Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Arlington's Big D Democracy

Arlington, Virginia, where the Curmudgeon resides, is quite the Democratic enclave. Right now, there is no elected office in the entire County that is not held by a Democrat.

Arlington's Democratic Party has set as it's goal to turn out 80% of the electorate, with 80% voting for Obama (and Mark Warner for Senate). It's the "80 in '08" strategy.

We'd be shocked if they reached that goal, but 70% is not out of the question.

It's really remarkable that Arlington is so Democratic. It's actually not a ragingly liberal place, but it is moderately liberal. In fact, Arlington Democrats epitomize "good government" values. The County's AAA bond rating is practically sacrosanct, and unlike our Democratic neighbor to the north (the District of Columbia) government services in Arlington work pretty well.

It's also remarkable given Arlington's demographics. Unlike many major cities, including D.C., Arlington does not have a particularly large African-American population that would skew it Democratic. (Blacks make up less than 15% of Arlington's population.)

Indeed, Arlington, like just about any other county, has it's own economic/geographic divisions. South Arlington is more ethnically diverse and less affluent (but hardly poor), whereas North Arlington is whiter, very affluent and dominated by single family homes. Yet, in the last couple of elections, not a single precinct in all of Arlington voted for a Republican candidate.

In other words, Arlington is pretty liberal throughout, and whites in Arlington are just about as apt as anyone else to vote Democratic. (You can also tell this by looking at yard signs as you drive through any of Arlington's predominantly white northern neighborhoods.)

We're not sure why this is. Probably a series of related factors. One is that good government ethic: if local Democrats are giving you good government while generally minding the purse strings, it makes you feel a lot better about them. Two is that Arlington is well-served by mass transit, and so attracts more liberal-minded urban whites. Three is that Democrats find a welcoming community, whereas conservatives may be more likely to move further out (say to McLean) to be with their fellow travelers.

Whatever the reason, we do like it. And we hope the locals shock us, with "80 in '08."

A Good Time To Have The Voting Begin

As we've noted here previously, a growing number of states are allowing so-called "early voting."

The early voting phenomenon will, we predict, soon become a very commented upon aspect of this year's presidential election. Already, voting has begun in eight states, including the battleground state of Ohio. In addition, voters in other states--including Virginia--are taking advantage of better publicized provisions of absentee voting laws to also vote early.

The result is that while the debates are still underway, and while the larger debate over our economy is in a state of flux, voters are going to the polls.

Given where public opinion polls are today--with Obama having a roughly 4-6 point edge over McCain--that's got to be good news for the Obama campaign. The Obama campaign is also using it's field organization to exploit early voting by getting to the polls some of those folks--senior citizens, African-Americans--who are sometimes more difficult to catch on election day itself.

The other thing about early voting is that it impacts the opinion polls. From now on out, pollsters are going to be capturing some people who have ALREADY voted. Furthermore, when the networks set up their exit polls on election day, they are going to be missing people who have ALREADY voted.

So, this year, we're going to get some pre-election exit polling, and on election "day" we're going to be missing a significant chunk of voters. It'll be interesting to see how this plays out.

It'll also be interesting to see if Obama gets an early lead in this very fluid election environment.

Here's one scenario that could cause more misinformation on election night than we had 8 years ago with Bush v. Gore: Let's say that in the roughly half of states allowing early voting, 20 percent of the electorate votes early. Let's also say that those voters skew 2-1 in favor of Obama. Then, on election day, the exit pollsters in a few of those key states pick up that McCain is leading amongst voters actually exiting a poll, but narrowly. That could turn out to be misleading if they haven't also factored in the early voting that favored Obama. Wouldn't it be nice if the exit polling data was so suspect that the networks just had to wait for the real returns?

Perriello Versus Goode

Awhile back we noted that newcomer Democrat Tom Perriello is giving incumbent Republican Virgil Goode a run for his money down in Virginia's 5th Congressional District.

Yesterday, Virgil voted against the so-called "bailout" plan.

A lot of Americans clearly don't understand either the plan or what is happening or what could happen. However, we think Virgil's vote opens a big door for Perriello.

Only time will tell.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Markets Lose $1.2 TRILLION After House GOP Squashes $700 Million Bailout

Imagine how Republicans would have reacted if Democrats passed a one-time IMMEDIATE tax increase of $1.2 trillion on all owners of stock, i.e., the richest Americans.

They'd howl and yowl.

Yet today, House Republicans in Congress effectively did the same thing, all by themselves, voting against the compromise bailout plan and causing stock markets to shed $1.2 TRILLION in value.

Thanks a bunch, GOP.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

What's Sarah Gonna Do?

What with McCain's campaign all suspended and everything, we're wondering what Sarah Palin is going to do. Whatever it is, it needs to be something where the media can't ask her questions.

She could go moose hunting--who's going to risk asking a question if she's got a big ol' gun in her hands (clearly, vice presidents aren't averse to shooting people, even their friends).

Or, she could go hang out at home with Trig, and Track and Bristol and the gang, and maybe bake up a batch of cookies or fry some moose-burgers.

Or--here's a good one--she could take the ferry from Ketchikan, Alaska to Gravina Island. That's the place where they were going to put the Bridge to Nowhere that she favored until she opposed it. Without that ol' bridge, Gravina Island is pretty isolated. Reporters won't find her there.

Another possibility would be to "hang out" at the White House and Treasury Dept. Maybe she'll pick up some good leadership tips while "helping" resolve the financial crisis. (We hope no one asks her to make some coffee.) Heck, no one in the press is going to notice her amongst all the dark suits in D.C.

Finally, she could go down to Galveston and hang out. The devastated city--now ignored--is still without electricity, water or just about anything else. She could probably hang out there indefinitely without the press realizing where she is.

McCain Disses Letterman

Yesterday, John McCain was supposed to appear on the David Letterman show, but his campaign called two hours before the taping to say that due to the economic crisis, Big John had to hurry back to D.C. and so would be a no-show.

But then Letterman discovered that the Straight Talker wasn't on a plane being whisked back to D.C. to save the nation. Instead, he was elsewhere in CBS's NY studio, being made up for an interview with Katie Couric. So Letterman included on his show a live feed of McCain in the make-up room, exposing the big lie.

Now that's funny.
UPDATE: Here's the video--it's a bit long, but quite funny, and pretty biting.

Vote NOW!

Fellow Arlingtonians: why wait until November 6 to vote?

You can do so now, with Arlington's version of early voting. Technically, you'll be voting absentee, but as long as you can attest that you intend to be out of tiny Arlington County on either personal or professional business at some point on election day, you can vote NOW.

What does this mean? If you work downtown, you easily qualify. But let's suppose that, like the Curmudgeon, you "work" at home. You still qualify if you intend to do something outside Arlington--shop at Tysons, have lunch in Falls Church, take your kid to a doctor's appointment in Bailey's Crossroads, pick up an item in Alexandria (play golf in Sterling). We're sure that a majority of Arlingtonians can meet these requirements.

It's easy enough. Go to the County Building, 2100 Clarendon Blvd. and find room 109. There, you quickly fill out the absentee form, and then you vote just like at your precinct, except that THERE'S NO LINE!

You can vote Monday thru Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (8:30 a.m. on Saturdays). There's also evening hours on Thursdays from 5:00-7:00 pm, and on Tuesday Oct. 21 and 28, also from 5:00-7:00 pm.

Then, on election day, you can sit back and relax, blogging all day, while the exit poll people try to figure out how to deal with all those absentee voters.

While you're at it, take someone with you!

Oh, and please vote for Obama and Biden.

Perfect Time For A Debate

The economy is in peril. The President--who's fiscal mismanagement has contributed mightily to where we are--has a plan. Congress is arguing over it. Some say it doesn't go far enough; some say it bails out irresponsible people who should be left to suffer the consequences; yet others say it's too much of a blank check.

It's the perfect time for a debate. And who better to debate than the two candidates to replace the President? After all, the winner will have to oversee and execute whatever plan comes out of all this.

John McCain, however, slipping rapidly in the polls and being manipulated by political advisers strategerizing the election, says things are too dire for a debate.

Nonsense. The American public is as primed as it's ever been for this particular debate. Let's see what the two candidates have.

Can you imagine if we'd had a real, live debate before we went to war in Iraq? Wow, that would've been something.

It's not like McCain, as one Senator, is somehow going to solve the crisis by himself by staying in Washington.

Let the debate go on!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Will Racism Decide The Presidential Election?

A Stanford University poll quantifies something we pretty much knew: that a not insignificant percentage of white Democrats are sufficiently racist that they might not vote for Barack Obama.

Details are in this article from AP (hat tip to MJ).

The poll, of more than 2000 adults taken at the beginning of September, found that a number of white voters who self-identified as Democrats were likely to associate certain negative adjectives with blacks in general.

"Given a choice of several positive and negative adjectives that might describe blacks, 20 percent of all whites said the word 'violent' strongly applied. Among other words, 22 percent agreed with 'boastful,' 29 percent 'complaining,' 13 percent 'lazy' and 11 percent 'irresponsible.' When asked about positive adjectives, whites were more likely to stay on the fence than give a strongly positive assessment."

In total, one-third of white Democrats cited at least one negative adjective about African-Americans in general, but that didn't mean they wouldn't support Obama: of those who cited a negative adjective, 58% still said they planned to vote for Obama. That's good news and shows that many whites, whatever they think about blacks as a class, still view Obama differently. That makes sense, because whether Obama was black, white, yellow or green, his personal achievements clearly mark him as someone special.

Nonetheless, statistical models derived from the poll suggested that Obama's lead would be another six percentage points absent the race factor, which is more in line with what you would expect after eight years of disastrous Republican rule.

We don't pretent to be surprised. Racism is still quite alive in the U.S. We try to look on the good side, which is the tremendous progress made, to the extent that Obama could get nominated by a major party.

And just look at the progress on the sexism front--now, evidently ANY woman is fit to be at least Vice President, as long as her political views comport with those of the right-wing chattering class.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Hurricane Ike: A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words

It would be interesting if it turned out the owners of this house were atheists.

Old Dominion Poll: Obama By Six

Survey USA has Obama up six points over McCain in the Old Dominion, 51%-45%. (A little surprising: in this poll, 14% of blacks favored McCain; could be a small sample size.)

(Warner is up 57-34 in the same poll.)

Also, ABC/Washington Post has Obama up by three points.

Bailout Of The Rich

It's a continuing theme in the Bush administration: if the rich are hurting, have the Government help them out.

If you're poor, too bad--the "free market" will have to take care of itself.

When Bush took office, the wealthy class, flush with capital gains and other perks of the longest economic expansion in U.S. history (under Bill Clinton) whined and complained about their taxes. So Bush and his GOP congressional allies wiped out the government surplus in one fell swoop, handing it all back to those rich backers.

Now, with the economy in turmoil, people losing houses and jobs, what do we have? Lost your job--forget it, Congress is not willing to extend unemployment benefits (the GOP filibustered that one to death).

Lost your home, or about to--too bad. Maybe you can get some mortgage counselling. But hey, the free market is tough.

But if you lost some income on your investments in mortgage-backed securities, or your investment in a company that profited from such securities for a number of years, well, Bush and Paulson and the Republicans--they feel your pain!! (Unless you worked at Lehman Bros.--competitors to Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson's old firm, Goldman Sachs.)

So now the government, which has piled up a couple trillion dollars in debt under Mr. Bush, is going to borrow another trillion--god forbid they would tax the people who caused this mess in the first place--to bail out all those poor investors.

Meanwhile, all the Democrats can think of is to suggest putting some kind of limits on executive pay. This is a silly band-aid. Granted, there are excesses in executive pay, the only think we can think of that would be worse would be having the federal government regulate it!

The time for CHANGE is now!!

Obama Rally in Arlington

Hey folks--

Come on out and show your support for Barack Obama at a family-friendly rally this coming Saturday, Sept. 27. The rally is from 2-5 at Bluemont Park. Bring home-made signs!

More details will follow shortly.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

GOP: Separate But "Equal"

Yesterday, the Virginia Republican Party held a "unity" rally at Edison High School in Alexandria.

The point of the sparsely attended rally was to show off GOP support by minorities. So who did the Republicans trot out in their outreach to minorities? Why, none other than George "Macacca" Allen, the former Senator who lost the race by calling an Indian-American supporter of Jim Webb "Macacca" at a rally that was subsequently widely viewed on video.

Evidently, Virginia Republicans are still in the "separate but equal" era before the Supreme Court's Brown v. Board of Education decision in 1954. Democrats don't have separate rallies for minorities--they all show up at the same rallies. But, for Virginia's GOP, it evidently is more comfortable to get all 100 of their minority supporters together in a separate rally, than to have them show up at the almost all-white events that typify the party.

As the Old Dominion--especially Northern Virginia--grows more ethnically diverse, it is no wonder the GOP finds itself rapidly losing ground among ethnic voters (particarly Asians) who wouldn't necessarily gravitate automatically to the Democratic Party. Maybe the GOP should try being "unified" at all it's events.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

In The Seventh Year, It Came To Pass . . .

Here's a brilliant piece from Roger Cohen, penned right before last week's 9/11 anniversary:

Wednesday, September 10, 2008 NEW YORK:

And in the seventh year after the fall,

the dust and debris of the towers cleared.

And it became plain at last what had been wrought.

For the wreckage begat greed; and it came to pass that while America's young men and women fought, other Americans enriched themselves. Beguiling the innocent, they did backdate options and they did package toxic mortgage securities and they did reprice risk on the basis that it no more existed than famine in a fertile land.

Thereby did the masters of the universe prosper, with gold, with silver shekels, with land rich in cattle and fowl, with illegal manservants and maids, with jewels and silk, with Gulfstream V business jets; yet the whole land did not prosper with them. And it came to pass, when the housing bubble burst, that Main Street had to pay for the Wall Street party.

For Bush ruled over the whole nation and so sure was he of his righteousness that he did neglect husbandry.

And he took his nation into desert wars and mountain wars but, Lo, he thought not to impose taxation, not one heifer nor sheep nor ox did Bush demand of the rich. And it came to pass that the nation fell into debt as boundless as the wickedness of Sodom. For everyone was maxed out.

So heavy was the burden of war and of bailing out Fannie Mae and financing debt with China that not one silver shekel remained to build bridges, nor airports, nor high-speed trains, nor roads, nor even to take care of wounded vets; and the warriors returning unto their homes from distant combat thought blight had fallen on the land.

So it was in the seventh year after the fall of the towers. And still Bush did raise his hands to the Lord and proclaim: "I will be proved right in the end!"

And around the whole earth, which had stood with America, there arose a great trouble for it seemed to peoples abroad that a great nation, rich in flocks and herds and land and water, had been cast among thorns and Philistines; its promise betrayed, its light dimmed, its armies stretched, its budget broken, its principles compromised, its dollar diminished.

And it came to pass that this profligate nation, drinking oil with an insatiable thirst, could not cure itself of this addiction, and so its wealth was transferred to other nations that did not always wish it well. Wherefore the balance of power in the world was altered in grievous ways; and new centers of authority arose, and they were no more persuaded by democracy than was the Pharaoh.

For Bush ruled over the whole nation and so sure was he of his righteousness that he did neglect the costs of wanton consumption. And he believed that if the Lord created fossil fuel, fossil fuel must flow without end, as surely as the grape will yield wine.

Therefore, in the seventh year after the fall, with 1,126 of the slain still unidentified, their very beings rendered unto dust, their souls inhabiting the air of New York, it seemed that one nation had become two; and loss, far from unifying the people, had sundered the nation.

For the rich, granted tax breaks more generous than any blessing, grew richer, and incomes in the middle ceased to rise, and workers saw jobs leaving the land for that region called Asia. And some fought wars while others shopped; and some got foreclosed while others got clothes; and still Bush spake but few listened.

Behold, so it was in the seventh year, and it seemed that America was doubly smitten, from without and within. And, Lo, a strange thing did come to pass. For as surely as the seasons do alternate, so the ruler and party that have brought woe to a nation must give way to others who can lead their people to plenty. How can the weary, flogged ass bear honey and balm and almonds and myrrh?

Yet many Americans believed the weary beast could still give them bounty. They did hold that a people called the French was really to blame. They did accuse a thing called the United Nations. They did curse the ungodly folk of Gotham and Hollywood and the sinful city of Chicago; and, Lo, they proclaimed God was Republican, and carried a gun, and understood (white) teenage sex, and almost certainly hailed from Alaska.

For Bush ruled over the whole nation and so sure was he of his righteousness that he did foster division until it raged like a plague.

And in the seventh year after the fall, the dust and debris of the towers cleared. And it became plain at last what had been wrought - but not how the damage would be undone.

Palin Creams The Creamery Board

A few days ago we wrote, in all seriousness, that the thing that really worries us about Palin is that she has very W Bush-like tendencies when it comes to cronyism, incompetence and fiscal irresponsibility.

So today's Wall Street Journal has a brief little news article on Palin's interference with an effort to shut down an Alaska state-owned creamery that was losing a ton of money.

After the creamery, located near Palin's hometown of Wasilla, amassed $1.5 million in losses, the chairman of the Alaska Creamery Board sent Palin a letter announcing the plan to shut it down.

Palin then attended a rally of local dairy farmers who objected to the plan. Now, it's not unusual for politicians on both sides of the aisle to take the easy way out in these situations and back the farmers, spending taxpayer money on dubious subsidies.

What bugs us the most--and reminds us of W Bush--is how Palin went about preventing the creamery closure. As reported by the WSJ: Palin "sacked the creamery board and replaced it. The new board, headed by one of her childhood friends, ordered the creamery kept open. Six months later--after the business racked up more than $800,000 in additional losses . . . the new board ordered it closed again."

It's exactly this kind of political cronyism--stuffing government agencies with unqualified and incompetent political friends--that is the hallmark of the Bush administration and why it has been such a colossal failure.

As we've said before, Palin is not the real issue--it's McCain. But for McCain to pick someone like this as his running mate practically on a whim, without really understanding how she governs, reflects very, very poorly on his judgment and character.

Not Everyone In Alaska Loves Gov. Palin

This is a pretty amazing story from Alaska, one woman's perspective (from the blog Mudflats) on a quite massive ANTI-PALIN rally in Anchorage, and it's a shame it hasn't gotten the national media attention it deserves. We'll let our correspondent do the talking:

I attended the Welcome Home rally for Sarah Palin this morning. Hooo. It was an experience.

About a thousand (maybe) hard-core Palin supporters showed up to hear her speak at the new Dena'ina Convention Center in downtown Anchorage. After shaking it off with a good double shot of espresso, and a brisk walk back to my car, it was time to head to the Alaska Women Reject Palin rally.

It was to be held outside on the lawn in front of the Loussac Library in midtown Anchorage. Home made signs were encouraged, and the idea was to make a statement that Sarah Palin does not speak for all Alaska women, or men.

I had no idea what to expect.The rally was organized by a small group of women, talking over coffee. It made me wonder what other things have started with small groups of women talking over coffee. It's probably an impressive list.

These women hatched the plan, printed up flyers, posted them around town, and sent notices to local media outlets. One of those media outlets was KBYR radio, home of Eddie Burke, a long-time uber-conservative Anchorage talk show host.

Turns out that Eddie Burke not only announced the rally, but called the people who planned to attend the rally "a bunch of socialist baby-killing maggots", and read the home phone numbers of the organizers aloud over the air, urging listeners to call and tell them what they thought. The women, of course, received many nasty, harassing and threatening messages.

So, as I jettisoned myself from the jaws of the 'Drill Baby Drill' crowd and toward the mystery rally at the library, I felt a bit apprehensive. I'd been disappointed before by the turnout at other rallies. Basically, in Anchorage, if you can get 25 people to show up at an event, it's a success. So, I thought to myself, if we can actually get 100 people there that aren't sent by Eddie Burke, we'll be doing good. A real statement will have been made.

I confess, I still had a mental image of 15 demonstrators surrounded by hundreds of menacing "socialist baby-killing maggot" haters. It's a good thing I wasn't tailgating when I saw the crowd in front of the library or I would have ended up in somebody's trunk.

When I got there, about 20 minutes early, the line of sign wavers stretched the full length of the library grounds, along the edge of the road, 6 or 7 people deep! I could hardly find a place to park. I nabbed one of the last spots in the library lot, and as I got out of the car and started walking, people seemed to join in from every direction, carrying signs.

Never, have I seen anything like it in my 17 and a half years living in Anchorage. The organizers had someone walk the rally with a counter, and they clicked off well over 1400 people (not including the 90 counter-demonstrators). This was the biggest political rally ever, in the history of the state. I was absolutely stunned.

The second most amazing thing is how many people honked and gave the thumbs up as they drove by. And even those that didn't honk looked wide-eyed and awe-struck at the huge crowd that was growing by the minute. This just doesn't happen here.

Then, the infamous Eddie Burke showed up. He tried to talk to the media, and was instantly surrounded by a group of 20 people who started shouting O-BA-MA so loud he couldn't be heard. Then passing cars started honking in a rhythmic pattern of 3, like the Obama chant, while the crowd cheered, hooted and waved their signs high.

So, if you've been doing the math. Yes. The Alaska Women Reject Palin rally was significantly bigger than Palin's rally that got all the national media coverage!

So take heart, sit back, and enjoy the photo gallery [and You Tube video] Feel free to spread the pictures around (links are appreciated) to anyone who needs to know that Sarah Palin most definitely does not speak for all Alaskans. The citizens of Alaska, who know her best, have things to say.

Also, here's a YouTube video of the event:

Monday, September 15, 2008

Obama Up Four Points In Virginia

The new Survey USA poll has Obama leading by four points in Virginia, 50%-46%. Maybe Virginians recognize lipstick on a pig when they see it!

WSJ Economic Revisionism

Whenever we see a Wall Street Journal op-ed piece from Arthur Laffer and WSJ editorial board member Stephen Moore on taxes and income, we know we're in store for some selected data distortion intended to "prove" that Bush's tax cuts were a terrific thing.

So we really shouldn't have been too surprised by today's column, "New Evidence on Taxes and Income," which asserts that the lowest fifth of U.S. income earners have somehow benefitted from Republican tax cuts.

The irony is that today's column is juxtaposed with the WSJ front page, which carries evidence of the ongoing economic carnage overseen by the current Republican administration: "Crisis On Wall Street as Lehman Totters, Merrill is Sold, AIG Seeks to Raise Cash."

Let's briefly take a look at the Laffer/Moore presentation. Accompanied by a chart (below), they assert that "the poorest households had a roughly 25% increase in living standards from 1983 to 2005," a period during which "tax rates were cut dramatically across the income spectrum."

Well, that does sound good, doesn't it!

But what's the real story. Well, pretty much it's this: 25% of next to nothing is still next to nothing. In 1983, household income for the lowest one-fifth of Americans was $12,500 in "real" dollars, i.e., inflation adjusted. Today, that figure is up to almost $15,500.

Whoo-hoo--that's a whole $3000! Who knew the poor were getting so rich off of GOP policies.

Now, Laffer and Moore don't say this, but there little chart does: From 1992 to 1999--during the period of those supposedly awful Clinton years with his awful tax INCREASE--income in this group went up more sharply than at any other time.

Then, in 2000--let's see who became President then--income for the lowest 20% WENT DOWN. Gee, isn't that when Bush instituted his tax cuts? As of 2005--the last year shown on the chart--income had not recovered to its year 2000 level. So, using the Laffer Logic, Bush's tax cuts hurt this group, and they still haven't recovered.

The other thing we of course can't tell from this chart and the accompanying text is how the rich fared during the same period. Did their income go up MORE than 25% during this period? The only hint we get is the assertion that "the top 1% from 1996 saw an average decline in their real, after-tax incomes by 52% in the next 10 years."

Well, that is certainly a selective statistic. Why use 1996 for the top 1% when you started in 1983 for the bottom 20%? Could it be that the top 1% was quite well off in 1996, but took a big hit in the 2000 tech bust?

Also, they appear to be following the same 1% over a period of 10 years, rather than reporting on the amount of household income for anyone in the top 1% over that period. In other words, if someone with $1 million in after tax income in 1996 had only $500,000 in after-tax income in 2006, they would've move out of the top tier. But the wealthiest earners tend to be much older and they tend to retire over time. That doesn't mean they aren't still filthy rich--they just don't have as much taxable income.

This is always the problem with Laffer and Moore--they never want to compare apples to apples. The proper comparison would be a snapshot of the median after-tax income for the top 1% in 1983 with the top 1% in 2005. We don't have the data handy, but we'll guarantee you that group has gone up way more than 25% over that period. (Probably by several hundred percent.)

Finally, a couple other observations on their data. Laffer and Moore say that the poorest 20% still have a lot of income mobility because, over time, a large percentage of them move into higher income categories. That has little to do with tax policy, however. For example, one reason for this income mobility--which they don't mention--is that many people in the lowest 20% are very young, starting at the bottom of the job ladder. Over time, as they age, they make more money and move up. Gee, what a surprise.

Of course, the ultimate point of Laffer and Moore's highly misleading op-ed piece is to attack Barack Obama's fair tax plan. They conclude that "Mr. Obama will discover that when you put 'tax fairness' ahead of economic progress, you produce neither."

We say this: when you put statistical balderdash ahead of prudent economic principles--like paying for wars and having a fair tax code--you get exactly what we have on the Wall Street Journal's front page: "Crisis on Wall Street."

John McCain's Stem Cell LIES

Okay, a few mintues ago we were at the barbershop getting a much-needed trim. The radio was on in the background.

Virginia being a battleground state, we're getting a lot of political ads from the presidential campaigns.

So on comes an ad for McCain about healthcare. About three-quarters of the ad was devoted to how "John McCain and his congressional allies" will boost funding for stem cell research to help all kinds of Americans with all kinds of problems.

At the end, the ad mentioned the "McCain-Palin" ticket.

We wanted to scream, but thought better of it in the barbershop.

So now we're screaming: aaaaaauuuuuuugggggggghhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!

First, Palin has been staunchly opposed to stem cell research. Whether she understands the issue is doubtful, but unless she's now an infamous "flip-flopper" then she's still opposed. The media should certainly hit her with this.

Second, what about McCain's "congressional allies?" Aren't these Republicans (and pseudo-R's like Lieberman)? Last I heard, these were W. Bush's congressional allies and they were PREVENTING stem cell research! The media should sure get on McCain's case about who these supposed "allies" are--maybe he could list them.

Third, if McCain is so all-fired up about stem cell research, why hasn't he attacked the current administration from HIS PARTY on the issue?

Freakin' Republican double-speak BS is why.

Remember all that crap about "compassionate conservatism" eight years ago? Turned out to be passionate conservatism. Folks, DON'T FALL FOR IT THIS TIME!

Friday, September 12, 2008

We're Confused

Wish we'd come up with this one on our own, but we didn't:

I'm a little confused. Let me see if I have this straight.....

If you grow up in Hawaii , raised by your grandparents, you're 'exotic, different.'
Grow up in Alaska eating mooseburgers, a quintessential American story.

If your name is Barack you're a radical, unpatriotic Muslim.
Name your kids Willow , Trig and Track, you're a maverick.

Graduate from Harvard law School and you are unstable.
Attend 5 different small colleges before graduating, you're well grounded.

If you spend 3 years as a brilliant community organizer, become the first black President of the Harvard Law Review, create a voter registration drive that registers 150,000 new voters, spend 12 years as a Constitutional Law professor, spend 8 years as a State Senator representing a district with over 750,000 people, become chairman of the state Senate's Health and Human Services committee, spend 4 years in the United States Senate representing a state of 13 million people while sponsoring 131 bills and serving on theForeign Affairs, Environment and Public Works and Veteran's Affairs committees, you don't have any real leadership experience.

If your total resume is: local weather girl, 4 years on the city council and 6 years as the mayor of a town with less than 7,000 people, 20 months as the governor of a state with only 650,000 people, then you're qualified to become the country's second highest ranking executive.

If you have been married to the same woman for 19 years while raising 2 beautiful daughters, all within Protestant churches, you're not a real Christian.
If you cheated on your first wife with a rich heiress, then left your disfigured wife and married the heiress the next month, you're a Christian.

If you teach responsible, age appropriate sex education, including the proper use of birth control, you are eroding the fiber of society.
If, while governor, you staunchly advocate abstinence only, with no other option in sex education in your state's school system while your unwed teen daughter ends up pregnant , you're very responsible.

If your wife is a Harvard graduate laywer who gave up a position in a prestigious law firm to work for the betterment of her inner city community, then gave that up to raise a family, your family's values don't represent America 's.
If you're husband is nicknamed 'First Dude', with at least one DWI conviction and no college education, who didn't register to vote until age 25 and once was a member of a group that advocated the secession of Alaskafrom the USA , your family is extremely admirable.

OK, much clearer now.

Ike and Storm Surge

It's ironical that a hurricane named Ike is about to slam into the city that is famous for "Isaac's storm."

In 1900, a hurricane--they didn't have names back then--struck Galveston, Texas, inundating the city in a massive storm surge that killed more than 6000. It was the deadliest hurricane in U.S. history.

That hurricane was dubbed "Isaac's Storm" in a book by Erik Larson chronicling the 1900 catastrophe because the senior metereologist in Galveston at the time was a man named Isaac Cline. Cline initially underestimated the storm, then later--probably when it was too late--told everyone to get out. He didn't, however, and much of his family was lost.

Now Ike is back, this time as his own hurricane, aimed straight at Galveston. Ike is a mere category 2 storm, but that is deceptive. In this case, it's size--not windspeed--that matters, and Ike is a true monster, taking up almost the entire Gulf of Mexico.

Ike's size is cause for concern, because it is piling up an enormous amount of water in front of it. When Ike comes ashore, it will push this massive quantity of water onto land in what's called "storm surge." The storm surge from a hurricane is not unlike a tidal wave. In Ike's case, the surge could be as high as 25 feet at Galveston, enough to breach the city's 17-foot seawall and destroy Galveston again.

Storm surge is the most destructive part of a hurricane, capable of wiping out just about anything in its path.

Apart from Galveston, another concern is ugly Port Arthur, Texas, where a significant share of the nation's oil refining capacity is located. Port Arthur is also looking at a devastating storm surge, enough to put several refineries out of action for an indefinite period of time, sending the nation into yet another gasoline shock.

Houston will suffer, but not too badly. The wind from Ike will be nasty, but not devastating, and rain from the storm will be only average.

New Orleans was prepared for Gustav a couple weeks ago. Are Texans ready for Ike? It doesn't appear that they are--the Coast Guard is ALREADY rescuing 37,000 stranded motorists by helicopter.

Perhaps Ike will give the Bush administration another black eye, and remind us of the danger of putting someone like Sarah Palin--as shallow, petty, vindictive, incompetent and fiscally irresponsible as W Bush--so close to the Presidency.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Remembering 9/11

Dear Readers:

Today is the seventh anniversary of the September 11 terror attacks on our nation. We should never forget 9/11.

On that day, I was in my downtown Washington D.C. office, which happened to have a fabulous view of the White House, the Washington Monument and the Jefferson and Lincoln Memorials, not to mention the squat five-sided Pentagon across the river.

It was a crisp, clear fall morning with a beautiful blue sky. My wife was dropping our youngest son off for his first day of Montessori pre-school, and I was in early to work on a legal brief.

It wasn't long before an associate who worked for me came by and asked if I'd heard about the airplane striking the World Trade Center. Thinking he meant a small plane, like a Cessna, I said no. We found a television in another lawyer's office, and as we watched the smoke pour from the first WTC tower we realized it had to have been something bigger than a Cessna.

Like the rest of the world, we soon watched in horror as live, on television, the second plane struck, sending an orange fireball boiling into the air. Something clearly was wrong--NY was under attack.

Still thinking it was a NY problem, I drifted back to my office, trying to concentrate--without much success--on writing. Who would do such a thing? It was quiet. Too quiet. As I sat there at my desk, I heard a faint "whoof" against the window. I ignored it for five seconds, but thought it odd, so I got up to look out. Sitting at my desk, I couldn't see the Pentagon, but as soon as I stood up I saw the giant plume of thick black smoke still rising into the air.

I ran into the adjacent office, where other lawyers and staff were still glued to the television. Shouting like a madman, I said, "forget the TV, look out the window!" Instead, they looked at me, like I was crazy. Then, one by one, they turned to look outside. Now we realized our nation was under attack. At the time, we thought it was a bomb at the Pentagon--we hadn't seen the plane go in.

Soon, rumors were flying by email and phone. The State Dept. had been truckbombed! But I could see Foggy Bottom and there was no evidence of any explosion. The Capitol has been hit! But my colleague in an office at the base of Capitol Hill said no--he could see the headquarters of our legislative branch, intact.

Meanwhile, we were looking out at the White House, a mere block away, thinking we could be awfully close if it were also a target. We realized we needed to get out.

I spent the next hour trying to get home. A secret service and police cordon around the White House pushed me north and east, whereas I wanted to go south and west, walking back to Arlington if necessary. The President, of course, wasn't there--he was reading a book to schoolchildren and, shortly thereafter, running scared, being put into hiding.

I finally realized that Metro was still running--everyone said it had been shut down--so I took the tensest ride of my life, underground, to get home. As I walked the three blocks from Metro to my home, I could see the black smoke from the Pentagon, and hear the sirens racing by a few blocks away, carrying the injured to Arlington's hospital.

Suddenly, an air force fighter plane roared by overhead, at less than 1000 feet. Everyone on the sidewalk instinctively dropped to the ground before realizing, as one man shouted, "hey, it's one of ours!"

I got home and turned on the television. Soon, my three-year-old returned home, his first day of Montessori school cut short. He couldn't understand what was happening. My six-year-old boy, in first grade, kind of got it. He was fascinated by the endlessly repeating images of first the plane impact, then the tower collapses, as they played over and over on the television.

These memories are seared in my mind. One of my older son's teachers soon learned that her brother was one of the WTC victims and she took a leave of absence.

We cannot forget.


So, where are we today? When I think of 9/11, it makes me sad. It also makes me angry.

I'm especially angry at President Bush. Here's a man who evaded service in Viet Nam by getting his dad to get him a spot in the Alabama Air National Guard, which Mr. Frat Boy then abused by going AWOL.

When the terrorists hit, he ran.

Then, guided by Vice President Cheney, who literally was hiding in his "undisclosed location," President Bush used the occasion of 9/11 to launch a war he'd intended to go after all along. Instead of focusing on Osama bin Laden and his gang, Bush took us into Iraq, which had nothing to do with 9/11.

I'm angry because bin Laden IS STILL AT LARGE. We've spent nearly a trillion dollars correcting our mistakes in Iraq and we still haven't caught the biggest criminal in American history.

I'm also angry because many right wing commentators and Republican "leaders" extoll Bush for his "resolve" in fighting the "war on terror." At the same time, they castigate any and every Democrat, regardless of their experience or service to their country, and fear-monger to the public. Believe me, George W. Bush is not keeping this country safer--he's made it a far riskier place to be. We'd use stronger language, but this is a family-friendly blog, so we'll just say that Bush is a wus.

When you hear the Republicans, and McCain, and the Faux News commentators and Wall Street Journal writers and Rush Limbaugh and all their ilk talking about "national security" keep one thing in mind: it's been SEVEN YEARS and bin Laden is still on the loose. They're big on talk, small on action. They could care less--the "war on terror" is more a tool to keep them in power than it is a war on anything.

Remember 9/11.

War In Iraq: A Task From God?

Sarah Palin says the war in Iraq was a "task from God."

Is that McCain's view, too?

(Oh, and could we just get a list of other tasks God is going to give us, and an estimate of the cost, especially for those that will cost $1 trillion or more?)

I Picked A Girl (For VP) And I Liked It

See more funny videos at Funny or Die

[If you don't get it, ask your nearest teenager about the song "I Kissed A Girl (And I Liked It)" Sung by Katie Perry.]

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Sarah Palin Is George Bush

When it comes to picking a President, personality and especially governing style are probably more important than their "positions" on the issues. One of the problems with the very long election campaign that is finally winding to a close is that the issues have shifted significantly.

Remember when this all started, nearly two years ago? Iraq was THE issue. No one was worried about high gas prices. The the housing market crashed and the economy began to go south. So the issues have shifted, and two years from now they'll shift some more.

One of the problems with John McCain as President is that he is impulsive. He doesn't like to listen to other people and he sometimes makes decisions that are downright scary. One of those decisions was picking Sarah Palin as his running mate without doing too much investigation.

Let's put aside all the stuff about Palin's family, and even her "positions" on the issues. She certainly is a conservative. But here's what really scares us: her style of governing, both as Mayor of Wasilla and Governor of Alaska, is remarkably similar to George W. Bush's disastrous approach to the Presidency.

An Wasilla resident, Anne Kilkenny, wrote a letter a couple weeks ago to about forty friends and relatives after McCain named Palin as his running mate. The letter has been verified--Kilkenny is a real person. Some parts are flattering of Palin, others not. You can find the whole letter here.

Here's what really bugged us about the letter. Palin says she is a conservative, but she's the same kind as George W. Bush: a social conservative who doesn't really believe in good, or competent, government, and who doesn't seem to have a clue about fiscal conservatism or sound financial management.

One of Palin's problems is cronyism. To quote Kilkenny: "Sarah complained about the "old boy's club" when she first ran for Mayor, so what did she bring Wasilla? A new set of "old boys". Palin fired most of the experienced staff she inherited. At the City as Governor she hired or elevated new, inexperienced, obscure people, creating a staff totally dependent on her for their jobs and eternally grateful and fiercely loyal — loyal to the point of abusing their power to further her personal agenda, as she has acknowledged happened in the case of pressuring the State's top cop."

[Kilkenny also says that Palin "oversaw thegreatest expansion of city government in Wasilla's history. "]

Cronyism--and putting loyalty ahead of competence--has been hallmark of the Bush administration. Remember Michael Brown, the head of FEMA during Hurricane Katrina? ("Brownie, you're doing a heckuva job.") He's just the most famous of many such examples. The Dept. of Justice was filled with these people, as were most other federal agencies.

Every new President puts his people in place--we get that. But a President can put in COMPETENT people, and it's damned important.

The other scary thing about Palin is that she, like Bush, seems to have no concept of sound financial management. Bush pushed through a huge tax cut and then borrowed like crazy to finance his incompetently waged war in Iraq.

What about Palin? Again, quoting Kilkenny: "In this time of record state revenues and budget surpluses, she [Palin] recommended that the state borrow/bond for road projects, even while she proposed distribution of surplus state revenues: spend today's surplus, borrow for needs. "

Kilkenny describes how Palin did the same for Wasilla, saddling the town with considerable debt after inheriting none when she took the job.

Kilkenny also describes Palin's effort to oust the town librarian after the librarian rebuffed Palin when Palin asked what would happen if she wanted to have some books removed from the library. [There are emails circulating, and blogs posting, erroneously describing this and claiming that Palin specifically had a long list of books banned--that didn't happen, but it might have if
town citizens had not rallied to the librarian's defense when Palin sent her a termination letter.]

So what we have here is a candidate for President--McCain--who is somewhat independent of his party's dogma, but who's impulsivity is so great that he would put a heartbeat from the Presidency a woman who he knew virtually nothing about and who has been little tested beyond the petty politics of a pretty small town.

Worse yet, we have as a vice presidential candidate a woman whose governing style embodies the worst flaws of the worst President we've ever had!!!

We hope the mainstream media will move away from the superficialities they've been fixated on and start to concentrate on these more important issues of governance.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

The REAL Scoop On How McCain Selected Palin

Here's how McCain really went about selecting Palin as Veep (warning: salty language alert--just like the real life McCainster!):

Monday, September 08, 2008

McCain Up By Two In The Commonwealth

McCain seems to be enjoying a surge in the polls post-convention. Two polls came out today with figures for Virginia, both with McCain leading by two points. Clearly, the Commonwealth remains in play.

1. In the Rasmussen poll, McCain leads 49%-47%.

2. In the Survey USA poll, it's also McCain by 49%-47%. Survey USA noted that Sarah Palin's selection as McCain's running mate had essentially no impact on women voters compared to the last poll, taken before her selection.

Neither candidate has held a statistically significant lead over the other in any Virginia poll we've seen for at least the past three months. Turn-out will be key--we were happy that a couple of Obama canvassers stopped by the other afternoon. They had a sophisticated print-out of voters and were getting information on who their likely supporters will be and how committed they are to getting to the polls--a good ground game!

The Sarah Palin Chronicles

We coulda' sworn that Fox introduced its new Fall primetime television show tonight as "The Sarah Palin Chronicles."

Where's Sarah?

Sarah Palin has been in hiding from the media for the past few days.

The McCain campaign says she will surface, however, later this week for an interview with ABC's Charlie Gibson.

Now, we're mindful that this campaign really isn't about Sarah Palin. It's about McCain versus Obama. But if McCain were to become President, he'd be the oldest ever as of the time of his election. If he kicks the bucket, Palin becomes President, so there are some legitimate issues here about her readiness.

Right now, various campaign spokespeople for Palin--all men, mind you--are defending her and saying things like this (from McCain campaign manager Rick Davis): "Until . . . we feel like the news media is going to reat her with some level of respect and deference, I think it would be foolhardy to put her out into that kind of environment."

Can you imagine the howls from the right if Hillary or Obama had taken a similar position? Where's the deference and respect on Faux News?

If Palin becomes President, will she have some man run interference for her in terms of meeting with foreign leaders? Will she refuse to meet with them until they give her respect and deference?

The fact of the matter is, we think Palin's perfectly capable of meeting with the media--she's just being held back by chauvinistic McCain advisors.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Hanna: Drought Buster; Ike: Deja-vu all over again for New Orleans

Tropical storm Hanna is rolling through the D.C. metro area as we type, dumping tons of rain on an area that's been pretty dry of late. (We had the pleasure of watching our son play a soccer game in the warm tropical rain this morning. He pronounced it a "blast.")

Hanna will put an end to various degrees of drought throughout the eastern half of North Carolina and Virginia. Raleigh, which has been dry for well over a year, has already reported five inches of rain. We may end up with that much here, too.

Behind Hanna is Ike, taking its time crossing the Atlantic. Ike is a strong one--could be a classic Cape Verde storm by the time it's all over. The bad news: Ike's current track (above) takes it right into the Gulf of Mexico and then up to . . . New Orleans. Will people pack up and leave again? We predict a lot more will stay this time. Let's hope Ike decides to go somewhere else.

A Message For Sarah Palin

Friday, September 05, 2008

You MUST SEE This Video!

Here is a hilarious video of various conservative pundits and politicians vigorously flip-flopping on the issues after Sarah Palin's nomination, courtesy of The Daily Show:

The Grand Old White Party--Uppity Negroes Need Not Apply

If you watched any of the Republican convention--and lord knows, we tried to miss most of it--you might have noticed that the GOP has practically given up on the laughable "big tent" charade it ran in past years.

This year, there's hardly a black--or brown, red or yellow--face in the crowd. They might as well re-name it the "Grand Old White Party" or maybe better yet, given the age of the nominee, the "Grand Old White People."

In case the images alone weren't enough, consider also the comments of Republican Representative Lynn Westmoreland, of Georgia, who told a Congressional Quarterly interviewer that Barack Obama (and his wife) are "uppity."

We guess that those few African-Americans who did attend the GOWP convention must be the good, subservient type of Negroes favored by Mr. Westmoreland and his ilk.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Poor Steve Schmidt!

Poor Steve Schmidt. He's one of John McCain's top campaign strategists and now he's all UPSET at the news media and various bloggers.

It seems they're all on a "mission to destroy" Alaska Governor Sarah Palin with lies and innuendo. (See "McCain Strategist Blasts Media; Top Aide Says News Organizations Are 'on a misssion to destroy' Palin.")

Well Steve, welcome to Barack Obama's world.

Surely, Steve, you know about all the internet rumors that Obama is really a Muslim. That he's a "sleeper" agent put into this country to establish a Muslim world. That he's not really a U.S. citizen. And so on.

Yet, not once have we heard you, Steve Schmidt, or your candidate, John McCain, decry those rumors, or attack Fox News which regularly discusses them in the guise of "new".

Furthermore, much of what's hurting Sarah Palin is the information that happens to be true.

Yes Steve, it's a hard world. Get over it.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

The Wrong Lesson From Gustav

A lot of people seem to be drawing the wrong lesson from New Orleans' survival of Hurricane Gustav.

Yes, the levees held. But Gustav was a category two hurricane when it struck. Even so, it nearly topped the levees along the infamous Industrial Canal, shown at right. The storm surge basically went right to the top of the levee, with wind-blown waves sloshing over.

So what would've happened with a Cat 3--or greater--storm? Clearly, anything larger than Gustav would've topped the levee and once again flooded the Ninth Ward and other particularly vulnerable communities in New Orleans. Whether the levees would've also collapsed--as they did in Katrina--once overtopped, we don't know, but we wouldn't want to be there to find out!

So, the right message from Gustav is this: New Orleans is still not protected from any hit by a hurricane greater than a category two. That should make plenty of people nervous, especially since we've got a long way left to go in this very busy hurricane season.

Palin Selection Does What Obama Couldn't: Unites Hillary Voters In The Democratic Party

We've been waiting and watching for a few days, but it's looking increasingly clear that McCain's selection of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his running mate has done a huge favor for Barack Obama: re-unite those disaffected Hillary voters as Democrats.

We don't know if McCain's strategy in selecting a woman as his running mate was to somehow widen the wedge between Obama and Hillary's supporters, but if it was, it was a terribly stupid strategy.

(On the other hand, perhaps his strategy was to get the conservative wing of the GOP behind him, in which case it was a good move.)

The selection of Palin is an insult to Hillary's supporters because it implies that they were for Hillary solely because she's a woman and the other candidates weren't. Of course, Hillary's supporters weren't backing her just because she's a woman. Hillary was a highly qualified, experienced candidate with terrific political skills and stances on the issues that many voters liked.

While Palin is a woman, any comparison between her and Hillary ends there. Palin is inexperienced and her stance on the issues is an insult to many women. Palin is not just anti-abortion--she would prohibit it in cases of rape or incest, and she's one of those nuts who opposes stem-cell research.

Indeed, Palin seems to be a bit of a nut. Sure, she's interesting, but we wonder what kind of President she'd make if McCain kicks off early. Here's a woman who says she puts her family first, but her ambition to be VP is so great that she knowingly put her 17-year-old daughter through having the entire nation know her unpleasant business. Her judgment in firing Alaska's state police commissioner over an intra-family spat is also questionable. And she's far more conservative than the country would ever tolerate in a major-party's nominee--she makes Huckabee look like a liberal.

In any event, Sarah Palin is no Hillary Clinton. Hillary must've really shattered that glass ceiling, however, if someone as inexperienced as Palin can suddenly be part of the ticket!

Finally, the proof may be in the pudding. Following the Democratic convention, Obama seemed to get a relatively small "bounce" in the polls. But today, with Palin on the ticket and the GOP convention sort of underway, five national polls came out with Obama anywhere from 6-9 points in the lead of McCain.

Thanks John McCain!!

Is Sarah Palin a Redneck?

Gun-totin' 44-year-old grandma with a teenage daughter having a shotgun wedding. Sounds like a redneck to us.

Monday, September 01, 2008

NBC's Hurricane Coverage Is As Bad As Its Convention Coverage

A pox on NBC.

We were typing our last post and happened to have NBC's hurricane coverage on the telly. It's sickening. While they pretend to be concerned about Gustav, what you see is this:

--a bunch of correspondents standing in various locations with the wind blowing and the rain coming down in sheets while they totally YUCK IT UP for the TV cameras;

--Al Roker is laughing as his hat blows off

--Another correspondent is interviewing three very stupid New Yorkers who have relocated to New Orleans, who OF COURSE did not evacuate. Why show these clowns on TV--totally the wrong message (show them if they're dead, otherwise, don't give them air time);

--then back to Roker, having gotten his hat back, now chatting with another correspondent, from the Early Show, also standing out in the street;

--and then, WORST OF ALL, they've got former chubby-cheeked FEMA director Michael Brown on the screen, who's making excuses for his failures and plugging his own blog!!!


McCain, Palin Watch Tennis As Gustav Looms

Take a good look at the photo above from today's Washington Post. The Post says this is a picture of McCain and Mayor Palin getting a briefing on Hurricane Gustav from the Emergency Operations Center in Jackson, Mississippi.

But look at the television screens in the background. The one to the right of Palin has an image of the hurricane warning zones on the gulf coast.

But look at the one to the left, between Palin and McCain: there's a picture in picture that is clearly showing a tennis match from the U.S. Open in New York. So maybe McCain didn't ask to watch the tennis, but those Mississippi officials yucking it up with the candidates obviously aren't too concerned.

Which raises the question: why did McCain go to Jackson, Mississippi, instead of Lousiana? Sounds like something Bush would do (indeed, he's in Texas today). The answer is that the governor of Mississippi is Haley Barbour, former chairman of the Republican Party, so these are all his people. Plus, they aren't all that worried--they're watching tennis for goodness sakes--so they can afford to interrupt what they're doing with a politically motivated photo op.

Whereas if McCain and his highly experienced Veep were to go to Louisiana, they'd encounter Governor Bobby Jindal, who albeit a Republican, is actually busy dealing with a real problem.

(Aside: Jindal was raised as a Hindu; he converted to Catholocism as a teenager. You don't see the a-holes on Faux News going after him, questioning his religious convictions and accusing him of secretly being an agent of India.)