July, 2009 archive
According to the neighbor who heard it from the mail carrier who saw the whole thing, a garbage truck left the street with his little dumpster arms in the air. They snagged the power lines, bringing down the pole. This happened at about 12:30 p. m. The lights came on sometime during the night. Not having any plug-in analog clocks, I’m not sure how long the power, cable, and telephone were off. But it was at least eight hours.
The only non-natural sound on the street during that time was the generator at the house a few doors down; the previous owners fell for the Y2K panic.
The story doesn’t seem to have made the paper, since it didn’t involve a car running into a house.
Off to DMV to take care of some paperwork. In Delaware, they open on Wednesdays from noon to 8 p. m.
When I go there, my goal is always to get the clerk to laugh.
This one’s a beaut. A nugget:
Me: “So, Senator Casey must be pretty upset with Max Baucus! I mean, he worked so hard on the HELP committee to wirte a decent bill. not perfect, but it had a public plan. and here comes Max Baucus, and he throws all that out the window because he thinks 3 republicans are more important than the 76% of americans that want a public option.”
Casey’s office: “well, I wouldn’t say it’s three republicans. It’s more like the health insurance lobby that he thinks is more important that the rest of the country.”
Me: “hahaha, he certainly is an asshole, could you transfer me to his office.”
Casey’s office: “hahahaha, our pleasure!”
Read the resignation speech at McSweeney’s.
You won’t regret it.
What happens when persons are not willing to pay
the cost of living in a civilized society taxes.
The ingredients of the failure: too many special interests feeding off the public trough, at least in part through pushing spending proposals via the initiative process. A public willing to mandate a generous array of programmes into existence but unwilling to cough up tax revenues to fund it. A political culture that follows public opinion rather than seeking to lead. An initiative process that almost guarantees political incoherence. A tax-and-budget process that guarantees annual political stalemate. And a term-limits system, passed in the heyday of anti-government rhetoric in the 1990s, that discourages expertise and too often discourages high-calibre personnel from seeking public office.
No more la la la in LalaLand.
My letter to my elected representatives incongruously assembled:
This is to urge you to support health care reform including some form of public option.
Frankly, I believe that the correct act would be to institute a single-payer model, as is used in the rest of the civilized world, but I agree with Mr. Obama that that is a political non-starter. What is indisputable is that the current system, for all that it lines many pockets, does not generate satisfactory or even mediocre health care at a cost reasonable to American society as a whole.
(Or maybe it’s “Egypts.” Noz wonders here.)
It’s a way of life. George Monbiot in the Guardian:
American conservatism could be described as a movement of denialogues, people whose ideology is based on disavowing physical realities. This applies to their views on evolution, climate change, foreign affairs and fiscal policy. The Vietnam war would have been won, were it not for the pinko chickens at home. Saddam Hussein was in league with al-Qaida. Everyone has an equal chance of becoming CEO. Universal healthcare is a communist plot. Segregation wasn’t that bad.
He goes on the discuss some of the consequences of blundering into the future with blinders on. It’s worth the five minutes it takes to read.
TPM on owning fruitcakes:
Technically, the resolution’s main purpose will be to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Hawaii’s statehood. And while commemorating that grand history, the resolution will of course mention how the state is Obama’s birthplace.
This gives Republicans a choice: Vote yes on the resolution, which would repudiate the Birthers; vote no, to endorse them; or skip the vote, which would basically be the same as voting no.
Put up or shut up.
Then, again, there are the complete nutcases.
From the Sanity Department: It doesn’t matter where Mr. Obama was born, though he was born in the United States. His mother was an American citizen. He would have been an American citizen had he been born on a planet orbiting the star Sirius in a galaxy far, far away, in a time far, far ago, for heaven’s (as it were) sake.
If there can be any such thing as an unAmerican activity, I nominate suborning lies. It’s a Republican thing.
Via Balloon Juice, where John Cole adds this comment:
The reason Republicans in DC are running from some guy on the street asking them whether or not Obama is an American citizen is because they have spent the last thirty years cultivating a base of insane crazy people, and while they may escape a reporter from FDL, they can’t escape the base.
While waiting, from the “I Can’t Resist Dept.,” learn about Republicanism by listening to Hour One of Radio Times for July 23, 2009 about “Why Do Couples Have Affairs?” (MP3). (Sorry, it doesn’t cover diapers, toe-tapping, or Congressional pages.)
Shaun Mullen ponders at Kiko’s House:
A reason — although not the biggest reason — that a racial gulf persists in the U.S. is the defensiveness of whites like Police Sergeant James Crowley, who is now on the record as saying that he is not a racist. (The biggest reason is that some whites are racists. As are some people of color.)
Crowley, of course, infamously let an unpleasant situation escalate into a bad one when when he confronted Harvard prof Henry Louis Gates in the act of breaking into his Cambridge home, Gates got crosswise instead of submissive and Crowley arrested him on a disorderly conduct charge that was dropped thisfast when word of the absurdity of the collar got out.
Read the whole thing.
Pay for performance at work, Wall Street Edition: