January 31, 2009

Wake Up

A little coffehouse music for your day:



January 30, 2009

Dolphins Can Cook!

Learn something every day.

Your Moment of Zen

The Iraqis have build a giant bronze statute of a shoe, in honor of the journalist who threw his shoes at Bush. The giant bronze shoe was constructed with the help of Iraqi war orphans, to express their appreciation for all that Bush has done for them.

January 29, 2009

Ding Dong

The hair is dead.

The final vote was 59-0. Hey, there's that bi-partisanship we've been looking for. Blago is removed from office and banned from every holding any elected office again.

If he was a field they would have sowed him with salt.

I Swear

If I hear one more lecture about how only the free market and private enterprise can create jobs, I shall scream.

Private enterprise is cutting millions of jobs. The free market destroyed trillions of dollars of wealth when the housing bubble burst. The whole point of the stimulus is for government to step in and take up some of the slack. People don't need tax cuts for paychecks that they are not receiving any more.

Markets fail all the time. Private enterprise fails all the time. When that happens, government really does matter. Government keeps us in shelter. Government is what keeps us from starving to death.

The oposite of government is not freedom. The opposite of government is anarchy.

January 28, 2009

No Bonus

The stimulus bill passed the House today with room to spare, but with not one Republican vote. So I guess all that schmoozing and stuff didn't work for Obama this time around.

To be honest, I'm not sure how much hot bi-partisan action Obama is going to get. There are no moderate Republicans left. We've killed them all in two straight election massacres. The only Republicans left in Washington are hard-core, blood-red district types without the slightest interest in spending money for the benefit of anyone making less than 300k a year.

Rush Limbaugh owns these guys, body and soul.

Obama is not going to win these folks over, full stop.

The Peacemaker

Not that there's lots of reason for hope in the Middle East, (Did you see 60 Minutes on the subject? Doomed!) but at least one reason is that Obama has appointed George Mitchell as a special envoy to the region. Michell did pull off a Northern Ireland peace accord, so the man does have diplomatic game.

Alex Massie takes a good hard look at how the two conflicts match up. Conclusion: The Middle East will be much harder. But you knew that already, didn't you?

January 27, 2009

Nice

Bill O'Reilly picks fight with Jessica Alba over history and geography,
loses.

Just Do It

People really just have to listen more to what Obama says he will do. Because that is what he is going to do. I know we've gotten used to the Bush way, where he says he will keep the nation safe or help the environment and then doesn't. We've gotten used to the President lying about policy in a very fundamental way. We parse every statement and know to just assume the opposite. A Bush Administration official saying that we want to close Gitmo is a certain guarantee that the prison will stay open. A law called the "Healthy Forest Initiative" is going to be about cutting down forests.

But Obama is different. He says he will reach out to the Muslim world and work to improve America's image in the word. Then he does it.

Pay attention to what he says.

It's going to happen

January 26, 2009

Blaze of Glory

So you know that scene at the end of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, when they are surrounded by the entire Bolivian Army and run out from cover and we don't see it but we hear the guns firing? You know the part.

Well, I figured old Blago has watched lots and lots of old Westerns and he's seen Butch and Sundance about 20 times. And he knows it's helpless and he's going to lose his job and more than likely go to jail.

So instead of staying in Springfield and fighting impeachment, he's breaking cover and running out into the hot glare of the national media like it was the Bolivian Army. And instead of a hail of gunfire, he's going down in a blizzard of really weird TV interviews.

Because in the end, he's not a gunfighter. He's a corrupt pol who's going to jail.

Lost the File

Tell me again about how Bush kept us safe:

President Obama's plans to expeditiously determine the fates of about 245 terrorism suspects held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and quickly close the military prison there were set back last week when incoming legal and national security officials -- barred until the inauguration from examining classified material on the detainees -- discovered that there were no comprehensive case files on many of them.

We don't even know who they are or what they did! We could be holding terrorist masterminds or the pizza delivery guy, we have no idea.

The Bush Administration: It's always worse than you imagined.

January 25, 2009

Picture This

Some loyal readers have sent me an incredible photograph of the inauguration ceremony. It's a 1,474 Megapixel picture, which for you non-technical types means an fascinating, mind-blowingly detailed photo.

It's a panorama of the entire scene, crowd, Presidents, current and former, press, the band, everything. But it's so detailed you can zoom in and recognise a face in the crowd. If you knew somebody in the crowd.

You can pick out Aretha's magnificent hat and the fact that Clarence Thomas appears to have fallen asleep. You can see the sour expression on W's face.

All told, pretty amazing.

Start Some Trouble

All you need...

January 23, 2009

No Fallen Sky = Win!

Don't be afraid, that's just the Republicans talking.

The good news is that "the sky will fall if you do this" only works the first time. Obama ends torture, closes Gitmo, start obeying the law and...

American still stands. Which means he can keep doing what he's doing. He can do more. As long a America is still here, he's doing the right thing.

No matter what evil or stupid thing Bush did, the justification was always "At least we haven't been attacked" Well, we can turn that augment to support the good and the smart just as easily.

Goals

I swear, by the hat of Aretha Franklin, I will not rest until I have made this list.

January 22, 2009

Obama's President. Hi Five!

Everybody do it.

Lost is Back!

Spoilers!

In honor of Lost returning, an attempt to watch all four seasons at once and get caught up:



Right back in it. Two full hours last night.

I believe Hurley's Mom spoke for all of us:

HURLEY: Everything is going to make sense, I promise!

HURLEY'S MOM: It better!


Flaming arrows! Time travel! A compass that points north! Why is there a death Pakistani on my couch?

January 21, 2009

Do Over

Obama retook the Presidential oath today. The Chief Justice goofed it up a bit yesterday. Never can be too careful, legally speaking.

Now to Work

What should the Obama Administration's priorities be? I'm thinking the truth behind Roswell, Iraq and the Economy.

In that order.

January 20, 2009

We Will Extend a Hand if You are Willing to Unclench Your Fist

Party

Today is a good day.

How will you mark it?

Myself, I'm going to do a little dance around 12:00 noon eastern time (9:00 local)

How are you guys celebrating?

January 19, 2009

Reflections on a Failed Presidency

Tomorrow we can put it all behind us, but right now I want to take a minute to reflect back on the President we have had for the last eight long years:

Oh man, that sucked.

President George W. Bush failed in every way a President can fail. He has failed to inspire. He has failed to lead. He has made a whole host of decisions that has left this Nation and this world worse off than before. He led this Country into disaster after disaster. He has bogged our nation down into two wars, and set the stage for more. He has lied, repeatedly, to the American People about the most fundamental facts of war and peace. He has failed to protect the American people, both from our foes abroad and wraith of nature herself. He has proven, again and again, to be feckless, mean and stupid. In the course of his Presidency, we have lost trillions of dollars in wealth, thousands of lives both military and civilian and the respect of the world. In the last eight years the tallest buildings of our Country have been destroyed, one of our great cities was drowned. We now torture people. The American people are less well off and less safe thank to George W. Bush.

He is a bad President, and this nation and this world will be better when he no longer holds that office.

The blame for this failure can be spread around some. It's the fault of the Republicans for nominating him, the fault of the Democrats for not beating him. The media failed to show us the truth about him till it was much too late. The American people failed by electing and reelecting him. We shouldn't be afraid to say that. It is right that the people choose our leaders, but the people do not always choose right. The people are not infallible. We should admit that We the People got it wrong. We picked the wrong man to lead us. We should remember was this feels like, what this looks like, so that it may not happen again.

But in the end the full measure of blame lies with the man himself. George W. Bush was entrusted with the greatest power this World has to offer and he took that power and failed in every way possible.

So let him go, and let his memory only serve as a warning to those who come later, so that we will never see his kind in power again.

History Then, History Now

Here's MLK on Meet the Press in 1960:



And guess what happens tomorrow?

January 16, 2009

The Equivalent of Leaving Girlie Shampoo in His Shower

When you have a girlfriend, nothing is safe from being cutesy-fied. Not even your blog.

Invest with Confi- Um...

So last weekend I'm talking with my rich Republican buddy about investing (He should start an investing advice blog, that's where the real money is - advice.) He's talking about Bank of America stock, how it's a good deal, if it goes down he might buy more, etc. Well, as it turns out, I'm invested in BoA too! And so are you!

Strange Happy World

How odd is it that the most happy, uplifting, restore-your-faith in people headline of the week is a frackin Plane Crash?

January 15, 2009

Things That Make Me Go Oooooh.

Check out the trailer for 9. It made me go Oooooh. Some patchwork dolls come to life and fight clockwork monsters after The End.

Facing Torture

Will We?

I don't know if we can. I don't know if I can.

January 14, 2009

Good Luck Buddy

The Kepler space telescope, whose mission is to find Earth-like planets in other Solar Systems, launches in March. For some of my most beloved scifi dreams to come true, it is vitally important that Kepler succeed. Specifically, in order for us to colonize worlds outside our Solar System, the first thing we have to do is find such worlds. We've been able to to spot big gas giants, but nothing Earth-like. To do all the really cool space stuff – colonize a planet, discover alien life, make contact with an alien civilization, fight an interstellar war - we need Earth-like worlds.

So good luck to Kepler. May you see true.

Everyone, Tell Your Bush Story

So imagine your old college drinking buddy, the First Daughter, has invited you over to her place for dinner and a movie. With, you know, her folks. Imagine that as you roll into the Secrete Service checkpoint you realize that you still have half a joint in the ashtray and the duct tape holding your rear window on decides to let go ...

So begins a pretty damn good close encounter with the President story. If you have any such story, now is the time to tell it. They are going to be less valuable in less than a week (Yea!) and we need all the insight into who this man was and what went so terribly wrong.

Dinner from Hell

I will never complain about another dinner party I go to again:

Barack Obama took the next big step in his Republican charm offensive on Tuesday night, when he dined with several of the nation's most prominent conservative pundits.

The president-elect arrived at the Chevy Chase, Md., home of syndicated columnist George Will shortly after 6:30 p.m., according to a press pool report. Greeting him at the residence were other luminaries of the conservative commentariat, including the Weekly Standard's William Kristol, New York Times columnist David Brooks, and Charles Krauthammer of the Washington Post.


What was the conversation like? "Remember that time a few months back, when you said I was a danger to the Nation? Please pass the asparagus?"

I know, I know, change the tone, reach across, hope, change and all that. But cost. If we can't snub William Kristol, what's the fun in winning elections?

January 13, 2009

Rickey!

Rickey Henderson just made the Baseball Hall of Fame. God I loved that guy back in the day, when I was little and loved baseball and lived and breathed the Oakland A's. In his honor here is the greatest 25 stories of Rickey's career.

My favorite's:

3) In the early 1980s, the Oakland A’s accounting department was freaking out. The books were off $1 million. After an investigation, it was determined Rickey was the reason why. The GM asked him about a $1 million bonus he had received and Rickey said instead of cashing it, he framed it and hung it on a wall at his house.

11) Henderson broke Ty Cobb’s career record for runs scored with a home run. After taking his usual 45 seconds or so around the bases, Rickey slid into home plate.

21) Rickey was pulled over by a San Diego police officer for speeding. As the officer was approaching Rickey’s car, the window went down a few inches and a folded $100 bill emerged. The officer let Rickey and his money head home without a ticket.


Go read them all.

Via

Get This Man a Job

Roland Burris should be given some sort of very difficult, hard-to-pass, overwhelming odds against it kind of legislation to pass, because clearly the man can do anything.

January 12, 2009

Loser

Carefully building the case that Bush is a loser for the sake of history, so that the conservative noise machine will not be able to change the history books.

Bush the Loser, part IV The Economy:

The number of jobs in the nation increased by about 2 percent during Bush's tenure, the most tepid growth over any eight-year span since data collection began seven decades ago. Gross domestic product, a broad measure of economic output, grew at the slowest pace for a period of that length since the Truman administration. And Americans' incomes grew more slowly than in any presidency since the 1960s, other than that of Bush's father.

Bush and his aides are quick to point out that they oversaw 52 straight months of job growth in the middle of this decade, and that the economy expanded at a steady clip from 2003 to 2007. But economists, including some former advisers to Bush, say it increasingly looks as if the nation's economic expansion was driven to a large degree by the interrelated booms in the housing market, consumer spending and financial markets. Those booms, which the Bush administration encouraged with the idea of an "ownership society," have proved unsustainable.

January 11, 2009

January 9, 2009

Ouch

Not a good week, month, or year for jobs. This is seriously messed up economy right now.

January 8, 2009

Numbers Don't Lie

Via Erza Klein, the Bush years summed up in numbers. Stock market down, people in poverty up. Bad for everyone.

January 7, 2009

We all get lonely sometimes

Oh, dear ... it seems everybody is seeking bailout money these days. Even the porn industry.

"People are too depressed to be sexually active," Larry Flynt said in the statement. "This is very unhealthy as a nation. Americans can do without cars and such but they cannot do without sex."

"With all this economic misery and people losing all that money, sex is the farthest thing from their mind. It's time for Congress to rejuvenate the sexual appetite of America. The only way they can do this is by supporting the adult industry and doing it quickly."

Paging Dr Gupta

House couldn't make it though the confirmation hearings, so Obama is going with the next best TV doctor he could find for Surgeon General. If the SG job is basically lecture the American people in order to keep them healthy, then I really can't think of someone better to do that.

Good looking TV doctor says quit smoking: Most def. Sure Thing. Absolutely.

Good looking TV doctor says: Er, I'll get right on that. Soon.

January 6, 2009

There Goes My Hero

Trying to be a real-life costumed crime-fighter.

For Real

The downturn continues to expose the crooks and the scammers. But more than that, this economy will show us who really knows what they are doing. Anybody could make money in real estate in the middle of a massive real estate bubble. But the real estate agent who's still doing good in this market, that's the agent you want. Anybody with an E-Trade account and two brain cells could make money when the stock market is booming. But show me the guy who's making money in the market right now and that's somebody who deserves a big year-end bonus.

And what if no one is making money right now? What if you can't beat the market and can't beat the recession and can't beat the system? Then maybe its not about dog eat dog and personal achievement and everybody for themselves as much as we are told. Maybe we are really all in this together and maybe we should start acting like it.

January 5, 2009

Meet Your New Spymaster



That's Leon Panetta, former Clinton Chief-of-Staff, founder of think tanks and all around mench and the next Director of the CIA. Not an experienced intelligence hand, but very good on the torture issue. In fact, I think the main reason that Obama went outside the intel community for this pick is that it is very hard to find any experienced field hands that hadn't been tainted by rubbing up against torture policies.

Start with somebody who will not destroy our moral standing in the world. The rest of the sneaky crap he can pick up as he goes.

Woo!

Well Spent

Congratulations America, you are the proud owner of a brand spanking new $700 million embassy. Of course, ruling Iraq from this grand embassy will be difficult with a new administration no longer concerned with carving out a new empire. So if we aren't going to rule Iraq with this building, what are we going to do with it? Can we rent out the extra office space? Make some of our money back.

January 4, 2009

Job Opening

Ok, who do you think got left out of the Obama Cabinet? Bill Richardson withdraws from Commerce Secretary, so we got an opening. Who's up next? Keep in mind that the Commerce Secretary doesn't do a whole lot, so this is ether one of the best or worse jobs in government, depending on your career goals.