Republicans Should Not Have Won the House in 2012

Democrats should control the House of Representatives come 2013, but they won’t. A popular line right now among conservatives is that the US electorate voted to uphold the “status quo” by electing a divided government, with the House going to Republicans and the Senate and Presidency going to Democrats. This is a flawed argument because it’s working off an assumption that congressional districts are fairly drawn. They are not. Most states allow the controlling party to district their seats. That has led to a strong tilt toward Republicans that far outweighs actually voting patterns per state. See this nice little spreadsheet I made outlining the actual voting totals for house races statewide vs the final outcome.

There are a number of things wrong with the US electoral process. The most commonly criticized is the Electoral College. I won’t go into much detail on is, but basically it allocates votes for President not based on popular vote but by seats in congress – and by giving all seats (votes) to the winner of each state. This lead to George W. Bush winning the 2000 Presidential election while losing the popular vote by over 500,000 votes nationwide. It also lead to Barack Obama winning in a “landslide” this year, when he really should have only won by about 271-256, with about 14 going to third party candidates. That’s going by popular vote.

If you extrapolated the Presidential popular vote to the House of Representatives, then you would also have a Democratically controlled House. But of course people aren’t voting for the President. They’re deciding on specific house races. This is where it gets complicated, and the conservative argument plays on the complication. Their argument is a lot of people must have split their ticket. If there were more people who voted for Republicans in the House than for Mitt Romney (which turns out to be true, but not by enough), then the conservative “status quo” argument would be correct.

It’s not. If you look at the total votes cast for the House of Representatives in 2012, the argument dies. These numbers are incomplete, but by current count 54,545,412 people voted for Republicans vs 55,345,440 people who voted for Democrats for the House of Representatives. By that number, there should be 18 or 19 more Democrats in the House than there will be in 2013. Some factors will change these numbers, and certainly skew them. I’m calling the races that are still undetermined for the candidate leading in the polls right now for example. All of those happen to be Dems, but it’s important to note that in these races overall vote totals won’t change much. There are also nine total seats that were unchallenged – 4 Democratic and 5 Republicans. Because these didn’t have any vote totals, they also skew the results. The ledger on that tells me to add one to the Republican count overall, so it should be 17 or 18 more Dems in the House. This, of course, completely ignores the fact that about 600,000 residents of Washington, DC don’t get to vote for a House candidate but do vote for President. Disregarding DC, however, the Democrats should either be up by one seat in the House (a 218-217 majority) or down by one (a 217-218 majority).

If you take it down to the state level, you can see the worst offenders. There are a number of states where Democrats have redrawn the maps in their favor – California being the obvious big one. Overall, however, the ledger goes wide for Republicans. Pennsylvania, Michigan, and even North Carolina voted for more Democratic congresspeople than Republicans but sent many, many more Republicans to Congress.

Anyone who says the country voted for a divided government is probably wrong barring some big numbers coming in that change these totals. More people voted for Democratic House candidates than Republican. The only thing that saved John Boehner’s Majority was probably gerrymandering.

State Proj Rep Seats Proj Dem Seats Total Rep Votes Expected R House Seats Total Dem Votes Expected D House Seats Difference Expected and Actual Dem Seats
Pennsylvania 13 5 2651901 9 2722560 9 -4
Ohio 12 4 2315250 8 2,065,814 8 -4
Texas 24 12 4230024 21 2,940,085 15 -3
Florida 17 10 3825855 14 3,391,704 13 -3
North Carolina 9 4 2143118 6 2,219,165 7 -3
Michigan 9 5 2083613 7 2324884 7 -2
Virginia 8 3 1833934 6 1736164 5 -2
South Carolina 6 1 817820 4 731396 3 -2
Indiana 7 2 1342592 5 1130191 4 -2
Georgia 9 5 1456400 7 1439127 7 -2
Alabama 6 1 1031097 4 688,410 3 -2
Oklahoma 5 0 855084 3 409482 2 -2
Missouri 6 2 1460230 5 1,111,238 3 -1
Kentucky 5 1 1026634 4 683,452 2 -1
Tennessee 7 2 1360991 6 789549 3 -1
Arkansas 4 0 628474 3 302683 1 -1
Kansas 4 0 516954 3 189555 1 -1
Wisconsin 5 3 1398916 4 1,442,491 4 -1
Nebraska 3 0 483482 2 264,154 1 -1
Idaho 2 0 406689 1 208220 1 -1
New Jersey 6 6 1342631 5 1641671 7 -1
Mississippi 3 1 666627 3 384533 1 0
Montana 1 0 252707 1 203748 0 0
Louisiana 5 1 1143620 5 358923 1 0
North Dakota 1 0 172905 1 131396 0 0
South Dakota 1 0 207581 1 153,725 0 0
Colorado 4 3 1086616 4 1015980 3 0
Utah 3 1 587795 3 295293 1 0
Alaska 1 0 141276 1 62013 0 0
Wyoming 1 0 165773 1 57148 0 0
West Virginia 2 1 379305 2 253741 1 0
Iowa 2 2 724869 2 766,634 2 0
Nevada 2 2 456313 2 451452 2 0
Vermont 0 1 67511 0 209,271 1 0
Delaware 0 1 129749 0 249905 1 0
New Mexico 1 2 339457 1 415,456 2 0
Minnesota 3 5 1211833 3 1,562,472 5 0
Washington 4 6 1238530 5 1,458,628 5 1
Hawaii 0 2 135716 1 281,841 1 1
Maine 0 2 263632 1 423,023 1 1
Rhode Island 0 2 160870 1 227,600 1 1
Arizona 4 5 955014 5 781,488 4 1
New Hampshire 0 2 310340 1 340,310 1 1
Oregon 1 4 653200 2 900,280 3 1
Connecticutt 0 5 492135 2 937,666 3 2
Maryland 1 7 832322 3 1481895 5 2
Illinois 6 12 2161599 8 2,640,819 10 2
Massachusetts 0 9 693624 3 1,544,103 6 3
New York 6 21 2029993 10 3652498 17 4
California 15 38 3672811 21 5,671,604 32 6
234 201 54545412 216 55345440 219 -18
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Infotainment 2011: An Old Beginning

Madonna’s back and harsh realities abound. Infotainment comes back after a 7.5 year breather. Twitter upsets, Kim Kardashian perplexes, and Jessica Simpson inspires. Welcome back, Infotainment! America’s missed you!

America’s Sweetheart Kim Kardashian apparently planned a sham wedding to Kris Humphries, a professional basketball player, without him knowing it was all a show. I don’t have all that much to say about this, but you should know by now you don’t marry the stripper, Kris. If you had some better role models you’d know that. It used to be guys like Wilt Chamberlain would just sleep with porn stars for fun and go on to make tons of money writing books about it*. My how things have changed.

*Or get AIDS and a late-night talk show. Whatever.

We're just as surprised you're still alive, Magic... and, somehow, fatter.

Prince William got married too! The pomp and fuss around this wedding may have even been bigger than the Kardashian one. But did they deserve it? At least Kim did something – fucked on camera – to get rich and famous. This Prince William did nothing but be born to a family that serves no productive function. Good for him! That’s the American dream.

Kate Gosselin ran a marathon in Vegas. This is the news on CNN.

Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part II won the box office last week. The final Harry Potter came out this past summer, so I guess I’ll need a new young adult fiction story to follow. They’re pretty similar movies. Both put teenagers in extremely dangerous situations, the outcomes of which have world-changing ramifications. This once again proves things that happen in High School are the most important, dramatic moments of your life. Either that or movie execs realize older folks have more exciting things to do* than sit through a two or three hour long movie – so they pander to children.

*Easier to get your hands on booze for starters.

Jessica Simpson is pregnant. Good career move!

Middle Age is so Gross

How come no one's enforcing the good American law that female celebrities be euthanized before they hit 50? What's that you say? She moved to England? Clever girl...

Madonna is headlining the Super Bowl show this year. Awesome. Can we start talking about how she’s older now and less attractive than she was at 25 again?

Amanda Knox got a book deal with the same agent who repped noted Muslim extremist and US President Barack Obama. Good for her too! I’m still waiting for her Maxim spread with Casey Anthony though.

I know I’ve got an Info-tainment rule about old news, but why’d Michael Jackson have to die? That guy was the gift that kept on giving. And why are his kids white? Suspicious. Someone should make them famous so they eventually write a book that explains things.

What the hell is this twitter everyone’s talking about? All this instant gratification and instant commentary is exhausting to this gossip hound. You should have to wait until the next day – nay, for next week’s column – to hear insightful, witty opinions on the week’s goings-on. I should write a letter to the editor complaining about this and mail it out first class delivery, post haste! What? The postal service is stopping guaranteed next day delivery too? Why can’t everything be the same as it was before?

USPS Socialists

I didn't want Obama's socialist Muslim postal system reading my mail anyway.

The Real Housewives. The only thing real about these shows is the painful reality that we live in a culture that worships them. Shame on you, America. Shame.

Apparently Miss USA was arrested for drunk driving. But that’s not the news! She’s Muslim, too! Did anyone bother to check this before they gave her that crown? Christ. First a Muslim president, now this. Next thing you know the winner of American Idol will be a Muslim. Then we’re in real trouble.

It’s been another crazy week in the Infotainment news room. Don’t get overwhelmed by all the glitz and glamour though. Keep your head down and your eyes on the stars, and you’ll be doing just fine!

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Way Too Many Words Spent Categorizing Reality TV

Snow was up to my belt. And my car was stuck. What else was I supposed to do but watch Top Chef?

I decided to take reality TV and categorize it. I can’t believe I ended up doing this. All I really wanted to do was rail on terrible television, but it ended up turning into this. Kinda sad actually. Anyway, I’ve been snowed in for three days. I found it wasn’t “reality” TV I hate –just bad TV. There are lots of programs that are “reality” programming that are enjoyable and well made. What I can’t stand is the wave of cheap, non-union* written programming that came about in the past decade. Anyway, take a look. I might have gotten some of this wrong – and I’m pretty sure a lot of the categories could be interchangeable – but I don’t care.

*Yeah. Non-union. There was a writers’ strike. Remember that?Reality TV’s popularity was an unintended by-product of the networks’ union busting.

Game Show

Cash Cab

Fear Factor

Wipeout

Traditional Game Shows

Jeopardy

Wheel of Fortune

Who Wants to Be a Millionaire

Weakest Link

Price is Right

Other than content, there isn’t much difference between newer game shows and older ones. The only real standout is Cash Cab. The more up to date “reality” element here is that the participants did not decide to get on the show – they were randomly sampled. Therefore, one assumes they wouldn’t have as much coaching*. Furthermore, most camera shots are from inside the cab, which one would assume is easily covered for all angles.

*As happens in all other game shows and, I assume, most “unscripted” reality shows.

Documentary

Modern Marvels

Unwrapped

How It’s Made

Nature Programs

Intervention

Hoarders

Really? You enjoy watching people suffer?

All of these shows border on the traditional documentary. I see the above shows as documenting something rather than engineering it. Certainly there’s some of that here – especially in Intervention and Hoarders. Some of that goes on in your traditional documentaries though. There are elements of this in some other shows – like Pawn Stars and Storage Wars. However, those usually have more scripted conversations and staged encounters.

Random Host-Driven Experiential

No Reservations

Weird Foods

Other Travel Shows

MythBusters

Dirty Jobs

Survivorman

Man vs. Wild

I wanted to put these in Documentary, but there’s too much engineering going on here. Clearly, in each of these cases you have people doing pre-planned and staged events. However, the fact that it’s pre-planned and staged is understood. The experience the participants have in the event is what we’re looking for in addition to the outcome, which we assume isn’t predetermined.

Science Experiment

Survivor

Big Brother

The Amazing Race

The Real World (?)

Sometimes competitive, but not judged in a traditional sense. The appeal is based more on the interaction between contestants than the skills they possess. However, skills come into play. The surroundings and scenarios are understood to be set up and the participants’ actions and interactions are what attracts the viewer. It’s borderline sociological study.

Competition

Does anyone actually idolize any of these people? Does anyone even know who they are?

American Idol

America’s Got Talent

Dancing With the Stars

America’s Next Top Model

Project Runway

Top Chef

Cupcake Wars

Cake Boss

Judged in a more traditional way – with a panel or numbering system. The main focus of the show is not the interaction between contestants but the skills they put on display. Cupcake Wars is the natural conclusion to over-dramatizing relatively normal tasks. Cupcake making in no way should ever be compared to war. I think we can all agree on that one.

Slice of Life/Work

Queer Eye for the Straight Guy

Ace of Cakes

American Chopper

Pawn Stars

American Pickers

Auction Hunters

Storage Wars

Ice Road Truckers

Deadliest Catch

Axe Men

Storm Chasers

Apparently we are so interested in buying storage units at auction that our viewership demands two shows devoted to it. America, we're all to blame.

Focused more on the task than the people. At its worst this is manufactured reality, but at best is closer to documentary. The biggest difference between this and documentary is that the mechanics of the work could actually be explained in a few hours of time. You could imagine any one of these jobs being summarized on Modern Marvels or Mike Rowe doing the job itself on an episode of Dirty Jobs. The way this becomes a TV show is that they focus on characters and differences in interactions. While the personality of the host(s) is important, the focus of the show is the work.

For example, they don’t make same cake every time on Ace of Cakes and they buy different things every time on Pawn Stars. There are also different problems that arise outside the normal routine of work during each episode of Deadliest Catch, IRT, etc. Still, personalities play a big part in these shows along with manufactured events and drama and day to day work.

Manufactured Reality/Slice of Life Personal

More analogous to Scripted, Professionally Acted Shows. Cheaper though. When you watch these shows, it’s the equivalent of getting an Indian person when you buy something made in China… or Alabama.

The Osbournes

The Hills

Jersey Shore

Keeping Up With the Kardashians

Girls Next Door

Lorenzo Llamas’ Show

Gene Simmons’ Show

The Surreal World

John and Kate Plus Eight

Sarah Palin’s Alaska

Madness

Ladies and gentlemen, the logical conclusion to Ronald Reagan's America.

This was originally pitched as being more documentary than slice of life – that they would focus on the beauty of Alaska. Definitely wasn’t. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if the producers were the same as Jon and Kate Plus 8. The only executive producer I could find was the same guy who produced Survivor and The Apprentice.

Little People, Big World

Orange County Choppers

19 Kids and Counting

The only one who has a claim to fame outside of this show is the one with the big butt. She released a homemade porno. Oh, and her step-dad was an Olympic swimmer or something.

I think the differences in quality here depend on the acting ability of the hosts/participants. The “reality” on Keeping up with the Kardashians is hard to believe because the people on the show are not good actors. They’re not even good people – they look fake and got famous because one of the daughters had sex on camera with a D-list star.

Mike Rowe or Anthony Bourdain might be better actors, which is why they’re more believable. The key difference between Dirty Jobs and The Hills, however, is content. There is clear content on the former. Mike Rowe is doing different jobs and showing the details of them. On No Reservations, Bourdain is going to different places, eating different foods. In both cases, they make those things entertaining by being charming, insightful and funny.

Slice of life shows are completely different. They make themselves out to be following someone or some group of people and documenting their crazy lives. Problem is, no matter how famous you are your day to day life isn’t that exciting*. When something exciting does happen, what if the camera doesn’t catch the right moment? Maybe they don’t catch your reaction. A good example is from Little People Big World. They make a trebuchet for flinging pumpkins, which is awesome. Unfortunately, it malfunctions and seriously injures the youngest son and a family friend. The cameras didn’t catch it though it was by far the most dramatic and action-packed moment in the show.

*Generally it goes something like this: Sleep, eat, shit, drive, work, drive, eat, sex, sleep. You can mix those things up, but they’re mostly boring or non-FCC compliant.

So how do you make the show exciting? Script it out. I have an ex-girlfriend who watched the Hills. I watched it once*. It was instantly obvious that reality played little role in making the show. First, they sound like bad actors. I spent plenty of time watching late-night Cinemax and Showtime in mid-90s, so I know what it sounds like. Second, the shots are staged. You would need a ridiculous number of cameras and cameramen to cover someone all day long. You need to know exactly where they’re going, where they’re going to stand, etc. Otherwise you run the risk of missing action or participant’s reactions. You also might miss what they say. That’s why on some reality shows they have to subtitle – because the actors – sorry, participants – get out of range of the sound booms.

*I also broke up with her soon after.

Yeah. This shit will get you dumped, ladies.

I like some reality programming. I got into Survivor for a bit. It was well-done and reminded me of a more entertaining sociological experiment. Right now I enjoy Pawn Stars. The pieces that are brought in and their history are interesting. I don’t enjoy interactions between the employees. I very much enjoy documentary-type shows like Modern Marvels and Unwrapped but don’t care for Hoarders or Intervention. Mythbusters is brilliant. The two main hosts are charming, funny, and intelligent. It’s very well produced, and the science content is good, if not comprehensive.

I’ve really gotten into Top Chef, which doesn’t surprise me. As a kid, I watched cooking shows obsessively. It’s a well-done show, and the drama quotient is usually at a minimum. The chefs have talent, and the judges don’t get too dramatic for effect. Oddly enough, I enjoy Project Runway. I have no interest in clothes, but enjoy it in the same way as Top Chef. It’s a group of talented people being creative and coming up with a finished product. The personalities on the show annoy me far more than those on Top Chef, but the content is somewhat similar.

No surprise: I can’t stand the “slice of life” shows. They don’t feel genuine because they’re mostly staged. They aren’t interesting either. Even when they manufacture scenes and drama, the result isn’t entertaining. These are boring people who usually don’t have jobs or anything going on in their lives. Most of them are famous for being famous. Maybe their parents did something interesting, or maybe they had sex with a D-List celebrity, filmed it, released it, and got famous. Whatever the case, they have no talent . If they do, they certainly aren’t showing it.

Mostly, I hate that they promote a vapid, empty lifestyle that encourages young women to be selfish sluts and young men to be… well… selfish sluts. They glamorize superficial, unintelligent people. Maybe these shows are popular because people see themselves in them. Maybe it’s validation of their terrible lives. Since these “famous” people don’t do shit and are horrible people, it makes them look better. Or maybe not. Maybe they just allow people like me to be indignant and fill time that would have been better spent reading a book.

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Homeopathy is Bunk. Oscillococcinum is Homeopathy. Therefore…

Saw a commercial for a new* flu remedy called Oscillococcinum. First reaction was that it might be a drug company selling a flu remedy based on antibiotics. The name certainly sounds like an antibiotic. That would be ridiculous, because antibiotics don’t cure viruses. They even know this in Mississippi.

*It’s not

Bunk. Fake. Bullshit.
This really looks like medicine, but it’s not.

 

A few months ago I came down with bronchitis. Because I was out of town I went to the emergency room, and ended up with a doctor I liked. He said cold remedies are completely useless except as a pain reliever. According to him, the only over the counter cold remedy that works is Sudafed. Furthermore, he said honey was just as effective at helping a sore throat as your Nyquil and other over the counters. He also told me using antibiotics would be completely useless in 99.9% of cases. That’s because bronchitis is almost always caused by a virus. Influenza is also a virus*. If your doctor says you have the flu – or bronchitis– and gives you antibiotics, all he’s really doing is making the pharmaceutical companies money. He’s also shutting you up by giving you a placebo.

*Duh. Although it can sometimes be accompanied by or followed up by a bacterial infection

We’ve all thought when we take Nyquil all we’re doing is knocking ourselves out so we can stay asleep. And that’s pretty much what’s happening – you’re just getting yourself high and falling asleep. It doesn’t cure you, but it does help you tolerate being ill. Oscillococcinum isn’t even doing that. Wanna know why? Because nothing’s in it. The active ingredients – which are duck guts – are so diluted that even if they were a cure for the flu they wouldn’t be in high enough concentration to have any effect. It’s a homeopathic remedy, and homeopathy is absolute, undeniable, quackery bullshit. It’s a sham.

Here’s a quick synopsis of how the drugs used in homeopathy are created:

1)      Take something that has little to no provable ability to cure a given medical condition. For example, duck guts for the flu.

2)      Put it in solution with a solvent (usually simple water or alcohol).

3)      Bang that solution, while in a vial, on the lab desk a few times.

4)      Take that solution, dilute it down further with the same solvent, and repeat.

5)      Continue repeating until the original active ingredient is diluted to such a level there’s a chance none of it is left in solution.

6)      Tell people this will cure their illness – preferably one that doesn’t have a scientifically proven cure – and take their money.

That’s actually the process. The key part here is when they bang the solution on the counter. This is when the water or alcohol somehow takes on the properties of the dissolved ingredient. Really. That’s what they say. Don’t you think if this worked we would know about it? That we would be taught these things in elementary school? We could cure world hunger – drop a piece of steak in a bottle of water, shake it up and BAM – steak water. Protein for all.

Homeopathy!

For example, you could make a swimming pool full of Kool-Aid out of one glass! Oh, the possibilities!

Here is an exact quote from Wikipedia about Oscillococcinum:

“A popular homeopathic treatment for the flu is a 200C dilution of duck liver, marketed under the name Oscillococcinum. As there are only about 1080 atoms in the entire observable universe, a dilution of one molecule in the observable universe would be about 40C. Oscillococcinum would thus require 10320 more universes to simply have one molecule in the final substance.”

Yup. This solution is so ineffective we would need an unfathomable number of more universes to make it observable. And once we did that, we’d still just be observing duck guts.

I’d like to go on, but it isn’t worth it. Unless I get into the other facets of homeopathy, there

Oscillococcinum

If you want more concentrated Oscillococcinum, here you go.

isn’t much else to say. Really. Don’t use anything that markets itself as homeopathy because it’s purebred bullshit. If something’s an over the counter medicine, you should probably research before using it*. That alone doesn’t mean it won’t work, but it should give you reason to investigate. That’s not to say all prescription drugs work. However, when you’re prescribed something you are consulting a professional – called a doctor – whose job is to give you good advice. It might not end up being the right thing, but odds are it’ll be better than what you get while flipping between Top Chef and Keeping Up With the Kardashians.

*And try to find independent research and analysis

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The Onion Names the Healthcare Repeal Bill and Some Democrats Have a Change of Heart

The Republican-controlled House of Representatives today voted to repeal the comprehensive health care reform bill that passed less than one year ago by the then Democratically-controlled Congress. This was entirely a symbolic move because the Democrat-controlled Senate will not take up the bill, and President Obama would never sign it.

Another indicator of its symbolism is the bill’s name. Wait for it. It’s called the “Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act”. Did Christine O’Donnell come up with this title? Really. It sounds like something an angry blogger with a short vocabulary would come up with. This name is ridiculous. Maybe I just don’t read enough bill names. Maybe they’re all like this*. Somehow I doubt it

*I hear the first version of The Civil Rights Act was actually called the “Getting Black People a Seat at the Table So White People Can Sleep at Night and the College Kids Will Shut up Act”. LBJ came up with that I think, but with some more colorful wording.

I will not post the entire roll call because the House is too big. Instead, here is the breakdown by party and further breakdown of Democratic “no” votes by member and the interesting Democratic “yes” votes by member.

Party Yay Nay Did Not Vote
Republican 242 0 0
Democrat 3 189 1
Totals 245 189 1

The only person who did not vote on this was Gabrielle Giffords, for obvious reasons. Otherwise, the vote was almost entirely along party lines. If your representative is a Republican, then your rep voted against healthcare for all. Only three Democrats broke from the party line to vote for repeal. They also voted against the bill last year. Those people were:

Dan Boren (D-Okla.)

Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.)

Mike Ross (D-Ark.)

If you’re a Democrat in their district, you have to wonder if they’re going to support any legislation of importance from here on out. I wouldn’t be surprised to see any one of them switch parties.

There were 20 Dems who voted against the original bill but are no longer in office today. Of those, 16 had been voted out in the mid-term this past fall. The other four did not seek re-election.

What I’m interested in is which Democrats voted against the healthcare bill back in March of 2010 but then voted against repealing it now. What does this tell us? One could argue the eleven who won re-election in the fall actually helped their chances by voting against the original bill*. Of course there were many factors, and you can’t point to one. Personally, I don’t buy it. But it couldn’t hurt. The other conclusion you could reach is that it had no real effect, and those who lost anyway still lost.

It seems like the Dems who got re-elected anyway might feel safe. More importantly, we’re right at the beginning on their term. Maybe they’re hoping for long-term memory loss or a change in the national tone of the next two years. Maybe not.

*Dan Lipinski was my rep at the time, and I attended one of his town hall meetings. From the tone of that meeting, I wouldn’t be surprised if he voted against it the first time out of fear for his well-being. Catherina Wojtowicz is a loud, rude, hideous human being.

Democrats who voted against the original Healthcare Bill who are no longer in office:

Rep. John Adler (N.J.) – Voted Out

Rep. Zack Space (Ohio) – Voted Out

Rep. Ike Skelton (Mo.) – Voted Out

Rep. Mike McMahon (N.Y.) – Voted Out

Rep. Artur Davis (Ala.) – Succeeded by Democrat Terri Sewell after running for Governor.

Rep. Charlie Melancon (La.) – Succeeded by Republican Jeff Landry after running for Senate.

Rep. Rick Boucher (Va.) – Voted Out

Rep. Michael Arcuri (N.Y.) – Voted Out

Rep. Lincoln Davis (Tenn.) – Voted Out

Rep. John Tanner (Tenn.) – Succeeded by Republican Stephen Fincher. Did not seek re-election

Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (S.D.) – Voted Out

Rep. Marion Berry (Ark.) – Succeeded by Republican Rick Crawford. Did not seek re-election

Rep. Harry Teague (N.M.) – Voted Out

Rep. Glenn Nye (Va.) – Voted Out

Rep. Jim Marshall (Ga.) – Voted Out

Rep. Travis Childers (Miss.) – Voted Out

Rep. Frank Kratovil (Md.) – Voted Out

Rep. Walt Minnick (Idaho) – Voted Out

Rep. Gene Taylor (Miss.) – Voted Out

Rep. Bobby Bright (Ala.) – Voted Out

Democrats who are still in office who voted against the original Healthcare Bill but voted against repeal:

Rep. Daniel Lipinski (Ill.)

Rep. Stephen Lynch (Mass.)

Rep. Ben Chandler (Ky.)

Rep. Jason Altmire (Pa.)

Rep. Chet Edwards (Texas)

Rep. Larry Kissell (N.C.)

Rep. Tim Holden (Pa.)

Rep. Heath Shuler (N.C.)

Rep. John Barrow (Ga.)

Rep. Collin Peterson (Minn.)

Rep. Jim Matheson (Utah)

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Doctor Phil and Moses and Cupcakes

Looks like Bridgestone Hired a College Freshman from 2001

Say this tire from Bridgestone out loud: Blizzak tires. It’s like they’re saying black in goofy white person ebonics. When I heard it on TV when I wasn’t paying attention I thought it was a joke.

 

This guy loves Alien Ant Farm

This guy just travelled through time and got a job with a tire company.

Un-science Service Announcement

Cold weather sucks ass, but the cold itself doesn’t cause sickness. You get sick more often in the winter because you’re inside more and breathing re-circulated air*. You’re spending more time closer to other people who are exhaling diseased air vapor out their mouths. So when someone tells you to get out of the cold and come inside because you’ll get sick, don’t believe them. They’re telling you to come into a smog of disease.

*And if you’re cool like me, making out with the ladies#.

#Lady* in the singular.

*She’s not really into kissing.

Moses Was Trippin’ Balls and That Makes Him Cooler

After reading a Cracked list*, it lead me to the theory that Moses may have been on mushrooms when he “got” the ten commandments. This makes a lot of sense to me. Lots and lots of religious groups use psychoactive drugs in their religious ceremonies. They get the participants closer to God. As a man of science, I don’t interpret things that way, but I could be wrong. I’ve experimented in the past, and I get why the stuff you see and think could easily be interpreted that way. I just thought it was cool, but it definitely opened my mind to the reality that I don’t know everything.

*I can’t believe one of my favorite websites is from the second-best pre-pubescent humor magazine I read as a kid.

No Surprise Here

Warren G. Harding was a member of the KKK. Woodrow Wilson wrote that the KKK was a savior of the Southern part of our country. Meanwhile, LBJ, a bigot, and Nixon, an ass-hole, were probably the two most pro-active presidents in civil rights. And the first gay president*, Gerald Ford, was a Republican!

*A friend of mine swears on it. Ford’s dead, so I guess I gotta believe the friend.

Furries Take China!

I know I’ve said a lot of negative things about furries in the past, but apparently it has real-world applications.

Blood Libel? Who Taught Her That Phrase?

After this and especially this it doesn’t even seem worth it to write about Sarah Palin. She’s gone beyond being a joke and entered tragedy mode. The tragedy is, she’s pregnant with my friend Scott’s baby right now.

Don Blankenship Is a Very Rich Murderer

One can only hope this ass smoker dies alone of penis cancer… at an old age. He is a murderer. If corporations are considered people, then why can’t they be tried for murder?

Phew. Glad The Braves Didn’t Pick This Guy Up Mid-Season Like I’d Hoped

I love it when baseball and politics collide. No surprise it’s coming from a dumb, loud mouth white guy. I knew something had been missing from my baseball since Curt Schilling retired. Not to re-hash old things, but Obama was born in the United States. John McCain was not. Also, I seem to remember Republicans saying a few years ago they should get rid of that rule for Arnold Schwarzenegger. Obviously this is not about where Obama was born – it’s about painting him as an outsider – and as black as possible.

MacGyver Will Kick Your Ass. No, Not Really. He’d Sit You Down and Talk About It

Was watching MacGruber* and couldn’t stop thinking about Richard Dean Anderson. It

 

Fair Trade MacGyver Autograph.

lead me to this:

“A PERSONAL MESSAGE FROM RICHARD[Dean Anderson]:

It was brought to my attention that fans of Stargate, more specifically, Jack O’Neill, were shelling out good money for bad forgeries. The fact that fans were being duped pi**ed me off to no end! … What you receive from Paul will have been signed by ME (my name is Richard Dean Anderson!) My arrangement with Legends … deposits ALL monies collected into the hands of several charitable organizations I have supported over the decades. Those of you who know me, will know my intentions and most likely, for those who have followed closely, my motivation. In anticipation of your involvement with Legends, please accept my heart-felt thanks. Also, I can only promise to try and improve my handwriting. Currently, it sucks! I will work on legibility first with signature styles…then content.

More life to you all!!”

Khloe Kardashian, You’re Why the Rich Should Be Sterilized

This is not rape. I’m sick of people using the term outside of its correct context. To use it in any other context is to devalue its actual use, and that’s wrong. Khloe Kardashian is an idiot. At most, this is assault. More appropriately, it’s a fucking physical. The people looking at the X-rays and doing the pat downs are no more likely to be getting pleasure out of it than your doctor. More importantly, why does anyone give a FLYING FUCK what this woman thinks about anything? Literally, she is famous because she is the sister of someone who fucked a D-list celebrity on video and released it. She’s the less attractive sister of a bad porn star.

FoxNews: Like the Jon Lovitz Character Who Yelled “ACTING” But With

Topical

 

Journalism

Come on. You’re not even trying anymore.

Image: Lovitz with the caption “Topical.”

Scientists Aren’t Republicans. Maybe That’s Because Republicans Hate Science

In other news, most firemen aren’t arsonists* and most exterminators aren’t termites. The right is far more vocal of their attack on scientific principles than the left – global warming, evolution, etc. If I were a professional scientist I certainly wouldn’t support candidates that support a party that doesn’t support the facts I rely on. If I were a scientist I’d be figuring out how to make a sex whistle. That’s like a dog whistle that makes women horny. Put a patent on it. Done!

*Scott Glenn in Backdraft excluded.

His Name Is Skeet. Do You Know What That Means?

Skeet Ulrich is named after an ineffective form of birth control. Guess we know how your parents came up with your name… no pun intended.

You Do What With Balloons? And It Does What To You?

Apparently there’s a market for “balloon porn”. I’m not providing a link. If you want to look it up it’s a free country. This is one of the most fascinating of weird fetishes. It seems like a joke, but if it turns you on go for it I guess. It certainly seems harmless. The images are funny, but don’t border on creepy. It’s hilarious because the women are doing things like putting two big balloons up their shirts and acting like their boobs are bigger. I mean, this is something I did when I was 10. It was hilarious then and hilarious now.

Cupcakes Are Not Entertaining! They’re Just Little Cakes!

The War of the Roses was actually fought over an icing rose - hence the name.

 

There is a show called Cupcake Wars. CUPCAKE WARS! Let’s dissect the name. Cupcake is not a metaphor – the people who are on this show make cupcakes. Wars is a (misplaced) metaphor. They’re not actually at war. A war over cupcakes would be the most tragic thing ever. Even getting upset over cupcakes seems pretty tragic. Wasting a half hour of your life watching an over-dramatized show about cupcakes? Also tragic. There are two shows about stores that make cakes on television. TWO SHOWS. Clearly, there are too many TV channels with too much time to fill.

Did I Mention Fox News Is Horrible?

FoxNews lost journalistic credibility a long time ago. Let’s keep piling it on though. If this were the sixties this anchor would be asking why she couldn’t say n****r. Lady, you’re hardly a journalist. You work for Fox News, so you’re a political commentator. If one group is offended by something and another group doesn’t really care either way, then where is the dilemma here? Why not just use the word that isn’t offensive? If a minority group prefers to be called something they find un-offensive, then what’s the problem? Is the problem that the majority enjoys using the offensive term? That they enjoy making fun of the minority? Maybe it’s because by making fun of the minority they dehumanize* them a little so it’s easier to take advantage of them. You are an ass-hole, Megyn Kelly. Fuck you.

*What do you think of when I say “alien”? Right. Little green men. Not human.

Doctor Phil, I’m So Mad I’m Going to Spend 740 Words On You

Doctor Phil is a flim-flam man. He’s not a licensed doctor, so I don’t know why he’s allowed to call himself one. He speaks in seemingly thoughtful but ultimately empty jargon and platitudes and he makes millions off it. Oh, and he’s an abusive, predatory scum bag.  The following quotes are all stupid, but whether they’re right or not isn’t the point. Most of them could be considered positive, but that’s not why he says them. He’s not giving good advice – he’s saying things that sound good for the camera.

Failure is no accident.

Not a doctor. Just plays one on TV.

 

This is… wrong. Most people do not intentionally – either consciously or subconsciously – set out to fail. Sometimes it’s by planning or executing things unavoidably wrong. Sometimes it’s actually an accident. Lots of things happen because of accidents for the exact same reasons. He might as well say “There are no accidents.” Actually, that sounds like something he’d say…

Anger is nothing more than an outward expression of hurt, fear and frustration.

You could either say this is flat-out untrue or a pointless exercise in talking. Take your pick. Either way, it’s obvious he’s saying anger is a bad thing. Being the focus of anger is a social consequence of being an ass-hole and breaking norms. Conversely, it’s a way for us to enforce those norms. For example, if I ended up on Mr. Phil’s show I would be angry at him because he’s an opportunistic predatory ass-hole.

Life is a marathon, it’s not a sprint.

Time is relative. Shut the fuck up, Phil.

Awareness without action is worthless.

Sometimes you make the right decision, sometimes you make the decision right.

Ahhhh sound bites. Full of air and mustache hair.
The most you get is what you ask for.

Unless you’re raised rich and you get everything handed to you. And if you ask for too much, then you run the risk of not getting anything.

A man can’t ‘just be friends’ with another woman. Period.

Maybe Phil is a sex-crazed psychopath who can’t interact with women without controlling himself, but I am. I think/hope most other men are, too.

No dog ever peed on a moving car.

I had a dog. Took it in my car once on a long trip. It peed in the car. Moving car. Dog peed on it. I have no idea what the context is of this quote, but I doubt it made much sense.

Sometimes you just got to give yourself what you wish someone else would give you.

Shutup, Phil; my body doesn’t bend that way. Usually you need/want things from other people because you can’t give it to yourself. So what’s he talking about? When you want somebody to buy you a new TV but they don’t, so you buy one for yourself instead? Awesome advice.

Opinions are like asses, everybody’s got one!

Not a Phil original, but it’s appropriate. It’s usually said when you’re trying to make a blanket disqualification of differing opinions to your own. Generally used when you’re wrong.

Are you doing what you’re doing today because you want to do it, or because it’s what you were doing yesterday?

No, you’re doing what you’re doing because everyone can’t do what everyone wants to do. It’s a loaded question that sounds great but isn’t in practice. No one wants to make minimum wage at Taco Bell, but America needs its chalupas. He’s trying to say that if something’s wrong you need to change it, but it’s a typical American Dream fallacy that if you switch things up they’ll be better. Trust me – McDonald’s is no better than Taco Bell.

I'm smiling because you think platitudes are medical advice. I also just stuck my thumbs in two cats' ass-holes and I love the smell.

 

You cannot be who and what you are unless you have a lifestyle, both internally and externally, that is designed to support that definition of self.

That is a definition disguised as wisdom. “Who you are” is defined as your “lifestyle, both internally and externally”. So all he’s doing is defining self without advice or analysis. It doesn’t help. But it sounds good! What a dick.

You’re only lonely if you’re not there for you.

Lunacy. I know his audience is made up of people who are mostly home alone during the day – and probably surrounded by cats – but being lonely is one of those healthy emotions. If you don’t have anyone to support you, you’re in bad shape. We’re a social species. You’re a sociopath, Mr. McGraw, so you should know that.

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Tuscon Shooter’s Videos – Some Text Transcribed

I’ve been following the mass murder of people in Tucson today. It’s horrific, and my thoughts go out to everyone involved. Jared Lee Laughner was arrested as the main suspect. I went to his Youtube channel, which you can watch here, and watched some of this videos, assuming I would see something like common extreme political views. I didn’t. There’s nothing other than crazy. It’s mostly text with music, with a few diagrams as you can see here. I also typed out some of the text below – hopefully I didn’t mess up any of it, but I wanted to make sure I captured some in case youtube takes them down. His words are in italics.

This is a screen shot from one of the videos, which you can still watch on youtube.

Seems like a guy who wants control maybe. Wants to change things, but clearly doesn’t know how to articulate that change.

You control every – thought, action, and lifestyle – for the person or people as the mind controller.

He also talks about himself as a terrorist, which of course he is.

If I define terrorist then a terrorist is a person who emplys terror or terrorism, especially as a political weapon.

I define terrorist.

Thus, a terrorist is a person who employs terror or terrorism, especially as a political weapon.

If you call me a terrorist then the argument to call me a terrorist is Ad hominem.

You call me a terrorist.

Thus, the argument to call me a terrorist is Ad hominem.

It sounds like he tried to be in the military. I wonder if he didn’t pass the mental evaluation…. Or if he was in process of joining. Crazy. Scary.

Every United States Military recruit at MEPS in Phoenix is receiving one mini bible before the tests.

Jared Loughner is a United States Military recruit at MEPS in Phoenix.

Therefore, Jared Laughner is receiving one mini bible before the tests.

I didn’t write a belief on my Army application, and the recruiter wrote on the application: None.

There is a lot of talk about “currency”.

Firstly, the current government officials are in power for their currency, but I’m informing you for your new currency! If you’re treasurer of a new money system, then you’re responsible for the distributing of a new currency. We now know – the treasurer for a new money system, is the distributor of the new currency. As a result, the people approve a new money system which is promising new information that’s accurate, and we believe in a new currency. Above all, you have your new currency, listener?

I wonder if this “currency” is just his way of talking about a complete change in government. Just from watching this, the guy is clearly very disturbed. The thoughts don’t go together.

Want a chill down your spine? Watch this. It’s Laughner’s “favorite” on his Youtube channel.

This is a horrific, awful tragedy. This guy is hardly articulate, and he seems like a genuinely disturbed person. I hope we learn more about his motivations in the coming days. Our country has been going down a path of violent rhetoric the past two years, and I genuinely hope this isn’t connected. I want things to get better, not worse.

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