Hezbollah's gift for Ahmadinejad: An Israeli rifle (from AP)

President "Achmed the nut job" posed in an anti-American-terror-group-controlled area, and talked tough. Again. Presumably, this was a victory tour for the Persian state puppet -- uh, leader -- after an irritating, rambling, impish and infamously wacko UN speech. 

To a UN General Assembly audience with little interest, at least among non-Muslim extremists or extremist hopefuls, and lacking several member nations whose reps walked out on his blabber, Iran's political leader had claimed -- as hobbyist building engineer and former comic Rosie O'Donnell and other loopy conspiracy theorists have been saying for years -- that the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks were orchestrations of the U.S. government as an excuse to invade the Middle East. Uh, yeah, you need new material, Holocaust-denier-boy.

"The world should know that the Zionists will perish," the Iranian leader is quoted as saying in a Hezbollah-controlled town close to the Jewish State's border. The silly little Hitler wannabe was on a tour of Syria and Lebanon. 

AP reported Hezbollah's gift for Ahmadinejad: An Israeli rifle. Unfortunately, the big-talking politician knew not to stick it in his mouth.

Iran's president hovered at Israel's border with Lebanon, in a taunt with his proximity and words, of the tiny, militarily-effective, U.S.-supported democracy.

Meanwhile, one can imagine Israeli military personnel yawning at their stations alongside desert-camouflaged tanks, listening to music on iPods and the like, or making jokes about the smarmy little mullah-puppet making a showing on the other side of their very secure border. 

-jR (aka AirFarceOne)

The Lone Star, uh, Whatever: Texas county ballots printed with flag of Chile

Flag of Chile (bordered) Chile's flag. Note the one star and the colors. Image via Wikipedia.
Austin, TX: Texas county ballots wrongly have flag of Chile

So, they have a flag of Chile available in the voting offices, but not the state's flag? Where did they get flag clip art for Chile if they were looking for the dept.'s own official flag?!! I mean, this wasn't something that was a surprise requirement, I assume.

Amazing: just how could this go all the way to three weeks till election? 

Perhaps the attitude of removing incumbents is stopping too short with elected officials, and we should look into removing zombie state workers, too. Just don't get them a job that requires identifying their state's flag, it would be too much for some. Apparently, at least in one Texas county. 

The essential difference: Texas has the whole left hand side, perhaps a third of it, in blue, while Chile has the top left corner in blue, with one star in the top left corner of both. The red panel is across the entire bottom of Chile's flag (see image).

Is it a mistake anyone could make? Yes, if one didn't live in Texas and didn't work for Texas and didn't have the Texas flag all over everything. Otherwise, how embarrassing!

- jR
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Census reveals that more than half of renters are overstretched (or overreaching)

Median household income between 1965 and 2005....Median Household Income, 1965-2005; Image via Wikipedia
I think it is time to stop any talk about raising taxes, and start raising RAISES. Don't even talk about it, just get to it.

Housing costs are proving unaffordable for more than half of Americans who rent. And, go figure, many might even have gotten into a rental agreement during the recent drop in prices and are still drained! Sucks to not be the guy taking the rent or taking the taxes these days. Big time. I'm getting a little tired of it.

It makes sense to take what a household earns and say that 30% of it should be the cost of housing. Less would be better, obviously. The census finding reveals that, broadly, a little more than half of Americans are on the wrong side of two general types: those who spend beyond their means, whether their income is great or they are in lower income brackets, and those who are unable to afford living within their means. (But let's face it, this is middle-class and working-class families, overwhelmingly, and, in the past few years, recent college graduates who are anti-roommate or unable to move in with parents).

From USA Today:
More renters found housing unaffordable last year as incomes fell while costs increased, a one-two punch that squeezed lower-income households in particular. Affordability for homeowners, however, was stable.

The share of renters spending 30% or more of their household income on housing costs — the threshold set by the government to determine if housing is unaffordable — rose to 51.5% from about 50% in 2008, according to 2009 Census data released Tuesday.
To use myself as an example, I have been paying at least $1200 too much, annually, for rent (for what I was getting), ever since I moved to Florida in 2003. The market was certainly in a bubble, and in South Florida, it was comical. Or, frightening, depending on how you look at it. In some places, people were paying $700 or better rates to live between some very scruffy walls, and neighbors. That imbalance changed -- for me, at least -- when I relocated in January 2010, in the midst of the sunken housing market.  Some places were still asking far too much. Some folks have, some folks do not have, and some of the former are sloooow in reacting to change. I guess they can afford to be that way.

To get a bit class warfare about it, in 2009-2010, I found that those who are in the "have" category don't find a need to change their ways when the stuff hits the fan. (I don't take my little class war farther than that, though: I don't expect anyone to hand over a nice place to me.) It's a bit mystifying to me. There are those, however, both homeowners and apartment management companies, who were working with people during the 2008 till ?? (whenever it stops) downturn. I applaud their common sense and business sense.

The housing downturn started way back in April 2006, and good people have bad things happen to them in times like that. The landowners should respond appropriately, and not make it feel like a class warfare coming from their end. You get what I mean? If nobody gets all self-centered and needy when things are tense, we'll get through it much better. That goes for government types, too.

It's time to stop raising taxes, and start raising RAISES, including the best raise of all, a good, free market job (and getting off of unemployment) for the jobless who really need them. The U.S. Congress has not missed giving themselves a raise in 2008, in 2009, and will probably do so again in 2010 (wait till December, I believe that's when it will happen again, conveniently after the election cycle).

Check out the related articles, linked below (I like Blogger's Zemanta feature).

- jR, aka AirFarceOne (Twitter)
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TIME's Halperin: Obama 'clueless' about what to do now

White HouseWhite House lost in a crowd of trees. Image by HarshLight via Flickr
Everyone seems to be on the bash Obama wagon these days -- the bash the administration wagon, perhaps is more accurate. Is that why so many close and high-up advisers are leaving? Maybe yes, maybe no. The outcome of November 2, 2010, will tell us more. 

From one of TIME's political guys, Mark Halperin:
Why Obama Is Losing the Political War
Monday, Oct. 11, 2010 

With the exception of core Obama Administration loyalists, most politically engaged elites have reached the same conclusions: the White House is in over its head, isolated, insular, arrogant and clueless about how to get along with or persuade members of Congress, the media, the business community or working-class voters. This view is held by Fox News pundits, executives and anchors at the major old-media outlets, reporters who cover the White House, Democratic and Republican congressional leaders and governors, many Democratic business people and lawyers who raised big money for Obama in 2008, and even some members of the Administration just beyond the inner circle. 

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/politics/article/0,8599,2024718,00.html#ixzz124TaOshl 

- jR - aka airfarceone, on Twitter
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