Wednesday, October 24, 2012

I can't believe this is not a bigger issue...

Look, I know that there are many religious conservatives that disagree with gay marriage. However, the fact that a vice presidential nominee has the balls to say something like what he said below is just galling. We live in a country that purports to support equality and provide equal protection under the law. Now this asshole comes along and says...nah.

Below is Paul Ryan's response in a discussion about marriage, to Focus on the Family president Jim Daly.

Ryan: It’s [marriage] the foundation for society and for family for thousands of years. First of all, Mitt Romney and I — I’ll just say it, it’s worth repeating — we believe marriage is between one man and one woman, that’s number one. Number two, you know where I come from we had one of those amendments in Wisconsin, I was a big supporter of it and we passed it like you say, where it’s put on the ballot it passes. The second point is, President Obama gave up defending the Defense of Marriage Act in the courts, I mean, not only is this decision to abandon this law the wrong decision, it passed in a bipartisan manner, it is very troubling because it undermines not only traditional marriage but it contradicts our system of government. It’s not the president’s job to pick and choose which laws he likes. A Romney administration will protect traditional marriage and the rule of law and we will provide the Defense of Marriage Act the proper defense in the courts that it deserves.

Fuck you, Paul Ryan.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

It's time to put him down...

So I wrote a long diatribe last year about the BCS (Bowl Championship Series), and how it had become a completely bastardized version of what it was originally intended to be. It had become (even more than when it was created) a money-making venture and little more. However, once the BCS contract is up in 2013, we’ll finally have what we’ve been waiting for in college football, a college football playoffs. I’m sure everyone is really weeping over the death of the BCS, and lamenting the loss of the biased computer system that seems to always favor teams from the South, specifically the Southeast (the S-E-C, Southeastern Conference). Good riddance…
While I certainly don’t like the BCS, in general, due to their unseemly practices of putting profit over sport, I am particular upset with the organization this year, in that they’re screwing over my favorite team in college football, Notre Dame. Okay, I get it, people don’t like Notre Dame. Notre Dame has been given preferential treatment by the NCAA and TV stations for years, so it’s time for them to get screwed, right? Well, no. The BCS is not supposed to bias against teams because they’re not popularly loved. Or, I guess more truly, they’re either loved or loathed. Just a little background, I did not attend ND, but I’ve loved the school since I was a little kid; and since my college never had a good football team (and doesn’t even have one anymore), I’ve continued to root for them. I guess it’s my Irish ancestry… Anyway, I digress.
Notre Dame has been screwed in the first BCS rankings that have been released for the 2012 season. Notre Dame is 6-0 and ranked number 5; they have faced three ranked opponents, Michigan, Michigan State, and Stanford. Kansas State, who is ranked ahead of ND at number 4, has faced one ranked opponent (Oklahoma at #6), and just happens to be in another conference that he BCS favors, the Big 12. Oregon is also ranked above ND at number 3, but that is at least understandable, because Oregon has one of the most (if not THE most) high-powered offenses in the country, and has been dominant over the last few years. But then we come to Florida at number 2. Florida beat LSU, who at the time was the #2 team in the nation, and they’ve beat another ranked time (Tennessee at #24), but I don’t see how that puts them ahead of Notre Dame. Oh, right, they’re in the SEC. What a coincidence, so it the #1 team, the #6 team, and the #7 team (Alabama, LSU, and South Carolina, respectively).
I’ll give the SEC their props, they’re a great conference, but that doesn’t automatically mean that they’re better teams and therefore should get pushed up in ranking, just because they supposedly have a tougher strength of schedule. Notre Dame is not in a conference, but has consistently played tough teams and beat them, therefore they should be ranked based upon their performance and strength of schedule, not their conference (or lack thereof). Notre Dame should be ranked #3.
p.s.  I’m willing to bet that when South Carolina beats Florida this weekend at the Swamp, you’ll see SC leapfrog Notre Dame and jump down to #3, while Notre Dame will probably only drop down to #4. Ugh…such is life.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Wow, isn't he the greatest...

Let me start by saying that by all appearances, Mitt Romney won Wednesday’s (10.3.12) debate. I wouldn’t say that he blew the president away, but he was more confident, had his numbers ready to go, and overall seemed a lot more comfortable attacking the president than the president did defending himself.
That being said, Romney’s presentation was full of a lot more vigor than substance. And it’s not that vigor doesn’t matter, but I think that it’s important to point out this fact before saying that the first debate completely changes the direction of this election. Regarding his tax policy, Romney was evasive, and presently a view that was starkly in contrast to that he has been presenting since the beginning of his campaign. The president pointed this fact out, but Romney shifted and said that he would do nothing that would add to the deficit; well Mr. Romney, unfortunately you can’t have one without the other. Either you plan to cut taxes and raise the deficit, or you plan to cut the deficit and raise taxes. And he scoffed at the president’s characterization of his tax plan as a windfall for rich people, but Romney – in typical fashion – went on some diatribe about the president raising taxes on the middle class and how he [Romney] wants to cut corporate and business taxes to help spur business. These two facts have nothing to do with one another. Obama’s tax plan would not raise taxes on small businesses, unless they’ve become large enough to where they should be paying a higher rate, or they pay corporate income taxes; either way, this would have no effect on such a high percentage of businesses, that pointing to the few that would be affected is ridiculous.
In addition, Mr. Romney continued to hammer the president on the Affordable Care Act, but failed to offer any alternatives to the president’s plan, or outline what was wrong with it, except to say that President Obama would be stealing over $700 billion from Medicare, which is a lie. The $700 billion dollars is how much less Medicare will be funded over the next ten years, but that will have no impact on how much seniors will spend, but will only impact the providers in how much they will receive (should be noted that this is what providers agreed to). Romney tried to tout his plan, while distancing himself from it; a strange position to be in for a person whose party considers the ACA a “government takeover of healthcare” and “socialist”. But Romney says that it was a good policy for the state, but not a good national policy; which is hard to understand why it isn’t. Wouldn’t the federal government be better of negotiating with giant insurance companies, rather than local government? What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.
Finally, Mitt Romney and the president went round and round about Social Security. Romney kept pushing the Ryan plan for Social Security, basically trying to pander to older voters and those already retired by saying that THEY won’t be affected by his policy, neglecting to mention the fact that those 55 and younger will have their Social Security prey to the open market under the Romney/Ryan plan. Certainly, Social Security in its current form is untenable long term, but policy-makers need to come up with a comprehensive strategy for creating a system that works, because millions and millions of seniors depend upon Social Security to live, and that fact is not likely to change anytime soon. But creating the voucher system where people will have to decide what they want to do with their SSA money is not the solution, and is more likely to create a system similar to the retirement system where some people will lose everything they have in the event of a major crash. It’s bad policy for a social safety net.
Bottom line: Romney may have won the debate, but that doesn’t mean that he did it honestly, or that it will translate to anything other than an email to send to supporters. His message is muddled, his policies are poor (and unclear), and he can’t seem to find any firm ground under which to stand, other than saying that we should elect him for the simple fact that he isn’t Barack Obama.