Monday, May 31, 2010

What do these two have in common?

In case you don't recognize these two, the one without the hat is BP CEO Tony Hayward and the one with the hat is Action News 4 Sports Anchor Champ Kind. What do they have in common? Well...they both need to sit the next one out and stop talking a while. For Champ, that became obvious when he told Ron Burgundy that he missed his scent, his musk and proposed that they get an apartment together.

For Hayward, the need to stop talking peaked this weekend when he announced over the weekend that he's:

"sorry for the massive disruption" the oil spill has caused, "there's no one who wants this thing over more than I do."

"Y'know, I'd like my life back," he said. "So there's no one who wants this thing done more than I do, and we are doing everything we can to contain the oil offshore, defend the shoreline and return people's lives to normal as fast as we can."
Not too bright there Tony. Unfortunately, this guy is so rich, no shit he wants his life back. I'd want it back to. But at the end of this ordeal, Tony's life is still gonna be pretty kush, you know? Not so much for the people who depend on the Gulf Waters for their livelihood?

BTPC bids farethewell to Gary and Dennis

The BTPC lost two fave actors this past week: Gary Coleman and Dennis Hopper. Coleman, best known as the lovable Arnold from Different Strokes played an interesting part in our childhood. Back in third grade, the 'Pine was feeling sick and got sent home from school. At first, everyone thought we had a tummy ache...a ruse we had used more than once to cut school. But when we collapsed in pain, folks figured out it was serious and moms took us to the hospital. Lucky for us, Different Strokes had recently had an episode where Arnold had an appendicitis. We told our mom that's what we had. When the Doctor came in and was examining us, moms laughing told the Doctor our diagnosis. She was quite surprised when the Doctor told moms he concurred. So there you have it...situational television comedies can save lives.

As for Hopper, Reino is right: in our opinion, Hopper's greatest work is his scene with Christopher Walken in "The Sicilian scene" from True Romance. Tarantino, who wrote the script for True Romance, has flat out said this scene is the work he is most proud of. Here's to hoping Cliff Worley is right now telling the angels in Heaven that he never saw evil so singularly personified as he did in the face of the man who killed him.

Here's the scene:

RIP, fellas.
Late Add: I forgot this redo of the Different Strokes opening sequence that shows you how just a change of the theme song could have let us all know the irrevocable harm that was about to be inflicted on Willis and Arnold, resulting in their later troubles. We give you...Disturbing Strokes

Sterling Cooper reviews SC Campaign Ads

The BTPC is back from our week at the lake. One thing about taking a vacation at the 'Creek is that we spent the week with no cable. That means we were saturated with campaign ads for the past week. While we feel the sheer repetitive nature of the hits made us experts in our own right, it just so happens we had a few "experts" come down for the weekend.

Over a few beers and brats, we got the folks from Sterling Cooper to give us their opinion. Here's what they had to say:

-Dumbest ad: Henry McMaster's "Vultures" ad. Don Draper: "Advertising is based on one thing, happiness. And you know what happiness is? It's the smell of a new car. It's freedom from fear. It's a billboard on the side of the road that screams reassurance that whatever you are doing is okay. You are okay. Plus...vultures aren't even birds of prey. They don't attack. They simply feed on dead carcasses. America isn't dead." Paul Kinsey found McMaster's use of the term "states' rights" offensive. As he packed his pipe, Paul commented he didn't go to Mississippi on the Freedom Rides for some jackass to use that same argument 40+ years later to be elected governor.

-Pinocchio Award (Most Wooden): Paul Thurmond's "Honesty and Trust" ad. Basically, the ad plays out with Thurmond walking up to some guy working a counter in a store, with the premise being this is just Thurmond and some potential voter chewing the fat. But the commercial fails, as Roger Sterling points out, because Thurmond appears as wooden as a marionette puppet with a hand up his ass. Burt Cooper did not like Roger running down his old buddy Strom's son, but the ad man in Burt had to acknowledge that it was a bad visual, with the "actor" in the commercial coming across so much more "relaxed and normal," which is what the commercial was supposed to do for Thurmond. As Draper noted: "You are the product. You feeling something. That''s what sells. And he looked as though he felt nothing."

-Lamest endorsement: Andre Bauer's Mike Huckabee Endorsement ad. This ad was hard for our guests to gauge because they had no idea who Mike Huckabee was. When we explained he's a former Governor of Arkansas from Hope, Arkansas, Joan, who was in the other room, got awfully quiet.

But when she came into the room and saw him as we were explaining Huckabee came in 3rd in the 2008 REPUBLICAN primary, you could see her visibly exhale. We think she had her mind on another former Arkansas Governor. Everyone agreed it was kind of lame ad. Draper summed up the room by pointing out," I hate to break it to you, but there is no big lie. There is no system, the universe is indifferent."

-Best ad? The room was unanimous in liking Curtis Loftis' "remote control" ad. Salvatore remarked that Loftis comes across casual and relaxed in the ad. Peggy liked that he stuck the knife in at the end with humor, joking that he'd pay for his own car. This unfortunately digressed into a heated discussion about expense accounts, with all the ad men arguing the importance of a towing package and 4WD on a job-provided vehicle. They were shocked to find out 3-martini lunches are not kosher on the State's dime.

-Nikki Haley Ads. It took some time for our guests to wrap their minds around a woman candidate for Governor. Especially when they saw the Sarah Palin commercial and we had to explain the Palin was the former half-term governor of Alaska and had been the 2008 Republican VP candidate. Peggy was obviously thrilled. Joan and Betty not so much. Joan commented that "sometimes when people get what they want they realize how limited their goals were." The men were not very excited about it either, although there were some remarks about the jeans in the her "down on the farm" ad. As to the Folks-Haley story, when told of it, Draper offered up this advice for Haley: "Get out of here and move forward. This never happened. It will shock you how much it never happened."

That was pretty much it. After lunch, we all headed to 3-stump where Joan got oggled and even Betty warmed up a little after a half-gallon of Colorado Kool-Aid...

Friday, May 21, 2010

I found out...long ago...

It's a long way down, the holiday road...

(Nothing like recycling last year's Memorial Day vacation post, so here goes...)

Me, Belinda and the rest of the girls are taking a little vacay. Don't go all Clark Griswold on me. Hope you all have a good Memorial Day. Remember, the PoPo will be out in full force on the first official holiday of Summer 2010. So remember, in the words of the Beasties: "If you're drivin', don't drink. And if you do, don't drive." (And I say that knowing it hurts my pocketbook...). We'll be back in June.

See ya at the 'Tater Creek sandbar aka 3-Stump.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

No more teachers, no more books...

With Summer Break almost here, it won't be long before parents will be looking for an excuse to pawn off the rugrats onto someone else for a little peace and quiet. Flossip has a nice post up giving parents information about local camps.

Not to be outdone by the female Florentine lookalike for Tim the Toolman Taylor's mysterious neighbor, the BTPC is providing you with info on our favorite summer camp, where we in fact were named King of Sexual Awareness Week two years straight.

Tuesday's elections wrap-up: What's a "purge?"

So...what's the big news today after yesterday's elections around the nation? The main political story lines from yesterday's elections come from Pennsylvania and Kentucky.

In the bluegrass state, we saw that tiger the GOP has been trying to hold since poking it with a stick way back during the McCain-Palin campaign continue to turn around, snap and draw blood. This time, it was Mitch McConnell playing the Roy (of Siegfried & Roy), as opposed to any actual candidate (like Bob Bennett out in Utah), due to two of McConnell's hand-picked candidates getting waxed in GOP primaries.

In Pennsylvania, Democratic Congressman Joe Sestak defeated longtime Senator Arlen Specter in the Democratic primary. Turns out, Specter's party switch did not result in him getting re-elected (in part thanks to a devastating ad Sestak ran featuring a video clip of Arlen smugly predicting it would).

Primaries weren't the only thing going on, as one of the most watched races was the special election to seat someone in the 12th district Congressional seat of Pennsylvania, formerly held by the late Rep. John Murtha. Both national parties, as well as most pundits, were eagerly awaiting the results of this race, as a predictor for how things may go in the generals. Why is the 12th so important? It's a district in a democratic area that actually went for McCain-Palin in 2008. It's got a lot of those "blue-collar" voters the pundits love to dissect, the kind of people who are "fed up with Washington." If the electorate really was fed up Democrats, the theories held that the Democratic candidate, Mark Critz, would lose to the GOP candidate. The Republican party had big hopes for the 12th:

Republicans decided weeks ago that this is the kind of district that they'll have to win this year. RNC Political Director Gentry Collins conceded yesterday that this is "exactly the kind of seat that we have to win." Last week, Newt Gingrich said, "This year, we have mobilized millions of people from all over the country, and they are ready to take back this country. It's going to start right here, right now in" Pennsylvania's 12th.

Those hopes were dashed. Critz won. Now...Republicans will rightly point out Critz distanced himself from the party on Obamacare and cap-&-trade and that he was helped by the turnout for the Sestak-Specter race. That's all true. But it doesn't change the fact that in a climate that the GOP has been trying to sell as "deadly" to Democrats, a Democrat won a campaign the GOP threw all their weight behind and in a district that went for McCain in 2008. At the very least, the 12th race is forcing everyone to reevaluate that "wave" election year the Republicans have been touting. Not to mention that the Dems are 7 for 7 on the last 7 special elections (although that trend is liable to end this weekend in Hawaii as the two dem candidates are expected to split the vote in a special election out there allowing the GOP candidate to win).

So what's to take from yesterday's results? The big word of the day is: PURGE. one is talking about bulimia. But one story line you are sure to come across today is that the one thing these elections tell us about both parties is that an "ideological purge" is going on. We agree that there is an ideological purge going on. But to argue that it's going on with both parties is the kind of false equivalence the media does so often that it actually does make us want to throw up.

Let's deal with the Republicans first. There is no question that the established Republicans are worried. We wrote about that last week after Bennett got toasted at the Utah Republican convention.

Yesterday in Kentucky, the national Republican Party backed the wrong candidate in not one but two primaries. NRCC Chairman Pete Sessions (R-Texas) conceded that the results were "undoubtedly disappointing." But it wasn't just that they lost, more telling was HOW they lost. McConnell's boy, Trey Grayson, only got 35% of the vote. He didn't even win his won county. In a Louisville House primary, one of the NRCC's designated "Young Guns," Jeff Reetz, couldn't even crack the top two, finishing third with just 17% of the vote. In fact, the major GOP storyline right now is whether or not last night's tiger mauling has passed the Republican Senate leadership from McConnell to SC's own Senator Jim DeMint(ed). DeMint(ed) supported Ron Paul's son, Rand, against McConnell's hand-picked Grayson.

So we don't think there is any question that last night was not only a "L" for the National Republican party, but it was a continuation of the continued ideological purge that has sent Bob Bennett, Charlie Christ, Arlen Specter and others packing from the big tent. And now it may have cost Mitch McConnell his leadership position.

But what about the Democrats? Former Bush speechwriter Marc Thiessen, now a Washington Post columnist, has been pushing the idea for weeks that the Dems are undergoing their own "purge."

Last night two centrist Democratic incumbents failed to stave off challenges
from the left in Democratic Senate primaries. Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter
was defeated by left-wing challenger Rep. Joe Sestak. And Arkansas Sen. Blanche
Lincoln was forced into a runoff by her left-wing challenger Gov. Bill Halter

But don't hold your breath waiting for commentators to decry
these shameful efforts at the ideological purification of the Democratic party.
When Sen. Bob Bennett is challenged from the right, it is an ideological purge.
But when centrists like Specter and Lincoln are challenged from the left, it's
democracy in action.

The fact that Thiessen compares the challenges Lincoln and Specter faced to the what's going on right now with the Republican party is comical. First off, a guy like Bennett was a reliable Republican for years. The same can not be said for Lincoln being a reliable Democrat. And it's absolutely stupid to compare Specter to anyone, because he's not a Democrat. Neither the result in Lincoln or Specter's primary challenges are the result of the Democratic party moving to the left on them. Rather they are the result of neither being deemed to be reliable Democrats. That's not what is going on with the right. When you've got your Senate minority leader getting bloodied and longtime, reliable party politicians being shown the door, that's a purge.

Thiessen also wants to push the line that Specter was the democratic "establishment" candidate, evidenced by how much President Obama "embraced" Arlen when he switched and all the national support Specter got in the campaign. Exactly what does he think anyone else would have done? It was political tit-for-tat. It was political payback for the switch and help with the stimulus and HCR. Welcome to the real world. But if you don't think national Democrats feel a little more comfortable with Sestak being the candidate against Republican Pat Toomey, you're crazy. Arlen was damaged goods and what you saw was simply people keeping their word. You can take it as a repudiation of the President all you like, but if that was the case, why not vote for the Republican?

All in all, it was a fun night. And November is a long way away.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Give me your tired, your poor...

We have been having some discussion over on Facebook with friends debating Arizona's new immigration law. We were asked whether we thought we needed immigration reform and if so what were our thoughts? So what is our answer? Yes. But we probably think of immigration reform differently that most.

First, we believe it's important to acknowledge simple facts. First, this country has an addiction to cheap immigrant labor. From the indentured servants that sailed from Europe, to the slaves that came over on slave ships from Africa, to the masses of Irish and Italians that came wave after wave, to the Chinese that built the transcontinental railroad, to the Southeast Asians who fled communism, to the Mexicans who cross the Rio Grande to pick our vegetables and hang drywall, cheap immigrant labor is our smack. We've been mainlining this dope since our inception and we could not quit now if we wanted to.

And that's the second fact, we are addicted to paying less. It's the Wal-Mart ethos, which has spoiled all of us. We expect everything to be available cheaply and in bulk. That mindset creates two issues in regards to the issue of immigration. First, it means we need cheap labor here in the US to pick our fruit, dig our building footings, cut our yards, care for our children, clean our houses/hotel rooms, and serve our food. Second, it means we have no problems with people in other countries not paying living wages, having horrible working conditions, and doing everything on the cheap as long as it means we can pick up that press-wood entertainment center at Target for 1/4th the price of buying one made here in the US. The practical meaning of this, is that we need labor to exploit here and we don't care if it's exploited south of our border. If you were a Latino, where would rather work?

Yeah, yeah, Pine...but what do you said we need reform. Stop bitching and propose something. Well...we think several things need to be looked at. First, we think it should be opened up more. Allow people to come in and work. Make it easier to do so legally. And no, we don't care if they are already here illegally. Making it illegal has obviously not worked, so why continue a flawed solution. We haven't given a whole hell of a lot of thought to it, simply because we're not sure how it would work best. But some kind of system where an immigrant's work status is tracked for a period of X years and after completion of X years of working and contributing to society they are allowed full citizenship. Hell...we could actually use this to our advantage to shift employees around the workforce as needed. Create "need" jobs where service in those jobs puts one on a faster track to full citizenship.

Two, those who are here in the country have to pay into the system. In our opinion, this is the BIGGEST hurdle in immigration reform. Why? Because it means that those that employ immigrant labor pay for it. There's a reason why the contractors grabbing the temps at the corner groceria pays them in cash at the end of the day. He doesn't have to pay for any comp coverage, unemployment tax, etc. That would have to change. Is there a way to work that so that the labor remains "cheap?" Don't know. But that's the key issue to tackle. As far as the immigrants themselves paying in, if we make it easier to come to work and we're tracking that work, and we're tracking what the employers are doing, then there's no reason we could not track that everyone was paying into the system.

Three, it's time to end "the war on drugs." As Carver and Herc once informed Griggs, "you can't call this shit a war...wars end." What's the war on drugs got to do with immigration? For one thing, we need money to more effectively track immigrant labor and employers who use it. We're throwing billions of dollars a year away fighting this "war." Why? The only thing the war on drugs does is drive up the cost of the drugs, it doesn't stop anyone anywhere in this country from partaking in their particular drug of choice. All it does is raise the cost on the street of dope, which in turn enriches the drug cartels. The fact that these drug cartels have more money than Davey Crockett allows them to run their towns, cities, even countries on the "plata o plomo" philosophy: silver or lead. Take the bribe or get your ass shot. Guess what? That level of violence and corruption sure would make our ass willing to swim a river or two to make a better life for our family.

The AP had a good article recently documenting how badly this "war" had failed.

Using Freedom of Information Act requests, archival records, federal budgets and dozens of interviews with leaders and analysts, the AP tracked where that money went, and found that the United States repeatedly increased budgets for programs that did little to stop the flow of drugs. In 40 years, taxpayers spent more than:

_ $20 billion to fight the drug gangs in their home countries. In Colombia, for example, the United States spent more than $6 billion, while coca cultivation increased and trafficking moved to Mexico — and the violence along with it.

_ $33 billion in marketing "Just Say No"-style messages to America's youth and other prevention programs. High school students report the same rates of illegal drug use as they did in 1970, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says drug overdoses have "risen steadily" since the early 1970s to more than 20,000 last year.

_ $49 billion for law enforcement along America's borders to cut off the flow of illegal drugs. This year, 25 million Americans will snort, swallow, inject and smoke illicit drugs, about 10 million more than in 1970, with the bulk of those drugs imported from Mexico.

_ $121 billion to arrest more than 37 million nonviolent drug offenders, about 10 million of them for possession of marijuana. Studies show that jail time tends to increase drug abuse.

_ $450 billion to lock those people up in federal prisons alone. Last year, half of all federal prisoners in the U.S. were serving sentences for drug offenses.

At the same time, drug abuse is costing the nation in other ways. The Justice Department estimates the consequences of drug abuse — "an overburdened justice system, a strained health care system, lost productivity, and environmental destruction" — cost the United States $215 billion a year.

Harvard University economist Jeffrey Miron says the only sure thing taxpayers get for more spending on police and soldiers is more homicides.

"Current policy is not having an effect of reducing drug use," Miron said, "but it's costing the public a fortune."

In short, we guess our position on immigration reform is, reform is a good idea...but it's got to target the underlying causes. Unfortunately, no one cares to seriously look at reforming these problems. Want to know how comical the immigration debate is in this country? Look at the video that sparked our Book of Face debate: Sen. John McCain's own supporter LAUGHING at McCain's latest campaign commercial because he has so shamelessly switched his position on immigration in an effort to get re-elected. Keep in mind...this is the guy the Republican party nominated to be their presidential candidate in 2008 and now he's a joke because of this issue.

Immigration built this country. We have people we care very much about, who entered this country legally and jumped through all the hoops to secure citizenship. But it wasn't easy then and it has gotten significantly harder with the xenophobia that perpetrated our country after 9/11. It's our opinion that the only way to solve the problem is to remember what has made this country great: the fact that we were the land of the free and we welcomed all. That idea so succinctly described through an engraved bronze plaque on display in the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty:

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
' With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
At the end of the day, we cannot forget what has made America the country we are today. It was not being a closed shop. It has been our warm embrace of the idea that America represents a better life. Not just for us, but for anyone.

Hattip to KB and Bobby F. for some inspirado.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Original...

Before Oceanic Flight 815 crashed onto an island that seems to jump through time and space, David Lynch was giving the kids excuses to walk into pastures after the rain for collection and then sit in front of the tube and have their minds blown. We are of course talking about our favorite television series of all time: Twin Peaks.

For those who have the CI Channel, you can catch Twin Peaks reruns in pretty often. For those that can't, here's a little rap by mc chris to clue you in:

Don't they know this is what the internet was invented for?

In case you haven't been paying attention to the Republican primary for the California Governor's race, good thing. Knowing the good, patriotic readers we have, we'd hate to for you to see the Un-American mudslinging that's going on between Steve Poizner and Meg Whitman. After Whitman ran an ad calling Poizner...*gasp*..."liberal," Poizner countered with the ad below.

Poizner might as well run an ad against Mom and apple pie. The BTPC always salutes the red, white and very blue...

Friday, May 14, 2010

GOP tries to hold that tiger...

Talking Points Memo has a piece up by Brian Beutler, wherein he describes the precarious position Republican incumbents in Washington are finding themselves in over the bailouts.

Basically, it points out what every logical person knows: the TARP legislation worked. Look to none other than Republican Senator Judd Gregg (R-NH) who has this to say about the bailout:

"It was extremely effective. Not only was it effective and stabilized the
financial industry, it also returned to the taxpayers almost $20 billion in
interest and dividends that they would have otherwise not have."

Of course, the problem with just coming out and speaking honestly about the bailout, is that this year is an election year. Gregg can afford to be candid publicly, because he is retiring. His fellow Republican politicians...not so much. In case you missed it, the GOP has spent just about every minute since President Obama's inauguration telling us everything Washington does is evil. Now, they're realizing they have created a monster: the Tea Party crowd. In fact, they got their first glimpse at the horror of their own creation recently when Sen. Bob Bennett (R-UT) got ousted at his state republican convention last week. Polls at that same convention showed Utah's other GOP senator, Orin Hatch, would have his ass handed to him if he too was up for re-election.

So, what is the Republicans' game plan?

The Republicans I spoke with said it's simply a matter of communicating with
voters, and explaining the nuances.

"If you can get above all the
hyperbolization and misrepresentation and get the facts out, I think you can be
very effective," Gregg said.

Cornyn--whose job it is to protect
Republican senators from political backlash--had a similar take. "The facts are
what they are, I think it depends on the ability of each person to articulate
the rationale for their vote."

For that to work, though, Republicans
will need their voters to be willing to listen. For the time being, they're not.

"It was not hard at all if I could get the voters to listen," Bennett
said. "My challenge was that the delegates chosen at the precinct caucuses would
not come to my meetings to give me an opportunity to explain."
Imagine that. After appealing to everything but reason and logic to the voters for the past year (remember that GOP strategy memo that was leaked: fear, scare them, etc? Or the false "examples" laid out: the field mouse shit ring a bell?), they now hope they can just get their mob calmed down enough to listen. Good luck with that.

Meanwhile, we will enjoy watching them complain about how sharp the tiger's teeth are as they continue to desperately cling to its tail.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Thursday Night Jam Session with Ted Leo and the boys

It's been a long one...but we're almost home. So pour another pint and enjoy some tuneage. Cheers.

And finally, Ted and the fellas playing a little karaoke for the whitest dancing white boy every...

Give me liberty or give me...lingerie?

No...we're not misquoting Patrick Henry. Instead, we are expressing the views of Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX). Apparently, Gohmert doesn't believe you can have both. In fact, he believes lingerie leads to Americans losing liberty.

Our favorite part is when Gohmert completely non sequiturs into "If a guy would dress like that, he's covered under the hate crimes act. He's protected." Whiskey. Tango. Foxtrot?

Specter in trouble

The closer we get to the primaries, the more it looks like Arlen Specter's switch to the Democratic party is not gonna save him. According to polls, U.S. Rep. Joe Sestak has come from a double-digit deficit to pulling ahead. Consensus is that two television ads have helped propel Sestak in front of Specter. The first is an ad Specter ran, attacking Sestak's military career (he was a 2-star Admiral in the navy) and congressional record:

"Joe Sestak, relieved of duty in the Navy for creating a poor command climate," says the ad's narrator. "Joe Sestak, the worst attendance of any Pennsylvania congressman. ... Let's say no to No Show Joe."
We think it was a mistake for Arlen to go so negative when he was up in the polls. We assume he figured he could run that ad and sink the nails in Sestak's coffin. It backfired. Instead, what he did do, was help Sestak out by helping his name recognition. And then, Sestak countered with the ad below, which we have to pretty damn effective. Arlen has tried to stop the bleeding with an ad that has President Obama supporting him, but we don't think that is gonna work. may be time to start planning that retirement.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

LOST's Man in Black's name REVEALED!

Last night's LOST featured no "regulars," except for some old footage of Jack, Locke and Kate. Instead, it focused on the origins of Jacob and the mysterious "Man in Black" (pictured on the left). We learned a lot about Jacob and MIB throughout the hour, but one thing they didn't reveal was MIB's actual name.

There has been speculation since his first appearance that MIB is actually Esau and that the two are based on the biblical story of fraternal twins Jacob and Esau, born to Isaac and Rebekah. That story is typically known as a warning not to carelessly sell away your birthright as Esau (the oldest) did to Jacob. But in truth, there is another side to the story where Jacob may be the one who is wrong, exacting a high price from his brother and then using deception to gain his father's blessing. Either way, the LOST folks obviously like the uncertainty of the biblical story, which fits nicely in with their practice of keeping viewers guessing. Which brings us to last night. How do you have an hour devoted to these two men, where we learn just about everything about their background EXCEPT for MIB's name?

Well...the BTPC is proud to announce we have discovered (well...more like Tom, a commenter over on Alan Sepinwall's blog discovered it and we're ripping him off) the name of MIB. No, it's not Esau. The key to understanding who MIB is, was the conversation he had at the wheel construction site. There, MIB told his mother that he was "special" and that "I don't belong here." All you have to do is think about those two phrases, where you have heard them before, and it is obvious that MIB is really this creep:

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Blond on Blond crime

We all know everyone wins when we have a blond-on-blond cat fight. You may have heard all the hubbub last week when bloviating cutie Elisabeth Hasselbeck decided to take issue with the outfits Sideline hottie Erin Andrews wore on Dancing with the Stars.

In case you missed it, here was Hasselbeck's original comments:

"For the past like three weeks she's been wearing like next to nothing," Hasselbeck said about Andrews. "I think in light of what happened and as illegal and as inexcusable as it was for that horrific guy to go in and try to peep on her in her hotel room, in some way, if I'm him, I'm like, 'Man, I could have just waited 12 weeks and seen this, a little bit less, without the prison time.'

Apparently, Hasselbeck went home and became distraught over her comments. Maybe she realized it was pretty stupid for a celebrity that most of us have seen in a bikini more than actual clothes to be criticizing another woman's wardrobe. Or maybe she actually realized it was kind of callous to make light of something that Andrews has been very public about the fact that it had a traumatic effect on her. We don't know.

Personally, we thought it was obviously a poor attempt at humor. Poor not in the material (we actually think it was a funny point), rather it was poor in that Hasselbeck isn't hard enough to do snide comedy. Leave that to Whoopi and Behar, kid. It ain't your racket.

We do know that God, apparently talking through Elisabeth's daughter (they should have that looked at), told Elisabeth to call Andrews up and apologize. So Hasselbeck went on the air the next day, broke down crying as she told the story of talking to her 5-year old daughter about it. The daughter, obviously not the vapid drama queen Elisabeth is or simply filled with the spirit, told her mom to just call and apologize. To which Hasselbeck proclaimed she just wanted to publicly apologize even though she had followed her daughter's advice. (Video here -- if you watch, check out Joy Behar. She looks amazed that Elisabeth is getting this emotional over it).

So...sounds like Elisabeth saw the error of her ways thanks to the wonderful innocence that is her child, filled with morality from her daily devotional readings and personally apologized to Erin Andrews, right?

Hey, Elisabeth...what devotional you got for falsely presenting yourself to others in order to extricate yourself from previous wrongs? Stay classy, EH.

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Kagan Nomination: Let's get it on...

With President Obama's nomination of former Harvard Law School Dean and current US Solicitor General Elena Kagan to the Supreme Court of the United States, it is now time for the political farce we call the nomination hearings.

Despite the fact Kagan only recently was easily confirmed as Solicitor General (with 5 former Republican Solicitors General supporting her) and despite initial positive reviews from GOP Senators Snowe and Graham, SCOTUS confirmations are nothing if not political theater. And the GOP is gonna try to milk this for whatever it's worth. Already, a GOP strategy conference call from before the nominee was known has leaked showing the Republicans' strategists telling them drawing the hearings out until after the midterms is important.

To this end, we've already seen some of the GOP's "concerns" made public:

-Kagan has no judicial experience. Despite the fact that anyone with a brain could see the GOP attacking another nomination from the appellate bench as being a problem ("How come we keep getting all these judges as nominees? We need some non-judges on the court.") This argument also ignores the fact that more than 1/3rd of our SCOTUS Justices have assumed their positions with no prior bench service.

-How come we keep getting women nominees? It's like a white man can't catch a break.

-She's an Ivy-league elitist. Don't we have enough of those?

-She didn't learn to drive until her 20s. Seriously...this is one attack that was floated today, probably the best example of how people are willing to throw whatever shit they can at the wall to gauge the temp and see what will stick.

-The one that got floated the most today, by both leaders of the Republican party. First, by the true leader, Rush and also by the figurehead leader, MC Michael Steel. That argument was pushed in a memo by MC Steele titled: "Does Kagan Still View Constitution 'As Originally Drafted And Conceived' As 'Defective'?" The problem with this argument is that Kagan was quoting her mentor (whom she clerked for) Thurgood Marshall. Marshall pointed out in a 1987 speech that blind worship of those men that gathered in Philadelphia in 1787 was misguided:

I cannot accept this invitation, for I do not believe that the meaning of the Constitution was forever "fixed" at the Philadelphia Convention. Nor do I find the wisdom, foresight, and sense of justice exhibited by the Framers particularly profound. To the contrary, the government they devised was defective from the start, requiring several amendments, a civil war, and momentous social transformation to attain the system of constitutional government, and its respect for the individual freedoms and human rights, we hold as fundamental today. When contemporary Americans cite "The Constitution," they invoke a concept that is vastly different from what the Framers barely began to construct two centuries ago.

For a sense of the evolving nature of the Constitution we need look no further than the first three words of the document's preamble: 'We the People." When the Founding Fathers used this phrase in 1787, they did not have in mind the majority of America's citizens. "We the People" included, in the words of the Framers, "the whole Number of free Persons." On a matter so basic as the right to vote, for example, Negro slaves were excluded, although they were counted for representational purposes at threefifths each. Women did not gain the right to vote for over a hundred and thirty years.

Then, after speaking on the trial and tribulations our country had endured to arrive at, what President Lincoln would have called, our more perfect union, Marshall concluded:

The men who gathered in Philadelphia in 1787 could not have envisioned these changes. They could not have imagined, nor would they have accepted, that the document they were drafting would one day be construed by a Supreme Court to which had been appointed a woman and the descendent of an African slave. We the People" no longer enslave, but the credit does not belong to the Framers. It belongs to those who refused to acquiesce in outdated notions of "liberty," "justice," and "equality," and who strived to better them.

And so we must be careful, when focusing on the events which took place in Philadelphia two centuries ago, that we not overlook the momentous events which followed, and thereby lose our proper sense of perspective. Otherwise, the odds are that for many Americans the bicentennial celebration will be little more than a blind pilgrimage to the shrine of the original document now stored in a vault in the National Archives. If we seek, instead, a sensitive understanding of the Constitution's inherent defects, and its promising evolution through 200 years of history, the celebration of the "Miracle at Philadelphia" will, in my view, be a far more meaningful and humbling experience. We will see that the true miracle was not the birth of the Constitution, but its life, a life nurtured through two turbulent centuries of our own making, and a life embodying much good fortune that was not.

Thus, in this bicentennial year, we may not all participate in the festivities with flagwaving fervor. Some may more quietly commemorate the suffering, struggle, and sacrifice that has triumphed over much of what was wrong with the original document, and observe the anniversary with hopes not realized and promises not fulfilled. I plan to celebrate the bicentennial of the Constitution as a living document, including the Bill of Rights and the other amendments protecting individual freedoms and human rights.

So, could someone please explain to Michael Steele that it's probably not a good idea to argue that the Constitution which legalized slavery was not "defective." If he's gonna spit nonsense like that, we're gonna all agree to pay attention to only 3/5ths of the things Michael Steele says (which, for the Republican Party, is probably a good idea).

Sunday, May 9, 2010

It's official: Size DOES least at the TSA.

Sorry, fellas. It looks like your wives have been humoring you. Apparently size does matter, at least at the Transportation Safety Authority.

Or at least if you went through your full-body scanner training with Rolando Negrin.

Apparently, during training on the full-body scanner, one of the supervisor's cracked wise at the size of Rolando's manhood which led to Rolando confronting a co-worker in the parking lot, beating them with a baton, and making them kneel down and say they were sorry.

We assume Rolando's baton was average size.

BTPC lets all you Mamas know "you are appreciated..."'s the HIMYM cast, who stopped by to wish all you mothers a Happy Mother's Day. They then proceeded to give us their favorite mother-related videos, which we pass on to you. Enjoy. And Happy Mother's Day.

Wouldn't you know it, Robin is a big Social Distortion fan:

Of course, It's easy to see Ted going through his Death Row faze:

Marshall passes on an Eriksen Family Favorite:

Lilly likes this song, because it reminds her of her students' picking on each other:

And finally, Barney wanted us to remind you that every Mother's Day has a Mother's Night...

Dick in a Box Sequal - Mother Lover - Watch more Funny Videos

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Please, Please, Please..are you ready for the Night Train?

Pop Candy had post today about The T.A.M.I. Show, a 1964 concert held in Santa Monica that had an unbelievable lineup (James Brown, Rolling Stones, Beach Boys and more). What grabbed our attention was the video of the Godfather of Soul, the Hardest Working Man in Show Business, Mr. James Brown.

Watch this video of Night Train and tell us Michael Jackson could touch the man. Nope. Uh-uh. Don't you say it, 'cause we ain't believin' it none.
(You may want to click on the videos and get to the actual You Tube page if you can't see the whole screen).

Or feel the pain of Please, Please, Please (at about 3:26 mark here).

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

BTPC solves SC's economic woes...

FITSNews had a post up yesterday concerning Sen. Robert Ford's support for bringing back video poker. In it, FITS proposed legalizing all gambling in SoutH Carolina, albeit just along the coast. The coastal limitation is one we've heard time and time again, alleging it would somehow prohibit too many Sandlappers from becoming degenerate gamblers.

The BTPC has long been a proponent of legalizing gambling. We have long felt that South Carolina is literally throwing away billions of potential revenue every year by failing to see the light on two simple facts. First, no amount of laws will ever actually keep people from gambling, therefore the State is simply allowing the gambling industry to be an "underground" economy that contributes nothing to the kitty, yet taxes our treasury through enforcement of the laws prohibiting gambling.

Second, South Carolina's potential gaming industry would be HUGE. Think Vegas-East with beaches and Waffle Houses. Easily accessible by folks in Atlanta, Raleigh, Nashville, Richmond, DC, Baltimore, Philly, Jersey, Connecticut and NY by car or short (& cheap!) plane rides. Hell...this could, alone, save Amtrak!

So our answer to the state's economic woes is to acknowledge reality (we know...something difficult for most in this state), take the bull by the horns, and dive head-first into a legalized gambling economy before one of our neighbor states beats us to it. (We would like to point out that this "solution" comes almost a year after we "solved" the economic woes of the Pee Dee).

So why has South Carolina blindly refused to see the light? Is it because we're a state dominated by the GOP, our country's "conservative" party? Well...that wouldn't make sense. Not if you look at the holy grail of true conservatism: taxes. Nevada has no personal or corporate income tax. The out-of-state money the casinos bring in allows Nevada this luxury. Wouldn't that be nice here?

So if it's not fiscal conservatism, what is it? Two reasons.

The first reason is evident in FITS' proposal. Given that an area like Greenville is just a hop-skip-and-jump from Atlanta and Asheville via interstate, why on earth would any sane person want to legalize gambling for casinos and not place some there? The reason for this is simple. It's got nothing to do with limiting the proliferation of degenerate gamblers and everything to do with stroking the ego of self-righteous blowhards, better known as, the Bob Jones crowd.

In our former life, we spent a little time in Greenville, an area of South Carolina that we thoroughly enjoyed. Right at the foothills to the Appalachians, near Atlanta and Asheville, Greenville sits as our answer to the Raleigh-area. The progress they've made creating a vibrant & hip downtown, combined with the economic opportunities presented to those with higher education make Greenville an enticing alternative to young professionals who want to live somewhere similar to Charlotte and Atlanta but who want the most bang for their buck. Throw in the natural wonders the region offers and you have to ask, "Why in the hell would this not be the perfect place for a casino?" Because that area is rife with the self-righteous indignation percolated by BJU. We saw it first hand. We worked in our former profession in Charleston and Columbia and never had the problems with religious conservatives that we experienced in Greenville. Seriously...that contributed in no small part to us leaving the area, not to mention going into another career, that's how tiresome it grew.

So when you hear that gambling should be restricted to the coast, that's why. The nonsense about limiting the spread of addictive gambling is hogwash. It's pandering to the religious right. We've got a system in place to deal with degenerate gamblers: our family court system. That's right, we could simply allow people to petition the court to have a degenerate gambler declared a spendthrift by the local family court. If the court finds enough evidence to so rule, they issue an order that is distributed to all gambling establishments along with description and photos of that person. If Degenerate Dad then decides to stop off at the casino and blow the whole paycheck gambling, Mom could haul his ass AND the casino into court and the Court could lock Dad up and fine the hell out of the casino (a portion of which would go to the family).

You don't think gambling interests would take that deal to open up an entire southeastern coastal state? You don't think they could handle it? CASINO SECURITY CAN KEEP YOU FROM DOING MATH IN YOUR HEAD. If they can do that, they can keep your baby's mama from blowing the check on slots.

The second reason is something all South Carolinians are familiar with: protecting your turf. Myrtle Beach has basically been run for over a century by one large real estate development company, Burroughs & Chapin. We have heard opinions in the past from those in the development game that if B&C had anything to say about it, casinos would NEVER come to SC. Why? Because B&C likes being at the top of the food chain. You allow casinos to come in and all of a sudden you have HUGE financial interests looking to shoehorn their way onto our coast. One rumor going around was that some of the original financiers behind the Hard Rock Park got involved solely because they were led to believe that casino gambling had a shot a coming. Once they waded into the good-ole-boy system of politics here in SC, they realized how stacked the deck was against them and they bailed.

Someone needs to explain to all the churches in this state how much they stand to gain in money AND influence if gambling is legalized. Think of the fund raising opportunities inherent with battling such sin in your own back yard! "Out demon. Out I say! Demon of Dice...leave this man of God be!"

And to the locals who fear losing some of their power, no worries. Remember, even two heavyweights like the two to our left, lost paradise when they bucked the locals in Nevada. You'll still be players. Only now, you'll be playing for bigger pots.

Monday, May 3, 2010

And you wonder why FoxNews watchers believe crazy...

Maybe it's because "serious" conservatives like former Bush Press Secretary Dana Perino routinely offer up commentary like that below from this morning's Fox & Friends show (on the Deep Horizon-Gulf Oil Spill):

"I'm not trying to introduce a conspiracy theory, but was this deliberate? You have to wonder...if there was sabotage involved."

How cool is it to disclaim something crazy you are about to say, so that you can still say it and not appear crazy, thus having waived any responsibility for ever uttering it at all. We feel like trying it ourselves:

We're not saying Dana Perino is a slut, but was she pleasured by all these Marines, fulfilling a fantasy she held since she watched Heartbreak Ridge as a young woman who was only then becoming aware of her body and its desires? You look at all those smiles...and you have to wonder.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Letting them drown in our backyard...

Welcome to the All American Canal. With a name like that, you'd think you were going to see a scenic waterway, dotted with beautiful co-eds in bikinis and families fishing from the banks. You'd be wrong. The AAC is an 85-mile aqueduct that diverts water from the Colorado River into the Imperial Valley in California.

It's the largest irrigation canal in the world and brings water to over 500,000 acres of land that helps provide over 2/3rds of the United States' winter produce. It's an important artery that pumps the lifeblood that feeds our country.

But that's not why we're posting about it. We're posting about it because it also happens to be the most deadly body of water in the United States, having killed at least 550 people that we know about. Why haven't you heard of this death trap? Because the majority of those killed are illegal aliens trying to enter the country.

60 Minutes aired a piece tonight that disgusted us. Here's a link to the video. The piece focused on Dr. John Hunter, a physicist and life-long Republican who also happens to have spent most of his life designing weapons for the US Military and who's brother was a former Congressman who advocated a double-border fence. Not exactly your typical bleeding heart, liberal.

"I'm a very right-wing guy," Hunter said. "I'm not an open border kinda person. I just don't believe we should be letting people drown in our backyards. It's inhuman."

And he's right. The AAC is owned by the Federal Government but managed by a regional authority. And neither entity is doing anything to stop the senseless loss of life. One expert that was hired to look into the canal said it was the most dangerous body of water in the country. He recommended the installation of safety precautions like buoys and lifelines every 150 feet. He estimated such precautions would cut the drownings approximately 75 percent.

For those who believe these people are getting what the deserve (and if you look at the comments over at 60 Minutes website, there's a lot of them), Hunter had a good answer:

"Why should the United States spend dollars on safety features in this canal when the people who are drowning in the canal, frankly, are criminals?" Pelley asked. "They should not be coming into the country."

"Right. If they were serial murderers, it they were child molesters, I'm a right wing guy, I'd say 'Let 'em, have at it, put the gators in the canal. You know, we'll line it with mines, too, and I'll help you set the fuses on the mines.' But they're not! You saw those pictures. Alejandra was a ten-year-old saving her 12-year-old sister, so they're are not your hardened criminals."
Illegally crossing the border is a class B misdemeanor. It's not a felony. And there's a reason for that. It's because we NEED these people to do things like pick the produce the water in the AAC grows. And we've funneled these people to areas where they have to try to cross the AAC with things like Dr. Hunter's brother's border fences. But we're not doing anything to save lives in this canal.

Well...that's not entirely true:

Last year, there was a massive effort to save lives on the All-American Canal. The federal government paid for a project to rescue fish, lifting them over the hydro-electric "drops" where the human bodies tend to gather.

Let's face it, we will never stop illegal immigration to this country because we can't and we really don't want to. We need cheap labor to exploit. In fact, we've been doing it since our inception. From indentured servitude to slaves to chinamen to wetbacks, cheap and exploitable labor is the smack our country has been mainlining since we first got out our gear way back when at Plymouth Rock. At least back in the day, slaves were counted as 3/5ths a person. Now, our labor apparently ain't even worth more than fish. that's depreciation.

Raising (hell outta) Arizona

On the heels of HCR passing, we were sitting around with some friends discussing what we would do next if we were President Obama and we all unanimously agreed: Immigration. And we arrived at that answer for one reason and one reason only: it would further bloody the GOP.

Think about the last election cycle. When did the train start to come off the tracks for the GOP? Right after the Palin pick, when their rallies started looking more and more like a cross between George Wallace rallies from '68 and the xenophobic hatred for the bugs after they destroyed Buenos Aires on Starship Troopers. It would paint the GOP further into the corner of having to pander to their far-right, while alienating moderates and downright pushing the fastest growing demographic group of voters right over to the Democrats. Immigration is a fight the GOP can't win. The far-right they've juiced up wants the hard line approach, because that's what the politics of fear and hate has told them they need. Meanwhile, the business-wing of the party knows the country can't survive without the cheap labor immigrants provide, both here and across the border. Not to mention the fact that any realist inherently knows: we cannot completely secure our borders. Can't be done. If someone wants to get in, they'll get in. It's a win-win issue for the Democrats.

So we understood why Obama and the Dems backed away from the energy stuff to push it. We also understand why it pissed Lindsey Graham off. So what to do, what to do? No comes Arizona! With one unconstitutional state law, Arizona has helped bail Obama out and force immigration to the forefront. See...politically speaking, Obama doesn't need an Immigration bill. He just needs an immigration issue. And the idiots in Arizona handed it to the White House, gift wrapped. (Somewhere, Karl Rove has to be shaking his head as it was Rove who figured out the whole gay-marriage thing could win over minority voters in the black and hispanic community, who are generally have strong conservative religious/social views).

This weekend, there were major demonstrations all across the nation against the Arizona law. And we're still finding out more about this bullshit law as time goes by, like Arizona telling school districts to fire or reassign teachers with heavy accents or that the "drafters" of the law are trying to create new and easy ways for cops to be able to "legally" ask you for your papers. So well done, Arizona. Keep up the good work.

Meet VA AG Ken Cuccinelli

He can't describe pornography to you, but he knows it when he sees it. And apparently, AG Kenny C gets tumescent when he looks at the Virginny state seal.

We know you're probably saying, "Kenny...that's stupid. This isn't anything porn. In fact, it's just a picture of the Roman goddess, Virtus, sword in hand, standing over a fallen tyrant. It's been around since 1776. It's such a part of Virginia's history, that it's the centerpiece of the State flag."

But Kenny doesn't like it. He thinks that left breast is offensive. So he handed out lapel pins to his staff that has an armored breastplate. Cuccinelli is, of course, an idiot. You would think he would have learned how stupid he would look. All he had to do was harken back to the ridicule former US Attorney General John Ashcroft brought upon himself when he had statutes he found "offensive" covered with blue drapes. (Ashcroft apparently never realized offensive was a relative term, as he had no qualms about exposing all of us to his singing).

We suppose we should expect such foolishness from Cuccinelli. After all, Kenny C is the moronic state AG that actually tried to "explain" that his office wasn't wasting money on the frivolous HCR lawsuit by saying the only cost to Virginia taxpayers was the $350 his office had spent in filing fees. There are only two ways Kenny C could make that argument. A) he is an idiot. B) he is a liar. We subscribe to C) all of the above.

So thank you, Virginia. Thank you for having an Attorney General who may actually be worse than South Carolina's. (Don't worry, Foghorn Leghorn...we said "may." We're not giving up on our own AG yet).

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Us and Government

President Obama gave the commencement address at the University of Michigan's graduation today and we enjoyed his speech. We always are stumped to find people who can't see any good in government. Yes...government has its share of problems. But government can and has been the right answer to many of our problems. Anyway, here's the portion of the address we liked. Enjoy.

"...American democracy has thrived because we have recognized the need for a government that, while limited, can still help us adapt to a changing world.... The democracy designed by Jefferson and the other founders was never intended to solve every problem with a new law or a new program. Having thrown off the tyranny of the British Empire, the first Americans were understandably skeptical of government. Ever since, we have held fast to the belief that government doesn't have all the answers, and we have cherished and fiercely defended our individual freedom. That is a strand of our nation's DNA.

"But the other strand is the belief that there are some things we can only do together, as one nation -- and that our government must keep pace with the times. When America expanded from a few colonies to an entire continent, and we needed a way to reach the Pacific, our government helped build the railroads. When we transitioned from an economy based on farms to one based in factories, and workers needed new skills and training, our nation set up a system of public high schools. When the markets crashed during the Depression and people lost their life savings, our government put in place a set of rules and safeguards to make sure that such a crisis never happened again. And because our markets and financial system have evolved since then, we're now putting in place new rules and safeguards to protect the American people.

"This notion hasn't always been partisan. It was the first Republican President, Abraham Lincoln, who said that the role of government is to do for the people what they cannot do better for themselves. He would go on to begin that first intercontinental railroad and set up the first land-grant colleges. It was another Republican, Teddy Roosevelt, who said that 'the object of government is the welfare of the people.' He is remembered for using the power of government to break up monopolies, and establishing our National Park system. Democrat Lyndon Johnson announced the Great Society during a commencement here at Michigan, but it was the Republican president before him, Dwight Eisenhower, who launched the massive government undertaking known as the Interstate Highway System."

"Of course, there have always been those who've opposed such efforts. They argue that government intervention is usually inefficient; that it restricts individual freedom and dampens individual initiative. And in certain instances, that's been true. For many years, we had a welfare system that too often discouraged people from taking responsibility for their own upward mobility. At times, we've neglected the role that parents, rather than government, can play in cultivating a child's education. Sometimes regulation fails, and sometimes its benefits do not justify its costs.

"But what troubles me is when I hear people say that all of government is inherently bad. One of my favorite signs from the health care debate was one that read 'Keep Government Out Of My Medicare,' which is essentially like saying 'Keep Government Out Of My Government-Run Health Care.' For when our government is spoken of as some menacing, threatening foreign entity, it conveniently ignores the fact in our democracy, government is us. We, the people, hold in our hands the power to choose our leaders, change our laws, and shape our own destiny.

"Government is the police officers who are here protecting us and the service men and women who are defending us abroad. Government is the roads you drove in on and the speed limits that kept you safe. Government is what ensures that mines adhere to safety standards and that oil spills are cleaned up by the companies that caused them. Government is this extraordinary public university -- a place that is doing life-saving research, catalyzing economic growth, and graduating students who will change the world around them in ways big and small.

"The truth is, the debate we've had for decades between more government and less government doesn't really fit the times in which we live. We know that too much government can stifle competition, deprive us of choice, and burden us with debt. But we've also seen clearly the dangers of too little government -- like when a lack of accountability on Wall Street nearly led to the collapse of our entire economy.

"So what we should be asking is not whether we need a 'big government' or a 'small government,' but how we can create a smarter, better government. In an era of iPods and Tivo, where we have more choices than ever before, government shouldn't try to dictate your lives. But it should give you the tools you need to succeed. Our government shouldn't try to guarantee results, but it should guarantee a shot at opportunity for every American who's willing to work hard.
Hattip Benen.