Sunday, July 29, 2012

Vietnam more evolved than Republicans?

No one knows if it will even come to fruition, but if it does, then we can officially say that Vietnam is more evolved than Republicans.

The it in question is same-sex marriage, which according to the AP, Vietnam may consider legalizing.

Republican Congressman, "Pay for my healthcare."

So far no Republican congressman has officially said this, but plenty have unofficially said this.  This week another Republican unofficially said this.

Republican Congressman Dave Camp (MI) was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma.  He also said he will be undergoing chemotherapy for it.

Like every other Republican congressman, he hates government-run healthcare:

So I have to wonder, will Rep. Camp survive his treatment?  If like nearly every other member of Congress, Camp will take advantage of his government-run healthcare, I wonder what his experience will be?

According to Camp himself, he won't have any say in his treatment.  According to Camp, the government will be at the center of all the decision making, not his doctors or himself.  According to Camp, he's already been forced into this government-run healthcare by the Health and Human Services Secretary and had no choice in the matter.  According to Camp, the IRS will be telling Camp how much he can afford to spend on his health insurance, not himself.

So again I have to wonder, how will Rep. Camp survive his treatment, if according to Camp himself, he gets no say in his government-run healthcare?

If Rep. Camp truly thought government-run healthcare was a bad thing, then he would pay for his cancer treatment out of his own pocket without asking any taxpayer for a reimbursement.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Olympic Friday

The opening ceremony for the Olympics is tonight, so here's some Olympic related news.

From Smithsonian Magazine comes an article by sports writer Frank DeFord titled, "The Little-Known History of How the Modern Olympics Got Their Start."  Smithsonian Magazine also has a guide to the Olympics.

From CBC News we get Welcome to London's recession Olympics:
We probably can't call them the Austerity Games. That was the title given to the 1948 Olympics that London hosted in the midst of post-war rationing when visiting athletes had to bring their own food and towels and were housed in dormitories, hostels and RAF bases.

But despite the high-tech glitz — and suddenly ballooning security costs — that is London 2012, there are a couple of hard, recession-lined realities to keep in mind as you take in this year's Summer Games.

One is that London's price tag — approaching $17 billion in public outlays — is far less than the previous Beijing Games and breaks an historical trend of escalating cost for hosting the Olympics.

The other is that the London Olympics will see 538 fewer competitors than the 11,028 athletes who participated in Beijing. That represents the fewest participants in a Summer Olympics in 16 years, since the 1996 Games in Atlanta — when there were 31 fewer events.
For more Olympic news check out NBC Olympics and London 2012.

Top Ten

ABC News (Australia) lists the ten most polluted places on earth by type of toxin, as compiled by the Blacksmith Institute.

  1.  Air pollution: Linfen, China
  2. Industrial chemicals: Bhopal, India
  3. Mercury: Central Kalimantan province, Indonesia
  4. Pesticide: Kasargod, India
  5. Chemical weapons manufacture waste: Dzerhinsk, Russia
  6. Organic chemicals: Sumgayit, Azerbaijan
  7. Lead: Tianying, China
  8. Hexavalent chromium: Sukinda, India
  9. Radiation: Chernobyl, Ukraine
  10. Persistent organic pollutants (POPs): Arctic Canada

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Texas Runoffs: CD-23 Part II, Numbers and Visuals

Some numbers and visuals from the primary race in the 23rd.

Texas Runoffs: CD 23, Name vs. Money

Congressional District 23

Primary Outlook: Lean Rodriguez

General Election Outlook: Tossup (Gallego nominee), Lean Republican (Rodriguez nominee)

Congressional district 23.  An obnoxiously large district, it stretches from San Antonio all the way to El Paso.  The history of the seat and it's occupants is odd or interesting...take your pick.  It was created in 1965 and was first represented by Democrat Chick Kazen.  I will give Texas props to having old redistricting maps available online.  Prior to '66, Bexar County had a representative to itself.

In 1967, Texas redrew the lines slightly, but from '67 to 1992 the district pretty much was a Laredo-San Antonio district.  During that time the Hispanic population increased and Kazen was ousted by fellow Democrat Albert Bustamante in 1984, who would hold that seat until he was beaten by Republican Henry Bonilla in 1992.

In 1992, it stretched out west and then became an El Paso-Laredo-San Antonio district.  In 2003, the district was again an El Paso-Laredo-San Antonio district, but also less so at the same time.  Webb County (Laredo) was split between two districts.  Most of El Paso went to the 16th District.  San Antonio now had 4 congressional districts.  After some mid-decade redistricting and some lawsuits, the districts changed and in 2006, Bonilla was beaten by Democrat Ciro Rodriguez.  In 2010, Rodriguez was beaten by the current occupant, Republican Quico Canseco.

The current district is an El Paso-San Antonio district with no Laredo anymore.  The federal courts pretty much kept an El Paso-San Antonio district.

So who are our two candidates we have left?

Monday, July 23, 2012

Conservative Mayor Wants Gun-Related Ban

It's always fascinating to see the response on political issues, especially when they may come from some of the unlikeliest of sources. A conservative mayor wants to, "...ban anyone who has been convicted of gun crimes from living" in his city.

The mayor in question is Conservative Toronto Mayor Rob Ford.

I Hate Mondays

but always like birthdays.  The Girl from Ipanema is 50 years old today.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


Question: In what realm can a team go 0-33 and still be considered viable?

Answer: Political realm

Yesterday Republicans held vote number 33 to repeal the health care reform law.  And with that vote they continued their streak as a first-half team who can't close it out.  The vote to repeal and the vote goes nowhere and they lose the game in second half when it gets to the Senate.

Who's #1?

To the dismay of so many Americans, we're no longer #1.  Forget the constant international surveys and studies that hardly ever show the U.S. in the top 10, because we now have the most reliable source...a politician.

According to Conservative Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, not only is Canada the greatest country, it also has the greatest city:
Stephen Harper's declaration that Calgary is the greatest city in Canada is threatening to stir up a national round of hometown rivalry.

The Toronto-born, Calgary-dwelling prime minister made the bold pronouncement as he officially kicked off the 100th anniversary of the Calgary Stampede on Friday.

The event's founders "would be amazed to see that their Stampede has been part of giving birth to the greatest city in the greatest country in the world," Harper gushed.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Separated at Birth?

Federal Circuit Courts

In November of 2011, the Baltimore Sun published an interesting article about the federal judiciary.  So often, the judiciary is one of those places that is overlooked unless 1) a nominee is high profile or 2) the nomination is for the Supreme Court.

The Judiciary is a branch of the government, but since you don't campaign for the office, most people don't pay attention.  This despite the fact that the decisions from judges have such an impact on everyone (Citizens United anyone).

Needless to say we like to think of the judges as impartial, but let's face it, there is a difference between Democratic-appointed judges and Republican-appointed judges.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Andy Griffith, a Good Democrat

TV ads endorsing Democratic North Carolina Govs. Mike Easley and Bev Perdue:

Supporting President Obama's health care reform:

Endorsing Obama in 2008: