Posts Tagged ‘Charles Pierce’

Bikes, beers and bummers

May 4, 2012
Cyfac Vintage

The Cyfac Vintage in a Rando configuration.

Somebody has a new toy. And no, it’s not you.

Meet the Cyfac Vintage, a steel bike hand-built in France. It’s a wee bit short — a 54cm instead of the 56cm I usually ride — but it seems to roll along just fine nonetheless. It’s up for review in the July edition of Adventure Cyclist.

Speaking of which, cycling was something of an adventure around here today. The high reached at least 85 degrees, according to the weather wizards and confirmed by the Subaru thermometer, edging the record of 84 set in 2000. “Climate normal” is somewhere around 66, so this was something of a shock to the system, enough to make a guy buy a white Igloo helmet with a swamp cooler attached.

I couldn’t find one of those, so I bought two six-packs of beer instead: Odell’s 5 Barrel Pale Ale, which has become Herself’s favorite beer, and Victory’s Prima Pils, which is an excellent heat repellent when applied internally.

A man who sounds as though he could use a drink is Charles P. Pierce, who posits in a very grumpy blog post that Obama has left it too late to crank up the outrage machine. Writes Charles: “Personally, at this moment, I think he’s probably going to lose.”

If he’s right, then we should all start stockpiling strong drink while we still can. A nation that would elect Mitt Romney president is not one I can abide in sobriety.

He turned me into a Newt!

January 24, 2012

The RomneyBot 2012 puts the squeeze on Newt.

These guys watch the Repuglican debates so you don’t have to:

• Charles P. Pierce: “(Newt) Gingrich’s political gifts are solely those of an arsonist. Challenged with the reality of what he’s always been, he will bluster and fume and light a dozen strawmen on fire, but he’ll never actually answer the damn question in a way that anyone with the intellect of an andiron would find to be adequate. Asked any kind of decent follow-up, and you can almost see his megalomania collide with his insecurities while he gropes for what comes next.”

• John Nichols: “Ron Paul and Rick Santorum took some pokes at the front-runners—indeed, Santorum got off a decent “there is no difference between President Obama and these two gentlemen” riff late in the debate. But neither of the other contenders stated the obvious: the leading contenders for the GOP nod embody everything that leads Americans to dismiss politicians as crooks.”

• Conor Friedersdorf: “Republican voters, who like the connotation of ‘conservative,’ say it’s a quality they prefer; revealed preference suggests what they actually want is an inconsistent right-leaning opportunist (George W. Bush, John McCain) who helps them evade certain kinds of cognitive dissonance (like hating deficit-financed government health care in theory and loving the budget-busting Medicare prescription-drug expansions in practice).”

And so on.

Meanwhile, the RomneyBot 2012 outputs some tax info and it ain’t pretty. None of his more than $42 million in income in 2010 and 2011 came from wages — it came from “a profusion of investments, as well as stock dividends and interest payments,” according to The Washington Post. And his tax rate last year? 13.9 percent. Ouch. That’s gotta sting. I tip better than that for bad service.

Notes Steve Benen: “(E)ven if Romney argues that he’s simply playing by the rules — taking advantage of existing tax loopholes to pay lower rates than much of the middle class — this doesn’t explain why Romney is eager to exacerbate issues on tax fairness with his tax plan that makes the problem worse.”

Steve adds: “Romney and his aides believe these materials should end the discussion. That’s backwards — the larger debate is just beginning.” Let’s hope so.