Saturday, February 7, 2009

Tom Daschle

"In Washington there are whores and there are whores, and then there is Tom Daschle."

It's important. Read it. This is the system and party is irrelevant. I'd been staying away from Greenwald because he tells me things I don't want to know.


fabulous web site.

Friday, February 6, 2009

I Love Jesus, But I Drink A Little

Facebook friends are bursting with the video of Ellen's hilarious interview with 88-year-old Gladys Hardy. Everyone should know there's now a t-shirt and an active web site. h/t Elena
P.S. I would like to point out, politely, that Contrarienne had this video a week ago, because she finds it so you don't have to.
I was going to call this "I Love Gladys, But I Drink A Little," except I never know when blogger is going to give me the old post template without the crossout function.
The following video is from the web site.

The Dog Ate Steinbeck's Masterpiece

In this case, the first manuscript for Of Mice And Men. But he re-wrote it. I learned that and much more today from Garrison Keillor's The Writer's Almanac because my son-in-law left the radio tuned to the public radio station I never listen to.
I usually listed to the jazz station that does not carry Keillor.
But when I switch back, I will still have Keillor because you can subscribe to the podcast and get a daily email reminding you of it.
He read the poem Uncle Jim today, and I also now have a new poet to remember to read.

Uncle Jim

by Peter Meinke

What the children remember about Uncle Jim
is that on the train to Reno to get divorced
so he could marry again
he met another woman and woke up in California.
It took him seven years to untangle that dream
but a man who could sing like Uncle Jim
was bound to get in scrapes now and then:
he expected it and we expected it.

Mother said, It's because he was the middle child,
and Father said, Yeah, where there's trouble
Jim's in the middle.

When he lost his voice he lost all of it
to the surgeon's knife and refused the voice box
they wanted to insert. In fact he refused
almost everything. Look, they said,
it's up to you. How many years
do you want to live? and Uncle Jim
held up one finger.
The middle one.

"Uncle Jim" by Peter Meinke, from Liquid Paper: New and Selected Poems. © University of Pittsburgh Press, 1991. Reprinted with permission. (buy now)

The Dog Ate Steinbeck

it is sooo tempting to just leave this up.
okay, i will

Feb. 6 is World Tango Day

Nah, not really. I just happened to be over at YouTube looking for Obama's speech and thought about Sally and Pablo and, sure enough, they're there. Quite a bit from The Tango Lesson on YouTube. I love tango.

And there's always Al (although Robert Duval does it better). Yeah, I could spend all day on YouTube watching tango.

Obama's Speech Last Night

got the D's excited and NPR tells me the Senate still is expected to pass the stimulus today.
Somebody else is saying Sunday.

Krugman Holds His Own

against the idiots and I get a 13-minute economics lesson. What I don't understand is how he can maintain his cool and talk over the talker overers until they just sound like the liars they are. Of course, his was not in the studio. I would have strangled any one of them or, preferably, all three.

Foodie Alert

We in the Seattle area (I'm two hours and one ferry ride away) are lucky to have such delights as Trader Joe's and Whole Foods, but I hardly ever get to go to either of them.
But I'm only 45 minutes away from the Poulsbo Central Market, which also has outlets on Bainbridge Island and operates stores in Shoreline, Mill Creek, calling itself the Ballard Market (15th Ave. one block north of Market Street) and Greenwood Market (on north 85th and 3rd Ave.)
I assume they're all as delightful as I found the Poulsbo store yesterday, the first time in about two years since I've been.
Wonderful prepared food and they carry a full array of my favorite curry and Indian related food items in a section called International Market. I was looking for a Pho base, and sure enough, found two. While marveling over all the great stuff, another customer convinced me to try furikake, which she said is great on rice and eggs, pasta and salades.
I got the traditional flavor with toasted sesame and seaweed and am looking forward to trying the kimchi flavor as well.
I will regret to the end of days not buying a can of spotted dick from the Brits. It was worth it just for the amusement factor alone.
(They also had a better selection of organic red wines   -- minimum sulfites, which are bad for respiratory  problems --- than even my local coop, which is very well stocked.)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Yes! Yes! Yes!

From TPM:
A federal grand jury probe of the firings of nine U.S. attorneys during the Bush administration is focusing on the role played by recently retired Sen. Pete Domenici (R-NM) and former senior Bush White House aides in the 2006 dismissal of David Iglesias as U.S. attorney for New Mexico, according to legal sources familiar with the inquiry.
And Rove is cooperating with the AG's investigations now that he realizes ignoring subpoenas won't work forever.
Oh, yes, I likeee.


Whatever Happened to Sally Potter?

I know, you're asking "who is Sally Potter." She wrote, directed, sang and danced in The Tango Lesson, which also featured her dancing lover and is on my favorite films list because of the preceding as well as a love of that dance.
I think she made Orlando with Tilda Swinton all those bloody years ago.
And I was wondering only the other day what was she up to, and suddenly Huffpo features a Sally story. Apparently she's busy getting Jude Law gussied up to play a transvestite supermodel in a movie also featuring Judy Dench.

Street Art

Andrew Sullivan featured this today, and it looked familiar. Like I might have used it before. Anyway, it's cool. And visible from Google Earth.
Today, after more than a year of planning, 2000 square meters of rooftops have been covered with photos of the eyes and faces of the women of Kibera. The material used is water resistant so that the photo itself will protect the fragile houses in the heavy rain season. The train that passes on this line through Kibera at least twice a day has also been covered with eyes from the women that live below it. With the eyes on the train, the bottom half of the their faces have be pasted on corrugated sheets on the slope that leads down from the tracks to the rooftops. The idea being that for the split second the train passes, their eyes will match their smiles and their faces will be complete.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


gets the Mark Twain award tomorrow night, 9 p.m. PBS.

You May Not Remember

Monica Goodling, but I miss her. I really do. (Snark.)
And I kinda like this Obama guy, too.
On Monday, the Justice Department undid a small part of the damage that top officials caused in a scandal of politicized hiring and firing during the Bush administration. The department rehired an attorney who was improperly removed from her job because she was rumored to be a lesbian...As NPR reported in April, a top aide to the attorney general had heard a rumor that Hagen was a lesbian. Discrimination based on sexual orientation is against Justice Department rules. But Monica Goodling, senior counsel to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, had Hagen removed from her job anyway.
Kudos to NPR on breaking this story originally.

Daschle Withdraws

Wow. Just wow.
I thought they'd tough it out. Biden and Obama were making phone calls for him yesterday.
So, it must have been the Senate colleagues behind closed doors that clinched it. Look, Tom, the R's are gonna distract the country with this for weeks and we've got a stimulus package to take care of. Do yourself and us a favor. Do what's right.
Okay, or maybe we'll out the rest of it and then what?
Yeah my jaw dropped.
UPDATE: I was gonna add "it was greed what got 'im."
And sure enough, one of Sullivan's sources supplies this:

Tammy Duckworth!!

I kinda like this guy Obama. From TPM:

WASHINGTON (Feb. 3, 2009) - President Barack Obama has announced his intent to nominate L. Tammy Duckworth, director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs, to be the Assistant Secretary of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs for the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)...As a helicopter pilot flying combat missions in 2004, she suffered grave injuries when her helicopter was struck by a rocket-propelled grenade, losing both legs and partial use of one arm.

Quote O' Teh Day

Everybody knows that legislatures are like sausage factories (Otto von Bismark).
But there are sausage factories and then there are sausage factories, as The Commenter Formerly Known As NC Steve Note at TPM
Reid and Pelosi make sausage like Oscar Mayer makes hot dogs. Back when Delay and Frist were in charge of the grinder, it was more like Sweeney Todd and Mrs. Lovett's meat pie business. 

Monday, February 2, 2009

A Little Precious

meaning a tad overwritten (or underedited) but Esquire's profile of the man who ran the Obama campaign is worth a read anyway.
Overwritten as in:
Plouffe's face has a windburned clean to it...His mouth becomes a cartoon shape when he smiles, a sunny crescent.

Okay, way overwritten.

Krugman's Angry

at his colleagues in the economics profession. He's been ranting almost daily for a week.
It's inside baseball stuff for sure, but I try to keep up because it's so vital that we get this economy moving.
Anyway, here's a sample:
..we’re living in a Dark Age of macroeconomics. Remember, what defined the Dark Ages wasn’t the fact that they were primitive — the Bronze Age was primitive, too. What made the Dark Ages dark was the fact that so much knowledge had been lost, that so much known to the Greeks and Romans had been forgotten by the barbarian kingdoms that followed. And that’s what seems to have happened to macroeconomics in much of the economics profession. The knowledge that S=I doesn’t imply the Treasury view — the general understanding that macroeconomics is more than supply and demand plus the quantity equation — somehow got lost in much of the profession. I’m tempted to go on and say something about being overrun by barbarians in the grip of an obscurantist faith, but I guess I won’t. Oh wait, I guess I just did.

Shorty And Gus

Shorty weighs about 10 lbs. now, about half what she will be at full size. Gus, 70-80 lbs. He seems to like her.

Personal Note

Jim Whittaker, the first American to reach the summit of Mt. Everest (in 1963), has lived down the road from me for decades. But I'd never actually seen him in person until this morning.
As I was driving back from my exercise for health class, a continuation of the pulmonary rehab I"ve been doing since early November, he was getting mail out of his box just paces away from my box. Then he turned and walked back toward the side road where he lives.
He didn't look 80, which Wiki tells me he will be in a week. And, unlike me, he probably walks quite comfortably all the way down the road.
For some reason, it was exilerating to see him, maybe because I have been breathing so well lately and that in itself is exilerating.

The White House Team

Vanity Fair has a series of portraits by Annie Liebovitz taken inside the White House on inauguration day. I like this one best because these are my people, watching "the press."

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Quote O' Teh Day

From JTMcPhee, one of Taplin's loyal commenters:

The only stuff that grows at the kind of rates the Wealthy demand is aggressive cancer cells and pathogenic bacteria colonies. Both of which usually end up killing the organism they live off of.

And to think that all of this “order” we see around us is built of atoms of the heavier elements that were born from the belly of an exploding star.

Taplin's Economics

Are we on our way to some other "general theory?" Taplin thinks capitalism is fatally flawed, but he's no Socialist.
What, then? Stay tuned.
I don’t pretend to have the answers. What I do know is that the conventional wisdom is wrong and name calling from the The Club for Growth and Rush Limbaugh is not going to help us find a solution.

Nuff Said


The Publishing Industry

on its way out?
Can't happen soon enough for Andrew Sullivan. Bittah. Bittah.
My own view is that the publishing industry deserves to die in its current state. It never made economic sense to me; there are no real editors of books any more; the distribution network is archaic; the technology of publishing pathetic; and the rewards to authors largely impenetrable. I still have no idea what my occasional royalty statements mean: they are designed to be incomprehensible, to keep the authors in the dark, to maintain an Oz-like mystery where none is required.

The future is obviously print-on-demand, and writers in the future will make their names first on the web. With e-distribution and e-books, writers will soon be able to put this incompetent and often philistine racket behind us. It couldn't happen too soon.

SNL:Best Of, 1-31-09

I'm not embedding the rest of the best (skip the banjo) but here they are at Huffpo.


George Soros is one of those top 400 the IRS wrote about only the other day. The Financial Times has a relatively soft profile. But if you don't know much more about him than that he's a hedge fund guy with a huge fortune, a healthy ego and a soft spot for liberal causes and politicians, it's worth a read.

SNL: Random Thoughts

So, I don't usually watch even when I'm still up and it's on, but with the election season, I started paying more attention.
Is it me, or does it seem like they don't have as much advertising as you'd expect? And what they do have can't be as lucrative as they'd like. It's not as if you'd expect Mercedes ads on SNL, but Hyandai? (sp)
The huge majority of ads were for movies. There were a couple cell phone ads, one McDonald's, two chewing gum ads, a couple local ads that obviously were a cheap buy.
Anyway, Fred Armesen is doing a great Obama. Not so much an impression as just acting the part. He also was Bernie Madoff and, again, a priceless David Paterson.
Video to come.