Thursday, May 14, 2009

Latin Lesson: Hostis Humani Generi

"the torturer has become — like the pirate and the slave holder before him — hostis humani generis, an enemy of all mankind."

From an essay cited in a Kos post today citing Seymour Hersh's account of child rape at Abu Ghraib.
Somehow, the Latin gives it more weight.

Hostis Humani Generis

Commenter over at Sullivan's blog says this:
President Obama is making a realistic, cold, clear-eyed cost-benefit analysis.  This is the choice:  Does he fix the economy, fix healthcare, get a handle on the two wars he’s dealing with, or does he prosecute Bush era war crimes?  He has chosen his agenda and is asking us to choose that to.

But Greenwald notes that the Second Circuit judge who wrote the opinion ordering release of the photos also rejected the "national security" argument that the Administration plans to use. I'm sticking with my kabuki theory, or what Sullivan calls the rope-a-dope Obama play, or his "long-game" until I see evidence otherwise. That could come, of course, but even Boener got caught calling for a truth commission today. Hard times.
Besides, if there were a Truth Commission, I don't see the either/or choice that convincing. This country has been through such sideshows before, namely Congressional hearings that have happened in my lifetime. We can walk and chew gum at the same time  and I don't see the Far Right having all that much clout anymore to raise any kind of significant stink.
It's a risk though. Like poker, maybe. Kabuki isn't our game.
One more thing, I'm reminded of the story about FDR telling a contingent of good guys pleading their case that they had to make him do it by raising such a public stink that he would be forced to act. There's that, too.
There's a rising cloud of stink here. I will have to start blogging outdoors.

Hate Credit Card Companies?

Or just want to "citizen sponsor" Chris Dodd's bill? Do so here.


Have a little trouble on the intertubes this morning. Yep, Teh Google.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Supremes, The Triumverate




I'm for Granholm, the beauty queen, but that's just me. She's term limited in my native state of Michigan and is bound to get something meaty.
My money? It won't be Sotomayor, but probably should be.

See Politics, Art Of Possible

Industry groups "... would rather make a deal with dominant Democrats than align themselves with Republicans."
Mrs. Greenspan interviews Brownstein, normally a reliable newsman, on health care and energy developments.

Boy Poem. Well, Poem Anyway

deer salt block
by Joshua Marie Wilkinson
One boy is a liar & says there's a block of salt under his bed to draw deer in from the orchard. One boy says the pantry wall will open if you say an untold anagram of his name. One boy is already dressed when he wakes up for his young father's wedding. One boy hides a turtle from his brothers in a dresser drawer. One boy is mute sluggish from the hurricane sirens. One boy took a long time in the bathtub reading the comics. One boy loops a tractor chain to the ceiling fan tears the whole roof down. One boy speaks through a keyhole to the others about a shortstop's hex. One boy can't stand the scent of elevators. One boy gives different spellings for his name each week at school. That same boy stole his teacher's shoe. Another boy listens to a radio inside his pillowcase. One boy drinks coffee alone in the zookeeper's shed. The last boy casts a purple stone to the bottom of a pond follows it down with his church clothes on.

My Fave At Cannes

Tilda! Tilda!

Sykes' Wife Has Twins

That's right, Sykes, not Snipes.
Wanda is a baby momma. I didn't know she was married, buy why would I.
I still thought she was kinda lame on Saturday, though.

Time Will Tell, A Lo-o-ng Time

Um, about those torture photos.
From AP:
Since the circuit appeals court both ruled against the government and denied its request for a follow-up hearing, the case could now land at the Supreme Court.

The thing of it is, the story also says the release also would coincide with the anticipated step-up in hostilities in the spring. So, time may be a national security issue.
Re: Supreme Court. Is this a constitutional issue? I dunno. And I thought appeals cases couldn't bring in any new arguments. Oh, well. Time will tell.

Kabuki, I Tells Ya

So, news is Obama will fight releasing the rest of the torture photos that the ACLU convinced a federal judge to order.
This could be seen as a disappointment in his pledge to do the right thing.
Or it could be seen otherwise. I choose otherwise.
Here's what I sent to TPM today:
This is what I want to believe:

Obama: Look, I get all this flak about endangering our troops over the memos, and now they’re beginning to pile on over the photos. I want to do the right thing. What are the options.
Legal counsel: Well, we could go back to court and make the argument that releasing the photos would release all kinds of hell-to-pay on the soldiers.
Obama: What are the chances the judge(s) will see it that way?
Legal counsel: Zilch.
Obama: Then do it. Let the judge take the heat.

This is what I want to believe, that everything in D.C. Is kabuki. I think I’m right about the last part.

Quote O' Teh Day

"The movie business is not Scottish coal mining," (Harvey) Weinstein says. "Anybody who sits around and complains that 'it takes half an hour for my coffee to arrive' deserves to be lined up and guillotined. The people who watch movies for a living have to not take it for granted."
Commenting on what Cannes is like. And introducing new Contrarienne categoris — Fluff! and Scottish Coal Mining (for whiners only).

Sure hit:
Here's the logline for something called "Burning Bright": "Trapped in a house with a ravenous tiger during a hurricane, a young woman must decide whether to sacrifice her autistic younger brother to save her own life."
Gotta go find some pictures or video now. Too much text here.

H. Weinstein and new (trophy) wife, fashion model (surprise!) G. Chapman. Said first wife Zelda Weinstein, "I'm rich. And he's gone!"
Just couldn't help it. I was as surprised as you. Will now go look for Rob Reiner's wife. 

What I Don't Miss About My Job

Yuck! 7 hospitalized after office fridge cleanup

Hazmat team called in after mix of rotten food, chemicals sparks vomiting

Cut To The Chase

Probably plenty of discussion out there on today's Social Security/Medicare reports, and plenty of superficial reporting that forgets we've been hearing this for years, with nobody doing anything.
Obama promised to do something.
I really like Bob Reich — because he's really, really short — but he's pretty much phoning this one in.
On the other hand, that's blogging for you. For detailed analysis, look elsewhere. Maybe I'll do that tomorrow. Krugman is strangely silent, probably overseas helping Spain figure out what to do about their mortgage and unemployment crisis.
Meanwhile, what's the cure? For SS, easy, and always has been. For Medicare, the comprehensive health care reform package that Pelosi and Obama are promising by July. At least Reich thinks so.

Hang On To Your Job

As if I needed to tell you.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics monthly Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) report was released Tuesday, and it lived up to its acronym. In March, the number of job openings decreased by another 256,000. That made for a total of 2.7 million job openings. In December 2007, when the recession began, there were 4.4 million openings. With 13.2 million Americans officially out of work, that means there are now 4.8 unemployed people for every available job.
And more cheerful analysis here.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Do Girls Dig the New Star Trek Movie

Two "girls" on Contrarienne's Facebook list loved it, so I'd say it's a yes. One of them is a sheriff's officer, another a military wife stay-at-home with three kids.
Anyway, that's the lead story at Slate's new blog for women advertised as having a feminist sensibility and an alternative to the glossy, celebrity driven "women's magazines."
So I'm bookmarking it for daily scan to see if they're going to give some good material.

What I Want To Be Buried In

Cher's oufit yesterday.

UDATE: Uh, I've thought this over. Closed casket.

National Nurses Week

And in honor of Florence Nightengale's birthday, they get themselves arrested at Max Baucus' health care hearing, again. Because, again, no single payer advocate allowed to tesify.

Headline 'O Teh Day

Liz Cheney Claims Dad Speaking Out on Torture Waterboarding Like Al Gore Does With Global Warming

'Cuz Al ordered climate change, and now he's got a lot to explain. Wait, no, that can't be it.
I did not, did not, spit my coffee onto the keyboard.
Thought: Cheney circling wagons. Big time.
Prediction: Prosecutors up on the ridge, loading up.

Monday, May 11, 2009

A Little Cheese With Your Whine?

Louis CK, a guy I kind of like, but this is hilarious.

Quote O' Teh Day

I love Wanda Sykes, but the correspondents dinner bit was pretty lame. I mean, who doesn't wish Rush Limbaugh would die of kidney disease?
So just before she went on, she was herself for Extra:
"They told me not so say the F word or the N word... I'm offended they even told me that," Sykes told "Extra" moments before taking the stage. "What do they think? I'm some ignorant a**. Like I'm going to go in there, 'What's up n*****. Like what the f*** they think I'm going to do?"
You can find the real Wanda all over YouTube. Me, I've got bills to pay today.

Excess Capacity

Automakers, homebuilders. It's all good.

And in related news closer to home, right next door in fact:

Kingston's White Horse Development in Foreclosure

White Horse owner and developer Bob Screen said Friday his bank is pursuing foreclosure on a portion of his White Horse development in Kingston.
Screen acknowledged he is in default on his loans to the tune of $5.7 million. The properties involved are 159 undeveloped lots and his par-72 golf course, which is for sale.
The course and the 159 lots will go to auction Aug. 14 if he can't come up with the money. Screen said he's "cautiously optimistic" he can avoid foreclosure on the course, which will remain open for the foreseeable future.


Don't Need Me? Don't Need ME?! WTF?

Thanks, Taplin. Krugman, I can understand, but me? ME?!
Maybe we don’t need four hundred channels of TV. Maybe we don’t need 346 million blogs. Maybe the careful (and expensive) editing of the New York Times and The New Yorker actually count for something.
Only time will tell.

Yawn, Breaking

Another unplanned all-nighter and so let me be one of the first to tell you that Iran is releasing the jailed American journalist Roxana Saberi and Mr. Mustard will today tell us about a big new health care plan that saves $2 trillion over 10 years and, apparently, the big players are all happy to support it or face the consequences.
What, you were expecting something on Pakistan, too?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Dept. of Good TV: PBS Owns Sunday Night Now

Contrarienne doesn't do reviews (cuz it's a blog) but Wallander was about the best TV she's seen in a long time. Yeah, Friday Night Lights is great, and so is most of the top HBO stuff, but Wallander is in another category.
For one thing, you won't see photography this good on any other television program. It's film quality. Not movie quality, film quality. Every frame is a masterpiece.
And then there's Kenneth Branagh in the lead role of the darkly agonized Swedish detective. Perfect.
 Supporting cast is, as always from BBC-originated stuff, right on, especially David Warner as Wallander's artist father, slowly and resentfully descending into Alzheimer's.
Watch online here.

Plus, tonight PBS gave me a documentary on the most famous woman of color presidential candidate you've never heard of, Hawaii's feisty Patsy Mink.
Good stuff all around.

Stand By Me Around the World

When Adele B. sends something, it's worth sharing. No embed, though.

Sartorial Port Townsend, Mother's Day Edition

I've always thought I could do what the Sartorialist does right here on the streets of PT.
Today I got my chance. See what you think. Okay, not exactly what the Sartorialist does. Just sayin'.
Roger Horner, Chimacum, WA, fresh from services at the Irondale Evangelical Church.
Craig, Savannah and Widget. I lost their card, don't have last name.

Alice Fox and son David.

The latest accessory.
Sunny Swasey, Olympia, and Loren Hogan, Gig Harbor.

Gary Isaacson with Simon & Garfunkel, holding Zha Zha all from Coeur d'Alene. Notice that Gary's shirt matches his accessories.
P. S. Click to enlarge picture.

TV Hed Alert

I rely on David Bianculi to tell me when something's worth watching. Often, it's something I don't get or am uninterested in (Celebrity Apprentice? Heh) but at least there's some guidance.
Today, he recommends Wallander, starring my favorite out-of-favor British actor, Kenneth Branaugh. Just an FYI.

Sarandon And Clarkson, Together Again!

My two favorite mothers, and SNL's, too. Yeah, they went there.
But I didn't stay up for it.

UPDATE: OOPS, I the post below belongs as an update to the POST BELOW! However, I am too lazy to do it all over again because it takes all of five minutes.

Jason Linkins asks the Question O' Teh Day:
Why is Gingrich always on teevee on Sundays, talking about his awesome conversion to Catholicism? MAYBE GO TO MASS, IDEA BOY?
I think Huffpo chose these guys because they're all over Sunday talking heads shows today. For more of Linkins' always entertaining take (he watches so you don't have to), go here.

Headline O' Teh Day

New Faces of the GOP
Huffpo lead with this today and it made me laugh out loud. They chose neutral shots. However, Contrarienne is under no obligation to appear fair. In some circles, GOP is defined as the Grumpy Old Party.

He Does Humor, Too

On "the ten-day anniversary of my first 100 days in office."