Sunday, January 31, 2010

Quote of the Day

ESOTERICA

I hope to gain inspiration, I hope to gain momentum so that when this 365 days is over, I can shoot through the moon.
— Fredericksburg, VA native Caressa Cameron
after becoming Miss America last night
I have no idea what this woman is talking about.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Among the "select"

ESOTERICA

For those who might be curious, I'm not interested.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

J.D. Salinger

EULOGY

Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all. Thousands of little kids, and nobody's around—nobody big, I mean—except me. And I'm standing on the edge of some crazy cliff. What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff—I mean if they're running and they don't look where they're going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That's all I'd do all day. I'd just be the catcher in the rye and all. I know it's crazy, but that's the only thing I'd really like to be.
From 1966 to 1979, I read Salinger's magnum opus at least once annually. It certainly was one of the most influential works I ever found, and I was somewhat saddened when I realized in my thirties that it wasn't having the same effect on me as it had earlier.

Requiescat in pace.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Jobs v. Jobs

MANIFESTO

It remains to be seen whether Apple's announcement of this afternoon or BO's speech of this evening will have a greater effect on the American public.

Go Green!

MANIFESTO

Former residents of a certain Connecticut shoreline town may be interested in this story.

Needless to say, I'm very pleased that the majority of the waterfront property will be used for "hiking trails and platforms for viewing wildlife [and] recreational fields."

I'm very impressed with the 3:2 ratio of the vote; it's great that the town's residents finally came to realize that regaining the natural beauty of the site is appreciably better than putting up condos on the property.

All in Vain

MANIFESTO

Given the fact that Connecticut
Sens. Chris Dodd and Joe Lieberman said [yesterday] that President Obama should once more invite Republicans into health care discussions,
I can't help but think of a revered founding father who lost his patience:
Have we anything new to offer upon the subject? Nothing. We have held the subject up in every light of which it is capable; but it has been all in vain. Shall we resort to entreaty and humble supplication? What terms shall we find which have not been already exhausted? Let us not, I beseech you, sir, deceive ourselves ... We have petitioned; we have remonstrated; we have supplicated; we have prostrated ourselves ... Our petitions have been slighted; our remonstrances have produced additional violence and insult; our supplications have been disregarded; and we have been spurned, with contempt ... In vain, after these things, may we indulge the fond hope of peace and reconciliation. There is no longer any room for hope.
As the great man might as well have said,
I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience. I know of no way of judging of the future but by the past. And judging by the past, I wish to know what there has been in the conduct of the [Republicans] for the last [year] to justify those hopes with which gentlemen have been pleased to solace themselves and the House.
And yet, with all of the past experiences to guide them, our ridiculous senators keep hoping for different results after performing the same experiment over and over again.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Conservative Broadcasting System

MANIFESTO

Anti-abortion? Check. Anti-gay? Check.

Pretty much what one would expect from a network that insists its sportscasters wear idiotic GWB-like American flag pins in their lapels.

Holy Joe News

MANIFESTO

Item:
Indepdendent Sen. Joe Lieberman (Conn.) this weekend reiterated that he has not ruled out running as a Republican for reelection in 2012.
You heard it here first: Whether he runs as an independent or a Republican, Senator Sanctimony will not be re-elected in 2012.

I truly believe the Republicans want no part of him—especially after Rob Simmons becomes available again after his defeat this coming November—and the other voters in the state are so sick of his intransigence that they won't be attracted to him either.

In 2012, Connecticut's then senior senator will be seventy years old. It'll certainly be time for him to retire, and his fragile constitution may persuade him that he can't hack the rigorous campaign trail for a last hurrah.

Another loss for Main Street

MANIFESTO

Welcome to the Reagan Administration redux.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Breaking up that old gang of ours

MANIFESTO

Steve Benen runs down the latest political polls, and they sure don't look good for the Democrats.

Atrios adds, "Going to be a fun year. Sigh."

I'd be a lot more upset about this if the Democrats had done absolutely anything to demonstrate they could get anything done. Five or six additional Republicans in the Senate—including a replacement for the worthless Harry Reid—certainly won't have anything to do with further slowing down the wheels of legislation.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Jets-Colts

SPORTING GOODS

As a kid growing up on the Jersey shore, I was a Jets fan. The Giants, for some reason, never appealed to me (and still don't), and I lived too far from either Philadelphia or Boston to become a fan of those city's teams.

Thus, while I realize many believe it's a grievous iniquity to root for the Jets if one is a Patriots fan, it's nevertheless with a certain amount of anticipation that I look forward to tomorrow's AFC championship game. It's been a moderate amount of fun listening to the gleeful hysteria of the commentators on WFAN (I'm looking at you, Joe Benigno.) this week, and they've certainly added to my anticipation.

To be sure, I don't expect the Jets to win, but I've been wrong before, especially in the biggest game these teams have played heretofore, which I watched enthusiastically in a fraternity house basement surrounded by supercilious Colts fans.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Huh?

MANIFESTO

As the dust continues to settle in the aftermath of Chris Godd's decision not to run for re-election to the Senate, a weird situation has developed:
To most fair-minded people, or so we believe, Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz seems to be qualified to hold the office she seeks this election year, that of attorney general of Connecticut.

Whether or not they'd vote for her is not the issue. This veteran Democratic officeholder is smart, well educated, has been a lawyer in good standing for more than 20 years, was in private practice for six years in Connecticut — and another two in New York — and has logged 16 years in public service as a state legislator and the state's chief election officer. Moreover, she meets the state constitution's criterion for running for attorney general — simply being an elector of the state.

Most people, we believe, would think any person possessing such qualities and such a resume would be qualified, barring other serious drawbacks, to run for and hold the office of attorney general.

But Ms. Bysiewicz's candidacy is threatened by a statutory requirement that many think she does not meet: one that demands that a candidate have been in the "active practice at the bar of this state" for at least 10 years.
This whole carousel started as the result of a blog post a few days ago and has agitated the state to a degree. It's certainly agitated Ms. Bysiewicz, as she's contacted the man she hopes to be her predecessor about the issue.

The whole thing is a bit bizarre.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Where we're headed

MANIFESTO

The Atlantic Monthly published its "annual assessment of America’s well-being" this month, and it's pretty good reading.

Of note is James Fallows' piece on "How America Can Rise Again" wherein he argues that
In most significant ways, the U.S. remains the envy of the world. But here’s the alarming problem: our governing system is old and broken and dysfunctional. Fixing it—without resorting to a constitutional convention or a coup—is the key to securing the nation’s future.
And this was written before Tuesday's hideous Massachusetts result, which certainly helped to add to the paralysis that the nation's government suffers from.

UPDATE — For an economic spin on the Massachusetts vote, take a look here.

UPDATE II — And this won't make things any easier for the nation to "rise again."

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Uh, Jim?

SPORTING GOODS

So sexagenarian and heart problem victim Jim Calhoun "will take a medical leave of absence [from his coaching duties at UConn] beginning immediately." No word as to what the condition is, but an anxious state has been told that
Calhoun's issue is not cancer or cardiac-related ... He will not be hospitalized and will spend time at home.
Meanwhile, septuagenarian George Blaney (who was overwhelmed at a marginal Ivy League program forty years ago) will handle the coaching duties in St. Jim's stead.

This can't be good news for UConn, which recently gave the coach a five-year extension on a contract that was already worth $1.6 million a year.

As much as I usually ignore Jeff Jacobs, I think he's figured out this situation pretty accurately.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

No surprise

MANIFESTO

As if this were news, the Washington Post is reporting this morning that
The FBI illegally collected more than 2,000 U.S. telephone call records between 2002 and 2006 by invoking terrorism emergencies that did not exist or simply persuading phone companies to provide records, according to internal bureau memos and interviews. FBI officials issued approvals after the fact to justify their actions.
Sigh. I think we've been here before.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Not what I wanted to hear

MANIFESTO

From Washington Monthly's Paul Glastris:
Over the past year, Obama has reportedly become more and more convinced of, and reassured by, the parallels between himself and [Ronald Reagan].
Does this mean that we can expect the belief that trees cause more pollution than automobiles? Or, that ketchup is a vegetable? Or, worse, a shadow government about which the president knows nothing?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Lily Coyle

MANIFESTO

I'm in love with her.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Screw it

MANIFESTO

While the US has this opportunity, let's make Haiti the 51st state and rebuild it. We'll create a latter-day NRA and CCC and start from the ground up. It's a win-win-win: US people get jobs; the Haitians get a country; and a new Caribbean tourist destination opens up for the world.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Bernie's

RETAIL

I wasn't a staunch customer of Bernie's (I think the only thing I ever bought there was a chest freezer.), but, as the son of a retailer who lost his job when a large US chain went belly up, I can't help but feel a bit sad at this turn of events.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Poseidon strikes again

MANIFESTO

It's always amusing to me to watch various theists turn themselves inside out trying to explain how a loving and benevolent God could allow something like the cataclysm in Haiti.

Of course, even funnier is to see how the evangimorons are viewing this. Viz.,
Pat Robertson, a Christian televangelist, speaking today about the devastating earthquake in Haiti, said Haitians had collectively "sworn a pact to the devil," which brought on the country's extreme poverty and the earthquake.

"Something happened a long time ago in Haiti, and people might not want to talk about it. They were under the heel of the French ... and they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, 'We will serve you if you will get us free from the French.' True story. So the devil said, 'OK, it's a deal.'"

"Ever since, they have been cursed by one thing after another," Robertson said, referring to the country's poverty.
Golly, Oral Roberts just got called home; perhaps it's time for the same thing to happen to Brother Pat.

Oh, if only they'd been Christians! This mantra has even been applied to the licentious sinner, Tiger Woods.

I suppose it's somewhat consoling to know that "the faithful" are decrying these remarks, but the fact remains that Robertson was an advisor to Holy George, and Hume is watched by millions.

UPDATE — I see that Mark Joseph is as amused by it all as I.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Same old same old

MANIFESTO

While the Democrats and their apologists come to the defense of Harry Reid, the fact of the matter is that both the Senate Majority Leader and his detractors are idiots.

"Negro dialect," indeed. Reid's mind is obviously firmly fixed in the 1950s.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The end of an era

SPORTING GOODS

I drove back from the Lehigh Valley and listened to the Patriots' loss this afternoon; what an awful experience.

I think the comments contained here pretty much echo my feelings about where the Pats stand right now.

UPDATE — Howard Bryant has more.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Is he toast?

MANIFESTO

This is what one gets for sleeping with an insurance lobbyist:
Connecticut's independent Sen. Joseph Lieberman may have won a round with the Democratic leadership in getting what he wanted on health care reform legislation, but he has come out the loser when it comes to how the state's voters see him, according to a Public Policy Polling survey conducted Jan. 4-5.

Sixty-seven percent disapprove of the job Lieberman is doing while 25 percent approve and 8 percent are undecided.

Making it clear that this negative view of Lieberman is driven by the health care issue, 68 percent disapprove of his actions during the struggle to shape a passable bill while 19 percent approved and 13 percent were undecided.
I have a feeling that Holy Joe's numbers won't get much better in the next 2½ years. I just don't think that the people of Connecticut will ever forgive him for torpedoing a marginally decent health plan. Of course, I may well be projecting.

Nevertheless, it's at best problematic that Connecticut's voters will want to re-elect a septuagenarian who doesn't have their basic interests at heart.

Finding a viable opponent may be an interesting process and certainly can't be predicted until all the state's Democrats decide where they want to end up.

UPDATE — Moulitsas puts in his two cents on the issue.

Another sign of the apocalypse

ESOTERICA

It's come to this:
The oldest profession in the world just got a little more inclusive.

A small Nevada brothel is taking pride in becoming the first to put legal male prostitutes on the payroll, a move some say could fall flat but others think could re-energize the state's sagging prostitution industry ...

So far, [proprietess Bobbi Davis has] more than 100 applicants, many of them looking for work after being laid off.

"They're bartenders, they're construction workers," she said, adding that some are former business owners whose ventures tanked in the recession. Some are simply looking to make money, but "a lot of the guys think this is interesting."
I heard a report on this story coming in that maintained that this setup would not include homosexual liaisons. This article disputes that. At any rate, celebrated madam Heidi Fleiss opines that the idea is foolish:
"Why would you drive out there when you can go on Craigslist?" she asked. "You have to drive forever. No woman wants to get laid that bad."

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Seeing the light

MANIFESTO

It's official:
Democratic U.S. Sen. Christopher Dodd, a 30-year incumbent who has been struggling in public opinion polls for more than a year, plans to announce today he will not seek reelection, according to multiple reports quoting sources.
One of his spokesmen is asserting that this will be a bad year for Democrats, but the truth of the matter is that this is a bad year for Dodd.

Golly. First Rell; now Dodd. Do I dare hope that ..?

UPDATE — Who knows? Maybe Dick Blumenthal will finally expend a little energy and run for something other than what he feels is his last job.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

From the mouth of a newbie

MANIFESTO

First-term Senator Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) puts her finger on what's wrong with the federal legislature. The money statement:
"What happens around here is that so many people are more focused on getting everybody to love them and getting re-elected than they are on solving the really hard stuff. Because when you solve hard stuff, you make people mad."
Are you listening, Senator Godd?

Go Huskies!

SPORTING GOODS

Holy smokes! After a 4-for-5 day yesterday (Only the Ducks let me down.), I find that I'm in first place in my little Yahoo! bowl pick 'em group. I've put a lot of confidence in the UConn Huskies. If they can prevail against the odious Spurrier and his illiterate Gamecocks this afternoon, I may be able to wrap this thing up.

Happy new year everyone.