30 April 2009 · Comments Off on Gershwin · Categories: First Looks

30 April 2009 · Comments Off on Ignorance Flowers like a Rose in May · Categories: Too Stupid for Words

In wingnut land.


30 April 2009 · Comments Off on Nothing To Do, Nowhere To Go · Categories: Political Economy

Still well over 600,000 new unemployed workers:

First-time filing for state unemployment benefits fell in the latest week, a possible sign that the worst of the recession may be over.

For the week ended April 25, initial claims fell 14,000 to 631,000.

It marked the lowest level for first time claims in two weeks.

MarketWatch theorizes that this is good news, because it’s not as bad as the numbers from the last two weeks.

Like losing a foot is not as bad as losing a leg, I guess.

30 April 2009 · Comments Off on Nothing Beats a Well-Turned Phrase · Categories: It Is To Laugh

Will Bunch turns one well: “wanker-banker.”

30 April 2009 · Comments Off on Budapest at Night · Categories: First Looks


It takes a few seconds to load.

H/T Susan for the link.

30 April 2009 · Comments Off on Mandates · Categories: Political Theatre

Republican Economic Theory reductio ad absurdum: Victimize the Victim Dept. Darryl Pease on the proposal in Florida that applicants for unemployment pee in a cup and pay for the bathroom privileges:

Q. But we’re in the worst recession in decades! Is it really a wise time to force people who’ve been laid off, through no fault of their own, to prove they’re not drug addicts?

A. Wise is such a relative term. Remember, many states – like Florida – are running low on unemployment funds. That’s why the bill’s sponsor proposed that jobless folks pay the $30 cost of the mandatory drug tests. That way, it’s not an unfunded mandate.

Q. You’re making this up, right? Are these lawmakers smoking crack?

A. Oh, no. As counterintuitive as their plans sound, these legislators are really the only ones who are facing up to the fact that we have a serious unemployment problem.

Q. C’mon. Who doesn’t know that?

A. I don’t mean the jobless rate. I’m referring to the unemployed themselves. They’re always caterwauling for unemployment checks, job training and – well – jobs. It’s time we take a stand.


29 April 2009 · Comments Off on The Principal Principle · Categories: Republican Hypocrisy

Andrew Sullivan:

For the GOP to have remained mute under the massive increases in spending and borrowing under Bush but to make resistance to the Obama stimulus package a litmus test for conservatism reveals that the deepest principle of the Republican base is partisanship.

29 April 2009 · Comments Off on Marketing, Not Investigation (Updated and Kicked to the Top) · Categories: Political Theatre

The Virginia State Police attempt to justify their existence by painting the Hampton Roads area (Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Portsmouth, Newport News, Hampton, Chesapeake–historically centers of slightly to the right of center moderation, making them “liberal” by Virginia standards) as a hotbed for potential terrorist recruitment because (gasp!) it has colleges and military. (Including two “historically black” colleges and Regents University, which hasn’t been around long enough to be historically anything, but was created by Pat Robertson.)

Yeah. Right. Paranoia based on prejudice does not make for security.

Details below the Fold

29 April 2009 · Comments Off on The Entitlement Society · Categories: First Looks

In a small Swiss village, there was a conceited and overbearing banker. The villagers loathed and detested him for his dogmatic egotism, but they kowtowed to him because, well, he ran the only bank in the village and they all depended on his good will.

One day, a farmer came to the banker accompanied by his son, a bespectacled, furtive-looking little boy of about twelve.

“How may I help you,” boomed the banker.

“Well, sir, it’s my son. I don’t know what direction he will take in his life.”

“Easy,” said the banker. “Have him wait in the outer room.”

The farmer complied.

“Now,” said the banker, “here’s what we’ll do. We’ll put this loaf of bread, this Bible, and this bottle of wine on the desk. Then we shall hide in the closet. No doubt your son will get impatient and come into the office. We’ll observe what he does: if he picks up the loaf of bread, he will enter the trades; if he picks up the Bible, he will become a man of the cloth. If he picks up the wine–well, there’s trouble ahead . . . .”

The farmer nodded and the two of them hid in the closet and peered through the crack of the slightly-opened door.

After a short time, the office door opened slowly. The child looked stealthily around the room, then darted to the desk, where he stuck the loaf of bread under one arm, the Bible under the other one, then grabbed the bottle of wine and fled.

Before the banker could speak, these words escaped the farmer’s mouth:

More »

29 April 2009 · Comments Off on The Difference between Profit and Overhead · Categories: It Is To Laugh

Pass the mayonnaise jar:

A judge has overturned the money laundering convictions of two people accused of running a moonshine operation in Pittsylvania County.

Citiing a U.S. Supreme Court decision, U.S. District Judge James Turk ruled Monday that revenue from an illegal operation that’s used to support the activity can’t be considered proceeds for the purpose of money laundering.

29 April 2009 · Comments Off on Feeling Fluish? · Categories: First Looks

Information and advice from the Mayo Clnic in the April 28, 2009, issue.

H/T Susan for the link.

29 April 2009 · Comments Off on Too Good Not To Cite · Categories: Political Theatre

The Republican Party used to have room for moderates. They were right-of-center, sure, but, they could reason, be reasoned with, and, when appropriate, compromise for the good of the nation.

Not any more.

The Wayward Episcopalian on the Specter party switch. The whole post is worth reading, but this is the clincher:

When I say I’m a fan of balanced government, I assume that both the parties in question are rational, respectable entities. That’s just not the case right now, given the state of the current Republican Party. Go ahead, smash them. Hopefully the phoenix that arises from the ashes would be something with moderates like David Brooks and the moderate Maine duo on its left and respectful conservatives like Chuck Hagel, Lindsay Graham, and Mike Huckabee on its right, with the authoritarian fundamentalist right-wing stuck in a third-party lurch. This is unlikely, but there’s no way I’m going to settle for giving Eric Cantor and Sarah Palin a dominant voice. Until the GOP gets its act together, bring on the Arlen Specters.

28 April 2009 · Comments Off on Brubeck · Categories: First Looks

28 April 2009 · Comments Off on Swine Flu Swine · Categories: First Looks

DougJ at Balloon Juice inspects the sty.