Thursday, July 22, 2010

From the Buried Lede Dept.

...or "Stop the Sherrod"...

Quickly, now: Nice lady told a nice story about race relations in the USA, was quoted out of context, was asked to resign because of it, the true story came out, was asked back. As of now she's still thinking about it (good for her).

The Buried Lede is this: It was a lovely story. Still, let's stack those stories up against the stories about our federal government subsidizing big agribusiness.

Thomas Jefferson envisioned a nation of small farmers. Yes, he owned slaves, yes he didn't free them in his will. That's bad, ok. He also founded a university and had qualms about a few wealthy people running the economy. That's good, ok? (Are you listening SFSU grads?)

If Rachel Maddow truly spoke for the downtrodden lower and middle classes she would comment on the buried lede, not lick her chops at the plethora of 3 sec. soundbites provided by Aryan Fox News commentators, Hannity not withstanding.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

A few thoughts on the DH

Baseball is a game of contradictions. Perhaps that's why it appeals to me, being a man of contradictions.

I used to be firmly against the DH. Pitchers should hit, that's the way the game was meant to be played, etc. You've heard all the arguments from your grandfather, and he heard them from his grandfather.

I'm coming around now. As an A's fan, watching the Duch receive the bunt sign in the top of the 3rd isn't all that appealing. Train wreck Frank Thomas in '07 was much more entertaining than Joe Blanton ever could be at the plate.

It's like paint drying. I firmly believe that paint should dry. After paint is applied to a wall, eventually it should dry. I'm with that, and will defend that position until the day I die.

I just don't want to watch it.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

This Damn Blog..

is all over the place.  It started out as a political blog.  I have no energy for that these days, except to say Viva La Revolucion in Iran.  Or, maybe since "the revolution" are the guys in charge, Viva La Anti-Revolucion?  I dunno, I just hope those kids get what they want.

I digress.  I can't stop watching this video.

I don't have time for original material either. I don't even have the energy to figure out why the
font changed.

After working too much...

...sometimes you just gotta go home and kick back w/a beux of wine.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Online Reviews

From an online review of Stevie Wonder's Journey Through the Secret Life of Plants:

***** "...If you were ever gonna put up some dough and stop being such a cheap bastard, this would be the time."

Someone get Wowpow a newspaper gig.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Vhut ah Cahn-try

So we have a new President, the Arizona Cardinals are in the Super Bowl(!), and I regained internet access.  What a country.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry & Happy

If you read one comic strip in '09, make it this one:

Let's all try and do better next year, shall we?

Except Ruben Bolling. He's the best.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Maybe on 8

Lots of protests happening lately.  Not many from the "Yes" campaign.  Maybe because they won.

Gay Marriage will be legal nationwide eventually.  It will be later rather than sooner.

There's a connect (as opposed to a disconnect - folks are too busy these days to be bothered with "tion"s) between the financial crisis and that of  the homosexual community which concerns everyone: $.

From the Official Voter Information Guide for the California General Election, 2008, page 55 :
Because marriage between individuals of the same sex is currently valid in California, there would likely be an increase in spending on weddings by same-sex couples in California over the next few years.  This would result in increased revenue, primarily sales tax revenue, to state and local governments.
By specifying that marriage  between individuals of the same sex is not valid or recognized, this measure could result in revenue loss, mainly from sales taxes, to this loss could potentially total in the several tens of millions of dollars.  Over the long run, this measure would likely have little fiscal impact on state and local governments.

Whatever "long run" means, we're never sure.  The short run matters most in economics.  How we doin' on that front?  Perhaps the No campaign would've done better emphasizing this point, but thats 30/20 hindsight.

Californians live in the sixth or seventh largest economy in the world (we often trade places with France.  They have universal health care).  On November 4th we said no to tens of millions of tax dollars; on the same day we said yes to a $9 billion bond for a high speed rail system, the plans of which have not been solidified.  Don't forget all the fires we had this year, and are currently having, as of this posting.  And a whole bunch of other expensive items for which we plan to pay, even in non-election years (teachers, prisons, etc.)

Let's elect a black guy president, not let the gays marry, and build a new train set.  Welcome to Kha-lee-fhor-nya.

We've Seen This Film Before...
Impending court battles and term limits point to a maybe on 8.  The governor, for what it's worth, urged the courts to overturn the legislation.  Proposition 8 may one day suffer a similar fate to that of 1994's prop. 187 (another example of how California is ahead of the curve: we've been passing laws against illegal immigrants long before it was fashionable).
Prop 187 was tied, bound, and gagged in the appeals process for four years before being retracted by newly-elected governor Gray Davis.  How much did that process cost taxpayers?

Our Children Is Learning
Embracing democracy has become trendy in many circles lately.  "The people have spoken" is  a phrase often heard after any controversial ballot initiative is decided.  The subtext of that phrase falls under one of two categories: a) the majority of voters made a well-informed decision, or b) the amount of information the majority brought to the booth is irrelevant.

Again, from the voter pamphlet, this time under the "Argument In Favor Section", page 56 (emphasis theirs):
...State law may require teachers to instruct children as young as kindergarteners (sic) about marriage.  (Education Code sec. 51890.)  If the gay marriage ruling is not overturned, TEACHERS COULD BE REQUIRED to teach young children there is no difference between gay marriage and traditional marriage.

The majority of voters, upon reading Sec. 51890 (a) (1) (D) (sorry, bad citing, didn't go to law school), agreed with the financiers' of the Yes campaign interpretation of the law.  Or they voted yes for some other reason.

Two asides:  1) If you attended, or attend public school in California, and you skipped that link, go back and click it.   Try and remember being taught any of those health subjects.  It's either your fault or the teachers'.  2) Anyone else find it interesting that people who care so much about a child's education had an argument printed in an official state voters' guide which misspelled the word "kindergartners"?

This much is true: 2008 has been a tough go for gay republican mortgage brokers.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Leave Sarah Palin Alone right NOW

First, a few admissions.
Sarah Palin was not ready to be 2nd in line to the, for the time being, most powerful office in the world.  She probably isn't fully equipped for the office she currently occupies.  She lobbied intensly for the VP nominee slot.  Since November 4th she's accepted every request for an interview, or at least it seems that way.  Helicopter Hunting Enthusiast is, sadly, only a quarterly publication, so we'll have to wait and see on that one.  It's been a non-stop saturation of Sarah going back to the RNC; it's been in a higher gear since the McCain campaign handlers unlocked the cuffs.

That said, there are a few things that aren't Sarah Palin's fault...
  • It was the Democrat's year.  Had a middling to elder white man been the nominee, the race would have ended in August.
  • The economy tipped the scales in the "we'll vote for whoever Democrat" two weeks before the election
  • She was picked by McCain, not the other way around
  • McCain admitted the economy was "not his strong suit"
  • She's a woman
If Saxby Chambliss, Sen, (R) - Georgia (far right) were the VP candidate, made the exact same statements as Palin, would his phone be ringing off the hook right now with interview requests?  Perhaps, if he had a vagina.

Many have pointed to the "Charlie" interview on ABC as testament to the fact that she was a terrible choice for the Vice President nomination.  Maybe so.
But can anyone remember Obama, Biden, or McCain being asked that question?  Sure, they would've recognized the reference, and that alone does not qualify one to be President.  All we can do is conjecture how the three of them would have responded to the question, "What do you think of the Bush Doctrine?" (what follows assumes they would be off the record, hence, not evade the question):
Biden:  In a changing world we ought to reserve the right of pre-emptive  attack.  Iraq was a mistake, yes, but the general concept is right on.
Obama:  Ditto
McCain:  The Bush Doctrine didn't go far enough
The Bush Doctrine is one of the dozens of grounds for his impeachment.  Our constitution considers the three branches equal.  Bush/Cheney took the Nixon route and said nuts to that, we can do whatever, whenever.  Congress rolled over, Pelosi took impeachment "off the table".
The Bush administration is leaving the Obama administration-elect a toolbox chalk full of powers none has seen in the 219 years since our constitution was adopted.  No matter how nice the guy seems, power is never given up easily.
Back to Sarah...
She's been blamed for more than she deserves, and most pundits know this.  There's been a lot of Monday morning quarterbacking happening in reference to the failed McCain campaign, but in reality, they had as much of a chance as the Minnisota Vikings did against the Oakland Raiders in 1976.  It was really easy to tell Fran Tarkenton he sucked after the fact.
So knock it off with the 2012 crap, the $100,000 in dresses garbage (Cindy McCain wore an outfit to the RNC said to be worth $250,000.  One outfit.  One.  For one night.), the fake mid-northwest accents.  It's officially the off-season.  Get over it.
And, please, for Goodness sake, leave Sarah alone.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

So Far So Good

Strict ethics rules on lobbyists, and a major review of all Presidential Executive Orders made over the last eight years.  While they're at it, they may as well review the past 219 years, mightn't they?

One of the many criticisms put to (yes he's still) President Bush Jr. is he sees the world too simplistically.  "With us or Against Us."  "Good v. Evil".  The real world has never been that simple.

Had he been describing the sports world, however...

Sunday, November 16,'s time once again for America to pick a side.

By the way, today marks the 90th anniversary of the armistice signed between the Allies and Germany, effectively ending WWI.  Today used to be called Armistice Day.  Every November 11, at 11am, the nation would observe a two minute moment of silence to remember the 20 million people who died in the "Great War".

No one within the sound of this blog has any emotional connection to that conflict, so just file this under the category of "Least We Forget."

Friday, November 7, 2008

Oh Rahm Oh Rahm Emanuel

Anyone who even mildly pays attention to 24 will tell you the United States of American President's choice for the position of White House Chief of Staff is crucial to the success of any term, no matter how historic the times. Might I be choosing a man who will one day invoke the 27th amendment, or whatever, to kick me out of office?

President-Elect Obama does not watch 24. He said as much. Probably.

As noted in the Chicago Tribune of Emanuel, "his politics are centrist, but his [political] tactics are extremest."

There's no shortage of coverage in the mainstream (for lack of a better term) media on Emanuel's tactics. That stuff is important, sure. However, it is an unfortunate yet entertaining fact that our most accessible media finds Larry Craig's (remember? Senator "I'm not gay, I never have been gay" (R) - MN?) bathroom stall procedures more important than his voting and sponsorship record in Congress. Sexual orientation aside, perhaps Mr. Craig co-wrote legislation that turned out to have a positive effect on society? Maybe, but you and I are too lazy to look it up.

Larry Craig will not be the next White House Chief of staff. Rahm Emanuel was once a congressman as well. Here's how he voted on a few issues in the last couple of years:

  • yes on regulating the subprime mortgage industry (Nov 2007)
  • yes on allowing human embryonic stem-cell research (may 2005)
  • no on a Constitutional Amendment banning same-sex marriage. (Sep 2004)
  • yes on making the Patriot Act permanent (Dec 2005)
  • no on deterring foreign arms transfers to China (Jul 2005)
  • yes on protecting whistleblowers from employer discrimination (Mar 2007)
  • no on denying non-emergency treatment for lack of Medicare co-pay. (Feb 2006)
  • yes on continuing intelligence gathering without civil oversight. (Apr 2006)
  • no on building a fence along the Mexican border. (Sep 2006)
  • yes on banning Internet gambling by credit card. (Jun 2003)

So if you're a whistleblower who likes his/her guns, hates Mexicans, is losing your home because of bad loan terms, don't value your privacy, and can't be bothered with a 3 1/2 hour bus ride to the Indian casino, Rahm's your man. Kind of.

"Centrist" "Blue Dog Democrat" "Tenacious" He was Bill Clinton's man, too. Now he belongs to the Obama Administration.

Emanuel spoke to a Washington Post reporter in Jan of 07 as (yes he's still) President Bush spoke on the then new surge. (Aside: Man, doesn't that seem like a long time ago?) He went over the game plan for the recently elected 108th congress: policies that "belong" to the Democrats, minimum wage hike, perscription drug cost slashes, the small domestic stuff was all on the table for the new (read: old) majority. Big stuff like Iraq and Social Security? Put that on Bush and the Republicans. Always look ahead to the next election.

In a political sense, its savvy, cunning, even fair. In a Frank Capra sense, it's disgusting. Why go to Washington?

The answer to that graced the headlines last Wednesday. Play to win.

"Don't look to Emanuel's Democrats for solution's in Iraq.", David Ignatius wrote in Jan 2007

Shall we look to Obama's Emanuel for those solutions? Or is the President-Elect on an island on this one?

Conventional wisdom is shouting two things at us right now: 1) President-Elect Obama is making strides to surround himself with a staff of varying opinions, and 2) the position of White House Chief of Staff is the 2nd most powerful office in the executive branch (assuming Dick Cheney's interpretation of the Constitution is conventional wisdom, and that it shouts f you when it's finished.)

From the Chicago Tribune 11/7/08: "'I'll tell you this', Emanuel shouted out to his staff. 'The Republicans may have the 72-hour program. But they have not seen the 22-month program!

'Since my kids are gone, I can say it: They can go ---- themselves!'"

Have you ever had a job where a person, or perhaps a few people around you scream expletives constantly when the work day is going a tad sour, or even well? You chose that job, yes, but you don't pick the people with whom you work.

If you were President, you would.

Quoting the great Harry Shearer, "You have to wonder about the people who want this job."

One of these Presidents is not like the other...

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


If the title of the blog finds you a bit confused, watch the movie Bob Roberts. If that's too much work, and you prefer out-of-context quotes, get the movie, forward to 10:50 (not recommended).

For those who've seen the film: it may upset a few people to read, especially those who had tears in their eyes last night, but it's a point too important to leave unmentioned: There are similarities between candidate Barack Obama and candidate Bob Roberts.

We never get to find out what happens after Bob Roberts wins his election.

Obama's acceptance speach at the DNC: "...This election has never been about me. It's about you."

Whether you voted or not, it's always about you.

Voting (or staying at home) was the easy part for us; for President-Elect Obama, campaigning was the easy part.

For all of us, the clock only just started.

PS: Welcome to the blog, and thanks for paying attention. Both of you.
(Sorry about the Reader's Digest format. I'm new at this.)