Saturday, January 30, 2016

Change of Plans, Apparently

Bad news, Proof.  Ten long days of holding down the fort, and all we got was this stupid post card.  At least somebody's having fun.  I just hope we get a couple of PJ Media T-shirts out of this!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Never Go Full Krugman

The financial geniuses at the New York Times are puzzled over what they call the "Economic Mystery" of 2016.  As Adam Davidson just put it in the New York Times Magazine, "financial experts" cannot figure out why American corporations are sitting on $1.9 trillion in cash, "just sitting around."  From Davidson:
The notion that a corporation would hold on to so much of its profit seems economically absurd, especially now, when it is probably earning only about 2 percent interest by parking that money in United States Treasury bonds. These companies would be better off investing in anything — a product, a service, a corporate acquisition — that would make them more than 2 cents of profit on the dollar, a razor-thin margin by corporate standards. And yet they choose to keep the cash.
According to Davidson, this "strange vogue" for corporate hoarding seems to have begun after the turn of the Millennium and has only accelerated in recent years.  Heh.  It really seems to have not occurred to these economic prodigies that confidence in the current economic conditions are at nearly all-time lows.  It seems equally impossible for them to believe that this could be linked to nearly eight years of a lawless and politically vindictive regime administration.  And, with the very real possibility of an even more extreme leftist administration replacing it within the year, one can not escape the harsh truth that no one expects to make an honest profit any time soon.

But it gets better.  Davidson expresses intense frustration with this trend, because: "These numbers are maddening on their face. If the companies spent their savings, rather than hoarding them, the economy would instantly grow, and we would most likely see more jobs with better pay."  What???  I just watched the President's State of the Union address just days ago, and I distinctly heard him say that the economy has never been stronger.  Is somebody not being truthful with us?

After all, the two American companies holding the most cash, GM (half their value in cash) and Apple (more than a third in cash), are politically strong backers of the current administration in Washington, so one would expect them to believe what the administration tells us.  Yet they act in exactly the opposite direction.  Why should the public, with their own money, act any differently?

This corporate behavior should send us a strong signal, then.  We should hang on to what savings we have, and prepare for very bad times, indeed.  And above all, believe nothing that this administration tells us about the economic future, and certainly believe nothing the New York Times tells us, because the very smartest of corporate America is believing none of it.

* Title reference is to Paul Krugman, Professor of Economics and writer for the NY Times.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Panthers and Broncos Battle Their Way Into Super Bowl 50

Gruntington Post [Denver] - Home field was a good luck charm for both teams hosting the NFC and AFC Championship games today.  Just hours ago, the Carolina Panthers had very little trouble crushing the Arizona Cardinals at Bank of America Field in Charlotte.  Final score: 49-15.  That part was somewhat expected, given the continuing rise of Panthers QB Cam Newton and the strong team behind him.

The young Carolina fan below, photographed by AP's Bob Leverone, was the happy recipient of one of Newton's touchdown balls during the first half of tonight's game.
What wasn't so expected was the upset of the New England Patriots earlier this afternoon in the AFC Championship game. Blame it on the altitude. Blame it on the Patriot’s stupid Microsoft tablets that didn’t work (LOL!). But I think we have to give credit to the Denver Broncos for earning their upset victory over the Patriots that won them a spot across from the Panthers at Super Bowl 50 in two weeks.

A brutal defensive battle all afternoon, it was a fight that saw the mighty Patriots offense – and the unstoppable Tom Brady – shut down so effectively that they trailed Denver every second of the entire game. Denver quarterback Peyton Manning struggled to score 20 points against the powerful NE defensive teams (final 20-18), and was, in fact, outperformed by Brady in passing and total yards, prevailing with a better rushing game. But it was the Broncos defensive players who won the day.

They didn’t take it easy on Brady, either. He was only sacked 4 times, but he felt it more than the older Manning did with his 3 sacks. In the second quarter, the CBS cameras made it a point to zoom in on Brady’s very bloody left forearm and heavily grass-stained jersey.

The Panthers and the Broncos will now face each other at Super Bowl 50 in Santa Clara, California, on February 7th.

Your Dazzling Moment Of Zen

Panthers Vs Cardinals: NFC Championship Game

The 16-1 Carolina Panthers are at home against the 14-3 Arizona Cardinals today.  Kickoff time for the NFC Championship Game is 6:40 PM ET and will be carried on FOX.

With home field advantage, a fan base that is rabid and aching for a chance at a second appearance in a Super Bowl, the return of running back Jonathan Stewart and frontrunner for the 2015 NFL MVP award QB Cam Newton at the helm, many are expecting a smashmouth game.

To say that Carolina is riding high with such a superb season thusfar would be an understatement.  The Panthers Nation is CRAY-CRAY with excitement.

Today’s game will be the team’s fourth trip to the NFC Championship and their first time to host the game.  It also represents the first time two Heisman Trophy-winning quarterbacks face off in a playoff game.

Fans are heartened by the fact that many like ESPN’s David Purdum favor the Panthers over the Cardinals.  Vegas oddsmakers are likewise picking Denver to fall to the Patriots.

If the “sports experts” are right that would set the stage for a rematch grudge match between the Cats and the Pats from Super Bowl XXXVIII.  Don’t remember that one?  Let me help you out.  That’s the one that had the controversial half-time show in which Janet Jackson had a “wardrobe malfunction” and her breast was ever so briefly exposed.

GO PANTHERS!

And since no football post would be complete without some pom-poms, please enjoy some of the lovely Top Cats cheerleaders.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Curmudgeon's Beach Vacation Hits Its First Snag

Should have gone with WordPress, Chief.  I keep telling you.  And too bad about that Nor'Easter that just slammed you folks all the way down into the Carolinas.  Out west, the weather's actually pretty good for once.  So, we're having a Nor'Easter Party!  At least until Blogger shuts down commenting entirely, and then we'll just have to drink quietly.  Until then, drinks are on the house, Everybody!  Happy Friday!

Political Clone Wars

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Oddly enough, this line of thought started with...Chris Christie! A friend of mine and I were trying to analyze Chris Christie's staying power in his 2016 run for he White House. Rhetorically, he had a few flourishes in the last debate, but on substance...not so much. And then it occurred to me, that a lot of what attracted people to Christie is what attracts them to Trump! Remember what brought Christie to the national forefront? In 2010, in a series of town meetings, he stood up to the teachers' union, making them look greedy for demanding raises and refusing to pay a minimal 1.5% contribution to their healthcare costs, during hard economic times. He also accused the union of making "stupid" statements and told a number of people to sit down and shut up in public meetings if they didn't want to be civil.

It appeared that Governor Christie had a spine, was capable of standing up to the union and teachers who are only in it "for the children"and could speak his mind boldly, without fear of retribution. He  acted in a very atypical way for politicians. Politicians do not tell people to "shut up". Politicians tell people what they want to hear, but they are not rude to them, because there will be another race down the line, and they don't want to be perceived as mean or rude. There's always another race and they have something to lose. That's one of the things people liked about Christie. He'd tell it like it is and let the chips fall where they may.

That's one of the things you can do if you're fearless and are willing to accept the consequences, or you're term limited out and there are no more offices to run for, or...if you're independently wealthy and are not dependent on political office to maintain your livelihood.

Which got me to thinking, and here, some of our less enlightened brethren might accuse me of succumbing to conspiracy theories, but consider, a lot of the candidates who ran and lost in '08, ran again in '12. A lot of the candidates who ran and lost in '12 are running this year. Pays to keep your options open, don'tcha know? But, what is the downside for a Donald Trump? Trump was the epitome of liberal values and causes not that long ago, before he supposedly became a conservative. But what if he's just telling people what they want to hear? He hasn't spent years toiling in the fields of conservatism after his conversion, like Reagan did. How can anyone know for sure that the conservatism he suddenly professes is genuine and not simply tailor for sound bites?

Trump is very light on specifics other than, he's going to build a wall, make Mexico pay for it and "make America great again". When he's asked questions about foreign policy that he does not know the answer to, he blusters that he will surround himself with people who do know, and that he will know more than anyone come inauguration day. And I've got a bridge I'd like to sell you.

His political philosophy tends to be pragmatic rather than principled. After all, he's the "art of the deal" guy. Unfortunately, his deals seem to focus on the ends justifying the means. He wastes his time bragging about himself, denigrating his opponents and speaking in the vaguest of cliches.

And there are those, myself included who wonder about how genuine his conservatism is. Like Romney's "severe conservatism", Obama's "corpseman", we add Trump's quote from "Two Corinthians", as someone who may know the words but never heard the music.

Speaking of clones, what would you think of a candidate with very little political history, one who talks a good fight and tells people what they want to hear. A sort of "blank slate" that people could project all of their hope onto. Donald Trump? Or Barack Obama in 2008? (Or both??) It seems that conservatives are doing to Trump what liberals and moderates did to Obama in '08, projecting their ideal candidate onto a candidate promising solutions to all their problems and falling in love with their projection.

So, if Donald Trump, independently wealthy businessman, turns out to be not quite the campaigner in the general election, if he were to subtly throw the debates, turn out to be less than the conservative stalwart he claimed himself to be, what are you going to do to him? Not vote for him in four years? He won't be running for anything. Not watch his TV show or stay in his hotels? Most of us aren't doing that now. And if in January of 2017, developer Donald Trump were to have a new friend in the White House, wouldn't that be the art of making the ultimate deal??

For those of you who have become Trump's true believers: on what basis other than his rhetorical bombast, do you know that you can trust what he says?  And even if he is genuine, he has a record of saying whatever pops into his head, no matter how intemperate.  Is that the quality we look for in a president?

Our country has suffered for the last eight years because a guy who talked a good fight made a lot of promises and either couldn't or wouldn't deliver on them. The country cannot afford another.

See also: Donald Trump and the Spending Cuts of Doom  

Waiting for the Donald

Friday Flyby

Original glamour shot stolen from DMF.  F-15 photo from USAF.  Photo work by Grunt.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Carl Reiner Is Even More Senile Than We Thought

Mean Tweets: Carl Reiner Edition.


Original tweet here.

The Genius of '13 Hours' Is in the Stories It Doesn't Tell


Many critics of Michael Bay's new movie claim that the story is too simple.  And they're half right.  It is simple.  But its simplicity is also its genius.  For the politically charged Benghazi story, laying it all out would have been ruinous.   A far more artistic approach is to tell the heroic part of the story and let the scandalous parts be revealed by the characters who are only there in the background or not at all: the shadow characters.

And there are plenty of shadow characters in this story. If you don't want to know who they are, kindly avert your eyes. There be spoilers here.

Unlike countless Hollywood productions that preach endlessly about the heroism, goodness and great hair of Democrats and the evil of Republicans, the new Michael Bay film is subtle about its preaching.  Sure, it's unapologetic in its lionization of the men who protected the Benghazi diplomatic outpost and CIA annex in 2012.  But, you have to pay attention to see anything at all about politics or the identities of the real bad guys.

And, yes, that makes the film subtle, even though 'subtle' is the single most fought-over fighting word of all the reviews of the film.  Disapproving critics, like these monkeys here, here, here and here, fell all over themselves to snarl the word 'unsubtle' as their favorite pejorative.  That's not surprising at all from folks whose favorite Presidential administration prizes 'nuance' above anything else, even when they fail spectacularly at it.  But manymany others saw it pointedly otherwise: some even called it both "subtle and nuanced."

Like John Nolte, at Breitbart, I believe that Bay's subtle handling of the blame-storming is far more effective than outright mocking of the guilty parties.  The only thing that could be even more effective in validating everything in Mitchell Zuckoff's book (the basis for the movie), would be if the 20-something staff of Vox.com wrote a condemnatory review that revealed the 'truth', using their vast experience in North African warfare and firm grasp of history, and explained how the seasoned veterans who were actually there were all wrong about everything that happened.  Oh, wait.  They really did that.  Imbeciles.

But Lena Dunham's Still Disturbed. That Part's Still True.

Backstory of how Lena Dunham might actually have a conscience, according to the NY Times, here.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Another Squirrel Party

My bestest friend of 40+ years will be celebrating her 75th birthday next Thursday.  So I am loading up the car and heading to the beach tomorrow morning to celebrate this milestone with her family.

I will be traveling through enemy country because my beloved Alabama Crimson Tide defeated the Clemson Tigers in the College Football National Championship Game.  My friend’s son is a devoted Clemson fan and, to make matters worse, is also a long-time fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Since Clemson lost to Alabama, the Steelers lost their playoff game to Denver and my Carolina Panthers beat the Seahawks I doubt that Ron is going to be very happy with me.

I said all that to say that the keys to the liquor cabinet are once again being handed to Proof of Proof Positive and The Grunt of Monte Cristo to provide content while I’m away celebrating my friend’s birthday.

Both Proof and Grunt have proven to be scalawags during my vacays including shenanigans with my Hümmel collection and letting squirrels in the house to wreak havoc inside Casa de Curmudgeon.

My attorney has already drawn up papers advising them both that impugning my good name will not be tolerated.  So if either one of them posts some fractured fairy tale about me don’t you dare believe ‘em!

It’s Been One Helluva National Popcorn Day Hasn’t It?

Heads are ‘splodin’ at Democratic National Headquarters as bombshell information released in a letter to members of Congress from the US Intelligence Community’s Inspector General revealed that Hillary Clinton’s State Department emails contained above Top Secret classification. 

“Several dozen” of the messages, part of a cache which Clinton handed over more than a year ago after she deleted tens of thousands of messages she considered “personal” in nature, merit the label “classified,” Charles McCullough wrote in his letter to Congress.

And some, he said, should be classified at the 'top secret / SAP' level. 'SAP' stands for 'Special Access Programs,' a tightly controlled category of top-secret material that's usually shown to government officials on a 'need-to-know' basis.

SAP designations can apply to a wide range of intelligence including nuclear and biological weapons data and specialized programs run directly out of the West Wing of the White House.

Only the president; the secretaries of state, defense, energy and homeland security; the attorney general; and the director of national intelligence—and their principal deputies —can designate intelligence as part of an SAP.

This bombshell signals what must be construed as the imminent demise of Nixon-In-A-Pantsuit considering that even NBC was forced to publish an account of today’s events.

And then...

Sarah Palin today formally gave her endorsement to Donald Trump's White House campaign.



You Were With Another Goat Last Night Weren't You?

Bon Appétit, Mikey!

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Monday, January 18, 2016

How Many Kopeks In A Ruble, Ed?

Insufferable airhorn Ed Schultz, formerly of MSNBC, has landed a peach of a job with Russia Today as a mouthpiece for the Kremlin-backed television organization.

Of his new job Schultz said, "I am very happy to cooperate with RT. This television organization has firmly outlined its position in American media, representing the interests of different corporations.  RT is not afraid to acquaint the audience with an alternative point of view, new voices and fresh story, even if it is not to the liking of some members of the mainstream.  The news channel that talks with such persistence to the problems of ordinary Americans is perfectly suited for my program. "

"For the launch of the TV channel RT America, we knew that the only way to conquer the American audience was to be different, to cover stories that ignore the mainstream.  And this approach is fully justified,” said chief editor of RT Margarita Simonyan.  “That is why stars of American journalism like Ed Schultz join the team RT.”

How hard can it be to become a Russian bullshit artist after spending all those years being a liberal apologist?  Just don’t eff up Eddie.  I hear Siberia can be a little chilly.

Mean Tweets: Hillary Clinton Edition

Mean Tweets: Bernie Sanders Edition

Mean Tweets: Martin O’Malley Edition

Flowing Curves Of Beauty

When I meet a man I ask myself, "Is this the man I want my children to spend their weekends with?"





Saturday, January 16, 2016

Mean Tweets: The Manitoban Candidate Edition

Friday, January 15, 2016

Rick Santorum Wasting Our Time

Absolutely no one missed Rand Paul in Thursday’s Fox Business GOP Presidential Debate from North Charleston.  His little feelings were bruised when his polling numbers got him demoted to the undercard.  He decided to boycott the debate.

Rick Santorum, who is barely garnering 2% in national polling, burned up some of his time introducing his sons who are cadets at The Citadel.  After a long-winded statement on why he is the best Republican to take on The Ice Cube In Heels, Rick cleverly declared, "I know I'm out of time. I'm going to take some of Rand Paul’s time here for a second.”

Mean Tweets: Chris Christie Edition

Mean Tweets: John Kasich Edition Redux

Mean Tweets: Jeb Bush Edition

Mean Tweets: Marco Rubio Edition


Thursday, January 14, 2016

Mean Tweets: SOTU Edition

Monday, January 11, 2016

College Football National Championship Game: Alabama Crimson Tide Vs Clemson Tigers

Don’t expect me, a devout Bama fan whose allegiance to the Crimson Tide began when I was knee-high to a grasshopper, to be dispassionate about tonight’s national championship game between my beloved boys from Tuscaloosa and the Clemson Tigers.
My loyalty dates back to the days of legendary Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant who returned to his alma mater in 1958 and brought the Tide’s football program into dominance by winning national championships in 1961, 1964, 1965, 1973, 1978 and 1979.  The “Bear” was immensely beloved and his legacy lives on in the Houndstooth apparel seen in every stadium where the Tide plays.  Coach Bryant won 15 conference championships, was named College Football Coach of the Year three times and was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Ronald Reagan.  Only one other football head coach, Earl Blaik, has ever received the nation’s highest civilian award.
In 1986, the “Bear: was elected to the College Football Hall of Fame.  The ultimate symbol of coaching excellence in collegiate football, the College Football Coach of the Year Award was renamed in his honor.

This past Saturday, according to AL.com, Clemson players were telling the media they are tired of Alabama living off its reputation.
Mackensie Alexander, Clemson's top cornerback, believes Alabama's favored status is based more on what the Crimson Tide has historically done than what it'll do against the Tigers in Arizona. The outspoken star told a group of reporters, "You guys know we've got a better team. 
"We are 14-0, and we were underdogs last week, it's all a brand thing," Alexander said. "Everyone cares about the brand, the Alabama brand. I understand it's a lot of fans, and they've done it for a long time, but this is a new year, and it's our time."
The Crimson Tide has played their hearts out on the field.  Standards have been raised; all built upon the most storied program in football history.  Their greatest achievement lies ahead tonight in Alabama’s quest for National Championship No. 16.  The Clemson Tigers will try and fail to knock the Tide off their pedestal.
Not this year Clemson.  Not this year! 
ROLL TIDE ROLL!

More Adventures of Plenty Valenti, Feminist Icon


Referenced McCain article here.  Bizarre Vice.com mythology here.  First Plenty Valenti Episode here.  Second here.

Flowing Curves Of Beauty

Seduction is the art of saying what you don't do in order to do what you don't say.




UPDATE:  We greatly appreciate The Wombat at The Other McCain for linking to this week’s Flowing Curves of Beauty which appears here each and every Monday.


UPDATE II:  We also want to thank American Power for linking to us.

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