Saturday, May 23, 2009

Zap Mama

has changed a lot since the early days. Today I started playing "my music" again, then went on YouTube to find her. She's highly produced, no longer a cappella and apparently very successful. But I hang with the first reading. That's what made the impression. Like birds.

Of course, this is pretty damned impressive. June 21 at the Triple Door in Seattle if you're interested.

Quote O' Teh Day

And judging from teh day so far, probably the only thing to post.
Anyway, Obama in CSPAN interview:
SCULLY: William Howard Taft served on the court after his presidency, would you have any interest in being on the Supreme Court?

OBAMA: You know, I am not sure that I could get through Senate confirmation...

Friday, May 22, 2009

Sequim, WA, Woman First to Die Under New Suicide Law

R.I.P., Linda.

Quote O' Teh Day

"Enough is the new plenty."
Recession commentary at Andrew Sullivan, from a business jet salesman.

More Friviality Friday

Another contrarienne likes awkward family photos.
Eleven matching sweaters. Heh-heh.
Thanks, Mardie.

Oh, noes! Is that Bristol?

This Is Silly

and so just the thing to reintroduce Friviality Fridays.
It's called and based on real moviegoers's assessments of when's the best time to unload that jumbo soda and still get back to your seat without missing much.
Trouble is, there's nothing on the list so far that I want to see. And apparently nothing that's on DVD yet, either.
But anything sent by a contrarienne and mentioned on LifeHacker and Gismodo is worth a mention here.
Thanks for the headsup, EE.
BTW, Rachel Getting Married was worth watching. We just put it on stop to runpee. Sometime during the reception is my recommendation. It is definitely not frivolous and Ann Hathaway is quite good despite her creepy fraud of an Italian boyfriend in real life. Well, not anymore. She dumped him some time after he was indicted or something. I have am inexplicable taste for the trivial.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Quote O' Teh Day

"It's good to be open-minded, but not so open-minded that your brains fall out." 
Richard Sloan, professor of Behavioral Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center.
NPR has run a fascinating series on the science of spirituality this week, and Sloan was reacting to the the theory that so-called quantum entanglement can mean that people who are relationally close may be entangled physically even when separated. Aha, I thought, that explains it. But Sloan shot it down.
Anyway, it's been a fascinating series. Tomorrow' s conclusion, the soul.
Me, I intend to begin worshipping serotonin.

I guess I shouldn't be so flip. I intend to re-read this series, listen to it more carefully and explore all the threads. It couldn't have come at a better time for me.

Scratch A Truth Commission

I'm taking down the petitions and going with this:

I think the President rejected a Truth Commission for two fundamental reasons: he rejected it as a matter of process because he believes it can be addressed elsewhere in government; and he rejected it because the idea of establishing a Truth Commission in such a charged atmosphere would be tantamount to--if I may mix metaphors for a moment--ringing the dinner bell on a three-ring circus in this town at a time where the oxygen required to keep messaging, and thus policy, alive and well would be sucked up.
Now, I know some will say, yes, but maybe he wants to rule out a truth commission because he can't effectively kill a Truth Commission, but he can tamp down prosecution if it is led by a department of the executive branch.
I think that is a cynical view.
I think the President respects, and wants to restore, the Department of Justice to its rightful place: as representatives of the American people in the cause of justice in defense of the Constitution.  And not, as it has been in large measure for the last 8 years, a White House tool for  implementing ideological policy goals, law be damned; and, perhaps more damaging, as a shop to help cover, excuse me, a lot of ass.
Those days are gone. I can see it from here, where I sit, on the inside.
So, for President Obama to make that statement--"The Department of Justice and our courts can work through and punish any violations of our laws"--he meant it.  
He is not shutting the door on prosecutions.  He could have shut the door today, but he did not.
He's going to let this Department--a group of attorneys who cherish their independence and role as protectors of the Constitution and the laws of this nation--look into the matter. 
It's interesting, and maybe remarkable, that the Department of Justice would allow one of its attorneys to post at Daily Kos and identify himself, while declaiming any connection to policy, of course.
Sullivan loved this speech, as did many others.
Greenwald, predictably, is not happy. He is the loyal opposition. Nowadays, I let others read him and tell me when he's got something worth perking up my ears for.
It's playing out daily, and it's kabuki, I tells ya.

UPDATE: Looking over his previous posts, I think this guy Thorwald is somebody I'd like to have a cup of coffee with.

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Buck Stops...Wait For It

with Gonzo!
NPR broke this story today and I am impressed.
The source says nearly every day, Mitchell would sit at his computer and write a top-secret cable to the CIA's counterterrorism center. Each day, Mitchell would request permission to use enhanced interrogation techniques on Zubaydah. The source says the CIA would then forward the request to the White House, where White House counsel Alberto Gonzales would sign off on the technique. That would provide the administration's legal blessing for Mitchell to increase the pressure on Zubaydah in the next interrogation.
Onward public radio.

Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid

Terrorists are coming to a prison near you. That DWI you got last week could turn into means a five-year prison term and a $10,000 fine. Strangers everywhere are armed and dangerous and watching your driveway. Regional airlines are certain death.
Peanut butter.
Bird Swine flu.
We are irrational beings. Our money. Our relationships. Our personal habits.
Why? Brain stuff, baby.
But you can start here.

All of this reminds me of the hoopla publicity behavioral economist Dan Ariely got awhile back when his revised book was released just in time to be a commentary on the financial meltdown.
I like that he is a founder of the Center for Advanced Hindsight. I like that a lot. Nothing else made me smile today. Except Shorty.

Rich Is Good

Some ex-newsman (of course) got to wondering who the richest guy in town was. Then he found out and now he's got a book (of course). Why didn't I think of that?
As Wichita multibillionaire Phil Ruffin says: "Retirement? Hell no. You just can't do it. Why would you ever retire when you're living large and having this much fun?" Considering that the 74-year-old real estate developer and good friend of Donald Trump just married a 26-year-old former Miss Ukraine, he may have a point.
Oh, I already had a "rich people" category. Wonder why. Guess I'll have to check the archives.

Some interesting names. I count so far about 3-4 women, including the Bert's Bees person and American Girl doll empire. I like this tidbit best so far:
In 2007, Rubinstein, who has a net worth estimated at $1.4 billion, purchased the last privately owned copy of the Magna Carta for $21.3 million, ostensibly as a gift for his daughter's 20th birthday. He then lent it back to the National Archives.
He founded the Carlyle Group. You may have heard of it, conspiracy theories being what they are, associated with Bush 41.
Only artist on the list is Stephen King. Who knew?
Google guys, of course, and Bill Gates, but not Paul Allen. Both live in Seattle metro I guess and you can only have one richest guy.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Feminism's Dilemmas

What dilemmas? We're happier now than ever, right?
Anyway, here's DoubleX from Slate, their bloggers, guest bloggers and commenters.
I only read through the first comment, forgive me. Bookmarked for later.
This from Katie27again:
...and demand that traditionally feminine domains get the respect they deserve. I wish I had some advice on how to proceed with that. Although I suspect if there were large sums of money to be made in, for example, staying home with children, that would help.

The Credit Card Bill

and you.

UDATE: The Senate bill also included an amendment permitting concealed weapons in national parks.

Predicting the Intertubes in 1969

Mom shops, Dad pays.
No surprise. It's the spooky music that gets me.


In remission and coming back in June to lead the health care debate. Take that, Baucusboy. At least I hope so. There are rumblings that Obama might cave on the public option. Nooo!

Still Raining, So Time To Reflect

And I'm out of comedy videos. Aren't 50 enough?
Meanwhile, Robert Samuelson has decided to get worried about the deficit. And he should, we all should. But he seems to have neglected whatever the Obama administration has said about it. As I recall, and I admit I haven't paid all that much attention, all this stimulus and stuff is supposed to fuel new growth in the economy in time to pay back some of that debt. That's the theory anyway. And it's a gamble, they've certainly said that a number of times. But Samuelson as a columnist is not required to balance his opinion.
"Some" commenters over there claim he wasn't right about anything before, why pay attention now?
Others still caught in the talking points game.
Oh, here's the thought(s) for the day:
I never meant to say that the Conservatives are generally stupid. I meant to say that stupid people are generally Conservative. I believe that is so obviously and universally admitted a principle that I hardly think any gentleman will deny it. — John Stuart Mill
“The modern conservative is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.” –John Kenneth Galbraith

It's Tuesday (Again)

and it's still raining. Again.
There's only one thing for it.
Bookmark it. Good for 50 Tuesdays.
No. 1

Monday, May 18, 2009

Have A Good Day?

Not if you're female, apparently.
This is an academic paper and requires a PDF download to read, but don't be discouraged. Oh, you already are. Well, they're trying to tell you why. (Contrarienne is unhappy because she does not know how to link PDFs, so you get a link to a link.)
TERM O' TEH DAY: hedonically

Okay, once I found out that they aren't going to tell me why, I cut to the chase. They conclude, as so many do, that more research needs to be done.
However, there is evidence that the women's movement was actually better for men than women, that we measure happiness differently than we did in the good old days of sex discrimination and restrictions of opportunities. But more importantly, to me at least, is that we recognize our losses and they outweigh gains in some important ways.
I was reminded of this in another totally unrelated article I saw today talking about the latest PEW study that shows Americans not as mobile as they once were, which has negative implications for our economy. On the other hand, I thought, who wants to be moving all the time, leaving behind community, friends and family in pursuit of the almighty dollar. I think women as a class (I mean the legal definition of class, not the sociological) may just have a greater sense that the new pink refrigerator, the good job, etc. doesn't quite make up for being a thousand miles from the family Sunday dinner. Whatever.

A Little Monday Perspective


Snuck out of France a couple months ago to evade arrest for war crimes, now has a book, full of defensive lies, no doubt, about to come out.
And some have anticipated this. Why else the sudden revelations about his complicity in the Katrina debacle and the nice little slide show GQ was able to put together of his daily reports to the president leading with color photos and appropriate Bible passages?
Kabuki, I tells ya.
Is Cheney(s) out there precisely to counter what Rummy will say in the book?
Tune in in 20-50 years and maybe we'll know. Or maybe not.

Honorary Contrariennes

The board has met and accepted the president's nominations of the following:
Two U.S. federal regulators who sounded early warnings on the financial crisis and a Liberian peace activist who helped end that nation's civil war were honored for their efforts Monday at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston.
Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. chairwoman Sheila Bair, former chairwoman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission Brooksley Born, and peace activist Leymah Gbowee (LAY'-mah BOH'-wee) were presented with Profile in Courage Awards, annual honors named for a 1957 Pulitzer Prize-winning book written by John F. Kennedy.



Just a snippet from the as-yet-not- seated Minnesota senator. Norm Coleman in the meantime is under FBI investigation for allegations he funneled money from his campain to cover living expenses.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Did MoDo Plagiarize?

I can't remember the last time I read Maureen Dowd. She's so 20th Century.

MoDo admits it. Sorta. So how is it that the sentence is nearly word-for-word exact if she never read it and only was "told the line by a friend of hers." Yeah. Right.

66-Year-Old Woman About To Give Birth

Somebody should put this in a novel. Oh, wait. That was MY plan.

Welcome Back, George, And So Long