Monday, November 30, 2009

Pet peeve


The Boston Globe discusses one of mine. (I cite this at the risk of sounding like an old fart.)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Sharks: water, yes; candygrams, no


Realizing just how inundated we're going to be with Tiger Woods stories in the next few days made me think of this classic rant wherein Jon Stewart wonders just what CNN's function is.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Losing their religion


In a post that has a number of liberal bloggers all atwitter, Steve Singiser reports that
Two in five Democratic voters either consider themselves unlikely to vote at this point in time, or have already made the firm decision to remove themselves from the 2010 electorate pool. Indeed, Democrats were three times more likely to say that they will "definitely not vote" in 2010 than are Republicans.
I suppose this adamancy should be a bit of a surprise, but there sure were a lot of people in 2008 who bought into BO's rhetoric regarding change, and there sure seems to be a lot of people who are seeing little but more of the same.

I certainly won't fail to vote next year (After all, Connecticut has a rather interesting senatorial vote coming up.), but I also don't foresee much change in the attitude of the Executive Branch in that time. Thus, I'd think that the numbers cited above may well hold.

Steve Benen can kvetch all he wants about this situation, but the truth of the matter is that even if Republicans fail to regain a great number of legislative seats, it probably won't make any difference regarding the lack of passage of progressive legislation.

Provincial Stat of the day


UConn All-American (and first round NFL pick) Donald Brown's average rushing yards per game in 2008: 160.2.

UConn running back tandem of Jordan Todman and Andre Dixon's average in 2009: 180.

The challenge


In his usual insightful way, Tom Fina wraps up what's going on in ObamaWorld:
The president says that he is confident that the public will approve his [Afghan] strategy when it hears it. Whether he can square the political circle of satisfying the military pressure to "win", the Republican goal of destroying him politically, the liberal Democratic segment of his constituency that wants out and the crucial independents who will not long support a slog through the quagmire, will be a test of his ability to perform miracles. Among the few diverting moments will be watching the Republicans, who insist that health insurance be budget neutral, respond to Democratic proposals to pay as we go for the continuation of the war in Afghanistan with special war taxes.
In a nutshell, that's pretty much all we need to know this last weekend in November.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Finishing the job


It is now, officially, Obama's war. So much for change.


"Just another right-wing pol"


Peter Beinart adds his two cents regarding how "another interesting senator bites the dust."

Personally, I think the first comment here pretty much nails it.

Steve Benen elucidates.

Well, at least justice was served


Remind me not to seek out the Lehigh Pub the next time I'm in the Lehigh Valley.
A couple in [Pennsylvania] arrested for refusing to pay a restaurant service charge have been told by the police that the theft charges brought against them following the incident in October have been dropped.

John Wagner, 24 and Leslie Pope, 22 were in a party of eight that had a meal last month at the Lehigh Pub in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.

Unhappy at the service they received—allegedly it took the pub an hour to bring Mr Wagner, Ms Pope and their friends their meals, and Ms Pope had to refill her own drink at the bar as well as collect her own silverware—when presented with a bill for $90.22 the couple and/or their dining companions decided not to pay the $16.35 service charge.

... The Lehigh Pub includes an 18 percent gratuity fee for groups of diners of a certain size, no exact number was stated, but as Mr Wagner and Ms Pope, who are both college students, noted the gratuity fee they were charged was greater than 18 percent of their bill for food, drinks and taxes, which totaled $73.87.
Good for the (Lehigh and Moravian*) students, and now let's see the Lehigh Pub try to recover from this public relations catastrophe.

* schools updated

Monday, November 23, 2009

Joe says no


As one who cringes every time the self-aggrandizing Senator Sanctimony is given the opportunity to spout his inanities on national television, I can't get too upset that there's one show he'll never appear on.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

And the beat goes on


Now that the idiotic Governor Go-go has insinuated herself into the country's political scene again, it's not surprising that questions regarding her "last child" are reappearing.

A Higher Law


This story isn't getting much ink anywhere (including, God knows, Israel), but apparently
In an incident on Monday played down by the [Israeli] military as an aberration and described by some political commentators as a crossing of a red line, a handful of soldiers protested against the partial dismantling of a settler-outpost in the West Bank.

Their action prompted 15 right-wing legislators in the 120-member parliament to propose a bill that would bar the military from forcing troops to remove Jews from settlements in the occupied territory.

Two of the soldiers disobeyed orders and refused to secure the settlement site, which had been built without government permission and where police razed two buildings. They were sentenced respectively to 20 days and 14 days in jail.

Two other soldiers, who held up a sign at an army base in the West Bank saying their batallion would never evacuate settlements, also faced a disciplinary hearing at which each received a month-long prison term.

[A]t least some of the soldiers involved in both incidents were from the Orthodox Jewish minority, which has taken on an increasingly prominent role in the military and tends to support West Bank settlements.

Critics say the army should not be used for operations against Israeli citizens. Instead, they say, police should handle settler issues, while the army patrols the borders and areas of conflict.

The settlements are a major point of contention between Israel and the Palestinians. The Palestinians refuse to restart peace negotiations with Israel unless the government freezes all settlement construction in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.
The feeling of the protesters is that the settlements are for Jews because God told them the area was for Jews; needless to say, it's hard to argue with such irrationality.

Defying the United States, Israel approved on Tuesday the building of 900 homes for Jews on West Bank land it occupied in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war and annexed to its Jerusalem municipality.
It goes without saying that if any other entity in the Mideast were guilty of such hegemony, there'd be saber-rattling in the US the likes of which cannot be exaggerated.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Going to the dark side?


At the risk of sounding like those hysterics I so often derogate, I can't help but be a little concerned by this item:
In an application filed last year and made public last month by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Apple is seeking a patent for technology that displays advertising on almost anything that has a screen of some kind: computers, phones, televisions, media players, game devices and other consumer electronics.

Filing a patent application, of course, doesn’t necessarily mean that the company plans to use the technology. But the application shows, at the least, that Apple has invested in research to develop what it calls an “enforcement routine” that makes people watch ads they may not want to watch.

Its distinctive feature is a design that doesn’t simply invite a user to pay attention to an ad — it also compels attention. The technology can freeze the device until the user clicks a button or answers a test question to demonstrate that he or she has dutifully noticed the commercial message. Because this technology would be embedded in the innermost core of the device, the ads could appear on the screen at any time, no matter what one is doing.
Needless to say, in the US, if a medium is created, it'll be used for advertising (Just look what Mail Pouch did to barn walls.), but this seems a bit beyond the pale.

Here's hoping the technology is never used.

BO and Afghanistan, cont'd


The latest internal government estimates place the cost of adding 40,000 American troops and sharply expanding the Afghan security forces, as favored by Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the top American and allied commander in Afghanistan, at $40 billion to $54 billion a year ...

So even if Mr. Obama opts for a lower troop commitment, Afghanistan’s new costs could wash out the projected $26 billion expected to be saved in 2010 from withdrawing troops from Iraq. And the overall military budget could rise to as much as $734 billion, or 10 percent more than the peak of $667 billion under the Bush administration.
And still BO dithers.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Cowardly Zionist


Not surprisingly, Senator Spineless is joining Republicans in criticizing the Obama administration's decision to try alleged Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four other Guantanamo Bay detainees in civilian federal court in New York.
"The terrorists who planned, participated in, and aided the September 11, 2001 attacks are war criminals, not common criminals.

"Not only are these individuals not common criminals but war criminals, they are also not American citizens entitled to all the constitutional rights American citizens have in our federal courts. The individuals accused of committing these heinous, cowardly acts of intentionally targeting unsuspecting, defenseless civilians should therefore be tried by military commission rather than in civilian courts in the United States."
Steve Benen has more on this pusillanimous hysteria.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Mother of Mercy, is this the end of Godd?


While I'm certainly among the majority of Connecticut denizens who don't believe the state's senior senator deserves re-election, the alternatives are certainly worse.
A Quinnipiac University poll released [today] shows that three of U.S. Sen. Chris Dodd’s five Republican challengers would beat him if the election were held today.

Former U.S. Rep. Rob Simmons would beat Dodd 49 to 38 percent, while Linda McMahon, the former World Wrestling Entertainment executive who says she is willing to spend $30 to $50 million of her own money on the race, would beat Dodd 43 to 41 percent. Also former U.S. Ambassador to Ireland Tom Foley would beat Dodd 47 to 40 percent.
Whew! If even the Crotch Kicker is ahead of him, Dodd is certainly in trouble.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Getting out of the kitchen


The doyenne of Connecticut politics is retiring.
An emotional Gov. M. Jodi Rell announced Monday that she will not seek re-election next year, signaling the end of a tenure that brought her the highest popularity ratings in Connecticut history and setting off a scramble to replace her when she steps down in January 2011.
Needless to say, I thought MJ was among the least competent politicians I've ever encountered. She was a lot like XLIII in that they both didn't do very much except cheerlead, essentially giving up the power of their offices to malevolent minions like Dick Cheney and Lisa Moody.

I just want more in a governor than one who urges me to give blood and reminds me what (and what not) to call 911 for.

Some people have already indicated they'll be seeking her job as she leaves the heat of Hartford's kitchen for her own more June Cleaver-like one in Bethany.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

"Propensity for Betrayal"


Steve Benen parses Senator Sanctimony's latest idiocy.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Ah, BO (We hardly knew ye?)


This is our time, to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth, that, out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope. And where we are met with cynicism and doubts and those who tell us that we can't, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes, we can.
One year ago tonight:

Monday, November 02, 2009

Orrin Hatch gives the game away


Atrios links to this post wherein Orrin Hatch opines that the Democrat-inspired health care bill is too good
because almost everybody's going to say, "All we ever were, all we ever are, all we ever hope to be depends on the Democratic Party."
I think we knew this already.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

"Vinegar Joe"


I'm going to use this post to bookmark another post because it says everything I want to remember about my state's junior senator.



The Courant helps the state pull its fingernails out.