as a 2006 issue

Some Democrats are pushing debt xenophobia as a campaign issue in 2006. This is a loser. Why o why do democrats continue to search for obtuse issues that average voters either can't or don't want to bother to understand. Nobody cares about this and it is an easy issue for republicans to turn around on Dems. I can hear the attack ads now. Democrats don't want people to invest in the good ole USA. The only possible meme about this that could work is that the republicans are selling the country out from under you, but it won't work. When either party pushes xenophobia they push people to vote for republicans. Why? Because the republican party is the party of xenophobes. This didn't work with the oh so great issue of outsourcing in 2004, and it won't work with debt xenophobia in 2006. Attack the real issue here head on. The issue is runaway spending and deficits, not who is buying our T-Notes. Pound them for spending like drunken sailors in a strip club. That you can easily do in a thirty second ad. Remember, in politics, if you can't say it in thirty seconds, it's not important to your campaign.

How do you sever three limbs playing basketball?

Like this. Ouch! That must of been one poorly constructed wall if a ten year old brought it down. Or perhaps the kid goes to the rack bringing the thunder.

Something Smells in Florida

Yesterday, a group calling itself The Revolutionary Communist Youth Brigade siezed control of the microphone at a Randall Terry press conference and slammed Terry. This is such a bogeyman type name I'm guessing that the group doesn't actually exist. The ease at which they siezed the mic has me thinking that this is a right wing plot to paint people who disagree with Terry as communist. Pretty weak. A Google search for the RCYB turned up only two hits and those were vague mentions of the group by non-members. A Google search for "spokesperson" Sunsari Taylor yielded zero hits.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Oh Suzanna

Suzanne Coulter and I disagree. In her LTE to the dispatch she complains that Stahler's March 22 cartoon was in poor taste. Wrong! It was a spot on send up of some of the worst pandering by republicans in quite possibly the history of their party. I always find it funny watching republicans pout when people point out their hypocrisy.

Friday, March 25, 2005

The Next Fundie Outrage?

I think this is silly since I'm not a christian, but you know how these things work. Apparently some universities are switching from using BC and AD to BCE (Before the Common Era) and CE (Common Era). This story says that most major textbook companies have adopted the terms already. I have to admit it has been close to fifteen years since I picked up a textbook so this is new to me. Has anyone seen this? Does anyone care? I don't and will continue to use what I grew up using. Anyway being Good Friday and all I'd like to wish everybody Happy Holidays.

Enough is Enough

The Terri Schaivo story has officially jumped the shark. Fox News yesterday had psychic John Edwards on the air yesterday for expert analysis on souls. Yes, you read that correctly. If you need more proof than that to see America's Xian right wing is fucking nuts, you're probably fucking nuts. I'm done with this story until somebody gets shot.

Hell to Pay

You dance with the Devil, sometimes you get burned. Randall Terry, co-founder of Operation Rescue, has promised republicans at all levels that there will be "hell to pay" if Terri Schaivo dies. Ha Ha. Hey Randall, what's it like to be Bush-Delay-Frist's bitch? They use your sorry ass all the time. They're nothing more than common thieves and there is no honor among thieves. Maybe you had better find some even nuttier candidates to run in republican primaries. BTW, thanks for helping show that the Democrats are the party of mainstream America. I would be surprised if the guns don't come out this weekend on this one.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Judge Wrong on Domestic Violence Case

I have been following an online discussion of a Cleveland judge's decision to dismiss domestic violence charges against a man because they were not married. Ohio's gay marriage ban procludes straight people living together from receiving benefits afforded to married couples. Why people voted for this ammendment I'll never know. The general concensus is that State of Ohio v. Yaden has already concluded that DV laws are based on cohabitation, not relationship. The prosecution has appealed.

Either MSNBC's market updates are fucked up

Or I'm rich, bitch.

DJIA 10503.91 +47.89 +0.46%
NASDAQ 200443.00 +198,452.78 +9,971.40%
S&P 500 117844.00 +116,671.47 +9,950.40%

The media and Schaivo

Why does the MSM keep producing these misleading polls about Terri Schaivo? They ask should Congress have got involved. Congress as a whole did not get involved, the republicans did. And boy did they fuck up. So much so that now even Rick "man-on-dog" Santorum is now running so far away that he claims he is rethinking his position on the death penalty.

The Cure eats chili

Wendy Time

You look like you could do with a friend she said
you look like you could use a hand.

Or possibly just a finger. Locally headquartered Wendy's has some splainin' to do after a San Jose diner found a human finger in their chili.

Wake up man! Wendy's chili is people.

This is gonna hurt

14 dead and what ya get, high gas prices and deeper in debt. An oil refinery explosion in Texas killed 14 people. The long term effect is that these guys are dead. The short term effect is that since the explosion took place in the refinery's isomerization unit, which refines octane for gasoline, look for gas to go to $3.00 per gallon this summer. Gas costs in this country are closely tied to refinery capacity.

UPDATE: This refinery produces 3% of all of the gas used in the US.

75 US Dollars

The Manager of Spanky's bar has been fined $75 for violating the city's smoking ban. Hmm, two inspectors at roughly $1000 per week for eight weeks, that's $16,000 in just payroll expense to rake in a whopping $75 in fines. Watch your hand! Them teeth is sharp!

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Worst Bluescreen Ever

I saw Michael Coleman on Hardball last night and the bluescreen effects were horrible. Look, I know MSNBC is a low budget chickenshit network, but that was possibly the worst I've ever seen. If it's going to be that bad why use it at all?

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Timothy Kenny: Wanker

Timothy Kenny's column in today's LA Times misses the point completely. The English language has become a global lexicon through new forms of media. The MSM is simply using that of which they have become immersed. I'm defining this global lexicon as truly global, that is, not related to countries but to fields of interest. Face it, ten years ago who had ever heard the phase "jumped the shark?" Outside of FM radio DJs who knew what ramping up a song was? How often could you find someone that didn't work in the newspaper biz that knew what "below the fold" was? Blogs, online trade rags, and message boards have pushed cool new lingo that used to be the slang of small separate cabals of everything from base jumping enthusiasts to policy wonks.

Record of the Week

Fisherman's Woman by Emiliana Torrini. It's a spooky acoustic late night after hours kind of listen. Goes well with stale cigarette smoke and the bottom half of a handle of scotch. Highly recommended.

Update! Terry Schiavo still dead.

She's been dead since the mid 90's. This is ridiculous. Stahler has a funny cartoon about this in today's Dispatch. Tom Delay should shut the fuck up and go back to stealing money.

Monday, March 21, 2005

CBGB's facing eviction

Famed NYC punk dive CGBG's is facing eviction. That sucks. They owe $91,000 in back rent. I went here and bought a tee. Do the same.

Irrational drivel from The Dispatch editorial page

It's unbelievable that the Dispatch actually printed Ron Klein's idiotic ramblings on it's editorial page. Here's the funniest part.

All this church-state palaver skips over the fact that the Ten Commandments are laws! They are the basis of all laws. They were given to Moses, a real, historical figure, so that people could live together peaceably. It so happens Moses was a Jew and Jews are a living reality, just to prove the historicity of the point.
There are groups of people trying to hide those facts and bent on destroying, not just the Ten Commandments, but all law. These anarchists then can take over and eliminate God altogether in America. That would be the end of our nation, and they know it! I hope we come to realize the goals of their contemptible agenda and do all we can to defeat them.
Remember, just because you're paranoid, it doesn't mean they aren't after you.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

David Noll is wrong in his letter to the Dispatch

Give 95% of Ohioans a 30% tax break, are you nuts? In his letter to the editor he asks why can't the state live within it's means. Umm, it's kind of expensive to run a state dumbass. You do understand that police, fire departments, roads, state parks, etc. all cost money. I do agree that there should be no new taxes on utilities because those are regressive taxes.