Welcome to Buster's Blog

Irregular commentary on whatever's on my mind -- politics, sports, current events, and life in general. After twenty years of writing business and community newsletters, fifteen years of fantasy baseball newsletters, and two years of email "columns", this is, I suppose, the inevitable result: the awful conceit that someone might actually care to read what I have to say. Posts may be added often, rarely, or never again. As always, my mood and motivation are unpredictable.

Buster Gammons

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Welcome Back My Friends To The Show That Never Ends

It's the GOP Monkey Court!  (a.k.a the House Hearings)


"Damn that Obamacare!  KILL IT!  KILL IT!"

"Well, shit.  Guess that's not gonna work, is it?"

"Um, OK then, FIX IT!  FIX IT!  Yeah, we know it's not really broken and it's just a balky website, but hypocrisy be damned -- we need some kind of witch hunt, some sort of faux-outrage, something to campaign on."

(Remember when these geniuses swore they were gonna stop being the "stupid party"?)

Customer "Service"

This may sound like a "cranky old man" rant, but I come by it honestly.

In one of my real-world incarnations, I'm the volunteer pool manager for our subdivision's homeowners association (or as one kid called me, the "pool janitor".)  In the midst of the past summer, the pool pump began to leak a little.  The pump is at least 25 years old.  The little plate with the serial number fell off long ago.  The company that installed it is out of business.  I found another local outfit.  They sent a service man who took some photos.  I gave him all the specs I had.  He said that without a serial number he'd have to do some "research" and get back to me.  That was early August.  I'm still waiting.

The pool's custom filter grids need to be rebuilt or replaced.  Only one company exists that makes anything somewhat similar to what we have.  They're in Montana.  A couple weeks ago I made email inquiries, sent photos and left phone messages.  I have heard nothing.

The lovely Mrs. Gammons and I wish to install hardwood flooring in our kitchen and dining room.  We called a nearby retailer we've used several times before for carpeting and other flooring.  Someone came to measure.  She said she'd work it up and email us a price in a day or two.  It took her two weeks, and we had to call her with reminders.

For the past two years we've had a TV/internet/phone bundle with AT&T U-verse.  On October 6th, we began to experience intermittent but repeated signal loss -- all three would go dead simultaneously for a few minutes, then come back up.  Then off again and on again.  A service tech came out three times.  Getting him  to respond and show up was a pure bitch.  Naturally, the signal drop never exhibited itself while he was here, but he'd fiddle with something, pronounce the problem "fixed" and leave, always telling me to call him or text him if the problem reappeared.  For three long weeks, sooner or later, it always reappeared.  One day, we had no service at all from 5:00 p.m. until some time in the wee hours.  During our three weeks of frustration, I made 7 phone calls to the service tech and sent him 29 texts.  I also made four phone calls to his manager, and sent him four texts.  The manager never contacted me, and toward the end the service tech stopped returning calls and texts.  Clearly, they had no idea what was wrong, they were just guessing, didn't take me seriously, and were hoping I'd just shut up and go away.

Then one evening our neighbor had a phone problem and an AT&T line tech showed up to fix it.  Since he was just next door, we roped him and explained our ongoing problem (which had nothing to do with him or our neighbor).  Good thing we did.  He gave us a real education.  The diagnostics on his laptop verified everything we'd been experiencing -- three weeks of signal-drop hell.  He said the problem was likely somewhere in the outside lines and junction boxes.  He explained that line techs like him were "outside" guys, union workers with experience back to the days of Ohio Bell.  The U-verse techs were "inside" guys, younger, non-union, and not allowed to work on outside lines.  Their mandate is to avoid involving line techs in service issues if at all possible, because those outside guys are more costly to AT&T.  So the inside techs just string you along, baffle you with bullshit, and don't return your calls.

This wonderful old-school line tech -- who didn't have to do a damn thing for us -- stirred the pot and got some action.  He called the U-verse manager and left him a long message on our behalf.  I made a follow-up call the next morning -- the manager actually answered this time -- and a line tech came out on October 26th to finally track down the real problem and make a real repair.  We've been good ever since.

But what if our neighbor didn't have a phone problem?  What if we'd never run into that line tech?  Our signal loss problem would still be occurring daily, the U-verse "service" team would still be ignoring us, and we'd be  preparing to switch it all to Time Warner.  It may yet come to that.  I'm sure Time Warner sucks too.

Real customer service is dead.

[Thus concludeth the rant.]

Friday, October 25, 2013

The Inexcusable Job-Killing Trainwreck Atrocity Of The HealthCare.Org Website

For the past four years, the GOP has been indignant about the possibility of people signing up for Obamacare.  Now they're all pissed off because some people can't sign up.  LOL!  These guys just kill me!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A Lesson In Modern Math

Democrats:  1 + 1 = 2

Republicans:   1 + 1 = 3

Media:  1 + 1 = 2.5

Good Job, Guv!

[Regular readers may wish to hold onto their socks, because Buster is going to say something nice about Ohio Governor John Kasich.  Don't get used to it.]

He had to take the long route, and then there was a detour, but John Kasich finally got his way on Medicaid expansion for Ohio.  It means our state will get $13 billion in federal money, cover an additional 275,000 currently uninsured Ohioans, and will save $400 million is health costs, all starting next year.

This voluntary program is part of Obamacare.  Most states happily opted in, because, really, it's a no-brainer.  Even John-Boy the Wonder Guv could see that, so he put it in his state budget earlier this year.  But his Republican-controlled state legislature is clogged with too many gerrymandered Tea Baggers who don't want anything to do with Obamacare, even if it's good for us.  They stripped the Medicaid expansion from the budget.  Kasich signed the budget, but pushed for the program to be legislatively restored.  Again and again, his own party refused him.

So Kasich did an end-run around the legislature, massaged a small group of reps on the State Controlling Board (never heard of it before) and got them to vote to allow Ohio to accept the federal money.  Good job, Guv!  It's clearly the right thing to do.

But is it legal to use the Controlling Board for this purpose?  Kasich says yes, but he's never been big on small stuff like obedience to laws.  The wing-nut brigade in his own party say it's illegal, and they'll join with the ultra-conservative 1851 Center For Constitutional Law (whoever they are) in suing the state to overturn the Board's vote.  Really?

It's true -- no good deed goes unpunished.

Ask A Stupid Question, Get A Stupid Answer

A Washington Post/ABC News poll released today projected that "56% of Americans think that the initial difficulties with the Obamacare website are indicative of larger problems in the program as a whole."

TIME-OUT!  Who's the friggin' genius who thought up this idiotic poll question?  The answer tells us nothing more than 56% of the respondents were drooling shitheads.  A website "glitch" does not mean that all of Obamacare is therefore unsound, no more than a typo signals problems with an entire book or a burnt french fry condemns a whole restaurant.  But the poll-takers never draw any such obvious conclusion.  They just let the oversimplified stupidity hang there without comment as if it's, you know, actual news.

This is what passes for journalism today.  Big whopping lies are "reported" and left unchallenged, as simply one equal side of an argument, as though we're discussing flavors of ice cream:

Boehner and Cruz repeatedly call Obamacare "a train wreck" and claim it's "harming millions of Americans", and no one asks them to explain or provide facts.    Dubya claims Iraq has "weapons of mass destruction" and nobody asks him to prove it!

Modern journalism practices a lazy, counterfeit neutrality under the guise of "objectivity".

In September, NBC's Chuck Todd declared that it was not his job to inform viewers when politicians spread falsehoods.  Would Murrow or Cronkite have agreed?

Friday, October 18, 2013

No Such Thing As "Too Stupid To Get Elected"

The modern GOP has always been a cobbled-together bunch of minorities trying to pose as a majority.  For over a hundred years, real Republican power has been Big Money and Big Business, but there's just not enough of those people, vote-wise.  To remain viable, the R's have struck deals with various small devils, e.g. racists, anti-labor reactionaries, anti-abortion zealots, anti-gay bigots, anti-immigration xenophobes, gun nuts, and Bible-beaters.  That shaky hodge-podge, plus blatant gerrymandering, has allowed the GOP to carry on, sort of.

But their dependence on these unholy alliances may have finally blown up in their faces.  Desperate for voters -- any voters, doesn't really matter -- they embraced the Tea Baggers without fully comprehending the depth of their madness, and their desire -- not just willingness -- to "shoot the hostage".  Government shutdown?  Default?  Another recession?  Sounds great!  "We're excited."

Many in the everyday business community are scared shitless by these extremists.  A lot of business leaders and Wall Streeters would frankly prefer the reasonable predictability of a Democrat-led Congress to the present GOP disfunction junction.  The D's are today's real pro-business party because, honestly, why would anyone want to deal with this Confederacy of Dunces?  They are living proof that there's no such thing as "too stupid to get elected"

The Eight Leading "Thinkers" of the official Tea Party Congressional Caucus:

Steve King, Iowa, elected 2002.  Immigration reform foe.  Says Dream Act would offer citizenship mainly to drug mules.  "For every one who's a valedictorian," says King, "there's another 100 out there with calves the size of cantaloupes because they're hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert." 

Ted Yoho, Florida, elected 2012.  Compares the fight to defund Obamacare to "Rosa Parks, Lech Walesa, and Martin Luther King."  Claims tanning-bed tax is bigoted against white people:  "It's a racist tax."  Says the Bill of Rights guarantees civilian access to military weaponry:  "When you read the 2nd Amendment, the militia had the same equipment as the military to protect them against the tyrannical government."

Louie Gohmert, Texas, elected 2004.  Warns that jihadists are sending pregnant women to the U.S. to have "terror babies".  Opposes gay marriage because "once you say it's not a man and a woman anymore, why not, you know, somebody who has love for an animal?"  Believes Obama ousted Qadaffi so "Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood could take over Libya."

Steve Stockman, Texas, elected 2012.  Unquestioning defender of the petrochemical industry:  "The best thing about the Earth is if you poke holes in it, oil and gas come out."  Said Obama's post-Sandy Hook gun-control push "reminds of Saddam Hussein."  Invited the rodeo clown who wore a racist Obama outfit to be an honored performer in Texas.

Paul Broun, Georgia, elected 2007.  A physician on the House science committee, Broun insists the Earth is just 9,000 years old.  "All that stuff I was taught about evolution, embryology, the Big Bang theory, is lies straight from the pit of hell."  On the House floor, referred to the Civil War as the "Great War of Yankee Aggression."  Running for Senate in  2014.

Kerry Bentovolio, Michigan, elected 2012.  Said he might have his staffers investigate the "chem-trail" conspiracy theory that aircraft are seeding the skies with the government's mind-controlling chemicals.  Says writing a bill to impeach Obama "would be a dream come true." 

John Fleming, Louisiana, elected 2008.  Believed an article in The Onion, then denounced Planned Parenthood's "plans" to open an "$8 billion abortionplex."  Shrugs off debt-ceiling default:  "I don't think we should run government based on economists' predictions."

Michele Bachmann, Minnesota, elected 2006.  (Retiring in 2014.  Hooray!)  I rest my case.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

"That Was A Close One!"

[Published in TheOnion.com]

Republicans Give In Right Before Obamacare Would Have Been Repealed

NEWS IN BRIEF • Politics • Politicians • Healthcare • ISSUE 49•42 • Oct 17, 2013
WASHINGTON—After Republican lawmakers reached a last-minute agreement Wednesday night to end the government shutdown and raise the debt ceiling, sources confirmed today that the GOP yielded its fight against Obamacare mere moments before the president was about to cave and repeal the entire law. “Whew! That was a close one,” President Obama told reporters, admitting that literally seconds before he would have put pen to paper on an executive order to fully defund and eliminate the Affordable Care Act, he received a phone call informing him that House Speaker John Boehner had agreed to back down from the shutdown stalemate. “The GOP really had our backs up against the wall on this one, and to be honest I was definitely about to blink first. I sure as hell didn’t want to be the president who oversaw the first default in our country’s history, and I thought the Republicans knew that. If they would have just held out a little longer—I’m talking two, three seconds—they would have gotten everything they wanted. They seriously held all the cards here.” The president said that if House Republicans threaten to use the same tactics with the debt ceiling this February, he’ll probably just repeal Obamacare immediately.

Honest Company Slogans

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Washington Redskins Name Change

[Published in TheOnion.com]

Washington Redskins Change Their Name To The D.C. Redskins

SPORTS NEWS IN BRIEF • Sports • NFL Football • Sports Culture • ISSUE 49•41 • Oct 9, 2013
WASHINGTON—Following an outpouring of criticism from across the country, the Washington Redskins announced Wednesday that they are officially changing the team’s name to the D.C. Redskins. “We’ve heard the concerns of many people who have been hurt or offended by the team’s previous name, and I’m happy to say we’ve now rectified the situation once and for all,” said franchise owner Dan Snyder, adding that “Washington Redskins” will be replaced with “D.C. Redskins” on all team logos, uniforms, and apparel. “It was a difficult decision—and one that, frankly, I’m a little embarrassed took me so long to make. So hopefully we can now put this issue to bed and start cheering on our D.C. Redskins.” In light of Snyder’s decision, Cleveland Indians owner Larry Dolan told reporters he will change the feather in Chief Wahoo’s headdress from red to a “more appropriate” shade of red.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

GOP Survival Suit

Just switch the year from 2012 to 2013.  Maybe 2014?  Jesus!


[Sent by a faithful reader.  Thank you, faithful reader!]

For The Good Of The Country

Madness rules in the House Republican Caucus.  The government shutdown is at 16 days and the default deadline is midnight tonight.  Most of us cross our fingers and hope that reason will prevail, for the good of the country.  But with these Bozos, who knows?

Allow me to give you two authentic examples of putting the best interests of America ahead of personal ambition and ideology.

In 1974, Gerald Ford pardoned the unforgivable asshole Richard Nixon.  Ford's decision was controversial and effectively killed his political future.  But Ford believed it was time to end the national nightmare and move on, for the good of the country.  In retrospect, he was right.

Al Gore conceded the Presidency to George W. Bush after a 1-vote margin on the Supreme Court stopped the Florida recount.  Although Bush's 2000 election was highly suspect, Gore accepted the Court's decision and understood it was time to put partisan rancor aside, for the good of the country.  He was right.

Those were Big Moments with Big Decisions made by Big People.

There's nothing "big" about the GOP-manufactured crisis we've been enduring, other than the damage to our economy and national reputation.  Petty, small-minded people have taken a small, routine issue and made a great big wrong-headed mess with it.

Many believe there will be a last-minute agreement.  Let's hope so.  If there is, you can bet your bottom dollar that a lot of Republicans will quickly grab air time to insist that they heroically, patriotically did us all a huge favor by voting for the deal, which had to be done "for the good of the country."

These Republicans will be full of shit.  Any agreement is likely to be short-term, and some time in January or February they'll pull the same stupid tricks again.  The good of the country will have nothing to do with it.    

Monday, October 14, 2013

Cut The Crap And Tell The Truth!

Buster's getting really tired of the major media outlets contorting themselves to appear "even-handed" and "non-partisan" in the current government shutdown and debt ceiling debacle.  Too many times they try to paint the situation as typical D.C. gridlock, with both sides just engaging in politics as usual.

I'm also getting really tired of hearing the refrain of  "They're all to blame! Let's get rid of all of 'em!" from many acquaintances, be it in person or on social media.  I share your frustration and I'm aware that toenail fungus has a higher approval rating than Congress at the moment.  But the "throw the bums out!" reaction is too easy and just not accurate.

One faction of one political party, seeking to eliminate or delay Obamacare, brought about a government shutdown and threatened a default on U.S. debt.  Period.  There was no corresponding threat or demand from Democrats or the President.

There is no other set of facts.  This is the even-handed, non-partisan truth.  There is no harm or bias in saying so.

In American Politics, How Can You Tell When You're A Huge Loser?

Sarah Palin is standing beside you!

Reverting To Form At The "Values Voters Summit"

This past weekend saw the return of the "Values Voters Summit" to our nation's capital.  Two things are certain with this collection of cretins:  They possess very little in the way of real human values, and they don't have very many actual voters.  But they do put on a show!  To wit . . .

1.  Jim Bob Duggar, batshit reality "star", spoke on Saturday.  He told the assembled right-tards it was critical that they form an "army" of social conservatism, and he drove home his point with a story about a man and his daughter visiting a Holocaust memorial.  According to Jim Bob:

"As they were walking out of that concentration camp, he said little Sarah looked up at him and she said, 'Daddy, why didn't somebody do something?'  You know what, that's where we're at in our nation.  Do we want our children, when we're going to tell them about how great America was, they're going to look at you and say, 'Why didn't somebody do something?' "

Wow!  In just a couple dreadfully constructed sentences, Ol' Jim Bob equated the lost election (Danger!  Black Man in the White House!) with Nazi genocide.  What an asshole.

2.  As part of a Sunday rally, angry Values Voters/Tea Baggers (are there any other kind?) tore down barriers and marched to the White house carrying Confederate flags!  One genius addressed the marchers and told them to "Demand that this President leave town, put the Koran down, get up off his knees, and come out with his hands up!"  Wow again!  Another asshole.

The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

This past Saturday afternoon, the lovely Mrs. Gammons was standing in a check-out line at WalMart.  Ahead of her in line was a woman with four kids and two big carts filled with groceries.  After all her items were bagged, she handed the cashier her EBT card to pay.  (EBT stands for "Electronic Benefits Transfer", those benefits commonly known as food stamps.)  The cashier informed her that the EBT system had been down all day and as a result her card could not be accepted.

The thoroughly embarrassed woman was pulled out of the line, along with her kids and all her stuff.  An employee unloaded her carts while she rummaged through her purse, found about $30 in cash, and tried to figure out what she could buy and what she'd have to leave behind, while everyone stared at her.

The Good:  Mrs. Gammons asked the cashier for the total of the woman's bill and was told it was about $150, all groceries, no fluff.  "Let her keep it all.  I'll pay for it," said Mrs. Gammons.  "No, you won't," said a young man behind her in the line.  "I'll split it with you."  And split it they did, which left the woman almost speechless with gratitude.  The dear wife and the anonymous young man received hugs from her kids, and ought to receive some sort of medal too.  Damn near brings a tear to your eye, doesn't it?

The Bad:  Since this problem with the EBT system first popped up in the morning, you'd think that store management might have subsequently posted warning signs at the entrances and cashier stations.  Surely this woman wasn't the first instance that day of an EBT transaction.  (After all, this was at WalMart.)  But  even though a manager said there was "a note on the bulletin board in the employee break room", it just didn't occur to them to try to notify their customers in advance.  Nah, just let 'em pile up in a pissed-off cluster at check-out.  Friggin' briliiant!

The Ugly:  When Mrs. Gammons arrived home and told me this story, she said there was widespread speculation at the store that this EBT fiasco was the result of the government shutdown, which sounded plausible enough.  A quick web search revealed it actually due to an automatic update to the Xerox-based EBT system that had somehow gone wrong and temporarily crashed across most of the country.  That same web search also showed a multitude of nasty comments from idiots who took the opportunity to applaud the momentary stoppage of access to government benefits, to denounce the needy for their need, and to recite the anecdotes to show how it's just all one big scam -- "I saw this woman pay with food stamps and she had a lot of jewelry/a smart phone/tattoos/a nice car/fancy hair and nails/a Gucci bag, etc., etc."   Whatever.

It's as if the haters are saying, "If you're poor enough for food stamps, food is all you get.  Nothing else.  How dare you eat and have a phone!"

It illustrates the enduring meanness of the arch-conservatives doing what they love to do -- judge and punish.

They simply cannot conceive of the shoe ever being on the other foot.


Time To Cowboy Up, Congressman!

(The latest in my ongoing war of words with my Congressman, Rep. Patrick J. Tiberi, the porcine little pol with the early '70s Young Republican haircut.  Our little online back-and-forth will amount to nothing, but it's an amusing diversion.)

Rep. Tiberi:

Thanks for your reply to my last email.  Your lengthy response is largely an argumentative recycling of your same old talking points:  The PPACA is "onerous" and is "making things worse".  The government is shut down because "the President and Democrat-led Senate refuse to negotiate or compromise", and "the only way to get Democrats to the table is to attach important issues to must-pass bills."

Sorry, but I can't buy what you're selling.  As far back as July, a clean budget bill was agreed to, with funding below sequestration levels, but you and John Boehner allowed the wing-nuts in your party to hijack the normal process by making everything contingent on dismantling Obamacare.  Not surprisingly, the Democrats cried foul, most Americans echoed that cry, and now all you'll do about it is whine that the Democrats won't negotiate.  Negotiate what?  There was a deal and your party screwed it up (and now you're poised to do the same thing with the debt ceiling).  You let the shut-down happen and you are to blame, not the Democrats.

If, as you say, funding the government is a "must-pass" issue (and it is), then just pass it!  You have the power and the votes to do it today.  It's a matter of simply doing your job.  Strip out all the extraneous junk, drop the piece-meal approach, and just do your job.  You can fight your party's ideological battles on your own time.

I hope you read Joe Hallett's column in Sunday's Columbus Dispatch.  (I bet you did.)  He captured the reality of your predicament -- even with a gerrymandered guaranteed-seat-for-life, Republicans like you are timid.  You won't stand up to the Tea Bag playground bullies and by your failure to do so, you implicitly endorse their lunatic-fringe agenda.

Time to cowboy up, Congressman!

Buster Gammons

Monday, October 7, 2013

Ted Cruz's Thunderdome and Governing By Blackmail

Excerpts from two great columns!  I apologize if you've read them already.  It's what I get for checking the Sunday papers on Monday night.

The first is from Maureen Dowd and is an all-time satiric classic!  The other is from Nick Kristof and is reminiscent of (and better than) "What If The Tables Were Turned?" by some wild-eyed blogger you may know.  Click on the links for the full reads.  Worth it!


Welcome To Ted Cruz's Thunderdome


An ape sits where Abe sat.

The year is 2084, in the capital of the land formerly called North America.  The once beautiful boulevards are now strewn with the detritus of democracy -- scraps of the original Constitution, corroded White House ID cards, and stacks of worthless bills tumbling out of the Treasury.  Thomas Jefferson's utopia has devolved into Ted Cruz's dystopia.

A gaunt man and sickly boy trudge toward the blighted spot that was once the WW II monument, the scene of the first shutdown skirmish.  They take in the gray void, the barren lost world.  "How did this happen, Papa?" the boy asks.

"It started," the man says "very small with a petty fight over a six-week spending bill, but quickly mushroomed out of control."

"Whose fault was it, Papa?" the boy presses.

The man tries to explain:  "The Grand Old Party, proud haven of patriots who believed in strong national security and fiscal responsibility, was infected with a mutant form of ideology.  In the infected Tea Party politicians, brain function decreased and social de-evolution occurred.  They began ignoring their basic survival instincts.

"It's hard to believe now, but they were fixated on stopping an effort to get health care to those couldn't afford it.  It eventually led them to destroy all the things they said they held most dear."

The boy is confused.  "They killed America because they didn't care about keeping America alive?" he asks.

"Well, they didn't seem to understand what they were doing.  In the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary, they believed they were doing the right thing.  And today, what's left of the world is being run by Julian Assange from what's left of the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, and by some old right-wing nut-job in a cabin up in Idaho."



Governing By Blackmail

Suppose President Obama announced:

Unless Republicans agree to my proposal for gun control, I will use my authority as commander-in-chief to scuttle one aircraft carrier a week into the bottom of the ocean.

I invite Republican leaders to come to the White House and negotiate a deal to preserve our military strength.  I hope Republicans will work with me to prevent the loss of our carrier fleet.

If they refuse, I will be compelled to begin by sinking the USS George Washington in the Mariana Trench, with 80 aircraft on board.

My example is ludicrous.  No one would do that.  But if we default because of extremist House Republicans, the cost could be much greater to our economy and our national security than the loss of a few aircraft carriers.



John Boehner was all over the Sunday news shows saying that he didn't have the votes in the House to pass a "clean" CR to fund the government and end the shut down.  (His minions prefer the dirty version which makes routine budgeting insanely contingent upon gutting Obamacare.)  Boehner insisted that unless the President and the Dems made "concessions", the shut down would continue, the debt ceiling deadline would force the government into default, and Obama would be to blame.

The same day, a big front page story in the NY Times explained how this crisis was planned months ago and has been stage-managed throughout by the real leaders of the GOP:   The Koch brothers PAC Americans For Prosperity, the Heritage Foundation, former AG Ed Meese, and other far-right wingnuts.  That's right, all this crap didn't just suddenly appear out of the blue -- these obsessive assholes have intended it, have wanted it.  The shut down is their flimsy blueprint for derailing Obamacare.  It has nothing to do with lack of concessions and compromises and negotiations.  Those are just pre-planned talking points, and there's absolutely nothing to negotiate anyway.

So not only is the Weeper of the House full of shit when he faults Obama for the doomed tactics of the suicidal lemmings in his own party, he doesn't count very well either.  He does have the votes to pass a clean CR.  Somewhere between 17 and 24 House Republicans have publicly stated they would vote for a straight-up funding deal unencumbered by any Tea Party lunacy.  Along with the House D's, that would be enough to pass a CR, and it would pass in the Senate too.  It's not that Boehner doesn't have the votes, he just doesn't want to take the vote.  The puppet-masters are telling him not to.

Boehner, you are a big, fat liar!



Hired To Be Fired

The Reds and the Indians both made the postseason as wild-cards, and both promptly got bounced.  (I'm suddenly a Pirates fan.)

Adding insult to injury, the Reds abruptly fired manager Dusty Baker, after saying just the day before he'd be back next year.  It's a sad commentary on the impatience of our times.

As a 20-year manager for the Giants, Cubs and Reds, Dusty Baker has a winning record of 1671-1504.  He's a 3-time NL Manager of the Year.  He has managed 5 Division champions.  He took his team into the postseason 7 times, and just missed twice.  He managed the Giants to the World Series in 2002.  His Reds teams made the playoffs 3 times in 6 years.

This season, the Reds clinched early, but lost their wild-card game.  Somehow, this is all Baker's fault.  It's not, of course, but baseball has a 150-year history of blaming the manager for players' failures.

There are 30 major-league teams.  After a very long season, 10 of them qualify for the postseason. Only one will win the World Series.

Once "in", anything can happen.  A little hot streak, a little luck, and who knows?  Oakland A's GM Billy Beane (Moneyball) calls the postseason a "crapshoot".  The important thing, the hard thing, is to make the postseason, then just take your chances.  Dusty Baker's track record of taking his teams into the playoffs is better than most.

Postseason or not, managers must make do with the team they've been given.  As former NFL coach Bill Parcells said, "I make the dinner, but I didn't buy the groceries."

I guess the Reds just didn't like Dusty's cooking anymore.  I'm sure another team will show him to their kitchen soon enough.

"I Am Obamacare"

I snagged these real-world testimonials from a posting on a popular website.  Pretty powerful.
Among the comments below the post was one from an Obamacare hater.  He smelled a rat and wondered how the first woman pictured was able, as her sign says, to get insurance and surgery already when "Obamacare just went into effect on October 1st."
What a moron!  The ACA has been effective since 2010, and one of the first things it did was establish "PCIP" high-risk pools to guarantee coverage to those previously "uninsurable" due to pre-existing conditions.  
For those of you who claim to still be "confused" by Obamacare, willful ignorance is not an excuse.  By now, so much accurate info on the ACA is so readily available, your confusion has become your choice.

i am obamacarei am obamacare

Photos from the field—I like Obamacare

i am obamacare

Photos from the field—I like Obamacare

i am obamacare

i am obamacare

Photos from the field—I like Obamacare