Friday, January 05, 2007

In Defense of the Federal Minimum Wage

In an Op-ed article in the Washington Post of Thursday, George Will stated that rather than increasing the Federal Minimum wage, it should be abolished. His argument is porous at best and ridiculous at worst.

Firstly, he uses numbers to back his case. One numbers argument he poses is that of the 0.6% of Americans currently earning the minimum wage, a minority (20%) are in families with earnings below the poverty line. But fewer than 20% of Americans are not currently below the poverty line. Clearly, a disproportionate number of minimum wage earners are living below the poverty line. He also points out that 29 individual states have already raised their own minimum wage. An increase in the minimum wage is good enough for those 29 states but not for the other 21? Granted, as Will points out, different states have different costs of living, but by raising the floor nationally, the higher cost states will have more leeway to implement further increases down the road. And the lower cost states will continue to see worker benefits as a result of a stronger purchasing power.

Another argument posed by Will which indirectly refutes his overall argument relates to the elasticity of demand: as price goes up (in this case the price of labor) the demand goes down. He acknowledges that the smallest of increases will have negligible effect on labor numbers. But what he ignores are the few items which have inelastic demand. These are the things which, no matter the price fluctuations, demand will always be relatively unchanged. These are the things which are necessities which working families - no matter their relation to the poverty line - must have and the cost of which have risen dramatically since the Minimum Wage was last increased in 1997. Housing. Fuel. Insurance costs. In 1997, the average gas price was $1.10. Today, it is $2.29. That is an increase of 108%. Everyone is fully aware of the astronomical increase in the price of a home in the years after 9/11. Anyone living in Hurricane Alley knows the impact Global Warming - another supposed myth propagated by liberals - has had on home insurance prices. And health insurance prices haven't fared much better. At the very least, the Minimum Wage should track the costs of inelastic goods. Allowing the free market to dictate the minimum wage would only allow companies to see how many jobs they can force single parent wage earners into taking on.

Count my family among the 60% that Mr. Will points out as having a part time minimum wage earner with an over-all house hold income above $40,000. My wife and I are a young couple, recent home owners and part of the struggling middle class that, for 6 years now, has, at best, been ignored or, at worst, beaten down by President Bush's corporate- and wealthy-friendly fiscal policies. My income is sufficient to cover our fixed - or inelastic - costs while saving a little for our future. What my wife earns at her part-time job, which pays the Florida Minimum of $6.40 per hour, while attending college is our disposable income. An increase of $1 per hour would represent an additional $30 a week we can spend on books, movies or a dinner out. For a middle class family like mine, that level of increase is the real, physical equivalent of Bush's fanciful economy stimulation as a result of his beloved tax cuts to the wealthy. I have known wealthy people and my experience has been that, if you give wealthy people more wealth, that's simply more money they can save. However, if you give people who will likely never be independently wealthy just a modest increase in income, that's more money they can use to stimulate the economy through greater spending power - spending power that they actually exercise.

I suppose, though, in Mr. Will's arguments, we're living in the lap of luxury because my wife is actually earning more than the federal minimum wage. He makes it sound as though having some extra cash in your pocket is wasted on the likes of a student or a teen. He makes it sound as though that pocket money were better suited in the lofty accounts of the Waltons or the other owners and investors of the major corporations that see to it their hourly employees' earnings remain at or around the Federal Minimum. If only he could recognize the actual impact that cash can have for one of those middle class families.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Predictions for 2007

Here are some thoughts looking forward into 2007.

- Jenn and I will complete the entry way to our house some time in the spring.
- We will have closet doors on all of the closets but none of them will be stained by the end of the year.
- Our bathrooms will still be ugly.
- We will have most of our pictures hung by February but Jenn will hate the way it looks and comment as much frequently.
- My brother will get furniture for his new house but not before Trina's first birthday party.
- Greta will finally be house trained early in 2007 but Elwood will still submissive pee on occasion and will bark at Blair no matter how many times he comes for a visit.
- Elwood and Greta will spend their first whole day without play fighting some time around July.
- Jenn and I take 3 separate trips to Disney World. One will be a day trip after which Jenn will declare that she never wants to do one of those again.
- I bowl a 250 game.
- The University of Pittsburgh basketball team will reach the Sweet 16 but bow out to a team with far less talent.
- The Pittsburgh Steelers will have another disappointing season. This time, it will be clearly the fault of their new head coach: Russ Grimm.
- The University of Miami rebounds by winning the ACC but gets shut out of the National Championship game due to low early season ranking and a late season loss.
- Pitt will taunt it's fans with excellent play all year after losing very early in the season only to crush our hopes again by losing their final 2 games.
- My fantasy football team will finish 3rd in the league and will lose in the Championship game.
- Grissom will leave CSI. The show will find a way to be good without him.
- Jack will save the day in 24. It will be his last season of carrying the show from start to finish.
- A Lindsay Lohan sex tape will be released.
- At least one famous socialite will die of an eating disorder.
- TomKat break up and the Kat part of the duo comes out with a scathing interview about Scientology.
- Bush's approval rating dips to 25% in some polls.
- Congress accomplishes nothing in way of oversight thanks to stall tactics of the Administration. At least one Administration official is indicted for failing to follow a court order.
- Another Administration official resigns and publicly lambastes the administration, and in particular the Village Idiot, for being inept and failing to listen to advice or recognizing the fact that it is headed down the wrong path in Iraq.
- Hillary Clinton and John McCain will end the year as the favorites for their parties' Presidential Nominations, but neither will actually win it. In both cases, it will be someone nobody is talking about right now. Hillary and Bill Clinton get a divorce in 2009.
- All of my friends will have a wonderful 2007!!!

Monday, December 18, 2006

How not to pick your Secretary of Defense

The departure of Rumsfeld as the Secretary of Defense was a big huge love fest last week. The only think missing was Bush getting down on his knees and servicing the guy. But what was said about the man and the job he did by Cheney and the Village Idiot speaks volumes about why Rummy was probably a really crappy choice for the job in the first place. I'm not talking about the whole "hind sight is 20/20" thing here. I'm talking about Red flags as to why he was likely chosen in the first place that should have told people, "This guy will likely lead us in the most costly, senseless war in the history of the United States."

First and most obvious we have Cheney's comments describing Rummy as "his best boss, best friend, an 'ideal' public servant and 'the finest secretary of defense this nation has ever had.'" OK, stop laughing. I know, that last bit is so warped that you have to laugh to stop from crying. We all know that Bush has surrounded himself with close friends and political supporters regardless of back ground and experience (think Brownie as FEMA head). But it's one thing to hire some guy you have known for a while and trust to do a good job to paint your house. It's another thing to hire a former boss and "best friend" to be your Defense Secretary. I love my friends Blair and Eddie but the most they would get if I were President are speech writer and gambling advisor, respectively.

The Village Idiot's comments were far more subtle in their foreboding and far more obvious in their idiocy. I know, it's pretty tough to top calling this guy 'the finest secretary of defense this nation has ever had.' Here is what VI had to say: "Don Rumsfeld has been at my side from the moment I took office. We've been through war together. We walked amid the rubble of the broken Pentagon the day after September the 11th, 2001. He was with me when we planned the liberation of Afghanistan. We were in the Oval Office together the day I gave the order to remove Saddam Hussein from power. In these and countless other moments, I have seen Don Rumsfeld's character and his integrity. He has always ensured I had the best possible advice. . . . He spoke straight. It was easy to understand him." I know what your expression is right now. You're sitting there staring at the screen after having reread that last line about 5 times with your mouth open in shock shaking your head. This one isn't a laugh or you'll cry. You literally don't know if you should scream in disbelief, laugh hysterically or just stare at the screen. The third is the easiest.

Firstly, they haven't "been through a war together." That would suggest that they actually accomplished something and that the war of their own creation isn't still on-going. The appropriate statement is, "We've started a war together." You could probably make a case for, "We've occasionally discussed a war together," as the closest thing to the truth and the actual statement.

Next, do you think Bush can get through a speech without reminding everyone that he was President during 9/11? And at what point is the general public going to put 2 and 2 together and realize that HIS incompetencies partially allowed 9/11 and he has done nothing to bring the perpetrators to justice? I know every time I hear him reference it, I fume for these very reasons.

Next next, If Afghanistan is so liberated, why do we still have soldiers there? And why is the Taliban continuing to re-emerge and make significant headway in parts of the country? You could make this statement if you actually saw the mission through rather than starting a 2nd and completely unjustifiable war. The statement should read, "He was with me when I cut and run out of Afghanistan without seeing the job through and without bringing our attackers to justice." Plus, my version lets him bring up 9/11 again.

That next sentence is not something he should really be hanging his hat on. It only makes the sheep in the country wonder why Rummy is the one getting the boot if this whole Iraq thing was entirely the Village Idiot's decision. Maybe he should have had someone with half a brain or some level of understanding of the Middle East with him when he gave that order to invade Iraq. Unjustly.

The last bit is the doozy: "He spoke straight. It was easy to understand him." That's it? That's the qualifications you were looking for when it came time to pick your Secretary of Defense? I'd love to the the Monster job description on that one. Too bad Fred Rogers wasn't available, he would have been the perfect candidate. The Village Idiot is basically admitting that he has a hard time understanding complex ideas. I can just hear him now, "I like that Simpsons show. That Homer fella is really funny. I always understand what he's saying. That Lisa though, I don't like her. She uses big words. When I try to listen to her, my head hurts." I would like to officially throw my hat in the ring for Secretary of Defense with the following statement. I will now demonstrate my ability to speak straight and be easily understood:

"Mr. President. You are the worst President ever. You have ruined the office of the President worse than Scrappy Doo ruined Scooby Doo. People around the world hate America because of you. The Iraq war is a worse idea than New Coke and it is sure to have a similar ending: pulling the plug and everyone being mad that we had to go through this terrible part of history with no real reason why it had to happen. You suck."

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Football vent

It was decided around October that this football season never happened. It's been and absolutely BRUTAL year in every regard. Seriously, nothing has made sense to me and nothing has gone right. Actually, very little in this season has made sense to ANYONE this year.

We'll start with the big: the anomalies that are just terrorizing fans everywhere. It has never been this difficult to pick winners. Usually, if you pick the favorites, you're going to get 12 of the 16 games right on the weekend. If you get lucky and pick the right upsets, you win the office pool. This year, forget it. Of the weeks I've been paying attention to such things, there have been 2 where the Underdogs have won more games than the favorites including last week where the dogs won - outright - 10 of the 16 games on the schedule. THAT'S SICK!!! You remember the scene in Back to the Future 2 where Marty buys the sports almanac in the future and intends on using it to get rich in the present? Well, all he'd have to do is wait for a weekend like this past one, and he'd clear over $50,000 EASY by risking less than $5,000 on very reasonable bets. No red flags there. Just a guy getting lucky on deciding that this was the weekend he was going to throw a bunch of money on the underdogs. Parlay the money lines on all the dogs on the board and you're done. Easy money.

The stupid thing about all of these dogs winning is that there's only one team currently leading their division where, at the start of the season, every expert in football would have called you insane for picking them: New Orleans. That's it. The only other team leading their division that was a loser last year is Baltimore, but they were everyone's dark horse darling in the AFC because they improved an already good defense and got a good QB with something to prove. And really, the only 2 teams that a majority of people felt would contend this year that are stinking up the joint are the Steelers and Dolphins. Of course, those are my 2 favorite teams, but more on that later. So, with few surprises at the very top, that means when 2 garbage teams are playing, just bet the dog. Odds are pretty good you're going to win. In fact, if a decent team is a big favorite over a garbage team, it probably makes sense to bet the dog there, too. The only 2 teams that you have to stay away from in all scenarios this year are Tampa and Detroit. Otherwise, any team is a good bet.

Now, a review of my REAL football teams: they both stink. The Steelers are finally coming around, but they could have very easily been 11-2 right now. In fact, given their level of play during 90% of every game, it would hard to believe that they'd be anything worse than 9-4. That is, if you covered up all statistics related to turnovers. Once you see that, well, it becomes easy to see this team sitting at 6-7. The only 2 games the Steelers offense did not out-perform their opponent were Jacksonville and Baltimore. They were man handled in both of those games. Under no circumstances were they going to win those 2. But in every other game, you take out one of their multiple TO's, and the Steelers' likely win. You take out TWO of them (leaving them with still more than 1 in each and every case), and they definitely win. It wouldn't even be close. They've killed themselves all year by stupidity. I'm not sure if I should be hopeful in thinking that stupidity passes and they'll be better next year or mad that they blew a good chance to put forth a solid title defense. At the very least, I am definitely looking forward to their cake schedule next year. They'll probably only have one prime-time scheduled game, but whatever.

As for the Dolphins, well, they were just plain bad. Their offense was terrible. The defense was beatable. They've come on of late, but way too little way way too late. There's no way any one should look at the end of this season and say it bodes well for next season. That rationale was what caused people to be excited in the first place.

And lastly, the part that everyone will skip, my Fantasy teams. They were all worse than my real life teams. I had my worst season EVER. I had a monumentally bad season. I can't even begin to describe my disappointment. Fantasy Football is something I look forward to each and every year. This year, my hopes and dreams were summarily crushed. Last year, I was in 5 leagues and made the playoffs in 4 of them. The year before, I was in 6 and made it through to 3 playoffs (winning 1). This year? 0-5! YIKES!!! Very depressing. The Fantasy Football subplot is what really ruined this season for me. It was an on-going issue from the start of the season on and it never let up. The only thing that kept me even remotely interested in this year was the chance to go over to Eddie's and watch games with him. Who knows what I would have done if it were another season of watching the games solo. It's safe to assume that Jenn would have had very little problem getting me to go out somewhere on the weekends.

So, the season is coming to a merciful close. I have no idea what to expect from next year. Am I going to be as excited for the start of the season as I usually am? Probably. But I will definitely be a little bit more on the defensive. I'll certainly have my guard up. And I'm DEFINITELY going to do a lot more homework for the Fantasy Football.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


Having a dog is a lot of work. Having 2 dogs is REALLY a lot of work. When one of those dogs decides, after nearly 2 weeks of perfect behavior, to start peeing where ever she wants whenever she wants with very little warning, well, let's just say those aren't your favorite moments.

I've never had a dog before, so when we adopted our first dog, Elwood, I knew I was in for a brand new experience. We set ourselves up for a very interesting experience by picking the most skittish dog at the pound. When we was in his cage, he wouldn't go anywhere near the front, remaining in the way back, as far out of sight as possible. It took him a couple weeks before Jenn and I were allowed to be in the same room together without upsetting him. And while he's a very different dog now than he was when we adopted him, he's still extremely wary of strangers and isn't afraid to let you know it. Visitors are greeted with non stop barking from a dog that won't go anywhere near them. And anyone that approaches to pet him while we're out on our walks will only end up petting our legs because Elwood will be hiding behind us like a 2 year old at a family reunion. But for all his issues, he's actually a very smart dog. He picks up rather quickly on the commands covered in the obedience class we attend. Any limitations in learning are a direct result of my lack of time to train him. He is super loving, too. If allowed, he would lick Jenn or I all night. His preferred spot to rest is wherever he can find a lap.

Then we got Greta. She was my pick as Jenn was the one that chose Elwood. I picked her based on the fact that, when she came into the viewing room, she was the only dog that came directly to us rather than sniffing around the room for something else and likely more interesting. As Jenn says, she is the most loving female dog she has ever seen. For the first week, she wouldn't tug on the leash the slightest bit. She would reserve all bodily functions (except for burps, which she does frequently) for outside. She also had to be sequestered from Elwood. That was fun. When we brought Elwood to the pound for the doggie meet and greet to make sure they would get along, the wrestled with each other for 10 minutes straight. No break. Just a ball of fur rolling around on the floor. They attempted to recreate the scene every time they would see each other in passing. And then she had her stitches removed and they were allowed to meet. And for 2 days straight, there was nothing but more rough housing. I swear it would have never stopped if we ourselves hadn't had enough and put an end to it. Thankfully, they've calmed down a bit now and have cut the play fighting to about 50 minutes of every hour. If we can have it down to 40 by Christmas, it will indeed be a Christmas miracle. Coincidently or not, the doggie introduction coincided with Greta starting to covertly tinkle inside whenever she had the opportunity. The opportunity would be, specifically, whenever no one was looking. It started when we noticed our kitchen mat was wet but neither of us had done any dishes. Then the mat by the door was wet and it wasn't raining. Then the bedroom carpet was wet when she had been kept separate for a little while. It's only been a month, but this has definitely been a struggle. It was over a week before we actually caught her doing it to where we could yell no at her and run her outside. We now have to take her out every couple hours "just in case". And even that isn't frequent enough as just yesterday she went on the floor - privately - after having been walked 20 minutes before. Other than that, she really is a wonderful dog. She likes giving affectionate head-butts. She LOVES everyone, no matter who. Just about everyone loves her, too. If she could talk, she'd probably ask for a pet squirrel for Christmas. Most importantly, her and Elwood are huge friends.

Oddly enough, that last bit is part of the problem with having 2 dogs. First of all, they're usually way more interested in each other than anything you're doing anymore. Elwood isn't quite as interested in lap time any more. And when you need to get one of them to do something, good luck. The other would much rather continue the Fight for Doggie Dominance. I'm hoping that this is a temporary phase. I mean how long can dogs bite each other's ears and legs before it just gets boring and it's time to move on to paying attention tot eh humans again? It is entertaining for a while, but eventually, you don't want to hear the pitter patter of little paws any more. The aftermath isn't all that fun, or snuggly, either: 2 slobbery dogs.

Clearly, there are things that need some getting used to. Seeing Jenn lose her cool with them makes me feel less like an ogre when I'm about ready to lock them both up in a cage forever. Overall, though, the dog owning experience is an extremely positive one. I still have a lot to learn as do they. I'm definitely looking forward to the day when the greet each other with a couple licks and sniffs and that's the extent of it. Even more so, I am anxious for the day when we can leave Greta alone in a room and her not leave any puddles behind. I understand way dog owners are so passionate about their pets. These are animals that have a lot of love to give. And it's extremely rewarding when they do give it.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Library for Dummies

I just read a thing today in the Washington Post how The Village Idiot's minions intend to raise $500 million for the Idiot's library. It will be housed at SMU and will not only feature the library but will also be used to create a "think tank" where Idiot-friendly scholars are paid to write books and papers and opinions that speak favorably of the Idiot's "policies".

There are far too many obvious jokes to list here. But I'm going to try, damn it! I will list as many as I can come up with and you feel free to join in the fun.

- One cool thing about a library for a President with the Village Idiot's mental capacity: I bet it has a really great comic book section!
- Do you have to have documented proof that you burned at least 5 books making reference to evolution, global warming, or fossil fuel alternatives before you can be hired as a librarian at the Village Idiot's library.
- A THINK TANK for the VILLAGE IDIOT. The whole thing is a shallow end.
- We'll finally know the answer to the age old question: if everyone that visits a particular library is illiterate, do the books contain any words?
- Since it's the Village Idiot's think tank, shouldn't it more properly be called a think bowl? Or maybe think spoon?
- Over/under for pop-up books at the Village Idiot's library: 492. I'm taking the over.
- Only this President would need to pay people to continue to spin his "policies" AFTER he's President.
- Who would have thought it would cost $500 Million to relocate Fox News's headquarters to the campus of SMU?
- Any chance this library can get the same treatment the NCAA gave to SMU's athletic department?
- Why SMU? Did Liberty's campus not have the space and did heaven itself reject the idea?
- Has the opening of a library ever set thinking BACK 100 years?
- If you don't return one of your books on time to the Idiot's library, are you declared an enemy combatant? What techniques are at the librarians' disposal for retrieval of over due books?
- Given this administration's notoriety for secrecy, are there actually going to be enough documents to fill a library let alone a book?
- Invest in Glade stock now because sales of air-freshener in Dallas is going to go through the roof with the mountain of BS that's going to get piled up there.
- I'm not sure the librarians are going to be prepared for how much laughing there will be going on there. Intelligent people are bound to slip through the doors from time to time and it will be impossible not to laugh at the fiction being disseminated as facts there.
- I hope there's an interactive area where visitors can pretend to be the media. You get a chance to kiss the butt of a statue of the Village Idiot. You can ask an actor playing the Press Secretary a tough question and just watch him dance in response. And then on your way out, you're given a chance to copy, word for word, from a leaflet written by one of the members of the think spoon and see if you can get it printed as "news."
- In what section should we expect to find My Pet Goat?

I joke because otherwise, I'd want to cry. Seriously though, the dude spent less than that on his re-election. Wasn't that a big enough waste of money? Couldn't these idiots figure out something more important to do with it than memorialize and try to defend one of the most divisive Presidents ever. No? That's the best we can do? Pathetic. And I bet they call themselves Christians (People have used my father's religion against him in similar arguements, I figure I'm allowed once in a while, too!).

No Fun

This is something I wrote and intended to post on the Wednseday before Turkey Day. But I forgot. For the record, the closet door installation went very smoothly. So here you go:

The least productive 5 hours of a person's work year has to be the 5 hours after lunch and before he goes home on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. It's unrealistic to expect people to be able to concentrate on anything. Everyone's thinking about yummy food and a super long weekend. It's one of the things I miss the most about Sinclair: my manger understood such a concept. The culture at my current work is such that you get a threat of being fired if you try to forward an e-mail to your personal account. It's very different, very difficult to get used to and very unlikely to be letting people leave before 5 much less before 6.

Anyway, I decided that rather than sit around and not pretend to be busy, I'd write up a blog. It's by far the most productive thing I've done since I got back from lunch.

Stuff I'm thinking about that has nothing to do with work:

I can't wait to get home and se e my puppies. Elwood is so funny when I get home. He'll definitely be lying down on our bed. I'll walk in the room and his only reaction will be to roll over and offer up his belly for a good rubbing. I always comply. Our newest addition, Greta, will walk up and head butt you. Not hard or menacingly, but very gently and lovingly. It's best to sit on the floor as she approaches you with her head down so that you can really get full brunt of the love butt. She'll bury her head right in your chest. It's the best.

I bought closet doors for our bedroom (Greta is a serial chewer) and I'm extremely worried that they're going to be too big. I took measurements this morning and I measured them to be 4 feet, 10 inches. The door I got are 5 feet. The next smallest would have been 4 feet which would have just looked ridiculous. Of course there's a chance that I'm remembering incorrectly and instead of remembering that they were 2 inches shy of 5 feet, they might be 2 inches abover 4 feet. I'm really annoyed with myself for not writing the measurements down. But if I didn't get the doors today then it'd be another week before it'd be safe to brave the stores. I can't express how annoyed I am with this whole thing right now.

I'm looking forward to turkey and mildly concerned that I won't like the gravy that is being made. Dinner is being hosted by my brother's brother-in-law. It should be a good spread, but me and gravy go together like turkey and Thanksgiving.

I'm looking forward to going to Miami on Friday. Not sure what's on tap for the day, but I'm certain we'll have fun. If Jenn and I head down early enough, we'll get to go rollerblading. Even if we just sit around with Pamela an Blair it will be fun.

And I'm still thinking about the closet doors. Stupid doors!

Friday, November 17, 2006


I'll be honest: I fully expected Republicans to hold onto both houses of Congress last week. I thought that the Republican establishment, and the President in particular, had far far too much to lose if Democrats won. For the past 6 years, the Village Idiot has been able to run the government amok unchecked and the prospect of a Congress that would actually put a little bite behind it's Oversight role has to scare him silly. The thought of the Idiot and his handlers having to actually assign some accountability to their actions makes me absolutely giddy. The Rebulitards can call it whatever they want - their favorite is The Blame Game - I'm ready to play. It's time the American people know exactly how an administration as incompetent as this one manages to produce fiasco after fiasco. I just hope before it's all said and done we have a few answers on the lead up to Iraq, the rebuilding of Iraq and the response to Katrina. And that these messes will lead to even more disclosure.

So that's the first thing that makes me happy about the events of last week. The next is the idea that the press might actually wake up a little bit. They've been just as culpable in allowing the Village Idiot to get a free pass. He's been serving them up 9/11 flavored Kool-aid for 5 years and they lap it up. They need to stop acting as amplifiers to the Administration's message and start actually setting the agenda of public discourse. They need to demand real answers to the questions they pose and filter through the emptiness that is provided. Somebody other than Jon Stewart and Helen Thomas needs to step up and expose the entire Administration as the deceitful fear-mongers that they are. The people deserve to know that, just like in FDR's time, there is nothing to fear but fear itself. And fear is exactly what the Village Idiot serves up.

Like most everyone else, I was also thrilled when Rummy got the axe. You have to scratch your head and wonder why they'd wait until AFTER the election. It's likely that that small of a gesture would have been enough to push either Montana or Virginia in the direction of the Republicans in the Senate. How the Village Idiot didn't recognize that is a mystery. Except that you have to think that maybe they've been drinking their own Kool-aid. More than likely, though, they were probably concerned that showing a slight sign of doubt would disenchant a few more of their base voters. You know, the one's that weren't already disenchanted by the page sex scandal and a total failure to push forward the conservative social agenda.

But here's the really startling thing about this election: 34% of Americans still approve of the job Bush is doing. Who are these people?!?! I mean, his approval rating should be around 5%. 1% from the people that control over 80% of the wealth in the US, and 4% from idiots that think a Mexican sneaking across the border is going to steal their job. That's it. Those are the only people that he can even pretend to give lip service to any more. The Village Idiot has either botched every attempt (or non-attempt) to appease his base or actively marginalized everyone else. WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE!?!?!