Thursday, February 26, 2009

Stupidest Post of the Day

If you had a problem with the Republican response the other night, it's not because supposed GOP bright light Bobby Jindal gave a staggerly weak, utterly empty, intellectually vacuous list of stale GOP talking points in between completely irrelevant and confusing personal anecdotes in the style of Fred Rogers...

It's because he has brown skin, and you aren't dealing with the deep racism you're harboring.

So declares Ann Althouse. Who never met a pair of pajamas or a carton of orange juice that didn't have devious psychological implications.

UPDATE: Althouse doubles down.

The Daily Lie

Sen. Jim DeMint (R-SC):
It looks like he’s gonna try to get a lot of that revenue from raising payroll taxes on upper income and that sounds good but basically that affects small businesses and their ability to hire people. So I just think it shows a lack of understanding of the private sector. A lot of people make — who are reporting a quarter million dollars — you know, I’ve done that before in my small business, and I was actually taking home like 50 or 40.

Straight-up fucking liar. If you own a small business and report income of a quarter million dollars, then that means you are taking home a quarter million dollars, and you should be taxed accordingly! If your business has revenues of $250,000 and your business employs other people, and has overhead, expenses, etc and after all that, you pay yourself $50K, then you pay income taxes on $50K. It's that fucking simple.

That kind of stupid and such dishonesty obviously pays off in South Carolina (see: other Senator; Assclown Governor) but the rest of us ain't buyin'.

UPDATE: Even though I've moved to N.C., I live in one of the liberal/Democratic enclaves. Plus, the state as a whole actually turned blue in 2008. But I have to venture outside the Green Zone and go to South Carolina for work all the time, and it is like a foreign land to me—"Jesus Died For My Sins" crosses every quarter-mile, Confederate flags displayed with impunity, and other reminders that I will never really be comfortable in the South. I recall sitting at a light in the fall surrounded by ONLY signs for guys like Lindsay Graham and others in the rogue's gallery of asshat GOoPers, and realizing these political villains that were always from "somewhere else" and were somewhat of an abstraction to me are quite real. This is where they come from. And they aren't going away any time soon.

GOP = Sonny Liston

Was last night the beginning of the "crush" stage?

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Post-Game Analysis [UPDATED]

Reaction to the Obama speech and the Jindal trainwreck [updates at top]...

The most striking part of the speech was its sheer – dare I say – audacity. Make no mistake – this speech was an unapologetic, undefensive, and full-bodied embrace of progressive policies. Obama walked up there tonight in front of the entire country and endorsed the most liberal legislative agenda since LBJ. I loved it.

In front of everyone, he stated that he would pursue major legislative efforts on energy, national health care, and education. Then he said he would raise taxes on rich people. Then he said he would cut spending on bloated defense and agribusiness subsidies. Then he reaffirmed that we would withdraw combat troops from Iraq. Then he reminded the country that he is closing Gitmo – and explained the national security rationale for doing so.

Say what you will about this speech, but there was nothing meek or defensive about it. It was a big speech about big things in historic times.

And it’s hard to translate into words how refreshing – how deeply satisfying – it was to see a President stand up and openly embrace such a progressive platform. Having watched the defensiveness of Clinton, Daschle, and John Kerry over the years, it’s just cathartic to see it on a national stage.

Nate Silver:
If it sounds like Jindal is targeting his speech to a room full of fourth graders, that's because he is. They might be the next people to actually vote for Republicans again.

Obama was fantastic - worlds better than his inaugural. He laid out the most ambitious and expensive domestic agenda of any Democratic President since LBJ, and did it so smoothly that you'd think he was just selling an incremental center-left pragmatism. I think that he has an acute sense - more acute than most people in Washington, probably - of just how much running room is open in front of him at the moment, and he intends to make the absolute most of it.

Awesome comment at Daniel Larison's:
Obama’s effort wasn’t great oratory. Certainly no shades of Lincoln or Churchill but that wasn’t the role he was playing last night. He was the family lawyer explaining to the feckless family members (think of the WSJ Bancrofts) that because of their overspending, incompetent management and investment choices the family firm was on the rocks. He’d got a plan to get it off, it was going to cost a lot, it was going to involve some leaps of faith with new products, he’d hired new managers, it wasn’t going to be easy but he thought it had a good chance of success. And the family bought it both because of the superb poise and confidence he brought to explaining it but also because on the whole it sounded adult and grounded in reality. The subsequent carping by a rather geeky family nephew was dismissed as essentially silly and juvenile. I’ve been saying here for months as has Daniel that the GOP has no idea what they are dealing with in Obama and shows no signs of wanting to learn. Their only policy seems to placing a bet against the American people which I think they are going to lose.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

SOTU Liveblogging

9:01 -- The ABC News site is where I am watching this tonight. There are two link/headines that declare "GOP Jindal to Give Optimistic Response." Nice framing there, liberal media.

9:04 -- The Jindal love continues as these morons fill dead airtime.

9:05 -- The Supreme Court arrives. Sen. Bunning expects Ginsberg to drop dead before reaching her seat...

9:09 -- Who is the old guy doing color commentary?

9:10 -- "Madame Speaker! The President of the United States!"

9:11 -- Joe Lieberman won't have an aisle seat.

9:12 -- Old Guy: "The applause continues. I think it's authentic." Jesus.

9:17 -- Shout-out to Michelle. He's no Sean Penn.

9:18 -- Man, what a downer this guy is...What's that? We will recover? Take that Jindal!

9:20 -- First fib. "...hardest working people on Earth." Um, probably not.

9:21 -- Laying the smackdown on the last eight years big time...wasted surpluses, gutted regulation...

9:22 -- I hate you Harry Reid.

9:25 -- 95% of families get a tax cut. Starting April 1.

9:26 -- "Nobody messes with Joe." Excellent

9:28 -- Nice breakdown of the credit crunch. This is good.

9:30 -- Banks thrown to the wolves. Accountability starts now.

9:30 -- Joe Lieberman looks like he's sucking a lemon.

9:33 -- "Not about helping banks, it's about helping people." He's ding a good job breaking down problems, and selling his solutions. No doom and gloom.

9:34 -- Drink it in, Burris. This is your last one of these...

9:35 -- I miss Chertoff's Swedish Chef clapping.

9:37 -- Nice history lesson here. "Promise from peril"

9:38 -- Three keys: Energy, Health Care, and Education.

9:40 -- CArbon caps. Awesome.

9:41 -- Clean Coal. Bullshit.

9:42 -- "We don't do what's easy. We do what's necessary."

9:43 -- Wow, Pelosi loves her some SCHIPS.

"This is lethal politics and strikes me as very much attuned to the mood of the public. And how great it is to have a president refer to American history with intelligence and acuity."

9:45 -- Health care reform starts now.

9:46 -- Cold water in the face on our shitty education system.

9:49 -- Don't drop out of high school or Obama's gonna kick your ass!

9:50 -- Has had the Republicans on their feet more than their hands.

9:51 -- If Jindal isn't scrambling to rewrite his address, he's gonna look like an ass.

9:56 -- Tax-free universal savings accounts? Not sure how that works, but okay. Pre-tax contributions maybe?

10:00 -- Two of the "Top Stories" on
•TV Host with 1 Arm Sparks Rage, Debate
•Congress Makes It Tough to Buy Chimps
What the fuck?

10:07 -- I seriously hope Jindal, Hannity and the rest TRY to spin this as negative. It will expose them as the liars they are.

10:09 -- That was fucking good.

Waitasec...what about steroids in baseball and cloned armies of manimals? No bases on Mars or even the moon? This guy's gonna doom us all!

Listening to these ABC jackasses talk about "tweeting" and "twittering" makes my ears bleed. Holy crap. The old guy is Sam Donaldson? I'm looking elsewhere...

Here's a suprisingly upbeat FOX News homepage:

Sullivan's summary:
As he gathered momentum, the emotional impact increased. The bottom line: "We are not quitters." It was perfectly pitched: a form a liberal patriotism that eschews the kind of politics the American people are sick of. A tour de force.

But look: the politics and rhetoric are superb, but all that matters is whether he can pull this off. The results are all that matter now. He has this moment; it could make him and the rest of us. It could destroy him or us. It's our job in this crisis to support him and to criticize him constructively. We need to rise to the occasion he is rising to. And maybe most of us will.


Is this the Republican response or Bobby Jindal's A&E Biography?

10:24 -- Um, Bobby, hate to break it to you, but if your mother was 4 months pregnant when she immigrated, then according to your definition of when life begins, you can't be President.

10:29 -- Tax cuts, tax credits, tax cuts...

10:30 -- "$150 million for something called "Volcano Monitoring." Seriously, Governor? Was your state just leveled by a natural disaster or not? Does the GOP propose we just close our eyes and pretend those volcanoes don't exist?

10:32 -- The GOP Education Plan: Physically destroy your schools to improve them.

10:35 -- Now that we're out of power, we've discovered our principles under the couch us!

10:36 -- Straw Man Alert: "Never let anyone tell you America's best days are behind us."

Why It's Called "Fat Tuesday"

Back in Southeast Michigan, today is Pączki Day. The long-time Polish community in Hamtramck section of Detroit has made its cultural tradition a regional gastro-phenomenon.

A pączki (pronounced poonch-key) is basically a big-ass doughnut of the gods. And as you may know, nobody likes doughnuts more than me.

My mouth is seriously wishing we were in Ann Arbor today. Perhaps Mrs F will attempt some homemade pączki?...One can dream...

photos purloined from Flickr

Grade AA

Nobody was less happy about Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack than me. The best-case scenario I could spin at the time is that Vilsack is the skilled and connect administrator that could get shit done, and he'd surround himself with the right people.

He is.

Vilsack announced his choice for Deputy at the Department of Agriculture—Tufts professor and organic activist Kathleen Merrigan.
[...] as a senate staffer for Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont, Merrigan had drafted the organic law. She then went on to work at the USDA's agricultural marketing service (AMS), which runs the organic program. Even before then, she was involved in sustainable agriculture policy and has been ever since -- in organics, conservation, food access, and small farm issues.

[...] Outside government, she has worked for the Henry A. Wallace Institute for Alternative Agriculture, served on a the Pew commission on biotechnology and has been active in the National Campaign for Sustainable Agriculture. She now heads the Agriculture, Food and Environment Program at Tufts School of Nutrition and Policy. As marketing and regulatory undersecretary, she would oversee AMS, GIPSA (Grain Inspection Packers and Stockyards Administration), and APHIS (Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service) - touching virtually every aspect of agriculture.

In short, this is a real shot for a major position at the USDA by someone who has pursued the change mantra in agriculture for nearly two decades.

Here's an even better endorsement:
Merrigan is a right-wing nightmare come true, an unreconstructed liberal activist in charge of a billion-dollar bureaucracy. In her last job, at the Henry A. Wallace Institute for Alternative Agriculture, she helped organize a massive grass-roots campaign to scuttle the U.S. Department of Agriculture's modest proposed standards for organic food. In her new job, running the USDA's Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), she's rewriting that very proposal.

All of that is awesome to read...especially when you try to imagine the same post being filled in the Bush (or even McCain) Administration—would that candidate be an executive from Cargill, Ortho or Monsanto...?

[h/t Ezra]

Monday, February 23, 2009

Dick of the Week: Fight! FIGHT!

It's only Monday, but there are already Dicks lining up to take home this week's hardware...

Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL)
Openly questions President Obama's citizenship to supporters.

Fred Phelps
His parish of assholes were responsible for the Oscars protest signs Sean Penn referred to in his acceptance speech.

Senator Jim Bunning (R-KY)
Not even a doctor like Bill Frist, former baseball pitcher Bunning nevertheless offered his diagnosis to a fundraiser crowd, declaring that Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg would be "dead in nine months." Ginsburg recently had a benign stage-1 pancreatic tumor removed. She's already back at work, unlike Bunning.

UPDATE: Bunning's "apology" is the classic “I apologize if my comments offended Justice Ginsburg.” He really wants to be D.O.W...

Oscar [the Grouch]

Random Oscar™ness...

• I'm a Hugh Jackman fan, so would like to see him kick some Billy Crystal ass...not sure it's working out that way. Sounds like I missed his better moments.

Steve Martin hasn't aged in thirty years...He's the new Gene Hackman. Tina Fey has chunks of Sarah Palin in her stool.

Ben Stiller? To me, you're rarely "the funny guy." And tonight you are nowhere close. The people in the audience who appear to be eating this crap up? They're actors.

Jack Black? Now THAT guy's funny, and seems like a cool guy to know. Stiller? Seems like he'd be a dick.

• Did they show anyone in the crowd besides Brad and Angelina when Jennifer Aniston was onstage?

• Advice to Sarah Jessica Parker: Avoid any kind of dress reminiscent of Glenda the Good Witch. Yeah, she was the good witch, but you should be avoiding anything witch-like, at all.

• "Domo Arigato, Mr Roboto," totally saved what could have been the most awkward Oscar speech ever.

• What was Jessica Biel thinking?

• I eagerly awaited "Pineapple Express" based on its hilarious trailer, but the reviews were not good. After watching that segment, I refuse to believe the film isn't totally hysterical—Franco and Rogan have too much chemistry.

• Based on the clips I've seen, (Seymour) Philip Seymour Hoffman is nominated in the wrong category. Or is everyone else relegated to Supporting status in a Meryl Streep movie?

• Obligatory Heath Ledger Section: I'm happy to say I was pimping his Oscar early. I am sorry to say I still haven't seen the movie—Mrs F is too creeped out by Ledger's Joker, and I feel like I need to set up the surround sound and be the only one home before I can rent it...

A good Joker clip is something I've been craving all night, and this stupid presentation format is screwing that up. You want to bring out former winners to introduce the nominees and go down on them, fine. But have them introduce a fucking clip already. Those clips are all I ever see of most of these movies and it's critical to me forming my snap judgments!

Good. After that intro by Kevin Kline, if Ledger didn't win the Earth would have tumbled off its axis...

Please put a non-Joker shot of Ledger onstage while his family walks up to accept his award? Please?

• "Benjamin Button" seems to be winning WAY too many awards. Frankly, so does "Slumdog Millionaire." Also, some guy associated with "Slumdog" looks like the bastard child of Rudy Guiliani and Martin Scorsese...

• In my mind, Gus Van Sant looks like James LeGros, not Oliver Stone.

• I am totally on the Mickey Rourke Comeback Bandwagon...

• This non-clip, former-winner ass-kiss format is getting even worse...What's more painful? Watching the Best Actress presenters gush over the nominees? Or watching the nominees awkwardly mouth "thank you", "love you..."

Melissa Leo just got fucking robbed. Not because she should have won—that I can't say—but she's a comparative nobody who was nominated for FUCKING BEST ACTRESS alongside Meryl Fucking Streep, etc. She'll never be back there again, and that's her Oscar moment?

Any other year, there'd be some powerful scene shown, and everyone'd be all "Wow. That's pretty fucking intense/good/whatever."

This year? She gets Halle Berry reminiscing about how she was once in a little film. A total disservice to someone like Leo, who could use the exposure, and to the audience, who should get to see her actually, I don't know... act?

Mickey Rourke knows how to play the awkward tribute off...a wave of the pinky ring mixed with a little Joe Biden finger-gun. That guy rocks. Kinda hoping he wins...I like the redemption angle here.

• I can't help thinking Hollywood is a little too in love with it's own liberalness with all this "Milk"-love. I'm sure Penn is great and all, Brolin, too. But this smacks of Prop 8 payback, and Penn's speech (and the writer's, earlier), while admirable, cinches it.

• After reading Rourke's wiki-bio, and how he slept in a closet with his dog—his only friend in the world at the time—and how he gave that dog mouth-to-mouth for 45 minutes when he died, kinda makes me wish he'd completed the comeback with the gold.

• I also think Hollywood is going overboard with this reward the alternative foreign film schtick with "Slumdog". I'd like to see it, but I suspect it can't live up to THIS hype.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Tool Time

After yesterday's successful project, I once again felt the urge to heartily recommend some of the unsung heroes of the tool world. Perhaps I should turn it into a recurring feature...

[Yeah, I know. Really exciting]

Anyway, yesterday's hero was my drill.

I finally bought a real drill when we moved after years of struggling with a gutless rechargeable drill that couldn't bore through a loaf of bread without needing a battery change. Installing that oven with my old POS Black & Decker would have been a nightmare...that thing would've shit its pants when I broke out the 2" hole saw.

Hitachi D13VF 9 Amp 1/2-Inch Drill
$100-125. I can't recommend this thing highly enough. It's maiden voyage was to punch a 6-inch hole in the side of the house to vent a dryer, and it hasn't looked back since. Awesome.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Task

Objective: Install the microwave/range hood we ordered in early December and has been languishing in the basement since...

Obstacles: 1.) Removal of several 12" sq granite tiles to access the wall for mounting the bracket. I have NO idea how tough this will be, but it will be easier than drilling through. 2.) Relocation of the supply outlet which is inexplicably right where the oven gets installed instead of in the cabinet. (The fact that all of our kitchen seems to have been ergonomically designed for an NBA player might have something to do with that. Counters and cabinets are all 2" higher than they should be...)

Advantages: Mrs F has taken the kids to the Children's Museum.

Potential Project-Derailing Pitfalls: Anytime you do any project on a ninety year old house, something unexpected comes up—ancient wiring, crumbling plaster, something...

Let's see what happens...

UPDATE @ 6:15: Outlet relocated and wired. Bracket installed. Stove dislocated, so we're going out to the Chinese buffet...YUM!

POST-GAME REPORT: The tiles came off the wall surprisingly easy. the big roadblock came with the only stud in the 31" span being almost exactly in the middle—right where the bracket had no mounting holes. This meant an over-reliance on toggle bolts and whatever assorted anchors I could dig up. Two out of four toggle bolts failed to grab, I used four anchors and then drilled two holes through the bracket in the center, and used a 3" deck screw angled to catch the next stud on one end. Would have been easier to use Smitty's duct tape solution...

Anyway...witness the power of this fully-armed and operational microwave, and unlike our old one can actually fit a full-size dinner plate. Check it out...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Quote of the Day

Obama advisor David Axelrod in response to WATB Andy Card moaning that the Obama crew is somehow denigrating the presidency because they wear "shirt sleeves in the Oval Office."
We're wearing short sleeves because we have to roll up our sleeves and clean up the mess that we inherited."

Got that, asshole?

Sorry, that's all you get from me these days...slammed at work. Stupid job.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day...

...a day later.

Dick of the Week: Juan Williams

So, Bill O'Reilly has a blogger from the Weekly Standard along with NPR/FOX News "contributor" Juan Williams on The Factor to have a little discussion on Michelle Obama and her role as First Lady...What'll her "causes" be?...How will she do?...etc.

So, who do you suppose goes off on a tear about Obama as if she's some kind of Rev. Wright crossed with a Black Panther, just waiting to blame whitey?

Yup. Supposed token liberal Williams. That would have been bad enough coming from Dick Morris or some other rightie douche, but from Williams? He totally mis-portrays Obama as a radical, going so far as to call her "Stokely Carmichael-in-a-designer-dress" for fuck's sake.

Who is that, you say? Stokely Carmichael was civil rights-era socialist revolutionary who coined the term "black power." Carmichael was frustrated with the peaceful methods of MLK, was integral in the formation of the Black Panthers, who also were not militant enough in Carmichael's eyes. Carmichael later left America to return to Africa, formed the All African Peoples Revolutionary Party which advcated for a unified socialist Africa and began wearing a military uniform complete with a pistol.

Oh, and Stokely Carmichael was a man.

And Juan Williams fears that's the true personality of the new First Lady.

By the end of the segment, O'Reilly and the Weekly Standard hack are sticking up for Obama and trying to walk Williams back. You know you're off the deep end when Bill O'Reilly is throwing you a lifeline.

As a result of this outburst, NPR has now forbidden Williams to be credited as an NPR contributor while on FOX. They should just take it all the way and can his ass. He's clearly more comfortable in his role on FOX as a self-hating liberal.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Yesterday, steves questioned whether I really thought the Republican party was actively trying to sabotage the President's plans, regardless of the wider implications—meaning "screw the country to stage a comeback."

Perhaps this will convince him...Andrew Sullivan:

This much is now clear. Their clear and open intent is to do all they can, however they can, to sabotage the new administration (and the economy to boot). They want failure. Even now. Even after the last eight years. Even in a recession as steeply dangerous as this one. There are legitimate debates to be had; and then there is the cynicism and surrealism of total political war. We now should have even less doubt about what kind of people they are. And the mountain of partisan vitriol Obama will have to climb every day of the next four or eight years.

Sullivan's referring to this:
It's hard not to think that Gregg's withdrawal, with the grumbling about the census and the stimulus, was not timed to cause the most damage possible to the Obama administration. Releasing the statement just as Obama took the stage in Peoria was clearly designed to undermine the President's event. The fact he scheduled a presser only seems to confirm it. The classy exit would have been to wait til tomorrow afternoon to quietly bow out. Basically Gregg decided not just to politely decline, but rather to blow shit up and burn the bridge behind him. Do not think this portends good things for the wider political climate.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Lecture Hall

Paul Krugman is again a must-read. Obamaphiles still might not be happy with what the Professor is reciting, but he's right, and it needs to be said. And passed on...

• Obama blew it on the stimulus plan by empowering the Republicans, who just want to screw the country over in hopes of a comeback.

• This should be the perfect time to push universal health care.

• Obama's bank plan is (probably) also for shit.

UPDATE: You want a lecture? I'm giving one in the comments...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Not Getting It

Can somebody sit Obama down and make him watch this CNBC segment? And then have him shitcan Geithner and everyone else and hire these guys?

And by "these guys" I don't mean the roundtable of wisecracking retards asking for stock tips. I mean the two smartest financial guys on the face of the planet. The two guys who had this shit figured out years ago. The two guys nobody seems to be listening to.

Josh Marshall summed it up perfectly:
These two guys are talking about a deep structural crisis in the world economy. And these CNBC yahoos can't stop asking for stock tips. Really surreal. [...] This is a seminal piece of video. You have to see it. I'm not sure I've seen anything that captures -- albeit unintentionally -- the vast disconnect over what is happening today in the US economy.

[h/t Angelos]

Obama Accessorizes

The other bullshit thing that happened on Obama's watch this last week is actually more fundamentally wrong than botching up the stimulus—Obama's DoJ argued before a Federal Judge that Bush's "State Secrets" defense in a rendition case be upheld.

Glenn Greenwald poured out a 13,000-word column I just couldn't find the front door to. And with Greenwald, he's been known to get a little shrill and idealistic on some things...But today I found a great, concise, and brutal assessment of what just happened...
You Cover It Up, You Own It
That's assuming the secret should rightfully be kept in the first place. Nobody doubts that there are legitimate state secrets -- but the Bushies, and now apparently the Obama/Holder DOJ, thought that anything that makes the U.S. government look bad should be a state secret. The theory is that disclosing government crime or misconduct would embarrass the government in the eyes of the world, and whatever embarrasses the government in the eyes of the world harms national security. This misbegotten theory holds that sunlight isn't the best disinfectant, it's the source of hideous wasting disease. Government wrongdoing must be concealed because, well, it's government wrongdoing.

The state secrets privilege, used to cover up wrongdoing rather than to protect legitimate national security secrets, is an all-out assault on public accountability and, ultimately, on democracy. By now, it's well-known that the state secrets privilege was born in original sin. The 1953 case in which the Supreme Court established it, United States v. Reynolds, 345 U.S. 1 (1953), turned out, when documents were declassified nearly half a century later, to be a cover-up of gross negligence under a false assertion that the documents contained national security information.

Andrew Sullivan is right to observe here that "with each decision to cover for their predecessors, the Obamaites become retroactively complicit in [their deeds]." Retroactive complicity is an important, and underexamined, moral category. People cover up for others for many reasons, not all of them bad. But the longer and more involved the cover-up becomes, the more deeply implicated you get -- not only in the cover-up, but in the original misdeeds that you're concealing as well. Little by little, you come to own the deeds yourself. Or they own you. It's time to throw away the Ring, Frodo, before it hooks you and enslaves you.

I have to hope that this is just a punt on the first case so the Administration can reassess going forward. After all, that column is from Marty Lederman's old blog, Balkinization. LEderman is a longtime outspoken critic of pretty much everything about the Bush Administration—from torture to executive privilege, and one would assume, bullshit "State Secrets" claims. Marty Lederman is not teaching law or blogging anymore because he now sits at John Woo's old desk working for Obama' Office of Legal Council.

Tim F [h/t] at Balloon Juice put it thusly:
Marty Lederman must be shitting a two story colonial townhouse right now. I have to assume that Lederman and other principled hires at the DoJ will either ensure that decisions like this do not happen again or else he will resign.

Let's hope so. There is 8 years of crooked bullshit to dig through, and I'm not asking for everything to be back in order in four weeks, but this was indeed a disappointing decision, and warrants keeping an eye on.

Monday, February 09, 2009


I has some serious issues with Paul Krugman during the campaign, and his seemingly irrational criticisms of Obama. I really was confused as to what Krugman was doing to damage the prospects of the far better (than HRC and certainly McCain) candidate—I am just now starting to realize what he might have been getting at...

The Professor weighs in on the stimulus package the Senate put together, and he takes another swing at Obama in the process.

Only now Obama deserves the beatdown, and if anything, Krugman is letting him off too easily.

How the Democrats can take sweeping victories in all possible races, and the most positive Presidential approval ratings ever and turn that into a mandate for a handful of phony-ass "Centrists" to screw the pooch is beyond me.

In his attempt to give this package the sheen of bipartisan support, Obama (thru the all-to-willing Reid) handed all the power over to DINO Ben Nelson and the two or three Republicans that might come across to support it.

In this all-to-typical capitulation process the Senate scrapped and slashed pretty much all of the good stuff in favor of tax cuts that won't do jack shit to stimulate the economy. The bulk of the Republicans will still vote against it, and when it fails they will hang it on Obama and the Dems.

He has seriously kneecapped his Administration three weeks into the first* term, and fucked the country over even worse.

I am beyond disappointed.

*First? How 'bout only? I'm not sure I'm crazy to think this could set up a Carter-like downfall.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Bite me.

So, followers of Mrs F's blog might be aware of the tight financial situation we are in. It occured to me that the quickest way to make a dent in that situation is for me to sell my car and replace it with something significantly cheaper (ie: under $2,000).

Here's my ad on craigslist:

So I've had versions of that ad up on craigslist for a couple weeks, had several bites, but no buyer yet. I've come down a bit in my asking price and am willing to negotiate, but only to a point, and not that much...yet.

Here's an email I got this morning:

I am interested in your car so would you please sent me the Vin number of the car?

And I am expecting to buy your car for $6500 because kbb price is that I saw.

What do you think for $6500?

I am living in Columbia SC and if you say ok, I would like to come and test drive.

Thank You

"You're fucking high" is what I think.

Sunday Link Dump

The case for Howard Dean to replace Daschle at HHS—and why it will unfortunately never happen. [h/t Ezra, who goes down the shortlist of candidates]

Leaked test results from MLB reveal Alex Rodriguez used steroids in his 2003 MVP season. I'll have plenty more to say about this—and shockingly it will be in defense of A-Rod. [h/t Toast]

When will Norm Coleman fucking concede already? This is now beyond ridiculous.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Medicatin' in the Minivan

I've seen this thing all over the place, labelled everything from cute to hilarious—I actually find it disturbing...

Sorry, but dads that are more worried about YouTubing their kids when they actually need to be held and comforted kinda piss me off.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

POTD: A Letter From Michael Phelps

As dreamed up by Radley Balko...
Dear America,

I take it back. I don’t apologize.

Because you know what? It’s none of your goddamned business. I work my ass off 10 months per year. It’s that hard work that gave you all those gooey feelings of patriotism last summer. If during my brief window of down time I want to relax, enjoy myself, and partake of a substance that’s a hell of a lot less bad for me than alcohol, tobacco, or, frankly, most of the prescription drugs most of you are taking, well, you can spare me the lecture [...]

Read the whole thing. It's a thing of truth and beauty.

[h/t Angelos]

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Howard's In?

With Tom Daschle officially humiliated into withdrawing his nomination for Secretary of Health and Human Services, I hope the following sentence is overheard in the Oval Office...

"Somebody get me Howard Dean on the phone."

Accounting 101

Ezra just nails the Daschle / Geithner tax fiascoes for what they really are:
I don't think it plausible that guys with the fortunes of Tom Daschle and Tim Geithner and the ambitions of Tom Daschle and Tim Geithner sat down one night and decided to crudely defraud the government of somewhere between $40,000 and $130,000 in tax revenues at the potential cost of their future Senate confirmations. Indeed, I doubt that they spend a lot of time on their taxes at all (though Geithner apparently keeps records in Turbotax). Both have enormously complex income streams with various employers, consulting gigs, speaking fees, and who knows what else. Maybe, in Japan, Geithner endorses cereal. For that reason, both have said that they use accountants. But from afar, it sort of looks like their accountants are doing the thing where they help their clients pay the least money rather than the thing where they shore up their future political viability. What affluent future political appointees need is not accountants who eke out some savings but auditors who make sure they pay something close to the maximum. As the saying goes, the question isn't whether they can afford to do that. As we're seeing, it's whether they can afford not to.

I'm still not ready to give these jackasses a pass. Especially Daschle, who as a former Senate Majority Leader should be a savvy enough politician to make sure this shit is straight. Accountant or no, it's your return and your responsibility.

If you are still an active politico (even post-office) with the potential to be appointed to a cabinet post (or a judicial slot, etc.) you should keep your ass clean. Period. That means no affairs, no tax crap and no undocumented housekeepers. It might not be directly relevant to your future appointment, but it's sloppy and shows poor judgement—and you deserve to be called on it—if not disqualified for it.


UPDATE: This is fucking awesome*. You can't stop YouTube, you can only hope to contain it...

*For those not following this stuff closely, Daschle is in hot water for failing to pay taxes on $255,000 worth of being driven around in a private car paid for by someone else.

Dick of the Week: Christian Bale

I think he's the best Batman to ever wear the cowl, but this is straight-up asshole...

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Affirmative Action

I suppose a modicum of credit is due to the GOP for the election of Michael Steele to RNC Chair. A black man running the Republican party might even be more astounding than a black POTUS.

While it might be an obvious "Us, too!" response to the election of Barack Obama, it still represents a big step forward.

On the other hand, let's keep in mind that two weeks ago the RNC was prepared to select the moron from Tennessee who was mailing "Barack the Magic Negro" tapes, and it took six ballots to get Steele elected over this asshole:
...South Carolina party chairman Katon Dawson [...] who until just recently belonged to an all-white country club and has said he got involved in politics as a teenage opponent of busing programs in the 1960s -- not exactly the best face to oppose Barack Obama's agenda.

Still...progress is progress. Mr. Obama has indeed brought change to Washington.

Steve Benen begs to differ... one should exaggerate the significance of the RNC chair. A couple of years ago, Bush tapped Florida Sen. Mel Martinez, a Cuban-American, as chairman of the RNC. Refresh my memory: did that have any impact whatsoever on outreach to Latino voters? Did it make the party seem more inclusive and diverse? I don't think so.

Hey, it's not Bush's fault the party is riddled with metastasized racism...