Monday, August 31, 2009

Keep your self-righteous fingers off my processed food


Such is the title of Charlotte Allen's op-ed piece in yesterday's Los Angeles Times wherein she opines
The most zealous of the spend-more crowd, however, are the food intellectuals who salivated, as it were, at a steep rise in the cost of groceries earlier this year, including such basics as milk and eggs. Some people might worry about the effect on recession-hit families of a 17% increase in the price of milk, but not Alice Waters, the food-activist owner of Berkeley's Chez Panisse restaurant, who shudders at the thought of sampling so much as a strawberry that hasn't been nourished by organic compost and picked that morning at a nearby farm— and thinks everyone else in America should shudder too. "Make a sacrifice on the cellphone or the third pair of Nike shoes," Waters airily informed the New York Times in April.
At the very least, Ms. Allen's argument caught the attention of NPR's Talk of the Nation.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Happy 61st Birthday


Lewis Black.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Just kill me


Since I'm still shaken by having spent the last three days in hell, I yield to fellow blogger Ric Murry.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

An elucidation


Let me expand a bit on something I referred to yesterday in a post. Specifically, the junior senator from Connecticut (an Independent who, through the spinelessness of Harry Reid, chairs the Senate's Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee) Monday indicated that he regretted AG Holder's decision to investigate CIA atrocities because such an investigation
will have a chilling effect on the men and women agents of our intelligence community whose uninhibited bravery and skill we depend on every day to protect our homeland from the next terrorist attack.
I.e., it was the same old crapola: We should be very afraid of the big bad terrorists at all times and bringing CIA malfeasances to light should just make us more fearful.

Glenn Greenwald doesn't respond directly to Senator Scaredy-Cat, but he brings up a good point related to Holy Joe's pusillanimity. Viz.,
My email inbox and comment section are filled with ... sentiments that to oppose Torture is to defend Terrorists, because Terrorists deserve to be tortured, and that to oppose their abuse is to be treasonous because it's terrible to care if Terrorists are abused, etc. etc.
Clearly, this is Senator Sanctimony's position on the matter and has been since March of 2003, although, more accurately, Holy Joe believes that "to oppose Torture [of Arabs] is to defend [Arab] Terrorists, because [Arab] Terrorists deserve to be tortured."

It's obvious that Holy Joe would not be so regretful about an upcoming investigation if the "Terrorists" were from Haganah, Irgun, or Lehi.

Ted Kennedy


While I'm certainly of the opinion that a giant has fallen in our land, I can't help thinking that Ted Kennedy was the type of legislator that I often complain about, viz., the career politician. Kennedy was first elected to the US Senate in 1962 and served there for the next 47 years of his life. In other words, he never really had another job during his adult life.

Now, to be sure, the good citizens of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts can elect whomever they please, but it's interesting that they'd continue to do so with someone who had such a spotty academic and personal history.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

This is a joke, right?


In April of this year, KFC debuted its ' Kentucky Grilled Chicken,' a departure from its standard extra crispy (read: deep-fried) fare. Now, the chain seems to have pulled a complete 180, introducing the 'Double Down,' a fried chicken sandwich with cheese, bacon and Colonel's sauce. Except here's the kicker: There's no bread. The chicken fillets do the job.

The sandwich is apparently being tested in two American markets: Providence, R.I. and Omaha, Neb.

The 'Double Down' sandwich is $4.99.
The sandwich (if one dare call it that) weighs in at a hefty 1228 calories.

I feel so much better now


The Obama administration will continue the Bush administration’s practice of sending terrorism suspects to third countries for detention and interrogation, but pledges to closely monitor their treatment to ensure that they are not tortured, administration officials said Monday.
This close monitoring will no doubt be akin to the meticulous overseeing that went on with TARP funds earlier this year. How'd that AIG salvaging thing work out, anyway?

As much as I applaud Eric Holder's decision to investigate the CIA's atrocities (which, unsurprisingly, Senator Sanctimony disagrees with), I'm appalled that the extraordinary rendition program will continue.

UPDATE — As usual, Glenn Greenwald has an incisive post regarding the investigation.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Can we have our country back now?


Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. has decided to appoint a prosecutor to examine nearly a dozen cases in which CIA interrogators and contractors may have violated anti-torture laws and other statutes when they allegedly threatened terrorism suspects, according to two sources familiar with the move.

Holder is poised to name John Durham, a career Justice Department prosecutor from Connecticut, to lead the inquiry, according to the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the process is not complete.
The incidents of absolutely heinous crimes against humanity (without causing organ failure of course) cannot be ignored. And they can't be downplayed in the interest of national security because doing so severely weakens the nation's identity.

This is what is most troubling about the apologists' reaction to an examination of the CIA's torturing: They simply can not, do not, and will not understand that the sanctioned violation of human dignity is perforce a violation of our nation's most sacred principles. This is why I'll go to my grave believing that Cheney, Limbaugh, Senator Sanctimony, and the rest of the reprobates are guilty of treason.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

He's baaaack


Atrios does the honors.

Ambinder, cont'd


I noted Marc Ambinder's response to the news that the Bushies used security alerts for political reasons in a comment below. Now its turns out that Mr. Ambinder has irked quite a few bloggers with his accusatory comments.

Paul Krugman is quite upset and lays the whole situation out quite plainly: "It’s really sad that those who missed the obvious, who failed to see what was right in front of their noses, still consider themselves superior to those who got it right."

Or, as Jay Ackroyd puts it, "The reason people viewed [Bush's] traffic light scare system as lying, histrionic politics, was because Bush had a longstanding history of engaging in lying, histrionic politics."

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Full Disclosure


I'm pretty much satisfied that my many TDAmeritrade transaction fees helped support a cause other than some repugnant right-wing project.

The fair weather fan's lament


Earlier this season, when the Sox couldn't lose to the Evil Empire, it was great that Fox and ESPN consistently showed the Saturday and Sunday games between the two teams when they met in a weekend series.

These days, not so much.

Quote of the Day


“We just can’t afford our state government anymore.”
— Connecticut Governor M. Jodi Rell regarding
the state's current budget impasse
If ever a state's chief executive showed that she has absolutely no inclination to actually—you know—govern, surely Connecticut is so cursed.

This is reminiscent in so many ways of Rachel Maddow's and Kent Jones's tour de force of the other night wherein Jones played the role of Grand Obstructionist Party members who insist they really do want health reform. Likewise, another GOPer, Governor Clubwoman, wants a budget, but doesn't want it to have any money in it.

God and gays (sans guns)


Needless to say, I'm always interested when avowed Christians attempt to demonstrate their faith. Thus it is with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, which
voted Friday to allow gays in committed relationships to serve as clergy in the church—making it one of the largest Christian denominations in the country to significantly open the pulpit to gays.

Previously, only celibate gays were permitted to serve as clergy in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, a denomination of 4.8 million members. But delegates to a church assembly voted 559-451 to allow gays in "life-long, monogamous" relationships to serve as clergy and professional lay leaders in the church.
Needless to say, those living in the 16th century bemoaned the vote, stating (among other things) that
"I really believe ... what we are about to do will split the church," said ELCA delegate John Sang of Ohio during the debate.

Delegate Terri Stagner-Collier wept as she predicted that opponents would be "ripped away" from the church if the measure were approved. "I urge you not to do this—not to do this at all," she said, "[for] these people in the pews and in my family."
For all the hysteria,
the vote puts gays under the same set of rules that have govern heterosexual clergy. They are required to be monogamous if married and to abstain from sexual relations if they are single. Individual congregations would not be compelled to take on pastors who are in same-sex relationships.
In other words, homosexual clergy would have to work under the same conditions as their straight colleagues. To my mind, this isn't exactly an earth-shaking concept, but, then again, I'm one of those left-of-lefters who's actually read the 14th Amendment.

Friday, August 21, 2009

BO, we hardly knew ye


Not real good news for the erstwhile junior senator from Illinois:
Public confidence in President Obama's leadership has declined sharply over the summer, amid intensifying opposition to health-care reform that threatens to undercut his attempt to enact major changes to the system, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Among all Americans, 49 percent now express confidence that Obama will make the right decisions for the country, down from 60 percent at the 100-day mark in his presidency. Forty-nine percent now say they think he will be able to spearhead significant improvements in the system, down nearly 20 percentage points from before he took office.

[A major factor in President Obama’s slide in today’s Washington Post/ABC News poll ... is his surprisingly sharp drops among Democrats and even liberals.]
Paul Krugman coincidentally prepared us for the numbers this morning.

UPDATE — is all over this story, including an overview by editor-in-chief Joan Walsh.

UPDATE II — Here's another sidebar to Obama supporters' nervousness regarding their president.

More on BO's bipolarity


While the bipolar video from The Onion deserves the laughs it gets (see below), BO sure does seem to be talking out of both sides of his mouth at times.

Consider this:
After weeks of struggling to break through the chanting throngs of health-care overhaul opponents at town halls across the country and to correct inaccurate information about his proposals, President Obama finally seemed to hit his stride Thursday when it came to explaining his goals in plain, brief, to-the-point language ...

"We know where these lies are coming from," he said to laughter. "I don't think it's any secret. You know, if you just flick channels you'll—and then stop on certain ones of them then you'll see, you know, you'll see who's propagating this stuff and so all we can do is just keep on pushing the truth."
Pretty good, huh? BO calls a demagogue a demagogue and rightly accuses Republican apologists of lying.

Yet, we find in the same article that the
president said he still hoped to craft a bipartisan bill and hailed three Republican senators—Olympia Snowe from Maine; Chuck Grassley for Iowa and Mike Enzi from Wyoming—for negotiating with Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee, compliments he echoed later at the DNC, where he sought to convince his supporters he would not compromise too much.
Grassley?? The same moron who opined a few weeks ago that "We should not have a government program that determines whether you’re going to pull the plug on grandma"?

I'd sure like to read an article regarding BO that doesn't leave me with political whiplash.

One man's opinion


The Patriots' all-time team.

A lot of no-brainers, it seems to me. The only player I can think of who got squeezed out was Raymond Clayborn.

It's come to this


EJ Dionne argues that town hall protesters should leave their guns at home.

Here's another spin on the gun toters:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
The Gun Show - Barrel Fever
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealthcare Protests

Thursday, August 20, 2009

When all is said and done


As the days of astroturf, chaotic town halls, callous legislators, and disingenuous talk show hosts continue ad infinitum, let us not forget why all of these things are going on in the first place:
If President Barack Obama succeeds in signing a major health care reform bill into law—one that provides a public plan for people currently priced out of the system— ... he will likely deprive the Republican minority in Congress from anything approaching a comeback in the 2010 midterm elections.

However, if health care reform does not pass early in Obama's term, the Democrats will likely face midterm elections amid rising unemployment figures with a record of having passed legislation characterized as "bailouts" for megabanks and large corporations—bills whose benefits to the economy have little impact on the person who has already lost a job. So GOP leaders are focused like a laser beam on stopping health-care reform in its tracks.
Anything else stated about the issue by anyone is mere dross. When all is said and done, Republican legislators don't care about their constituents, but care only about saving their precious jobs.

Shocking Sports News


The Memphis men's basketball team will have to vacate its 2007-08 NCAA tournament runner-up finish and 38-2 record, the NCAA's Committee on Infractions will announce today at 3 pm ...

Memphis officials appeared before the Infractions Committee in June, responding to allegations by the NCAA that a Memphis player [had someone else take his] SAT exam to gain eligibility for 2007-08. The player has not been named but only Derrick Rose fit the description in the NCAA's notice of allegations.
This is really surprising since heretofore Memphis and Calipari have been so lily white in their approaches to the game.

Thanks Tom Ridge


Because of this I had to go through the equivalent of airport security (stand in line, wait for the x-ray machine to be clear, run bag through scanner) every time I decided to bring so much as a backpack to my office. Along the same lines, my office building was digitally erased from satellite view on google maps in 2004. Surprisingly, I am no longer searched for coming to work and the office re-appeared on the map recently. Both happened just months after Obama was elected. Now I know why. Not that I didn't suspect as much.

It all makes sense to me now

Guns for hire


The Magnificent Seven, they weren't.
The Central Intelligence Agency in 2004 hired outside contractors from the private security contractor Blackwater USA as part of a secret program to locate and assassinate top operatives of Al Qaeda, according to current and former government officials.

Executives from Blackwater, which has generated controversy because of its aggressive tactics in Iraq, helped the spy agency with planning, training and surveillance. The C.I.A. spent several million dollars on the program, which did not successfully capture or kill any terrorist suspects.
It was years ago that I got to the point where nothing the Bushies did surprised me, and an episode like this just strengthens my feeling that XLIII and his cronies were absolutely crazy.

More on the new boss


Just another day in Baghdad.
Thunderous truck bombs targeted the heart of the Iraqi government Wednesday in a blunt challenge to Prime Minister Nouri Maliki and his assurances that Iraqi police and soldiers will be able to maintain control as U.S. forces pull back.

Most of the 95 dead and 536 wounded were casualties of attacks on the foreign and finance ministries.
Meanwhile, BO lets us know that that it'll be another year before the US is out of this quagmire while he promotes yet another war in the region. Fortunately, Americans don't seem to be buying it.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009



Fox News has had to retreat a bit from its initial hysterical story.
Robotic Technology Inc.'s Energetically Autonomous Tactical Robot — that's right, "EATR" — "can find, ingest, and extract energy from biomass in the environment (and other organically-based energy sources), as well as use conventional and alternative fuels (such as gasoline, heavy fuel, kerosene, diesel, propane, coal, cooking oil, and solar) when suitable," reads the company's Web site.

But, contrary to reports, including one that appeared on, the EATR will not eat animal or human remains.
Well, that's a relief.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Giving away the store


What Bob Reich said.

"Perhaps the last conservative writer who tried to be an honest reporter"


Robert Novak. Requiescat in pace.

The hideous Courant


Just in case any one wondered about the integrity of the Hartford Courant, the possibility has pretty much been dispelled in the story of the 40-year consumer columnist whose position was eliminated
after he launched a new blog which reported [an] unflattering story about an advertiser that [the paper] refused to run.

After ... his position [was eliminated, George] Gombossy launched his new consumer blog site called CT Watchdog and ran the story about Sleepy’s which the Courant had been holding since Aug. 2. “This was the first time in my 40 years at The Courant that an investigation by the attorney general was withheld from the public,” Gombossy said in his editor’s note.
Needless to say, the Courant says the elimination was a mere coincidence.
Naedine Hazell, who is in charge of print operations at the Courant sent out a memo to all staff updating them on his departure.

“Since the elimination of George Gombossy’s position at the Courant, there’s been a great deal of conjecture and misinformation floated in the blogosphere,” Hazell wrote. “First of all, there is no relationship between the change in that job and any story George was working on.”
I'm always amused when these corporate types speak as if their listeners were born yesterday.

Anyway, Gombossy's site looks pretty good, and I've added it to my bookmarks.

Just a matter of time


A man toting an assault rifle was among a dozen protesters carrying weapons while demonstrating outside President Obama's speech to veterans on Monday, but no laws were broken. It was the second instance in recent days in which weapons have been seen near presidential events ...

Arizona law has nothing in the books regulating assault rifles, and only requires permits for carrying concealed weapons. So despite the man's proximity to the president, there were no charges or arrests to be made. [Police spokesman Sgt. Andy] Hill said officers explained the law to some people who were upset about the presence of weapons at the protest.
This is really getting ridiculous—and scary.

The public option, cont'd


What Atrios said.

Monday, August 17, 2009

How cool is this?


"CJ" catches lightning in a bottle—twice.

[Video removed by MLB.]

The Public Option


Obviously, there're miles to go before this one sleeps, but
the Obama administration [is] giving its strongest signal yet that it may be ready to drop the idea of a government-run insurance option to compete with private companies as part of health care reform.
Now, I only know what Bob Reich and Paul Krugman tell me, and they've both been promoting the public option like it's indispensable. Therefore, I'm on its side. (The fact that the predatory insurance companies and the craziest people to show themselves this century are against it also factors into the equation.) It also appears as if Congress's most progressive legislators are on the side of the public option.

Having said that, it might be instructive to note Kevin Drum's take on the subject.
[T]here's a group of liberal Democrats in the House who are threatening to vote against any bill that doesn't include a public option. Obviously they're hoping that this threat will be enough to force the conference committee to include a public option in its final report.

But even if this works, no one thinks that such a bill can get 60 votes in the Senate. This means the only way to pass it would be via reconciliation.

So here's my question: supposing this happens, what are we likely to lose if we go down the reconciliation road? The basic rule is that anything that doesn't affect the budget is off limits and would have to be discarded, but in practice only an expert could tell us which provisions are likely to fall foul of the reconciliation rules. So who's an expert on this kind of thing? I don't have a clue. But before I decide what I think of this whole idea, I'd sure like to have a better sense of what I'm likely to get out of it. On one side, I lose the public option but the rest of the bill has a pretty good chance of passing. That's straightforward. On the other side, I get a bill that includes a public option but loses a bunch of other stuff that can't survive reconciliation. Like, say, community rating, which I suspect doesn't have enough budgetary impact to stay intact. Ditto for just about everything else that reforms the private sector insurance industry.
So are we back to the bipartisanship crapola that too many legislators espouse in order to promote a Republican agenda? Or might something good come out of this even though a public option may not?

I'll be glad when August is over and legislators can get back to the real mudslinging.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

This and that


Again with the silver bullet:
President Obama held his third and final health-care town hall gathering Saturday, and ... about halfway through the questioning, Obama sought to encourage people to have realistic expectations about what could come of health-care reform, his largest domestic initiative.

"The truth is—I want to be completely honest here—there is no perfect, painless silver bullet out there that solves every problem, gives everyone perfect health care, for free," he said. "There isn't. I wish there was."
He's right: There isn't a silver bullet out there. But there just might be a magic bullet.

And Governor Clubwoman is really upset that people are being mean to her.
Last Monday, the governor's press office held an unusual closed-door meeting of high-priced media spokesmen for state agencies — about $2 million worth of them, figuring that about 20 attended and that their annual taxpayer-funded salaries average about $100,000, according to state records.

The internal meeting, in a state Capitol conference room, was never announced to the news media. That's undoubtedly because its purpose was to strategize about how to handle the media during an ongoing state budget crisis in which top aides to Gov. M. Jodi Rell now feel that the governor isn't always getting fair coverage ...

[I]f you look at the official, civil-service job descriptions of the officials who attended — including communications officers for such state departments as Administrative Services, Correction, Environmental Protection, Motor Vehicles, Public Works, Revenue Services, Social Services, and Transportation — they mention nothing about dealing with "how the media is playing or not playing the issues."
It's off-putting that my tax dollars are going toward something so self-indulgent. Or, to use the old cliché, the governor can dish it out, but she can't take it.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Les Paul


Time keeps breaking up that old gang of mine.

I grew up with a pretty profound interest in music, and I can remember that the most coveted instrument of the time was Gibson guitar's Les Paul model. The Fender models were fine, but axmen who played the Les Paul were thought of as a little more serious about their craft.

Requiescat in pace.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Quote of the Day


We don’t know what the economic policies of a McCain-Palin administration would have been.
We do know, however, what Republicans in opposition have been saying—and it boils
down to demanding that the government stop standing in the way of a possible depression.
Paul Krugman on why the federal government's involvement
was indispensable in preventing another Great Depression
This pretty much nails it, along with Krugman's assertion that "Ronald Reagan was wrong: sometimes the private sector is the problem, and government is the solution."

The fact that the country dodged a pretty serious bullet in the past year as a result of government intervention is obviously lost on the anti-health care reform crowd.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Quote of the Day


The tests were either poorly administered or the results misread. In this situation,
with players' potential livelihoods on the line, that is not acceptable.
— Berkshire Eagle columnist Derek Gentile on the
questionable accuracy of MLB's latest round
of performance-enhancing drug tests
As someone wiser than I said recently, "When it comes to baseball's war on drugs, I'm a conscientious objector." The fact that, as Gentile points out, "of the 104 names of players who tested positive for either supplements, steroids or other performance-enhancing drugs, only 96 are believed to be 'true' positives. That's a margin of error of 7.6 percent" demonstrates the incompetence of MLB's scientists. It's certainly not something that a competent examiner would hang his hat on.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Quote of the Day


As usual, Frank Rich nails it:
It’s a measure of how out of touch G.O.P. leaders like Mitch McConnell and John Boehner are that they keep trying to scare voters by calling Obama a socialist. They have it backward. The larger fear is that Obama might be just another corporatist, punking voters much as the Republicans do when they claim to be all for the common guy.
It's situations like this that're making Rich nervous.



Since August is such a slow news month, newspapers have to content themselves with noting anniversaries of events that actually did occur in the month named after Octavian. Viz., we're coming up on the 40th anniversaries of both the Tate-LaBianca murders and the Woodstock festival.
Woodstock comprised a crowd of more than 400,000 on Max Yasgur's 600-acre farm from Aug. 15-18 [1969]. The event featured 32 musical acts, including Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Janis Joplin, the Grateful Dead, and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.
The mayor of Nagasaki called for a global ban on nuclear arms at a ceremony marking the 64th anniversary of the devastating U.S. attack on the Japanese city that killed about 74,000 people.

In a speech given just after 11:02 a.m. — the time when a plutonium American bomb flattened Nagasaki on Aug. 9, 1945 — Mayor Tomihisa Taue said some progress had been made toward eliminating nuclear weaponry but more needed to be done.
Finally, Daniel Schorr comments on the day the good guys finally won.
August 9, 1974, remains as vivid in my mind as if it were yesterday — President Richard Milhous Nixon, having announced the previous evening his intention of resigning, makes that official with a one-sentence letter to Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, delivered at 11:35 a.m., followed by an emotional, somewhat disjointed farewell speech to the White House staff in which he evokes the memory of his sainted mother. And then, there he is on the steps of a helicopter, his arms raised in his signature "V for Victory" posture ...

The only president ever to be forced out of office had left the country exhausted. He had stubbornly clung to the presidency until a unanimous Supreme Court ordered him to surrender the Oval Office tapes that implicated him in the Watergate conspiracy. He faced impeachment and, almost certainly, conviction. His chief of staff, Al Haig, had mentioned to Vice President Gerald Ford the possibility of a pardon after resignation, although Ford later denied there was anything like a deal.

In his first speech as president, Ford said that the national nightmare had ended. A resilient nation had survived, but the episode had left its scars on the body politic. Since Nixon, no president has been fully trusted.
Indeed, Schorr is correct in his last statement, but a more insidious effect has been felt for the last three and a half decades: There has been a concerted effort to avenge Nixon or sanction his actions in some way. Certainly, Reagan's "welfare queens" mantra was an echo of Nixon's racist "Southern Strategy," and the entire "white southerners started voted Republican" phenomenon came about as a result of Nixon's sincere distrust (some might say loathing) of black people. It goes without saying that Feckless Leader's strategies were Nixonian; with Nixon idolators like Cheney and Rummy around, it could play out no other way.

And, of course, the entire tenor of modern politics can be ascribed to Nixon's neuroses and psychoses. The hideous divisiveness that has plagued the nation for the last number of years originated in Nixon's notorious "Enemies List"—an early articulation of the "If you're not with us, you're against us" sentiment.

Thus, my hopes were raised on that Friday in August 35 years ago. Indeed, it looked as if "our long national nightmare" really was over. Ironically and unfortunately, however, we Boomers hadn't seen anything yet.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Hard to know whom to root against


Back in the fall of 2008, the conservative Christian group the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) organized "Pulpit Freedom Sunday," a sort-of civil disobedience event for which pastors were encouraged to use their pulpits to endorse John McCain and challenge IRS regulations prohibiting such political activity by tax-exempt institutions. Now, in a somewhat surprising move, the IRS has informed some of the several dozen churches that participated that they are no longer under investigation.
Given the fact that I've recently received a letter from the Insane Revenue Service regarding taxes I don't owe, I'm displeased that the offending (and offensive) churches aren't being pursued to pay the appropriate fines and taxes.

Even though "the ADF has announced plans to hold another Pulpit Freedom Sunday on September 27," I don't think the IRS will do anything about it—all of which leads me a bit perplexed as to why I'm being pursued for no good reason.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Health care riots


Given what's been going on in various venues, I think it's just a matter of time before someone gets killed at a health care town hall event. So it goes in today's not so United States of America.

Story of the day


This is hilarious.
A Norwalk woman once recognized as "nurse of the year" was arrested Thursday after an investigation found that she's not really a nurse ... [Her employer] and his employees' belief that Lichtenstein was a nurse was reinforced when in November 2008 she was honored as "2008 Nurse of the Year" by the Connecticut Nursing Association.

The investigation determined, however, that the Connecticut Nursing Association does not exist and that Lichtenstein used $2,000 of her own money to stage the dinner, according to the warrant.
One might think that after the Clark Rockefeller episode—and myriad episodes like it—would-be scammers would realize that they'll be detected. Fortunately, for those of us highly amused by stories like these, they keep on thinking they can get away with it.

On another note, I'll be taking my annual weekly sojourn in the Berkshires starting today, so posting may be light for the next seven days. However, with America's best small-city newspaper at my disposal, one never knows.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Biggest moron in America


Is it me, or does Orly Taitz look like a drag queen?

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

That's what I'm talkin' about


The DNC finally decides to call a spade a spade.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Hope I die before I get old


The demographers at the US Census Bureau believe that BO is a baby boomer, having been born prior to 1965. Be that as it may, it occurs to me on XLIV's 48th birthday that heretofore the boomers haven't exactly distinguished themselves when it comes to being the nation's chief executive. I.e., we've experienced the philandering of W. Jefferson Clinton and then the utter imbecility of G. Walker Bush. (Maybe there was something in the water in the summer of 1946.) Here's hoping that the late boomer, BO, redeems (at least a little bit) my generation or else people will certainly continue to put us down.

Monday, August 03, 2009

For the love of God, let it go


Bryan Bender of the Globe reports that
Nearly four decades after the Woodstock Festival, the culture wars are apparently still being fought at one of the nation's largest and most storied veterans organizations.

The cover story in the August issue of the Veterans of Foreign Wars' national magazine marks the upcoming anniversary of the four-day concert that symbolized the counterculture of the 1960s with an article penned by its editor, Richard K. Kolb, titled "GIs Died While Woodstock Rocked."
Kolb is obviously a moron, and it's good to see that the profound and moving comments to the article reflect that.

The first years of the century have evinced an "us vs. them" mentality unlike anything I've ever experienced, and it's clear to me who's been responsible for such divisive feelings. Given the confrontational tenor of the times, the last thing we need is for some "flag waving jingoist" to pick a forty-year-old scab.

My tax dollars at work


With the first day of school just weeks away, dozens of students in Bloomfield and Manchester are still waiting to learn where they will be attending class.

The students had been accepted to attend Hartford host magnet schools, but recently learned that if their home districts don't pay the $4,600 in tuition that Hartford school officials say is necessary to close the gap between what they receive from the state and what it costs to educate them, they will have to return to their local school district or seek alternatives.
This is just another story wherein we find that the impasse regarding taxes in the state has affected the opening of schools. With the ridiculous NCLB standards still in place, one of the few places available to students who are in underperforming schools is a magnet school of the type described in the article. Now, Governor Clubwoman's intransigence regarding new taxes is destroying even that possibility.

Mother Mary continues to insist that it's all the Democrats' fault, but I'm not buying it. At any rate, she might want to consider the effects her line-in-the-sand politics are creating.

UPDATE — Apparently, Governor Clubwoman doesn't want to work with the state's Dems because they're commies.

Sunday, August 02, 2009

The NYPD at work


NYC residents who read this blog may be interested in this piece that appeared in this morning's Courant wherein we find that police overreactions aren't limited to the Cambridge, MA constabulary. A brown skinned associate professor at CCSU spent the weekend of July 10 in an NYC lockup because he
had gotten caught in a city sweep ... "It's like a competition. First precinct to one hundred collars wins." It didn't matter who or why.
Of course, there'll be no redress of his grievance; the fascistic terms of the PATRIOT Act have taken care of that.

Saturday, August 01, 2009

I don't believe it


Even though I have no doubt that the sentiment, "Keep your government hands off my Medicare," could be on the minds of the aging booboisie, I don't believe the veracity of reports that the phrase was expressed.

In Jonathan Alder's version, the phrase appears in a letter from a "woman who wrote the president complaining about 'socialized medicine' and added: "'Now keep your hands off my Medicare.'"

Paul Krugman reports that
at a recent town-hall meeting in suburban Simpsonville, a man stood up and told Rep. Robert Inglis (R-S.C.) to "keep your government hands off my Medicare."
It's a lovely phrase and, as I say, could very well be held by many. Nevertheless, I'm going to continue to believe that this is just another apocryphal incident that shows just how clueless many Americans are regarding the public services they receive.