Saturday, July 18, 2009

You Know Things Are Bad When...

Trump Drops Price On NY Penthouse By $20 Mil

Watch Closely

Wait for it...mmmm, pizza.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

On Torture Investigations

Glenn Greenwald has been the Lone Ranger on this and Chuck Todd, formerly the numbers guru at ABC during the primaries and the election and now its chief White House correspondent, has been, well, shall we say cool to the idea.
Today, they debated it for about 30 minutes. I haven't listened yet, but of course the netroots are saying Greenwald creamed Todd.

Nasty, Sick, Funny

No old ladies, young runners or arrogant execs were injured in the making of these "ads."

When Is Life Like The Movies?

Think Day of the Condor. Think the Bourne Ultimatum. Think Wag the Dog.
Think Cheney's bouncing dick at the very thought of CIA assassination squads.
what was it about the program that was so shocking that Dick Cheney reportedly ordered it kept secret from Congress, Panetta quashed it as soon as he heard about it, and Congressional Democrats risked being painted as soft on terror by shrieking about being kept in the dark?

Some pundits are saying there's nothing there, but "some pundits" have said things like that before.

Conspiracy theory much? Nah, not me. Them. Just read the comments.
Wild, man.

Gail Collins (As In Thank God For) Translates Soto Hearings


SENATOR LINDSEY GRAHAM: Judge, before I read a string of anonymous comments about your temperament problem, I’d like to make you repeat that wise Latina remark again just for the heck of it.

JUDGE SOTOMAYOR: Thank you, Senator, for the opportunity to revisit that matter. I appreciate that the man who once said he’d drown himself if North Carolina went for Obama has a special contribution to make when it comes to the importance of thinking before you speak.


Health Care Bill: It's Gonna Happen

no less a Troglodyte than Pete Hoekstra of my home state of Michigan pulled the curtain back a little.
(Kabuki, remember?)
No prognostication on the public option, although his remarks regarding "government-run" health care suggest that, in the end, we'll win. We'll all win. We win. We're winners. Do I repeat myself?

Another Reason To Love The Internet

T Bone Burnett is hanging out at Jon Taplin's post on Michael Jackson, where the days-long discussion has evolved into a dissection of the music business then and now and copyright law.
I mean, T Bone is having ordinary conversations with people like me.
Well, not just like me. I don't know anything about the topics. So it's like Margaret Atwood or somebody talking to me as a person, not as a reader.
Just cool, that's all.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Mcjoan Rules, Blogs Rule!

Warning: A little inside baseball here.

All this handwringing about newspapers going down the toilet and "real" journalism disappearing amid a cacophony of unreliable voices from 30-somethings in front of keyboards in Mom's basement, the blogger stereotype that mainstream reporters on the defensive often call up, although rarely so directly, before dismissing them.
Well, Talking Points Memo and others pretty much put the lie to all that, but still reporters and editors out there are reluctant to admit they pay attention to anything other than Matt Drudge, a non-blogging, right-leaning aggregator whose one claim to fame was breaking the Lewinsky story. "Drudge rules our world," Mr. Smirky Mark Halperin once intoned while political news director at ABC-TV (he's now at Time and I never hear about him anymore).
But things are changing, maybe not so slowly.
Today, Huffington Post, a left-leaning aggregator as well as story originator with real reporters and editors and everything, has a story up crediting Mcjoan at Daily Kos with breaking the news that 50 — count them, 50 — progressive members of the House have privately pledged to refuse to support any health care bill that does not include a satisfactory public option.
This is it, folks. This is the big Magilla that everyone with an activist bent was working their butts off to get accomplished, calling and calling and calling them, pressuring everyone.
Oh, those 50, it's called the "whip list."
But my point is not that the grassroots effort worked, which is super.
My point is that a middle-aged female blogger who definitely does not live in Mom's basement (she's from the Pacific Northwest and worth subscribing to, as she often covers close-to-home issues) broke a news story worth having. Not Politico, not the NYT, Wapo or the WSJ. Mcjoan at Daily Kos. Hosannah!
The ramifications are profound.
And I shall be redeemed. Any day now, Lord, any da-a-a-y now.

From Huffpo:

Progressive Democrats are taking a hard stand on health care reform, with a majority committing to oppose any health care reform package that doesn't include a robust public option. On Wednesday, they got an inadvertent assist by an anonymous leak of their "whip list."

A whip list, which is generally tightly guarded, is used by congressional leaders to keep track of the private pledges made by members before a vote. The list is kept private to encourage frank answers from members so that leadership can gather accurate intelligence.

UDATE: Jane Hamsher at Firedoglake, which is leading the bloggo whip list effort claims the list was leaked to Mcjoan to relieve the progressives from the pressure. If so, great. Leaks are what the news business is all about if you're serious. Does that mean Mcjoan got played? No, only that she's apparently highly thought of by whoever leaked.

Headline O' Teh Day

As Obama Steps Up Health Reform Pitch, GOP Deploys Colorful Chart


From TPM.

UPDATE: Apparently there is a chart war.
Bwahahahahahahahahaha. Choke.

Something To Think About

especially if you think you might live long enough to see an outcome.
I plan on it but you never know, could get hit by a bus or something.

...U.S. income inequality is a demonstration that many – probably most – Americans don’t have the capabilities required to maintain anything like their current standard of living in competition with a global labor force. Does Will think this is accurate, and if so, is it a problem?

10 Books You Don't Need To Read

He They won me over by letting me off the hook on 100 Years of Solitude, then insulted me with including The Corrections. I loved The Corrections. I recommended it to friends. Anyway (is the new whatever.)
Wasn't it Franzen who rediscovered Paula West? Or was it that other guy who writes novels? Anyway.
I forgive him, though, because he's really entertaining:
Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac were the first true nerds who, during a brief window of time, became truly cool. Ginsberg was a physical and intellectual nerd, and Kerouac was an emotional nerd — combined, their forces created a hole in the identity universe into which the distinction between nerd and cool person was exploded into dark matter. In midcentury, all who fell into this roiling cosmic trap became permanently scrambled, identitywise. This galactic disturbance allowed neoliberalism to firmly take hold, such that now the only relevant distinctions between people are levels of disposable income and whether they wear Bluetooth earpieces.

CORRECTION: Authors of the list won me over, authors, writing style varies, still good.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

If Michelle Malkin

is so rich, how come she's not smart?

This widely circulated alleged image of Malkin is also widely reported as having been Photoshopped. We like it anyway.

For Mardie, With Love (Me Some Twitter)

from Mediaite:

but millennials generally don’t like Twitter. Its fastest growing demographic (and on FB too!) is older women.

Quote O' Teh Day

One of Krugman's commenters says this is why the American body politic is not too enthusiastic about another round of stimulus, no matter how badly it's needed:
An article about Goldman in a recent issue of Rolling Stone, by Matt Taibbi, characterized Goldman as “a great vampire squid wrapped around the face of humanity, relentlessly jamming its blood funnel into anything that smells like money.””

I have deliberately not read the Taibbi article although it comes highly recommended. I have blood pressure to worry about. So, no linkie. Just Google if you must.

Those Daring Young Women In Their Flying Machines

WASP pilot Bernice Falk Haydu pulls back the chair of President Barack Obama after signing S.614, a bill to award a Congressional Gold Medal to the Women Airforce Service Pilots, in the Oval Office Wednesday, July 1, 2009. At far left is WASP pilot Elaine Danforth Harmon, and at right is Lorraine H. Rodgers. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) is at right in green. Current US Air Force pilots are in the background. Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) was established during World War II, and from 1942 to 1943, more than a thousand women joined, flying sixty million miles of non-combat military missions. Of the women who received their wings as Women Airforce Service Pilots, approximately 300 are living today. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Commenter at the White House Flickr site adds:
view profile

av84fn says:

The WASP have had veteran's status since 1977. In 1977, the WASP took their case to receive status as official World War II veterans to Congress. They faced strong opposition from many veteran groups. No group of wartime civilians had ever been granted veteran status in America, and many felt it "demeaned" the service of those who had actively served in WWII, although the WASP training and service is almost indistinguishable from the men, except for service overseas. The first WASP veterans bill had been defeated in the House late in 1976. In 1977 Senator Barry Goldwater introduced a bill "..deeming such service to have been active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States for purposes of laws administered by the Veterans Administration." Among other supporters were Congresswoman Lindy Boggs, mother of TV's Cokie Roberts, Asst. Sec'y of the AF Antonia Chayes, and Bruce Arnold, son of Gen. Hap Arnold. Rep. Margaret Heckler helped the new WASP bill to be the only piece of legislation in history to be co-sponsored by every woman member of Congress. During Senate hearings on that bill, the strong opposition by veterans groups became clear. After 10 months of emotional debate, the Senate bill passed on Nov 4, 1977. But there was no joyous Oval Office ceremony for the WASP that year. Days later, and with no fanfare, President Carter signed the bill giving veterans status for the Women Airforce Service Pilots of WWII. Yesterday, the WASP finally got their signing ceremony and overdue recognition. The book "Those Wonderful Women in Their Flying Machines" by Sally Keil, will tell you the rest of the story.

Help Fight the Insurance Lobby

Jane Hamsher at Firedoglake blog is leading a grassroots effort to get progressives inside the rooms where the House health care bill will begin markups on Thursday.
Usually, the rooms are filled with lobbyists who pay homeless people to wait in line to get in, but Hamsher's leadership is planning otherwise.
You can help here. Yeah, they need money. May I remind you the industry is spending $1.4 million a day?

Sarah Palin, Energy Expert

You all saw this coming, right?
No, I didn't.

From Devilstower at Dkos:
John McCain introduced her as "one of America's greatest energy experts,"  CNBC's Maria Bartiromo said "I think the biggest value she brings to the ticket is her expertise in energy," and Haley Barbour called her a "bonafide energy expert." Palin's petro-knowledge has become a given on the right.
What's the source of this deep knowledge? It doesn't come from Palin's multi-school odyssey from which she eventually earned a BS in communications. It doesn't come from her experience rattling off scores as a sportscaster. It doesn't come from overseeing ice rink construction in Wasilla. Nope, her energy expertise comes from being appointed to an oil and gas commission, a job she quit after less than a year.
Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission Chairwoman Sarah Palin said Friday she is resigning amid frustration that she is being forced to keep silent about ethics allegations against Republican Party of Alaska chairman Randy Ruedrich. ... Republican Gov. Frank Murkowski appointed both Ruedrich and Palin to the state commission last spring.
That's it. That's freakin' it

The Washington Post Editorial Page

is ruled by Fred Hiatt who, apparently, believes the far right wing rules the country despite the last two elections in 08 and 06.
Consequently, he vehemently defends George Will's consciously inaccurate assertions about climate change. And today, he published Sarah Palin's take on the energy bill, which she supposedly quit her job to  help oppose. It all makes sense now, doesn't it.
Anyway, Conor Clarke, one of Andrew Sullivan's fill-ins this week, is incensed. And quotes a clever writer, which is why I pass it along. Sarah, of course, can barely speak in sentences — no one said they had to be complete sentences — so it's anybody's guess which lobbyist wrote it.

Just one more point about Sarah Palin's op-ed in this morning's Washington Post: Derek Thompson and others have pointed out to me that the piece does not contain the words pollution, emissions, carbon, or global warming. As Derek says, this is a bit like an op-ed on health care that doesn't contain the words spending, costs, coverage, or medicine, or a high-school paper on Catcher in the Rye that doesn't contain the words, um, Catcher in the Rye.
I find this absence sickening. Deciding how to deal with climate change is an uncertain and complicated process. It requires weighing costs in the present against benefits a hundred years in the future. It requires weighing costs in the U.S. against benefits in places like India and Bangladesh. It requires weighing concrete GDP against the moral emphemera of the world's floral and animal diversity. And it requires sacrificing today to ward off uncertain and unquantifiable future risks. This tremendous empirical uncertainty demands reflection and humility.
And then you have Sarah Palin show up, blathering about how we're "destroying America's economy" while we're "literally" sitting on mountains of oil and drill baby drill and blah blah blah. Sickening.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Dear Attorney General Holder

At the urging of MoveOn, I just sent this. Please do likewise.

Then report your email here.

Dear Attorney General Holder,

I urge you to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate evidence and allegations of torture policies during the Bush administration, follow the leads as far as they go no matter how high — including members of Congress — and hold those responsible accountable under the laws and treaties of the United States.
We cannot continue with success this “experiment” in democracy if we are willing to overlook, cover up or explain away the most basic of human rights in a civilized society.
I realize that going forward in pursuit of justice in these matters could very well become a career breaker for you. If so, please stand strong for what is right in keeping with previous examples of such heroism in our country dating back to before its founding.
I appreciate all you do and look forward to seeing the Department of Justice returned to its rightful place as one of our most cherished and respected institutions. Without it, we are lost.
Thank you.

Yours truly,

Phone number

Angel In A White Coat

Dr. Regina Benjamin will be the new Surgeon General. Let's see the R's try to sabotage that.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


Gender stereotypes aren't politically correct, but the research broadly finds that testosterone can make men more prone to competition and risk-taking. Women, on the other hand, seem to be wired for collaboration, caution and long-term results.
Commenters seem to think it's all reverse sexism. Me, I'd check out the original material before jumping to conclusions, but hey, I'm just a blogger.