Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The early line


South Florida is favored by 1-1½ (depending on which site you look at) for Saturday night's big game.

OK. So I was wrong.


Armchair shoppers took to their computers in force yesterday, ordering a 19.4 percent increase in sales over last Cyber Monday and making it the biggest online shopping day so far of the year.

Those seeking special online holiday deals also spent more, with average orders up 8.3 percent to $194.89, according to Coremetrics, an IBM Web research firm.
So, the good news is that American consumers couldn't resist hitting the "order now" button millions of times. I know I couldn't.

The popularity of ordering on line has some pundits predicting "the end of retail as we know it." It's an interesting argument, but brick and mortar stores did ok for the century or so they had to compete with the 19th and 20th centuries' answer to the Internet—the Sears catalogue.

Meanwhile, in the midst of this attempt at an economic recovery, the US still is involved in two senseless and costly wars, about which Secretary of State Clinton wants nothing known, and which are being financed by the country's middle class.

What a fiasco.

Monday, November 29, 2010

UConn Men's Basketball: The Latest Poll


In The Associated Press college basketball poll ... Connecticut has moved into the Top 25; the Huskies (5-0) made the second-most impressive jump into the rankings in the last 21 years, moving in at No. 7 ...

"It's tough to imagine something like that even though everybody says they don't pay attention to the polls," Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun said before Monday's practice. "It's nice to be there at this point of the season but I always tell my teams `Don't let yesterday take up too much of today.'"
Here's hoping they're not just running on fumes like they did last year.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Cyber Monday


The notion of Cyber Monday is in the news this morning, but I'll be interested to see if it really occurs tomorrow.

My opinion is that Cyber Monday existed in the first place because business's Internet connection speeds were so much faster than what could be found in homes. Now that everyone and his brother has a cable modem at home, Cyber Monday may be an idea whose time has come and gone.

Anyway, I'll be checking to see if my theory holds up.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Groping and Poping


There must be a clever way to coalesce the new TSA pat down policy with the Pope's announcement that condom use is ok—as long as it's by homosexuals—but I haven't come up with it yet.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Ah, literacy


Most patently ridiculous idea of the day: Governor Gogo, intellectual.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

The nation's shame


According to one commenter,
Dahlia Lithwick at Slate offers the smartest take so far on George W. Bush’s noncoerced confession that he authorized waterboarding and aggressively defended torture as part of his “legacy” to future presidents.
Lithwick's piece is a painful read and reminds me that, as I aged, I never thought I'd see my country involved in such egregious practices or in such justifications.

Well, at least one person is crying out in the wilderness:
[London mayor] Boris Johnson ... in a piece in the conservative Daily Telegraph ... advises George W. Bush not to bring his book tour to Britain, because he could face arrest as a war criminal.
Which is, beyond a doubt, exactly what he is.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Screwed again


While I certainly don't plan to have a dog in this fight, I can't help but be struck by the fact that even though the upcoming GM IPO is the largest in history,
Trading shops like E*Trade, TD Ameritrade and Charles Schwab aren't getting access to the GM public offering, expected to occur next week. Despite 35 underwriters and at least 365 million shares, there isn't enough to distribute to online brokers that cater to small, retail investors.
It's situations like this that have made the Obama Wall Street reform package legitimate, which, of course, the plutocratic Republicans can't hate enough.

Monday, November 15, 2010

What a stinking antediluvian homophobe


Senator Septuagenarian continues to make me glad I didn't vote for him two yaers ago:
McCain, who had previously signaled a willingness to support the will of troops ... [now says] the Pentagon should study how ending the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy would impact troop morale and battle effectiveness.
What an absolutely horrid excuse for a human being.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Judgment at Washington


All of the angst the Allies evinced as they tried judges who sanctioned decisions by the Third Reich seems oh so quaint now as it's been discovered that
A secret history of the United States government’s Nazi-hunting operation concludes that American intelligence officials created a “safe haven” in the United States for Nazis and their collaborators after World War II, and it details decades of clashes, often hidden, with other nations over war criminals here and abroad.
It surprises me not a whit that
perhaps the report’s most damning disclosures come in assessing the Central Intelligence Agency’s involvement with Nazi émigrés.
But I'm most distressed by the fact that
The Justice Department itself sometimes concealed what American officials knew about Nazis in this country, the report found.

In 1980, prosecutors filed a motion that “misstated the facts” in asserting that checks of C.I.A. and F.B.I. records revealed no information on the Nazi past of Tscherim Soobzokov, a former Waffen SS soldier. In fact, the report said, the Justice Department “knew that Soobzokov had advised the C.I.A. of his SS connection after he arrived in the United States.”
I suppose I shouldn't be surprised by the Justice Department's collusion in all of this: This is, after all, a department that's been run by the likes of John Mitchell, Richard Kleindienst, John Ashcroft, Alberto Gonzalez, and, soon after World War II, the hideous Herbert Brownell. We also shouldn't forget that during most of these years, the FBI was headed by one of the great civil limitarians of them all, one John Edgar Hoover.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Arrested development


For the love of God, get over it.
Former President George W. Bush told Today anchor Matt Lauer [today] that the "all-time low" of his presidency was when rapper Kanye West said "George Bush doesn't care about black people" on live television.
If this isn't further proof that the forty-third president of the United States is nothing more than an overgrown child, I don't know what is.

Today's Veterans Day Fact


With all the hoopla concerning the erstwhile Armistice Day, I thought I'd add my two cents. Viz.,
Jessica Jacobsen, a spokeswoman at the Dallas division of the department [of Veteran Affairs stated] that as of March 31, 2010 a total 162,050 veterans were seen at a VA clinic for potential PTSD following their return from Iraq or Afghanistan. Jacobsen said she couldn't tell how many are suffering from serious health problems ... because the severity of each veteran's condition is a "case-by-case account."

Evan Kanter, a psychiatrist at the VA Puget Sound Health Care System who specializes in the health effects of war in Iraq and Afghanistan, said the Defense Department's records are "a very limited source." He also called the VA's estimate — more than 100,000 — a "very conservative number."
Happy Veterans Day.

Friday, November 05, 2010

I just love this stuff


Any time a story starts like this, it's sure to pique my curiosity.
Just when you thought this election year couldn’t get any stranger, a startling discovery was announced earlier Thursday evening outside the Bridgeport government building where overtime vote-counting is taking place to determine the winner of Tuesday’s gubernatorial election: that officials in Bridgeport had neglected to mention that they had had a bag full of uncounted ballots stowed away.
As amusing as this is, the Bridgeport story appears to be over for the time being as
Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch announced the [city's vote] totals at a press conference around 6:20 a.m., after elections workers there tallied votes through the night.
It surprises me not a whit that Finch took it upon himself to announce the city's results as he couldn't have been more upset with his registrars of voters on Tuesday night.

Needless to say, I don't expect Foley to go down without a fight (Even the execrably clueless Martha Dean appears to be thinking about contesting her loss in the AG race.), but it really looks as if the Constitution State is going to have its first Democratic governor in two decades.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

In a nutshell


Why I voted Democratic: The Republicans want to extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest while cutting off unemployment benefits for those who are out of work.

I truly believe that one of these days the hoi polloi will realize how they've been screwed and will do something about it. I'm not necessarily sure, though, that this will happen in my lifetime.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Remember Florida in 2000?


Connecticut in 2010 could well be just as weird—and likely more prolonged—as Susan Bysiewicz tries to become the Katherine Harris of this decade.

Sandi Ayala and Joseph Borges


These are Connecticut's candidates for the two stupidest people in America.

More on the Bridgeport episode can be found here.

I really can't complain


Besides the hideous Tom Foley, the Democrats had a very good election in Connecticut. The entire state-wide Democratic underticket prevailed, and the locals in my area triumphed as well. It looked to be fairly close in the state's fourth and fifth House districts, but the incumbent Democrats won.

Nationwide, of course, the booboisie had its way, but even here I don't think things will be any worse than they've been the last two years. And with the moron McConnell predicting no less than an absolute stoppage of legislative action between now and 2012, the election results seem not to mean much.

One thing that was amply demonstrated, though, is how little political clout a certain half-term ex-governor from Alaska evinced as her grizzly mamas, Angle and O'Donnell, and the cretinous Joe Miller all went down to defeat. Whether or not this means anything as 2012 approaches, of course, remains to be seen.

UPDATE — I obviously spoke too soon on the race for governor. See above.

Monday, November 01, 2010



I suppose it's somewhat consoling to know that it's not just politicians who are crazy.

Moss is obviously nuts, but Brad Childress has shown himself to be the poster boy for the Peter Principle in the last two days.

I'm glad I'm not a Vikings fan.