August 29, 2012
Night 1 of the GOP Convention: The War on The Women Folk
The Republicans’ well-known “war on women” was on full display last night as they continued their unrelenting assault on “the fairer sex.”
Take for example, this woman:
Can anyone think of a greater show of disrespect than electing someone to be the first woman governor of South Carolina? And then as if to add insult to injury, giving her a prime-time speaking spot at their national presidential nominating convention?
Apparently, Republicans think there is only one proper place for a woman: “Barefoot and governing.”
This is in marked contrast to the respect Democrats routinely show for the difficult personal choices women make in life. Take for example, Juan Williams who said of Mitt Romney’s wife, Anne, following her well-recieved speech to the convention:
“She looks like a corporate wife.”
It’s almost like he respects women too much.
“Those stories she told about struggles, it’s hard for me to believe.”
Try paying for your own birth control. Now that’s a “woman’s issue.” We bet Anne Romney has never been faced with the prospect of having to choose between a $14 pack of spermicidal jelly and the $40,000-a-year tuition at Georgetown University.
Those are the choices “real” women have to make every day. Not choosing which difficult MS treatment might best allow you to see your children grow up and marry.
And here’s another well-known Democrat displaying the deep, natural respect all liberals have for career women:
Is there really anything more empowering than being told, “Hold on one second sweetie?”
Answer: “No. No there is not.”
The GOP’s war on women was in fact so brutal that MSNBC thought it better to shield their viewers from the disturbing images including the deplorable treatment of minority women. There they were, put on display as if they were nothing more than powerful political players successfully making their way in the world through their own merit and hard work.
This dystopian vision of an America in which women are relentlessly valued as equals fully capable of making their own decisions in life is in marked contrast to the far more respectful Democratic view of women as frail wards of the state in need of constant aid and helpful guidance lest they whither away.
Those poor dears!
Will this seemingly endless assault on women continue tonight? We don’t know, we are only thankful that MSNBC’s Chris Matthews will be there reporting on it.
He’s kind of an expert, you know.
August 27, 2012
IRS – Internal Retroactive Service
President Obama believes solar energy must play an important role in our “clean energy” future, ultimately helping to replace fossil and other non-renewable energy sources. To further this end, his administration is taking the following steps:
- Make solar panels more expensive than they have to be.
- Hit small businesses that install solar panels with hundreds of thousands of dollars in retroactive taxes.
Apparently, the problem is that China’s unfairly government-subsidized bankrupt solar panel companies are driving America’s unfairly government-subsidized bankrupt solar panel companies out of business through lower prices.
This is simply an outrage that cannot be allowed to stand, unless we are willing to accept a future in which America is a distant #2 in wholly unviable business plans.
In order to address this inequity, the Obama administration is slapping tariffs of up to 250% on solar panels made in China, thereby making it much more likely that American consumers will forgo purchasing Chinese-made solar panels, and will instead install propane.
To make sure this policy had the full intended effect, the administration also plans to charge American businesses that already purchased and sold the Chinese solar panels earlier this year with the 250% tax retroactively.
We know what you’re thinking, “You disappear for five months and now think you can just waltz back in here and start posting like nothing has changed?”
“We wept for you.”
Also, “That hardly sounds fair. These people operated in good faith under the laws that existed at the time."
Ignorance of the laws that haven’t been enacted yet is no excuse.
For example, together with Congress, the Obama administration is attempting to collect tariffs on Chinese off-road tires that were imported years before such a tariff existed.
Surprisingly, those affected by the new time displacement tax, including one person who in part lost his business over it, are suing.
No doubt you think an important principle is at stake here in that it makes it nearly impossible to plan for the future under such circumstances. How right you are!
How is the government supposed to plan for the future if the application of its tax laws are going to be subject to every Tom, Dick and Harry with a calendar? It’s hard enough to plan for the future without taking the entire past off the table.
In any case, there are some heartwarming stories coming out of this policy. For example, take Bill Keith, an enterprising entrepreneur who invented an attic fan that runs purely on solar power. Feted by the Obama administration and used on campaign stops, Mr. Keith created jobs in the U.S. by using only American-made parts for his fans.
Except there are no longer any domestic manufacturers of the solar panels he needs and the IRS is about to ruin him with punitive retroactive tax penalties for using foreign ones.
Okay, that wasn’t as heartwarming as we could have hoped.
Regardless, the point isn’t that President Obama is forcing Americans to pay more for solar panels than they have to or that he’s destroying small businesses with retroactive taxes all in the name of protecting large corporate interests.
It’s that President Obama is for the little guy.
August 24, 2012
Playing Catch Up
For those readers who rely on Planet Moron as their primary source of news and information, we thought we’d provide a brief recap of some of the more noteworthy events of the past several months and also remind those readers that there are services and resources available for them to get the help they so desperately need..
In April we were greeted with doomsayer Paul Ehrlich’s latest call that we must dramatically reduce the number of people not named Paul Ehrlich if we are to save the world from overpopulation.
Most readers will remember Mr. Ehrlich for his bestselling 1968 book, “Population Bomb,” about which he says, “Most of the predictions have proved correct.”
Except for the part where we’re all dead.
But otherwise, spot on.
Still, Mr. Ehrlich notes:
“Things have been coming up worse than was predicted. We have the threats now of vast epidemics.”
Not actual epidemics, like we used to have, but threats of epidemics, which when you think about it is even worse. (You have to think about it a really long time. Also, you have to be Paul Ehrlich.)
In May, the famous liberal economist and former Clinton Labor Secretary, Robert Reich, astonished his followers by coming out in full support of free market economics, pointing out that:
“The answer isn’t socialism, it’s capitalism.”
There were only two things that Mr. Reich did not like about capitalism that he thought needed to be changed:
- The Capital
- The ism.
As it turns out, the problem with capitalism as Mr. Reich see it is that it does not “fairly distribute its benefits,” by which he means, that the benefits are mostly distributed to those who created them as opposed to those who did not.
In what kind of crazy upside-down world is that fair?
All we need to do according to Mr. Reich is to nationalize the health insurance industry, forcibly reduce executive salaries and redistribute the wealth to laborers (or else!), break up the banks, and further federalize public education.
“We don't need socialism. We need a capitalism that works for the vast majority.“
Which conveniently enough just so happens to be capitalism.
In June we were informed that Pell grants, the free money provided to people who don’t want to have to in any way, whether through work, loans, or otherwise, pay for their own college education, were devouring the federal education budget with little to show for it. However, this analysis overlooked the crucial role Pell grants play in addressing the needs of our nation’s fast food industry and its chronic shortage of English Lit. majors.
Also in June, we were treated to a European court decision that ruled that workers who happen to get sick during their vacation have the right to demand that they be granted another vacation to make up for it.
In totally unrelated news, Europe continues to slowly swirl down the drain of fiscal insolvency. Experts remain baffled as to the cause or the solutions but hope that one day they may come to understand this impenetrable mystery.
In July President Obama made what might be his most famous taken-totally-out-of-context gaffe when he suggested that private business owners did not build their businesses. What he meant to say, was that:
"Every single great idea that has marked the 21st century, the 20th century and the 19th century has required government vision and government incentive."
Wait, sorry, that was Joe Biden.
Anyway, you get the idea. In no way does the President mean to demean the hardworking entrepreneurs who through guile, courage, and perseverance, made this nation great. It’s just that they can’t dismiss the important role burdensome regulations, meddlesome bureaucrats, and capricious enforcement play in creating prosperity.
Which reminds us, Amtrak managed to lose $800 million selling $9 hamburgers.
You think private industry could do that absent government vision and incentive?
In August we have the Presidential race heating up as both major political parties prepare for their respective conventions.
From what we can tell, the Democrats are planning on focusing on the one issue that has naturally drowned out all others this election cycle:
You hear it all across the country as struggling families gather around their kitchen tables wondering where their next abortion is going to come from. Let’s be honest with ourselves, we are all facing the very real prospect that for the first time in American history, the next generation will have a lower standard of abortions than the last.
As for the Republicans, Mitt Romney made the risky decision of the extremely extreme extremist, Paul Ryan, as his choice for Vice President. Congressman Ryan is possibly best known for the extreme “Ryan Plan” which would extremely take a hatchet to the current $3.8 trillion federal budget and hack it all the way up to $4.9 trillion by 2022.
It’s like he has no heart.
Which brings us to today. Not to worry, as we enter this election season, you can count on Planet Moron to be at your side. Well, maybe not at your side. Possibly more like slumped over in your chair having drunk all your liquor, made a pass at your wife, used your credit card to order a cable TV baseball playoff package, made a pass at your daughter, used up all your artisan cheese by melting it over elbow macaroni, and made a pass at your dog.
But that’s kind of like the same thing.
March 13, 2012
Sandra Fluke Translator
As anyone who has ever studied a foreign language can tell you, even if you have a full grasp of the vocabulary, it can still be difficult to understand what someone is trying to tell you if you don’t fully understand the cultural or social context of their statements.
Such is the problem some people have with understanding Sandra Fluke, an innocent doe-eyed youngster barely 30 years out of diapers who came to fame when testifying at a make-believe congressional hearing (it’s fun to play pretend!) at which she pointed out her friends at Georgetown Law were going broke having sex.
And people say Congress doesn’t have the courage to take on tough issues like deficit spending, entitlement reform, and promiscuous co-eds.
It might have remained a purely personal matter involving only private citizen Fluke, powerful Democratic members of Congress, and the invited national media, had a certain conservative talk show host not gotten involved.
Shortly after her imaginary congressional hearing, Rush Limbaugh (who’s job it is to say outlandish things) said some outlandish things in the course of pointing out that Georgetown Law students, perhaps one of the more privileged of any subgroups in American society, could maybe pay for their own contraception.
Sandra Fluke, was so hurt and shocked from all the unwanted attention that she did what any purely private citizen would do involuntarily thrust into the limelight:
Hire a publicist with close connections to the White House and appear on eight national news programs.
It’s all part of the healing process.
Sandra Fluke Translator
Fluke: “Access to contraception.”
Translation: When someone else pays for your contraception.
Fluke: “Guaranteeing women access to contraception.”
Translation: Guaranteeing that someone else will pay for women’s contraception.
Fluke: “Restricting access.”
Translation: Having to pay for contraception yourself.
Fluke: “Silencing women's voices.”
Translation: Criticizing Sandra Fluke.
Fluke: “Raising this issue in our public consciousness.”
Translation: Agreeing with Sandra Fluke.
Fluke: “Unfair obstacles to participating in public life.”
Translation: Having children.
Fluke: “Attacking women who use contraception by calling them prostitutes.”
Translation: Attacking women who want someone else to pay for their contraception so they can have sex by calling them prostitutes.
Fluke: “The regulation under discussion has absolutely nothing to do with government funding: It is all about the insurance policies provided by private employers and universities that are financed by individual workers, students and their families -- not taxpayers.”
Translation: Taxpayers will not pay for Ms. Fluke’s free contraception unless they happen to be workers, students or their families.
Fluke: "99% of sexually experienced American women have used [contraception].
Translation: We'll never get that number higher if we don't start making it free.
We hope that clears up a few things for you.
And just remember, as Ms. Fluke painstakingly argues, free contraception is a right and absolutely essential to the health of an individual and remains broadly popular and supported.
Just like sex change operations.
Note: Random blogging of broadly inferior quality continues as day-job demands continue unabated.
March 09, 2012
Out: Dunkin’ Donuts. In: Breathin’ Beignets?
It’s good to know that despite how busy the federal government must be legally assassinating American citizens, it still has the time and money to tackle other grave threats to our safety:
Such as novelty caffeine dispensers.
Specifically, “AeroShots,” described as “breathable energy,” and which consist of powdered caffeine and a B vitamin complex you shoot into your mouth in a spray-like cloud and swallow.
First, AeroShots contains caffeine.
Second, it is perfectly legal to sell products containing caffeine.
Those are two warning signs right there.
As a result, maker, Breathable Foods, Inc., this week received a warning letter from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) outlining a number of problems it saw with AeroShots beginning with the first two obvious ones:
1) You breathe it in.
Consumers may attempt to inhale your product, causing it to enter the lungs. FDA is concerned about the safety of any such use because caffeine is not typically inhaled through the lungs, and the safety of such use has not been well studied.
2) You don’t breathe it in.
Despite these suggestions that your product is intended for inhalation, you indicate in other statements that the product is intended for ingestion.
In order to satisfy the FDA Breathable Foods apparently needs to come up with an AeroShot that you both do and do not breathe in.
But that is where it gets really confusing for the FDA.
Your labeling is false and misleading because your product cannot be intended for both inhalation and ingestion.
For the record, marijuana can be intended for both inhalation and ingestion IYKWIMAITYD.
Regardless, the FDA goes into excruciating detail in support of its contention that AeroShots cannot be both inhaled and ingested:
The functioning of the epiglottis in the throat keeps the processes of inhalation and ingestion mutually exclusive. The epiglottis is a cartilaginous structure that prevents choking or coughing during ingestion. The act of ingestion enables the tongue to push down on the larynx, which in turn elevates the hyoid bone, drawing the larynx upwards. This latter action forces the epiglottis to fold back, covering the entrance to the larynx and the airways, preventing food, drink and particulates from entering the airways and respiratory tract. When a person inhales, however, the epiglottis maintains its upright position, enabling air and particulate matter to enter the airways and ultimately the lungs.
If you are like most Planet Moron readers, you started giggling uncontrollably when you got to the word, “epiglottis.” You are also probably thinking that the FDA is taking much too seriously what is obviously little more than marketing puffery. (We can’t help but believe that AXE body spray is very popular among FDA bureaucrats.)
The FDA concludes it’s anatomical lesson with this stern warning;
A product intended for inhalation is not a dietary supplement.
Although the makers say you really just spray it in your mouth and swallow it making it a dietary supplement but if you breath it in, it isn’t a dietary supplement but they say you don’t breath it in which means it is a dietary supplement…
If the FDA were an alien computer from the original Star Trek series, right now smoke would be coming out of its ears.
But that isn’t the only problem the FDA has with AeroShots. There are other serious issues as well:
We also note that the Supplement Facts panel on the label of your AeroShot product does not comply with 21 CFR 101.36(e)(6) in that the dietary ingredients declared under 21 CFR 101.36(b)(2)(i) (ending with vitamin B12) are not separated from the dietary ingredients described in 21 CFR 101.36(b)(3) (starting with caffeine) by a heavy bar.
You forgot the heavy bar under 21 CFR 101.36(e)(6) separating dietary ingredients? What, are you trying to get caught?
And just to clarify, yes, you are paying these people’s salaries.
The FDA also takes issue with the fact that AeroShots posts links to stories that “…express health concerns about taking AeroShot while drinking alcohol,” which is clearly an outrageous and…
Wait, that can’t be right. Oh yeah, the fact that the stories even mention the possibility of combining AeroShots with alcohol, even while suggesting the hazards of doing so, “publicizes such use.” As the FDA points out:
Any such publicity may have the effect of encouraging the combination of your product with alcohol---a scenario that raises safety concerns, as peer-reviewed studies show that ingesting these two substances together is associated with risky behaviors, such as riding with a driver who is under the influence of alcohol, which can lead to hazardous and life-threatening situations.
Hey, it could happen.
And of course, the FDA is also very concerned about… the children.
As they point out, when the company says that AeroShots might be useful when “[h]itting the books” and “study[ing] in the library” it is clear that they are marketing to kids.
Leaving aside the fact that students no longer use books or libraries but instead cut and paste Wikipedia entries, the fact that FDA bureaucrats don’t even remember college suggests they did A LOT of bong hits.
But never with caffeine. That would be crazy.
Although you have to admit, an AeroShot would make a nice chaser after a babyccino.
Naturally, Senator Chuck Schumer, a tireless crusader against anything that might make his constituents alert enough to realize they’ve repeatedly reelected Senator Chuck Schumer, came out against AeroShots, calling it the “the new Four Loko.”
“Wait,” you are probably saying to yourself, “Chuck Schumer is still a Senator? Wasn't he removed from office after an investigation revealed that he was Chuck Schumer?”
Also, “But AeroShot doesn’t even have any alcohol.”
That’s true, which is why the Senator feels it is so important that the FDA:
“…focus on testing the inhalable caffeine’s effects on teens, and when it is mixed with alcohol.”
While they’re at it, they should focus on it’s effects when mixed with meth, heroin, sarin gas, and plutonium.
Hey, these AeroShots are even more hazardous than we thought!
The real tragedy in all this? It’s probably too late to combine AeroShots with the AWOL machine (if only to watch Chuck Schumer’s head explode in a paroxysm of outrageously outraged outrage).
Naturally, as responsible citizens concerned about the well being of our nation and having no prior interest whatsoever in purchasing caffeine delivery systems outside of a powerful cup of coffee, we here at Planet Moron did what any law-abiding American would do upon reading the FDA’s letter.
We ordered ourselves a twelve pack.
We’ll let you know how it goes.
Assuming we live.
NOTE: Annoying day-job-induced sporadic blogging continues for now, just hopefully less so.
March 06, 2012
Don’t Think of it as Assassination, Think of it as Preemptive Capital Punishment
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder today laid out the legal justifications that permit the President of the United States to order the assassinations of American citizens.
Now, before you civil libertarian extremist types start ranting and raving about due process, the rule of law, and the imperial presidency, it’s not like the President can just order the assassinations of American citizens on his own.
He sometimes tells Harry Reid and John Boehner first.
Then he orders the assassinations.
That’s kind of like due process, only without the due.
And most of the process.
It should be noted here that Obama’s assassination of American citizens is in direct contrast to the war monger and international criminal terrorist George W. Bush, who unlike Obama was from Texas and wore hats sometimes.
As the Attorney General explained, the President is permitted under the Constitution to order the assassination of American citizens only under very special circumstances:
“First, the U.S. government has determined, after a thorough and careful review, that the individual poses an imminent threat of violent attack against the United States.”
That review to be undertaken by the President, with the final determination made by the President unless, of course, the President disagrees. (Those are called “checks and balances,” for you civics class students.)
“Second, capture is not feasible.”
This is particularly important in that by not capturing the individual and instead killing him on sight, we eliminate any possibility that he might be tortured. There is simply no excuse for that.
“Third, the operation would be conducted in a manner consistent with applicable law of war principles.”
As Holder is careful to point out:
“This does not mean that we can use military force whenever or wherever we want. International legal principles, including respect for another nation’s sovereignty, constrain our ability to act unilaterally. But the use of force in foreign territory would be consistent with these international legal principles if conducted, for example, with the consent of the nation involved.”
See, The President can only assassinate American citizens if we follow international legal principles respecting another nation’s sovereign territory.
“– or after a determination that the nation is unable or unwilling to deal effectively with a threat to the United States.”
Unless we don’t.
So, to sum up Attorney General Holder's arguments:
- The Constitution permits the President to assassinate American citizens.
- And so does international law.
Looks like he covered all the bases.
Mr. Holder did not stay to answer questions following his speech which is probably just as well as he had just patiently explained to his audience that he can kill them.
We don’t know about you, but we feel safer just knowing that the President can order the assassination of American citizens on his own authority whenever he likes.
Hey, as long as it preserves American principles, we’re for it!
NOTE: Day-job-induced sporadic blogging continues for now, just hopefully less so.
January 30, 2012
2012 Washington DC Auto Show
We take a break from our day-job-imposed semi hiatus for our annual report from the Washington DC Auto Show.
As we have reported for several years now, the organizers of The Washington Auto Show have been attempting to lend the event more of a Washington flavor, the better to reflect the unique culture of our nation’s capital. In furtherance of this goal, they decided to reorganize the way you enter the hall. In prior years, when you entered the Washington Convention Center from the Mt. Vernon Square Metro, you simply hung an immediate right. This year patrons are directed to go straight down a long hallway and then turn right.
And then turn right again.
And then turn right again. Careful readers with a natural affinity for spatial relations (and a high resistance to nodding off into boredom-induced comas) will note that you end up in the exact same place, just in a more complicated and circuitous route to no obvious purpose.
Welcome to Washington! Our customs may appear strange at first, but it's just our way.
We did note that along this new route a bag-screening room had been set up, as apparently organizers got wind from Pakistani intelligence that there was a plot brewing to disrupt our nation’s attempt to wean itself off imported oil, perhaps by blowing up a Honda Fit EV.
We did not have a great deal of time to spend at the auto show this year, partly because of the half mile we had to walk just to purchase tickets, but here are some of the things we saw.
Ford is in the process of trying to revive the Lincoln brand and restore it to its former glory when every red-blooded American dreamed of one day being rich enough to park his vehicle in the living room.
Likewise, Chrysler is turning to the storied “Dodge Dart” moniker in an attempt to combine the muscle car heritage of Mopar with the design acumen of Kia.
If you’re a Fiat marketing rep trying to convince Americans that the 500 isn’t a ridiculously tiny toy-like car unfit for American highways, you know what probably isn’t a good idea? Providing interested customers the chance to drive a Fiat 500 in what for all the world looks like a carnival bumper car ride.
“Weeeee!! Look, mommy, it’s just like driving a real car!”
Car makers love to show off “concept cars” at auto shows, not that they’ll ever get built, but to serve as “engineering platforms” to develop technologies that will one day make it into production vehicles. Take this futuristic entry from Ford for example.
We’re pretty sure that that innovative wax job might just make it onto a Ford Focus some day.
The Washington Auto Show is, as always, a good time, and runs through this coming weekend. Just be sure to bring your running shoes and maybe do a little cross training ahead of time if you're planning on entering from the Mt. Vernon Square Metro side.
January 16, 2012
Semi-Hiatus Update, January 2012
First, I want to dispel the ugly rumor that I shirked my blogging duties by going on a week-long bender in Key West. That is a vicious lie spread by my opponents.
It was only three days.
That said, real life obligations (specifically, the real-life obligation that helps to keep food on the table at Casa Moron) continues to rudely intrude on my free time. Under normal circumstances I would simply shut down for a few months and save you the trouble of checking back here periodically, however it's an election year so I plan to continue blogging, it will just be on an extremely sporadic schedule. With any luck, I will be back up to my normal schedule by spring, just in time for the real mudslinging to start.
January 02, 2012
Key West 2012
Yes, it's the same time, same day, and same drink. It is, however, an entirely different airport.
I think it's good to take a walk on the wild side from time to time.
January 01, 2012
Weekend in Pictures – Holiday 2011 Edition
The Question is, Did They Use Snow Krab or Blue Krab?
You know what I really hate? Imitation krab meat. If you’re going to make krab dip, use real krab, not the fake stuff.
When You Think About it, They Already Kind of Walk Like Zombies
Like a scene out of a preschool version of the Walking Dead, we came across this Apocalyptic vista the morning of New Years Eve. What could possible have driven these youngsters to abandon their peddle cars and flee in such disorder?
We’re thinking cooties outbreak.
Bad Business Plan
In a world where having a job is a right, we suppose it makes sense to sell kids a carnival with two workers and only one customer. But that's just for pretend, after all. Right?
Atkins Would be Proud
What’s a perfect side dish for a sausage and egg burrito? Sausage, of course. (In hindsight, I should have gotten eggs, too. And scrapple)
In rural Pennsylvania, you have a variety of choices in bottled tea, no matter whether you like it sweetened, or really sweetened.
Happy New Year, everyone. I’ll be back… soon.