Thursday, May 27, 2010

SuperBowl in New York?

Bring it. I think a cold weather game would be awesome.

UPDATE: What Captain Caveman at KSK said...

UPDATE 2: Even better from a commenter...
The winner of the Super Bowl gets the Lombardi Trophy. A trophy named for a man who said “New York? Too warm. Honey, lets move to Green Fucking Bay.” This motherfucker wouldn’t let his defenders wear gloves during the Ice Bowl for fear they might drop an interception
UPDATE 3: Big Daddy Drew

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


The Boston Globe’s “The Big Picture” photo website has a gallery of images from the Gulf that just about had me in tears in the office. Steve Benen warned that it was “not for the faint of heart.”

He is right.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Political Strategery

[straight from kos himself at GOS]

Political pop quiz: You are the Connecticut Republican Party, the nation's richest state and a solid Democratic stronghold. Your Democratic opponent has been busted (fairly or not) for lying or exaggerating his military service during the Vietnam War. Do you:

  1. Nominate a decorated Vietnam War vet, retired Colonel, and winner of two Bronze Stars, with a proven track record of winning elections in tough political terrain
  1. Nominate the teabagger co-founder of the WWE

If you were smart, you'd pick option number one. But the rules said you had to be a Republican...

I think this is goods news for someone, and it's NOT John McCain. Richard Blumenthal should weather this fake-ass controversy and when reality comes into play for voters, he will stomp Linda McMahon. This is another case of the Teabag Wing pulling the GOP too far to the right.

I know voters in Connecticut have proven themselves to be as fucking stupid as any other state last time they chose a Senator, but at the end of the day, I have to think a popular and effective public servant that had astronomical approval numbers should prevail.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Note to Rand Paul...

The choice to carry a gun is in no way equivalent to a condition beyond an individual’s control such as being born with brown skin or legs that don’t work. Therefore, your diversion about protecting “the right” of a paranoid asshole to wear his sidearm into McDonald’s doesn’t belong in a conversation on the societal benefits of the Civil Rights Act or the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Nice try, asshole.

Dog Whistle or Tuning Fork?

Or simply ideological blindness?

As you may have heard, Republican U.S. Senate candidate Rand Paul made a complete ass of himself last night on The Rachel Maddow Show.

I enjoy Rachel Maddow and think she is brilliant. But I often find Maddow's show annoying in the sense that she is too deferential to her guests in the moment—even when she's being aggressive—and too often relies on follow-up after the fact. As in the next show. Correcting the record or declaring "Gotcha!" too late is usually exactly that: Too late. No matter how thorough or clever.

But this segment does such a good job cutting past the “he said” or race card bullshit and dealing directly with the real world ramifications of actual policy vs. hypothetical ideology and tying it all together that I think it's worth everyone's time.

(You could watch the entire Paul appearance if you like, but it's twenty stomach-churning minutes of Paul running from giving a straight answer on whether he supports the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The key moments are excerpted in this brilliant follow-up:)

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

It's over.

Gotta give props to Lee Dewyze and Simon Cowell for last night's American Idol. Cowell chose “Hallelujah” by Leonard Cohen (Jeff Buckley-style) for Dewyze to sing in the biggest moment of the competition. It's not a song I would have thought suited his more gruff / less pretty vocals—shows what I know. His performance was awesome. I wish the arrangement was kept simpler (ditch the horns, tone down the backing vocals in favor of Lee and his guitar along with the strings), but I think this just won him the competition. Check it out:

Not too shabby. I think a better arrangement would come as close as anyone to could to Buckley’s rendition—which I think is one of the finest vocal performances ever recorded.

UPDATE: k.d. lang's got some pipes too...

Quote of the Day

“The main difference between the far right and far left
is that the left locates the golden age in the future.”

--John Judis

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Self-Proclaimed “City of Tomorrow”

My current place of (temporary) residence is Troy, Michigan. While our permanent housing arrangements in Ann Arbor shake out, I am staying with Mrs. F's family in one of Detroit's upscale suburbs...

One of the reasons we are so excited to be relocating from North Carolina back to Michigan is the emphasis placed on education and services such as public libraries. This is true not only in our city of choice, Ann Arbor, but throughout much of Southeast Michigan (this is absolutely NOT the case in Asheville).

Here is some trivia on Troy:
  • $108,033 - median income for a family according to a 2008 estimate. Median income for a household in the city was $88,766.

  • #22 - Ranking in 2008 CNN/Money Best Places to Live: “With some of the highest-ranked schools in Michigan, moderately priced homes, safe streets and low property taxes, Troy is a great place for families.”

  • $8,443 - Amount spent on vacations (domestic and foreign, household avg. per year)

  • 10th - The Troy Public Library's ranking among Best Library in the United States for 2009.
Sounds pretty good, right? Who wouldn't want to move here? Open a business here?

Anybody with a fucking brain it turns out.

Earlier this year voters in Troy rejected a five-year 1.9 millage proposal that would have continued funding for quality-of-life services such as the public library. Starting this July the hours and services at the library will be slashed to minimum certification standards, and next July (2011) the library will close its doors permanently.

Some more trivia:
  • $37.81 - Average increase in City of Troy portion of property taxes per residential home.

  • $392.78 (or 9.4%) - Average DECREASE in all other areas of the average Troy homeowner's property tax bill for 2010 due to decrease in assessed values.

  • 29% - The phony-ass “tax increase” thrown out to scare people by the local Republican Party, local Teabaggers, talk radio asshats and other bullshit-filled opposition groups.

  • 5 - Number of years before the millage sunsets. Yes, it was fucking temporary.

  • 30 - Ranking among the 30 full-service cities in Oakland County of Troy’s tax rate. That’s right: Troy residents pay the lowest city taxes in the area. Passing the millage would have moved them up two spots to 28.
Congratulations. It worked. Wealthy Republicans in this town decided “they got theirs, so fuck you” and whipped the sheeple in this town into a lather about receiving a slightly smaller tax reduction, and now there will be no public library system.

Good luck resuscitating Troy's legacy as “Innovation Alley” and here’s to a bright future as a destination for new business and residents.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Quote of the Day

“Some of the people pushing this idea are also pushing the idea of banning handguns,” said Graham, darkly. “I don’t think banning handguns makes me safer.

[link] Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC) trying desperately to rationalize why terror suspects should be put on No-Fly lists and denied Miranda rights, but still be able to purchase whatever fucking guns they like.

With the exception of part of the 2nd Amendment, the U.S. Constitution is officially null and void to these fucking GOP assholes.

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Obama's Mistake

I have to agree pretty wholeheartedly with this email sent to Digby:

The NY Times thinks that President Obama has not responded aggressively enough to this spill. Let's be clear:

No way is this oil spill Barack Obama's fault.

The fault lies with the ideology and mores of the Republican party and its theory of government. Their solution to this country's energy's future is to drill anywhere and everywhere. In their theory of government, government has no right to control who, what, where and how the natural resources of this country or this planet are exploited or not exploited, resources that are needed by us all and are needed to protect us all. Like my friend Jim Gilliam said in a private email, government is supposed regulate corporate behavior not just be their willing partner/follower. This is a lesson that we all need to keep in mind and that includes the president.

In the Republican theory of government, government regulation is inherently evil or at least counterproductive. So under George Bush et al, the only regulation in the Gulf has been self regulation. This oil spill is the fault of Republican ideology.

And the Times is wrong again in saying that if BP lied to Barack Obama and misled him that is not his fault. The spill itself and even, at the moment, the seemingly futile attempts to stop the spill is the result of Republicans, down to using Halliburton's technology over another technology that is more successfully employed in Europe.

However, I think this is Barack Obama's burden and ultimately the Democratic party's burden. A month ago, Barack Obama embraced (or he thought he cleverly "co-opted") Republican ideas for how to solve our energy future. Most progressives bemoaned this, especially because he had seemed to learn the lesson of health care. He is wrong on the merits. And on the merits I think there is little disagreement. It was supposed to be another clever way to disarm right wing arguments. But it has boomeranged back into the President's face and the face of the Democratic party.

This is now the recurring riff of this presidency. And I hate to say it, but it is political malpractice.

Once again the president embraced Republican ideas to be/look bipartisan and open minded. But being Republican ideas, they have all the weaknesses of Republican ideas - just like with the health care bill being a system built on Republican ideas of the health care system - a LOOSELY REGULATED PRIVATE SYSTEM. Now the president has endorsed offshore drilling, which he still had the opportunity to repudiate clearly yesterday...but he merely temporized with an appeal to a temporary moratorium until "safe" ways are found.

Are there any safe ways? If this takes even 90 days to cap, that is 18 million gallons of oil filling the Gulf of Mexico. (I can't do the math but does that fill the Gulf ---what is the visual of that from space???)

Barack Obama is not just the President of the US, he is also the head of the Democratic Party. I hesitate to be political, especially since this is potentially an ecological disaster of vast proportions, but a Gulf full of oil through the summer, a Gulf that voters would have seen endlessly on their TV screens, would have been enough to beat the Republicans back (as well as over the head) in the midterm elections. They would have been crucified on their oil rigs.

But now is that possible? I don't think so. The Democrats running in the midterms are now hobbled in their ability to trash the Republicans, because they have to tiptoe around their own President's position. He has handcuffed them, he has almost forced them to zip their mouths shut on the issue. Indeed the inchoate anger will wrongly accrue to him, and the only thing the Democrats running may be able to do is either defend him or run away from him.

He is redefining the positions of the Democratic party in ways that many of us progressives are unhappy with on the merits. But in this case he is also losing the political benefits of being on the right side for all of us.

The comments quickly devolve into a "Obama is the same/no better/worse than Bush, which is horseshit, but the point in this essay that he is too quick to embrace or validate GOP positions is well-taken. He does. It is brutal irony that he went out on a limb only a month ago and endorsed a drilling plan that in the current light might as well be something George W Bush left in the Oval Office desk drawer.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Environmental Catastrophuck

TIME Magazine:
It may be time to stop referring to the Deepwater Horizon rig accident in the Gulf of Mexico as an oil spill. A spill sounds like something temporary, a glass of milk overturned, which empties and then can be cleaned up. But what is unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico, not far from the sensitive shorelines of Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi and Florida, isn't a spill. It's an unchecked gush of crude oil from beneath the bottom of the ocean into the water — and no one can say for sure when it will finally stop.


As bad as this situation in the Gulf is, it has the potential to become exponentially worse...
The worst-case scenario for the broken and leaking well gushing oil into the Gulf of Mexico would be the loss of the wellhead currently restricting the flow to 5,000 barrels -- or 210,000 gallons per day.

If the wellhead is lost, oil could leave the well at a much greater rate, perhaps up to 150,000 barrels -- or more than 6 million gallons per day -- based on government data showing daily production at another deepwater Gulf well.

By comparison, the Exxon Valdez spill was 11 million gallons total. The Gulf spill could end up dumping the equivalent of 4 Exxon Valdez spills per week.

Um, Holy shit?

WSJ via HuffPo:
Regulators have previously identified problems in the cementing process as a leading cause of well blowouts, in which oil and natural gas surge out of a well with explosive force. When cement develops cracks or doesn't set properly, oil and gas can escape, ultimately flowing out of control. The gas is highly combustible and prone to ignite, as it appears to have done aboard the Deepwater Horizon, which was leased by BP PLC, the British oil giant.

Concerns about the cementing process—and about whether rigs have enough safeguards to prevent blowouts—raise questions about whether the industry can safely drill in deep water and whether regulators are up to the task of monitoring them.

The scrutiny on cementing will focus attention on Halliburton Co., the oilfield-services firm that was handling the cementing process on the rig, which burned and sank last week.

How can one company have its fingers in so many shit pies? At this point, I wouldn't be shocked if the volcano in Iceland is probably somehow their fault.

Such comparisons are ridiculous—this is an industrial accident of never-before-seen proportions, not a natural event with days of warning for preparation that were ignored, and then responded to by incompetent lackies. Nevertheless, this will become the right-wing meme, and soon enough the conventional wisdom with the supine media. It's a raw deal.

But I will say this: Obama attending the White House Correspondents Dinner tonight has all the makings of becoming his "George Bush with the birthday cake while New Orleans sinks" moment.

The event should be cancelled. Who's going to be upset by that? The media? Fuck them. If he attends, they will be the ones stabbing him in the back on Monday for yukking it up while oil inundates the Gulf shore.

Serious Question...

Is there a reason why we can't just construct a big-ass concrete dome to lower to the gulf floor and cover this broken rig?