Monday, August 30, 2010

Ramirez looks forward to quitting on White Sox

Sports, Onion-style.

After being put on waivers by the Los Angeles Dodgers, Manny Ramirez said Monday he is looking forward to a fresh start with the Chicago White Sox and eventually quitting on them the way he did before leaving the Dodgers and, before that, the Boston Red Sox.

"I am looking forward to joining the White Sox and helping them in the stretch drive of an exciting pennant race," Ramirez said. "I hope to play just well enough to pressure the team into offering me a contract for next season, when I can think of a new and inventive way of quitting on them."

Ramirez finished a brief stint with the Dodgers by being ejected for arguing balls and strikes after one pitch of a pinch-hitting appearance with the bases loaded against the division rival Colorado Rockies. In similar fashion, Ramirez's seven-year career with the Red Sox unofficially ended when he took three straight strikes in a pinch-hitting appearance against Mariano Rivera in 2008.

"I watched three pitches when I quit on the Red Sox. Three whole pitches," Ramirez said while discussing his ejection Sunday. "This time it only took one pitch to get me out of town. I'm thinking maybe next year I will start arguing with the umpire when I come to the plate or just fake an injury in the on-deck circle.

"It's a new team and a new situation," Ramirez added. "I'm happy to be going to Chicago and plan to do whatever I can to get out of Chicago."

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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Area man actually finds job through LinkedIn

Another in my very occasional series of public auditions for The Onion:

BOSTON -- Dorchester resident Sean Kelly spent Friday celebrating the end of his lengthy job search after he accepted an offer from a local publishing company, an offer he actually insists he would not have received without LinkedIn.

Kelly said the online professional networking site connected him with a current employee at the company, Brown & Reed Publishing, where Kelly will begin working as an editorial assistant Monday. The employee offered Kelly advice on how to handle the interview process.

"I am connected to a former college roommate on LinkedIn, though I never actually worked with him," Kelly said. "Anyway, he's connected to a woman who is connected to a guy who is connected to a guy who works at Brown & Reed. So I wrote to the guy, Tim I think his name is, who wrote back, 'The hiring manager, Vince, is a real asshole. He will try to knock you off balance with bullshit questions like what kind of tree would you be and why. It's a real power-trip thing. But stroke his ego a little and you should be fine.'

"And Tim was right," Kelly added. "Vince is a real asshole."

Kelly said his looking beyond his group of connections to the connections of others made the difference in landing the job.

"The people I am connected to are mostly former co-workers," he said. "What are they going to do, get me some old, lousy job back? And many of them are laid off anyway. I just connect to them ... well, I don't know why. To be friendly, I guess."

LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, reacting to the news of LinkedIn's role in Kelly's hiring, said, "Really?"

"People always say, 'LinkedIn is just Facebook for people whose self-worth is tied to their jobs,'" said Hoffman. "But, like I have said all along, LinkedIn connects professionals in a meaningful way to enhance networking opportunities and help people achieve greater success in the job-seeking process.

"No, really, you're fucking with me, right?" he added. "Someone actually found a job using LinkedIn? A job job? Wow."

Kelly certainly is convinced that LinkedIn helped him.

"I wouldn't have this job without LinkedIn," he said. "Sure, it's well beneath my level of qualifications and experience, and the pay is a fraction of what I made before I was laid off. But, hey, it's a job."

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

How they voted

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
I Give Up - 9/11 Responders Bill
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

on HR 847 to provide health care to 9/11 rescue workers.

Because not everyone will click through to see the shameful list of assholes, here are the 159 no voters. Of these, 155 are Republicans and four are Democrats (the Democrats are in bold).

Aderholt, Alexander, Austria, Bachmann, Bachus, Barrett (SC), Bartlett, Barton (TX), Bean, Berry, Biggert, Bilbray, Bilirakis, Bishop (UT), Blackburn, Blunt, Boehner, Bonner, Bono Mack, Boozman, Boustany, Brady (TX), Bright, Broun (GA), Brown (SC), Brown-Waite Ginny, Buchanan, Burgess, Burton (IN), Buyer, Calvert, Camp, Campbell, Cantor, Capito, Carter, Cassidy, Castle, Chaffetz, Coble, Coffman (CO), Cole, Conaway, Cooper, Crenshaw, Culberson, Davis (KY), Diaz-Balart L., Diaz-Balart M., Djou, Dreier, Duncan, Ehlers, Emerson, Fallin, Flake, Fleming, Forbes, Fortenberry, Foxx, Franks (AZ), Gallegly, Garrett (NJ), Gerlach, Gingrey (GA), Gohmert, Goodlatte, Granger, Graves (GA), Graves (MO), Hall (TX), Harper, Hastings (WA), Heller, Hensarling, Herger, Hunter, Inglis, Issa, Jenkins, Johnson (IL), Johnson Sam, Jordan (OH), King (IA), Kingston, Kline (MN), Lamborn, Latham, LaTourette, Latta, Lee (NY), Lewis (CA),Linder, Lucas, Luetkemeyer, Lummis, Lungren Daniel E., Mack, Manzullo, Marchant, McCaul, McClintock, McCotter, McHenry, McKeon, McMorris Rodgers, Mica, Miller (FL), Miller Gary, Myrick, Neugebauer, Nunes, Olson, Paul, Paulsen, Pence, Petri, Pitts, Platts, Poe (TX), Posey, Price (GA), Putnam, Rehberg, Reichert, Roe (TN), Rogers (AL), Rogers (KY), Rogers (MI), Rohrabacher, Rooney, Ros-Lehtinen, Roskam, Royce, Ryan (WI), Scalise, Schmidt, Schock, Sensenbrenner, Sessions, Shimkus, Shuster, Simpson, Smith (NE), Smith (TX), Stearns, Sullivan, Terry, Thompson (PA), Thornberry, Tiberi, Turner, Upton, Walden, Westmoreland, Whitfield, Wilson (SC), Wittman, Wolf.

The Democrats used a procedural tactic that prevented Republicans from adding all kinds of bullshit, pro-wealthy amendments to the very popular bill, which would have made it all but impossible for Democrats to vote against said amendments. But that tactic also requires a 2/3 vote for the bill to pass. So even though the vote was 255-159 in favor, the bill required 285 votes to pass. Sure, the tactic made it harder to get the bill passed, but getting Republicans to do the right thing shouldn't be so hard. This bill was a slam-dunk, but without amendments giving away what's left of the national treasury to the already super-rich, this bill just didn't seem like a good idea to Republicans. It's just more evidence that, unless you have obscene amounts of money, Republicans don't give a shit about you.

The procedural tactic isn't the reason the bill didn't pass. The 159 assholes who voted against it are the reason it didn't pass.

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Friday, August 06, 2010

The 14th Amendment

I don't do this often, but I think I might agree with morons (or whores, depending on your view of the sincerity of their publicly proclaimed positions). Maybe Mitch McConnell, Lindsey Graham and Jon Kyl and so many other conservative dumbasses and lunatics are right: Maybe it is time to review the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. In fact, quit pussy-footing around the issue, bitches. Quit your cowardly floating of trial ballons and checking of polls. Let's repeal the fucker.

After all, why should U.S. citizenship be accorded to just anyone? To people who, through no effort or accomplishment of their own, just happen to be born within the borders of the United States? Since when do we just give away shit for free in this country? Citizenship isn't a right, it's a privilege. It's a responsibility that requires knowledge of our history and hard work to stay informed about issues affecting this great nation today. How could an uninformed citizenry possibly be effective stewards of our democracy? How could an ignorant, disinterested electorate keep its leadership honest and strike fear into a corrupt government? How could a lazy, apathetic public be anything more than a punch line, allowing thieving criminals with their hands on the levers of power to begin their lies with the phrase, "The American people ..."?

Citizenship is a serious responsibility that shouldn't be trusted to just anyone. If you can't be bothered to stay informed about the issues facing this country and protect it from those who would do it harm for personal gain; if you are too busy to learn the history of the nation you purport to love; if you are here just to take what you can from this country for yourself with no regard for it or anyone else who lives here; if you can't name the three branches of our government; if you couldn't pass what amounts to a high school civics pop quiz; then please explain to me why you deserve citizenship.

And don't hand me any of that shit about "my parents were here legally." This isn't about their citizenship, it's about yours. So what have you done to deserve to be an American citizen? And remember, if we repeal the 14th Amendment, being born here ain't gonna cut it no more.

If the extent of your commitment to this country is to fly American flags on your vehicle, find somewhere else to live. If you think patriotism is a weapon for divisiveness in a country founded on the virtue of tolerance by people fleeing persecution, if you think loving your country means hating others, get the fuck out of my country. You're too fucking stupid to live here.

No more free rides and no more getting credit for your parents' circumstances. If you want to be an American citizen, earn it. It's the American way.

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Financial reform

Rolling Stone examines the legislative process that produced the financial reform that the Obama administration is so proud of.

“The bill Congress just passed doesn't go after the criminals where they live, or even make what they're doing a crime; all it does is put a baseball bat under the bed and add an extra lock or two on the doors. It's a hack job, a C-minus effort. See you at the next financial crisis.”
It’s not a C-minus effort. Congress didn’t pass meaningful reform because they weren’t trying to pass meaningful reform. They were trying to pass some bullshit that looked like reform to a public that doesn’t really understand what’s going on and is barely paying attention anyway. They accomplished what they set out to do.

The law does exactly what it is designed to do: It causes no serious threat to the profits of our representatives' biggest financial sponsors, and it gave Democrats something, anything, they can take back to the voters and say, "Look, we reined in Wall Street, we passed financial reform!" In that regard, it's no different than George Bush's Medicare "reform" -- it improves nothing, but allows for lots of self-congratulation.

Of course, it also gives Republicans something they can point to were they to argue that "Democrat" leadership is ineffective. And they'd be right. But, for Republicans, even this Band-Aid on a bullet wound is too much fettering of financial markets. Rather than argue -- correctly -- that this law will do nothing to prevent future financial meltdowns that taxpayers will have to clean up, the GOP will argue that this Marxist-style takeover of our uniquely American free-enterprise system must be repealed, along with healthcare reform, Social Security and, perhaps, the right to vote and own property.

I had a post label that I used for so many Bush-era efforts, "It Just Looks Like Results," that I used when describing the many, many photo-ops and half-assed efforts that replaced actual governing in this country from 2001-2008. Looks like it's time to dust off that label, because the change we were promised during the campaign just ain't coming. Sure, the Obama administration is light years better than the alternative that Republicans half-heartedly threw out there ("OK, the election is unwinnable but, hey, we gotta run somebody, and we're not about to waste a real candidate" [think Bob Dole in 1996 and Lynn Swann's running for the PA governor's seat in 2006]), but the real power in this country doesn't change every four years or even every eight years. It's an entrenched aristocracy whose only interest is maintaining its wealth and power. And it never faces re-election. If Obama were the threat to the status quo that he appeared to be during the campaign, he never would have gotten out of the primaries. Ask Hillary Clinton and John Edwards how the media covered their candidacy.

If you still think real change is possible working within the system, click the link above and see what the system did to the financial reform bill.

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