Ned Pepper's Outrages

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Ned breathlessly reports that the more extremist candidate has beaten the marginally less-extremist candidate in the Republican primary in Alaska. Lisa Murkowski, originally appointed to her senate seat by her daddy, has conceded to Todd Palin's BFF, Joe Miller. Now the country can breathe a sigh of relief and get back to Entertainment Tonight.

Pat Toomey, Crackpot

Ned has finally had time to devote himself to one of the nation's more important senatorial races, that in PA. It is between Admiral (ret.) Joe Sestak (D) and Pat Toomey (R), whom Ned believes to be a "fellow" or some such nonsense, with an anti-tax organization calling itself the "Club For Growth." Now, Ned agrees with most of Sestak's positions except his waffling on amnesty for illegal immigrants, but you can't have everything.
When it comes to Toomey, however, Ned sees a rabid wolf in sheep's clothing. Toomey's entire platform is based on "less" government spending, and "lower" taxes. He favors eliminating "unnecessary" government and environmental regulations. He wants to get rid of the capital gains tax and the inheritance tax, which benefits mainly plutocrats, he wants to lower the top rate of income tax, which, surprise! benefits plutocrats, and favors lowering or eliminating the corporate income tax, claiming that it is "higher than [most anywhere else] in the industrialized world." That would be true of course if it weren't for all the exemptions that corporations can take. If you factor in the exemptions, corporations pay very low taxes, and we all know of companies that pay NO TAXES AT ALL.
Toomey is also for eliminating Medicare and replacing it with, "Personal Medical Savings Accounts." This sounds fine, until you get cancer, which can cost $100k, because of the obscene profits of the drug companies, but we digress.
Basically, he is for eliminating any taxes on the rich, and forcing the average person to go hat-in-hand to Massa's back door and beg for crumbs. In this, he is very much like the extremists who hated Roosevelt because he had the temerity to free old folks from the need to seek charity in their old age by forcing through Social Security over the hysterical objections of Republicans.
Ned warns his many followers against being taken in by such lickspittles to the plutocrats.

Joe Miller (R, Alaska)

The latest of the "extremist" Republican candidates for Senate is one Joe Miller, a pal of Todd Pailn (we all know who he is!), and a foe of opportunist Lisa Murkowski. As of Aug 30th, Joe was ahead in his primary battle with Murkowski, an unpopular politician from an unpopular family, whose father appointed her to his seat when he ran for Governor (and was kicked out after one term, if Ned's memory serves). Ned's "progressive" friends are running around like headless chickens at the prospect of Miller taking Murkowski's seat, but Ned wonders what all the fuss is about. Murkowski is a right winger, just not as extreme as Joe. So what? She is "pro life" and so is he. She is a gun nut and so is Joe. She would vote to confirm right-wing judges and so will Joe. She favors unlimited military (war) spending and so does Joe. She is against a draft, ensuring that other people's kids will be called on to die for right wing politicians (and others as well, unfortunately) and so is Joe. Joe reportedly wants the Feds to "give back Alaska's land;" in other words, to cede all the federal land in Alaska to the state, since it never was Alaska's in the first place. That has about as much chance of happening as Ned has of being abducted by aliens, by the way.
She is against real climate change legislation and Joe is even worse, denying climate change exists. Now, to Ned this is a marvelously ironic situation, since Alaska will bear the brunt of early climate change effects, like melting of permafrost and glaciers.
No friends, to Ned it doesn't matter whether he is run over by a bus or a semi. One is squashed all the same. And at least Joe is against amnesty for illegal aliens, which group is costing this country billions each year.
But do any of Ned's readers wonder why Alaskans are such "rugged individualists?" Well, partly, it is because Alaska gets back about $1.50 from the rest of us for every dollar it sends to Washington DC. But more importantly, it gets a "severance tax" of a few dollars for EVERY BARREL OF OIL shipped south along the Alaska Pipeline, amounting to about 4 or 5 million dollars a day. Now, given that Alaska has about the population of Washington DC, that's a lot of moolah for those "rugged individualists" to spend, and spend it they do, as they get a tax rebate from the state every year. We are paying for their "rugged individualism."
So Ned says, a pox on both their houses.

Opinionated (but wrong)

One of Ned's favorite blogs,, reports on yet another poll, and this one might just mean something. (Ned's readers know what he thinks about polls, in that a pollster can get any result he/she wants by manipulating the questions and categories of responses. But we digress.) The report is as follows:
"A new AP-GfK Poll finds that Americans 'with the strongest opinions about the country's most divisive issues are largely unhappy with how President Obama is handling them...'"
Now set aside the vagueness of the phrase 'largely unhappy', and focus on the 'strong opinions.'
Ned has maintained for years that Americans tend to be poorly educated and poorly informed about national issues, many of which are complex and do not lend themselves to black/white "solutions."
They don't understand the Constitutional basis for social welfare legislation for one thing. The Constitution clearly states that one of the responsibilities of the Federal Government is to "promote the general welfare," for example.
Ned fears that these potential voters with the strongest opinions about issues probably have the facts behind the issues wrong. For example, polls indicate that many Americans "believe" the Obama administration was responsible for the TARP bailout, when in fact it was Bush and his Wall Street stooges, including his Goldman Sachs Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson. Moreover, Americans are simply wrong about climate change. They don't understand the science and are easily manipulated by oil and coal propaganda, not to mention Right Wing misinformation and downright lies.
Many of them say they believe in angels. Many of them believe in the Second Coming, and moreover, that it is imminent, a belief that has held sway among certain Christianists since the time of St Augustine.
They say they believe Social Security is nearly bankrupt, which is nonsense.
They believe Medicare is near bankruptcy, which is also nonsense, although Medicare will have to undergo some wrenching changes, and the Obama Health Care Law is heading in that direction.
No, friends, the problem with people being wrong about things they know nothing about is they may choose their candidate on that basis, and there is where the Democrats are in DEEP DOODOO unless Obama gets OFF HIS ASS and starts playing hardball with the people who hate him and wish him ill.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Further Adventures of Cuccinelli The Second

Ned's faithful mole in VA reports that the "subpoena" issued by so-called Attorney-General Ken Cuccinelli The Second [Ned prefers this more regal title instead of the more pedestrian (II)] against Climate Scientist Michael Mann has been quashed by a judge because it didn't meet the basic legal standards under the Fraud Act of VA, which any first-year law student would of course have known.
Chalk one more up for the know-nothing Right Wingers and their lickspittle supporters. The reference is

The Know-Nothings

Ned recommends his friends read Tim Egan's blog on the spread of the know-nothings in this country, at
Apparently, sizable percentages (over 30) "believe" that Obama is a Muslim, not a Christian, and that Obama was responsible for the Bush TARP program, which the Tea Partiers love to hate. One thing Ned particularly likes: Egan points out that any "reformed" drug-addict, adulterer, fraud perpetrator or all-around slimeball can just say that they "found Jesus" and they will be welcomed by the nutcases, but let Obama repeatedly say he is a Christian and they say they don't believe him. Just look at the charade with David Vitter in Louisiana for confirmation of the fact that most opposition to Obama is racially motivated and is being reportedly stoked by the donations from multibillionaire right-wing crazies like the Koch brothers and their ilk.
Ned reckons he couldn'ta said it better hisself.

Saturday, August 28, 2010


Ned has one further outrage with which to regale his many followers. It has come to his attention that a certain herd mentality is operating with the widespread use of the irritating word "scrambling." It has become the darling of NYT reporters, among other things to refer to any condition in response to which people have to do more than just scratch some nether part of their anatomy: to wit; "Officials were scrambling to determine the source of an escaped moose on the San Diego Freeway today." Or, "Obama officials were scrambling today to respond to Republican charges that they were trying to force widows and orphans out of homeless shelters."
Ned pleads with his friends to avoid the use of 'scrambling' in any context except to refer to a common method used to prepare a product of an anal cavity of a barnyard fowl.
UPDATE: SUNDAY, AUG. 29: THE NYT INFORMS US THAT 'Pakistanis are SCRAMBLING to avoid floodwaters in the south of Pakistan.'
Ned can only grind his teeth in impotent rage.


Ned has an additional phrase for his friends to look for when listening to politicians, or for that matter, media persons in general. One might hear another referring to "a fraction" in the following context: "Spending under Bush for -------- was only a fraction of that under Obama." Ned asks his friends to consider that the phrase "a fraction" here has absolutely no intellectual content, and is meaningless. Of course, the IMPLICATION is that "a fraction" here means a small amount, but Ned points out that a fraction could be 9/7, or 7/8, or 17/16. So the use of this phrase indicates either ignorance on the part of the user, or that the user is trying to manipulate his listeners. Look for it and be wary.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


In the conversation between Gail Collins and David Brooks in today's (Wednesday) NYT, David bemoans the disdain for, and lack of faith in, "Washington," as exhibited by the rugged individualists in Northern Montana, where he was vacationing. Gail points out that states like Montana are among the most heavily subsidized in the country. For every $1000 they grudgingly pay in federal taxes, they get back nearly $1500, some of it of course coming from Ned. (And if they decry sending money to other states, remind them that when they visit DC, they are riding a subway that collects 30 cents in fares from them for every dollar in expense.)
It was further noted that Montana has one Senator for about every 400,000 or so citizens, while California has one Senator for every 18 MILLION citizens. Even nearly deserted Oregon has one Senator for about every 2 million citizens. So, Ned's readers might well ask, what the f*** are they complaining about? Ned suggests it is pure and simply Republican obstructionism, but those cowpokes and cowgirls aren't paying close enough attention to know that. And how would they find out? Not by watching Fox News, certainly, nor by listening to "talk" radio, full as it is of misinformation, lies, name-calling, socialist-baiting, and hate.
No friends, they would have to work it out for themselves, from the speeches and writings of the VERY REPUBLICANS THAT ARE CAUSING THE POLARIZATION AND GRIDLOCK IN WASHINGTON D.C. because they make no secret of the fact that they want to destroy the effectiveness of the Federal Government, or, in the words of that great intellectual Grover Norquist, "we want to starve it so that we can eventually drawn it in the bathtub. " But the problem is that Republicans don't want to drown government, they simply want to pillage it for themselves and their idols, the rich, whose spittle they eagerly lap up.
So, Ned hopes that the Democrats will make this their message to Montanans in the Fall: "We have tried to clean up the terrible mess George Bush and his Republican stooges left in Washington, but they are stonewalling us at every step, and trying to destroy the effectiveness of YOUR federal government, that pays you 1500 dollars, from your fellow citizens, for every thousand you send here. Elect us with a veto-proof majority in the Senate and then HOLD US TO ACCOUNT. But at least give us the tools to get the job done."
Ned still trusts the American people to see through the Republican tactics, despicable as they are. But, after legally electing George Bush in 2004, he isn't sure of anything any more.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Tis a villain, sir

One of Ned's most trusted moles, buried deeply within the bowels of a Mid-Atlantic State--what the hell, Virginia--has told Ned a tale that causes his blood to run cold. It involves a Being, in this case, the newly-elected Attorney General of the State, one Ken Cuccinelli II, who, not content with being a proud know-nothing Christianist and an anti-intellectual to boot, has actually began civil proceedings against a former member of the University of Virginia's faculty, one Michael Mann. Mann, an internationally-known climate expert, has published some of the most important peer-reviewed research to date on the science of climate change, a topic which Cuccinelli, or Kook, as we will call him from now on, knows, of course, nothing about, but which he runs around the state denying exists (global climate change, that is). Peer-reviewed research is something else Christianists know nothing about, content as they are to take the words of Jesus for just about anything. Not actually to live according to those words, mind, but to use them to suit their purposes. But we digress.
The latest outrage, as reported by the Washington Post, describes Kook's "lawsuit" for want of a better word, against the University, founded by Thomas Jefferson himself, to determine if there has been any "manipulated data" or even fraud, in some of Mann's grant requests, even though the grants were filed with the federal government, and not with the state.
Now, Ned was an academic for thirty years (and let his enemies make the most of it), but never in all his, or any of his colleagues' run-ins with administration or state officials, did Ned experience something as Nazi-like as this clear attempt to interfere with the freedom of the Academy. And yet, as some have said, we get the government we deserve, and Ned concludes that the bunch of extremist, Republican nitwits running the state of Virginia today are right out of the hallowed tradition of Stalinist purges, and "reeducation camps" practiced so efficiently by the Viet Cong. Ned will of course not mention Guantanamo, since democracies like the U.S. are congenitally unable to interfere with anyone's human rights, as we all know.
Anyway, Ned will be watching the matter closely, and hopes to see Kook removed from office for malfeasance soon. He is best described by Miranda in The Tempest, referring to Caliban. "'T'is a villain, sir, and one I do not love to look upon."

Sunday, August 22, 2010


Ned apologizes to his many followers for his dearth of posts over the past three days. Ned was able to celebrate yet another birthday and so has been involved in a certain amount of moderate revelry. The word 'moderate' is operative here as Ned seeks to emulate Ramsay Macdonald, a rival of Churchill's from the 30's, whom Winston described with perspicacity as "a modest man with much to be modest about."
That said, Ned has been roused from his torpor, as usual, to a state of red hot indignation, by a "letter to the business editor" of the NYT published in the Sunday paper. The letter headlined 'Tax Cuts and the Wealthy" was a snarling wolf in sheep's clothing if Ned ever saw one. The letter's author, one "Standish M. Fleming" decried with sad eyes raised towards heaven and palms up, the very IDEA that this country should consider letting the Bush tax giveaways to the plutocrats expire. On the contrary, he advocated "fiscal discipline" in order to preserve the "social fabric of trust" that he sees holding this country together. Now, of course, heaven forbid that fiscal discipline mean less war spending, but to those of Standish's persuasion, it probably means poor and working people getting by on nothing instead of next to nothing. One wonders where he was when the Bush tax cuts were emplaced, which act represented the single greatest act of fiscal madness and cynical hypocrisy that Ned can recall, even outdoing anything that that madman Reagan proposed.
Standish goes on to ask several rhetorical questions such as, "how can a society systematically discriminate against a minority and expect to maintain its long-term respect and support?" One expects that black Americans would wholeheartedly agree, but does not recall a similar argument being made during the years of Jim Crow. No, friends, white Americans were perfectly happy with their long term respect, thank you very much.
Standish repeats the old canard that if taxation were too high, rich people would simply stop working rather than pay "higher" taxes. Ned wonders if some of his readers would agree with him, that in his opinion, some of these plutocrats SHOULD have stopped working for the good of the country. Ned is thinking of the arrogant plutocrats who ran Lahman Brothers into the ground, of Carly Fiorina and Mark Hurd, who laid off tens of thousands of "productive " workers at HP and then walked away after being "fired" by the Board of Directors, walked away that is with 30 to 40 million dollars and in the case of Carly, her OWN JET PLANE.
One thinks of the idiots who ran GM into the ground, costing thousands of workers their jobs, and those sneering hubristic "captains of industry" who made tens of millions by "outsourcing" hundreds of thousands of American jobs to desperate workers in third world countries. Ned agrees that they should have stopped working decades ago.
But Ned's favorite of Standish's "questions" is so delicious that Ned must quote it in full, to wit: "At what point does selective taxation begin to rend the social fabric of trust and respect that we need for a healthy and productive society?" Ned suggests that point would be at the tax rate under which plutocrats happily amassed fortunes under the Truman and Eisenhower administrations, a 90% marginal rate for incomes over $200,000. But perhaps his readers would prefer something a little less onerous? Ned will oblige by pointing out the radical Kennedy tax cuts, that lowered the marginal rate to 70%!
How about that, Standish? Now you can go back to your country club while your faithful servant prepares you a restorative to calm your fluttered nerves.

Thursday, August 19, 2010


As the political "season" is set to seriously begin around Labor Day (although with 17% unemployment it may have to be renamed Layabout Day or something like that) Ned thought it was not inappropriate to warn his many followers about the danger of listening to right-wing (and to a lesser extent) left-wing) politicians without a translator. First, Ned will pick the low-hanging fruit and deal with the right-wingers.
The next time you hear a right-winger say he/she is for "less" government, "lower" taxes, and "less" regulation, be on your guard! Either the speaker is so stupid h/she doesn't understand that they are speaking gibberish or they have an enormous contempt for the intelligence of anyone who might be even a potential supporter. Because, friends, such phrases, representing moving targets as they do, are completely devoid of any intellectual content. Ask such persons how much taxation is appropriate and do not be satisfied for the typical waffling answer. Also ask them to itemize the government spending they would eliminate, and do not be satisfied with those crusty old canards, "waste," "fraud," and "abuse," meaningless as they are.
Recall that John Kennedy lowered the income tax rate on income over $200k from 90% to 70% in 1961, and this was accepted as reasonable taxation then, and should be now.
Next, when you see "statistics" purporting to show that the highest earners pay most of the income taxes, ask yourself "why not? Why shouldn't they pay most of the taxes, since they have appropriated most of the wealth?" And, do not be confused by "statistics" that show that low earners pay almost no income tax, since they pay most of their taxes as payroll taxes, which the rich may avoid entirely if they get their income from "investment" income, like stocks and bonds their daddy gave them.
Right-wingers will also refer to any attempt to restore normal levels of taxation, like rescinding the Bush tax giveaways to the filthy rich, as tax increases, and figuratively scream in horror at the very thought of raising taxes.
Left wingers usually reserve their Newspeak for immigration issues, insisting on referring to illegals as "undocumented" workers, even though many of them don't work at all. Perhaps Ned's more conservative readers can suggest additional Newspeak used mostly by left-wingers.
Ned wonders if we will ever get politicians courageous enough to advocate raising taxes, but, in a country where most citizens support wars of aggression as long as someone else's kid has to carry out the killing or getting killed, he isn't holding his breath.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Sigh--more on immigration

An editorial in Wednesday's NYT has this interesting phrase, " ...illegal immigrants without criminal records," decrying the deportation of illegals for doing nothing more than violating the nation's immigration laws and entering the country illegally.
Now, Ned has remarked earlier that the NYT, an otherwise relatively logical organization, has a logical blind spot when it comes to illegal immigration, not to mention "legal" immigration. The Times never met an immigrant they didn't like. Now Ned on the other hand, is neutral on immigration, feeling a best solution would be to allow as many folks into the country as voluntarily leave each year, around 200,000. He really doesn't see why this country should be in the business of importing people, most of whom have no education or skills, and thus will be competing for scarce jobs with our unskilled high schoolers and high school dropouts, driving many of our minorities into a life of crime and drug addiction, while others will have excellent skills who will be depriving their home country, which after all usually educated them, of their talents. Ned finds it unseemly, degrading and tasteless on the part of a Great Power to be enticing the best and brightest from other countries to come here, which helps perpetuate the cycles of poverty and hopelessness that prompts some desperate people to risk their lives to come here in the first place. Moreover, he finds it reprehensible that illegals can sneak in, have children that then become citizens, and obtain welfare and Medicaid that hard-working or job-seeking citizens may have a hard time getting.
He finds himself in rare agreement with Lindsay Graham, a right-wing Republican from South Carolina, that we should fix the hole in the 14th Amendment that allows this travesty to occur.

Sunday, August 15, 2010


Ned has finally recovered his usual placid demeanor after being considerably fluttered by a preposterous short note in today's "Organ of Record" the NYT. Ned will quote the entire piece so connoisseurs among his many readers can appreciate it like a glass of Stag's Leap 1986 SLV.
"The percentage of babies born in the United States in 2008 who had at least one parent who was an illegal immigrant [was one in twelve], according to a study published last week by the Pew Hispanic Center. The study also found that 80 percent of mothers who were illegal aliens had been in the country for more than a year, a statistic that seemed at odds with a recent assertion by Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, that many illegal immigrants “come here to drop a child” and immediately leave. Mr. Graham has stirred controversy by proposing a reconsideration of the 14th Amendment, long interpreted as granting citizenship to anyone born in the United States."

Ned's problems with this piece arise from two issues: first, he is convinced that Graham never said that illegals come here to drop babies and "immediately leave." Ned asks the logic cognoscenti among his readers to explain to him the advantage to poor illegals who come here to have a baby, which immediately becomes a citizen with rights to Medicaid, etc, if they IMMEDIATELY LEAVE? It seems to violate the sacred principles Ned learned in Logic 101. So, Ned is convinced Graham never said any such thing.
Now on to the second delicious tidbit: let's assume that Graham was misquoted, probably on purpose, but that the statistic pointed to by the Times' anonymous writer is true, that 80% of illegal women who gave birth in 2008 had been here more than a year. Does that disprove Graham's assertion? Certainly not.
Ned asks his readers if they can adduce the erroneous assumption made by the reporter? Simply that illegals who gave birth in 2008 were giving birth to THEIR FIRST CHILD in this country. There is nothing in the piece to suggest that the child being born was the first to the illegal mother. It could well have been the second, or third, or...
Sadly, the piece illustrates one of the two logical blind spots the otherwise sane and progressive editorial department of the NYT has: illegal immigration, or legal immigration for that matter. The Times never met an immigrant they didn't like. The second? An unwavering support for Zionism regardless of the impacts on the Palestinians and even the Israeli people themselves.
Now, Ned knows he has stepped on the two Third Rails of American politics, but Mrs Ned has been hounding him to get a new hairstyle lately, anyway, so...

Friday, August 13, 2010


The NYT reports today, Friday, that childhood obesity costs this country $14 billion a year and adult obesity another $147 billion. Most of this obesity is caused by eating too much unhealthy processed food with added sugar, coupled with insufficient exercise.
Ned proposes the country adopt the solution we successfully applied to BP in the GOM spill:
*demonize companies that produce unhealthy food;
* call their CEO's to testify under oath before Congress, and then berate and abuse them;
* extort money from companies producing unhealthy food to fight the obesity epidemic;
* pass laws requiring companies producing unhealthy foods to suspend their dividends until obesity rates fall back to pre-1940 levels;
* require these companies to pay for exercise programs for all obese people;
* require these companies to pay all of the health care costs arising out of eating their toxic foods.
After solving this problem, we will move on to smoking.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A billion dead fish

Another story in a long line of BP horror stories? No friends, this report in Wednesday's NYT reports that poorly performing cooling towers on Entergy Corp's Indian Point nuclear complex return water to the Hudson hot enough to kill upwards of ONE BILLION FISH, LARVAE AND EGGS A YEAR. And this has been going on for decades.
Now, Ned wonders when outraged citizens are going to take up their torches and pitchforks and demand that Entergy immediately cease paying its dividend until the fish massacres stop? When Entergy is forced to place billions of dollars in an escrow account to pay for the economic damage these kills have done to the fishing industry in the Hudson, which during the 19th century was enormous. Not just to commercial fishing, but also to sport fishing as well.
When the CEO of Entergy is forced to testify before a hostile Congress, eat crow and resign in disgrace?
Ned is, naturally, not holding his breath until these occurrences materialize.
But, he wonders, WHERE IS THE OUTRAGE? Or, is it just BP?
And, without minimizing the loss of life to the GOM's majestic birds, Ned encourages his readers to remember that NOT ONE FISH taken from the GOM has shown signs of oil contamination. Not one.
What WILL the hysteriasphere make of this?


Ned thought he would bring his friends up to the doings of the hysteriasphere, whose most recent success was the demonization of BP. Remember those demon Toyotas? The ones that raced out of control and killed people? Today's NYT reports that tests carried out by federal labs on Toyotas reportedly having "faulty electronic systems" found WITHOUT EXCEPTION that the cars' electronic systems were NOT malfunctioning. Repeat: not malfunctioning. Moreover none of them had "sticky floor mats" or even gremlins living in the trunk. So what was the only explanation left after these exhaustive tests? Why, DRIVER ERROR.
But, Ned reminds his readers, driver error doesn't fit a script in which every American is an above average driver and every one else on the road is a maniac or a moron.
So the hysteriashpere takes a big hit. But Ned is sure it will be back stronger than ever.

Monday, August 9, 2010

A secret Republican missive exposed!

Ned has intercepted a secret Republican fund-raising missive from an organization headed by failed Republican ex-House Speaker and self-styled "intellectual" of the Right Newt Gingrich. In it, Gingrich begs for money to "defeat the socialist agenda of the Obama-Pelosi-Read Axis". After chuckling over this, Ned read something even more illustrative of the nature of modern Republicanism. The organization listed as one of its "accomplishments" the election of empty-suit Bob McDonnell to the governorship of Virginia, in part by "successfully identifying his opponent as a tax-and-spend, Obama-supporting liberal."
Now this is perhaps the best example of the means by which Republicans seek to win elections: that is, by the lavish use of Orwellian Newspeak served with a generous dose of sanctimonious hypocrisy, all indicative of the utter contempt with which they view the average intelligence of their potential supporters. Because, friends. McDonnell's opponent was one Creigh Deeds, a right-wing Democrat from southwest Virginia, who, if Ned's memory serves, is a pro-life, pro-gun fiscal "conservative" and about as far from an Obama-lover as a Democrat can get. The fact that the Republicans were able to paint this hapless guy as a liberal is indicative of the lengths Republicans will go to win elections and seize power. It is also indicative of how utterly hopeless much of the Democratic Party is, since Deeds was about the only candidate other than perhaps Al Sharpton who couldn't beat McDonnell.
It is also, Ned regrets to say, perhaps at least a partial vindication of the Republican contempt for the intelligence of the average southern voter.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The hubris of power

Ned is aroused yet again from his much-needed repose to comment on the vanities and foibles of the rich and powerful. The latest to be brought down by his arrogance is Mark Hurd, reportedly ruthless cost-cutter and employee terrorizer at giant HP, the computer outfit.
Ned is given to understand that ever since Mr Hurd took over, his relentless cost-cutting and breathtaking arrogance vis a vis the well being of his employees, who, after all, are the source of the company's wealth, was the talk of the lower ranks at HP. Mr Hurd has apparently resigned amid a "sexual harassment" scandal, the details of which are obscure.
Ned reminds Mr Hurd, and all such arrogant and rich scorners of their workers, of the effects of hubris, well-known to the ancient Greeks, and recommends for all such individuals a pondering of this marvelous description of the true nobleman from "All's Well That Ends Well".
The King of France is bemoaning the loss of a friend, and eulogizes him thusly

"Who were below him, he used as creatures of another place,
and bowed his eminent top to their low ranks,
making them proud of his humility,
in their poor praise
he humbled."
Let all arrogant plutocrats beware vanity and hubris, else the gods bring them down as well.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Leftist professors and the decline of America

An otherwise deservedly obscure professor at Coastal Carolina University located at an undisclosed location in the Deep South, has interrupted Ned's repose to include in a subversive article in the Myrtle Beach Sun News the following incendiary, un-American statement, "Frankly, public opinion should not matter, since you cannot have an opinion about a fact."
This absurd and self-contradictory statement flies in the face of the values of all right-thinking Palin-loving patriotic Americans.
Who is some pointy-headed liberal to tell Americans, especially those of us proud in our ignorance of science and logic, that we cannot have an opinion about the truth of something just because it is an established fact?
Witness the economist, writing about a mathematical equation that established the basis for a Law of Thermodynamics who opined that, "for all we know, the Law could be repealed sometime?"
Who is he to tell Americans, many of whom cannot read past eighth-grade level, that they have to accept the fact of Climate Change just because several thousand scientists, who have researched the issue for more than 40 years, have concluded that it is established fact?
Who is he to parrot the socialist one-worlder, terrorist-loving, liberal petroleum geologists and engineers who say, no matter how many wells we drill in this country, that we have insufficient oil BY FAR to meet our demands, especially if Newt Gingrich and his Republican know-nothing followers say we would have, if only the socialist Obama administration would let us drill?
No friends, this person illustrates what is wrong with this country, and Ned will defend the right of any ignorant, poorly-educated, Fox-"News" addicted Redneck who says, "I don't give a damn what the (scientists, biologists, ecologists, atmospheric scientists, physicists, chemists, etc) say, there ain't no such thing as (evolution, the Moon Program, climate change, population growth, or your example here ________________________)."

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

stark, raving...

"Republican gubernatorial candidate Dan Maes is warning voters that Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper's policies, particularly his efforts to boost bike riding, are 'converting Denver into a United Nations community.' " and he went on " 'this will be exposed.' "
(h/t Eschaton)

Stark, raving, bats**t, baying-at-the-moon, frothing at the gums, steaming at the ears, tin-foil-hat lunacy.
Just about the time some of us may start believing the propaganda, and drinking the Kool-Aid, to the extent that the U. S. is the best educated country in the world, along comes some moron, but not just any old moron, no, A CANDIDATE FOR AN IMPORTANT NATIONAL OFFICE, RUNNING WITH THE SUPPORT OF A NATIONAL POLITICAL PARTY to convince us that about half of the people in this country are about as dumb as a heaving bag of dead dogs. Recall: Palin/McCain, 46% of popular vote in 2008.
Lord Jesus.


Ned extends his sympathy to the Palin family yet again, after Bristol Palin announces (via her publicist?) that she has "called off" her "re-engagement" with the father of her illegitimate son, Levi, or something like that, apparently because he was in a video mocking the Palin "family". Now apparently she can go back to her new calling, that of traveling around the country preaching abstinence to groups of gullible, young Christianists.
Ned lovingly reminds them that, in the words of the Bard, 'the course of true love ne'er did run smooth.'

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Prof Dr Wagstaff, FRS makes first contribution!

Ned respectfully announces the honour of receiving the first missive from our commentator in the UK, Q A Wagstaff, FRS. It is, no surprise, on UK politics, on which Prof Wagstaff has written for several decades. He says,

"Since May 6 things have been worryingly quiet on the Cameronian-wotsisname front. They are still fondling each other, to the extent that wags are calling it the 'Brokeback Coalition'. 'Meet the new boss; same as the old boss' springs to mind. Yet the glint of the axe slowly emerges from behind the facade of tea and cake. All manner of LibDems and Eurosceptic Tories are growling dreadfully in the undergrowth and NewLab seem so thankful they don't have to get their hands dirty.

Anyhow, I am enjoying bucolic pleasures which at the moment are limited to fresh mangetout peas, lettuce and courgettes. But potatoes and tomatoes are showing promise."

Yours etc,
Q A Wagstaff, FRS

Monday, August 2, 2010


Ned is pleased to announce that his distinguished panel, consisting of himself and Prof Dr Q A Wagstaff, FRS, have selected the first Halfbright Honoree. Although the competition was fierce, the award goes to CARLY FIORINA. Here were her qualifications:

CARLY FIORINA: The Republican face of pure political opportunism, Fiorina was not content with running HP into the ground and walking away with a $30 million buyout + her own jet plane, and why should she be, when any incompetent parvenu could run for office as a Republican if they have enough money and enough designer clothes. Naturally she is running as a " "lower taxes," "less government," and "personal responsibility" woman of the people, whose initial criticism of Barbara Boxer, her opponent, was her hairstyle. Ned also appreciates her dedication to "fighting for every job", after cutting 18,000-30,000 jobs at HP. Especially noteworthy to Ned is her penchant for referring to herself in the third person; to wit, "Carly believes strongly that every American should have access to quality, affordable health care."

Congrats to all the runersup and to Ms Fiorina, a well-deserved honor for an extremely qualified "candidate."

Sunday, August 1, 2010


The latest from NOAA, (h/t Oil Drum):
"There is no clear way for oil to be transported to Southern Florida, the Florida Keys or along the East Coast of the United States unless the loop current fully reforms with Eddy Franklin, or moves northward, neither of which is likely to happen for several months. At that point, essentially all of the remaining surface oil will have dissipated."
Once again facts, those "stubborn things", trump hysteria and BS from the MSM and BP haters. As the oil dissipates, gets eaten by bugs and cleaned from any remaining beaches, the hysteriasphere has to fall back on conspiracy theories that would make the craziest of the Tin Foil Hat crowd wonder "Damn! Why didn't I think of that!"
Ned reminds his readers of the NYT breathless article quoting an "expert" who said that BP would "probably" go bankrupt from claims made by British and Mediterranean plaintiffs, whose careers and lives were destroyed by the spill. At the time Ned referred to such charges as "preposterous," and now, perhaps like the proverbial stopped clock, Ned has been proved right (again.)
UPDATE: NYT WEDNESDAY HEADLINE "U.S. Finds Most Oil From Spill Poses Little Additional Risk"


Ned fervently hopes that any thinking person who is even REMOTELY thinking of voting for a Republican in any federal or state election will read David Stockman's opinion piece in Sunday's NYT. Stockman of course was Reagan's budget director who oversaw the early Reagan tax cuts, unaccompanied of course by spending restraint. Well, Stockman has found economic Jesus, so to speak, joining a host of moderate (read, thinking) Republicans who're genuinely frightened by the nature of today's party. His piece is titled "Four Deformations of the Apocalypse."