Saturday, July 5, 2008

Comment of the Weekend

Hendrik Hertzberg on his New Yorker blog:
Far too late for it to do anybody any good, Jesse Helms has died. He has done so on Independence Day, which, since he was born too late to own slaves and in too liberal an age to allow him to outlaw sedition, will forever be his only resemblance to Thomas Jefferson and John Adams.
It is rude to speak ill of the dead. Luckily, I did so ahead of time

Friday, July 4, 2008

Big Time

Sexy Beijing makes it to NPR. (Okay, it's not CNN, but Su Fei will probably outlive them anyway. I mean China is the future, right?)

Oh, and Click and Clack are going animated on PBS. Awesome! (Eeew)

Okay, maybe they should stick to radio.


By Dustin Hoffman on the Leno show 7-4-08. Husband: Why don't you ever tell me when you're having an orgasm. Wife: Because you're never here.

Dorothy Sayers, closet contrarienne?

Time and trouble will tame an advanced young woman, but an advanced old woman is uncontrollable by any earthly force. Lord Peter Wimsey
  • As I grow older and older
And totter toward the tomb
I find that I care less and less
Who goes to bed with whom
More here.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Michelle Obama Lunch Seattle

is on July 17 to raise money for Chris Gregoire's campaign. Looks like it's a $200 minimum. Details here
Okay, it's for rich people. But the O's will be back, it's a historic campaign.

Eat Your Veggies, Now

More on jobs from Krugman:
The U.S. economy needs to add more than 100,000 jobs each month just to keep up with growth in the working-age population. Over the past 6 months, nonfarm payroll employment has fallen more than 400,000. So job creation this year has fallen well over a million jobs short

The Onion

I love the Onion! Thanks, Andrew Sullivan. Bush Tours America To Survey Damage Caused By His Disastrous Presidency

Cowboy Love 21st Century Style

From the SacBee: Jeff Barr, left, and William Wes Wilkinson, two cowboys from Elverta who were the first male couple married in Woodland on Monday. "We met at a Gay Rodeo Association barn dance eight years ago," said Wilkinson, 43. "We're both officers of the association. … I proposed to him and he immediately proposed to me, and we accepted at the same time while we were driving down the road in our truck." The couple have 5 acres with three horses, three calves, nine chickens and two dogs. "That seems to be our family," Wilkinson said. But Barr's parents, Walter and Louise Barr of Moraga, were present to witness the ceremony. "We have to do that," Walter Barr said of supporting their son.

Obama: Not Changing on NEW FISA Position

and not changing on Iraq no matter how misreported it's been all day.
FISA statement here.
Rain is over, think I'll go feed the birds.

Recession Update

From Dean Baker at TPM:
The economy has entered a slow motion recession. It is not seeing the dramatic plunges in jobs that characterized prior recessions, but the collapse of the housing bubble is slowly sinking more and more sectors of the economy. Total private sector job gains in the Bush years may fall below 3 million by November. The annual average for the Clinton years was 2.6 million.

Woke Up This Mornin'

and it was still thundering and lightening. Over 11 hours of it by my count, extremely unusual if not uprecedented for this corner of the Pacific Northwest during my 44 years — give or take a few — out here.
I was going to look up "thunder causes" etc on Wikipedia since it's about time I learned, but got sidetracked by the FISA discussions at TPM and Glenn Greenwald. Especially interesting in light of yesterday's decision by the California federal court judge who's got all the telecom lawsuits.
He basically said Bushco's claim that as Commander in Chief over the GWT (Great War on Terror, otherwise known as America's Reichstag fire) he could violate the FISA law.
The judge, appointed by Shrimpy's father, is the third so far to say the same thing, and this decision could change some votes on the FISA bill, scheduled for the floor of the Senate on Tuesday.
In the meantime, one lightening flash hit so close it turned on my desk light, which also made an odd sound.
Guess I won't go outside to refill the birdfeeder after all.
As you were, then.

Got Your Check Yet?

Guess who's getting stimulated by the economic stimulus plan? Heh.
NEW YORK, July 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- An unforeseen and surprising beneficiary of the Economic Stimulus Plan, a plan that George Bush contends will "boost our economy and encourage job creation," has surfaced this week. An independent market-research firm, AIMRCo (Adult Internet Market Research Company), has discovered that many websites focused on adult or erotic material have experienced an upswing in sales in the recent weeks since checks have appeared in millions of Americans' mailboxes across the country. According to Kirk Mishkin, Head Research Consultant for AIMRCo, "Many of the sites we surveyed have reported 20-30% growth in membership rates since mid-May when the checks were first sent out, and typically the summer is a slow period for this market." Jillian Fox, spokeswoman for, one of the sites reporting figures to AIMRCo, added, "In a June 15, 2008 survey to our members, thirty two percent of respondents referenced the recent stimulus package as part of their decision to either become a new member, or renew an existing membership."

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The Latest Fashion Craze? Polygamy

From the Salt Lake City Tribune:
ELDORADO, Texas - A new clothing brand may be born out of the Texas raid on a polygamous sect. FLDS women for the first time are offering their handmade, distinctive style of children's clothes to the public through the Web site Launched initially to provide Texas authorities with clothing for FLDS children in custody, the online store now is aimed at helping their mothers earn a living. The venture, which has already drawn queries from throughout the U.S., is banking on interest in modest clothes, curiosity and charity to be a success.

Universal Health Care: The Strategy

From the Boston Globe:
Senator Edward M. Kennedy's office has begun convening a series of meetings involving a wide array of healthcare specialists to begin laying the groundwork for a new attempt to provide universal healthcare, according to participants.
The discussions signal that Kennedy, who instructed aides to begin holding the meetings while he is in Massachusetts undergoing treatment for brain cancer, intends to work vigorously to build bipartisan support for a major healthcare initiative when he returns to Washington in the fall. Those involved in the discussions said Kennedy believes it is extremely important to move as quickly as possible on overhauling the healthcare system after the next president takes office in January in order to capitalize on the momentum behind a new administration. Kennedy was an early endorser of Senator Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee who is also a member of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, which Kennedy chairs. Obama's Senate staff has attended the roundtable discussions. If Obama is elected, Kennedy's effort to identify points of agreement among senators could smooth the way for the new administration to press ahead on universal healthcare, which Obama has promised to implement within four years.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Politics Is Boring, Let's Try...Pandas!

For Atlantic writer James Fallows' complete, narrated slide show, go here.

FISA: Again, Now, With Feeling

Russ Feingold and Chris Dodd got Harry Reid to postpone action on the awful omnibus bill that expands the government's aability to eavesdrop on phone and emails without meaningful court oversight and also offers immunity from some 40 lawsuits filed against the three phone companies that helped the government spy on their customers.
True Majority has a brief video of Feingold thanking people for helping pressure the Senate on the bill and an easy way to sign up for another reminder to your senators.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Economy Down, Graverobbing Up

Well, they're not like digging up bodies, but they like that external bronze stuff like flower vases and grave markers.

The National Campaign

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee today began airing radio ads tying selected House Republicans to George Bush. All indications are that it's a winning strategy. Some lefty bloggers think it's dangerous. I think it's funny and memorable. Can the R's hire an Obama impersonator to do the same thing? Well, first off, Obama's not an easy parody. We'll see.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Gig Harbor Barbie: Day 9 (of 9)

Mattel recently announced the release of limited-edition Barbie Dolls for the Greater Washington market:

(Nine of these are making the email rounds among a variety of Puget Sound area women. I received it in a forward from my daughter, who works in Bremerton.
There will be one a day until they run out.)

'Gig Harbor Barbie'
The modern day homemaker Barbie is available with Ford WindStar Minivan and matching gym outfit. She gets lost easily and has no full-time occupation. Traffic jamming cell phone sold separately.

I Might Marry This Guy

except I think he's French.
Remi Gaillard.

Well, maybe not marry. In another video he knocks down a bicycler.

Woman Behind John McCain

His mom, of course. Nice profile from NYT, calling up nostalgia for privilege and courtesy, ya know, like in the movies.

Back To That Iran Thing

There's still all sorts of scary stuff pointing in the direction of a likely attack on Iran. But I leave it to those who parse the evidence with knowledge, background and, most important, reliable sources, to help me decide if I should be worried. Seymour Hersch is one of the best, and he's got a new story out in the New Yorker about Bush's $400 million black ops adventure inside the country. It doesn't help to learn that the CIA is involved. I thought the administration hated the CIA. And besides, they don't seem to ever get anything right, according to Tim Weiner's Legacy of Ashes, the best book I read last year. Anyway, I've decided to be worried again. Here's a tidbit from Hersch's story, which is quite long but always worth it.
Late last year, Congress agreed to a request from President Bush to fund a major escalation of covert operations against Iran, according to current and former military, intelligence, and congressional sources. These operations, for which the President sought up to four hundred million dollars, were described in a Presidential Finding signed by Bush, and are designed to destabilize the country’s religious leadership. The covert activities involve support of the minority Ahwazi Arab and Baluchi groups and other dissident organizations. They also include gathering intelligence about Iran’s suspected nuclear-weapons program. Clandestine operations against Iran are not new. United States Special Operations Forces have been conducting cross-border operations from southern Iraq, with Presidential authorization, since last year. These have included seizing members of Al Quds, the commando arm of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, and taking them to Iraq for interrogation, and the pursuit of “high-value targets” in the President’s war on terror, who may be captured or killed. But the scale and the scope of the operations in Iran, which involve the Central Intelligence Agency and the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), have now been significantly expanded, according to the current and former officials. Many of these activities are not specified in the new Finding, and some congressional leaders have had serious questions about their nature. Under federal law, a Presidential Finding, which is highly classified, must be issued when a covert intelligence operation gets under way and, at a minimum, must be made known to Democratic and Republican leaders in the House and the Senate and to the ranking members of their respective intelligence committees—the so-called Gang of Eight. Money for the operation can then be reprogrammed from previous appropriations, as needed, by the relevant congressional committees, which also can be briefed.