Tea Bagger doctrine up in smoke

There’s a huge wildfire consuming the area around Colorado Springs. Anti-tax, anti-government Tea Bagging conservatives in the area — the ones who have voted to cut government services including police and fire protection — are now trying to blame President Obama for the fire because he isn’t spending enough government money to put it out.

A certain Angry Black Lady is having none of that:

Wingnuts’ Failed Attempt to Blame Obama Administration for the Waldo Canyon Fires in Colorado

Read the full post. A textbook example of what will happen all over America when the Tea Baggers take over.

Gale and Wayne and Brenda

A while back, I made the embarrassing admission that I didn’t realize the lead singer for the ’60s band We Five was a girl.

I seem to be on a roll with androgenous ’60s voices. I thought Wayne Newton was the voice behind the song “We’ll Sing in the Sunshine” …

… But that’s not Wayne Newton. And even if I saw the name Gale Garnett, I would have thought it was a guy. First, because Gale, as a name, goes both ways:

Gail Storm (That’s “My Little Margie.” Am I the only one who remembers that show?)

Gale Gordon (That’s Mr. Mooney! Am I the only one who remembers the show he was in?)

Notice the difference?

And Gale is a name used by superstar jocks:

Oh, c’mon people. That’s Gale Sayers!

Or little girls who just want to go home:

OK, that was a trick reference. That’s Dorothy Gale, from Kansas.

But this is about voices, right?

That’s Wayne Newton. You’re going to tell me that’s not the voice on “We’ll Sing in the Sunshine?”

But here’s the real problem. Even when I knew the difference, I couldn’t tell Wayne Newton from Brenda Lee:

But that was the ’60s. You couldn’t tell the boys from the girls. And these weren’t even the hippies.

‘Serena': one of YouTube’s ‘Wigs’

There are a bunch of shorts on YouTube called “Wigs.” It consists of various serialized stories featuring top actresses. The kind of stuff that would normally be found on network television.

I’ve been watching “Blue” and “Jan,” but here’s an interesting piece called “Serena” with Jennifer Garner and Alfred Molina:

I don’t have cable television. I haven’t had it for years. And I don’t feel I’ve missed anything, because I can see everything I want to see on the Internet.

Which raises an important point:

The Internet has beaten up on newspapers, the record industry and bookstores. This is a sign that television networks are next, and the networks are going to suffer the fate of newspapers, the record industry and bookstores.

Supreme Court upholds Romneycare

Mitt Romney - Caricature

Mitt Romney: For it before he was against it.

Since the Supreme Court has ruled that Obamacare (née Romneycare) is legal, how are the Republicans going to resolve this revelation by Chief Justice of the U.S. John Roberts?

But Roberts found another way to rescue it. Joined by the court’s four liberal justices — Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan — he agreed with the government’s alternative argument, that the penalty for refusing to buy health coverage amounts to a tax and thus is permitted.

So Obamacare is legal because it’s a tax! Which means Romneycare is legal because it’s a tax! Which means Mitt Romney is responsible for one of the biggest tax increases in American history.

You think someone should tell the Tea Party?

(You know, if Mitt had done the right thing, he would have been telling the country what a great deal the Health Care Law was because it was his plan from the beginning — and it is a good plan. He should have been defending it from GOP critics and, you know, should have actually been standing for something. Instead, he’s on the wrong side of an issue — his issue — that everybody is going to praise as a win for the Democrats, a win for Obama and a win for America.)

Gasoline prices fall

Back in March, I posted on how Fox News was pushing the line that rising gasoline prices were President Obama’s fault. And then I noted how when prices went up during the tenure of President Bush the Dumber, those same Fox anchors were saying that the president has no control over gas prices.*

So I wonder what Fox is saying now that this has been reported:

The average for a gallon of regular gasoline is $3.38, according to AAA, down from a high of $3.93 in April. Sure it was terrible to pay an extra $0.55 a gallon to fill up your tank, but today’s relief comes with an asterisk. The run-up in prices at the pump was caused by a $35 rise in crude oil that occurred from $75 a barrel in October to $110 in April. The price of crude is responsible for two-thirds of the increase in gas prices.

I’m sure whatever they say, something will be Obama’s fault.

(*And for the record, the president, no matter who it is, has any control over oil prices. The oil companies do.)

Previously, on “The West Wing”

Back when “The West Wing” was on TV, my wife used to get annoyed with me because I had a tendency to deliver the next line of dialogue even though I’d never seen the episode before. I didn’t know why I knew what was going to be said.

Now I do:

Somewhere along the way, every Aaron Sorkin entertainment vessel was downloaded into my brain, and blurting out the next line of “The West Wing” was triggered because I heard the banter or watched the situation before, in “Sports Night,” or “A Few Good Men,” or “The American President.” Or whatever other Sorkin presentation I didn’t know I had already seen.

No great meeting of minds. Just call and response. Which is what television and movies are all about.

Voters confuse me

Here’s an anti-Romney ad:

The setting is Marion, Indiana, about 60 miles northeast of Indianapolis.

The city is the home of Indiana Wesleyan University, the largest evangelical Christian university in the Midwest and largest private university in Indiana. Since 2003, former Olympic skater Wayne Seybold has been Marion’s mayor. Marion is also noted for being the birthplace of legendary actor James Dean and famed cartoonist Jim Davis, though both were raised in nearby Fairmount. It was also the location of the wedding of actress Julia Roberts and singer Lyle Lovett in 1993. The city is also the site of a famous lynching of two African Americans.

So, what’s the electoral projection for November?

Indiana

FiveThirtyEight Projections Dem Rep Margin
Polling average 40.0 49.0 Romney +9.0
Adjusted polling average 38.3 50.7 Romney +12.4
State fundamentals 41.2 50.0 Romney +8.8
Now-cast 41.0 50.1 Romney +9.1
Projected vote share ±7.2 45.2 53.6 Romney +8.4
Chance of winning 12% 88%
Polls 538 WT. Date Dem Rep Margin
Howey/DePauw 3/27 40.0 49.0 Romney +9.0

Not a squeaker. Not even close. Mitt Romney has an 88% chance of winning in a state where workers were ordered to build a stage so his minions could have a platform from which they could fire everybody. Obama won Marion in 2008. No idea how he’s going to do there in 2012, but we know the rest of the state’s residents aren’t going to show much sympathy for their neighbors.

OK, Hoosiers. If that’s what you want …

Cuckoo for austerity

So what’s happening in world economics?

Steepest drop in German private sector output for three years. Euro crisis leads to survey-record monthly fall in service providers’ business outlook.

Of course, an economist could explain this better, but let’s see:

Germany is the leading voice for an austerity strategy for dealing with Europe’s economic problems. When countries practice austerity, jobs and services are cut. When that happens, citizens have less money to spend. German economic strength is based on product manufacturing. People throughout Europe buy German products. But governments throughout Europe are practicing austerity. With austerity, people don’t have money to buy products (fewer jobs, fewer payouts in social services, higher taxes, less money). When people don’t buy products, German businesses make less money.

So austerity is bad for Germany.

But Germany insists austerity is the way to go.

And now German service providers are experiencing a record fall in their business outlook.

Who could have seen that coming? Cue Paul Krugman:

Basically, it seems that even as the euro approaches a critical juncture, senior German officials are living in Wolkenkuckucksheim — cloud-cuckoo land.

Now, I know the phrase normally refers to a state of naive optimism, not normally something one attributes to German officials. But a broader interpretation would be that of believing, despite all the evidence, that the world is the way you want it to be, and acting on that false belief.

So the man from the finance ministry asserts that the euro crisis was brought on by fiscal irresponsibility, and in particular by “short-termism” — so that the remedy is to focus on long-run fiscal irresponsibility plus structural reform, which he insists has never failed.

All one can say is, My God. You have to be willfully blind not to know that private excess, not public, caused the problems in Spain and Ireland — and nowhere, not even in Greece, did Keynesian stimulus efforts have anything at all to do with the crisis. As for fiscal responsibility plus reform solving the kind of problem we face now — massive real overvaluation with a fixed exchange rate — it would be truer to say that this has never worked.