Saturday, February 21, 2009

Sluts or Not? When GOP No Means Yes

Pete Hoekstra (MI-02), along with all of his Republican colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives, closed ranks to vote against the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. But when he got home and slipped into something more comfortable...

...Petey loves him some stimulus!

Like Battlestar Galactica's Gaius Baltar sittin' in the barcalounger after a couple of bourbon and branches, that vision of Caprica 6 becomes irresistible. But Pete apparently hasn't learned about the dangers of drunk twittering:

"If you know of someone thinking of buying first home, now may be the time. Stimulus incentive is very generous! Up to 8k! Check it out."
-[Representative Pete Hoekstra's Twitter page; 2/18/09]

The DCCC documents other House Republicans who voted against the economic recovery bill in DC, then praised it at home.

This has been another installment of Saturday Page View Pimpin'

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Meet the New Oligarchs, Same as the Old Oligarchs

If I was only allowed to choose one blog for keeping up with the current financial crisis it would be

One of the blog's co-founders, Simon Johnson, was on Bill Moyers Journal last week.

Johnson related his past experience managing economic crises in Third World nations to the current crises in the United States and drew some parallels. Chiefly, that one of the largest obstacles most nations must overcome in this situation is breaking the power of the people who got them into the crises. Moyers then proceeded to tick off five key players in the Obama administration who built their careers as muscle for the banking industry. Between them, I wonder how many CDO financial products they were personally involved in designing and bringing to the market?

This would be sorta like PETA hiring butchers straight off the Hormel kill floor to work on next year's biggest fundraiser.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Harvey Keitel: How Do I Love Thee?

Bad Lieutenant, starring Harvey Keitel, is the best movie I've never been able to watch from beginning to end. A reviewer on IMDB described it as "cringe-inducing."

Um, yea. Let's just say if I provided a laundry list of all the scenes that make most people wince it would be, well, "Très Brutal."

This gives me a great excuse to pay tribute to and totally rip-off the talented Devious Bloggery.

Allow me to illustrate using a verse inspired by Elizabeth Barrow Browning:


Bad Lieutenant, how are you cringe-inducing? Let me count the ways...

Bad Lieutenant, how are you cringe-inducing? Let me count the ways.
I cringe to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when Jesus' spouse
Is chaste-jacked near the altar and
Suffers holy icon's phallic consummation,
Yet does not relinquish her ideal Grace.
I am induced to crawling skin
By the detective's malevolent, putrid needs
And hopelessly fidget as gentle nudge
Puts door ajar for peaked voyeur's eyebrow
To sup the broken lamb's naked smoothness and numb stare
In the sanitized glow of the examination lamp.
I recoil in fascination from the street side detention ploy
To debauch girlhood from erect distance,
Beating under the sulfur lamp's high refraction.
I frown at furtive liaison with bookie muscle
For double-down in the shadow of a daughter's communion.
I grimace while siren song cruiser barrels down borough's lanes,
Steered by the crushed and whimpering Strawberry lover,
Nose filled with the smell of cordite
From recent AM target practice.
Invariably, I feel an urge to put to use
My other station's offer, and with childish faith,
Stray for a moment, intending to return;
But time and perhaps subconscious intent,
Becomes the better
And soon the bond is broken.


Below is a version of the most famous scene from Bad Lieutenant, dubbed in French, which makes it much less cringe-inducing and somewhat amusing. It comes from the Daily Motion website posted with this french language title:

"Policier pervers prend son pied"

Babel Fish translation:

If the thought of seeing Harvey Keitel "take his foot" disturbs you, don't click on this video:

Update: In the comments, mark h suggests I may have found a niche. This caused me to consider perhaps a more profitable niche: The "HK" line of T-Shirts, with popular and obscure Keitel quotes. I bet this one would sell out immediately.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

2nd Edition of, "What Would Jesus Do?", Tuesday

On Sunday, my Mother called me with news that her brother had died. It was not unexpected, but depressing nonetheless. My Mother is advanced in age and healthy, but she could not remember many of the details from the call she received. So, it was up to me to make a call to gather this information so I could convey the news to various relatives. My Uncle was 81 when he passed. The person I had to call was his wife, Holly, who is 41.

You see, Uncle Bob was a very successful businessman who had accumulated a substantial nest egg before he met Holly when he was in his late 60's. Soon after, Holly had a baby and said it was his. He accepted paternity and began paying child support. When Uncle Bob was in his mid 70's, he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's. Soon after, to his family's surprise, he married Holly and they moved to Florida. Soon after that, Uncle Bob's nest egg moved to Florida, too.

When I got Holly on the phone I explained why I was calling. She proceeded to gave me a lengthy, almost breathless account of all the details of his last days and hours and concluded by saying he would be cremated. I thanked her for the information.

Unfortunately, Holly had failed to provide several critical details, such as the date and time of death, where he was when he died and where he would be interred. When I started asking these questions, I could tell by the tone of her voice that she was becoming agitated. When I asked what city the hospice where he died was located, Holly curtly replied, "Why do you need to know that? I can send you a death certificate if you want one!"


Monday, February 16, 2009

In the Face of Adversity

The Aussies are showing their spirit in the face of adversity. Beer Bloke says,

"Have a nice beer and raise a glass to those who can't."

After you have that nice beer, use the link at the top of the sidebar to contribute to the Victorian Bushfire Fund.

Congressional Republicans Unified in Victory

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Sam Adams Finally Nails a Berry

I am a big fan of Sam Adams beer, but their track record with fruit beers, such as Cherry Wheat is atrocious.

So I approached the Blackberry Witbier with some trepidation.

Poured into a pint glass it has a cloudy peach colored hue with a thin head that builds up for a bit with the sparkling carbonation then dissipates. There is a distinct, pleasant, but not overpowering aroma of blackberry mixed in with bready grain. On the palate, the blackberry is more subtle and well balanced with the hints of orange and coriander and a slight hop crispness.

This would be a great summer session beer and very accessible introduction to those you love and want to convince that they should try to wean themselves from the weak offerings of our American beer cartel.

Lily Allen Turbo Humps Giant in NY Ballroom

A giant tax software company, that is. Yes, it's Saturday Page View Pimpin' (SPVP) time again!

Lily recently performed at New York's Bowery Ballroom as part of MySpace's "Secret Show" series. According to the Rolling Stone piece, the show was partially sponsored by a giant tax software maker: Turbo Tax. Those guys just keep popping up in the most interesting places.

I've got a suggestion for Brad Smith, the CEO of Intuit, Turbo Tax's parent company, if he ever decides to invite Lily to the San Diego HQ:

Burn the couch after she leaves.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Guess I'm SOL on SOTL

While doing a vanity search on "Muddy Mo" I came across this post on on a local blog called State of the Line.

It was an interesting post, so I thought I would check into it further. Ya never know, it might be blog roll material. Well, it's a great blog alright, but it is defunct as of yesterday!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The 2009 Victorian Bushfires: UPDATE

Updated Below

One of the beer bloggers I enjoy following, Beer Blokes, is dealing with the aftermath of the Victorian bush fires. He and his family are safe, but the scope of the impact hit me when he wrote,

"At least 650 homes have been razed and 3733 people have registered with the Red Cross after evacuating their properties."

Bushfires are common in Victoria this time of year, but to comprehend the scale of this event you really need a bird's eye view. Three years ago, the bushfire season was one of the worst on record. They grew so large the smoke could easily be seen from satellites and was even impacting New Zealand which can be seen here just east of Victoria.

Then came the 2009 season:

Not sure how much of what you see in that photograph is smoke and how much is clouds, but I think it is clear that this does dwarf the 2006 event.

Currently there doesn't seem to be a place for us Yanks to make any donations to help. If anyone has a suggestions for donations or fund-raising I'd like to hear them.

UPDATE: 2/13/2009- In the comments, prof. Pilsner of Beer Blokes provided a link to the Aussie Red Cross. I have added the link in the sidebar. Don't be put off by the (AU) dollars, they took my Yankee credit card just fine.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Hey John, Still Think the Economy is Fundamentally Sound?

At about the 2:10 mark, hear how close we came to a world wide collapse of the financial system.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Introducing, "What Would Jesus Do?" Tuesday

I frequently hear a co-worker, who is a nice lady, say: "I hoovered over the link with my mouse." WWJD?

We do know what Republican Jesus would do.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

When Will Your Metro Paper Go Belly Up?

Yesterday, in the short span of 15 minutes, I came across two posts that really brought home for me the dire straits much of the newspaper industry finds itself in.

First, Dave Winer's Twitter comment on Michael Turro's piece at [in plain sight].

Then, Nick at Will Not Be Televised notes Editor & Publisher's report that the parent company of the Kansas City Star may not survive the year outside of bankruptcy court.

While Winer says newspapers should accept that they will soon expire, like the big record labels and the shrink wrapped computer software industry, I don't see it happening with lightning speed. More likely there will be accelerated consolidation until all the major dailies in this country are on the hands of a very few media giants. Of course there will be drastic changes in the way they do business, but papers like the Star would remain attractive properties for these media giants as they would be useful, powerful tools for manipulating governments at every level and dictating the terms of public debates.

Such a situation could represent a serious threat to our democracy because it could reinforce and entrench a generational bifurcation between a minority population of young, high-information early adopters of technology and an older majority population still dependent on low-tech legacy information channels controlled by a handful of special interests.

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Brewin' and Taxes

As I sat down to install the Tax Year 2008 version of TaxCut, I did a google search for "doing my taxes" and was pleased to come across the blog of CodeBitch

Pleased because she is into home brewing and posted some great pictures of a brewing session in the snow and cold of Massachusetts, including a great little video of the "blow off".

So, CodeBitch is added to my blogroll, which reminded me I need to add Bad Ben. So that's done too.

Saturday Page View Pimpin': Jennifer Aniston

 count yourself lucky that Sandy Underpants' aren't either.

Friday, February 06, 2009

The DeMint Solution

Last Sunday, South Carolina's Republican Seanator Jim DeMint sat across from Massachussets Congressman Barney Frank and and said,

"We can take a trillion dollars out of the economy and we're saying we might create 3 million jobs. If we leave it in the economy the economists at the Heritage Foundation say we create 18 million jobs, this is something we know."

DeMint then sponsored a bill consisting of 100% tax cuts to replace the current stimulus package and 36 Republican Senators voted for it.

I suppose Jim and his fellow Republican Senators will soon propose making Ludwig von Mises the Patron Saint of the Treasury Department

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Dad, Where Do Financial Crises Come From?

Have you had "The Talk" with your adolescent son? You know, the one about the markets and the securities...

Risk and Reward

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

What are the Blue Dogs Likely to Order?

Kangro X at Congress Matters reads the tea-leaves on the Blue Dog Coalition's recent letter to Majority Leader Steny Hoyer calling for a return to regular order for debate on House legislation.

In the comments, Steve in Saco mirrors my feelings exactly:

"The Bush-pining Dogs could've waited to see whether "regular order" is restored on "regular" bills before going public, the leadership is clearly not properly massaging/managing the caucus egos, there's no discernible, coordinated messaging/marketing/speaker placement from the Hill (while the GOP continues to speak with one voice from every platform available). Etc. Etc."

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Blogroll Amnesty Day

Jon Swift's blog is the gift that keeps on giving. With the help of skippy the bush kangaroo and Blue Gal, Jon is helping cement Feb 3 as a unique blogosphere holiday.

As a lowly mud-skipper in the mighty blogger river, I offer my link-up suggestions

And I'm Not Lying


The Agonist

Informed Comment

Ezra Klein

Sunday, February 01, 2009

"When Obama picked Tom Daschle to be the HHS Secretary, I nearly shit my pants."

In response to Matt Taibbi's admission of a narrowly averted digestive disaster, I add added this comment on Matt's Rolling Stone blog Taibbi Unbound


Had you been a regular reader of Open Left, your jockeys would not have been in jeopardy. On June 28, 2008, Matt Stoller crystal-balled it while marking Obama's about face on the FISA compromise bill,

"Tom Daschle is going to end up in a powerful position within the Obama administration, either head of HHS or Chief of Staff."

You see, Daschle had just done some critical yeoman's work shoring up the candidate's flank by providing this quote for Johnathan Weisman's Washington Post piece about the consequences of Obama's dramatic move to the middle.

"Those who accomplish the most are those who don't make the perfect the enemy of the good. Barack is a pragmatist. In that sense, he has a larger vision but oftentimes knows that we can't get there with one legislative effort. When these occasions arise, he is willing to accept progress, even marginal gain, as a step toward that vision."

BTW, I'm bumping my feed ranking for Open Left. You should too.

My comment comes a little late, since the Taibbi post was dated December 2nd, but I just became aware of it in today's must read piece on Daschle by Glenn Greenwald.
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