Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Eagle, Bert & Ernie

What do they have in common in the Henson lexicon. Oh, c'mon, you know this.

Stupak That, You Fucker

Pro-choice women legislators were reported to have emerged "tight-lipped" from Pelosi's office after a discussion yesterday.
Today, Pelosi's made clear there will be no addition to the bill, Stupak has cancelled his press conference that was expected to announce a positive negotiation for the so-called Catholic Bishops' amendment and — WAY-O —
Yesterday, though, Rep. Nick Rahall (D-WV)--a Stupak follower--told reporters that the dozen is probably down to about six. And that may not be enough to force leadership's hand.
"We think we have the votes regardless, and we're going to be moving forward," Schakowsky said. "Yes. We do think we have the votes without him."
A huge development, if true.
See ya'll at noon tomorrow EST.

UPDATE: But maybe a meaningless executive order would satisfy their egos. Politics, blechh!
"I think it's clear enough that there [is] no federal funding. If an executive order underscores that, satisfies some people, that's fine," Waxman said.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Friviality Friday

Best I could do today.

Eat The Rich!

My favorite part of the sidecar bill:
Require the wealthiest Americans to pay Medicare taxes on non-wage income
Other highlights.

Where Were You 7 Years Ago Today?

I was frothing at the mouth, loading up on Charlie Rose and Al Franken's televised show from Air America and NPR and PBS. I hadn't been that mad about a world or national event ever in my life. I'm still mad. And in my small way, getting even.
The AP marks it:
According to figures compiled by Iraq's Human Rights Ministry and released last fall, 85,694 people were killed from the beginning of 2004 to Oct. 31, 2008 and 147,195 were wounded. The figures include Iraqi civilians, military and police but do not cover U.S. military deaths, insurgents, or foreigners, including contractors. And it did not include the first months of the war after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.
However, those figure are widely considered a minimum because many so many deaths went unreported.
The war in Iraq has cost more than $712 billion, according to the National Priorities Project.

The Book List

Facebook had some fun with various lists a while back, but they were all fiction. Wonder why? Well, because non-fiction is for people who have a lot of time on their hands or are in school or are really, really — really —  smart.
I happen to have a lot of time on my hands, at least I will when I stop sleeping so much, so I'm bookmarking these lists to dip into later. Well, I'm not bookmarking Tyler Cowan because I hate him for a very good reason I can't remember, but Ezra Klein has a link.
Oh, read the comments, too, if you're really interested. But you don't have to make a list and start reading, just knowing what people are thinking about and why is kind of satisfying in and of itself.
Oh, okay, I'm linking to Cowan because of the commenter alone, but his commenters are all enlightening and very different from Yglesias'.
My 9th grade literature textbook, which introduced me to Borges, Ionesco, Beckett, Ibsen.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Be Good To Each Other, Reach Out

"What is to be done," writes Taplin in a down mood. Hard to blame him. I've been on an orgy of Mad Men episodes and everything he says conjures up one of their priceless scenes, the image of Peggy in her bath, the redhead rubbing her strap-reddened shoulder, Betty clumsily swinging her perfect legs over the bed and stepping on her broken wine glass.
Mad Men is about the beginnings of this culture, its obsession with celebrity and lies. Last night Marilyn Monroe had died and the entire office was in tears. It causes us to ache, this culture, with desire. We throw each other away along with the useless packaging.
It causes us to isolate. It causes us to self-destruct.
Just try to be kind.

UnGooglable Man

Taplin had this today, so I figure it's safe to reproduce.
I'm wrong? Sue me. The line's over there.

Liquidity Trap

It's not a term you hear bandied about much unless you're some sort of econ nerd who "gets it."
So I've just been trusting Krugman's observations and hoping at some point he'd define the term for me so I can quickly learn and just as quickly forget what it means. Again.
Save this for future reference.
It's why we should be doing exactly what any sensible person would think we shouldn't do in this recession. Don't cut spending. Don't save. Maybe even print more money? I'm not sure about that last one, but no, it is not like your mother's household budget.

Warren Buffett: Honorary Contrarienne?

Fast forward to about 1:44. Nuff said.

Question O' Teh Day

Will the pope's failure to resign be the final straw for Andrew Sullivan? Will he decide to leave the church that, basically, hates him for his homosexuality while protecting child abusers?
I'm not holding my breath here.
Oh, and happy day after St. Paddy's Day.
Thank God it's over, as if he cares.

The Purity Troll Reforms

Kucinich is not only changing his vote...
Astonished colleagues pointed to Kucinich (D-OH) darting from member to member on the House floor yesterday, saying privately they'd never seen him get so involved in whipping a vote.

Alice's Adventures Under Ground

Courtesy, the British Library.

Is There A Loony Left Left?

Dennis comes round.
In other words, he is in no sense an actual leader of the loony left, but he got treated by the cable nets as if he was.  So, nicely played, Dennis Kucinich.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

'Mama Can Get Nasty'

On the ice with Margaret Atwood. Who knew?
Reminds me of Patty on Damages last night offering her son's girlfriend a bribe to go away. "It's a carrot. You don't want to see the stick."

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Wayback Machine

No telling when — or whether — you'll need it, but it's nice to know the nerds and geeks of this world see the necessity of preserving internet information. Particularly in light of the practice among some like the Cato Institute to scrub their Web sites of incriminating evidence.
Bookmark as resource, then, the Wayback Machine.

Smoke And Mirrors Dept.

CGI for the uninitiated. The phrase "suspension of disbelief" comes to mind.

China, China, China

All the time with the China. Enough already!
You can determine to learn more about macroeconomics and just exactly what a liquidity crisis is, or you can trust Krugman. And others. Me, I'm busy with Spinoza this week. Wittgenstein's next. Fuck economics, it's God I'm after.
As Dean nicely puts it, “China has an unloaded water pistol pointed at our heads.” Actually, it’s even better: China can, if it chooses, throw some cold water on us — but it’s a hot day, and we would actually enjoy it.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

What Have I Learned Today?

The universe may not be infinite after all, nor time or whatever. This is a fact of physics that I somehow missed while concentrating on irrelevant things like the state Growth Management Act and my bank balance. It's downright embarrassing, really.
Consider also:
And then there is the fact that some infinities are larger than others, as Cantor proved mathematically.
For instance the infinite number of whole numbers has to be smaller than the infinite number of fractions. Suppose the infinity of time is smaller than the infinity of space and matter. It would never repeat.
It had to come back to fucking mathematics, didn't it? This is my destiny. And yours, it seems.
Oh, there's no free will, either. I love Andrew Sullivan on Sundays.

Forget The Begets, Consider The Thou Shalts (Or Shalt Nots)

Christopher Hitchens is a self-important blowhard who still supports the invasion of Iraq, but he can be quite funny when he tries.
Here in militant atheist mode, he takes on a revision of the Ten Commandments.
Having provided the raw material for most of the plays and novels ever published in non–Middle Eastern languages, adultery continues to be a great source of misery and joy and fascination. Most criminal codes have long given up the attempt to make it a punishable offense in law: its rewards and punishments are carefully administered by its practitioners and victims. It perhaps does not deserve to be classed with murder or theft or perjury...
Bonus: There's a video, too. I think when Hitchins dies, he should be played by Stephen Fry, who is probably about the same age but no doubt will long outlive him.