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My schadenfreude cup, it runneth over…..

It’s only Tuesday, and it’s turning out to be a schadenfreude kind of week.

First, we have the Harvard professors who happily pushed Obamacare for the rest of us now finding out that they will have to live under the same onerous law as well.  Their cries of injustice make my heart beat just a tad bit faster.  As the kids say these days: “suck it.”

Secondly, as Obama travels to Detroit to tout the taxpayer financed comeback of the auto industry, the plant where he will be speaking is shutdown this week due to a slumping enthusiasm for the fuel efficient cars he pushed as the way of the future for American drivers:

On Wednesday, as he has done numerous times, President Obama is set to visit an auto assembly line to highlight the industry’s rebound.

But there’s a twist to this visit: The Ford plant in suburban Detroit is on an extended shutdown this week.

Why? Cheap gas has cut into demand for the fuel efficient cars the plant builds.

It’s an industry-wide trend: The steady decline in gas prices has Americans flooding car dealerships to buy pickups, SUVs and crossovers models.

The plant Obama is set to visit, known as Michigan Assembly, employs about 5,000 people.

Temporary shutdowns during declines in demand are not uncommon for automakers. They don’t want to create an excess supply of any one model, since that would cause car prices to fall.

Isn’t that delicious?  Now that gas prices have plummeted over the past months, consumers are voting with their pocketbooks for the larger, more fuel-consuming SUV’s. Yes, when given the choice of big powerful engines and spacious luxury or cramped containment with no cargo room, luxury wins every time.

GM may be “alive,” but drivers aren’t buying what Obama is selling.  And while he may still try claim success for the auto industry, it has less to do with his policies and more to do with domestic oil production on PRIVATE land, not federal lands.  Vehicle sales are going strong, but it’s more in spite of Obama not because of him.  Schadenfreude indeed.

So how’s that normalization of relations with Cuba going?

It’s been just weeks since President Obama went rogue and loosened restrictions on diplomatic relations with Cuba without consulting Congress in advance and without asking for anything in return from the small island country.

The argument for doing this, as stated by Secretary of State John Kerry was that more travel by Americans to Cuba spending their money would somehow enrich the lives of everyday Cubans and generate some kind of organic outgrowth of freedom and prosperity.  Well…… so much for that.

The Obama administration has responded harshly to the Cuban government’s arrest this week of political dissidents planning a protest in downtown Havana, casting an uncomfortable shadow over the historic detente announced just weeks before between the U.S. and the Castro regime.

The State Department late Tuesday night “strongly condemn[ed] the Cuban government’s continued harassment and repeated use of arbitrary detention, at times with violence, to silence critics, disrupt peaceful assembly and freedom of expression, and intimidate citizens.”

The statement followed reports that Cuban authorities had detained overnight dozens of pro-democracy and free speech activists this week, including at least three members of the nation’s political opposition ahead of a planned protest art performance in Havana.

Not only does the Cuban government’s actions make the White House look foolish in it’s give all, ask nothing in return, policy change in regards to Cuba, it also exemplifies once again that an open hand offered to countries considered our enemies does not guarantee an equal response, but more often is met with a casual disregard and a continuation of those countries’ policies of which we most vehemently disapprove.

So who’s up for a President Lindsey Graham?

Oh, yes my friends, yes….

Even though John McCain seems to have given up any hope of being POTUS someday, it doesn’t necessarily mean we can’t have his like-minded partner in crime as president.

I give you this:

Sen. John McCain is prodding one of his closest allies in the Senate to consider a run for the White House – Sen. Lindsey Graham.

“I think he is looking at it, and I am strongly encouraging him to take a look at it,” McCain, R-Ariz., told ABC News. “I know of no one who is better versed and more important on national security policy and defense than Lindsey Graham, and I don’t think these challenges to our security are going away.”

“He is eminently qualified,” McCain added.

McCain also adds he will most likely be running to get re-elected to the Senate.  Here’s hoping Arizonans will be able to show him the door in the primary.

Men, would you like to see what childbirth feels like?

While many men support their wives and girlfriends to the greatest extent they can during pregnancy and childbirth, the fact is that they can’t fully understand the entire experience women go through, especially during labor and delivery.

But now a hospital in China is giving men a chance to at least get a small taste of what it’s like.

Aima Hospital in China’s eastern Shandong Province, has devised an  innovative system that is supposed recreate the pain that a women experiences during childbirth, by administering electric shocks through pads attached to the men’s stomachs.

The voltage is then cranked up from one to ten and usually results in the men writhing around in agony and begging for the pain to stop.

According to staff at the hospital, the idea came about after a number of female patients complained that they were not getting enough sympathy from their partners.

So, instead of trying to explain how hard carrying and giving birth to a child was, they decided to show them.

The hospital began by offering short taster sessions to couples, but these have proved so popular that groups are now run every other week at the hospital.

I’m not so sure how the hospital knows the pain of the electric shocks feels similar for men as the pain of labor for women. Have they had a woman who’s experienced labor and delivery undergo the shocks and verify it felt the same or at least close? After going through labor twice, the second time with no pain relief at all, I don’t know if electric shocks on the skin would quite be the same. But to be honest, I’m not willing to give the shocks a try in order to compare. ;-)

There’s an accompanying video of guys giving it a try a the link.

I’ve never met a “Delbert” in my entire life.

I’ve been a conservative for most of my life, for as long as I can remember anyway. I’ve known lots of Republicans and and Democrats, but I’ve never met a man (or woman for that matter) named “Delbert” in my entire life. Nevertheless, little reports such as these are a fun five minute political tangent:

The creator of the baby names app “Nametrix” has revealed what Republicans and Democrats tend to name their little bundles of joy.

The most Democrat female names are Natasha, Maya, Miranda, Jasmine and Caitlin. More common names that skew very Democratic are Sarah, Judith and Ellen.

On the Republican side, Brittney and Bailey are the most favored by Republicans. More popular names that are given much more often to Republican baby girlsare Terry, Tammy and Becky.

As for male names, Delbert, Duane and Dalton are the most Republican, but more common names favored by right-leaners are Donald, James, Thomas and William.

Classic names like Robert, John, George, Paul, Daniel, David and Michael are also slightly more popular among the GOP.

Jonah, Malik and Dylan are the most Democrat boy names. More common names favored more by Dems are Jonathan, Andrew, Alan, Samuel, Eric and Peter.

There’s a link at the source if you’d like to see the complete list of Democrat and Republican names.

Why does this keep happening?

Question: “How long has the federal government been spending taxpayer money?”

Answer: “For as long as many of us can remember.”

And as stewards of our money, the government should at a least try to make a good faith effort to spend our hard-earned dollars wisely with part of that wisdom being contained in a tracking of their spending for accountability.

So why, oh why, do we continue to see reports of how various government entities didn’t accurately track, or didn’t even track at all, spending on the taxpayers’ behalf? Two stories ON THE SAME DAY in the Washington Times:

First story:

Washington has spent more than $7.5 billion to battle the drug trade in Afghanistan over the past decade, but the State Department has failed to create a system for tracking whether the government’s efforts have had any impact, the department’s internal watchdog said Friday.

“As a result, INL cannot determine whether its Afghan [counternarcotics] initiatives are successful or should be revised, reduced, or canceled,” the audit states. “

$7.5 Billion spent and we don’t know if it’s made a difference at all.  Money spent wisely? WHO KNOWS?


Second story:

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has not tracked costs and performance data for its long-term recovery offices across the country, calling over $66 billion in obligated disaster funds into question.

Without tracking costs or data, FEMA cannot determine if its offices are cost-effective, said a report from the Department of Homeland Security’s internal watchdog. (emphasis mine)

“Without these controls in place, FEMA is at risk for mismanagement of federal disaster funds and cannot ensure consistency in establishing and managing these office,” John Kelly, assistant inspector general of the Office of Emergency Management Oversight, wrote in the report.

Investigators stressed the importance of implementing new tracking policies as federal spending for Hurricane Sandy continues to rise. The cost of recovery for Sandy will likely surpass all disasters except Hurricane Katrina, investigators estimated.

Again we have more irresponsible spending. This time they didn’t even attempt to track where the money was going.  It’s absolutely shameful.  We are not talking about a new government organization here.  FEMA has been around since 1979 and is no stranger to spending taxpayer money.  The Hurricane Sandy disaster just happened a couple of years ago.  How could the agency NOT have a tracking system in place? We are talking about $66 Billion dollars here.

With continual mismanagement of taxpayer money, you start to wonder if there isn’t some intentional incompetence at some level. After all, NO ONE seems to be held accountable when things like this happen and usually the offending office comes back begging for more money claiming it would help them do their job better.

Here’s an idea, how about BEFORE the first government check is cut, we verify there is a tracking system already in place to account for every dollar spent?

I think hippies smell, and apparently it isn’t just my imagination.

And apparently I can say that literally because it’s been reported that what you belief influences how you smell:

Social scientists from Brown, Harvard and Penn State recently conducted an unusual study. Seeking to examine the biological cues that influence attraction, the researchers taped gauze pads to the skin of 20 subjects, retrieved them 24 hours later, and kept them in their lab. They asked 125 volunteers to smell each sample, rate how attractive they found each odor, and to guess at the political orientation of the person with whom it originated.

The researchers found evidence that people are instinctively attracted to the smell emitted by those with similar ideologies. In one memorable instance, a female participant asked the scholars if she could take one of the samples home, describing it as “the best perfume I ever smelled.” The scent came from a man who shared her political views. Just before, a different woman with the opposite views had smelled the exact same sample, declared it “rancid,” and urged the researchers to throw it out. Ideological like-mindedness exerts a biological pull on our attraction, it seems — and deep disagreements can really stink.

These results suggest that our beliefs have a strong biological component.

For the life of me, I can’t fathom the actual biological reason for this, but in the meantime you may be able to use your nose to your advantage and let it sort out who may be an ideological friend versus foe. “Eau du Small Government,” anyone?


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