Hot Air

They Love The Fight

Here’s a blurt: If you’re taking sides in the latest episode of the Israeli/Palestinian Hatfield/McCoy Feud, you’re part of the problem.

Gaza Violence 2014

Whose Explosions Do You Prefer?

Political Chairs

So, here comes news that Evan Bayh maybe, possibly, we’ll see, wants to be governor again. He’s sitting on a cool $10 million in his campaign war chest, which is the finest and best qualification for elective office in this holy land.

No one knows for sure if Bayh’s hot for the state’s top hot seat, but he ain’t sayin’ no way, mang. Bayh’s playing it coy by saying he’s too busy sending his sons off to college right now and he can’t be bothered with thinking about high offices. I believe him; surely, the lads needs their bags packed, their hair combed, their blue jeans pressed, and care packages prepared as they move on toward this next big step in their lives. Who else is going to handle those chores other than Indiana’s former senator and governor?

Generally, when pols play coy, that means they’ve made their minds up already and are merely waiting for the most opportune moment to announce their shiny new campaigns. And Bayh’s tilt for guv will be as shiny as any money can buy. Experts say his big wad makes him a formidable foe for the current occupant of the Hoosier guv’s mansion, Mike Pence. All Pence has going for him is a record of delivering to Indiana voters precisely what he promised them when he ran in 2012.

I call it a toss-up at this extremely early stage of the game.

Evan Bayh

Who? Me? Aw, I dunno.

Pence’s name, BTW, is still being bandied about by touts who are trying to dope out the 2016 presidential race. Smart guys here and there tossed his name around during the 2008 and 2012 contests, although no Pence for Prez activity ever crashed the nation’s internet servers.

Add to that the fact that Pence’s predecessor as governor, Mitch Daniels, also was seen as Republican presidential candidate timber. So what is it about Indiana governors that make them potential Oval Office occupants? Just off the top of my head, Indiana’s not a state infested with crime syndicate figures whose reach extends into the sitting Governor’s pockets, so Daniels, Pence, et al appear free of scandal in that sense. I’d always felt one of the main reasons Mario Cuomo never really ran hard for president was because his necessary dealings with New York’s mobsters would be thrown in his face at every campaign stop.

Indiana, too, is among the most anonymous of states. The Hoosier governor can go about his business without the corporate news media prying into his every orifice on a daily basis. So even if Pence, for instance, sabotages the state’s own Superintendent of Public Instruction, Glenda Ritz, national wags and wonks will simply shrug and say, So what? It’s Indiana.

All an Indiana governor has to do is look presentable, stay out of whorehouses and opium dens, and play coy about his presidential ambitions and next thing everyone knows he’ll be plumped as the next big thing. Hoosiers, BTW, are southern enough to appeal to a general electorate that prefers its presidents to sound more like Jimmy Stewart than Enrico Fermi, but not so much so that one can conclude they’ve just climbed down off a watermelon cart. Bill Clinton’s twang almost made him sound too southern for America’s liking, only his hillbilly patter was ameliorated by his Georgetown, Oxford, and Yale background. Pence and Daniels sound just right.

And, maybe, so does Bayh. Surely Bayh knows a return to the governor’s mansion will ignite talk of the White House for him. Here’s a safe bet: Should Bayh wrest the job away from Pence in 2016, and should Hillary Clinton let the White House slip through her fingers that same year, he’ll be a front runner for the Democratic nomination for president in 2020.

If I Were A Rich Man

John Oliver, for my money, is now outdoing his former boss, Jon Stewart, in the area of trenchant political commentary spiced with humor and smart-assed-ness. Oliver’s fairly new show, Last Week Tonight, is the go-to source for current events on the teevee today.

The other day, he explained why Americans vote against their own interests and in favor of those of the uber-rich time and again. My lefty friends constantly ask on the interwebs why we support policies that’ll benefit, say, the Koch Bros. while screwing ourselves. The answer’s simple. I’ve said it time and again and John Oliver said it too. Listen:

Ball Of Confusion

I know, I know, my pious friends and loyal readers are going to want to kick me in my ample posterior for this. And what follows will merely be a preaching to the choir among my fellow non-believers, but I thought I’d share this chart prepared by graphic designer Andy Marlowe diagramming the many contradictions found in the Bible.

Bible Contradictions

Each arc represents a refutation, repudiation, or outright denial of some statement found earlier in the text that is the basis for the worldview of more than a billion people on this Earth.

“The truth,” reads the Gospel of John, Chapter 8, “shall make you free.” OTOH, that statement’s surely negated elsewhere in the Bible.

[h/t to Maryll Jones.]

6 thoughts on “Hot Air

  1. David Paglis "..be not of that number who remain ignorant in spite of experience." says:

    John Oliver is funny and clever. But in the end, it boils down to an appeal to envy. The economy is not a zero sum game. The wealthy are not that way because the rest of us are not wealthy. Globalization and technology have created pressures to which we will have to adapt. Merely taxing money away from the rich wont change that.

    • Don Moore says:

      Rather, it boils down to an appeal to fairness, especially against dominated markets built upon the rent collection of the very wealthy, largely through their undue influence upon government.

  2. David Paglis "..be not of that number who remain ignorant in spite of experience." says:

    Regarding Israel: As a nation we have to choose a side. Consider the first amendment and it should be clear which side we should take. Also, Netanyahu is right when he says: If the Palestinians lay down their arms there will be peace; if Israel does there will be no more Israel.

  3. R.e. Paris says:

    LOL. I’ve been thinking about that John Oliver piece since I saw it the other night. Just posted it myself. Your friend, Paglis, ignores every bit of real data about the problem of income inequality and lies when he claims taxes on wealth will not ameliorate many problems – other nations have done just that – taxed wealth to redistribute income – and that has made their nations better for their citizens. Northern European social democracies have outpaced the U.S. on social mobility because they tax wealth and invest that money in education, health care, job training, infrastructure for MODERN life like bike highways, renewable energy… to claim globalization and tech have created pressures to which we must adapt, without acknowledging how this is done, is just stupidity. Stupidity. This is why I have so little hope for this nation – because of this sort of stupidity.

    • David Paglis "..be not of that number who remain ignorant in spite of experience." says:

      Ms. Paris, I should have been clear on “how this is to be done”. The answer is I don’t know and that is the key. It won’t be done with foresight but rather as our economy adapts in ways that can’t be foretold. Did anyone see globalization coming in the ’40’s or 50’s? Have faith in our system’s ability to adapt. Also, the Northern European social democracies are facing these same challenges. With the exception of Germany many have worse unemployment, particularly among the young, and their budgets are in worse shape than ours. We will see how they adapt to the new environment. Perhaps I am stupid, but too much of a gentleman to call you the same, at least out loud.

  4. Re: the Bible Contradiction site. I wouldn’t give this one props for pointing out “contradictions” (seriously, any reader of the bible has known this and this has been a general understanding, i.e., published and discussed, since at least the emergence of the “Higher Criticism” in Germany in something like the middle 18th c. However, the detailing of violence is instructive especially in particular books.

    But what makes it useful might be the fact that it makes the bible INTERESTING again to folks. How fascinating to click on those arcs and follow the verses and read the context.

    Of course you’ll discover that the contradictions aren’t always, well, contradictions. The very first one I clicked was Can God Do Anything? (http://bibviz.com/can-god-do-anything-sab.html) and the contradictions–where God can’t do stuff–are not contradictions and not assertions of God’s weakness at all but rather a weakness of faith (i.e., fear in battle) in the “chosen”; and the diminution of God into the Son–in which trust/faith/belief is even more the “moral of the story” than in the OT.

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