A family Enigma…

You may or may not know about something in the blogging world called a Carnival.  That’s where bloggers of a certain genre meet, collect the best of the past few weeks in that genre, and put them together in one blog.  Its a lot of fun checking out new blogs, hearing other viewpoints and ideas.  A few weeks ago Little Miss Know it All was selected for one, the Carnival of the Liberals #30.

While I was perusing issue #31, I found a great story that I thought many of you would enjoy.  I know that several of you are history buffs, military history buffs to be precise.  To narrow it even more, I know two of you have great interest in American-British military history.  Chris Dolley’s blog on the Enigma Machine should be of some interest.

 If its satire you crave, then head over to Avant News for a Rapture-ous surprise.  And remember, its satire. 

 Last, head on over to Vagabond Scholor for a treat–a compilation of the best in right-wing political cartoonists.  Vagabond is always good for starting a hearty debate…


This Week’s Funnies

It’s been a few weeks, so here’s a gathering of the past few weeks best in the world of editorial cartoons.. 

From John Darkow/Cagle News

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From the London Times…

From Jim Borgman at the Cincinnati Enquirer…

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 From The Examiner…

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From Cagle News…

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From Mike Smith, of the Los Vegas Sun:

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You’ve got to be kidding me…

littlemissknowitalld1.jpgToday Little Miss Know it All would like to open her files of stories that baffle her.  The kind that make her yell at the talking heads…”Are you freaking kidding me?!?”

Up first…Senator Joe Biden.  Now, many have asked me who I’m backing in the presidential race.  To this date, I don’t have a chosen candidate, because its way too early to be handicapping something as unpredictable as presidential politics.  But Senator Biden is a favorite of mine…I like his blunt honesty, his diplomacy, his media skills, and his presidential poise.  He’s also a wonk without being a bore.  Always a plus in my book.  Anyway, on his first day in the race for president, someone asked him to describe Senator Obama.  He called him “clean” and “articulate.”  Evidently, them were fightin’ words, as he’s now in the middle of a media firestorm, and evidently either implied he was gay, or that African Americans weren’t clean and articulate.    Surely, they must be kidding!  Politicians are highly competitive, ego-driven and not prone to saying nice things about each other.  With a race as crowded as this one, polite smiles are going to be forced and civility short lived.  However, Biden searched for something nice to say about a rival, and now he’s being smacked for using nice words about an opponent.  Are we really this bored that we have to twist words like clean and articulate into meaning something completely different? Don’t get me started on my favorite rant about deciding who we want to be…You complain about too much mud-slinging, then get bored and create it when a politician dares to say something nice about an opponent!

Second…Boston, Boston, Boston.  Something separates you from 12 other major cities in the US.  I would’ve thought it was all those Ivy Leaguers, or maybe that accent, and your hip-yet-east-coast-blue-blood ways.  Or all that great Irish heritage–Guinness and pubs on every corner.  But no, its that you were the city that panicked over some homemade Lite Brites while the rest of the country yawned at the advertising campaign.  You pushed the panic button without knowing what you were panicking over, and now you want to blame two 20-somethings for your own stupidity.  Just goes to show that having a lot of very smart people in a concentrated area doesn’t mean that you have a lot of common sense being bantered about…

 Third…General Casey and the White House.  As the White House runs around talking about anything but Iraq to distract our attention away from the issue at hand, General Casey, the General nominated to take control of the situation in Iraq, made a trip to Congress to answer questions.  Pressed by Democrats and Republicans alike on the President’s not -so-new-way-forward, he admits that he believes that we could secure Baghdad with a lot less than the 17,000 troops Bush wants to send.  His plan involved a different strategy.  But…he’s on board with the Bush plan.  Wait, back up, did the General in charge just say that his strategy would involve less troops and be different than the one Bush is proposing?  Are there no alarm bells ringing?  What’s up at the White House?  If you’re going to come up with a politically expedient plan (which its rapidly turning out to be a politically damning plan), at least draft a General who agrees with you wholeheartedly!  Don’t choose a General who you know will be confirmed, who will do a great job, and then tie his hands!

Okay, so here’s my question.  Are we that hungry, that desperate for scandal and intrigue that the first two stories get first run, top airtime, while the third is buried in the newspaper with only a few paragraphs?  Which one do you think matters more?

 Or is this more of the refocusing our attention away from Iraq?  If we’re busy being scared of nothing, or handicapping a race that’s two years away, we won’t be noticing what’s happening right now in Iraq?  Hmmm….

Oh, I almost forgot!  Barbaro…what a tragedy!  NOT!!!  (I don’t think I’ve ever used that phrase….do you see what this media mediocrity is doing to me?!?)  Its a horse, people.  I cannot believe that it warranted top billing over Iraq, over whatever else happened that day, but it did.  Evidently it was even a two day story.  I’ve also heard that some private investors offered to donate two million dollars towards saving him.  Are you freaking kidding me?  (Suddenly I’m turning into Lewis Black…)  Do you know how many children could have good health insurance with that?  Heck,  do you know how many shoes I could buy with that much money?  (And Little Miss Know it All really likes shoes)  But noooo, let’s save a pampered, sheltered, HORSE!

Okay, I’m done.  I’m leaving, and I’ll keep my muttering to myself. 


The State of the Union…

littlemissknowitalld.jpgI know you are all sitting there with baited breath, just waiting to see what Little Miss Know it All has to say about the President’s speech yesterday. 

 I didn’t watch it.

I just couldn’t bear it.  I’ve watched them year after year, and I’m so tired of the endless grandstanding, the twisting of arguments, and the nonstop clapping that is really just a posing for the cameras.  I’m tired of the average soldier or American suffering from cancer being used as a political tool.

And I’m just tired of the President’s speaking style.  It annoys me.  Its a personal thing.  After watching Clinton’s brilliant, personal, inclusive speaking style for so many years, after watching Tony Blair, Margaret Thatcher and Madelaine Albright, I just can’t bear his ramblings, folksy sayings and misspeaks.  Its almost as bad as when I listen to Rush Limbaugh.  And that’s not a pretty sight…

No fear, I did Tivo it, and the commentary that followed it.  I plan on getting a glass of good single malt, sitting back, and watching as much as I can stand. 

But I’m not expecting to be dazzled.  Unless its Keith Olbermann, and then he always surprises me.


My problem with Iraq

littlemissknowitalld.jpgI’m not a military expert, and I will never claim to be.  However, I do have a few questions and problems with what is going on in Iraq.  Throwing out the argument that we’re recruiting for Al-Qaeda, and doing the bidding of Iran and Syria by keeping Iraq as the poor, unorganized neighbor next door…(all of which I agree with)

Mainly, my argument is this:  what is this doing to our status as a Superpower?  In the 90’s, when the Soviet Union collapsed and we were left standing, we did a whole lot of beating our chests and proclaiming to ourselves and anyone that would listen that we were the last Superpower left standing, and aren’t we great?  We can do anything, you, well, you have to go through us first.

 Seems that image is quickly collapsing around the world. 

We have the most high tech toys, we have an economy that most envy, and we have more stuff in our houses than we know what to do with.  However, when it comes to occupying and defending a nation that is roughly the size of one of our smaller states, we can’t do it.  Why not?  If we’re such a superpower, so militarily brilliant and strong, why not?

 Why didn’t we see the revolution coming in how warfare is conducted?  Did we think that just because we have all these shiny, pretty planes and tanks that no one else was thinking about it?  Why did we not see that the majority of warfare in the world was done with terrorist tactics?  In Europe, in Asia, in the Middle East, in Latin America, guerilla or terroristic fighting is the method used most.  Why did we roll into Iraq thinking Shock and Awe was going to cut it?

 For 10 years now, historians and political professors have been warning that the US had less than 50 years left to their Superpower status.  What I see is Iraq proving their point.  Has President Bush hastened that day?  Do we look foolish to the rest of the world?  Does the rest of the world, especially those who like to hate us, look at us and now see an easier target?  Through our failures have we shown them our underbelly, our weak spots, the way to come in and hurt us?

 I’m just an armchair quarterback.  But I think the questions are valid.  Any thoughts?


Busy few days…

littlemissknowitalld.jpgWhat a busy few days its been in the world of presidential politics, yet, Little Miss Know it All just wants to yawn at the boredom of it all…

 Obama announced.  Big shock!  Hillary is running…like we didn’t know that already!  Richardson’s announcement was a bit more surprising, and interesting, but still, not a page turner.  I’m not glued to the tv set to see what the pundits have to say.

 On that note, I want to say, I’m really tired of local news.  I was visiting Louisville this weekend, and on Sunday I was watching This Week with George Stephanopolous like I always do.  We were in the middle of some pretty good political banter, when, BAM, they switch to Breaking News from the local station WHAS.  I figured, there’s freezing rain outside, there must have been a major accident.  Silly me, how naive.  It was a glorified weather report, so they could interview a snow plow driver who was clearing a local, wait for it, parking lot.  His big news quote?  “Well, its kinda cold.  Just trying to make a few bucks today.”  Stunning.  Clearly, they needed to break in!  Especially since half an hour later, they had a full local broadcast scheduled, and the snow plow driver was the leading story!

 I am so tired of this kind of journalism.  They break into programming to report on house fires, baseball trades, all kinds of inane reporting that could wait until the normal news programming.  I was more shocked because WHAS used to have a great reputation for reporting.  I’m sad to see those days go.


Concerned?

littlemissknowitalld.jpgLittle Miss Know it All is wondering….should I be concerned that the blog that has the hottest debate going is over a Sports figure?  Hmmm….. Or that when I say “panties” my readership goes through the roof?  😉


Its really getting crowded…

littlemissknowitalld1.jpgJust like the Presidential race, it seems that it is open season here in KY for our Governor’s race.  I found this little gem over at Northern KY politics today…Northrup Entering Race.  I don’t know about you, but whenever I watch Anne Northrup, I half expect her to suddenly appear in the Wicked Witch of the West outfit and ride off on a broom calling out “I’ll get you my pretties!”

 Not very nice, but its the visual I have when I think of her.  Which is not often, or I’d have nightmares.  Its the sourpuss face.  To her handlers, Terry Carmack and crew, you better teach her how to smile!


Entertainment and Politics

littlemissknowitalld1.jpgFirst, let me go off topic and discuss a little sports and entertainment.  becks.jpgThe yummiest dish to hit soccer is moving stateside.  What’s that Becks?  Shh shh, dear, just stand there and look pretty.   (Have you ever heard him speak?  Its like mixing Mike Tyson’s voice with a little bit of Dodger from Dickens…)  Little Miss Know it all is suddenly a lot more intersted in the MLS.   I do own this magazine.  I bought it for the articles, I swear.

Alright, settling down…

Back to political news.  Seems that the Washington Post has realized that it needs more readers than just the bunch of old farts who read it now.  They’re making a play for Jon Stewart, no doubt to bring in the younger crowd with lots of disposable income that follow him and his team wherever they say to.  They’re still in talks, but you can see more on the story at The Washingtonian.


Illegals Immigrants and the Minimum Wage

littlemissknowitalld1.jpgTime for Round Two.  Ready?

So, are you incensed about illegal immigration?  Then you should be for a rise in the minimum wage.

Here’s what I think.  First, I believe we need the immigrant labor, and we should make it easier for them to come here legally.  Truth is, without them our economy would crash, as they do jobs, very cheaply, that are gross, hard work, and mostly would go unfilled without them.  Without their cheap labor, housing would cost more, groceries would cost more, much of the things we enjoy in life would cost a lot more.  If we make a temporary worker program for them (one that doesn’t have completely unreasonable caps on it like we do now), they could come in legally, work, pay taxes, contribute to the system and then go home. 

Second, they enjoy our minimum wage, while most americans shun minimum wage jobs unless they just don’t have a choice.  As I showed before, why work at minimum wage when you can take welfare instead and be in the same living conditions?  Raise the minimum wage, you’ll have more Americans filling those jobs.  And you wouldn’t have as many openings for illegals.  If all the jobs are taken by Americans, who’s going to be climbing that fence across the border?

There are many that shout out that we can’t raise the minimum wage without hurting small businesses and losing jobs.  I’ll agree, its tougher on small businesses when wages rise–especially if they are providing decent health care coverage for their workers.  But lets be realistic–just how many small businesses pay minimum wage and provide good health care coverage?  Most of the time minimum wage workers don’t get insurance through work.  Small businesses who pay the minimum wage have a high rate of turnover, because workers leave looking for better pay and benefits.  A higher minimum wage, historically, has been shown to increase job levels, as more Americans go out and take advantage of the higher wages.  They also lead to higher job stability rates. 

Not to mention that its the ethical thing to do.  How many of you want to tell someone to go after the American dream, knowing full well that our most basic, minimum wage won’t provide it?  How many of you want children to continue growing up on welfare, on food stamps, on free lunches in schools even though their parents both work full time?

Not Little Miss Know it All.

So, what do you think?  Are the two tied together?  Or completely separate beasts?