Saturday, March 17, 2012

Another great thing Obama did

GM CEO resigns at Obama's behest

Fancy that. A guy mismanages his company so bad it has to get bailed out, and because of that, he loses his job.

Sounds like good old fashioned personal responsibility at work.

I remember watching a Japanese CEO resign in disgrace (including tears of humiliation) because his company had accidentally mixed AIDS-contaminated blood with clean blood. I remember thinking at the time that we would never see an American CEO take that kind of responsibility.

And now we have, and it was done so quietly I missed it the first time around. Probably because Obama knew that the Foxheads would spin it as "government intrusion in private business," ignoring the fact that it was government money doing the bailing and thus government who was entitled to set the terms of restructuring.

Or maybe Obama's just so busy doing good things that little ones like this slip under the radar.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

You read it here first

Obama is going down in history as one of the greatest presidents of all time.

I am staking out that claim here on this blog so that in 50 years everyone will know just how right I was. Of course, I'm not the only one:

The Incomplete Greatness of Barack Obama
He’s gotten more done in three years than any president in decades. Too bad the American public still thinks he hasn’t accomplished anything.

Paul Glastris follows that claim up with seven pages of accomplishments, just two of which - ACA and DADT - I have already argued will seal Obama's place in history.

But to be fair, it's not just Republicans who don't realize how much Obama has accomplished; plenty of Democrats are equally unimpressed. But then, majorities of Americans believe in angels, demons, miracles, signs, and wonders. And not evolution.

Meanwhile, Arizona is being so depressing I can't even bring myself to link to the news. Suffice to say I am doubly glad to have rescued my wife and daughter from that place.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Final edits on Kassa

My final edits for THE KASSA GAMBIT were accepted tonight. Woot! Now I can forget about it and move on to the next one.

Editing certainly improved the book, but I hate doing it. I try to write from an emotional trajectory, and when I sit down to look at an individual paragraph, I usually can't remember what I'm supposed to be feeling at that moment, so I don't know what text will fit.

On the other hand it's great to have someone else helping with it. Stacy caught a few time-line mistakes, and whacked at least one embarrassingly overwrought sentence. Apparently I was a little too caught up in the emotion of that scene.

I've been thinking about a Prudence sequel, but right now I'm working on the dog book (Sirius). I don't know how it will pan out - the book has a tricky landing at the end and I am not sure I can stick it. We'll see.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

As if I needed another reason

This is another reason I moved to Australia. I want my daughter to grow up in a civilized country, where her medical needs are considered important, and where her freedom to live an adult life does not require approval from old, white, religious bigots.

I would be livid with anger, but you know what? My daughter is safe. She can't be controlled by those sick bastards. She is out of reach of the American Taliban and its Christian Sharia law. No one in my society can go on the radio and call her a slut for not living up to their hypocritical Christian standards that they never even came close to. No on in my society can call her a slut for being in charge of her own life and making her own choices.

My daughter is safe. You idiots can ruin your country and turn it into Afghanistan with your Purity Police and your abortion clinic bombings and your school prayer and your anti-science agenda. Go ahead. I don't live there anymore.

And thank God for that.

Monday, March 5, 2012

The rich are different than you and me

They're jerks, according to this study. It makes sense; if you reward people for focusing on their financial welfare at the expense of all other considerations, then that behavior is going to leak over into other areas.

This is why we don't torture animals; because doing so degrades our instincts and makes us more likely to torture people (the FBI first noticed this while tracking serial killers). Human beings are machines, and like any complex, poorly-designed machine, they have tolerances. Operate them outside of those tolerances for long, and they start to fail.

If anyone ever asks, "How has the theory of evolution affected you?" the answer is right here, in this view of humans as machines, and in this understanding of why we have to have broad moral principles, of why we have to err on the side of caution, of why everything your mother said about jumping off a cliff just because everyone else was doing it makes sense.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Rush Limbaugh finally goes too far

Remember when I mentioned that Rush had endorsed a theocratic homicidal terrorist gang, solely because they had "Lord" in their name and Obama was against them?

That didn't really make much of a stir. When the facts came out, Rush shrugged and went on. His fans didn't care, his business partners didn't care, the Republican leadership didn't care. I mean, it was completely fabricated fantasy, but it was a knock on Obama. So, from their perspective, it was fine.

Now Rush has finally said something that is getting real push back. A female law student, Sandra Fluke, testified before Congress about birth control; her story was that she had a friend who needed it for medical reasons, couldn't afford it due to cheap-ass insurance not covering it, and consequently lost an ovary (which either the insurance company or the hospital had to pay for). The obvious lesson here is that preventative medicine is not only safer, but cheaper.

Rush's takeaway was to call Sandra a slut and demand pornographic videos of her.

I don't know how any self-respecting person can listen to Rush in the first place, but this apparently was enough to wake up the general public. Endorsing groups who murder black people in a foreign country is one thing; calling an American citizen a slut for no reason at all is, apparently, something else.

Here's Rush's non-apology, brought on by a wildfire of protest landing on the heads of his advertisers. But more important is the silence from the Republican leadership. Rush is nakedly partisan, openly Republican, and invited to speak all sorts of their political functions. Right now pretty much every woman in the country is mad at him. And yet the Republican s can't find time to say, "Ya, that guy's a jerk. We don't like him either."

Rock on, Republicans. We always expected you to wage war against liberals. When you took on scientists, too, we were surprised. Then you declared war against math itself, and anyone nervy enough to actually measure economics over the last 30 years. You declared war on immigrants, the fastest growing segment of our society. After that you declared war on the working class. And now you've declared war on women.