Friday, November 28, 2008

The "Ties" That Bind

So yesterday when i was lamenting the lack of wholesome family entertainment, I wish I'd known about this. Yes, that's right—complete episodes of "Family Ties" on the internet.

Mitch Writer & The Detroit Wheels

A good column from Mitch Albom on the hypocrisy and posturing by Congress regarding the auto industry.

[h/t Bob]

Hello, My Name Is...

A fairly stupid, but harmless meme from Toast:

1. Witness Protection Program Name (mother’s & father’s middle names): "Patrick Sue"

2. NASCAR Name (first name of your mother’s dad, father’s dad): "Edward Walter"

3. Star Wars Name (the first 2 letters of your last name, first 4 letters of your first name): "Ti-Matt"

4. Detective Name (favorite color, favorite animal): "Green Grizzley"

5. Soap Opera Name (middle name, city where you live): "James Asheville"

6. Superhero Name (2nd favorite color, favorite alcoholic drink, optionally add "THE" to the beginning): "The Blue Margarita"

7. Fly Name (first 2 letters of 1st name, last 2 letters of your last name): "Mati"

8. Gangsta Name (favorite ice cream flavor, favorite cookie): "Vanilla Fudge Sticks"

9. Rock Star Name (current pet’s name, current street name): "Putty Vance"

10. Porn Name (1st pet, street you grew up on): "Blackie Whitman"

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Best. Holiday. Movie. Ever.



[h/t Cesca]

UPDATE: Though even "PT&A" would be a bit dicey at times for little kids, do you think there's anything remotely family-oriented available to watch on Thanksgiving Day? Not even close. I don't want to get all Tipper Gore on your ass, but what team of jackasses is in charge of programming for all the network and cable channels? Which all-day marathon should my 2 and 6 year old daughters and my nieces watch? "The Closer", "CSI:NY", "Plastic Surgery: Before and After", The Godfather films, "House", or "Lock-Up: Raw"? Seriously, those are running all day long? WTF?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Brine's Song

If for some reason you are still not sure how to prepare your turkey this Thanksgiving, let Mrs Furious show you how it's done.


Best. Turkey. Ever.

Seriously. Brining the bird is the way to go: tremendous flavor, golden brown skin, half the cooking time? And Mrs F's technique has plenty of little "extra somethings." In the brine? kosher salt, brown sugar, cinnamon sticks, allspice berries, candied ginger and bayleaves… In the bird? Not stuffing—aromatics: quartered yellow onion, orange, lemon, rosemary, sage, parsley, celery tops, more ginger…

Still thinking about roasting a bird crammed with croutons?

The best part? When you reach into the fridge for a chunk of leftover turkey, no need to do the little "salt and pepper" dance. Totally seasoned and moist. Yum

CIA Later

John Brennan has withdrawn himself from consideration for CIA Chief.

Good. While I think some lefty reaction to his rumored appointment was overblown—not to mention premature—I am pleased Brennan is out of the running because there were valid questions about his background that even if addressed would be a cloud over him throughout his tenure.

Any reason Richard Clarke isn't getting any Obama love? Seem like he'd be a good guy for the job...

Saturday, November 22, 2008

This is Bull-Cit

Robert Reich wonders aloud why, now, Citibank is about to get bailed out, while the automakers are still left out in the cold...

I can't come up with a good reason, and neither can he.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Do I Need To Bust This Out Again Already?



Jesus, half the fucking lefty blogosphere is either shitting their pants or burning their Obama T-shirts over the rumored appointees to various Cabinet posts (Brennan at CIA, Hillary as SoS, etc...)

A couple things to keep in mind.

1. None of these people have actually been named yet. Relax.

2. I'll take issue with Obama's agenda and policies when they're actually wrong — what I won't do is have a coronary over who he deems fit to enact them. Who knows who the best guy to advance Obama's policy in CIA is? Obama or Andrew Sullivan?

When are people going to learn about second-guessing this guy? Let him fuck something up before the rending of the garments already. I mean, shit, he just used Gephardt and Edwards retreads to romp his way into the White House—he knows what the fuck he's doing. At least until he proves otherwise.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Link Dump

BETTER THAN EZRA? NOT THIS WEEK
Ezra Klein's on a roll. He had perhaps the best 20 column-inches of blogging I've seen in weeks the other day: Lieberman, Daschle, De-regulation, Global Warming, among others...

Today he has a good follow-up on Obama's options for Secretary of Agriculture. I'm still down on Vilsack, but he's not the worst guy up for the job. On the plus side, this guy looks interesting...
John Boyd, president of the National Black Farmers Association. Boyd helped lead the fight to hold USDA accountable for its long history of stiffing black farmers; his nomination is being championed by the Congressional Black Caucus. Virginia-based Boyd himself runs a relatively small-scale farm; seems like his position as a USDA outsider might lead him to champion the interests of small farmers in an agency that's long been beholden to large industrial operations.


WAX ON
This and this make me feel even better about Waxman bouncing Dingell.

YOU BE THE JUDGE
Minnesota Public Radio has an awesome online ballot inspection test with real examples of contested ballots from the recount—how would you rule?

ENERGIZE
New "Star Trek" Trailer here. Looks excellent, except for the casting of Kirk—too young. Then again, who's fit to carry this guy's jock?

Excellent News

More to come on this, but is a rather surprising development, Henry Waxman supplants my old Rep., "Tailpipe John" Dingell, as Chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. This is a huge victory for global warming, environment and energy policy over the thirty year blockade Dingell ran for the auto industry.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Nelson Award: Irrelevant Douche

This is awesome.






Can't wait to get back to that fake-ass ranch, eh, asshole?

[h/t Angelos]

Some Good News...

Senator Stevens, will you be returning to the Senate?



AP has called the Alaska Senate race for Democratic challenger Mark Begich.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Weak

It's Official: Lieberman Keeps Homeland Security Chairmanship
Senator Harry Reid just spoke to reporters after the private caucus meeting with Dems over Joe Lieberman's fate, and he confirmed it: Lieberman will not be stripped of his Homeland Security chairmanship, because the "vast majority" of the Democratic caucus wants him to stay.

"This was not a time for retribution," Reid said, adding that "we're moving forward."

Lieberman was removed from the Environment and Public Works Committee, a largely meaningless punishment since it's a topic (unlike Homeland Security) on which he has no differences with Dems.

Asked about liberal "anger" towards Lieberman, Reid said: "I pretty well understand anger. I would defy anyone to be more angry than I was."

Really Harry? Then you haven't talked to anyone besides the bunch of pussies in that chamber with you or the Sunday morning morons.

The party faithful—the people who just busted ass to deliver the White House and both Houses of Congress by wide margins—were plenty pissed off. We rightfully expected some leadership on this, and despite your and JoeLie's portrayal of this as simply a vendetta, this was actually a decision to be based on governance. Lieberman was an utter failure at his oversight job, and acted against the interest of the party, Constitution and the country. He should be removed. Period.

You "defy anyone to be more angry?" My fucking socks were more angry than you.

--

The only possible silver lining scenarios in this:

1. Obama gave cover for this to happen. I think it was a mistake, but he's made me look stupid every time I've second-guessed him. If this is part of a master plan of his, then I assume he can handle Lieberman.
2. This should serve as a clarion call that despite the election, it is business as usual in Washington with the Democrats and I think people need to be snapped out of the election afterglow and be reminded of that fact.
3. Renewed focus on Reid's impotence as Majority Leader. He's awful.
4. Lieberman is hopefully marginalized. He has nothing to bitch about now, and no reason to run to FOX as a martyr.

UPDATE: Excellent point from 'Shift:
If Obama had said nothing and the Dems rolled over for Joe, then Joe owes Obama nothing. As it is, the same thing happened that would have happened anyway, but now Joe is publicly acknowledged to be beholden to Obama. That has more value than the nothing Obama would've had otherwise.

Down Jones


Dow Jones Industrial Average
Index Value: 8,273.58
Trade Time: Nov 17
Change: Down 223.73 (2.63%)
Prev Close: 8,497.31
Open: 8,494.84
Day's Range: 8246.89 - 8571.30
52wk Range: 7,773.71 - 13,850.90

The market has been up and down in daily 300 point swings for two months now, so most of those numbers don't mean much—it could be up 3% tomorrow. But that bottom row is pretty shocking though: The Dow Jones is worth HALF what it was a year ago. Half.

Michael Lewis (of Moneyball fame) has a great piece on the End of Wall Street in Portfolio. Lewis literally wrote the book on what is happening now—twenty years ago. From the article [emphasis mine]:
He called Standard & Poor’s and asked what would happen to default rates if real estate prices fell. The man at S&P couldn’t say; its model for home prices had no ability to accept a negative number. “They were just assuming home prices would keep going up,” Eisman says.

Later:
Now he saw. There weren’t enough Americans with shitty credit taking out loans to satisfy investors’ appetite for the end product. The firms used Eisman’s bet to synthesize more of them. Here, then, was the difference between fantasy finance and fantasy football: When a fantasy player drafts Peyton Manning, he doesn’t create a second Peyton Manning to inflate the league’s stats. But when Eisman bought a credit-default swap, he enabled Deutsche Bank to create another bond identical in every respect but one to the original. The only difference was that there was no actual homebuyer or borrower. The only assets backing the bonds were the side bets Eisman and others made with firms like Goldman Sachs. Eisman, in effect, was paying to Goldman the interest on a subprime mortgage. In fact, there was no mortgage at all. “They weren’t satisfied getting lots of unqualified borrowers to borrow money to buy a house they couldn’t afford,” Eisman says. “They were creating them out of whole cloth. One hundred times over! That’s why the losses are so much greater than the loans. But that’s when I realized they needed us to keep the machine running. I was like, This is allowed?”

That these fucking thieves are getting bailed out, but the auto industry is left to rot is—in context—a goddamn travesty.

[h/t Angelos for the Lewis link]

Monday, November 17, 2008

Panic in Detroit

Do I understand the financial markets or the economy? No. But I do understand that Wall Street has been promised over $700 billion, half of which has already been handed out with no oversight and no disclosure of who is getting the cash. AIG alone has walked up to the bail-out window to the tune of $150 billion in three months.

So it seems to me giving the automakers $25 billion—less than three percent—of that same bailout money to preserve millions of real, living wage manufacturing jobs and to help prop up an industry that actually makes a product—as opposed to one that shifts hypothetical credit defaults and bad loans around—doesn't seem so outrageous to me. Add to that the fact that this loan can be conditioned on The Big Three implementing some changes that will benefit the environment as well? It looks like fucking bargain by comparison.

Will the failure to deliver this money actually result in one or more of these dinosaurs going down? I don't know. But as someone who lived the last seven years in southeastern Michigan, I can tell you with certainty and seriousness that if one of them does, it will be akin to dropping a nuclear bomb on that area—everything from mid-Ohio north will be wiped out.

(NOTE: I have links to throw in there for a lot of that stuff, but I don't have time for that shit now...I'm at work after all...)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Dr. "No."

More on Dean's tenure at DNC with some great background on how he broke the old machine. Brought to you by Brilliant at Breakfast.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Hawaiian Five-O

Fifty things you might not know about Barack Obama

Cornholio

Please let this be just more bored reporters pulling stuff out of their ass... Because this would be a serious blow to my faith in Obama.

(I can't add anything to what Ezra said, so just follow the link.)

UPDATE: Seriously, I am not putting any stock in any of the rumors floating around about Obama's appointments. None are forthcoming, and if the campaign taught us anything, it's that the Obama team doesn't leak, and rarely fucks up. That said, Vilsack for Ag would piss me off.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Mr Furious Heartily Recommends...

The Raconteurs "Old Enough"


Entertaining enough as a music video, but I really think this song is the best single—by anyone I've heard—in years. At least back to My Doorbell. The best part? I love the organ. The keys are the unsung hero on this second Raconteurs album—promote that guy to full band member status already.

As if I hadn't made this clear by now—Buy. This. Album.

“...and then we’re going to Washington, D.C., to take back the White House! YEEEAAAAAAHH!”

It took four years to complete the treatment, but Howard Dean was right on the money with his diagnosis and prescription.

Lost in all the praise being heaped on the Obama Team is the fact that they won the election on the back of the "50-State Strategy" Dean shoved down the DNC's throat and his pioneering online fundraising model.

Back in 2005, thanks to a massive netroots movement—and against the "better judgement" of just about every expert and political guru at the time—Howard Dean took over as Chairman of the Democratic National Committee and began the arduous and thankless job of pissing people off and rebuilding the Democratic Party.

Throwing aside the major race, big-donor, blue- and swing-state-only strategies of his predecessor Terry McAulliffe, Dean was determined to build grassroots support using a small-donor model and a 50-state farm system. No race in any state was to be left uncontested. Money would be localized and doled out to be used for every race—even against the longest odds in the reddest places. He was openly mocked by the Democratic establishment, and opposed by many big players in Washington: Pelosi, Reid, Schumer and Rahm Emmanuel among them:
Rep. Rahm Emanuel (Ill.), who is leading the party's effort to regain majority status in the House, stormed out of Dean's office several days ago leaving a trail of expletives, according to Democrats familiar with the session.

The blowup highlights a long-standing tension that has pitted Democratic congressional leaders, who are focused on their best opportunities for electoral gains this fall, against Dean and many state party chairmen, who believe that the party needs to be rebuilt from the ground up -- even in states that have traditionally been Republican strongholds.

More...
[link] ...Howard Dean's campaign for chairman of the DNC in 2005 truly panicked the Beltway insiders who mounted a failed attempt to stop him. Soon after, Dean embarked on his 50-state strategy, which had given party insiders conniption fits. In his campaign, Dean insisted that the Democratic Party was never going to get its mojo back unless it stopped being a triaging, pollster-driven operation, collecting money from big donors and parachuting in outsiders to focus only on key "swing" states, while starving the rest of the party's political infrastructure nationwide.

The Clinton relics had particular fun at Dean's expense:
Paul Begala: Dean's plan [is] "just hiring a bunch of staff people to wander around Utah and Mississippi and pick their nose."

James Carville: Dean's leadership at the DNC "almost Rumsfeldian in its incompetence."

Incompetent? You python-faced bullshit artist—in 2005, Howard Dean raised 50% more cash than McAulliffe did in 2003—going into a Presidential election year. In 2004, the pre-Dean DNC burned over $200 million and were left with nothing to show for it—Kerry lost, governors lost, and they lost seats in both houses of Congress. But even worse, was the fact that by running a top-down D.C.-centered campaign that sent in temp help as races wound down, the Party was left with nothing on the ground. No organizations, no field offices and no younger minor league candidates ready for the next race.

Getting ready for 2006's midterms, rather than hoard money in Washington or wait until the cycle was rolling to tap big donors, Dean raised cash off the internet hand over fist and sent it all out to state party chairs, drawing the ire of the old guard. Power was being shifted from the closed-circuit, in-bred rotation of D.C. hacks that had been getting their asses handed to them ever since 1994.

Aside from nominating a far better candidate and a better potential President, perhaps the biggest fringe benefit of Hillary Clinton losing with her team of retreads (Penn, Ickes, McAulliffe, etc.) was their marginalization in the party. Win or lose in November, they would have squandered and misused everything Dean built over the last four years, and likely set the party back for years. Let Ickes spout all the crap he wants on FOX News, so long as he's never behind the wheel of another Dem campaign.

It was on Dean's watch that Democrats regained control of Congress in 2006, and administered this year's ass-kicking sweep. He deserves our never-ending thanks—and his detractors deserve a shit sandwich.

Dean's term as DNC Chair expires in January, and the battle to see who takes his place begins. There's been talk of Senator Claire McCaskill taking the reins, but that's a mistake—despite our gains, we just lost two good Senators in Obama and Biden, and there may be others moving to Cabinet posts, etc. There should be no unnecessary poaching of Senators to fill slots like this. Besides, what does McCaskill bring to the table here?

The best man for the job is the guy who just perfected and executed Dean's 50-State Strategy—blowing past not just the GOP, but the Clinton Machine as well—Obama Campaign Manager David Plouffe.

Make it so, Mr President-Elect.

UPDATE: And no matter what—No. Harold. Ford.


Excellent photos I've waited years to use by Jethro Soudant—hope you don't mind. "Hi" to fellow Deaniac Shasti and Ruby...

Monday, November 10, 2008

Dick of the Week: Rep. Paul Broun

Georgia Congressman Warns Of Obama Dictatorship
A Republican congressman from Georgia said Monday he fears that President-elect Obama will establish a Gestapo-like security force to impose a Marxist dictatorship.

[...] Rep. Paul Broun [link] said of Obama in an interview Monday with The Associated Press. "I'm just trying to bring attention to the fact that we may—may not, I hope not—but we may have a problem with that type of philosophy of radical socialism or Marxism."

"We can't be lulled into complacency," Broun said. "You have to remember that Adolf Hitler was elected in a democratic Germany. I'm not comparing him to Adolf Hitler. What I'm saying is there is the potential of going down that road."

Oh, no...you're not comparing him to Hitlaer at all...Kinda like all those voters who won't vote for a black President—but "aren't racist?"

I am so looking forward to the GOP's lonnnng winter of discontent.

UPDATE: The Rude Pundit takes it to Broun as well...

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Time for Joe to go fishing...



The confetti has settled and there are some important details to be ironed out.

The ascendant Michael in "Godfather II" delivers the "kiss of death" to his disloyal brother Fredo because he had "taken sides against the family." The next thing you know, Fredo is taking a one-way rowboat trip to the middle of the lake.

Joe Lieberman was far worse than Fredo Corleone in this election.

Lieberman didn't just endorse "his good friend John McCain" over Obama—Lieberman campaigned AGGRESSIVELY every day against the Democratic nominee. He actively questioned Obama's patriotism, and passively called him a Marxist. He went far beyond supporting his friend when he worked to elect Republicans over Democrats down-ticket. If nothing else, there are far too many stills and videos of John McCain at a podium with Joe Lieberman and his fucking 340 Brachiosaurus teeth peeking through his sunken smile as McCain poured barrels of bullshit onstage.

Earlier this year, after one of Lieberman's bullshit public attacks on Obama, there was a "kiss of death" moment of sorts...with Obama putting an arm around Lieberman, leading him to the back of the Senate chamber for a "friendly chat." That was the moment. Things were surely made perfectly clear between Obama and Lieberman—you're betting on the wrong horse. And at that point Lieberman doubled down—he must have known then that he was pissing away his position in the party and decided to let it all ride for a spot on the ticket with McCain or a fall-back job in his cabinet.

He lost. And elections and bad gambles have consequences.

If it were up to me, Lieberman would be out on his ass. At the very least, lose his Chairmanship and committee posts, his seniority and he could earn his way back if he behaved. Otherwise he's free to take Mitch McConnell's gracious invitation to join the freshly castrated GOP at the back of the line.

But it's not up to me, and frankly, Obama needs to steer clear of it and I'm sure he knows that. But Harry Reid cannot let Lieberman's betrayal of the party go unanswered. You can't go as far down the road in the other direction as Lieberman did and expect to come back to things the way they were. So, a series of discussions have ensued. They are being termed as negotiations—but they shouldn't be. Reid can dictate terms yet gave Lieberman what I'd consider too generous an offer: a chance to stay in the Democratic caucus, keep his seniority, and become the chairman of some other committee.

Yet Lieberman somehow still thinks he's got leverage:
"Senator Lieberman's preference is to stay in the caucus, but he's going to keep all his options open. McConnell has reached out to him and at this stage his position is he wants to remain in the caucus but losing the chairmanship is unacceptable."

Unacceptable? WTF? Reid should channel a little Michael Corleone himself and counter with "My offer is this. Nothing."

I'm not going to pretend that I'm not coming at this from a vengeance angle. I loathe Lieberman, and I want his comeuppance. But aside from wanting his scalp, there are important strategic reasons this needs to happen...

See, Lieberman happens to chair the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. What's that, you ask? I'll let Steve Benen break that down for you:
...it's the committee principally responsible for oversight of the executive branch. It's an accountability committee, charged with investigating the conduct of the White House and the president's administration.

As chairman of this committee for the last two years, Lieberman decided not to pursue any accusations of wrongdoing against the Bush administration. Lieberman's House counterpart -- Rep. Henry Waxman's Oversight Committee -- was a vigilant watchdog, holding hearings, issuing subpoenas, and launching multiple investigations. Lieberman preferred to let his committee do no real work at all. It was arguably the most pathetic display of this Congress.

And yet, now Lieberman acts as if keeping this chairmanship is the single most important part of his public life. Why would he be so desperate to keep the gavel of a committee he hasn't used? I'll let you in on a secret: he wants to start using the power of this committee against Obama.

The fact that Lieberman refused to perform his oversight duties is reason enough to yank him, but Benen is right—there is no reason to trust Lieberman going forward, and you can't wait until he launches something against Obama to make a move. He has to go. NOW.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Because it still says "Mr Furious" up there...

• Attention every asshat pundit, politician and "liberal media" talking head from Karl Rove to Tom Brokaw:
The McCain Campaign and every surrogate they could get their hands on spent the last month calling Barack Obama a socialist, a redistributionist, and McCain himself closed his case reminding voters Obama had the most liberal record in the Senate. When that guy goes to kick your ass in a romp, it tells me the country must be pretty okay with what he's selling. So stop fucking telling us this is a "center-right nation!"

• Regarding McCain’s "gracious" concession speech:
Fuck that noise. Twelve hours ago you called this guy everything short of Communist Muslim Nigger who will hand your paycheck to all the illegal aliens right after he's done molesting your kindergartner. And now you want to tell me about your respect for him, and revel in the historic moment? Kiss my ass. There's a reason the troglodytes in your crowd booed—you ran the most disgusting, race-baiting disgrace of a campaign possible, and you did it willingly and with fucking bells on. You don't get to pretend that never happened.

• An Uncle Tom? Really?
Ralph Nader goes down in a blaze of awful.

• Bad Proposition
California of all places took away the right of gays to marry. How? The only demographic that supported the thing (besides Mormons) were the record-turnout black voters...you know, the last group to be denied civil rights and suffer widespread discrimination. Nice work.

Perfect

It's Real

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Take Care of Business


I've been meaning to post that pic for a while, and today's the day. The man has run the most disciplined, organized and successful campaign in history. He did his part. So well in fact, that my biggest worry now is complacency... Now it's on us.

Vote. And make sure everyone you know votes. You have a sister in San Diego? Even better—Vegas? Phoenix? Make sure they vote no matter what the hell the morons on tv are saying about the race—every vote counts—if not towards actual victory, than towards an ass-whipping mandate.


I'll be trying to get out of work early today to go down to the Obama office to do whatever the hell they need me to.

You need some more motivation? Fine.

No fucking steak knives today:



Go and do likewise, gents.

Toot Sweet

It is tragic that Obama's grandmother passed away the night before he wins the election—he will have none of his parents or grandparents to share in this historic moment and be there as he crosses this unlikeliest of finish lines.

She did the hard work and her greatest contribution thirty years ago when she helped shape this man, but Toot got to do one last thing—she was able to cast a vote for her grandson to become the first black President. And it will count.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Steady...steady...



Still gives me fucking goosebumps...that thing is awesome.