July 31, 2010

Rock On

July 29, 2010

Day Without a Mexican

Well, a judge put a hold on all the juicy bits of Arizona's "show me your paper's" law, but the message is sent. And that message is "Mexicans, Stay Out."

I wonder if the grumpy old white people of Arizona really know what they were asking for. Because if you listen to right-wing radio all day, you would think that Arizona is losing a horde of brow rapist and drunk drivers and gang-bangers and such. But really what Arizona is loosing is thousands of workers, and customers and home owners. Guest what, you loose all that, the economy shrinks. For everyone, even grumpy old men with Rush on too loud.

July 28, 2010

The End of the Maradona Show

One of the most entertaining parts of the just concluded World Cup was the Diego Maradona show. The legendary Argentine player made one hell of an dramatically bad coach. The man had a hundred quirks and sub-plots, from wearing two watches to fighting with opposing fans. He also had no idea what he was doing, and managed to take some of the best players in the world and crash out.

Sadly, we will not be seeing a repeat performance in four years. Maradona was tossed as coach of Argentina’s national team. He was offered a new, four-year contract, but apparently his demands were so outrageous, Argentine Football Association vote his ass out.

Well maybe some pro club will hire him. Sure they won't win, but people will watch.

July 27, 2010

High Profile

Call it a new phenomenon: the rise of the celebrity spy. The busted Russian are famous. Angelina Jolie has invited busted Russian spy Anna Chapman to the Moscow premier of her new spy thriller. It was bound to happen sooner or later, fictional spy fill our media wall to wall. And the busted Russians are perfect. Clean-up, sexy, and they didn't hurt anybody. They were here to spy on our cocktail circuit and did a bad job of it. Nice,friendly spies we can put on magazine covers and invite down the red carpet.

Cross Promotion

Attention.

Completely off-topic new blog called Questionable Stoppage has been created by me to cover Mix Martial Arts and such. MMA is like politics, only cleaner. There are rules.

July 26, 2010

The Russian Front

Anybody else watch Hogan's Heroes? The threat hanging over all the Germain prison guards if they screwed up was being sent to the Russian Front. Well, it look likes everyones favorate oil company CEO is going to be sent off to the BP Russian front. I wonder if this counts as "getting your life back."

Oh, and I'm with Atrios. I love British accents. I'm totally charmed each and every time I hear one. I hate BP not for the accent, but for LARGEST ECOLOGICAL DISASTER IN THE HISTORY OF THE NATION!

The Afghanistan Papers

A huge trove of classified documents about the war in Afghanistan has gotten out and are currently rolling Washington. Different media take different things from the docs, but I'm with the NY Times and the focus on our feckless Pakistani "Allies":

Americans fighting the war in Afghanistan have long harbored strong suspicions that Pakistan’s military spy service has guided the Afghan insurgency with a hidden hand, even as Pakistan receives more than $1 billion a year from Washington for its help combating the militants...

That right, they take our money and work with our enemies. Nice work if you can get it. That billion dollar would be better spent on literally anything. We could light it on fire and it would do more to protect us, rather than put it in the hands of those who help those that do us harm.

July 25, 2010

Hey It Worked

Blog still here. What do you think? Lost a lot of the clutter from the old version. Anything you miss?

July 24, 2010

Get it Online or It Doesn't Count

On the theory that nothing really counts till its online for everyone to see and with the magic of a scanner at my disposal, here's my opinion piece from last week's Ledger-Dispatch:

Under Construction

Going to be doing some Upgrading (?!?) which I'm pretty sure will all end in heartbreak and tears. Here's some BNL to pass the time:





July 23, 2010

This Week's Ignored Defeat

Climate legislation has died the death of the Senate.  Yeah,  a majority of Senator support it, but that's how the rules work in the Senate. So yeah, let it all burn.

July 22, 2010

Just Do It

This is a story that brings a smile to my face. The Valencia Club shut down in June. You know, economy. Well, this guy just went in over the weekend, opened her back up, and started serving. The owner had no idea. Our rogue bar operator started with a six pack from the local convenience store and reinvested his profits. He was up to 12 bottles of the hard stuff before he got busted. Sure it all ended in tears and a jail cell, but you got to love the man's initiative.

July 21, 2010

Today's Ignored Major Victory

I know this totally got lost in the race matter, but President Obama did sign a massive new piece of legislation regulation the financial industry. We will be living with financial regulation long after everyone has forgotten the name of Shirley Sherrod.

I Know Who Breitbart is

Toby: I just figured out who you were. 
Kiefer: He's gonna say Satan. 
Toby: No, you're the guy that runs into the 7-11 to get Satan a pack of cigarettes.

West Wing, 20 Hours in L.A.

Andrew Breitbart is a cancer. He lies, with words and with video tape. His lies get people fired. He is a hateful, evil man.


July 20, 2010

Will the Crazy Hurt the GOP?

There's a school of thought out there in the political realm that, given the nature of the economy and the fact that Democrats control everything, Republicans are to make huge gains in the fall. The out-party almost always makes gains in off years, and incumbents do badly when the economy does badly. These are pretty hard and fast rules of political science.

However, some are starting to notice the potential for mitigating factors, that may cushion the coming GOP blow. Namely, that the Tea party has driven the GOP to the hard, hard right.  Jon Chait, notes that in at least 4 Senate races, tea party right has made things easier for Democrats with their nuttiness. The most famous example being Harry Reid, who looked to be in real trouble till the tea party handed him an opponent that is completely nuts.

Here's Kevin Drum noting that the D's are picking up ground with independent voters. Could they be turned off by the tea party? Stay tuned.

July 19, 2010

Vast and Growing

Today's must read is a special report from the Washington Post on the nation's vast and growing intelligence-industrial complex. Intelligence in this country is first and foremost an industry and there is a lot of money to be made. A lot of people make a living pumping out top secret reports. The question is, is mass-producing reports like Ford puts out cars really the way to keep America safe.

July 18, 2010

Question of the Day

Who would you rather sleep with?

The Old Spice Guy:



or the Most Interesting Man in the World?

July 16, 2010

Craig-on-Dead-Tree Alert

Check out today's Amador Ledger-Dispatch. The opinion section features an opinion column by yours truly.

July 15, 2010

Craigorian Chant Goes to a Tea Party

That’s right; your humble correspondent has attended a meeting of the Motherlode Tea Party. Here is what I found. Lots of flag being waved, both your standard American and the more confrontational “don’t tread on me” rattlesnake flag. The sound of Lee Greenwalds cheesy classic “Proud to be an American” was playing over the PA system as I walked in the door. Good turnout, maybe a couple hundred people. The crowd was pure white, which doesn’t tell you much in Amador County, every crowd in the Motherlode is pure white. More men than women, but not overwhelmingly so. About a quarter of the crowd raised their hands when veterans were asked to show themselves.  The most striking feature of the crowed was its age. This is not a young and spritely group.  If the Tea Party ever did get the heavy hand of government off the back of the American people most of their members would die of disease and starvation once Social Security and Medicare went away. The meeting opening consisted of the Pledge of Allegiance and the National Anthem and God Bless America and an invocation. The speaker for the “Constitutional Minute” didn’t do his prep and stumbled though a reading of the first and second amendments. Then came the committee chairs, pitches to join in and help spread the word, give money, give time, buy a tea party tea shirt and wear it proudly. Frankly, I was disappointed in the complete lack of anger. Health care passed. Financial reform is about to pass. The GOP is projected to do well in November. These are conservatives who’ve taken their lumps and have hope for the future.

The keynote speaker was one Dr. Angelo Codevilla, professor and former Reagan Administration official. He gave a rather rambling speech, a sort of conservative intellectual history in which he objected to both sides of the Civil War, Woodrow Wilson, FDR and Obama. Think about your oldest, tiredest college professor and you’ll get a pretty good sense of his style. The crowd was very generous, eager to clap strong points and laugh at dumb elites, but they were not given much red meat. The only concrete suggestions the speaker made were 1. Vote Republican 2. Break up the School District and 3. EPA officials should be elected. Huh?

So in the end, the Tea Party is the Republican Party with a name change. You could have hung “Republican Central Committee” outside that door and nothing would change. Less people, cause the Republican brand is dirt, but the same kind of people, same rhetoric and same goal – get Democrats out of office and replacing them with Republicans. And you know what, that's fine. “I didn’t like how the last election turned out” works pretty good as a platform. It was my guiding principal for the years 2001 to 2006. But the Tea Party is no revolutionary movement. Its members are too old and too content with their lives, their policy goals too vague and contradictory. Conservative Republicans are now the Tea Party. It’s a rebranding, like
Kentucky Fried Chicken becoming KFC to seem healthier or ValueJet Airlines renaming itself Airtran after a crash.

They are trying to say “Forget about conservative Republicans, who gave you war and economic disaster, we are the Tea Party, a fresh force in American politics and life.”

They are not.

Can You Un-Defect? Is that allowed in this Game?

If intriguing international spy stuff keeps hitting the front pages like this, I may not need to start watching Covert Affairs to get my tradecraft fix. Of course Piper Perabo makes a strong counter-argument. I could stand to get hotness with my spying. But wait! Real life offers that too!

July 14, 2010

Lord What Fools These Mortals Be

In the spirit of high-minded professionalism, I've generally stayed away from the more-tabloidy side of the Sarah Palin saga in order to focus on calling her stupid thoughtful criticism of her policy positions. But the latest turn of Bristol and Levi saga is just fascinating. Despite the best efforts of Sarah Palin, an evil tabloid culture tracking their every move and their own teenage dumbness, these kids have gotten back together. And they didn't even tell her! They let her read about it in US Weekly!

Victory Mother F***ers!

God bless you, first Amendment. A federal appeals court struck down the FCC indecency rules yesterday. So once more the world is safe for Bono to utter "fleeting expletives" during award shows. I'm not sure if this ruling makes it safe for Janet Jackson's boob, but we can always hope.

July 13, 2010

Scary Killer Robot. A Real Scary Killer Robot!

The British Ministry of Defense has just unveiled a new combat drone aircraft and it is easily the scariest looking thing I've ever seen:



I mean just look at that thing. Its clearly about ten seconds away from becoming sentient and starting to hunt us all down!

The Palin Stratigery

Marc Ambinder breaks down what Sarah Palin is up to, politically speaking. She not doing exactly what you are supposed you do to become President, but then, she's gotten this far hasn't she?

July 12, 2010

On the Unbelievable WW2

This is the most brilliant thing I've read today. Do you really expect us to believe all that? No one is that evil!

Today's Moment of Zen

 Spanish announcers totally losing it after Spain scores the winning goal.

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July 11, 2010

Tax Cheat

The national deficit is created by a simple equation. Money spent - taxes collected = deficit. Note how there are two sides to the equation, spending and taxes and how they have an equal impact on the deficit? I.E. if you increase spending by a billion dollars it has the exact same impact on the deficit that cutting taxes by a billion dollars does.

The GOP want to pretend that taxes don't affect the deficit, that spending is the only part of the equation. Here's  Sen. Jon Kyl, the other Republican from Arizona, claiming that you should never have to offset the cost of a tax cut, as if that's some kind of accounting rule. 


No.


A tax cut adds to the debt. Bush's tax cuts to the wealthy will cost $678 billion just as sure as spending $678 billion on tanks, or health care or free pie for everyone in America. Tax cuts raise the deficit.

Rock On

July 8, 2010

Tradec for Value or Numbers

Looks like the spies we caught are going to be made part of a swap for ones the Russians caught. My question is - do we trade for quality or just numbers? Is one James Bond worth three ordinary hack spies, or are they ranked by the secrets they stole. Of course, if you get caught that means that you are not the best.

July 1, 2010

Cutting

The 100 best insults in movie history. Not even close to safe for work