Monday, October 24, 2011

So, what's changed between now and then?

So, here's how the GOP works.
(April 22, 2004)
(Peter G. Peterson, chairman, Council on Foreign Relations): Let me give you a hypothetical, senator. What would or should we do if, in the post-June 30th period, a so-called sovereign Iraqi government asks us to leave, even if we are unhappy about the security situation there? I understand it's a hypothetical, but it's at least possible.

(Sen. John) McCAIN: Well, if that scenario evolves, then I think it's obvious that we would have to leave because— if it was an elected government of Iraq— and we've been asked to leave other places in the world. If it were an extremist government, then I think we would have other challenges, but I don't see how we could stay when our whole emphasis and policy has been based on turning the Iraqi government over to the Iraqi people.
Seems pretty clear, right?

OK, so let's scoot forward to last year.
(December 28, 2010)
Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki: "The withdrawal of forces agreement expires on Dec. 31, 2011. The last American soldier will leave Iraq."
(Technically, that's actually a "Status of Forces Agreement," but it's not like English is his first language, right?)

So, obviously, McCain knows what should happen next, right?
(Oct 21, 2011)
"Today marks a harmful and sad setback for the United States in the world," McCain said in a statement Friday afternoon. "I respectfully disagree with the President: this decision will be viewed as a strategic victory for our enemies in the Middle East, especially the Iranian regime, which has worked relentlessly to ensure a full withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq."

McCain said the decision is "a consequential failure of both the Obama Administration - which has been more focused on withdrawing from Iraq than succeeding in Iraq since it came into office - as well as the Iraqi government."
Funny how that works, isn't it?

Sunday, October 23, 2011

"Support the troops"? What's that mean?

In 1983, I joined the Air Force because of the educational benefits (and, yeah, because I really didn't know what I wanted to do with my life at the time); I'd only planned to stay in for one tour. By the time that tour was up, though, I had a wife and two kids, and having a good health plan seemed like the way to go. So I reenlisted.

My second tour ended and I still had the wife, but now I had three kids. Staying in seemed like a much better idea. And by the time that enlistment ended, I had been in the military twelve years - over halfway to retirement.

The military pays the troops less than they would get doing the same job in the civilian world. If it hadn't been for the benefits, there isn't a chance in hell that I would have stayed in, and my attitude wasn't unique. It's almost universal among the enlisted members. (There are some rare exceptions, of course, and officers may be a different story - they're paid significantly more money than the grunts.) If you cut the benefits, your all-volunteer military is going to collapse.

So, what the hell is going on here?
Republicans and Democrats alike are signaling a willingness — unheard of at the height of two post-Sept. 11 wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — to make military retirees pay more for coverage. It's a reflection of Washington's newfound embrace of fiscal austerity and the Pentagon's push to cut health care costs that have skyrocketed from $19 billion in 2001 to $53 billion.

The numbers are daunting for a military focused on building and arming an all-volunteer force for war. The Pentagon is providing health care coverage for 3.3 million active duty personnel and their dependents and 5.5 million retirees, eligible dependents and surviving spouses. Retirees outnumber the active duty, 2.3 million to 1.4 million.
And some changes are already happening.

We pay a little more to get the Trophy Wife's prescriptions from Walgreens. They'd be free if I got them from the base hospital, but my wife works with Opera Unlimited, travelling across New Mexico to help music programs in elementary schools. If she is 500 miles away, and runs out of, say, Zetia (a heart medication) or Losartin/HCTZ (for blood pressure), Walgreens will get her an emergency supply to hold her over until she gets back to Albuquerque: their database clearly shows what she's taking and how often, and every Walgreens in the country can pull that information up.

But that's apparently going to change in January, because Walgreens and Express Scripts are locked in a contract dispute which may prevent Walgreens from handling prescriptions for Tricare, the Defense Department plan managed by Express Scripts.

But that's just an inconvenience. Thanks to Iraq and Afghanistan, we're getting more injured veterans pouring into the system than we have since Vietnam. And despite the challenges of readjusting to civilian life, they haven't been getting the help they need for years.

Plus, thanks to advances in both military and medical technology, more soldiers are surviving worse wounds than ever before. So, not only do they need more medical care, but their needs are only going to get worse as they get older.

The Pentagon estimates that as many as one in five soldiers are coming home from war zones with traumatic brain injuries, and current studies show that studies show that even a slight trauma to the brain doubles your chance of developing dementia later in life, meaning that many will need around-the-clock care.

Assuming that they can get any help at all.
Marine Cpl. James Dixon was wounded twice in Iraq -- by a roadside bomb and a land mine. He suffered a traumatic brain injury, a concussion, a dislocated hip and hearing loss. He was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

Army Sgt. Lori Meshell shattered a hip and crushed her back and knees while diving for cover during a mortar attack in Iraq. She has undergone a hip replacement and knee reconstruction and needs at least three more surgeries.

In each case, the Pentagon ruled that their disabilities were not combat-related.

In a little-noticed regulation change in March, the military's definition of combat-related disabilities was narrowed, costing some injured veterans thousands of dollars in lost benefits -- and triggering outrage from veterans' advocacy groups.
But we have to cut expenses, right? We have to decrease spending somewhere, and defense spending is one of the larger chunks of the federal budget.

Well, funny you should mention that.

The 2012 military budget includes 134 billion dollars for equipment, but also includes almost 81 billion dollars in research for new weapons systems. You know, I think we kill people well enough already; ask the Iraqi people. (You know, the ones who are left...)

But how much good is that 81 billion dollars doing us, anyway?
Despite improvements, more than half of the Pentagon’s big weapons systems still cost more than they should, with management failures adding at least $70 billion to the projected costs over the last two years, government auditors said Tuesday.

The Government Accountability Office, a Congressional watchdog, said the biggest program, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, accounted for $28 billion of that increase. Other systems also had significant cost overruns, the agency said, adding that the increases could force the Pentagon to cut the number of ships and planes it buys.

The auditors said many of the problems occurred because the Pentagon began building the systems before the designs were fully tested.
In August of this year, Congress finished a comprehensive look at spending in Iraq and Afghanistan.
In its final report to Congress, the Commission on Wartime Contracting said the figure could grow as U.S. support for reconstruction projects and programs wanes, leaving both countries to bear the long-term costs of sustaining the schools, medical clinics, barracks, roads and power plants already built with American tax dollars.

Much of the waste and fraud could have been avoided with better planning and more aggressive oversight, the commission said. To avoid repeating the mistakes in Iraq and Afghanistan, government agencies should overhaul the way they award and manage contracts in war zones, the commission recommended.
The commission said calculating the exact amount lost through waste and fraud is difficult because there is no commonly accepted methodology for doing so. But using information it has gathered over the past three years, the commission said at least $31 billion has been lost and the total could be as high as $60 billion. The commission called the estimate "conservative."
But that's OK. That's only the money we've lost in foreign countries.
How often does the Pentagon award contracts to defense companies that have already been proven to be defrauding taxpayers? A report the Department of Defense did at the request of Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) reveals an answer that should make Washington very uncomfortable.

The report, released today, showed that hundreds of defense contractors found guilty of civil fraud received more than $1.1 trillion in defense contracts since 2001. The study took into account only companies that were found to have defrauded taxpayers of more than $1 million dollars.

More than $573 billion went directly to companies that were guilty of defrauding taxpayers, and when you factor in the awards that went to the parent companies of those contractors, the total is $1.1 trillion. Of that $573 billion, more than two-thirds—$398 billion—went to companies after they had been found guilty of fraud.
So maybe there's a few places out there where we can save money.

But as to the veterans, it's simple morality.

We have an all-volunteer military, but it goes both ways. When they sign on, they put, not just their lives, but their bodies, in harm's way. And if these brave men and women get hurt fighting for their country, we have an obligation to take care of them. For the rest of their lives, if necessary.

If you don't want to pay for wounded veterans, there's only one answer: stop making them. Stop sending soldiers to distant countries, where they risk their lives for some political agenda.

You don't get a choice on this. If you're going to play, you've got to pay; if you don't like it, get out of the game.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Staying on my coworker's good side

So, I'm sitting at work, and Jan, one of the women in our department, reads one of her emails and groans. Just to make conversation, I ask what's up, and she tells me "I'm mad at my husband now."

He'd just sent her one of those idiot jokes that make the email rounds. She wouldn't read it out loud, but was willing to forward it.
Renault and Ford have joined forces to create the perfect small car for women.

Mixing the Renault 'Clio' and the Ford 'Taurus' they have designed the 'Clitaurus'. It comes in pink, and the average male car thief won't be able to find it — let alone turn it on – even if someone tells him where it is and how to do it.

Rumor has it though, that it leaks transmission fluid once a month and can be a real bitch to start in the morning!

New models are initially fun to own, but very expensive to maintain and horribly expensive to get rid of. Used models may initially have curb appeal (low price) but eventually have an increased appetite for fuel and the curb weight typically increases with age.

Not expected to reach collector status… best to lease one and replace each year.
Working in an office full of women, I'm in touch with my feminine side. (Sometimes I touch it inappropriately.) So I made some modifications and sent it back.

(It actually took me two tries - my initial efforts turned to be a little more pornographic than I felt comfortable emailing...)

She cheerfully forwarded it to her husband.
Renault and Ford have joined forces to create the perfect small car for women.

Mixing the Renault 'Clio' and the Ford 'Taurus' they have designed the 'Clitaurus'. It comes in pink, and the average male car thief won't be able to find it — let alone turn it on – even if someone tells him where it is. Usually, this is because his key is too small.

One groundbreaking piece of technology in this model is the Driver Interlock Vehicle Option Response Control Evaluator (DIVORCE), which integrates GPS, social media, and technology similar to the Alcohol Interlock, allowing the vehicle to assess the capabilities of the driver, and if he is, in fact, unable to handle the vehicle properly, it will prevent him from getting behind the wheel, and will even leave him to find a better driver.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

A little good news

We got the news today from an Associated Press report that the Pentagon has decided not to keep troops in Iraq after a New Year's Eve deadline. All troops will be removed except for 160 soldiers left to guard the US embassy in Baghdad.

Now, there are some people who aren't going to trust this. "Obama promises a lot. We've heard this before."

Well, technically, what we heard before was a troop reduction, not a complete pullout. And Obama lived up to that.

But some people, ignoring the evidence, have always refused to believe that Obama is acting in good faith in Iraq, and I suspect that they will continue to ignore reality.

Well, I don't know if this will help, but here's a little reality for you.

When I was in Iraq (in the first relief group, replacing the actual invasion forces), the Army had taken over Al-Faw palace, one of the last of Saddam's overly ornate structures left standing.

The Army named it and the area around it Camp Victory. It became the HQ for the US Army, and was referred to by the Army as the Victory Base Complex, also encompassing Camp Liberty, Camp Striker, our Air Force unit in Camp Sather, and a number of other encampments from all branches of the military, and even forces from other countries - we had a British unit right next door, for example.

And how do you know that the military is actually going to pull out by January?

They have closed the main PX in Camp Victory.

You can trust in one thing over all others. You have a buttload of generals in one place, you're going to have someplace for them to stock up on clean underwear, chocolate and cigarettes. And the little black-market supply of Jack Daniels and porn coming in aboard the military aircraft isn't going to be able to expand enough to keep them supplied with all the amenities available. (There are other ways to keep supplied with contraband, but I bought mine straight from the aircrews, and I wasn't in charge of anything...)

They can't shop in Baghdad (OK, they could, but there's rules to keep the military out of town, because of those pesky bullets that keep flying toward them), and they don't want to go all the way to the Green Zone after a long day at the office.

An argument can be made about the lower-ranking troops needing some place to get razors and shampoo, but in the end, the needs of the brass override anything else.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Victoria Falls

I think I'm starting to figure something out.

I’m coming to realize that Victoria Jackson is either a whip-smart satirist in the style of Steven Colbert, or she is so criminally, bone-chillingly vapid and clueless that it’s miraculous that she can navigate her way out of bed in the morning.

I never thought that she was even slightly humorous when she was on SNL: she was, in fact, one of the stupidest members of a particularly unfunny era for the Not Ready for Primetime Players (the only true bright spots being A. Whitney Brown and the early Dennis Miller – as opposed to the current, self-important, pandering Dennis Miller).

But now I think I understand. I suspect she’s actually a world-class performance artist, who’s been pulling off this ditzy blond act for almost thirty years now. Not because she is, herself, a vacuous, inane bundle of stupid wrapped in a little-girl voice, but as a potent weapon to skewer the ignorant and ego-driven. She has been making fun of various groups of unthinking zombies for decades, and has been doing it with such a straight face that nobody has caught on.

In her early career, I think she was concentrating on the female airhead: the woman willing to suppress her own personality and her own needs to fall in line with the 1950's cheerleader/Playboy image, where youth is prized and women have limited options. But she took that image to an extreme, and used as her archetype not the post-pubescent, sexually-charged girl, but the prepubescent, playful child: her original act consisted of reciting bad poetry while doing clumsy handstands and somersaults, while "accidentally" revealing her white cotton children's panties.

She stuck with that parody for most of her career, but now, perhaps noting that she's grown a little too old to pull off her infantile act any more, she's recast herself into a bad stereotype of a Teabagger. She mouths irrational philosophies, and tunes out any application of logic that might refute her poorly-conceived arguments.

That's the only explanation that I can come up with, to explain why Victoria Jackson proudly posted this video. She takes a cab into New York to meet up with members of the "Occupy Wall Street" movement, and although she shows a couple of people just out to have a good time, and one extremist toward the end (essentially correct, but still an extremist), she spends most of the video talking to one man, who calmly and patiently destroys every argument she makes.

Her response? To repeat those same arguments, as if their bloodied shreds weren't piled around her feet. She completely ignores everything said by this quiet, good-tempered person, and goes back to her original, idiotic allegations, completely ignoring the past 15 minutes of her life.

And then she posts it on Youtube, as if it was a victory for her side of the debate. She even seems proud of it.

She can't possibly be that eyeball-meltingly ignorant. This has to be an act. A satirical persona that she uses to lampoon the Teabaggers. No person who can manage to navigate a fork into their mouth without impaling themselves in the forehead can be this galactically obtuse, can they?

Monday, October 10, 2011

Is the GOP Abel to raise Cain?

Herman Cain's attempt to position himself as an "outsider" is a key plank of his presidential campaign: unlike the rest of them, he wants you to know that he is not a professional polician, and that's part of why he should be elected.

Perhaps that's the entire problem. Maybe his inexperience is the reason for the abject stupidity of his ideas, and has nothing to do with him being a brainless twatwaffle.

On the other hand, maybe it's both.

One of Hermie's earliest ideas, that as president, he would never sign a bill longer than three pages, was widely derided by anyone who understood that there are, in fact, complex problems that might take a little longer merely to explain, much less fix.

Hermie's response? He explained that anybody who actually listened to him or took him at his word was stupid.
Some of these idiotic reporters thought I was serious. The joke’s on them. The message was short bills. Understandable bills. No it’s not literally going to be three pages. The executive summary will be three pages.
Of course, reporters aren't the only stupid people in Cain's tiny little world - basically anybody who questions him must automatically be stupid, right? In his latest book, This is Herman Cain, Hermie explained how Ron Paul's stupid followers were conducting a systematic conspiracy to make him look bad.
"I get the same stupid question at almost every one of these events," Cain writes. "I know it’s a deliberate strategy. How can a person randomly show up at a hundred events and ask the same stupid question to try to nail me on the Federal Reserve?"
(Apparently, Hermie isn't used to people with more than 5 followers.)

Actually, "stupid" is his favorite word. He loves to describe people that way: he gave a whole speech at CPAC around the theme that stupid people are ruining America. Which is odd. Because, despite having risen from a humble beginning to CEO of a crappy pizza chain, Herman Cain just doesn't come across as the brightest motherfucker on the planet.

Admittedly, his business model didn't take a genius to develop: pay people eight dollars an hour to deliver pizzas that cost less than a dollar to make, and charge twelve to eighteen dollars apiece for them. It's not like it's an original idea or anything. Hermie just put one interesting spin on the idea: if you use cheaper ingredients, they cost less. But then, instead of improving on the pizza, you give it an exciting, all-crime ad campaign. (As in, "I'm stealing from you by charging you money for this crappy pizza.")

Cain is more than willing to spew the most ignorant talking points with great authority, and totally without shame. It's not just that you're stupid if you disagree with him, you're lazy if you don't have a job. Oh, and by the way, this whole "Occupy Wall Street" movement? In Hermie's world, that's not just lazy people (OK, that's mostly what it is), that's lazy people being manipulated by the White House.

Because conspiracy theories go across real well with the modern Republican party.

Cain can't even get his birther talking points right:
"Barack Obama is more of an international," Cain said. "I think he’s out of the mainstream and always has been. Look, he was raised in Kenya..."
(Look, moron, Obama lived in Indonesia, and only for four years - ages six to ten. Were all your ideas set in stone when you were in second grade?)

He can't even spew the standard GOP rhetoric correctly. In the middle of accusing the left of being (once again) stupid, this time for not reading the Constitution, he tries to make his point by quoting... wait for it... the Declaration of Independence.
"...when you get to the part about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, don’t stop reading! Keep reading!"
Gonna be reading a long time there, big fella.

And his current big campaign promise is the 9-9-9 tax plan (9% income tax, 9% business tax, 9% sales tax). A plan which is basically hated by everybody, Democrat or Republican, except Herman Cain.
Bruce Bartlett, an adviser in the Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations, says that 9-9-9 is unfair to working taxpayers. "It's the most upside-down tax plan that’s been put forward to tax the poor and the middle class," he says...

Daniel Shaviro, a New York University law professor who specializes in taxation, calls the plan "not viable." For rich people—defined as those who work for themselves and don’t have to take a salary—it essentially becomes an 18 percent total tax on all money. But for poor people collecting a paycheck, Shaviro says, it amounts to a 27 percent tax.
This plan was developed, not by an economist, but an investment banker with ties to the Koch brothers (unless it was stolen from SimCity). And basically, the rich get taxed less, the poor and middle class get taxed more, and the government gets less money.

This is the kind of "leadership" we can expect from Herman Cain? It doesn't take a lot of logic to rip his ideas to shreds.

If he does, by some miracle, win the primaries, Herman Cain may actually make history, though. He will be the first black man to get another black man reelected.


From PvPOnline:

Friday, October 07, 2011

Three idiots, balanced by a genius.

Mitt Romney is going to speak before the Values Voters Summit, which is another gathering of God-botherers that happens every year, this one put on by the Family Research Council, the American Family Association and other evangelical groups.

Now, Bryan Fischer (of the American Family Association) said just last month that the First Amendment doesn't apply to Mormons. So the New York Times asked the Romney's people to comment on that, but the campaign didn't reply.

Why is anyone surprised about that? It's Romney's people! How could they reply? They don't have the right!

Ought to be a short speech, though.

But this move of Romney's is only... interesting (you know - the polite way to say "pandering"). Other people are just outright stupid.
On ABC’s Top Line today, Rep. Paul Broun, a tea party Republican from Georgia, said the ("Occupy Wall Street") protests amount to an “attack upon freedom” — one that he said is now being hijacked by labor unions in attempt to reelect President Obama.

“They don’t know why they’re there. They’re just mad,” Broun told us. “This attack upon business, attack upon industry, attack upon freedom – and I think that’s what this is all about.”
“Attack upon freedom”? Exercising your right to peaceful assembly is now an “attack upon freedom”?

Congressman, please define what you consider “freedom.” And for that matter, define “attack.”

Especially ironic that, having gotten everything bass-ackwards like that, he went on to say that the president’s policies were “ignorant and incompetent”...

Meanwhile, Eric Cantor tried to whip up anger against those same protesters that broke Rep. Broun's brain.
"If you read the newspapers today, I for one am increasingly concerned about the growing mobs occupying Wall Street and the other cities across the country," he said.
And then, completely straight-faced, he found the perfect follow-up comment.
"Believe it or not, some in this town have actually condoned the pitting of Americans against Americans."
You mean, like trying to pit Americans against working-class Americans who might be protesting economic injustice?

But, just because there are useless policians out there, that doesn't mean we have to pay attention to them all time, does it?

Instead, join me in wishing a happy birthday, on this late hour of October 7, to the brilliant Tim Minchin.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office. ~~ Aesop.

Well, Chris Christie announced that he would not run for president, probably because he didn't want to spend a year taking hits from the right (saying he was a leftist elitist, and probably a closet Muslim), and the left (pointing out things like the fact that he was a known bully who, when he was working as a lobbyist for Bernie Madoff, got securities fraud exempted from New Jersey’s Consumer Fraud Act).

And, really, who wants to hear the phrase "morbidly obese" every day?

Sarah Palin, seeing someone else in the limelight, tried to upstage him, saying that she wasn't running either, but since only a handful of drooling nose-pickers still thought she might, she didn't garner nearly as much press as she felt she deserved. So, what does that leave us?

I have never seen a more stubbornly ignorant collection of elitist, pandering fuckknuckles than the current crop of GOP candidates; they’re a glittering panoply of thieves, liars, theocrats and delusional morons.

I mean, let’s take a quick look at these mean-spirited, misanthropic gasbags who believe, somewhere at the root of their overwhelmingly swollen egos, that they could lead this country to greatness by following the noble example of George W. Bush.

And, to be fair about it (because I’m the epitome of fairness, after all), let’s go alphabetically.

Michele Bachmann: This is a woman who is either certifiably insane, or she is openly trying to attract the paranoid constituency to her state, because she believes that there are enough of them to elect her to office.

(Technically, this idea isn't quite as idiotic as it sounds: after all, there are enough mouthbreathers in Minnesota’s 6th congressional district to get her reelected twice. This could, of course, easily be attributed to a genetic aberration. Minnesota's winters are hard; and sometimes you just can't get to town for your twenty-dollar whore, but your sister is right there in the next room.)

Her torch has dimmed a bit, because she has been saying openly ignorant and insane things for far too long. The American populace is beginning to notice that it isn’t a playful glint in her eyes, but the cold hard gleam of madness.

Herman Cain: You can’t say that Herman Cain is a complete idiot, but he is somewhat deluded about his personal magnetism. An idiot couldn't have come from the streets of Memphis, Tennessee (the son of a chauffeur and a cleaning woman) and become the CEO of a national pizza chain, with a personal net worth just south of five million dollars. So I'll cheerfully admit that the man has business acumen.

Americans have a tendency to canonize self-made millionaires, but this odd strain of hero-worship doesn't extend quite far enough to push Herman Cain into the White House. Cain has failed to notice the deep-seated racism in certain parts of the Republican Party, which makes him an unlikely choice to become Commander-in-Chief. There are too many members of the GOP who just cannot force themselves to vote for a black man, even if they’re offered a free order of Cheesy Bread to go with it.

I would suggest that Cain suffered brain damage from a very small stroke, which is not only manifesting as this gaping blind spot, but in the form of some significant tone-deafness. The man actually went on CNN’s The Situation Room and said:
Many African American voters “have been brainwashed into not being open-minded, not even considering a conservative point of view... I have received some of that same vitriol simply because I am running for the Republican nomination as a conservative. It’s just brainwashing and people not being open-minded, pure and simple.”
“Hey, black people! You’re gullible and easily led! So vote for me!”

That’s why Hermie is trying to push the “Rick Perry hates black people!” meme. He’s got nothing else. He’s a one-trick pony, just like Michael Steele: “Look at me! I’m a black republican!” (You know, Herm, Steele got fired for being too black... it’s an ugly road you’re travelling, dude. Good luck with that.)

Newt Gingrich: Good old Newtie. Why does this man think he can be elected? (Oh, right. He thinks he’s the center of the stinking universe. Don't mess with Gingrich: he shut down the entire government once because they asked him to move to the back of Air Force One.)

The man's entire campaign staff deserted this sinking ship - you'd think he'd take the hint. (Hell, half of Bachmann's ran away, too, but you expect her not to notice...)

I’ve dealt with this fucker before. Do I need to bother with him again?

Jon Huntsman: Huntsman is quite possibly the most sane of all the possible Republican candidates. Which makes him the odds-on favorite to be unemployed on January 21, 2013: for the same reason that a few scattered racists make Herman Cain less electable, Huntsman is going to have a problem with the Republican base. They can't accept those pesky sciencey things like global warming and evolution, and the fact that he does? Well, that just makes him a little suspicious, doesn't it?

Of course, as it turns out, Huntsman's status as the only candidate who isn’t actively trying to get his head wedged up Donald Trump’s ass might actually turn out to be a better idea than you’d think: it seems that Trump's endorsement actually harms a politician in the polls.

Former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson: (Felt I should throw the his former job in there for two reasons. First, even if you’d ever heard of the man, it’s likely that you’ve forgotten. And two, I live in that particular state.)

The thing that's most likely to sink him is going to be that pro-gay marriage/pro-abortion stance of his. Johnson and Ron Paul will split the legalize-marijuana crowd (or possibly just pass them back and forth), but Johnson’s plan to "reform" (read "gut") Social Security and repeal healthcare reform will keep him from attracting too many independent voters who might be attracted to his vaguely human qualities.

Ron Paul: I’d say he’s huge, but, to be honest, he’s tiny. Apparently 5’9” tall (and potentially bulletproof). Most of the world admits that the man is unelectable, but Ron Paul isn't the kind of guy to back down from a challenge!

We call that a "Napoleon complex."

His biggest (heh) problem is that his followers are rabid, but there really aren't enough of them to get him into a higher office than the one he currently possesses. (Which is sad, because he might actually get my son out of Afghanistan, but there it is...)

Ron Paul seems to be a smart man - one of the few signs that there might actually be a glimmer of intelligence that hasn’t been extinguished in the Lone Star state. Which isn’t to say that he wouldn’t totally destroy the economy with his libertarian idiocy: I’m just trying to be objective, here.

Because that's me: fair, balanced, unbiased.

Rick Perry: Little Ricky is a crazed redneck weasel on meth; he's George W. Bush to the fourth power. The gleam of insanity deep in his eyes doesn't seem as bright as Bachmann's, but that's only because it gets dimmed by the clouds of abject stupidity swirling around in that great hollow area.

There is nothing good about Rick Perry - the more you learn about him, the less you like. He's a vicious theocrat with a tendency toward cronyism

And potentially a sex addict.

Mitt Romney: I've got to say, Mittens is nothing if not predictable. The man is whatever you want him to be. What is electable tomorrow? Vegetation? Then he's a cucumber. Porn stars? He'll rock that Viagra until it screams. He is what you want. No matter what you want.

No, really, it doesn't matter what you want. He doesn't care. Do you want a pro-choice pedophile? He'll yank the fetus out with his bare hands and start fucking it right in front of the camera if he thinks that'll play well in Hoboken.

Mittens literally doesn't care. He has no position that doesn't have a 20-page report from a focus group telling him that people like it. If White Supremacy began testing well with target audiences, he'd grab his pillowcases and start cutting eye-holes before the test results were out of the printer.

Mittens doesn't care that Mormonism is considered a cult by many of the Christian groups. Hell, if the focus groups tell him that Catholicism is on the rise, he'll be sucking off the pope by morning.

Rick "Frothy" Santorum: (speaking of sucking off the pope) It's hard to tell which is the bigger train wreck: Rick Santorum's campaign, or the simpering, shambling shell of a man himself. As one Salon editor put it, he is "the only one of the candidates to participate in all of the GOP debates and still not show any life. He’s at 2 percent in the ABC/Washington Post survey, almost exactly where he was last month and the month before that."

All Obama has to do between now and the election is improve his unemployment statistics, and he won’t even need to campaign. That’s why the congressional GOP is doing everything they can to kick the snot out of the American Jobs Plan.

The president needs to put away his “Let’s Compromise” checklist, and pick up the “You’re Destroying America” stick. Because the only way he’s not going to keep his job, is if the Republican Party can keep more people from getting one.

To the Wayback Machine!

Maybe this is how we should teach history.