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Posts posted by Bingoloid

  1. I've met Giovanni several times. He seems, on first pass, like an OK guy who is a little...different, but sincere.

    Did he really loudly endorse Battisti, as Solak implies? Resciniti and her family at least wore the truth on their sleeves.

  2. 22 hours ago, ginger said:

    Still in mourning...still singing Losing It in my head every night. I wish I had the time to drive up to the farm listening to Red Barchetta but alas...no time for that business. Reading other peoples elegies, one person commented "It turns out the world really loved Neil Peart." He also feels people who are Rush fans are part of their own fraternity. 

    Excuse me, I have to go sit under my light box now...just kidding :) I do have to go get milk and bread and laundry detergent, and beer and lottery tickets because it's going to snow in 22 minutes. Have a cozy weekend everybody.

    A lot of people are surprised by how much this one stings. I've been through the whole discography a couple times one way or another this week. I'm keeping an eye out for a good deal on a hi-fi system so I can listen again properly.

    You might tell your daughter,  if she has Sirius XM in the car or at work, they're running an all-Rush tribute takeover of Deep Tracks  (channel 27). It was supposed to end Wednesday, then Sunday, now it's pushed out to next Wednesday and there's talk of a permanent all-Rush channel. People just aren't turning it off. I think if you go to the Sirius XM website, you can just listen free for a few days.

    Also enjoyed the billboards Lamar put up around the country. This one was spotted in Philly:


  3. On 1/10/2020 at 2:10 PM, ginger said:

    What were all of those "Canadiens" doing in Iran? Lets see a list of their names. Somehow I'm guessing they don't sound anything like Yvan Cournoyer...the roadrunner :)

    I had typed this up before we went offline:

    "Same thing people of every ethnic background go to the old country to do during the holidays, visit their family, I guess.

    Either way, that's the point. A lot of the victims were Canadian citizens with lives in Canada, but left behind thousands of Iranian households to whom they are aunts, uncles, cousins, grandchildren, etc., plus Iranian students in Canada who have lost their friends and roommates and will remember this wherever they go next.

    Gorbachav always said Chernobyl was the real cause of the fall of the Soviet Union, the moment ordinary Soviets realized the system was broken and there was no going back to trusting the delusional geezers in charge."

    Sure enough, the day after we went offline, Tehran admitted to the shootdown, and protest mobs of thousands started forming on university campuses across the country screaming "death to the dictator". An Olympian defected to Europe, and two state television anchors resigned, with one apologizing for "13 years of lies". Apparently the government has resorted to shooting at protesters with live ammunition. Both Western and Arab media have started to refer to it as a possible "Chernobyl moment". They had to start tearing down memorials to the general to put up memorials to the crash victims.


  4. Ginger, I'll never forget that you were the person who delivered the news to me. I've been a hardened Rush fan since I was about 16. A few years ago, my father and I went to see their final tour. They blew the lid off the place. They played "Losing It", something they didn't do for most of the tour but did for us here in the tri-state area, and the crowd was crushed.

    I read some of his books, and recommend "Ghost Rider" to anyone who's going through tough times, especially grief and loss. Peart's work ethic has always been a huge influence on me and I credit his music for a lot of good things in my life. The man was an astronaut of percussion. It's only now, after they retired, that it became fashionable for all the more mainstream rock bands to come out and admit how much influence Rush had on them.

    Geddy and Alex must be hurting. RIP Professor.

    Patiently waiting for the Tom Hanks biopic.


  5. 14 minutes ago, ginger said:

    The plane was shot down 4 hours after the attack on the Iraqi bases. What was this, some kind of Hunt for Red October redux? We'll pretend the Americans shot it down?

    I'm guessing it was two jumpy 19-year-olds in a truck looking at dots on a screen in the dark, misreading something and thinking they were under attack. If they wanted to blame the Americans, they would have by now. They're still claiming it's "scientifically impossible" that it was shot down.

    There are a lot of Iranian households with dead cousins and friends right now, and they're mostly the kind of households that sent their kids to Canada for better lives away from the regime. They're probably terrified of how the opposition will use this if they admit this resulted from state incompetence.

  6. Seems obvious Iran is posturing to back out of this, as I suspected. They fire some missiles with advance warning, coordinate it with us so that they don't hit anything, then have state media tell their supporters 80 Americans were killed. They were putting on a fake display of retaliating so that Iranians who believe in the regime will hopefully calm down and feel like their national pride is intact.

    They've also announced they will not share the black box from that 737 with Boeing. I'd almost entertain a more complicated conspiracy theory where they shot it down to frame American engineering for the crash to damage our most important exporter, but I'm guessing that a mistake was made and a bunch of Iranian students who died in a fiery plane crash over this silly game are going to become a rallying point for the regime's opponents.

  7. Samantha Stone/Werkheiser, twice-convicted and twice-overturned on charges of systematically sexually abusing a 6-year-old.

    Her second conviction was thrown out because Tom Jackson forgot to file the indictment.

    Seems like maybe you would have wanted to let your reputation cool down for an election cycle before running for office, Tom.

  8. 1 hour ago, PeteMoss said:

    If they don't pay us, we should destroy our bases.

    Difficulty: as far as I can tell, we never built a billion-dollar airbase in Iraq. Anything like that appears to been built by Saddam, and handed over in 2011 when we formally withdrew.

    We're now using what are unambiguously legally their facilities on an invitational basis.

  9. 4 hours ago, 19April1775 said:

    Trump is on record saying we should have taken Iraq's oil after the 2003 invasion because of all the money we spent there. 

    And stop with this nonsense that Trump is worried about looking tough. That is pure SWAMP talking point bullshit. Trump has a command presence unlike any President since almost our founding. 


    Sure, and Bush's team had said all along that Iraq would pay for everything out of their oil money way back in 2003. Donald Rumsfeld, Ari Flesicher, Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz all promised this would cost us next to nothing. There's a real world out there where just because somebody promised it was going to happen doesn't mean it's what's going to happen or even that it's up to them.

    We can agree to disagree about how to read Trump's personality quirks, but by far the biggest Iran hawk in Trump's administration was John Bolton. Bolton has unambiguously wanted the war and regime change Trump says he doesn't want. When Bolton resigned/was fired (depending on who you believe) a few months ago, Trump became noticeably upset at reports claiming that they'd parted ways because Bolton was too tough. Not only did he go out of his way to insist to reporters that Bolton thought Trump was too tough, but he got on Twitter to make sure everyone heard that he was tougher than Bolton and that Bolton had actually been holding him back on Cuba and Venezuela.

    Lindsey Graham was apparently with him at Mar-a-Lago and has said Benghazi was weighing on his mind when he decided on this route. It's hardly a stretch that he was influenced by this kind of coverage:


    Doesn't matter much either way, though. What's done is done.

  10. 1 hour ago, 19April1775 said:

    What if Trump used the fact that Iran basically controls Iraqi politicians so the Iraqi politicians would throw a fit and demand we be expelled for killing their apparently favored terrorist? It would be a clever way to have a win against the swamp<troop withdrawal> and expose the Iraqi government at the same time. 

    Sure, it could be an elaborate game of 4D Chess in which the winning move is to suspend the fight against ISIS and to hand Iran control of a valuable puppet state after we've dumped a trillion dollars into it. It'd be the opposite of what he consistently promised his supporters, but hope springs eternal.

    Then again, maybe Trump saw something he didn't like on TV, did something dramatic without thinking it all the way through because he's led around by his fears that people won't think he's tough, and is now taking the aftermath as it comes.

    Only time will tell what actually happens. Everything is just talk right now, I remain optimistic that the Iranian regime is trying to make it look good for their supporters before they find a way to back down while saving face.

    Let's just not lose sight of the fact that we've been explicitly told Trump's plan here was to prevent a war and that he doesn't want to get mired down in regime change in Iran. If this goes to hell, I don't want to be 10,000 amputations, a Hezbollah hijacking, and another two trillion dollars into this thing, hearing from Trump's believers about how "what 'the swamp' really wanted was for us to pull out, so getting mired down in regime change in Iran was clearly Trump's master plan all along and everything is under control" while they line up for a full-blown TSA prostate exam at the airport.

  11. 13 hours ago, PeteMoss said:

    How do you know they weren't notified?

    I think that's an open debate. The reactions from our allies don't suggest that we coordinated with them.

    It doesn't seem we ran this by Iraq, either. The Iraqi parliament has passed a resolution urging their prime minister to rescind their invitation to foreign troops, which would effectively expel the coalition against ISIS from Iraq. On one hand, it's probably not going to happen, but on the other hand, considering Iraq is a majority-Shi'ite nation where the Sunnis persecuted them for decades, it reads to me like some members of parliament are doing the math and finding out that when push comes to shove, their future is better served by being seen to support Iranian influence rather than Western influence, which doesn't seem like a good sign.

    Trump obviously has access to better information to make these decisions than any of us and is surrounded by capable military advisers, but it doesn't follow that he's interpreting it realistically or can recognize good advice when he's getting it. James Mattis must be having an interesting weekend.

  12. I'm pretty sure there are more people in America today grieving Soleimani's death than in Iran.

    Hoping Trump's gambit pays off and that this doesn't drag us into a waste of blood and treasure, but the idea that anybody should be outraged or even mildly disappointed by his timely departure is out-of-touch lunacy.

    No doubt, the Binghamton brigade of a dozen delusional geriatric hippies is planning to protest somewhere downtown with their handmade signs shortly.

    An Iranian political cartoon this morning:


  13. I do agree that this forum made a big difference, but I didn't post anything here about this race for personal recognition or expecting an internet forum to be thanked at a swearing-in ceremony (which would be a strange and awkward thing to do), and it's a bad look to imply that there's going to be some kind of a grudge over it.

    Personally, I posted because I because the Southern Tier has rewarded my work and values so that I've been able to get ahead of the game and have a good life, I care about this place, so the least I could do is be vocal in speaking up about someone who I know to be a greasy little antichrist trying to cheat his way through the game at everyone else's expense.

    Seeing Paul's defeat and retreat is reward enough.

  14. 1 hour ago, JB 2 said:

    The mention of popular vote versus electoral is a bit facetious for those that believe in our Constitution. President Trump is the Legal, Constitutionally elected President of our USA.

    He certainly is, and I think the Democratic impeachment stunt is a fool's errand that's only hurting them. Still, the realities of the numbers are the fundamental job of a well-prepared campaign strategist, and one of those realities is that Trump didn't win on mass appeal like Reagan, he won by building a new strategy on narrow issues that mattered in a few key states. Trump won Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania, all traditionally blue states, by less than 1%. These are hardcore Democratic states, blue in every Presidential election since Reagan. 

    Trump was able to peel off a lot of farmers and union labor by selling Democratic false promises more loudly than they ever had, but those states are still vulnerable. The $28 billion farmer bailout isn't solving the issue. McConnell got the coal miners their billions of taxpayer subsidy to shore up their pension, but it won't stop the layoffs, shutdowns, and bankruptcies. Nor will it save the other major multiemployer pensions that are set to implode, including the Central States Teamsters Plan in 2025, which is so large that the federal institution insuring pensions has already forecast its own failure in 2025, because if nothing else is done, the collapse of the CSTP alone will single-handedly bankrupt it. Trump has openly rejected Social Security reform, and 2020 is the year when it starts calling in its loans, converting it into more spending at a time when we've already doubled the deficit to a trillion dollars a year.

    This is just me predicting that as things stand, Trump is likely to win, and the Democrats will have only themselves to blame, because they're stuck on trying to unify the idiot fringes of their existing base by arguing about what to serve for dinner on this cruise ship tonight instead of throwing them overboard so they can focus on the real issue, which is that this ship is the RMS Titanic.

  15. 2 hours ago, ginger said:

    I had to google the names too. I read Anthem in high school. :) Who needs Ayn Rand when you can just listen to RUSH? 

    I just woke up, give me a bit to look at the budget but I still think I heard Garner say medicaid is the largest expense we have. At 7% according to your chart, that does not seem possible. I have to get my air drum sticks out now. Begin the day with a friendly voice...

    I don't know the context for what Garnar might have said, but it's entirely possible that 7% is still the largest single line item. It's just that most of what's spent on Medicaid does not come out of our property taxes. It's another case of money getting redistributed from wealthier parts of the state/country that carry the load for areas like ours. There's issues with that, but locally we play the hand we're dealt. We're a lower-to-middle income county with an older, sicker population that gets a net benefit from it, especially in the form of local healthcare jobs - some of the few jobs around that are competitive with other areas.

    The "social services" figure in the budget encompasses a lot of things besides Medicaid. In fact, I didn't see any discussion of Medicaid expenditures on the Social Services section on page 322 at all. (The document isn't searchable.) Interestingly, looking into it, the state capped the local share in 2005 and froze it in 2015, and has been absorbing the difference since, so local governments are actually paying much less than they would have been otherwise.

    As for Rand and Rush, I've read The Fountainhead, Atlas Shrugged, We The Living, Anthem, and a good chunk of Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal. I just can't believe that given the topic we're talking about The Spirit of Radio and not...


  16. You know what? A cynic would suspect the Dems are trying to throw this race.

    Regardless of what you think of Trump personally, anybody taking an honest look at the landscape realizes this should have been easy for them. Trump lost the popular vote by a small margin and relied on flipping a few traditionally Democratic Rust Belt states to win the electoral college. The opportunity for the right Democrat is obvious.

    I believe all three candidates polling above 10% are not only older than Reagan, whose age was already controversial, but would take office at an older age than Trump, who was already the oldest in history. (Incidentally, McConnell and Pelosi are both pushing 80. It's like the last days of the Politburo over there. All of these people should be relaxing, playing tennis on the Gulf Coast - very cautiously, for fear of breaking a hip - not vying for control of a nuclear superpower.)

    None have many serious proposals and none are in a credible position to address the elephant in the room, which is that the industries Trump promised to revitalize are still dying at considerable taxpayer expense, small farmers are taking on mortgage and hard money loans to stay afloat through the trade war that they'll probably never be able to repay and the National Farmers Union believes they're in the middle of a dramatic spike in suicides, and the economy is being propped up with record injections of debt that we will all be paying back with interest eventually. The interest we're paying on that debt has nearly doubled under this administration, and next year, Social Security will start calling in the debt owed to it by Congress, which will contribute to a further downward spiral that we're clearly not going to do anything about.

    They started in a historic position to triangulate and run with a lot of traditional Republican strengths, find a Kennedy-style candidate and recapture the middle-class and union labor, but are instead doing their best to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory because they're afraid of alienating goofy AOC people.

    Yang does have a few worthwhile ideas, but he'll never happen, and I agree with Pete that he lacks, uh, let's call it gravitas. Many of his tax ideas are actually not that far from FairTax, which was a mainstream proposal driven by conservative Republicans in recent years. He might be the one Democrat who would be able to organize enough members of both parties to get a complete tax reform bill passed, not just incremental changes. I think he's sincere and would probably be a very capable Secretary of Commerce.

  17. 2 hours ago, ginger said:

    80% of Broome county property taxes are going to the medicaid program.

    I'd be curious to hear how you arrived at that figure.

    New York is unique in forcing local governments to pick up part of the state share of the Medicaid tab, but it's just that: part of the state's share of a program that is jointly funded by the federal government, in a county where most people pay very little, if any, income tax and there are almost no major businesses contributing. A quick search found this table, which says Broome spends just over 7% of its budget on Medicaid, notably less than the state average. I'd expect it to be almost all funded by taxes collected outside the area.

    Figure 4: Medicaid Local Share as a Percentage of Local District Gross Expenditures by Local District, 2016