Monthly Archives: December 2013

Happy New Year from Moe

Damn but these things keep coming. Oh well. Here’s to ya’. Best wishes and all.

Here’s something lovely.

Happy New Year from Dubai

Tonight they went for the Guiness world record for largest fireworks display ever. No official word yet.

Even I didn’t know it was this bad

From a column in The Hill today:

Even by the standards of a divided Congress . . . there has never been such an unproductive session of Congress.

NBC’s “First Read” recently published a chart comparing the productivity of today’s divided Congress (57 laws passed) to the work undertaken by a divided Congress during President Reagan’s terms – when Republicans controlled the Senate and Democrats controlled the House. The 97th, 98th and 99th Congresses respectively passed 473 laws, 623 laws, and 663 laws.

The article concluded: “It’s not even a close call. That [Democratic] House got a lot more done with its GOP rivals than this GOP House has with its [Democratic] counterparts.”

Merry Christmas

Thanks Arb, for this and for your perfect Christmas post, here.

Chistmas Eve as only Judy Garland can evoke it

I’ve posted this for a few years. With it I wish you all a very Merry Christmas.

I think this is funny. I do. Really.

Of course he poops Peppermints!

Is the War on Christmas still on?

https://i2.wp.com/www.rawstory.com/rs/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/fox_ff_santa_121220e-615x345.jpgI’ve not been following FOX News’ annual tradition of pretending (ratings, people, ratings!) that in this – the world’s most Christian nation – Christmas and indeed Christianity itself are under attack by hordes of liberal invaders carrying their vicious “Happy Holidays” flag.

https://i2.wp.com/cloudfront.mediamatters.org/static/images/item/20121213-foxhappyholidays.jpg

Uh-oh, not so fast Bill. There are still battles to be fought!

Anyone know how it’s going? I hear Generalissimo Bill O’Reilly (the very fellow who, when he launched the counterattack nine years ago to defend yours and my right to say the sacred words “Merry Christmas”, was hawking ‘Holiday Gifts’ at The Factor’s online store) is now declaring victory.

So a made-up War and a made-up Victory – gotta be some coin in that!

Justice Ginsberg: please resign before the 2014 elections

(PLEASE NOTE: Ginsberg is my favorite Justice – she’s smart and savvy and full of mischief.)

It’s futile to pretend any more that the Supreme Court is non-partisan. Justices are people (the human, not the corporate kind – at least not yet) and don’t have identical values or beliefs. Their perspectives – on law, history, social justice, the U.S. Constitution – are informed by cultural identity, ethnicity, education, religion and probably gender. This has always been true.

Of course a Court is, ideally, charged with rising above the personal and interpreting the law. But we don’t get ideal; we get nine mere mortals who must somehow work it all out and render ‘judgement’ on a legal appeal.  (Note to Scalia: judgement involves judging. All things are not self-evident.)

Today’s Court isn’t doing too well with that ‘rising above’ thing. A lot of decisions are nakedly political and too much of the time we have 5 to 4 votes favoring the Right. Also:

  • The 2014 elections could very well change the majority in the Senate.
  • Justice Ginsberg is the oldest person on the bench and will be 81 in 2014.
  • Justice Ginsberg, while mentally acute (unlike Scalia, the next oldest), is physically unwell and has had cancer more than once. Her health could decline further.
  • A Republican Senate can deny Obama a majority on any Supreme Court  nominee. (UPDATE: James reminds me in comments that confirming a Supreme still requires the ‘super majority’ of 60 votes, but still . . . )
  • If Republicans take the White House and hold the Senate in 2016, that doesn’t bear thinking about.

She and Scalia have for decades enjoyed a close friendship, so perhaps they could make the leap together – before 2014. Solidarity and all. (A bit of trivia – after Reagan nominated Scalia in 1986, he was confirmed by a Senate vote of 98-2.)

So I peek out from my hiding place

and what do I see? Oh, the humanity . . .

xmas oh the humanity

The real Friday Oldie

Christmas songs don’t count. And even though this may not quite qualify either (at least for my own generation), I’ve adored it for 40 years. So there! Plus, I think I owe it to you after Dennis Day.

This performance is from Live Aid in the 1980’s. (The song runs only the first 5:15 here.)

 

 

An important message within this tale of two photos

Same scene, same time, different angles. Partisans will choose which to embrace.

wo

As Josh Marshall put it at Talking Points Memo:

The photos appear to have been taken at nearly the same moment, but from two different angles. And they tell different stories.

As I said in my headline, these two photos contain an important lesson about assumptions and jumping to conclusions.

But that said and friendly smiles notwithstanding I see intentional cruelty, nearly of the Westboro Baptist Church variety. Here, they’re gathered outside a Houston restaurant to “protest” the meeting inside of the state chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a gun safety advocacy group formed in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting.

Is this better?

Currently viral on Facebook – and wonderful. A capella at its best.

Too soon?

If it is, let this one be seen as a genuine historical artifact. (Has anyone living today even heard of Dennis Day?) Because I had Irish grandparents, Day was well known in my family. An Irish Tenor with a brogue claiming Christmas for the Irish? Those grandparents loved the damn thing. (Listen for the “Santy” instead of “Santa”. My father was the only person I ever heard say it that way; probably came from his own childhood.

A way to go yet

IMG_1958But it’s a beginning. Have to be ready for the 14th, when Logan comes to help finish the decorations and make some cookies (a lame effort but always fun). He’s eight this year so has now done this with me for over half his life.

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So it’s late. . .

. . . and by almost two weeks. I meant to put this up on the 22nd; still, it remains  relevant and reminds us of how twisted our politics can get. The more things change, the more . . . .

He believed in our better natures

“Resentment is like drinking poison and then hoping it will kill your enemies.”

“A leader. . .is like a shepherd. He stays behind the flock, letting the most nimble Nelson Mandela6a00d83451f25369e200e54f0c830c8833-800winelson_mandela-               go out ahead, whereupon the others follow, not realizing that all along they are being directed from behind.”

“I am not saint, unless you think of a saint as a sinner who keeps on trying.”

“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”

“Overcoming poverty is not a task of charity, it is an act of justice”

MANDELA6X432(Sharing the Nobel Peace Prize with his one time jailer, South African President de Klerk.)

Calling Bill O’Reilly and all Christian warriors

Some damn organization calling itself the National Republican Congressional Committee has joined the vile War on Christmas. Suit up Patriots! Let’s get ’em.
Yep, this was inevitable. Also, it's not a video. Stop clicking it.