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The Morning Grumpy – 3/2/2012

Filed under: Morning Grumpy

All the news and views fit to consume during your morning grumpy. Let’s keep it light today, eh?

Thanks to @StevoBuffalo on Twitter for the image

 

1. Chapter 136 in the “Why Mitt Romney Can’t Connect With Average Voters Chronicle“.

If people don’t feel like you empathize or even sympathize with their personal experience, they’ll never create a connection with you as a candidate. Romney was born into a fail-proof charmed life of success and normal people just can’t grok it.

2. President Obama calls for the end of subsidies for oil and gas companies.

President Obama asked Congress on Thursday to end $4 billion in subsidies for oil and gas companies and vowed to tackle the country’s long-term energy issues while shunning “phony election-year promises about lower gas prices.”

“You can either stand up for the oil companies, or you can stand up for the American people,” Mr. Obama said. “You can keep subsidizing a fossil fuel that’s been getting taxpayer dollars for a century, or you can place your bets on a clean-energy future.”

Republicans in Congress, struggling to regain their message as the economy improves, have latched on to rising oil prices and lobbed new accusations of culpability at the White House almost every day this week. But neither Republicans nor Democrats have been able to get legislative traction on their proposed solutions.

You might remember from yesterday’s edition of the grumpy that renewed focus on gas prices by the republicans emerged from an RNC talking point memo that has been circulated to Fox, the right wing punditry and members of Congress to ensure everyone is on the same page. You might also remember from Monday’s edition of the grumpy when I linked to the real reason for the sustained escalation of gas prices…commodity speculation and the people behind it.

3. FINALLY! A Republican policy idea that I can get behind.

A mustachioed Republican congressman from Maryland is standing up for the rights of the men (and the women) who dare to have hair above their upper lip.

Rep. Roscoe Bartlett has introduced the Stimulus To Allow Critical Hair Expenses Act — or STACHE Act — to give people with mustaches a $250 tax break each year.

“Given the clear link between the growing and maintenance of mustaches and incremental income … mustache maintenance costs qualify for and should be considered as a deductible expense,” the paper said.

Damn straight, isn’t it time to end the tyranny against those of us with facial hair?

4. Stephen Gordon at The Speculist posits that with the ever increasing availability of online goods and services, universities, book stores, and retail shops, will all shrink to the size of coffee shops.

My Christmas shopping this year was 90% through Amazon Prime. Not having to fight the crowds and having it delivered free of charge to my home is a big plus, but as with the Kindle store, the online retail selection is much better that even the largest retail outlet.

Which is more enjoyable: Starbucks or Walmart?  For the sane: Starbucks.  So if you can accomplish your Walmart shopping at Starbucks, why do it any other way?

The same holds true for offices.

The need for offices grew as the equipment for mental work was developed starting in the late 19th centuries. That need appears to have peaked about 1980. It was a rare person who could afford the computers, printers, fax machines, and mailing/shipping equipment of that time.

Now a single person with $500 can duplicate most of those functions with a single laptop computer.  So the remaining function of the office is to be that place that clients know to find you… and that kids and the other distractions of home can’t.

Going forward the workplace will need the same sort of flexibility that I described for education. Groups for one project will form and then disband and then reform with new members for the next project. What will that workplace look like? Probably closer to Starbucks than Bob Par’s cubicle.

I couldn’t agree more.

5. President Obama sat down for a podcast interview with Bill Simmons of ESPN and reaffirmed his coolness with a huge swath of the population. As a tip for Romney (who tries to affirm his regular guy cred by referencing his NASCAR owner friends), this is how you do it.

“Yes. My crossover is solid.”

What a natural, friendly guy with a great handle on sports…also, you had to know that Omar would be his favorite character from The Wire, right?

Fact Of The Day: Spaghetti alla puttanesca literally translates to “whore’s style spaghetti” in Italian. Discovery of this fact now makes this my favorite Italian dish.

Quote Of The Day: “Death is caused by swallowing small amounts of saliva over a long period of time.” – George Carlin

Cartoon Of The Day: “The TV Of Tomorrow” – Tex Avery

Video Of The Day: “Bully” – Trailer for the new documentary

Song Of The Day: “Don’t Owe You A Thang” – Gary Clark Jr.

Follow me on Twitter: @ChrisSmithAV

Email me links, tips, story ideas: chris@artvoice.com


  • Jesse

    Hey, if he’s likable, who cares what his policies do to the country!

    Reminds of the old ditty: Bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran….

    Also, Chris, no mention of the death of one the pioneering men in your field?

  • Ian

    Too funny…I remember haranguing from the left about people voting for Bush because he was viewed as “more likable” than Gore or Kerry by Soccer Moms and Hockey Dads.

    On another note, I am really enjoying your cartoons of the day. Your selections have been great.

    • Being a good retail politician and connecting with people is an essential part of actually getting elected. I think the haranguing from the left emerged from a couple of things.

      – The whole “rancher”, truck driving, brush clearing thing from Bush was so clearly an act that it was shocking that anyone bought it. He purchased the ranch and truck right before running for office and sold it within weeks of leaving the White House. Do I think Bush likes baseball and auto racing? Yup. Does he seem like the kind of guy you’d hang out with and have beers with (even though he’s a recovering alcoholic), absolutely. I have lots of Republican friends who I like to hang with. That doesn’t mean I think they make good politicians.

      – Bush’s friendliness and ability to connect were his primary appeal whereas with Obama, it’s part of a bigger picture and combined with his intense grasp of policy, oratory skills, and political skill makes him seem a total package. He seems like a real guy.

      – Romney has no idea how to connect with regular people, unless they work for him and their relationship is a boss/employee dynamic. He seems like a douche. Santorum seems like he relates to middle class people and I think that’s one of the primary drivers of his appeal.

  • Bbill

    Hey, if he’s likable, who cares what his policies do to the country!

    His policies seem to be effective wrt slowly cleaning up the catastrophe that your boy dubya “did to the country”. In the face of party-over-country GOP obstructionism also too.

  • Ryan

    So, is there a sliding scale with this facial hair thing? ‘Cause my well maintained beard must be worth triple that, right? Trimmers, razors, and the damage to my drains…

  • Allen Miller

    @BBill

    The mess was created by many people in both parties and yes we are slowly repairing the economy. It could have been done faster though it is one of the slowest recoveries in history.

    @Jesse
    Its Worse than no mention. Rolling Stone reporter Matt Taibi who is often quoted here wrote a post about Andrew Breitbart titled “Death of a Douche bag”. You need to understand that blogs with this leaning write posts like “Fuck the Troops” then try to explain how in some esoteric way they are actually supporting the troops. Don’t fret though the lack of acknowledgment or any form of sympathy is only a testament to how effective Andrew Breitbart was. May God rest his soul and thanks to him for exposing ACORN and Anthony Weiner. Please pray fro him and that his work continues. AV Bloggers wet dream about the type of success he had.

    @everyone
    Please Sheriff Joe Arpaio and other Obama Birth certificate deniers. Stop it! Even if you are right (which I honestly believe the guy was born in Hawaii) at this point it just puts you in a league with kooks like Rosie O’Donell, Van Jones and other truthers. Obama has become a master at hiding his past because he does not want you to know these facts about who he is or his formative years. While holding back records may not be in tradition with other presidents it is not illegal for him to hide all kinds of records. If we had a media that vetted everyone equally we may know the answers to some of those answers. But we do not and we won’t get one soon. In the upcoming months you will hear 1000 times more about Romneys youth than you did about Obama. That’s just the way it is.

    @everyone again
    I enjoyed yesterdays morning grumpy obsession Rick Santorum and the back and forth name calling with you liberal assholes, but today I am off to try to boost myself from a 2%er to a 1%er so this is my only comment for about a week. Say what you want about me but be assured I will not read it.

    • Taibbi’s article was spot-on and would be exactly what Breitbart would have expected.

      So Andrew Breitbart is dead. Here’s what I have to say to that, and I’m sure Breitbart himself would have respected this reaction: Good! Fuck him. I couldn’t be happier that he’s dead.

      I say this in the nicest possible way. I actually kind of liked Andrew Breitbart. Not in the sense that I would ever have wanted to hang out with him, or even be caught within a hundred yards of him without a Haz-Mat suit on, but I respected the shamelessness. Breitbart didn’t do anything by halves, and even his most ardent detractors had to admit that he had a highly developed, if not always funny, sense of humor.

      I thought the article was actually complimentary and your inability to see that says more about you then the writer.

      Are you seriously going to bring up Ian Murphy’s polemic here? For what reason? We didn’t write it, he did and has pretty much hamstrung his entire fucking career due to the publication of that one column and in some way probably regrets it. He’ll never apologize for it, because he shouldn’t, as this is America. As long as he is willing to accept the consequences for his writing, without much whining about persecution, he should be respected for writing whatever the fuck he wants to write.

    • Alan Bedenko

      AV Bloggers wet dream about the type of success he had.

      Well, we did expose Carl Paladino for being a misogynist racist horse porn enthusiast. That was pretty awesome.

  • Oh yes, you will. You can’t help it. We’re like a drug to you.

  • Yes, Alan, but then you were a WNYMedia Blogger. Now that you are at AV you wet dream about being the National Inquirer of blogging. Perhaps TMZ is hiring.

  • Mike Chmiel

    “Obama has become a master at hiding his past because he does not want you to know these facts about who he is or his formative years.”

    Aside from his pesky habit of writing books about his past and formative years.

  • Perhaps you did not know this Chris, but my lack of mustache is inspired by the Mennonites, Amish, and other Anabaptist Christians who shave their mustaches as a mark of their commitment to pacifism. By offering a tax break for mustaches and not beards you are violating my religious freedom and you have declared war on pacifist Christians.

  • Pauldub

    Since I can’r grow a mustache to save my life, am I being denied a tax break due to disability?

    Nice to see Grok coming back to common use. Shortly after The Man who Fell to Earth was released, there were rumors that Heinlein’s book would make it to the big screen with David Bowie in the lead role.

  • Has Bob McCarthy covered the mustache story? I think grassroots support for this will pop up all over, in the form of Stache Mobs…