Monthly Archives: April 2011

I think I shall leave her all my worldly goods

The newest grand niece – emerging from her newborn period and dressing up a bit now for the camera. Her arrival makes Stewart a big brother, a role I’m told he relishes.

Meet Brooke.

William Shatner sorta sings. Again

I thought Shatner’s career as a recording artist was one off, but now, thanks to Bill at Under the Lobsterscope, I hear he’s got a new album coming out. Details are here. For those of you who haven’t previously enjoyed the song/poetry  stylings of the great man . . .

(He’s done this in a number of venues. I think I posted one last year, but my category skills are so awful, I can’t find it.)

A question for Mr. Ryan

(I’m sure this question can be posed with more clarity by someone else – I have a limited vocabulary when money comes into the conversation.)

About those people under 55 who be cut off from Medicare as we know it . . . . will they continue paying into Medicare until retirement? Is that money going to current recipients or is it going to go into one of those lockboxes and held for the use of those future happy retirees to use when they go shopping for policies in the private market? Or is that money going to finance the share that government supposedly will provide. If they’re going to keep paying into ‘Medicare’, will workers be paying at the same rate? So many questions. So few answers.

The Friday Night Oldie

This is so dedicated to Todd!

100 ways to leave your movie

Greg Mitchell at The Nation took the trouble to visit Rotten Tomatoes and see what critics around the planet are saying about Atlas Shrugged, the movie, Part the First which opened today.

A dud. A flop. A disaster. A bore. A waste of time. Not even fun.

Mitchell points out that: 

Somehow, Atlas Shrugged, Part I (yes! more to look forward to!), which opens Friday, has at this writing achieved the rare feat [a 0% rating) . . .  not a single critic to date, from major and minor outlet, high or lowest of low of lowbrow, likes it one bit. 

(Betcha the most famous namesake of them all, Sen. Paul, likes it a lot.)

I think it’s safe now . . .

The good Todd spent an hour at my laptop and left a malware scan running for another hour, during which interregnum we had a nice long visit over Diet Cokes. I learned that his wife and I had bought the exact same ‘sensible’ shoes and we both did it yesterday. Somewhere Kevin Bacon is grinning.

By the way, Bacon was delicious playing a ‘Kevin Bacon fan’ in a recent commercial. Delicious.

It appears I am once again functioning. My laptop’s load is somewhat lighter since Todd entered into his frenzy of deactivation and uninstall, calling over his shoulder all the while  to ask if I used this or that or this. Or that.

Tomorrow – it’s only a day away

From Atrios yesterday – this is going to be a real problem in our future. Are we even thinking about it? Are the folks we elect to think about such things thinking about it? Probably not. Guess we’ll just wait till granny’s pantry runs out and she says ‘now what?’.

Paratransit Is Going To Be Expensive

“I don’t know how universal this trend is, but suburbs are not well-equipped to provide transit services for those who can’t drive.

. . .  half a century later, suburban communities designed around the autombile are facing difficult questions.

What happens when many residents can no longer get behind the wheel?

Who will bear the costs of getting them to groceries, to doctors and to a host of other places?

“As they age, they need more services, and those suburbs are not designed for more services,” said McIlwain, of the Urban Land Institute.

My life is not my own

At present, my life belongs to an aging Dell VOSTRO that prefers to take its own sweet time doing whatever I ask it to do. It also thinks it’s just fine to leave in the middle of a task and go home for a nap. Sometimes, when I ask it to come to work and bring all its tricks, it leaves the trick bag home. It’s doing everything but putting thumbs in its ears and wiggling the fingers.

I seem to have periodic access – like right now – but  VOSTRO could experience  another PMS attack at any time. Longtime lifesaver Todd, who is really cute and quite shy, was alerted this morning and has already promised to get here today. A fine fellow is Todd.

Moe unbloggy


Moe sends apologies, but is not blogging due to a computer meltdown 😦 and will be back online as soon as technical issues are resolved…stay tuned…

Man up, grow a spine


Today Glenn Greenwald explained why Obama continually folds on tax cuts to the rich and cuts in social services  — it’s not because the President and his advisers are weak, incompetent negotiators unable to stand up to crafty, intransigent Republicans — things turn out the way they do because Obama and the Democrats, with few exceptions, want them to turn out that way:

Conventional D.C. wisdom — that which Obama vowed to subvert but has done as much as any President to bolster — has held for decades that Democratic Presidents succeed politically by being as “centrist” or even as conservative as possible. That attracts independents, diffuses GOP enthusiasm, casts the President as a triangulating conciliator, and generates raves from the DC press corps — all while keeping more than enough Democrats and progressives in line through a combination of anti-GOP fear-mongering and partisan loyalty.

Isn’t that exactly the winning combination that will maximize the President’s re-election chances? Just consider the polling data on last week’s budget cuts, which most liberal commentators scorned. Americans support the “compromise” by a margin of 58-38%; that support includes a majority of independents, substantial GOP factions, and 2/3 of Democrats.

And yes, the President “got tough” in today’s budget speech and swore he wouldn’t cave in to the Republicans: “we do not have to sacrifice the America we believe in. And as long as I’m President, we won’t.”

We’ll see.

Colbert PAC dot com

See full size image

The motto? Making a better tomorrow, tomorrow. Here.

Teh sex!!!

In a comment thread below about Planned Parenthood, ojmo links to these smart-and-more-adult-than-our-congress-critters college students from Oberlin. Gotta love these kids.

William F. Buckley did not heart Ayn Rand

Ayn Rand – the only pure capitalist ever to take a second breath. Her novels celebrate self interest and individualism of the sort never seen in the real world. She is long dead, but her devotees seem to be rising from their graves and making themselves heard here and there. Even her novel The Fountainhead just got its second  Her novel Atlas Shrugged has just gotten its first Hollywood treatment.  Fountainhead was memorialized in film decades ago with Gary Cooper and Patricia Neal. I am curious to find out how they deal with John Galt’s 7-hour speech? (thanks to our ‘rational Republican’ Sean in the comments for the correction!)

Here’s William F. Buckey – founder of modern conservatism –  in 2003 with Charlie Rose, talking about Rand:

NOTE: Sherry at A Feather Adrift reminds us this morning that wunderkind Rep. Paul Ryan, he of the 2.8% unemployment budget, is a Randian. Elvis save us.

But that was s-o-o-o 2007

Now that I hear Republicans swooning over “Obama’s own debt commission’ as the gold standard which Obama isn’t honoring because he’s so perfidious, perhaps those Republicans also agree these words from the co-chair of that august commission, former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-WY)?

The biggest spending president in the history of the U.S.? The answer is George W. Bush not President Obama. Never vetoed a single bill, spending bill for six and a half years. And then the Republicans sit there and say, yeah, but this guy is worse than he is three to one.

From Taegan Goddard, via Talk and Politics

What do teachers make?


Righteous rant on what it means to be a teacher:

At least someone’s getting along

I don’t think these two of Elvis’s creatures are thinking of political positioning.

Tech bleg

The embeded video in the post below is loading for some people and not for others. I don’t know why. If the video is/isn’t okay on your browser, would you drop a comment please and let me know?

The origianl video is here.

A lesson from history. I doubt it’s lost on Obama.

The video below is the panel discussion on a pending government shutdown from PBS’ Washington Week show broadcast on November 17, 1995. It’s a fascinating example of the old adage “the more things change, the more they stay the same”.

The arguments were very much the same as today. The debt was a huge issue for the public; the debt clock had just been erected in Times Square and Ross Perot ran for President on the problem of the debt – he got almost 20% of the vote, which for a third party candidate in this country is enormous.

In that debate fifteen years ago – as seen by politicians and pundits –  Clinton was seen as a compromiser and Gingrich as strong and unmovable. Gingrich’s House had made ‘compromise’ a dirty word which pleased the base in those days. The House Republican freshmen and sophomores were largely new and from outside government. They ran on standing firm about the budget and  social issues, which were more dominant than today – the Religious Right had serious power.

The final outcome? Clinton won the public’s vote; at the end of the battle, he was more popular than he’d been when it began. Republican numbers plummeted and the journey to Gingrich’s ultimate disgrace had begun. Of course, neither Newt nor his congress were done. They went on to impeach Clinton, but he came out of that one even more popular.

Bill Clinton not only bested Gingrich – he beat the national debt too.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Pay attention. Your grandmother is speaking to you!

Thanks TexasTrailerParkTrash for this. Florida grannies scold those Republicans of the FL House of Reps for thier silliness. Viva the viral!

From Politico – meet Title X

Primer on Title X: the fund behind the Planned Parenthood rider

With hours remaining before a government shutdown, Title X has become the most-talked about title in D.C. since “Game Change,” but what exactly is it?

House Republicans say there’s no long-term budget deal without defunding it; Senate Democrats, like Dianne Feinstein of California, say the GOP is using the policy point as a way to “really sock it to women.” Many have referred to repealing the measure as defunding “Planned Parenthood” — but that’s not quite the entire picture.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, the umbrella of organizations funded by Title X extends far beyond Planned Parenthood. In 2008, 88 grantees provided family planning services to 5 million women and men through 4,500 clinics, and other health centers and nonprofits.

According to a fact sheet from the Guttmacher Institute, which tracks reproductive health issues, of the 36 million women who needed contraception in 2008, 17.4 million used publicly funded services.

Additionally, Title X only provided for 12 percent of public funds made available for such care. Medicaid, by contrast, accounted for 71 percent.

Title X was approved in 1970, championed on the Hill by former President and then-Congressman George H.W. Bush and signed into law by Richard Nixon.

“We need to make population and family planning household words.” Bush said in 1969 when the legislation was being debated. “We need to take sensationalism out of this topic so that it can no longer be used by militants who have no real knowledge of the voluntary nature of the program but, rather are using it as a political steppingstone. If family planning is anything, it is a public health matter.”

CSpan has an exquisite ear

Just got home and checked in with CSPAN 2 to see in whose hands rest the fate of the nation this hour. Over visuals of tweets from the floor, CSpan is broadcasting the pianoforte (or whatever) sound of The Keystone Cops.

Friday Night Oldie

The Committments doing a little tribute to Wilson Pickett. Appropriate perhaps for this very strange day. “I’m Gonna Wait Till the Midnight Hour”.

The adults have left the room.

Okay, so our one-story-at-a-time-all-the-time news media are obsessed with the play by play of ‘will they or won’t they?’. Will they pass the 2010-11 budget? Will they pass a continuing resolution? 

Whatever they pass – and they’ll pass something – it takes us to October. So the work on the  2011-12 budget needs to be underway now. And in July we have the matter of raising the debt limit, which is something I believe we have done pretty much every time.

So something will resolve today’s cliff hanger. What’s the next one?  And the next one?

It has occurred to me that maybe all the Republicans  really want is to keep the government shut down long enough to see Grover Norquist smile. Just once.

Thanks Ric. I needed that.

Over at The Grumpy Lion, Ric provides a laugh this morning; smart and really funny. You’ll have to go over there for all of it, but to whet your whistle:

Dear Noah,
We could have sworn you said the ark wasn’t leaving till 5.
Dear Icebergs,
Sorry to hear about the global warming. Karma’s a bitch.
The Titanic
Dear America,
You produced Miley Cyrus. Bieber is your punishment.
Dear Yahoo,
I’ve never heard anyone say, “I don’t know, let’s Yahoo! it…” just saying…

and there’s much much more.

Beck: deeper into the socialist puzzle


Lifted from THE D.C. DOUGLAS BLOG, apropos the Beck/Fox split announced today.

Dem edges Republican in Wisconsin state Supreme Court race


WaPo’s Greg Sargent reports:

In the nationally-watched Wisconsin state Supreme Court race, liberal challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg has edged ahead of conservative sitting justice David Prosser by just over 200 votes.

We still don’t know who is going to win, and we may not know for some time to come. But even if Kloppenburg loses, labor strategists argue, this will have constituted a victory for unions and Dems — proof of Scott Walker’s continuing toxicity, and of the staying power of the grassroots energy he unleashed. They’re right.

Stay tuned.

UPDATE: Thursday Evening from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel website:

In a political bombshell, the clerk in a Republican stronghold released new vote totals adding a net total of 7,582 new votes in the tight state Supreme Court race to Justice David Prosser, swinging the race significantly in his favor.

Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus said Thursday that she failed to save in her computer and consequently report 14,315 votes cast in the city of Brookfield, omitting them entirely in an unofficial tally released after Tuesday’s election. The new totals give 10,859 more votes to Prosser from Brookfield and 3,456 more to Kloppenburg, she said. Smaller discrepancies turned up in two other communities as well.

Grifters, the whole lot of ’em

Bristol Palin’s Nonprofit Paid Her Seven Times What It Spent On Actual Teen Pregnancy Prevention

In 2009, Sarah Palin’s daughter Bristol joined a teen pregnancy prevention nonprofit called the Candie’s Foundation. Today, the Associated Press reported that the Candie’s Foundation released its 2009 tax information, revealing that Bristol was paid a salary of $262,500.

But a closer examination of the tax form by ThinkProgress shows that the group disbursed only $35,000 in grants to actual teen pregnancy health and counseling clinics.

from Think Progress

That’s about right

By Monte Wolverton, via Dave at The Conservative Lie, who got it from Bill at Under the Lobsterscope, who probably got it at Cagles Cartoons . . . we really do need a WORD for this pass along phoenomenon.


Ezra Klein haz da stuff!

So young, so smart

Klein, an early star of the blogsphere, now blogs at The Washington Post on ‘Economic and Domestic Policy – and lots of it!’. His blog, Wonkbook, is a daily  link-rich heads up on what’s happening in DC. I highly recommend subscribing.

By the way, I found The Washington Post website annoyingly difficult to navigate. The link from the daily email failed and at the site itself, finding Klein’s column wasn’t easy. Even the search function was a little wobbly.

The clowns in Tallahassee just won’t stop with the stupid

Via today’s Herald Tribune, from the Orlando Sentinel, the Florida legislature is still playing their silly games and refusing to get serious.

Republican politicians . . . swept into office last fall promising ‘jobs, jobs, jobs’. . . but when the 2011 session started last month, all that changed. The first five weeks have been dominated by discussion of bills to regulate and restrict abortions . . . and broaden the rights of individuals to keep guns and wear them openly.

Also in Tallahassee:

A Republican was so offended by the use of the word ‘uterus’ in the chamber that it was banned after Rep. Randolph of Orlando suggested that his wife incorporate her uterus so the government would stop trying to regulate it. 

So Frank Cerabino, a columnist at Cox Newspapers writes of the ‘uterus rebvellion’ and says:where this leaves the word ‘prostate’ is unclear, but it’s fair to say that all medical terms for mommy parts – especially fallopian – are hereby placed on the naughty list until further notice.” Women, including Randolph’s wife have taken to social media. ‘Uterus’ now has a facebook page. The “Uterati’ are gathering. And they may form a “U-PAC’.  

Elvis save us all from these fools.