Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Tuesday, December 30, 2008
#10: Fred Thompson, The Natural. "Though Thompson's campaign was somnolent and inept, his choir fluffed him frenetically. "#9: The Cheapskate's Guide to Civil Disobedience. "Rightblogger Dr. Helen discussed undertipping waiters, maids, gardeners, etc. if Obama won as a way for rich people to express their displeasure."#8: The Hoover Boom. " 'This election year does look quite a bit like Hoover vs. Roosevelt (and given that choice, I'll take Hoover),' said National Review's Jonah Goldberg"#7: And Robin is Tony Blair. "In the Wall Street Journal Andrew Klavan explained why The Dark Knight is 'a paean of praise to the fortitude and moral courage that has been shown by George W. Bush in this time of terror and war.' "#6: The War on Starbucks. "For Michelle Malkin, even hot beverages are political."#5: Rightwing Hillary Love. "As her star started to fade, Hillary Clinton won the applause of rightbloggers theretofore committed to her destruction. "#4: Michelle Obama: The Lost Sessions. "We hold out hope for the discovery in a Chicago garage of Michelle's lost Millie Jackson collaborations."#3: A Megan McArdle Christmas. Megan McArdle proves herself unworthy of the description "consistent" (there really was no way to quote Edroso without pulling the entire bit).#2: A Late Defense of Richard Nixon. "Regrettably, Schiffren did not include DNA evidence."#1: Obama the Savage Messiah. "When finally the worst came to pass, they declared that Obama would be just like Bush. That's as may be, but you have to wonder then why they went through all that trouble. "
Monday, December 29, 2008
Teenagers who pledge to remain virgins until marriage are just as likely to have premarital sex as those who do not promise abstinence and are significantly less likely to use condoms and other forms of birth control when they do, according to a study released today.
The new analysis of data from a large federal survey found that more than half of youths became sexually active before marriage regardless of whether they had taken a "virginity pledge," but that the percentage who took precautions against pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases was 10 points lower for pledgers than for non-pledgers.
"DAD: You know I respect you and love you, but I want you to promise me something. Promise me that you won't have sex until you are married and that you will come talk to me and be honest with me if you decide to break this promise.CHILD: Dad, because you've always been honest and open with me, and given me guidance, I will promise not to have sex until I am married, with the understanding that mistakes happen, and I may not always be in control of how a promise like this might be broken. When it happens, I will need your guidance and trust, rather than your anger and disappointment."
"DAD: Goddamit, don't you EVER have sex until you're married! I will not support you and some tramp/boy and your baby while you two figure out how to play house. Promise me, dammit, now!CHILD: Um, OK, Dad, I promise. Can I go play with my, um, Wii now?"
Friday, December 26, 2008
2) Clearly, Bush really is concerned about his legacy.
3) Or maybe not.
4) This is why the religious right will never get anywhere in this world: they beat up on little kids.
5) Sometimes Santa takes away, rather than give.
6) I can tell you this much: NOT sleeping is not good for your heart.
7) One thought in this season of giving: blood. The weather and the economy is taking its toll on the nation's blood supply. If you have the chance, give a pint.
8) Given item 3, above, how does the Bush administration square their domestic policy with their foreign policy?
9) This is some guy's mug shot:
10) A short history of Boxing Day. Happy Boxing day, all!
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
the war on Christmas is a godless plot cooked up by a cabal of latte-sipping liberals, greedy retail tycoons, bearded ACLU communists and Ban Ki-moon acolytes who secretly gather in Bay Area synagogues to smoke pot, deface Bibles and perform abortions.
Or — maybe — the whole thing is just a canard, the backlash against a wave of political correctness that swept the U.S. in the late '90s, resulting in some strange new concessions to cultural sensitivity: cities insisting on calling the telltale conifers "holiday trees," efforts to ban the pleasantry "Merry Christmas" and crackdowns on the use of holiday nativity scenes and other religious iconography. But to many, the War on Christmas is a hyperbolic construct that blows the problem out of proportion. "There is no war on Santa," Michelle Goldberg wrote on Salon.com in 2005. "What there is, rather, is the burgeoning myth of a war on Christmas, assembled out of old reactionary tropes, urban legends, exaggerated anecdotes and increasingly organized hostility to the American Civil Liberties Union." According to Max Blumenthal, who published a recent article on the topic, the trope's persistent popularity is fed by financial opportunism: "The Christmas kulturkampf is a growth industry in a shrinking economy, providing an effective boost for conservative fundraising and a ratings bonanza for right-wing media." O'Reilly himself has lent credence to this theory. "Every company in America should be on its knees thanking Jesus for being born," he said on Nov. 29, 2005. "Without Christmas, most American businesses would be far less profitable."
12And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves,
13And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
This dude took his finals and then went and saved part of the planet.
Then, there's this guy. He made a deal with the devil and died.
In a plane crash.
Hopefully, democracy didn't die with him, but we'll see............
You can find more info about this at freepress.org
and at bradblog.com and at atlargely.com and at velvetrevolution.us
The Supreme Court's decision in Bush v. Gore, issued eight years ago this month, was widely understood to work like that tape recorder in "Mission: Impossible." It was meant to produce a president and then self-destruct.
"Our consideration is limited to the present circumstances," the majority famously said, "for the problem of equal protection in election processes generally presents many complexities."
That sentence, translated from high legal jargon into English, was often taken to mean this: The decision was a ticket for one ride only. It was not a precedent. It was a ruling, yes, but it was not law.
But now, as the petitioner leaves the national stage, Bush v. Gore is turning out to have lasting value after all. "You're starting to see courts invoke it," said Samuel Issacharoff, a law professor at New York University, "and you're starting to see briefs cite it."
We elected Barack Obama with the understanding that he would likely close some of these holes, and perhaps ignore others, but asking a President to completely ignore convenient precedents is like asking a man to not use his left arm for four or eight years. It's simply not going to happen so long as they are available.
Monday, December 22, 2008
A few months ago a headline in the satirical newspaper The Onion, on point as always, offered one possible answer: “Recession-Plagued Nation Demands New Bubble to Invest In.” Something new could come along to fuel private demand, perhaps by generating a boom in business investment.I agree. I think the largest concern for the American economy over the past decade or so has been the transnationalization of our debt.
But this boom would have to be enormous, raising business investment to a historically unprecedented percentage of G.D.P., to fill the hole left by the consumer and housing pullback. While that could happen, it doesn’t seem like something to count on.
A more plausible route to sustained recovery would be a drastic reduction in the U.S. trade deficit, which soared at the same time the housing bubble was inflating. By selling more to other countries and spending more of our own income on U.S.-produced goods, we could get to full employment without a boom in either consumption or investment spending.
Think about it: the Chinese, British, and Saudis (as well as other nations swimming in new-found cash) basically have funded not only our national debt, but in turn, our personal indebtedness, including our mortgages.
Our foreign policy has followed suit, you might have noticed. The Iraq invasion was as much a pretext for getting money from the House of Saud as it was for "protecting America from terrorism".
Too, once these foreign governments found themselves swimming in American paper, the more risk-tolerant governments began buying up American private instruments: corporate bonds, securitized mortgages, credit and auto loans, things like that. Better return
for only slightly higher risk.
I'd got so far as to make the observation that the change in bankruptucy laws that made it nearly impossible for Americans to walk away from debt was less about the banking lobby and more about not knifing our allies in the back.
Once this house of cards began to topple (and this really is only the beginning), much effort was put not into prevention, as in financing Americans directly, but in staving off the collapse of the mediators: the banks and brokerages.
You see, we're stuck paying these bastards off for stuffing our mailboxes full of solicitations, egged on by a president who's idea of sacrifice is to take our credit cards out and spend, spend, spend! Financing us just brings the problems the institutions have to a head.
What we as a nation need to do, therefore, is to repatriate our owings, if we are to reclaim a recovery of any length and note. You'll notice the last time we had a truly healthy recovery, we were paying down our budget deficits and even making inroads into what was now-laughably called a crisis national debt of $3.8 trillion (it is now over $10 trillion and climbing fast).
The trouble, of course, is that other nations may not take kindly to this domestication of resources and money. China, for example, lives by our imports of their goods. It would be a bit irritating if we suddenly opened factories all across America, and paid people a living wage to make goods that China can produce far cheaper than we can.
Which brings me to some linkage, something that Barack Obama had already proposed on the campaign trail for other purposes, but which can make us a manufacturing powerhouse again without really upsetting our trade with China among others.
To put it in a phrase: green energy.
Right now, we have a nascent renewable resources manufacturing industry. We have the innovative American mind, the entreprenurial spirit with which to create, and the structure to manage and distribute this kind of knowledge around the nation.
More important, we have the idle capacities in terms of both plants and labor. There's not much reason not to insitute this program of weaning ourselves off fossil fuels, weaning ourselves off the notion of "brand, spanking, new", and weaning ourselves of the notion that this kind of work, manufacturing and fabrication, is somehow a dead art in America, that Americans find this work beneath them somehow.
Ultimately, this technology would become an export, and a lion-sized one to boot. We'd be able to balance our trade and budget deficits, and make some paydowns of our national debt, probably just in time for the next recession.
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Saturday, December 20, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
2) Somehow, it warms my heart to hear all those Obombers who stood there defending Rev. Wright whine about this. I don't like Warren, either, I think the choice is a dumb, pandering move, but then I thought Wright was wrong to damn America, too.
3) With all that this nation has gone thru, Zimbabwe's bout with cholera is a tragedy beyond words.
4) There are few companies whose image is so closely linked with its founder. Apple is one of them and now that Steve Jobs seems to be in his last laps as CEO, one wonders what's next?
5) There's 2,900 pages of donors. I don't think a handful like this will be a problem for Hillary.
6) MEMO to George Bush: Half-assed efforts end in half-assed results.
7) Why do I think this is not nearing its end?
8) Uhhhh, oops!
9) OK, this is REALLY jumping the shark!
10) Nurse Chapel, we hardly knew ye.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
As the last person on earth to write about Caroline Kennedy, I too am pretty strongly against handing her a Senate seat. Nothing personal -- but I'm anti-dynasty, and feel that a Senate appointment requires at least some minimum threshold of experience and engagement.
It's worth emphasizing though how unseemly the whole thing is, particularly in the age of Blago. The Blago pay-for-play raises some interesting line-drawing challenges. Legislators seek favors all the time -- that's a huge part of what legislating is. But where is the line?
The key I think is to focus one the purpose of the benefit sought. If it's for some plausibly public benefit, then fine. If it's for private benefit, then that's where things start getting smelly. If Blago, for instance, had said "I demand that you push for universal health care. If you do, I'll appoint your preferred candidate." That's pay-for-play in a sense -- it's demanding a "payment" of sorts -- but that's perfectly acceptable in our current system.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
If you've already taken this survey elsewhere, then please click this link anyway, so that your information can be included in my results.
WASHINGTON — The White House has prepared more than a dozen contingency plans to help guide President-elect Barack Obama if an international crisis erupts in the opening days of his administration, part of an elaborate operation devised to smooth the first transition of power since Sept. 11, 2001.
[...]Mr. Bush said Tuesday that a top priority in his final days in office is to help Mr. Obama get ready to govern. "We care about him," he said in an interview with CNN. "We want him to be successful, and we want the transition to work."
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Monday, December 15, 2008
The most recent draft stipulates that American forces will withdraw from Iraqi cities by June 2009 and from the country by the end of 2011, and contains amendments made by the Americans in response to Iraqi demands made last month.
"The deliberations are continuing in the cabinet in order to ascertain the scope of the amendments that have been added in order to reach a clear agreement and to see if it is acceptable to parliament," Safaldin al-Safi said. "The American response contained many positive elements, but at the same time it contained clauses that require more discussion," the head of Iraq's parliamentary affairs committee said in a statement Tuesday.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Friday, December 12, 2008
2) Notice who is the general opposition to the bailout: Republicans from Southern states. Why? Simple: Who benefits from the bankruptcy of GM and the reorganization? The south. How? Right-to-work states which are openly hostile to unions. GM, Ford, and Chrysler would be free to move their operations down south and save gobs of money on union salaries. Disgraceful!
3) Santa Kitty is going to leave coal in his litterbox!
4) Not pretty. Not at all.
5) I think this may be a dead cat bounce.
6) How many of you skipped this year's shot?
7) Either this guy is a lousy kisser or a great one, I'm not sure.
8) This is one of the more bizarre "terrorists" around. Not deadly, yet, but more of a nuisance. Yet, he or she always manages to show up at the oddest places.
9) This is one of my greatest fears when I am performing.
10) Free trip to London? Plus a Fish Slapping Dance? AWRIGHT!
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
In the market equivalent of shoveling cash under the mattress, hordes of buyers were so eager on Tuesday to park money in the world's safest investment, United States government debt, that they agreed to accept a zero percent rate of return.
The news sent a sobering signal: in these troubled economic times, when people have lost vast amounts on stocks, bonds and real estate, making an investment that offers security but no gain is tantamount to coming out ahead. This extremely cautious approach reflects concerns that a global recession could deepen next year, and continue to jeopardize all types of investments.
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
Gov. Rod Blagojevich and his chief of staff, John Harris, were arrested today by FBI agents on federal corruption charges.
Blagojevich and Harris were accused of a wide-ranging criminal conspiracy that included Blagojevich conspiring to sell or trade the Senate seat left vacant by President-elect Barack Obama in exchange for financial benefits for the governor and his wife. The governor was also accused of obtaining campaign contributions in exchange for other official actions.
Blagojevich was taken into federal custody at his North Side home this morning.
Monday, December 08, 2008
Goodness gracious! A politician allowed the delusional to maintain their delusions just long enough to get him elected!
While I respect the voices on the far far left....sheesh, and all this time I thought I was the wild-eyed idealist who wanted sparkle ponies for the poor and edible rainbows...Hildebrand's got it right: We are Democrats. We are not Republicans who will lead by ignoring the larger issues of the nation for the sake of focusing down narrowly.
I could go on and on. The point I'm making here is that our new president, the Congress and all Americans must come together to solve these problems. This is not a time for the left wing of our Party to draw conclusions about the Cabinet and White House appointments that President-Elect Obama is making. Some believe the appointments generally aren't progressive enough. Having worked with former Senator Obama for the last two years, I can tell you, that isn't the way he thinks and it's not likely the way he will lead. The problems I mentioned above and the many I didn't, suggest that our president surround himself with the most qualified people to address these challenges. After all, he was elected to be the president of all the people - not just those on the left.
As a liberal member of our Party, I hope and expect our new president to address those issues that will benefit the vast majority of Americans first and foremost. That's his job. Over time, there will be many, many issues that come before him. But first let's get our economy moving, bring our troops home safely, fix health care, end climate change and restore our place in the world. What a great president Barack Obama will be if he can work with Congress and the American people to make great strides in these very difficult times.
We tried that for six of the past eight years and look where it got us. We should, as Jesus teaches, turn the other cheek, and welcome our rivals, enemies, loyal opposition, into the fold to help us guide this nation forward.
No one in this country, with the possible exception of me, has all the right answers at his fingertips, cross-referenced and readily vetted. If the other side has answers, like we had under Bush, then we ought to know about them and take them seriously into consideration, if such ideas warrant serious consideration.
And if not, we're free to ignore them on merit, but let it never be said that we ignored them out of spite.
Too, with all the frou-frouing over Obama's Cabinet appointments and advisors, the left loses sight of the single most important fact of all:
That's President Barack Obama.
Had any of the panty-wetters pondered the possibility that President Obama has chosen these people to counterweight his own more liberal tendencies? After all, what's the point in having "yes men" all around you? What do you learn that you didn't know already? And hasn't the past eight years proven how dangerous it is to have an intellectually uncurious mind occupying the Oval Office?
I doubt it, based on what I'm reading, which seems to be some Bizarro-world warping of reality. It's almost as if these folks expected Barack Obama to somehow morph into a Dennis Kucinich/Bernie Sanders clone, replete with left-wing policies, and now they're claiming that Obama isn't listening enough to them.
So really, fellow libs, to echo Hildebrand (by way of Hamsher): STFU.
Friday, December 05, 2008
2) Senator Chris Matthews. It sounds about as appealing as sock soup.
3) There may be more to come from India.
4) Zimbabwe really is falling apart.
5) Last month, it hurt to be a retailer.
6) Maybe we should ask for a recount for McCain after all? "Change" means "think different," Mr President-Elect.
7) Shhhhhhhhhhhhhh! You'll wake the neighbors!
8) I may move to Australia just to run for office!
9) The worst hotel in the world.
10) This historical figure would hate Sarah Palin.
Thursday, December 04, 2008
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- The U.S. economy shed a quarter-million private-sector jobs in November, according to a payroll processor's report that was worse than economists expected.
Non-farm private employment fell by 250,000 jobs from the previous month on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to the ADP National Employment Report.
The report was expected to show a decline of 200,000 jobs in November, according to a consensus of economist projections compiled by Briefing.com.
The goods-producing sector lost 158,000 jobs last month, its 24th consecutive month of decline, according to the report. This includes 118,000 positions in manufacturing and 44,000 construction jobs.
The service industry shed 92,000 jobs, its second month of losses since the ADP reports began tracking employment in 2002.