Here's my 4.82 cents' worth...
I guess this is the kind of shit we get from our elected federal officials until we know they are either unhinged enough or disconnected far enough away from reality to warrant a White House run. If that's the case, then allow me to introduce a congressman who should be an early favorite in 2016 based on his current track record.
Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH) has introduced the Cents and Sensibility Act, along with a companion bill, the STEEL bill. The aim of these two bills are to get the U.S. government to use different metals to mint our currency, namely steel. Currently, a penny is only 2.5% copper, and a nickel is only comprised of one-fourth nickel. It currently cost $0.0241 per penny and $0.1118 per nickel to produce.
The two bills are similar to legislation that passed the House in 2008 but crapped out in the Senate, even though proponents said it could save the taxpayers an estimated $100 million a year. At the time, U.S. Mint Director Edmund Moy expressed concern that legislation would eliminate any consideration of other alternatives that may prove cost effective. Yeah, this phrase "cost effective," I do not think Moy quite understands what he thinks it does. To simplify for him; the United States should not be wasting money just by the sheer act of printing money. I wonder what financial shape this country would be in if that (and God knows 98% of the rest of it) if we could at least figure that out. This is not the same as bailing out a car company or an airline.
Why is it so damned hard to figure out we do not need pennies or nickels? I mean, we do without things today that would have sent a simpler world to the brink of absolute panic, and we never even give it a second thought. For every joker screaming about making coins cheaper to produce, I want to sit them down and show them a set of lawn darts, a polaroid picture, and a typewriter ribbon.
All three things are prime examples of staying power through nostalgia than continued successful sales. We all know what those items are, and remember when we thought we had hit the pinnacle, and are now left with neat little knick-knacks, and the penny and nickel should be no different. Hell, while we are at it, can we see about killing off the dime as well?
Not that I entirely disagree with Rep. Stivers. If we are going to eat it raw with a little stink left on it and produce billions of dollars a year in unpopular or obsolete currency, then why in the name of what the hell are we not at least using our own resources to come up with the materials? Yeah, I know I once again answered my own question. You get used to it, editorializing on politics.
Maybe if a congressmen or senator was feeling bold enough, they could advance a bill to simply do away with the penny, the nickel, and the dime. While it may seem like a non-issue to most voters (the ones who are stupid enough to label themselves "undecided" with the phone polls starting hitting the home phone), it will save money, the ultimate name of the game at present, and it would actually send the message that at least one elected official anywhere within the contiguous 48 states, Hawaii, Alaska, and the other seven we've been cracking jokes about, is serious about trimming out the waste.
The bill is currently in the House financial service subcommittee on domestic monetary policy and technology.
Investing in a lot of smoke and noise...
_Okay, so according to an NBC News-Wall Street Journal poll released Thursday, Newt Gingrich leads Mitt Romney among Republican voters, but is breathing in quite a bit of dust in second place behind President Obama.
That poll accomplishes little more than reinforcing my belief the Republicans are just going through the motions, hoping a new wave of fresh, relevant challengers can be found in 2016, after Obama has run out of time and if there is anything left to be in charge of. If the debates in Florida showed anything, it's that the two frontrunners for the Republican presidential nomination are more interested in a territorial pissing match over who has what in their stock portfolios.
Who gives a fuck? Seriously, who gives a single gram of fuck what the hell Mitt Romney or Newt Gingrich or Ron Paul or any of the candidates invest in, as long as it's legal? Why the hell wouldn't either Romney or Gingrich invest in Fannie Mae? Romney is not a stupid man, and if he can see return in an investment, especially one that's been propped up by the government for decades, then why shouldn't he make a buck on the investment?
If Newt Gingrich is on the Fannie Mae payroll, whether it's minimum wage (yeah, I hear ya...please save the uncontrollable laughter for the end) or the $25,000 a month or whatever he was getting, then why wouldn't he invest back in the company? Not entirely unheard of, investing in a company you work for. Thank God I am not running for President, because I have been guilty of owning stock in company I worked for. Some of the companies, I even hated, but they were making a profit, they had the blindingly good common sense and American good taste to hire me (even if that was the singular fucking thing they did right during my tenure), so why not earn a handful of loose change a year in dividends?
Getting beyond the irony of two multimillionaires arguing over who has the interest of the middle class best at heart, which is rather like two silent movie villains arguing over who used the better knot in tying the damsel in distress to the tracks, what is going to be the next hot button non-issue? Are we going to see interviews with people who remember back to the 80s, when one of the candidates was not kind and did not rewind? Will the last minute knockout punch be an old photo of a candidate parking in the handicapped space in front of a 7-11 to run in and grab a 20 ounce Mountain Dew and two scratch-offs? Whatever it is, will it at least be slightly less ridiculous than the two examples I'm running with?...
Attack of the drones?
Fly my pretty and find me a split level ranch!
Well, the complaints over the use of unmanned drones has reached home, and...wait, you mean the real estate biz is using them? Oh. Okay...
The LAPD is warning real estate agents not to employ the drones to capture aerial photography of properties for sale, citing safety reasons and a possible violation of federal aviation rules. This came after TV news ran with video of a "basketball-sized object with multiple rotors" over a home in Westside. What the hell ever happened to the good old days when there would be panicked UFO sightings reported? Why isn't that being mentioned as part of this story?
Anyhow, you read that right- real estate agents are using unmanned drones to try and sell houses. Obviously, we are not talking about military grade drones (are we?!?), but does government-as-usual need any bigger hint the housing market is in the toilet, I mean, other than last year's numbers being the worst in history? Probably. Don't look at me. I rent.
According to LA Times coverage, debate on allowing drones to operate in airspace used by passenger aircraft has been growing across the country. First I've ever heard about it. I'm not a member of the Black Helicopter Society or anything, but I think I got an ear close enough to the ground to hear about drones in use for various reasons from coast to coast.
Federal regulations prohibit the operation of unmanned aircraft in U.S airspace without specific permission, though the rules do allow hobbyists to fly model planes in designated areas. I got that from the Times, too. Helpful damn article. If I could be so bold as to perhaps suggest you just don't let them...I don't know, fly their shit to a point where they can collide with any kind of real aircraft? There are even ground-based aerial photography services here where I reside in southern Indiana. If we can do it out here, surely they can do the same thing in the land of movie magic. If not, if your house it that fucking big, do you really think anyone interested in buying it hasn't already seen it from the air? Just saying, is all...
Fresh on the heels of that discount ho trying to barter sex for McNuggets at a drive-thru out in Los Angeles, I present Misty Marie Kullman, who was charged with misdemeanor prostitution in Cleveland County, North Carolina Tuesday after allegedly performing a sex act on a man for $6. Okay, well if anything, I guess you could say she's twice the ho as them out west.
Police, responding to a suspicious vehicle call, spoke to the driver, and Kullman, the passenger. While Kullman said they were just riding around, the man admitted to paying for a sex act with "a $2 bill, three $1 bills, and an assortment of change," which officers found on Kullman. Wow, I can only imagine what qualifies on the short list of things you never want to see on a police report related to your selling your own body, but the phrase an assortment of change has to be near or at the top. Right below the venerable Chicken McNugget.
While Kullman was arrested, and is slated to appear in Cleveland County District Court on Friday, the man gave police a written statement and was released with no charges. Damn, that's some shit. You would think the lengths some cities and counties will go to shame men busted for solicitation, they would already have a billboard saved for the cheap bastard that scored six dollar pussy.
The rate prostitution stories seem to be going lately, it's only a matter of time before we hear of a hooker getting busted for running a Groupon special...
Holy crap- could this be the kingmaker? Chuck Norris endorsed Newt Gingrich right before yesterday's South Carolina primary, and lo and behold: a big-time win for Gingrich:
Newt Gingrich: 40%
Mitt Romney: 28%
Rick Santorum: 17%
Rep. Ron Paul: 13%
Think that's a strong win? Gingrich scored 38% of women voters, 44% of "last-minute deciders," and a 2 to 1 win over Rick Santorum with "born-again evangelical voters." While it statistically may be a strong win, I am not personally impressed. Okay, I might be a little shocked over the 38% of women voters- that just tells me 38% of the women voters participating in the South Carolina primary are either trophy wives, comfortable with the idea of an open marriage, or women who have had affairs with Gingrich in the past. Yeah...burn that image into your mind- Newt Gingrich as the Wilt Chamberlain of South Carolina.
Last-minute deciders? Really? When the hell did that become a demographic, and more importantly, how the hell would the pollsters know? Last-minute deciders being counted as a voting demographic creates a whole new aspect to the political game- impulse voting. That's a fairly terrifying thought that the politicians are figuring out to target the short attention span crowd. That's really who they want, those who love them long enough to get elected, then can't remember why they voted the candidate in to begin with. Hold on, from the looks of things, President Obama already mastered that in 2008.
So, according to Rick Santorum, there have been three primaries with three winners. Not so fast, pal. First, Iowa couldn't even run their primary without losing a crapload of votes, leading them to then declare they weren't going to declare a winner, right before they turn around and declared a winner. Bullshit. You only get half-credit when the Iowa GOP resorts to professional wrestling style story arcs to try and stay relevant after pooching their one moment in the sun every four years.
I was looking forward to this primary so I could try and handicap the next dropout. With Gingrich performing sluggishly in the polls, and his own implied importance on a strong finish being the only thing to keep the campaign alive, I joined a few people in predicting the end for Newt. Who woulda thunk it?
So where does this leave my previously predicted three man race heading into the Florida primary at the end of the month? Mitt Romney's going to have to stumble a lot harder before he starts having doubts, Newt apparently just got a can of spinach from Chuck Norris and is back in the fight, and Ron Paul is going to ride out his farewell campaign to the convention (and beyond?...) Guess that leaves Rick Santorum as the prime candidate for the next fork.
Sure, Santorum enjoyed his fifteen seconds of fame at the top of the theoretical heap, but who hasn't among past and present GOP contenders this cycle? Oh, right- Jon Huntsman, but other than him, who else hasn't? Rick Santorum simply does not have the experience, the charisma, the ability to beat President Obama in a debate, nor the electability to pull it off. There's also the massive douchebag factor involved.
At this point in the game, I am more interested in seeing who the contenders are kicking around as possible running mates, whether or not Santorum or any of the actual also-rans will re-emerge in a supporting role, and whether or not we will see a new media sensation created from a running mate. God, I hope not. Otherwise the remaining 334 days until the Mayan apocalypse is really going to seem long...
Heading into today's South Carolina primary, I really do wish write-in candidates were allowed in that state. Not only would Stephen Colbert's exploratory committee/super PAC thing be even funnier than it is currently, but I think he'd actually win. At least he's being funny on purpose, and that's while being more serious as a comedian than 99% of the politicians are while wasting all of our good air on Capitol Hill. I'd make a joke here about someone needing to write them a ticket for loitering, but seeing how they've already wiped their asses with the Constitution, maybe they are holding out hope the citations are more absorbent...
Yes, on this week's Probably Uncalled For, I did say that if a hooker can not even get the retail value of an order of drive-thru chicken nuggets for that vagina, then maybe he or she deserves to starve to death. It's called natural selection. Trying selling that schoochie for some crack, then ya might get some sympathy...then again, I also said I'd rather pound a $3 hooker than eat anything from a Mickey D's...
Warren Buffett coughed up a check for a whopping $49,000 to help pay down the national debt. Wow, the thimble runneth under...compared to our national debt, not only is $49,000 a futile gesture, it's the equivalent of waving to a hooker- while enjoying your delicious Chicken McNuggets from McDonald's...
Meanwhile, news broke in Canada that Jeffrey Paul Delisle, a sub-lieutenant and intelligence officer in the Royal Canadian Navy, was arrested on suspicion of selling military secrets. Wait, what? Canada has military secrets? They got like what, four boats and seven aircraft? What the hell did this guy sell, the location of the strategic maple syrup reserve, or better, yet...the real Stanley Cup, not the stunt double they give the American teams that win every year. See, now that's a conspiracy theory I can get behind...
If you really wanted to add to the laundry list of things that President Obama needs to brush up on, you go right on ahead and write staging somewhere on that list.
Seriously, the President's handlers really need to sit down, break out the centerfold bud, and try to wrap their heads around a new concept, because business as usual isn't helping matters much.
Case in point, today Obama decided to go to Disney World to announce some kind of tourism initiative or some similar bullshit, and as a result, the park was closed to the public and even some employees before and during the appearance.
Photo op politics - how does it work? Perhaps not by shutting a large theme park down, putting people off for half a day, and fisting an untold number of families just trying to enjoy the watermelon-sized chunk of cash that has just been removed from a dark, tender, personal spot. Isn't that why we have a White House, with a rose garden, as to make announcements from, even the kind of announcement-type thing the Obama administration had planned?
Moments like this come as a double surprise when MSM is chasing Mitt Romney like he just donkey punched their grandmas. First it's his tax returns, and his hemming and hawing over the topic. In case anyone else needs a refresher, presidential candidates have financial disclosure forms they are required to fill out, but they are not obliged under any circumstance to cough up their tax returns. It's a showy gesture that's being turned into a media hammerlock.
Maybe when President Obama's done down in Florida, and finished with his follow-up slate of four (four?) fundraisers in NYC, he can go make a more appropriate gesture, like making an economic statement in front of a roller coaster just as he dynamites a section of track...
Virtually taxing our patience?
I love how this works. As 2012 kicks off, so does the legislative session in Indiana. Well, it was until the Democrats decided to play their games from last year and stall the session by not showing up.
Anyhow, State Sen. Luke Kenley (R), chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, would like for Congress to require all online retailers to collect the seven percent state sales tax from customers.
Currently, only online retailers with a physical location in the state are required to collect sales tax. Individuals are supposed to pay a seven percent "use" tax for an online purchase if no tax was collected, but according to the state Department of Revenue, that hardly ever happens.
This goes back to the deal Indiana made with Amazon.com to get then to open a warehouse. Not only did Amazon open a warehouse, they opened three, and just last summer announced plans for a fourth.
Oh yeah, part of the deal was state legislators not asking for an online sales tax. Wonder how those plans are coming along at the present?...
Winner, The Blogitzer
(Best Overall Writing), 2011 Blogger's Choice Awards