Monthly Archives: November 2009

It’s movie time kids!

And here are your NICKELODEON Sponge Bob SQUAREPANTS Gummy Krabby PATTIES-Yummy Gummy Candy. They’re just full of all the things your mom . . . well, let’s be specific here kiddies. These babies are made of:

CORN SYRUP, SUGAR, GELATIN (BEEF), SORBITOL, CORN STARCH, CITRIC ACID, AGAR AGAR, ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, MINERAL OIL, CARNAUBE WAS, BEESWAX and lots and lots of ARTIFICIAL COLOR so these will be really pretty.

They also carry on the box that Nutrition Facts label, so essential when evaluating your CARNUABE WAX.

The opening end of the package is sealed with a sticker that says “SEALED FOR YOUR PROTECTION” because we will not allow any harm to come to you little dears.

I wonder if they make them in chocolate?

Good morning

It’s almost ten a.m. on Saturday and it’s the 44th day of the ninth year of the War in Afghanistan.

We can’t cure them, but we sure can kill ’em

Things I know because Gene Lyons at Salon told me.

Projected cost of health care reform bill

  • Annual cost – $100 billion
  • Ten year total – One trillion

Pentagon spending projected

  • Annual – $673 billion
  • Ten year total – $6.73 trillion

For me, but not for thee

Ahhh, personal responsibility – a comforting principle and so, so easy to say, and so, so easy to use as a cudgel  and it even fits on a bumper sticker  -an absolute requirement for the politics of the scolds.

Not all people are smart

Not all people are able.

Most important of all, not all people are adults.

So just knock it off.

Good morning

It’s not yet ten o’clock on the 43rd day of the ninth year of the War in Afghanistan

And he could have been a congressman

I wuz robbed!

The almost-Congressman from NY-23 who was beaten by the Democrat, after the Palin wing of the GOP put him up because of the affront to their purity, represented by actual Republican candidate. Him. Odd looking man, looks slightly mad in fact. And while he was a neophyte at the time of his race, he sure has gotten him some savvy now. And he has brilliantly identified the cause of his electoral loss. ACORN, the unions and vote tampering by Democrats. It’s really a shame we’ve been denied this fine mind in our national legislature.

Intertubes slowing down?

Over the last weeks, it seems to me that internet access is slower than it used to be. Sites that used to load in mere seconds are suddenly taking up to a minute. Am I alone in this? Is Rupert Murdoch intervening between me and my ISP? Is this the beginning of socialized access?

Worthy of Jon Stewart

More and more these days, I find myself turning to Nicholas Kristoff in the New York Times for a dose of context and sanity. Because he hasn’t become a ‘celebrity journalist’, he holds onto his credentials as an actual journalist, who forms his opinions as a columnist by doing actual ‘reporting’.  (Archaic. I know.)

This morning, he brings us some predictions – from 1964, when Medicare was a-bornin’.

“Critics storm that health care reform is “a cruel hoax and a delusion.” Ads in 100 newspapers thunder that reform would mean “the beginning of socialized medicine.”

The Wall Street Journal’s editorial page predicts that the legislation will lead to “deteriorating service.” Business groups warn that Washington bureaucrats will invade “the privacy of the examination room,” that we are on the road to rationed care and that patients will lose the “freedom to choose their own doctor.”

Good morning

The sun is shining, I’ve had my coffee. I hope that is also true for American troops overseas, because today is the 42nd day of the ninth year of the War in Afghanistan.

Good morning

An old friend is visiting and we’re competing for laptop space and plugs. Which is kind of fun, but then I note that it is nearly noon on the 41st day of the ninth year of the War in Afghanistan.

And he’s right dammit

An old friend and a good man, has come some distance in recent years in his political thinking. One of the reasons is because he has spent the last two decades caring deeply about this country’s infrastructure, especially its transportation infrastructure.  He’s not been too happy with what he sees and is becoming more impatient to see any kind of action on the challenges we face. So I follow his doings and tongiht bring your attention to an editorial in his latest newsletter.

In it, he takes our President aside and points to a few sorry truths.

Everything old is new again. And again. And again.

Well, I may have nothing to say, but Jeff Toobin does. And he says it so very well in The New Yorker.

“In the United States, at the time the Constitution was adopted, abortions before “quickening” were both legal and commonplace, often performed by midwives. In the nineteenth century, under the influence of the ascendant medical profession, which opposed abortion (and wanted to control health care), states began to outlaw the procedure, and by the turn of the twentieth century it was all but uniformly illegal. The rise of the feminist movement led to widespread efforts to decriminalize abortion, and in 1973 the Supreme Court found, in Roe v. Wade, that the Constitution prohibited the states from outlawing it.”

I gotta say, I’ve got nothing to say

And I will defend to the death my right to say it and my right to have nothing to say and my right to say that.

So just don’t tread on me.  There.

A slap on the back would be more American, yes?

While the usual cable and radio blowhards have apparently been shamed by the etiquette shown by their President  in Japan, David Sanger at The New York Times reminds us of another time, same place.

” . . . reminiscent of another argument over the exact same issue – 20 years ago.

“It was a different president, of course: George H.W. Bush, who came to the issue with some pretty solid credentials: as a young man who was shot out of the sky by the Japanese. And it was a different moment: The funeral of Emperor Hirohito, Japan’s wartime leader, and father of the current Japanese emperor.

“Mr. Bush was even newer to the presidency at that moment than Mr. Obama is today. Barely a month in office, he traveled to Tokyo for Hirohito’s funeral, declaring it was the right way to honor a former enemy turned ally. It was the first imperial funeral in many decades, a huge state event. And naturally it poured rain on the guests; ladies in their finest kimonos and Sumo wrestlers alike sank into the mud.

“Then came the moment: When Mr. Bush approached the emperor’s casket, he bowed deeply.”

So, to my fellow Americans for whom this is too much to bear, I ask with the greatest respect that you stick a sock in it.

Scholars in the sun

That’s what it felt like at the Miami Book Fair. Tens of thousands of people, moving easily around the designated venues on the astonishing urban campus of Miami-Dade College. Notebooks, schedules and sunglasses grasped in hand, looking

John Hodgman

toward the next event. Joyce Carol Oats! Taylor Branch! John Hodgman! (John Hodgman?) Some poetry perhaps. Or the star turn – for which I had a splendid seat – Al Gore himself. The uber celebrity of the young scholastic set. (Gotta admit, I was pretty darn star struck myself.)

No frowns, no angry faces, sunshine and smiles. And then, icing on my cake – a spontaneous break dance performance on a sidewalk in front of me. Six or seven teenage boys – volunteers at the Fair with their bright yellow teeshirts – removed  their badges and glasses and put down bags and ipods and phones in a pile. And to the beat of a music they pulled from the air to their ears only, began to dance and leap and walk on air. And after a few minutes a little girl, no more than four years old moved into their space and without missing a beat they surrounded her in a circle and made her their only audience. And she smiled and clapped and was soon trying to do what they were doing.

Don’t think I’ll forget that one soon.

Good morning.

It’s been a lovely break but time continues its relentless march and nothing changes. It is, sadly, the 40th day of the ninth year of the War in Afghanistan.

One more thing

. . . and then I’m on my way – but I didn’t want to miss noting this little charmer which I just heard on C-Span. It seems that while the Republicans in Congress have been making sure that abortion is squeezed out of  Public Option or otherwise subsidized health plans . . . wait for it . . . the Republican National Committee provides its own staff with coverage for elective abortions. Isn’t that thoughtful of them? (And don’t say ‘but it’s not gov’t money’ – you believe it or you don’t believe it.) They’ve offered this abortion coverage for 18 years.

Steve Benen at Washington Monthly has the story.

Off to Miami!

Light posting for the next few days. Very shortly I’ll jump into my trusty vehicle, unhealthy volumes of coffee and Diet Coke at my side, and head off to the Miami Book Festival.

b9ookimagesIt’s a great event, and tomorrow morning Paquita and I have tickets to hear Al Gore. And in the afternoon we’ll hear Taylor Branch.

If I don’t float away first on a sea not-good-for-me!! beverages.

Good morning

lilac 2A little after nine on a lovely morning which is also the 36th day of the ninth year of the War in Afghanistan

Good news?

My generation remembers well the horror of the Vietnam War going nowhere, of the endless call for more troops, more troops. We remember the deaths, the tragic, often drug addicted, veterans stumbling home, having given their future to their country. So many. We eventually sent half a million troops to Vietnam. And we lost. And that took 15 years. To what end for this country?

So my hackles go up when the call for more troops for Aghanistan gains steam.

I’m encouraged this morning. The  The New York Times carries a story about the clash brewing between McCrystal and the former Afghan ambassador, himself a retired  top Military American Commander there, who is publicy questioning the need for troops.

From the Times’ story:

In the national security meeting ” the president pushed for revisions in the options to clarify how — and when — American troops would turn over responsibility to the Afghan government. He raised questions, officials said, about the exit strategy for American troops and sought to make clear that the commitment by the United States would not be open-ended.”

Good morning

sunrise

Sunrise

It’s ten a.m. on the 35th day of the ninth year of the War in Afghanistan.

Last night, as Veteran’s Day (formerly Armistice Day, a celebration of a war’s end) wound down, Obama gave those vets a gift. He turned down McCrystal’s four proposals – which were really just variations on a theme. All four had to do with troop levels. So let us see what’s coming and what the discussion is going forward. And take all the time you need Mr. President. Step back in this ninth year of the war and take a long, long look. And ask the questions, the first of which is, why are we there, and what do we want to accomplish.

Hypnotic. Ab-so-lute-ly

Lifted from Andrew Sullivan again. He finds great videos. A lot.

 

He doesn’t even hear himself

Chris Matthews just opened his show with “Happy Veterans’ Day!”  His language skills are seriously lacking – not his motor mouth skills, they’re in fine shape – but what kind of an idiot says ‘happy’. Does he want all the parents and spouses and children of those who’ve died serving to go out and party? What a putz.

UPDATE: Sleepygirl and Ed point out that Veterans’ Day is NOT Memorial Day. And they are right. Oh my god, I have to apologize to Chris Matthews? Okay. I apologize.

Next time, ask your nurse if she has health care

At his site, Andrew Sullivan has begun another of his occasional  ‘series’, where he invites readers to submit photos or anecdotes or stories relating to a certain subject. His latest series is called The View From Your Sickbed.  Today he publishes this from a reader:

A personal story: my girlfriend has a tumor on her ovary and no health insurance. She’s taking her last class for her nursing degree, but since she’s not going to school full-time, she’s not elligible for insurance through the school. She has two jobs bartending, neither of which offer health benefits, working nights so she can spend her days studying and taking care of her six year old daughter (who thankfully is on her father’s insurance).

I don’t know a person who works harder than her and who gives so much of herself to others.

It is a travesty that the country she lives in–the richest in the world–can’t provide her and people like her decent affordable health insurance. Arguments over funding abortion are trivial in comparison to the magnitude of health care problems facing millions of people every day in this country. As a supporter of reproductive rights, I’ll happily cede that ground to the anti-abortion zealots and fight another day, if it means people in the same boat as my girlfriend are able to have access to the care they need.

Veterans’ Day

flagIt is seven a.m. on the 34th day of the ninth year of the War in Afghanistan. Just hung the flag out on the front porch.

Good morning

soldier1imagesIt’s not quite noon of the 34th day of the ninth year of the War in Afghanistan

This is serious stuff

To the boys and girls in Washington, DC, who have the reins of the governance of 300 million people in their hands:

babyimagesRefusing access to medical insurance for living children with cancer because you have moral objections to a woman availing herself of a legal medical procedure is not in itself moral.

Why can you not understand that?

Well, lookee here

Ever wonder who voted AGAINST the Franken rape amendment a few weeks back? Here ya go.

The pictures are out of alignment because I wasn’t able to grab a single image and manipulate it to fit;  this is actually 30 individual images and each one is link.  For the full effect – and to see all of them –  go to the source.

The map shows the distribution of who tolerates rape and who doesn’t (based on how the senate voted).

Jeff Sessions (R-AL) Richard Shelby (R-AL) Jon Kyl (R-AZ) John McCain (R-AZ) Saxby Chambliss (R-GA)
Johnny Isakson (R-GA) Mike Crapo (R-ID) James Risch (R-ID) Sam Brownback (R-KS) Pat Roberts (R-KS)
Jim Bunning (R-KY) Mitch McConnell (R-KY) David Vitter (R-LA) Thad Cochran (R-MS) Roger Wicker (R-MS)
Kit Bond (R-MO) Mike Johanns (R-NE) John Ensign (R-NV) Judd Gregg (R-NH) Richard Burr (R-NC)
Tom Coburn (R-OK) Jim Inhofe (R-OK) Jim DeMint (R-SC) Lindsey Graham (R-SC) John Thune (R-SD)
Lamar Alexander (R-TN) Bob Corker (R-TN) John Cornyn (R-TX) John Barrasso (R-WY) Mike Enzi (R-WY)

What will it take?

god hates fags

A true believer

For the Secret Service to get a little closer? Or even the DC police. Isn’t standing outside an elementary school calling two of the students ‘”satanic spawn” threatening enough? How about disturbing the peace, or perhaps “something-or-othering” the pubic commons?

Witness Fred Phelps et al  protesting outside Sidwell School:

“You pretend to be all non-violent, and you allow the most bloody, deceitful, evil, murderous bastard and his shemale sidekick to place their satanic spawn within your four walls?”

UPDATE: This mitigates it a bit.

Thanks! I mean it.

Just saw this over at Talking Points Memo, and it could be very good news for Dems here in Florida, the Sunshine-is-All-We-Need state. Gov. Charlie Crist will be facing Mario Rubio in a primary race for next year’s senatorial election. And now, The Club for Growth (Grover Norquist and his merry band of destructo angry teenagers)  is endoring Rubio. Can anyone say NY-23? Oh let it be, let it be.