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Observations by and for the vaguely disenchanted.
|Risking the wrath of the whatever
from high atop the thing since 1954.
President Obama's one-liners from the 2013 Gridiron dinner:
Now I know that some folks think we responded to Woodward too aggressively. But hey, when has- can anybody tell me when an administration has ever regretted picking a fight with Bob Woodward? What's the worst that could happen?
Of course, maintaining credibility in this cynical atmosphere is harder than ever- incredibly challenging. My administration recently put out a photo of me skeet shooting and even that wasn't enough for some people. Next week, we're releasing a photo of me clinging to religion.
And in the words of one of my favorite Star Trek characters- Captain James T. Kirk of the USS Enterprise- "May the force be with you."
The greatest nation on Earth cannot keep conducting its business by drifting
from one manufactured crisis to the next.
-President Barack Obama
KGB Report welcomes you to 2013: May this arbitrary, transient point in your solipsistic sense of the space-time continuum delineate the initiation of a series of random events which trend in a manner which you perceive to be favorable.
I think America might just have spent all day obsessing over loss of
Twinkies. This is why we're not getting a greatest generation book.
What if the Mayan calendar ends in 5105, and we've just been holding it
Hostess will sell the rights to all their snack cakes, and Twinkies will once again pour off the production line of a different company. I wouldn't be surprised if several years' worth of Twinkies aren't already stockpiled in a warehouse somewhere. I mean, It's not like they're going to go stale or anything...
A blonde walks into a bar and asks the bartender for a double entendre. So he gives it to her.
This new thesaurus isn't just terrible, it's also terrible.
Viagra can cause sight loss. So, you can go blind either way.
(YouTube video: The Big Bang Theory Flash Mob!)
James Bond beat Abraham Lincoln at the box office. Boy, it's really been
a lousy week for Republicans, hasn't it?
No hurry- take all the time you have.
-The Covert Comic
Isn't the Twinkie too big to fail? Where's the bailout, Obama?
-The Beachwood Reporter
If you were born in or after April 1985, you have never experienced a colder than average month. If you've lived in Pittsburgh during that period, you've experienced the highest and lowest temperatures on record as well as the greatest 24-hour rain and snowfall totals. So if grandma or grandpa start to tell you how bad the weather was when they were growing up, tell them to stick a sock in it.
It's also interesting to note that in April 1985 Coca-Cola changed its formula and released New Coke.
Post hoc, ergo propter hoc?
Categories: Aaron Karo, Abraham Lincoln, Barack Obama, Climate change, Coca Cola, Covert Comic, David Letterman, Drugs, James Bond, Mayans, Miscellany, Observations, The Beachwood Reporter, The Big Bang Theory, Twinkies, Video, YouTube
That famous quote by Mythbuster Adam Savage is, simply, the reason why the Republicans were handed their lunch on Tuesday.
Here are two essays which address the issue in a sane, rational manner. The videos that follow, from last night's Daily Show, are a bit more... bombastic.
Ohio really did go to President Obama last night, and he really did win. And really was born in Hawaii. And he really is legitimately President of the United States. Again. And the Bureau of Labor Statistics did not make up a fake unemployment rate last month. And the Congressional Research Service really can find no evidence that cutting taxes on rich people grows the economy. And the polls were not skewed to over sample Democrats. And Nate Silver was not making fake projections about the election to make conservatives feel bad. Nate Silver was doing math. And climate change is real. And rape really does cause pregnancy sometimes. And evolution is a thing. And Benghazi was an attack on us. It was not a scandal by us. And nobody is taking away anyone's guns. And taxes have not gone up. And the deficit is dropping, actually. And Saddam Hussein did not have Weapons of Mass Destruction. And the moon landing was real, and FEMA is not building concentration camps. And UN election observers are not taking over Texas. And moderate reforms of the regulations on the insurance industry and the financial services industry in the country are not the same things as Communism.
Listen. Last night was a good night for Democrats and liberals for very obvious reasons. But it was also possibly a good night for this country as a whole. Because in this country we have a two party system in government. And the idea is supposed to be that the two sides both come up with ways to confront and fix the real problems facing this country. They both propose possible solutions to our real problems. And we debate between those possible solutions. And by the process of debate, we pick the best idea. That competition between good ideas from both sides about real problems in the real country should result in our country having better choices, better options, than if only one side is really working on the hard stuff. And if the Republican party and the conservative movement and the conservative media are stuck in a vacuum-sealed door-locked spin cycle of telling each other what makes them feel good, and denying the factual lived truth of the world, then we are all deprived as a nation of the constructive debate between competing feasible ideas about real problems.
Last night the Republicans got shellacked. And they had no idea it was coming. And we saw them in real time, in real humiliating time, not believe it as it was happening to them. And unless they are going to secede, they are going to have to pop the factual bubble they've been so happy living inside... if they do not want to get shellacked again. And that will be a painful process for them, I'm sure, but it will be good for the whole country, left, right and center. You guys, we're counting on you. Wake up. There are real problems in the world. There are real knowable facts in the world. Let's accept those and talk about how we might approach our problems differently. Let's move on from there. If the Republican party and the conservative media are forced to do that by the humiliation they were dealt last night, we'll all be better off as a nation.
And in that spirit, congratulations everybody.
If You're Surprised By The Election Results, You're The Reason You Lost, Or: A Plea for Useful Republicans.
I know the despair you feel this morning, and sympathize, because I've been there. In 2004 my stiff, robotic millionaire lost to a President he should have soundly thumped, and I was so hurt I took a week off from the Internet afterwards. I am completely sympathetic with that slow terror that the country is now in the hands of an incompetent, and the voters don't even know it.
But I noticed a weird difference between the way Republicans and Democrats reacted to a losing candidate. In 2004, when the polls turned against Kerry and it was obvious he was going to lose, the Democrats asked "How can we fix that?" Oh, they asked in their glum, incompetent way, but when I personally talked to other Democrats both in real life and online, we were all pretty cognizant of the fact that Kerry was the underdog.
Everywhere I looked on Twitter and Facebook, I saw my Republican friends- not straw men, but actual people- talking about how terrible Nate Silver's methods were, how these Rasmussen polls showed Romney's real strength, and eventually you got the travesty of UnSkewedPolls.com, which cherry-picked the data and even today has their prediction of not just a Romney win but a landslide, Romney 311 to Obama 227. (Actual result: Obama 332, Romney 206.)
It all crystallized for me when my friend Brad Torgerson said, "Liberals and Democrats have Nate Silver and his 538 blog. Conservatives and Republicans have the U of CO guys. It's an epic cage match of predictive numbers geekery!"
Look there. Right at that post- one not too dissimilar from a thousand other dismissals of Nate Silver and the other aggregated polls. See what Brad did there? The way the guy bringing you news he didn't like was automatically assigned a partisan bias, and the only rational solution was to get a guy on your side with better numbers? As if reality was merely a function of getting enough guys on your side?
That's why you lost.
Stop confusing hard reality for partisan opposition.
It's time to step out of the bubble, dear Republicans, because we fucking need you. I don't trust the Democratic party to run the country single-handedly. I want a Republican party I can rely on for real solutions- and you've become lazy, voodoo-like, dismissing any data you don't like as partisan opposition.
Jay Lake is fond of saying, "Reality has a liberal bias." That's not because reality inevitably verifies liberal thinking, but because the Republican response to anything that challenges them is now to write off the data.
And let me repeat: we need you. I want a counterweight to Democratic power, not a deadweight that refuses to acknowledge the issues. I want a Republican party that will look at the numbers for climate change and not go, "I don't like what those scientists are saying, so I'll call it a silly liberal bias!" but say, "We're business experts, we know how to motivate rich people to do what we want, how do we fix this?" I want a Republican party that will realize while yes, we're spending far too much and should cut down, the results of thirty years of trickle-down theory and tax cuts won't actually provide enough revenue, because we are at the lowest effective tax rates we've had in thirty years.
And yes, you can argue all my statements here. But in that, smart person, you're like a driver with an SUV in Alaska. A person with a car in Alaska is going to get stuck in the snow eventually; that's a fact. But if you have an SUV, you're gonna get stuck way the heck out in the woods where no one can get at you, because you have the strength to do it and won't stop when common sense tells you to. I had a ton of Very Smart friends dissecting all the reasons why Nate Silver was wrong, why his methodology sucked, why these pollsters who said what they liked over here had better ways of slicing the data- and all that flurry of so-called "facts" amounted to was an elaborate justification of personal biases that had no basis in reality.
It's time to stop fighting the obvious. It's time to stop assuming that anyone who presents contradictory data is out to get you.
You should have won, guys. You had a President with an economy in the doldrums, a guy who'd lost a lot of his electoral mojo in the realities of politics. But instead of rising from the grave, you chose a candidate who never actually gave us firm numbers on what expenses he'd cut to fix the economy. You chose a candidate who said he'd get rid of Obamacare, but never actually named the parts he'd destroy. You chose someone who, though all politicians lie, lied a lot more than almost any modern Presidential candidate.
You had a guy who should have sliced Obama to ribbons- and he lost, in large part, because he said, "Trust me" instead of giving us a plan. And you let him get away with it.
You let him get away with it because you're indulging in a great deal of magical thinking. You let him get away with it because facts have ceased to matter; as long as someone tells you something you want to hear, you'll find a way to justify it with pseudo-science and trust and spit and baling wire. You don't like to hear how bad a candidate Mitt was, because you came so close this year, but it's true; the problem is that so much of the country has abandoned listening to reality that you can get massive votes and never touch a fact.
If you can't be honest today, in the aftermath of this great defeat, then you're never going to see the truth.
If you seriously thought that Romney had a good chance of winning, then you're part of the problem. Wake up. I implore you: learn from this. Look at your deepest beliefs, and see whether the numbers support them. Start thinking, maybe those people with data I don't like are right.
If you think the lesson to be learned is "We weren't conservative enough," then you're handing me a great victory in 2016. I want to have a real choice then.
T.F. (The Ferret)
Megyn Kelly teaches Karl Rove the power of scientific gobbledygook.
"If only President Bush could have been so lucky as to have a massive hurricane on his watch, then... oh, right..."
It's just arithmetic.
Categories: Barack Obama, Bill O'Reilly, Chick-fil-A, Daily Show, Elections, Fox News, Hypocrisy, Jon Stewart, Karl Rove, Megyn Kelly, Mitt Romney, Nate Silver, News Media, Politics, Rachel Maddow, Sarah Palin, The Ferret, YouTube
Experts say the entire 2012 election could come down to just eight
states. The states are: confusion, dismay, depression, apathy, shock,
disbelief, despair, and anxiety.
After the debate... experts agreed that President Obama won on substance
and I thought: Well, big deal, Lance Armstrong won on several
In fairness to Sarah Palin, "shuck" and "jive" are just two of the many
thousands of words she doesn't know the meaning of.
One week after Election Day, the banks will be closed and the military
will be marching in the street.
It's called Veterans Day.
I'm tired of every Republican politician being a medical supergenius on
vaginas. I want to hear gynecologists talk about the national debt.
This campaign has dragged on so long Newt Gingrich is abandoning it for
a younger, hotter, healthier campaign.
Karl Rove said the Tea Party is “not sophisticated;” which is sort of
like saying the Jonas Brothers are “not black.'
I have never been more ashamed for a candidate, Politicizing fallen
Americans is pitiful and unacceptable.
Colin Powell endorsed Barack Obama. Makes sense. They're both moderate
There's something wrong with our politics if we can't even agree about
I’ll be glad when this election’s over so I’ll know for sure whom I
should have voted for.
The audience at the debate was instructed to turn off their cell phones
because they might interfere with Mitt Romney's circuitry.
-Triumph, The Insult Comic Dog
(YouTube video: President Obama answers Jay Leno's question, "What's this thing with Trump and you?" )
Governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets because the nature of our military has changed.
We have these things called aircraft carriers where planes land on them. We have these ships that go
underwater, nuclear submarines. And so, the question is not a game of Battleship where we're
counting ships, it's “what are our capabilities?”
From social media, collected in real time during the debate:
“Boca Raton.” Mouth of the Rat. Just sayin'.
Maybe Mitt could fire Iran.
Mitt: “Gender equality for the middle east.” But not for American women.
Wait. Is this a rerun?
He's gonna ask his parents for the money.
Blame the tumult of the middle east on Obama, because it started only four years ago.
Tumult, that's three! Can meshuga be far behind?
We owe China billions. They've kept us afloat. Let's threaten them!
Mali just declared war on Appleton Wisconsin.
Forget the flag pins. They should have worn squirting carnations.
Romney won the coin toss so the line between them is white.
Romney can see Russia from two of his houses.
Even Syria is bored with this debate.
Romney's expression says “The afterlife is going to be so tough for you.”
The Pentagon just turned to Monday Night Football.
A half hour in. What have we learned? They both don't like war and like peace. Wow.
I don't know who's winning but Iran has just gone to Def Con 4.
Okay. We're back home again. They couldn't talk foreign affairs for more than 30 minutes. That scares me.
Romney keeps bragging about the Olympics. I saw him. His figure skating was embarrassing.
This Christmas Neiman Marcus is selling maps without Israel.
Get tough on China. Make Walmart close at six.
If Romney sweats any more, I get a royalty.
Romney will call China a currency manipulator. China will laugh and sell him another flag pin.
Romney needs a binder full of kleenex.
It's unfair to say Mitt Romney is politicizing the tragedy of Benghazi when he's actually exploiting it.
“The only way to deal with your enemy is to make him your friend.” Abraham Lincoln, appeaser.
“We can't kill our way out”- Mitt Romney. “We need to kill them.”- Mitt Romney, two minutes later
“We have to help these nations build civil societies”- Mitt Romney, previously opposed to Nation Building.
If Iran develops a nuclear weapon Romney/Ryan would respond with the strongest possible tax cuts.
Barack Obama just said the debate table was round & Mitt Romney said it's actually flat.
Mitt Romney will stand up to Iran, Syria & Putin and is also afraid to go on The View.
”Attacking me is not an agenda“ Mitt Romney, whose foreign policy plan has consisted of attacking the president on Benghazi.
Romney strongly supports gender equality in middle east; and will get back to you with his opinion on Lily Ledbetter act here.
It's fitting that Mitt Romney resembles Reed Richards from Fantastic Four as his magic power is superhuman stretching.
Mitt just said we should've been more involved in Syria & also been less involved. Those Bush aides were worth every penny.
Mitt Romney believes our government has to solve problems in Syria while letting the Free Market solve problems here.
Romney is clearly winning on making the foreign policy debate not about foreign policy
Mitt Romney just found a way to bash teachers' unions during a foreign policy debate.
I want Bob Schieffer to grab Romney by the lapels and scream “WHERE'S THE MONEY, LEBOWSKI?!”
Mitt wants to repeal Obamacare and increase the Pentagon budget to defend Israel's right to universal (health) care.
Mitt just mentioned how he balanced the budget for the Olympics, leaving out the millions in government earmarks that balanced it.
Non millionaires who voted for Bush and support Romney deserve presidents like Bush and Romney.
Hey, Mitt- If you hate our tax system and want a religious conservative government with no abortion or gay marriage, Iran is waiting for you.
Mitt Romney is ahead on impersonating Albert Brooks' flop sweat from Broadcast News.
“The tightest sanctions must be tightened.”- Mitt Romney. He said that.
Obama took out bin Laden but wait til President Romney takes out Oscar the Grouch
Somewhere in Hell Richard Nixon is embarrassed over Mitt Romney debate sweat
GOP blaming Obama for the slow recovery is like Lucy blaming Charlie Brown for missing the football.
Romney: “No one has more experience abroad than my money.”
Romney: “I would bring all female troops home in time to cook dinner.”
Both candidates' use of the numbers 1 through 5 underscores the importance of keeping Sesame Street.
If he loses, Mitt Romney has a bright future as a Clipart character.
Romney: “Across the Middle East, women are being kept in binders.”
When Romney is listening he looks exactly like my dad did when I told him a lie.
We are now discussing the most pressing foreign policy issue facing America today, the reading tests of fourth graders.
Romney: “There's no place more important to me than Israel except Ohio.”
Romney: “If the Prime Minister of Israel called me, I would do what I do whenever someone talks to me: interrupt him.”
Romney: “Not only do I believe in drones, I am one.”
Romney: “The greatest threat to the world is nuclear powered women.”
Suddenly every schmo on Twitter is a foreign policy expert.
“That's a perfect segue into the next question which neither of you will answer.”
“And now, a ridiculous question that allows each of you to dispense talking points to your base.
Trouble already: Mitt says he wants to impose sanctions on ”Romnesia“.
“Kill our way out of this mess” is the theme of every American movie not about talking animals or weddings.
Aside from talking points, Mitt doesn't know his Assad from a hole in the ground.
Mitt, you do know that most of America thinks Mali is one of Obama's daughters, right?
It's good they agree armed Americans should be involved with everyone, everywhere. We loved armed intervention like Paula Dean loves butter.
Aside from talking points, Mitt doesn't know his Assad from a hole in the ground
Mitt's entire debate strategy: What he just said, but from a white guy.
That's an amazingly specific number Mitt keeps pulling out of his ass, 12 million new jobs. But fellas, this is the foreign policy debate!
Jobs, teachers, education - gentlemen, please, can we get back to killing foreigners?
Bob Scheiffer, could you ask about what's IN the military budget? If people knew specifics,”I wouldn't cut nuttin'” wouldn't sound so good
I like hearing Mitt say how great he was for Massachusetts, the state that will never, ever, ever vote for him.
I can't be the only one who's surprised to find out Buster Posey is a white guy. Sorry, flipped to the game.
I've seen wider ideological differences between Jehovah's Witnesses.
Oh no he din't- Romney said his ultimate BubbleFact, “Apology Tour” right in front of the guy who NEVER WENT ON ONE.
To clarify, Mitt is for moving heaven and earth, but only in regards to mining.
You're losing, Mitt- bring up the fact that we have fewer knives and rocks than we did during the French and Indian War.
Shorter version of Romney: Me strong. Obama weak. Hulk smash.
OK Mitt, one more try: we have fewer catapults and barrels of boiling oil than we had in the crusades.
First debate, all agreed, Obama lost; second one, i say he won, but Romney not trounced. But this one? Only bubbledwellers can say Mitt won
Mitt keeps taking issue with being criticized tonight - did they tell him this is a debate?
OK, one last try: We have fewer Andrews Sisters and Ritz Brothers than we did in 1944. So glad we're done with THAT!
“The audience has taken a vow of silence.” But not celibacy, one hopes.
We are debating during the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis. This is very important, because we are painfully aware that neither of these men is a Jack Kennedy.
Cutting Obamacare, which the CBO has projected will reduce the deficit, will save money, because MAGIC.
Mitt is in favor of crippling sanctions like the ones Barry has put in place. If elected, he will have the Doctor take him back to the Bush administration to put them in place sooner, and more crippling-er.
Mittens, again with the “tumult.” Why does it sound like Yiddish when he says “tumult”?
You know all about shipping jobs overseas, don’t you Governor? BOOM!
Mitt is pretending that he can feel empathy... Brent Spiner pulled this off a lot more convincingly.
Various fact checkers:
Politifact rated the claim that the U.S. Navy, U.S. Air Force are smaller than in 1917 and 1947 “pants on fire.”
Romney wants to add $2 trillion to defense that it didn't ask for it. True.
Obama 'promised' 5.4 percent unemployment? Mostly False.
Romney Pledges To Replace All Foreign Policy With Jobs Right Here In America
(YouTube video in which The President of The United States offers hope to those suffering from "Romnesia")
President Barack Obama and Nichelle Nichols (Uhura)
The good news? Star Trek aired for the first time 46 years ago today.
The bad news? I remember watching its premier as a seventh grader, 46 years ago.
Live long and prosper, indeed.
Stuff that caught my eye this week:
Of course, the new Eastwood meme:
My son Doug and my daughter-in-law Angela
Family and cute animals::
Bella keeps a stiff upper lip as she prepares to watch my granddaughter Leanna depart for the first day of fourth grade.
The Jet Propulsion Laboratory Curiosity Mars Lander Team visits the cast of The Big Bang Theory: