Saturday, December 12, 2009

Oh, Yeah, And About Education

From the Washington Monthly:
Virtually everywhere in the world people tend to be more educated than their parents. This is no longer true in the United States. A report by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities indicates that the U.S. is one of only two nations on Earth in which people aged 25 to 34 have lower educational attainment than their parents.

Saturday Is Pull Out The Trash Day

Courtesy of Buzzfeed.
Don't say you weren't warned.

Random Thought

If I put up the headline "I Love America" AND the vagina prom dress every day, I would get more hits.
But I won't. I love you too much.

I Love America

And YouTube.

Ocean Tower on South Padre Island, scheduled for implosion on tomorrow.

Good Day

"Well, all right, why is life worth living? That's a very good question. Well, there are certain things I guess that make it worthwhile. Uh, like what? Okay. Um, for me... oh, I would say... what, Groucho Marx, to name one thing... and Willie Mays, and... the second movement of the Jupiter Symphony, and... Louie Armstrong's recording of Potatohead Blues... Swedish Movies, naturally... Sentimental Education by Flaubert... Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra... those incredible apples and pears by Cezanne... the crabs at Sam Wo's... Tracy's face..."
Woody Allen, Manhattan

Friday, December 11, 2009

AARP Won't Play

The "that's where the money is" game, Mr. Geitner.
But I predict something will come out of all this, because something has to.

New Term O' Teh Day Dept.

The netroots are bickering again over the Taibbi piece in Rolling Stone and American Prospect's critique.
Hence, this gem from Dr. Squid:
tiedyed teabaggers from the Nader wing

And Now For Friviality Friday

Six Degrees Of Bob Rubin

Matt Taibbi's got a new piece out in Rolling Stone that, like his Goldman Sachs piece, pulls no punches.
I am grateful there's still room for good journalism in this world, because it calls out the people who should be held accountable. Their dirty work may go unpunished, but not unnoticed.
If you want to read all about it, land yourself at this Daily Kos diary, which includes a little background from others as well and links right up to to the RS piece.
If you don't want to work that hard, as I didn't, it's a nice synopsis of what we all know but have such a hard time living with.
And remember, it was people like Hunter Thompson who made it okay for Taibbi to say shithead in public print.
The point is that an economic team made up exclusively of callous millionaire-assholes has absolutely zero interest in reforming the gamed system that made them rich in the first place. . . .
There's no other way to say it: Barack Obama, a once-in-a-generation political talent whose graceful conquest of America's racial dragons en route to the White House inspired the entire world, has for some reason allowed his presidency to be hijacked by sniveling, low-rent shitheads.

UPDATE: Okay, I admit it. I like Taibbi because he's hot.
Someone with a little different perspective did a little fact-checking. Matt may be a new Hunter Thomson, but he's no Woodward and Berstein. So, you decide.
I think, just because Matt Taibbi says it doesn't make it so. Often really, really not so.
It's almost as if he cherry-picked what he thought would fit with his narrative.
Isn't that what we're always on the mainstrem media about? Yeah, it is.

The problems Taibbi tries to describe aren't some kind of ridiculous cabal. They come from group-think and structural influences and as a result of a complex interplay of interests and institutions; the policies they produce aren't either good or evil, they're in need of analysis to determine which help regular people, which hurt them and how to change the latter into the former.
Doing the work is hard. But if you want to make a dent, you have to do it.
-- Tim Fernholz

Climate Change, Sigh

Okay, I promise I'm bookmarking this for later.
You might have time for it now. Me, I have to put on my big girl pants.
(I was heartened to read Josh Marshall say he's about as clueless as I am and willing to take the word of the thousands of scientists who are not clueless.)

How To Have Great Legs At 75 (Yeah, Right, Too Late For Me, Too)

Paddy Jones and her partner Nico won the Spanish equivalent of Britain's Got Talent for this. He's doing all the heavy lifting, of course. Still.
Estelle Parsons and (oh hell, senior moment, Mary Tyler Moore's old sidekick) come to mind.
Think I'll take Shorty out to the mailbox now.
Cloris Leachman, yeah, that's it.

Meanwhile, Back To Health Care Reform: Diva Edition

There's an amendment on hold that Huffpo reports could "blow up" the Senate bill. It would allow reimportation of prescription drugs from Canada, blowing the White House deal with Big PHarma and essentially kill the bill's chances.
It's Sen. Dorgan's amendment, but he has a lot of Republican support. Another Dem has put it on hold, which takes 60 votes to overcome.
So, a worried Dem says:
The dispute within the Democratic caucus is becoming personal. "Of course, with Dorgan, it's all about Dorgan," a senior Democratic aide told HuffPost, complaining that Dorgan was willing to blow up health care reform for his own glory.
I say, substitute Snowe, Lieberman, Nelson — take your pick, add in Landrieu, Lincoln, whoever — for Dorgan and you've got the U.S. Senate as it operates today.
Just so you know.

SC Gov's Wife

heads for the Appaliacian Trail. I am so surprised.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Erm, About That Salmon

In many cases, fresh salmon has about twice the environmental impact as frozen salmon.

The List

I tried to remember the movies I liked best during the last decade, sort of in keeping with the season. I couldn't remember much, so I used Wikipedia to help jog my memory.
All good. Certain stars seem to make the cut, Clooney and Phillip Seymour Hoffman, and Chris Cooper and Viggo. Hmm, okay, Meryl, Emma, The Mirren, Laura Linney, Joan Allen.
Not much changing the way I think, about movies or much else, except Being John Malkovich and American Beauty, both 1999.
(Slate says Malkovich was 2000.)

Julimac's Oughties

The Contender
The Savages
Away From Her
The Aristocrats
Michael Clayton
Bourne series
The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
City of Men
Dirty Pretty Things
Eastern Promises
The Good Shepherd
Gosford Park
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
A History of Violence
In Bruges
Mad Hot Ballroom (!!!)
Topsy Turvy (probably 90s) (!!!)
Million Dollar Baby
Gangs of New York
No Country For Old Men (!)
Reversal of Fortune
Rachel Getting Married
Best In Show

When The Zombies Attack, We're All Undead

Somebody modelled this and it's bleak, baby, bleak. Unless we hit back hard.
Other "best ideas" of the decade from NYT Magazine.

If You Need A Brassiere, Wear One...

don't tug at your girdle, and other helpful hints for 1938 pre-contraiennes.


Quote O' Teh Day

When a newspaper dies in America, it is not simply that a commercial enterprise has failed; a sense of place has failed.
Richard Rodriguez, Harper's

Of four friends of mine who died recently in San Francisco, not one wanted a published obituary or any other public notice taken of his absence. This seems to me a serious abrogation of the responsibility of living in a city and as good an explanation as any of why newspapers are dying. All four of my friends requested cremation; three wanted their ashes consigned to the obscurity of Nature. Perhaps the cemetery is as doomed in America as the newspaper, and for the same reason: we do not imagine death as a city.

...I am so lonely I must subscribe to three papers—the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the San Francisco Chronicle. I remark their thinness as I climb the stairs. The three together equal what I remember.

Jobs:Start Tomorrow

From Krugman, a little perspective:
Even if we add 300,000 jobs a month, we’re looking at a prolonged period of suffering — a huge cost from the Great Recession. So that’s kind of a minimal definition of success. Anything less than that, and it’s bad news. It sort of puts that wonderful report that we only lost 11,000 jobs in perspective, doesn’t it?
Taplin's got a few word$ as well, not directly about jobs and the award for comment 'o teh day goes to Len:
Sit on your wallets. Starve the rich of oxygen. Buy local. Burn down Wal-Mart. It’s us or them.

Will Abortion Kill Health Reform?

That's the question of the hour at TPM.
I personally don't think so, but then I don't want to think so.
Nelson's already signaled he won't filibuster. Olympia and Joe aren't in it over abortion. If the trigger stays in, we've got Olympia and Joe can go pout in the cloakroom. I love that word, cloakroom. I wish I had a cloak.
So much for the Senate, I think they've got a bill.
Over in the House, if they do the ping-pong thingie, they'll get enough votes to approve the Senate bill and walk away from their own.
I've seen many times that once a bill has momentum, it's very hard to vote against it in the final hour.
Everything I'm reading about the Medicare buy-in makes me happy except for the fact that it'll cost under-65s $650 a month for a few years. I think there's probably a work-around on that, too.
But what do I know? I was an early hopeful for reconciliation and thought Reid's opt-out option was brilliant. I know nothing.

Five Contrariennes Get Nobel

Only 40 women total in history.
Old snippet.

The Noughties

Hurry up, they're almost over. Better figure out what to think about them.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

The Deal

(so far), according to TPM.

And Cantwell, too, according to Huffpo.
And people within 300 percent of poverty would be eligible for a program pushed by Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) modeled on her state's Basic Health. Cantwell is not one of the ten in the meetings but has stopped by to brief negotiators.

American Indians Win One

Thanks to Woman Warrior Elouise Corbell and a lot of patient lawyering.
From NPR

Interview here

T Bone!

My favorite Taplin commenter, the man who made me love bluegrass, has a new movie that sounds pretty good. Jeff Bridges doesn't hurt.

Health Care Cost Cutting

I'm bookmarking it for later, but the doc who did the devastating New Yorker piece on disparate costs in Texas has an analysis out on measures that take up half the 2,000-page bill.
The reason the system is a money drain is not that it’s so successful but that it’s fragmented, disorganized, and inconsistent; it’s neglectful of low-profit services like mental-health care, geriatrics, and primary care, and almost giddy in its overuse of high-cost technologies such as radiology imaging, brand-name drugs, and many elective procedures.
UPDATE: Read it. Excellent article.

I Love TV

And here's why.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Anybody For Ping Pong?

So, some good reporter over at Huffpo has uncovered another option. The House would just swallow the bitter Senate bill as it becomes, everybody goes home to explain themselves before Christmas and Obama starts working on the State of the Union speech.

Don't Read Contrarienne

for the latest on health care reform. TPM's got a running update of every breathless moment.
Better than football.
Hail Mary here, Hail Mary there, Hail Mary everywhere.
Go Joementum, go Jim Daddy!

Erm, Jim Dandy.


Are we really tiptoeing over toward Medicare for all? Quick, the smelling salts, I'm feeling faint. (Luckily, I'm on Medicare. Heh.)

'There Is No Explanation..'

"There is no explanation...there is no explanation...there is no indication...there is no explanation..."
Scott Horton, Glenn Greenwald and Andrew Sullivan notice the report of an investigation into the Gitmo story of three prisoners found hanged. With rags stuck down their throats.
There is no explanation.
More linkies.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Best Health Care Idea Yet

From Lynn Dee commenting at TPM:
Here's my idea for getting to 60 -- soak a handkerchief in chloroform, press it to Joe Lieberman's nose, tie him up and gag him, and stash him in a closet until Obama signs the bill. Hire a Joe Lieberman impersonator to vote yea on all bills necessary. Or, for fun, have the impersonator vote yea on all procedural votes and no on the bill itself.
This worked quite well on a number of the old I Love Lucy shows, and I see no reason why it shouldn't work here.

Web Site O' Teh Day

How To Talk To A Climate Skeptic

My advice: Don't. But if you must, well...