Wiseline Institute Northwest presents:
|Mr_Blog's Left Turn||
A Seattle-based journal of Left-wing musings on local, national and world affairs, as well as baseball, pop culture and technology.
Posted April 29, 2008
President admits economy "in shrinkage"
"Normally much bigger than this," Bush says
President Bush, in a televised press conference today, again stopped short of saying the U.S. is in a recession. However, he did go so far as to say he thinks the economy is "in shrinkage."
Bush laid the blame for the shrinkage on Congressional Democrats, whom he said had immersed the economy in ice-cold water due to their failure to act on high prices for gasoline, food and wedding presents.
Bush described his personal sense of embarrassment at the recent North America trade meeting in New Orleans. The president recounted how Mexican President Felipe Calderon and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper commented to him that the U.S. economy's growth seemed unusually small, in comparison with its size during the Clinton administration.
"I felt like they caught me with my pants down," Bush said.
"I had to keep saying, 'it's normally much bigger than this,' but they couldn't take their eyes off my small quarterly growth."
The president went on to say swag projections for the wedding of his daughter, Jenna, need to be revised downward due to limp consumer confidence.
Bush said that the economy would spring back to its full size if Democrats were to authorize oil exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. "Drilling in ANWR would perk up the economy. Lots of deep drilling," he said.
Posted April 29, 2008
Plans unveiled for Bush Monument
Architect envisions 300 ft. tall set of shiny keys
A fundraising committee has announced plans for a monument to George W. Bush to be constructed after he leaves office in January 2009.
The group, Our President's Edifice Committee (OPEC), earlier this year retained the reknowned architect Maya Lin to work on the $120 million monument, and gave her complete artistic control.
Lin, designer of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, has created a concept she says sums up the Bush presidency: a giant set of shiny keys.
To be 300 ft. tall, the Bush Monument will be constructed out of concrete, marble and stainless steel. "On a clear day, the sun will reflect off the keys," Lin said. "When the wind blows, they will make a jingling sound, attracting the eyes upward. Away from worldly distractions at ground-level."
"Keys are a metaphor that perfectly captures the last eight years," said Lin. "In the same way that shiny, jingling keys are used to distract children and animals, so too has President Bush spent much time trying to save us from worry about the many serious problems facing our nation."
Although sources say opinion within OPEC is divided over Lin's concept, her design must go forward as planned. Lin's original contract was routed through the Defense Department, is no-bid, and guaranteed.
In related news, the Internal Revenue Service's Sarcasm Unit has launched a routine investigation into designers of national monuments.
Posted April 26, 2008
Florida legislature debates ban on car foreskins
(Mr_Blog's Left Turn is reporting today from the Green My Ride event in Seattle)
Florida state senator Guy Phinney has introduced a bill in the state senate to ban the display of replica foreskins on cars.
"I always thought they were called 'bras,' said Phinney, a Republican from Talahassee.
"When Sen. Carey Baker introduced his bill to ban replica bull testicles hanging from cars, it hit me like an epiphany -- they're foreskins, not bras."
Phinney went on to say that he used to get into accidents because he was always staring at the bras. "The realization I had been staring at foreskins all those years was freaky, uncomfortable, and caused me to question my own masculinity," he said.
If it becomes law, Phinney's bill would declare the novelty foreskins to be offensive to the sensibilities of people who tend to be easily offended.
A provision of the bill, Sec. 36 DD, would mandate really large, non-saggy headlights on all Florida cars by 2025.
Posted April 24, 2008
"Gross McCain Product"
A better way to gauge state of the economy
John McCain today explained his recent statement that the U.S. economy has "had a pretty good, prosperous time" during the eight years of the Bush Administration.
"The mortgage crisis, the ballooning debt, the recession, the falling dollar -- these just don't matter," the presumptive Republican nominee for president told a group of California supporters, the National Association of Fine T and A (NAFTA), a group of professional women based in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles.
McCain said his view of the economy is the result of a new statistical measure he has personally created. McCain said his measurement, the Gross McCain Product, is more accurate and simpler to understand and compute.
Writing on a whiteboard, McCain explained the Gross McCain Product as a ratio of his personal annual income to the net worth of his wife, beer distributor heiress Cindy McCain.
"The McCain made $339,000 last year, while my wife's share of the family business, plus all her stuff, is currently worth $100 million. That's a GMP of 3.4 to 1000. Why, just last year The McCain's household servants made $400,000, out my own pocket. Cindy's pocket. Our pocket," explained McCain.
"This is a huge improvement, my friends. Back when The McCain had the starter wife, she dragged down the economy with a GMP of 2 to 0-point-3. All she had to her name was that 1974 Maverick."
"My friends, you shouldn't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out how well we're doing," said McCain. "That is the GMP. Straightforward, straight-talk onthe most important aspect of the economy, the only part that matters to The McCain. And that is the McCain sector," he said.
"This is how The McCain rolls on economic statistics," he told the enthusiastic NAFTA audience.
Posted April 21, 2008
Obama questioned about his temper
ABC News mavens focus on 1970 carpet store trip
Barack Obama was again confronted by probing questions from leading national journalists today, on the eve of the Pennsylvania primary.
This time Obama, the Illinois Democrat and frontrunner for his party's nomination, found himself having to answer questions about his temper from anchorman Charles Gibson and commentator George Stephanopoulos, both of ABC News.
On the road with the Obama campaign in recent days, Gibson and Stephanopoulos took turns peppering Obama with questions about a 1970 incident in Hawaii, in which Obama accompanied his mother, Stanley Ann Dunham, on a shopping trip to a carpet store.
Two witnesses who were at Floor-Tex, a Honolulu store, on November 9, 1970, recall the incident clearly.
Clinton William Jefferson, who describes himself as born and raised in Hawaii, says nine year-old Obama showed no interest in the carpet samples, tiles and area rugs.
"This white lady was with this jug-eared black kid, who was just sulking around," said Jefferson.
"He went limp at times, lying across carpet rolls and flopping around on the floor, complaining in a whiny voice that he was bored." Finally, said Jefferson, the boy flew into a red-faced rage and his mother abruptly escorted him from the establishment.
"The mother said, 'It's one of those days'," recalled Jefferson.
"The kid was so disrespectful, I've never forgotten it," said another eyewitness, "lifelong Hawaiian" Jeff Clinton Williams, who said he had gone to Floor-Tex that day looking for astroturf.
"Talk about a kid you don't want growing up to be president," said Williams.
"Then last week I saw Barack Obama on TV calling Pennsylvanians bitter. I immediately thought, 'oh my goodnesss, it's that whiny jug-eared kid from 38 years ago'."
So far, Obama has refused to explain what was going through his mind that day.
Senator Hillary Clinton, campaigning to hold on to her narrow lead in Pennsylvania, was quick to seize on the new disclosure.
"Barack Obama's behavior on 11/9, and his refusal to apologize now, disrespects not only the carpet shoppers of Pennsylvania, but also the carpet and floor coverings industry," she said. Congoleum, a leading residential and commercial flooring manufacturer, is a major employer in southeastern Pennsylvania.
Clinton's campaign also released a new TV commercial on Sunday addressing the issue of Obama's temper.
Over a color photo of Clinton dressed as the beloved Quaker Oats Man, a narrator intones: "We need a president who is one of you. A president who doesn't get cranky and need a nap. A president who can answer the call at 3 am, instead of having to go to bed early so he can do well at school the next day. Experience, maturity AND no set bedtime. Vote Clinton."
Posted April 16, 2008
Rossi decries mob rule
'Elections' have irreparably harmed Shadow-Governor
Washington Shadow-Governor Dino Rossi today criticized an "atmosphere of mob rule" he said prevails across the state.
"Every two years we are confronted with chaos that sends Washington in stupid, hard-to-fathom directions," said Rossi.
"Some call these farces 'elections.' But I call them irreparably damaging to the orderly operation of government and the people's best interests. My defeat in 2004 is a perfect example," he said.
"Recent so-called elections have worked against the public interest in two other ways," said the former state senator.
"First, the waterfront tunnel in Seattle. Even though Seattle has already said no to a tunnel, that decision resulted from an election. I think they should have a tunnel anyway, so a tunnel they shall have," Rossi said.
"Second, current and former elected governors have let the state ferry system fall into a state of disrepair. When the state Supreme Court selects me as governor this fall after a close election and protracted lawsuit, I will replace the ferry system with a State Faerie System." Rossi said such a system "would be cheaper, as well as faith-based."
The role of Shadow-Governor has not sat well with Rossi, sources say. "The rule that the Beatles song "I'm A Loser" has to be played whenever he attends an official function is really a drag," said a Rossi insider who requested anonymity.
Posted April 15, 2008
Obama hit over "bitter" remark
Americans "minty and proud," agree Clinton, McCain
Republican John McCain and Democrat Hillary Clinton have found another piece of common ground in their campaigns for their respective party's nominations for president. The two have united in outrage against remarks by Senator Barack Obama that the current state of the economy has left many Americans "bitter."
"Takes one to know one," McCain, the presumptive GOP nominee, charged in a press conference Monday morning.
"The only thing bitter is the taste Obama's words left on the tongues of American men, women, children and lobbyists," said the Arizona senator. "Obama should cleanse America's palate by apologizing," McCain said.
McCain said he wasn't personally accusing Obama of bitterness, only that "his statements have a definite lemony-limey, tarty-warty aftertaste," he said. "How about something minty and refreshing instead, sort of a national pick-me-up?”
Clinton, trailing Obama in Democratic delegates, also mentioned mint yesterday. "All nations have their own flavor," she told employees at the McCormick Spice Co. plant near Baltimore.
"My vast foreign policy experience gives me insight into garlicky France, five-spice China, cardamom-infused India, and an Italy staggering under the weight of centuries of oregano. But America's mintiness stands crisp and fresh above the rest of the world," she said.
"Minty means optimism. Minty means the clarity to wake up at 3 a.m. on day one, and take whatever the world dishes out."
Late Monday, Clinton and McCain made a joint appearance urging Americans to take a pledge against bitterness.
Both wore sprigs of mint on their lapels, and said they plan to jointly sponsor a Senate resolution declaring mint America's national flavor.
They concluded by leading the estimated crowd of 1,500 in chanting: "Say it loud -- I'm minty and I'm proud."
Posted April 14, 2008
Air America cancels most service
"Can't handle the baggage," says official
Air America today followed the examples of a growing number of airlines, announcing it is canceling nearly all of its daily service due to baggage problems.
"Perhaps the airline business model was not the best to design a progressive radio network around," said George W.B. Frandle, V.P. for Compromise at Air America.
"Bobby Kennedy Jr. is our only real pilot, and he only flies once a week," he said. However, Frandle said the current problems are the result of baggage difficulties.
The formerly high-flying radio network's move comes on the heels of last week's departure of Noon-3pm host Randi Rhodes, for what network management called abusive language toward Sen. Hillary Clinton and former Rep. Geraldine Ferraro, but what Rhodes calls her refusal to renegotiate her contract.
Rhodes is just the latest in a series of cancellations, including the departures of every host except Kennedy and the guy who does the 5 am Farm Report.
Popular shows such as Morning Sedition and Unfiltered were often replaced with short-haul runs with few passengers, such as Jerry Springer, Politically Direct and The Air Americans. Some critics said it seemed as if Air America intended to fail.
"Since we first took off in 2004 the baggage has been unbearable," Frandle said.
"Today, four years later, we've simply lost too many of our frequent flyers. There is so much we haven't been able to deliver on. Like not canceling popular shows, rewarding talent, and actual liberal values," he said.
Frandle said Air America will stay on the air. "As the 142nd Vice President for Compromise, I can state categorically that Air America is committed to quality, has learned from its mistakes, and will keep flying -- broadcasting," Frandle said.
Frandle also said bankruptcy was not in the immediate future. "We've already been in Chapter 11 about ten zillion times, we can't do that again so soon," said Frandle.
"I think we'll just declare artistic bankruptcy and move on."
Posted April 11, 2008
A message from John McCain
My friends, I come before you now because it is time for me to respond to the reckless smears against me concerning my age.
People think that just because I'll be the oldest inaugurated president, I won't be able to handle our complex economy, or make decisions about implementing the latest technologies.
HOGWASH! I know good ideas when I see them. When Thomas Edison told me about his idea for the light globe, I said to him, "Kid, you perfect it and I'll get you the investment capital by enacting a tax cut for the rich."
I have experience working on economic policy and technology in Congress. I took the steps to create the first national information network, a little something you may have read about in school -- the Pony Express. I also led on freight transportation policy, helping to make the iron horse key to interstate commerce.
Finally, there's this whole Hillary Clinton obsession with phones ringing at 3 AM. Trying to scare you, my friends. Making you afraid that I'll sleep through it, or let the machine get it.
BULL PUCKEY! My first act as president will be to relocate the nation's capital to Hawaii. Hai-shington, I'll call it. Or maybe Washaii. So when that phone rings at 3 AM, in Washaii it will still be 9 PM. Deal Or No Deal will just be getting over, and I'll have a few minutes before Law & Order starts.
How clever is THAT?! How's THEM apples???
Old is the new black, bitches! See, I can be hep.
Posted April 7, 2008
Mark Penn Endorses Obama
Will continue to advise Clinton campaign
Senator Hillary Clinton's campaign strategist Mark Penn announced his support for the candidacy of Senator Barack Obama today.
Penn's endorsement came shortly after his resignation from Clinton's embattled campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, due to disclosure that he has been advising the government of Colombia on a free trade agreement that Senator Clinton publicly opposes.
It is just the latest in a lifetime of bet-hedging by Penn, the neoliberal pollster and public relations boffin. As a child, Penn joined the Lost In Space Fan Club, but watched Star Trek almost religiously.
In college, he managed the university's art film society, but recorded every episode of Galactica 1980 on Betamax and VHS. Penn also took two dates to the big homecoming dance his junior year -- one of each gender.
Clinton released a statement about Penn that was, on average, complimentary to her longtime advisor. "I spit on Mark Penn's duplicity and disloyalty. He has been a good friend to my husband and I, and I look forward to his continued counsel," Clinton said.
A source close to the Obama campaign said Penn will likely be appointed to the chairmanship of the new Kids For Obama Committee. The committee is headquartered at a small card table in the Obama Campaign's basement rec room.
Penn told reporters today that he has no immediate plans, other than continuing to advise the FARC, Colombia's largest rebel army.
Posted April 3, 2008
Developers of the World, Unite!
Builders group forms Anti-Fascist Resistance
An official of the Building Industry Association of Washington yesterday warned of a rising tide of eco-fascism in the state. "Hitler's Nazi Party were eco-extremists, in the vanguard of conservationism," said the BIAW's Mark Musser.
"In order to combat this eco-fascist threat, the BIAW hereby declares itself leader of the Resistance to Enviro-fascism, and proclaims the Evergreen State a real estate workers paradise," said Musser.
Commissar Musser's stern warning and call to arms appeared in the latest issue of the group's newsletter, The Daily Construction Worker.
"Like the Nazis, the Enviros seek to remedy the increasing alienation of people from the natural world, deforestation, urban sprawl. Like Hitler himself, they are sometimes vegetarians and animal lovers," Musser said.
Evidence of the environmental fascism is all around us, according to Musser, who called animal shelters and wildlife areas "nothing less than concentration camps."
Musser said only Soviet-style socialism is strong enough to combat the Enviro-fascism. "The lesson Comrade Stalin taught the world is that the natural environment is to be harnessed for the benefit of the peaceful and hard-working peoples," he said.
"Strip mining, clear-cutting, smoke-belching factories, unrestricted dumping and nuclear reactors with no containment domes represent glorious people's property development -- progress, as far as the eye can see."
"I believe it was Lenin who co-wrote the workers' anthem 'Bungalow Bill'," Musser continued. "Heed the spirit of that song, and build, build, build, until bungalows of all sizes -- but preferably big ones made with Built Green standards bringing premium prices-- cover the land!"
"Developers of the world, unite -- we have nothing to lose but our critical areas ordinances!"
Noting the Koran teaches balance between man and nature, and sustainable use of the land, Musser also believes "it wouldn't be a surprise if the Enviro-fascists are Enviro-Islamo-fascists, and I intend to alert our freedom-loving people's president to this possibility."
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