Saturday, January 31, 2009

Taking lessons from Leona Helmsley


It sure would be nice if all of Obama's cabinet designees made it look as if they had anything in common with the hoi polloi.

It's enough to make one think we're back in the bad old days of eight years ago.

Friday, January 30, 2009



I'm blown away by DarLucky's somber post (see below), so the following pale in comparison: Governor Clubwoman's understanding of her duties is virtually nonexistent, and the Army can't understand why GI suicides have skyrocketed. Perhaps the Sisyphean nature of the US's involvement in the Middle East has something to do with it.

No one's Immune


I work at a medium sized company in an industry (healthcare) that generally is only minimally affected by economic downturns. It's a place where employee happiness has always seemed to trump profits (with, of course, the underlying notion that the first will help take care of the second). And where people can truly say it's like a big happy family. So as we came off another very profitable year, I think everyone thought, "It's scary out there, but at least we're insulated."

Last week, the company laid off ~15% of its employees, including one who had been around for years and years. The primary decision-makers/deliverers of bad news were practically in tears. Other cuts were made as well in terms of spending on some perks.

In some ways, the moves were proactive. Which means that if the very smart people in charge of my firm are correct, this is going to continue to get worse before it gets better.

Which is a very scary thought.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Post-partisan Depression


While I'm sure that President Obama is sincere in his desire to bring in everyone (even those people who were saying such horrible things about him scant months ago) into his big tent, it's clear that Republicans simply don't wish to be included in such amity. Viz., as far as the GOP is concerned,
the appropriate way to put together legislation is for Democrats to vote for Republican amendments. If GOP measures win, it's bipartisan. If not, it's antithetical to Obama's approach.
It's clear that the remaining Republicans will not move from this kind of recalcitrance; for Obama to appear to think otherwise is exactly the kind of thing that drives those of us on the left to distraction.

UPDATE — I knew the title of this post was too good to be original. Indeed, a little Googling finds that first Paul Krugman and then Barney Frank used the phrase last year.

UPDATE II — Apparently I'm not the only one who feels this way. Ryan Grim at HuffPost has more.

One injustice down ...


So many more to go.

The very first piece of legislation Barack Obama has signed is the so-called Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act. He's justly proud of it, and it's a microcosm of the havoc the Bushies perpetuated in the last eight years. It also shows where the Neanderthal Republican legislators stand on issues of fairness as not a single House Republican voted for the bill.

One former reader of this blog can complain all he wants about my inability to "get over" the Bushies' horrendous reign, but the legacy—in the form of the oligarchs remaining on the SCOTUS—remains. And in a 5-4 decision, the Republican-appointed justices decided in 2007 that Ms. Ledbetter hadn't been jobbed by Goodyear even though
over the course of her career, she lost more than $200,000 in salary, and even more in pension and Social Security benefits—losses she still feels today.
It's a great day for justice, but this is only one victory in what's going to be a long war.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A man's home ...


I don't know what it is about politicians and their domiciles, but they sure do like to sucker the public when it comes to home improvements. From Uncle Ted to Tricky Dick to Connecticut's former unctuous governor, too many holders of the public trust have failed that trust to the end of creature comforts.

Now it turns out that Hartford's mayor Eddie Perez isn't immune from this type of avarice.
On Tuesday, as Perez was arrested and charged with bribery, falsifying evidence, and conspiring to falsify evidence, he continued to say what he has long said—that he always intended to pay Costa for the kitchen and bathroom renovation work, and that his wife's health problems simply distracted him. There was no quid pro quo between the mayor and Costa, and there was no crime, Perez said.
This latest case is following a predictable pattern: denial upon investigation and justification upon being found guilty. It's unfortunate that this scenario is so frequent, but some politicians go into the arena with a Willie Sutton attitude. Thus will it ever be.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I can't stand it


After a while, the Republican groupthink really starts to have psychotic elements. As Dr. Marshall notes,
The McConnell/Boehner plan is to fix the Bush mess by pushing through more of the former president's policies. Again.
How many times do these idiots have to propose supply side economics before the idea is completely discredited? Even the peabrained Ronald Reagan realized that Arthur Laffer's boneheaded theory didn't work. But the cretinous McConnell and Boehner continue to insist that tax cuts will rejuvenate the economy, even though recent (like, within the last six months) evidence contrary to that stance stares them right in the face.

I know I've said all this before, but, cripes, so have the moronic Republicans.

UPDATE — Steve Benen has more.

Lewis Black in Aruba


It's come to this.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Another Lying Evangelical


ITEM: "Fallen evangelical pastor Ted Haggard says he had an 'inappropriate relationship' with a young male church volunteer, but it did not involve physical contact."


The Year of the Ox


The Chinese Year of the Ox begins today, and as one who was born during a Year of the Ox, I take an amused interest in what that means.
The basic characteristic of an Ox is methodical and calm, hardworking, dependable and patient, materialistic and an ambitious character.

Babies born in the Chinese New Year of Ox [are expected] to have the following traits: Dependable with leadership qualities, patient, strong and responsible, and they will be great in organizing. They are also honest, reliable and logical; that is why people go to them for advice.

Unfortunately, balancing these positive characteristics of the Ox are some negative traits associated with them. People born in this year are also said to be stubborn, narrow minded, and with low public relations skills.
That's fantastic because it's just so true. Anyway, here are some things we can expect in this bovine annum:
[O]il prices are expected to begin rising again, while gold could again break through $1,000 an ounce ... Former U.S. treasury secretary Henry Paulson will become the boss of Citigroup, while Iceland will challenge the Philippine and Indian dominance of the call-center industry as it rebuilds its crisis-ravaged economy.
It should be an exciting year.

Meanwhile, at the Gray Lady


William Kristol is, thankfully, finished. "It's hard to overstate what an embarrassment this was from the start."

Chicago's Finest


The "storm troopers in blue" have certainly come a long way—I guess.
A 14-year-old aspiring police officer donned a uniform, walked into a Chicago police station and managed to get an assignment — patroling in a squad car for five hours before he was detected, police said Sunday.
Apparently, "the boy looks older than 14," so the cops were more easily fooled. I.e., the police force's defense is that it could've happened to anyone.

Illinois sure has had an interesting few weeks, hasn't it? All this and Blagojevich’s impeachment trial hasn't even started yet.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sox numbers


Now that Jim Rice has been voted into the Hall of Fame, might the Red Sox retire his number 14?

I see that after nearly five years, the Sox are finally allowing someone to wear St. Nomar's #5.

The CIA strikes again


A number of blogs have been following the lack of adequate case files on many of the detainees at Guantánamo, and, indeed, it's a sad but unsurprising tale:
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.

Instead, they found that information on individual prisoners is "scattered throughout the executive branch," a senior administration official said. The executive order Obama signed Thursday orders the prison closed within one year, and a Cabinet-level panel named to review each case separately will have to spend its initial weeks and perhaps months scouring the corners of the federal government in search of relevant material.

Several former Bush administration officials agreed that the files are incomplete and that no single government entity was charged with pulling together all the facts and the range of options for each prisoner. They said that the CIA and other intelligence agencies were reluctant to share information, and that the Bush administration's focus on detention and interrogation made preparation of viable prosecutions a far lower priority.
Of course, many former Bushies are trying to exculpate themselves.
[O]ther former officials took issue with the criticism and suggested that the new team has begun to appreciate the complexity and dangers of the issue and is looking for excuses.

After promising quick solutions, one former senior official said, the Obama administration is now "backpedaling and trying to buy time" by blaming its predecessor. Unless political appointees decide to overrule the recommendations of the career bureaucrats handling the issue under both administrations, he predicted, the new review will reach the same conclusion as the last: that most of the detainees can be neither released nor easily tried in this country.
For me, the bottom line is this: The CIA, with the overt approval of the Bushies, locked up over 200 people without caring what the prisoners were being held for. I've spoken before about the similarity between the Bushies' behavior and the l'etat c'est moi attitude of France's kings before 1789; this episode is just another example. (E.g., J. Edgar Hoover, one of the great tyrants in American history, created hundreds of lists on perceived enemies of the state, but at least he had the documents.)

It's also one of the first examples of the arduous cleanup the Obamans will have to effect in order to set things right after the chaos of the last eight years.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The stimulus


What Steve Benen said.

Friday, January 23, 2009

"A Christ-like and honorable approach"


Ah, those white southern Christian schools: always setting a good example.

Senator Gillibrand


I've been following the Gillibrand appointment story ever since it broke because a) I thought the Caroline Kennedy situation was one of the more foolish stories of the past few weeks, and b) Gillibrand happens to be the Congresswoman who represented Saratoga Springs, a town that will always be dear to my heart.

At the risk of sounding like a wingnut, I've gotta believe that to a certain (large?) extent, Paterson pretty much had to choose a woman since the seat was vacated by a woman. Given that the selection was gender-based, I can't help contrasting Paterson's choice with Senator Septuagenarian's unfortunate selection of a running mate a few months ago. In the latter instance, the Republican nominee seemed to have picked the first estrogen-bearing Republican who came into his sights. In the former, for all his apparent waffling, Gov. Paterson's selection seems to have been a bit more reasoned.

Anyway, locals tell me that Gillibrand is excellent even though she's had to stick to various redneck positions on gay marriage and gun control (to name but two) to keep her seat. Nevertheless, she seems to have already burned one bridge by stating
she will advocate for marriage equality and women's rights.

Empire Pride executive director Alan Van Capele said he spoke Thursday night with Gillibrand, who expressed her support for gay marriage.
That position sure won't win her many votes in Essex County.

So much good news


It's really kind of difficult to take it all in. Here's but one example.

UPDATE — Of course, the pinheads will have none of it.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Déjà vu


I don't want to get too excited about this, having seen this kind of thing happen before, but at least the Obamans sound like they're ready to offer a little transparency to the workings of the executive branch.

Steve Benen has the story.

John Roberts


Of course he's an idiot. He was, after all, appointed by one.

And the winning numbers are ...


For the past few years, I've hitched my vacation house in the Berkshires to the star of winning the lottery.

It looks like I may have to revisit my strategy.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Tim Geithner


I'm sorry, but someone who misreports his tax liability shouldn't be Secretary of the Treasury. There have got to be plenty of financial wizards available who could go into the job without this albatross around their necks.

UPDATE — The more I hear about this guy, the less impressed I am. Senator Kyl, as much of a sleazeball as he is, pretty much got it right when he noted at Wednesday's hearing that Geithner made restitution (since the statute of limitations had run out on his liability) only after he'd started to be vetted by the Obamans.

The prognosis


From Pandagon:
[F]or the next 4-8 years ... right wingers will just blatantly lie about Obama, Drudge will post links, and the morons in the mainstream media will repeat the lies without doing basic fact-checking. Which will be left to Media Matters. Great.
With people like hideous fathead Rush hoping that Obama's tenure is a failure, this seems like a pretty safe prediction.

Time to renegotiate the lease?


The Wall Street Journal says it might be.



Or, if the New Haven Register can't spell words in its headlines, it's certainly doomed. Apparently, the paper can't afford spell checkers; it obviously has no editors.

Random Inauguration Thoughts


Unfortunately my work load didn't allow me to take the time to watch the Inauguration live yesterday, so I watched the new president get sworn in via, and then turned it off to watch the speech on DVR later in the evening.

So watching it last evening after mostly working through it today, I jotted down a few random thoughts because it's no fun to make these comments to myself:

The best part of watching it on DVR rather than live? Fast-forwarding right through that a-hole Rick Warren

Joe Biden cracks me up, I'd like to adopt him as my great-uncle. "Thanks a lot, Justice!"

I know it's wrong, but I'm glad they had to roll Cheney out of there. Only thing better would have been rolling him out in a coffin 7.9 years ago (ba-dum-CHA!)

Robert Bennett is really creepy; I don't know how anyone votes for that guy even if they agree with his politics

It's so awkward thinking of Bush sitting there right next to him while Obama basically talks about how we're going to fix all of his screwups and awful policies... (edited to add: nice job by Brokaw basically calling that out after the speech)

Quick! Camera guy! Show me a black person, STAT!

Not to sound like Katie Couric, but those Obama girls are so cute. The thumbs up was too much.

Nothing sweeter than watching W get on that helicopter - don't let the door hit you on the way out. Or do let it hit you. I don't really care; just get out.

People can start making their Christmas lists for 2010 now: W's "memoirs". I'm sure it won't be ghost-written.

Ha, I'm an idiot. I thought people were walking in the reflecting pool (or more accurately ON the reflecting pool) afterwards. It's ice, you moron. Remember? January?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Day


Whoa, is Blogger slow. Everybody and his brother must be putting his thoughts on pixel on this memorable day.

At any rate, I may or may not take the time to expand on this, but I was looking at Gorgeous George's first inaugural address today to see how he'd done vis-à-vis Obama's and was struck by the two speeches' similarities. Ah, if only XLIII had been able to walk the walk as well as talk the talk. Of course, he hadn't crowned himself a wartime president yet, and the biggest thing on his puny mind at the time was stem cell research. And, of course, it's also possible that Deadeye Dick hadn't yet taken control of the Executive Branch (or whatever branch he ran).

UPDATE — Kevin Drum has been reacting to the day all day. This post is pretty much in line with my thinking.

... And good riddance


While the great times continue in Washington, my favorite moment was seeing the helicopter lift off, taking the hideous Bushes back from whence they came.

Television didn't cover Deadeye Dick's exit; it probably wasn't unlike the scene in Ghost, when Willie Lopez is taken to his awful end by the evil spirits.

UPDATE — From Maureen Dowd, writing on Wednesday: [People viewing the helicopter] wanted to make absolutely, positively certain that W. was gone. It was like a physical burden being lifted, like a sigh went up of “"Thank God. Has Cheney’s wheelchair left the building, too?"

I never saw a purple cow


I suppose when a newspaper has gotten rid of most of its writers, it has to feature doggerel like this on its front page.

Making a statement


While I certainly don't want to downplay today's historical event, it still might be worthy to note that the number 1 women's basketball team in the nation crushed the country's number 2 team by thirty last night on the road.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The empty suit


While this phenomenon has been explored before, CBS News recently reported that our feckless leader's last trip to Camp David this week was his
149th visit to the presidential retreat. The planned three-day stay ... will bring his total time spent at Camp David to all or part of 487 days.

And Camp David is not even where the president has spent the most time when not at the White House: ... Mr. Bush has made 77 visits to his ranch in Crawford during his presidency, and spent all or part of 490 days there.
So, let's do the math ... carry the one: XLIII spent all or part of a staggering 977 days—the equivalent of two years and eight months—away from the White House. Now, I realize he wasn't a big fan of Washington and its "insiders," but this is ridiculous. (Of course, this really shows how utterly dangerous he was as it took him only 64 months to utterly screw up the country.)

While this certainly gives credence to the contention that the last eight years really were the Cheney Administration, White House mouthpieces are stating that President Petulant really did a lot of work (as hard as it was) during those retreat days.

I would beg to differ.

Friday, January 16, 2009

America's newest hero


Say what you want about air travel and, God knows, USAir, yesterday's Hudson River landing was extraordinarily impressive.

What Krugman said


From today's column:
I’m sorry, but if we don’t have an inquest into what happened during the Bush years ... this means that those who hold power are indeed above the law because they don’t face any consequences if they abuse their power.
But ... but "America has gone more than seven years without another terrorist attack on our soil." That oughta count for something.

Moron of the Day


John Cornyn.

I suppose one shouldn't be surprised that the voters of Texas made this man one of their US Senators. After all, they helped catapult another idiot into the Oval Office.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Legacy, cont'd


After a while, one really has to doubt the sanity of various wingnutters.

Dan Froomkin has a more realistic review.

Red State news


So, a guy walks into a bank ...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Getting away with ...


It should come as no surprise that in the last days of the Bush Administration, a case of perjury comes to light. Likewise, it should come as no surprise that no penalty for the offense will ensue.

Josh Marshall is all over this betrayal of justice at Justice.

Toward a more literate public


Given the fact that school librarians are as scarce as hens' teeth, a report like this seems to make them pretty valuable to have around:
In a report released [recently], the National Endowment for the Arts has announced the first upward reading trends since 1982.

More adults are reading literature now, a total of 16.6 million more than in 2002. Reading rates among Latino Americans have climbed steeply, by 20%. And adults age 18-24, the elusive hipster demographic, have suddenly shown an increase in reading rates—up 21%—after falling 20% in 2002's survey.

More NFL Prostitution


Not that I care about either of the games on Sunday, but it's a no-brainer that the first game of the day be played in Pittsburgh, where the day will be brutally cold and will only get colder as daylight ebbs. Even if the second game wasn't being played in a dome, it'd make sense to have the second game in Arizona because of the time zone and the more balmy weather.

Needless to say, the solons of Fox, CBS, and the NFL don't see it this way.

Monday, January 12, 2009

The Legacy, cont'd


I am shocked—shocked!—that the FAA was in cahoots with the airline industry during the Bush Administration.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Something to ponder


From today's Sunday Talking Heads:
I want people held responsible for those crimes [of torture and wiretapping], but I also realize that the incoming administration may not be able to spend any man-hours on anything other than getting the country out of the hole it's in.
This may be the way the Obamans' policies will have to go. It won't be very satisfying to my sense of vengeance, but it may ultimately be satisfying to my sense of economic justice.

And concerning solutions to the financial mess, Dr. Marshall adds this:
The debate about spending priorities essentially comes down to how much bang for your buck you get in economic stimulus terms for tax cuts or rebates (even for middle or low income people most inclined to spend it) versus government spending, especially in the context of a dramatic economic downturn. And from what I can tell there's a lot of empirical evidence that the latter wins out by a substantial margin.
It astounds me that this argument is still going on and that supply siders still exist, for that matter. Laffer's theory was clearly disproved in the 1980s and has been a dismal failure every time it's been tried since. Yet, it's a mainstay in any American economic debate because the booboisie is certain it's getting something beneficial in a tax cut, and the plutocrats realize that it's a way to attain public approval for lining their pockets even more.

In over her head


Both Kevin Rennie and Colin McEnroe opine this morning about Governor Clubwoman's speech Wednesday anent the state's current financial woes. Essentially, they say the same thing: that the governor is capable only of hysteria and seems not to be able to come up with any realistic strategies to alleviate the situation.

From Rennie:
An authentic leader finds new ways to explain urgent or persistent problems, and unveils credible solutions dressed in stirring rhetoric. It requires a star turn to put it over. Somewhere among Franklin D. Roosevelt's papers there may be a draft of a speech with the sentence, "Let's face it, it's scary" — but I doubt it. Rell inadvertently revealed her governing philosophy when she spoke those five alarming words on Wednesday.
McEnroe tries to make light of the situation. In an imaginary conversation concerning her speech with her chief of staff, the governor wails,
I want bats, damn it! I want them to blot out the sky and drip bat saliva on the helpless legislators. Nothing says hopelessness and dark times like a lot of bats swirling overhead and screeching mournfully ... We are perched on the edge of an abyss inside which lies unyielding squalor and misery.
Clearly, pundits from both ends of the political spectrum see that the governor is overwhelmed by the issue. I don't think anyone should be particularly surprised (McEnroe certainly isn't; that's why he took the tone he did.): Connecticut's governor was less prepared for the job than was Alaska's—and that's saying something.

Unfortunately, as Rennie states,
Governors strive to convince voters that they embody the collective virtues of the people of their state. So it was worth sparing a few moments Wednesday to watch one who personifies a jaw-dropping case of the jitters.

Friday, January 09, 2009

A plea to get serious


Krugman echoes Reich today:
[T]he Obama plan just doesn’t look adequate to the economy’s need. To be sure, a third of a loaf is better than none. But right now we seem to be facing two major economic gaps: the gap between the economy’s potential and its likely performance, and the gap between Mr. Obama’s stern economic rhetoric and his somewhat disappointing economic plan.
The Nobel Prize winner gives three reasons why he believes Obama is trying to resolve a $2 trillion problem with a $775 billion solution. The most compelling to me seems "the plan's inclusion of large business tax cuts, which add to its cost but will do little for the economy, is an attempt to win Republican votes in Congress."

I'm certainly not sick of Obama, but I am getting a little impatient with the Dems' continued feeling that they have to placate the very free market morons who got the country into this mess in the first place.

UPDATE — Obama responds.

The Legacy, cont'd


As far as education goes, the oligarchic Bushies have gotten their way:
Almost 30,000 schools in the United States failed to make adequate yearly progress under the No Child Left Behind Act in the 2007-08 school year ...

Half those schools missed their achievement goals for two or more years, putting almost one in five of the nation’s public schools in some stage of a federally mandated process designed to improve student achievement. The number facing sanctions represents a 13 percent increase for states with comparable data over the 2006-07 school year.
Thus schools have been eviscerated with the outrageous demands of NCLB, which include testing special education students as if they were regular ed. students. A great number of these schools are "failing" because of this unreasonable requirement.
The rising number of schools failing to make AYP under the law is inevitable, its critics say, because of what they see as the law’s unrealistic requirement that student achievement rise on a pace so that all students are proficient in reading and math by the end of the 2013-14 school year.

President George W. Bush and Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings have been steadfast defenders of the proficiency goal, but President-elect Barack Obama and Congress may revise or extend the goal as they work on renewing the NCLB law, as they’re scheduled to do in the upcoming congressional session.
Indeed, it looks as if Obama wants to alter NCLB in some fashion. Certainly, his statement that "teachers should not be forced to spend the academic year preparing students to fill in bubbles on standardized tests" is encouraging, but he also obviously knows that money to alleviate the ostensible problem probably won't be available.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Family Values


The objection to Puritans is not that they try to make us think as they do, but that they try to make us do as they think.
— H.L. Mencken

Alaska's governor is "over the moon" (You can see Russia from there.) with the arrival of her bastard grandson. Moreover, she opines that "The road ahead for this young couple will not be easy, but nothing worthwhile is ever easy." By this statement are we to infer that the pious Palin believes premarital sex is "worthwhile?"

And another red state is in the news today for a comparable achievement:
Mississippi now has the nation's highest teen pregnancy rate ... according to a new federal report released Wednesday.

Mississippi's rate was more than 60 percent higher than the national average in 2006, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said.
I can't help remembering how the media in 2004 claimed that Republican electoral victories in that year were due to voters' concerns about moral (read "Christian") values. Like all hypocrites, it looks like Republicans wish to impose those values only on other people.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

I'm Good Enough, I'm Smart Enough ...


Norm Coleman is pond scum. Even Tricky Dick had the integrity to know when he'd been defeated. (At least, that was the story.)

Monday, January 05, 2009

Goodbye to all that


Colin McEnroe's valedictory can be found here.

The Potted and the Pentecostal


I suppose the Courant and other Connecticut media outlets can be excused for not overtly stating the bloody obvious: that former Hartford mayor Mike Peters was a drunk, and it was his excessive drinking that killed him.

Meanwhile, I was willing to give Roland Burris the benefit of the doubt until he started the Bush-like God-is-my-co-pilot nonsense. The US Senate hardly needs another cretin who believes his position in politics is due to God's will.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

The Legacy, cont'd


Now that 2009 has finally arrived, the nation's pundits are starting to write about XLIII's presidency in earnest.

The AP's Ben Feller chimes in with the usual fluff from that news organization, while Frank Rich calls a failure a failure.

Friday, January 02, 2009

The Camelot Effect


While she'd probably be a better choice than Holy Joe, I'm sure glad Caroline Kennedy isn't going to be my senator. Talk about inexperienced: She makes the governor of Alaska look like a veritable elder stateswoman.

I've got to think that Gov. Patterson has stars in his eyes concerning this appointment even though the surprisingly inarticulate princess can't seem to utter a sentence without putting at least one "you know" into it.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Rose Bowl Halftime Report


It goes without saying that Penn State's defensive backs can't cover USC's phalanx of All-American receivers, but the weirdest thing about the game thus far has been the approach the octogenarian oaf has taken to the game.

ABC has aired frequent shots of the booth where Joe Pa and his coterie are spending the game. Not a word has passed between them in any of the views. The coach obviously has nothing to say to them, and his minions apparently wish to retain the protocol.

Meanwhile, Galen Hall—the Lions' coach on offense—has been shown in yet another booth far removed from the action, which means that Mike McQueary, wide receivers coach, is apparently running the sideline. It's a hell of a way to manage a bowl game, and, with the Lions down, 31-7, at the half, it shows.

In order to show that it's the best team in the nation (which, by the way, I believe), the Trojans may be disinclined to pull any punches in the second half. I.e., I think it's entirely within the realm of possibility that USC scores another thirty points in the last thirty minutes of the game. Such a debacle won't make any difference to the fools in State College, but it'll certainly give the "Joe Must Go" brigade some more ammunition.

UPDATE — Apparently feeling that it had nothing left to prove, USC mailed in the second half and prevailed, 38-24. Obviously, it wasn't that close. Except for the obligatory post-game limping-down-the-hallway shot, ABC stopped showing Penn State's clueless head coach throughout the second half; even the network must've figured out the image was just too embarrassing.



The Venn diagram below regarding the high crimes and misdemeanors of Alberto Gonzales was featured on a recent post by Jason Linkins. I thought it might appeal to more visually oriented readers.