Saturday, January 31, 2009

is it okay to panic yet... ?

The banks, Boss, the banks...
Jan. 31 (Bloomberg) -- Banks in Florida, Maryland and Utah were closed yesterday as regulators wrapped up the busiest month for failures since the housing slump began in 2006.
Save for the FDIC, one imagines a scene right out of It's a Wonderful Life. In time? Who knows? Could be worse.

Oh wait! It is...
France paralysed by a wave of strike action, the boulevards of Paris resembling a debris-strewn battlefield. The Hungarian currency sinks to its lowest level ever against the euro, as the unemployment figure rises. Greek farmers block the road into Bulgaria in protest at low prices for their produce. New figures from the biggest bank in the Baltic show that the three post-Soviet states there face the biggest recessions in Europe.
Well, that's over there -- not here. Yet. Meanwhile, this stuff is right out a Stanley Kubrick or Sidney Lumet movie. Hard to fathom it as reality. Maybe it'll catch up to me when I can't withdraw funds from my savings or a brick comes crashing through my window.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


Color me convinced that a reality-TV series starring Norm Coleman, Rod Blagojevich, Sarah Palin, Paris Hilton, and an incontinent though highly amorous bisexual Great Dane w/an equally abnormal capacity for mucusy dog-slobber are locked in a small 2-bedroom/1 bathroom house in Kansas near the Oklahoma border with nothing more than 3 beds (a queen, a twin, and a cot), a Lay-Z-Boy and NO TV!

... and with it came madness.

headline of the day...

Single Brain Cell Can Hold a Memory

No clever aside, this caught my interest and I found it fascinating.

h/t to RawStory...

obama +...

Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) wants a bigger stimulus with more spending on transportation infrastructure.

Who knew?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

stop the presses... ! i agree with norm coleman...

Coleman on why he's depriving his former constituency the representation of its junior Senator with a frivoulous lawsuit:
"What you're observing out there may not seem as exciting as what you see on Law & Order," said Coleman. "But the principles that we're fighting for, that I fully believe are being established today, are more important than anything you'll see on Law & Order."
Okay, Tom Cruise, I was glib. Coleman's lawsuit isn't so much frivolous as it is likely fruitless. I only wish Al Gore fought this hard in 2000 or John Kerry did in 2004, because those assholes had better cases to be brought against Florida and Ohio.

What the hell, I can live another month without Al Franken in the Senate provided this case sheds a shining light on the way states count votes in all elections. It's only democratic.

what is it about stimulating the economy that bothers them so... ?

Republicans: Zero!

the one, the only: jesse lynch...

Check out the Big Apple's hottest new up & comer!
"Jesse Lynch is a brilliant and genre-defying pianist...capable of ferocious passion and tender subtlety at any given moment. His well rounded talent is as big as his musical vocabulary."
-Taylor Mesple

Producer, Old Port Records

"Jesse is one of the most talented and versatile musical souls I have ever worked with. His playing is technically exceptional and inspired no matter what style he is performing. He brings an egoless, open and creative energy to any ensemble playing with a sensitivity and maturity rarely found in players twice his age..."

-Ford James

Jazz Bassist, Meditator

"In my numerous performances with Jesse Lynch, I have found in him complete freedom-of-expression, clarity of stylistic understanding, and a depth of sincere personal involvement which I have always wished to find in my collegues. Jesse's technique is electrifying, his metamorphic trailblazing of ideas is thrilling, and his commitment to the moment is as strong as, if not stronger than what I have experienced with the greatest musicians I've worked with over the course of my career."

-Mark Tipton

Trumpeter, Composer, Producer

"Jesse connects the horizons of minimalist sensuality to an explosive apocalyptic synergy. These are not terms regularly applied to music. Jesse Lynch is a musician who can not be cloaked in familiar robes...his improvisations are informed by the masters, his deft embrace of the spirit of creation and his deep love of music, spontaneity and truth."

Gil Helmick

Writer, Poet

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

go starve yourself...

Corn syrup, found in nearly all processed foods here in America, is a good source of mercury -- Mm-mmm! -- courtesy of your heckuva-job Bushie FDA.
"Mercury is toxic in all its forms," said IATP's David Wallinga, M.D., and a co-author in both studies. "Given how much high fructose corn syrup is consumed by children, it could be a significant additional source of mercury never before considered. We are calling for immediate changes by industry and the FDA to help stop this avoidable mercury contamination of the food supply."
Please pass the Soylent Green.

another one bites the dust...

John Updike: 1932-2009

Never read him, although I have on my shelf somewhere "Run, Rabbit, Run!" (or something like that). Also made a bet once w/a friend that that was Updike over there drinking at the table in the Parker House bar in Boston. I was right.

headline of the day...

UN Official: Enough Evidence to Prosecute Rumsfeld for War Crimes

Ratcheting it up, player-by-player: Schumer now aboard, following on the heels of Speaker Pelosi; Fredo on a charm-offensive (and how's that for an oxymoron?), which ought avail him naught.

And now the eyes of the world are upon the Obama administration asking: You gonna handle this or do we have to?

Waiting on how the Holder confirmation'll play out, the ball'll soon be in Obama's court.

Update: Rove re-reindicted. Fan. Shit. Hit. Etc.

Monday, January 26, 2009

conyers: single-payer the way to go in universal healthcare...

Please, oh please, powers-that-be: make this happen:
The plan is simple: everyone is eligible for a version of Medicare under a new U.S. National Health Insurance Program.

The program would effectively put private insurers out of business. What to do with all those employees? Hire them, says Conyers' bill.
All in favor, say Aye!

All opposed, get bent!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

my heresy of the day...

I hate to have to say this, but whoever this Jason Wu (Woo! Jason Wu!) character is, his "creation" -- more of a concoction actually, and worn by Michelle Obama at the Balls -- looks bloody hideous!

The big white strap over the shoulder? What is that -- a bedsheet? Is she wearing a toga? If so, she forgot the ivy garland as headpiece. And it's killing me because I dig her, but with the exception of that brazen red dress (as a statement of her still-hottieness, say) when the Obamas visited the Dubyas at the White House, I realized, and on more than one occasion now, that I simply cannot abide the dresses this woman wears. And those who know me know I'm just a regular guy and certainly no Mr. Freakin' Blackwell ferchryeye! They're that awful.

And what the hell is the new president's problem -- wearing a flag lapel pin on a tuxedo?? Now that was a smart-looking suit, and something like a red rose on the lapel would've looked really really sharp. But he has to cluck it up with the now-symbol of his capitulation to the faux & flatulent jingo-patriots. Get outttta here!

It's bad enough Obama wears the pin on his overcoat at the Inauguration -- even as these Republican Eddie Haskells, who, themselves, go pinless by the way, were snickering into their idiot-mittens about how they bullied him into such a craven concession. They used it as a cudgel because they had nothing else to beat him up with.

But now he's the president and he should tell them to go screw or get the ffflip over it!

Unfortunately, however, the heavy betting is now on whether he wears the fool thing on his jammies at beddy bye.

Geez! That's embarrassing!

Update: Okay, I'm in the minority but I ain't alone:
Quick Poll
Michelle Obama's gown: love it or leave it?

Love it 55.4%

Leave it 38.49%

now that it's safe to go back in the water...

... check out the new White House website.

thank you from the heart of my bottom...

Rush posts on his website (no link here) a truth, proving, after all is said & done, he's capable of it:
Limbaugh: I Hope Obama Fails
What is there to add except to dismiss him as his own posterior's aperture?

immediate thoughts on a new day...

I'm watching the parade via an AP video stream thru the website, easily the first inauguration event I've watched online rather than on TV. What the heck, getting out of the house and getting to work online while staying in touch w/the goings-on this day is the way to go.

Check out the wheels: a six-door stretch limo that looks air-tight and armored better than any general in Baghdad could hope for. I bet they could slow-drive through a nuclear shockwave in that thing. How many MPG does that thing get -- 3?

Talk is he's now in his bubble, rendering imperative his losing touch with the common man. I wonder if they took away his Blackberry after all. Of course, anybody who doesn't get online these days is, by definition, out of touch. The way things go.

Oop! There he is, gotten out of the car. And the crowd goes wild!!

Update: More on "The Beast" mobile.
"Although many of the vehicles' security enhancements cannot be discussed, it is safe to say that this car's security and coded communications systems make it the most technologically advanced protection vehicle in the world," said Nicholas Trotta, assistant director for the Office of Protective Operations."


Photo courtesy of TPM

Indeed a new day.

Monday, January 19, 2009

"in the event of a catastrophe"...

Defense Sec'y Bob Gates is -- quote/unquote -- "the designated successor" should a catastrophe befall Barack Obama and those politic leaders in the line of succession: Biden, Pelosi, Reid, et al. -- and apparently all at the same time; whereupon Monsieur Gates is to come out of hiding, pull an Al Haig, declare he's in control here, and call out the reserves to make the trains run on time.

What annoys me most is he's designated by the outgoing administration, i.e., the Cretin of Dallas, a right dandy means to a last-minute declaration of marshal law, if you ask me. But then that's what you get when you introduce the new boss/same as the ol' boss.

That's not change we can believe in.

Otherwise it's a logical decision.

rick & the redhead...

Doing my part, short of getting paid for it, to get fannies in the seats.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

je ne gagne jamais la loterie...

I did not need to know this:
Scientists have found that the pleasure women get from making love is directly linked to the size of their partner’s bank balance.

They found that the wealthier a man is, the more frequently his partner has orgasms.
That's it! Time to get started on my best-seller.

he's off... and he's leaving...

Ye olde Meteor Blades to Dubya...
Good-bye to your rip-offs, your malice, your arrogance, your ignorance, your outlawry, your denial, your deceit, your cronyism and your stubborn refusal to cease pushing the envelope in the department of shameless villainy. Goodbye to the administration you constructed of turdiness and explained with truthiness. To your smirk and your snarl. To your conscienceless cruelty. Good-bye to your corruption, your vanity, your world without grays. Good-bye, good-bye, good-bye, you insufferable despot, and good riddance.
Dude, you forgot the disgusting eating habits.

headline of the day...

Pelosi Wants Investigation of Bush Officials, Open to Prosecutions

Did I just wake up from a two-year nap (complete with gnarly dreams), or did she?

Or maybe I'm dreaming now.

brunswick today...

Here come duh plow... ! Here come duh plow... !

Pics taken 'round 4 p.m...

The snow is powdery and dry, more conducive for the cross-country skiers you'll see in passing than, say, snowballs for a snowman. The forecast says 12-14 inches. All I know, though, is it goes up to my knees, and the fact there are few cars on the road made walking in the streets, rather than on the unshovelled sidewalks (Maine St. notwithstanding), the better bet.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

headline of the day...

Pentagon Clears Pentagon of Propaganda Abuses

Meanwhile, I've just absolved myself of all debts and taxes owed.

oh, please... !

I think this Kumbayah shit has just eaten through my stomach lining:
On Friday night, [Obama] told CNN's John King that he has "always thought" Bush was a "good guy."
However, I reserve the right to change my mind should my Attorney General bring indictments for war crimes.

Update: And then again, here's hoping Krauthammer's right when he says, "I think he is a guy who is intellectually curious and wants to exchange ideas, but also in part he wants to co-opt the vast right wing conspiracy.”

Friday, January 16, 2009

bart cop up on murder...

... and has a history:
Following Tuesday's arrest of former Bay Area Rapid Transit officer Johannes Mehserle for murder in the fatal shooting of a defenseless suspect on New Year's Eve, another man has come forward to allege that Mehserle used excessive force against him on an earlier occasion.
Admittedly this dude is an extreme case, but it'd be nice if we could vet candidate cops like they were cabinet nominees. Too often, it seems, the uniform itself confers some sense of absolute authority -- absolute in the mind of the wearer anyway, nearly always exceeding that which is necessary. And when that happens, bad things, as most certainly in this case, occur.

headline of the day...

New York Waxing Spa Inauguration Special: "Say Good Bye To Mr. Bush"

And today's special at the restaurant next door is Bearded Clams Casino.

h/t to HuffPo...

short-circuit city...

Circuit City's announcement of liquidation today is met with no lack of trepidation 'round these parts. The good, as well as the bad (not to mention the ugly), news is the proximity of the stores: no branch stores in Bath/Brunswick but there's one or two in the Portland area; the latter being the largest city in Maine, and my likliest destination come the spring. I can only estimate a given store as having somewhere between 20 and 50 employees per, not so much labor flooding the market, but that jobs are already pretty scarce in the Pine Tree State.

Some more good news: The Dems have 58, soon to be 59, Senators. Cloture vote requires 60, and Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, moderate Republicans who tend to blow with the wind, must very well be hearing it from their constituencies to play ball with the new President, vis a vis "stimulus," and not with the obstructionist mole-man from Kentucky.

So I'm optimistic, which means I haven't run out of money yet.

destroy the bcs...

Another good idea:
Rep. Edolphus Towns, D-N.Y., the incoming chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, said he will hold hearings and possibly subpoena NCAA officials, college presidents, players, coaches and athletics directors in an effort to force a playoff in Division 1-A football, USA Today reports.
The yakkety yaks fuss about Congress needing to focus on the stimulus bill -- and fersherr, they really oughta. But the BCS, as I've said before, is a good-ol'-boyz abomination to any purist sports fan. Moreover, if the Repos can grandstand on steroids in Baseball (and how great is it, by the by, that they took down one of their reptilian own in Roger Clemens? -- Bwahahha!!), I figure a 1-A playoff system would go a long way to decentralize a Repo enclave and help -- *ahem* -- Spread The Wealth!

Hell! I might even start watching college football again.

Update: Next up on my grandiose scorecard: Creating competition among cable television providers. Oh, and make it a la carte por favor!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

by all means, reinstate the draft...

It'll never fly, but Charlie Rangel's at it again:
Asked if he plans to introduce the [military draft] legislation again in 2009, Rangel last week said, “Probably … yes."
As I've said before, I'm all in favor of a draft, provided it's reverse-means tested. No exceptions: Family net worth determines who gets got first with the wealthiest kids getting tossed into the back of the truck, and only then go the upper middle kids, then the middle class kids, then the low enders, etc. Freakin' teenagers!

Hey, It was good enough for Prince Harry. Now there's a kid with some serious coin.

Oh, and remove the age limit too. Make Dubya, for having gone AWOL back when, go to the sandbox assigned to a unit with some of those little white supremist rednecks who upped for no reason than to off some brown-skinned people. Order them to run some gasoline in some under-armored deuce-&-half to a tank unit in a remote section outside the green zone.

Fair's fair.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

update on the vile & loathsome...

Lewis Black had it right when he said, "The good die young... but PRICKS LIVE FOR-EVER!!"
Cheney's Regrets: Why Didn't The Iraqis 'Bounce Back' More Quickly?

Monday, January 12, 2009

when yer down to stems & seeds...

... you make rum & root beer.

Whaddya want, I was outta coke.


Hmm, not bad. Try it before you split a gut!

joe the bummer: on top of his game...

Not made up:
JOE: The story here is people are being killed and the media's slanting it and trying to make it Hamas is, uh, as far as, that Israel's being bad. Do you believe Israel is bad?

REPORTER: Do I believe it?

JOE: Yeah, do you?!

REPORTER: I'm Israeli, so...

JOE: So answer the question!

REPORTER: No, I don't think Israel is bad.

JOE: Do you think Israel has every right to protect itself?



JOE: You do?!


JOE: Have you said that on air?

REPORTER: I'm just a reporter.

And Joe's real real good -- at what, I have no idea.

headline of the day...

Asked About WMDs, Bush Grins

You think he'd be all grins if somebody stuck a fork in his ass?

My question (had I been at this particular press conference):
"Would you mind autographing my shoe?" And I hold it aloft.

As a hoot (that, and the fact he still doesn't get it), he says "Shurr!"

And I say, "Here! Catch!

seinfeld's eulogy of carlin...

Originally published in the NYTimes, I thought it brilliant. Just re-read it and still do.

Dying Is Hard. Comedy Is Harder.
Published: June 24, 2008

THE honest truth is, for a comedian, even death is just a premise to make jokes about. I know this because I was on the phone with George Carlin nine days ago and we were making some death jokes. We were talking about Tim Russert and Bo Diddley and George said: “I feel safe for a while. There will probably be a break before they come after the next one. I always like to fly on an airline right after they’ve had a crash. It improves your odds.”

I called him to compliment him on his most recent special on HBO. Seventy years old and he cranks out another hour of great new stuff. He was in a hotel room in Las Vegas getting ready for his show. He was a monster.

You could certainly say that George downright invented modern American stand-up comedy in many ways. Every comedian does a little George. I couldn’t even count the number of times I’ve been standing around with some comedians and someone talks about some idea for a joke and another comedian would say, “Carlin does it.” I’ve heard it my whole career: “Carlin does it,” “Carlin already did it,” “Carlin did it eight years ago.”

And he didn’t just “do” it. He worked over an idea like a diamond cutter with facets and angles and refractions of light. He made you sorry you ever thought you wanted to be a comedian. He was like a train hobo with a chicken bone. When he was done there was nothing left for anybody.

But his brilliance fathered dozens of great comedians. I personally never cared about “Seven Words You Can Never Say on Television,” or “FM & AM.” To me, everything he did just had this gleaming wonderful precision and originality.

I became obsessed with him in the ’60s. As a kid it seemed like the whole world was funny because of George Carlin. His performing voice, even laced with profanity, always sounded as if he were trying to amuse a child. It was like the naughtiest, most fun grown-up you ever met was reading you a bedtime story.

I know George didn’t believe in heaven or hell. Like death, they were just more comedy premises. And it just makes me even sadder to think that when I reach my own end, whatever tumbling cataclysmic vortex of existence I’m spinning through, in that moment I will still have to think, “Carlin already did it.”

dog for sale...


Update: ... with apologies to our four-legged canine friends everywhere...

it's unanimous...

... in this household anyway: The show's title needs to be changed to "Everybody loves [to hate] Raymond."

Friday, January 09, 2009

minor irritations...

"Why are the media... " is correct, whereas "Why is the media... " is not. That should end. I realize media was originally intended to be the plural of medium, but inasmuch as media conjures the image of a singular, and oft times monstrous, entity, the phrase "Why are the media... " just sounds off. And if, for example, the possessive apostrophe can be only recently modified to include "s's" (s-apostrophe-s) -- I mean it didn't used to, right? -- and not be left at "s'" (s-apostrophe), then why not accept "Why is the media... " as also correct?

Having said that, I would now argue the inverse. The word temper is wayyy misused. To say "He has a temper," to indicate he gets angry, is 180 degrees from correct. "He needs to temper his anger," i.e., he needs to control his anger, ought be how the word is to be used. Get it right, people!

One more: To say, "I'm nauseous!" means I make others sick (yah, yah, Naahm, beat u 2 it!). The correct phrase to use when one is made gastronomically ill, either literally or metaphorically, is "I'm nauseated!"

And now that I've gotten that off my chest, I'm feeling muuuch betterrr nowww!

oh boy oh boy oh boy...

Conyers says to "stay tuned" on the possibility of a war crimes tribunal.

Update: Moving right along here... The bill is marked as H.R. 104

Thursday, January 08, 2009

nancy pelosi grows a pair...

On the heels of Harry Reid saying "I don't work for Barack Obama," the Speaker now speaketh:
"Put me down as clearly as you possibly can as one who wants to have those tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans repealed," she said.
Like, Rah! Madame Speaker wants to let Dems be Dems again? Where were you when it counted, [lady]!?

Amazing! -- the Dem leaders are sounding so bright-eyed and anti-Bushie-tailed these days -- *cough* -- now that the Reptiles are leaving town.

Yah! Could be a coincidence...

On the other hand, could this be the unseen hand of Obama actually playing the Repos. Is it possible? The president-elect in the role of bi-partisan good cop while Nancy the bad cop says nobody goes home on vacation (after, what, a month's work?? -- where do I sign up?) until the stimulus bill is passed. What's next? -- Repo Senators actually being made to stand up and filibuster until they drop like flies on the Senate floor? I'd buy that for a dollar!

Why, that just might put a bummer on those smug little McConnellites who thought Obama was selling out his own as an opening stimulus gambit.

Uhm, do I seem a little too cheerful to you? Could be wishful thinking.

yer friendly neighborhood potus-man...

One imagines this one (about That One) is already a collector's item.

calling russ feingold...

Harry Reid's gotta go!

it's official...

Bush really was the Decider -- not Cheney:
"There was never any question about who was in charge. It was George Bush. And that's the way we operated.

"This whole notion that somehow I exceeded my authority here, was usurping his authority, is simply not true. It's an urban legend, never happened."
And you can take that to the CitiBank... or to the nearest quantum singularity, for whatever it's worth.

Good t'know, y'know?

oh, you betcha... !

It's easy to hate a press that pegs you spot-on as a corrupt oaf, eh?

(Or was that loaf... ?)

Update: Oh! It's all about class...
"I've been interested also to see how Caroline Kennedy will be handled," Palin stated, "and if she'll be handled with kid gloves or if she'll be under such a microscope also. ... We will perhaps be able to prove that there is a class issue here also that was such a factor in the scrutiny of my candidacy."
... meaning Caroline has class, and Sarah... doesn't?

joe the bummer becomes war correspondent...

Why won't he die?

Oh wait! He's going to the middle east.

Update: You can tell my Mom's getting a little crispy when she refers to Joe the Plumber as "Tony the Pilot."

Hand over the spliff, Ma!

Update II:
Looks like the Bummer's already thought about the venue:
Being a Christian I'm pretty well protected by God I believe.
Has he left yet?

but i'll settle for $1.5M...

Divorcing hubby to cheating spouse: Gi'me my kidney back!

I say call his bluff.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

jeb bush opts out...

Interesting! The smarter of two Bushes (which says very little) decides not to run for the Senate in '10 after all. Clearly ol' Jeb's keeping his powder dry for a '12 run at the Big Enchilada, or, depending on how well Obama's doing in the polls, '16. If Jeb ran for and easily won the Senate seat in '10, he'd be obliged to fulfill at least one term, a la Hillary/New York, etc. That being the case, '16 would then be his earliest option for the oval office.

Meanwhile, the mountain of excrement left behind by his brother, which a President Obama will be tasked with having to shovel thru, is highly likely to attrit the Democrat's current popularity, and which Jeb must be counting on from an impatient American public. For any chance the GOP can recapture the White House then, a desire to revert back to the same ol' same ol' is what Jeb needs.

And given the minority's evident plan to slam the brakes on all things Obama, that's not a bad bet.

freak city...

No (uninadvisable) comment comes to mind.

h/t to Boing Boing...

up the police... !

The anarchist in me loves this:
Originating from Wootton High School, the parent said, students duplicate the license plates by printing plate numbers on glossy photo paper, using fonts from certain websites that "mimic" those on Maryland license plates. They tape the duplicate plate over the existing plate on the back of their car and purposefully speed through a speed camera, the parent said. The victim then receives a citation in the mail days later.
Meanwhile on the more legal front, a precedent (and I'd find the link if I had the time):  a defendant challenged in court the photo taken of his car in the act of failing to stop at a red light. Defendant demanded the right to challenge the photo device itself by interrogating the representative of the manufacturer. Rep did not show. Case was dismissed.

yah, what he said...

Olberman to Cheney:
"Listen, you fatuous, condescending lunatic," Olbermann erupted. "Your task was not to deal with the aftermath of 9/11 -- it was to prevent 9/11."

"And if you utterly whiffed," concluded Olbermann, "on the most important test of all the presidencies in your lifetime, Mr. Cheney, you do not get credit for getting a C on the pop quizzes that followed."
... because it bears repeating and cannot be said often enough.

in a word: yoicks... !!

Okay, what in the hell is this?