Friday, January 22, 2010

Roger Ebert doesn't suffer fools gladly, especially if they're conservative blowhards

I think this is hilarious:

Actor, conservative Republican and former Senator Fred Thompson on Twitter:
Dems r worried bec Sup Ct said Corps have rght 2 free spch.They should just b relieved they weren't giving them rght 2 bear arms #tcot #ftrs
Film critic, cancer survivor, liberal, blogger and tweeter who's giving his inner ironist a pretty good workout these days Roger Ebert:
Yo! It B funny when old farts uz Textspeak 2 seem 2B cool. 140 enuf 4 any dude, u think?

New constitutional rights issue for Supreme Court to rule on with its customary brilliance

New Issue for Supreme Court to Rule on with Its Customary Brilliance
Now that the Supreme Court has declared that corporations have all the free speech rights of people (with a lot of money), there are other issues that arise from corporate personhood. I say let 'em marry. Why not? Heck, they might as well marry Supreme Court justices. They're already in bed with them.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Brown and SCOTUS ruling perfect excuse for Dems in Congress to sit back and do nothing?

It's sure looking as if the Democrats in Congress are determined not to accomplish anything with a bigger majority than Bush ever had. Basically making wimpiness and defeatism a fulltime profession. Healthcare seems dead in the water, despite talk of getting something enacted through the reconciliation process. Apparently it's a view shared on the inside. Josh Marshall recently posted a sad and poignant email from an anonymous Senate Democratic staffer reflecting on the current Democratic Party meltdown.
The worst is that I can't help but feel like the main emotion people in the caucus are feeling is relief at this turn of events. Now they have a ready excuse for not getting anything done. While I always thought we had the better ideas but the weaker messaging, it feels like somewhere along the line Members internalized a belief that we actually have weaker ideas. They're afraid to actually implement them and face the judgement of the voters. That's the scariest dynamic and what makes me think this will all come crashing down around us in November.
Don't hold your breath for anything to change anytime soon. Increasingly Members' attention will turn to the fall elections, ensuring even more paralysis -- especially in view of the Supreme Court's landmark campaign finance ruling liberating the corporate power of the purse.
"The Supreme Court has given a green light to a new stampede of special interest money in our politics," Obama said after the 5-4 ruling that divided the nation's high court along conservative and liberal lines.

"It is a major victory for big oil, Wall Street banks, health insurance companies and the other powerful interests that marshal their power every day in Washington to drown out the voices of everyday Americans," Obama said.
Politicians will be even more afraid of angry voters eager to vent their frustrations. Corporations will be flexing their newly enhanced financial muscle. Reform? What reform?

Not your grandfather's National Geographic

Interesting article in National Geographic Daily News about new research concerning the role of antioxidants and free radicals in human and animal reproduction. Trouble is, it sounds sort of dry and boring. So they apparently decided to go with a snappier headline.
Flashier Great Tits Produce Stronger Sperm
Not your grandfather's National Geographic. (Via Emily Mills.)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The End of Days?

The End of Days?
Since Brown's victory in MA seemed to signal the approach of the End of Days (at least for the Dems), I suppose we're going to have to think about stuff like this.

R.I.P. Democratic Party

R.I.P. Democratic Party
I'm so angry and disappointed with the Democrats that words fail me. I can only express myself with a picture. The Democratic Party seems to have self-destructed with such force that even the tombstone has fallen apart.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Listening to the side of Martin Luther King Jr. that isn't quoted as much on his holiday

Right now it looks as if the fate of healthcare reform is in the hands of voters in tomorrow's special election to fill Ted Kennedy's Senate seat. And the weird, truly surreal reality is that, due to Democratic bungling, the voters who for years reelected the strongest advocate of healthcare reform in the Senate, the voters of the one state in the union that comes closest to having health insurance for all, these same voters seem to be on the verge of electing a rightwing populist who has vowed to cast the deciding vote in the Senate to block healthcare reform this year.

But it should never have come down to this. Much of the Obama Administration's long "bipartisan" process to negotiate a healthcare bill has been about finding an acceptable way to pay for it. But why is that even an issue in this, as we love to tell ourselves, the richest country in the world?

The 2009 U.S. military budget is almost as much as the rest of the world's defense spending combined. When he called for defense budget reductions nearly a year ago, Congressman Barney Frank made the connection between military expenditures and spending on domestic needs explicit.
The math is compelling: if we do not make reductions approximating 25 percent of the military budget starting fairly soon, it will be impossible to continue to fund an adequate level of domestic activity even with a repeal of Bush's tax cuts for the very wealthy.
Martin Luther King, Jr. had this to say in his great antiwar speech at New York's Riverside Church in 1967.
A true revolution of values will lay hand on the world order and say of war, "This way of settling differences is not just." This business of burning human beings with napalm, of filling our nation's homes with orphans and widows, of injecting poisonous drugs of hate into the veins of peoples normally humane, of sending men home from dark and bloody battlefields physically handicapped and psychologically deranged, cannot be reconciled with wisdom, justice, and love. A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.
If we brought our military spending under control, the problem of finding the money for healthcare would be trivial. If other industrial countries can afford it, certainly the richest of all can afford it.

It's just a matter of getting our priorities straight. But more than 40 years after Dr. King spoke these words, we're still struggling with the spiritual death thing.

Wreath distribution in the two cemeteries north and south of Madison's Speedway Road

South of Speedway Road
These two Madison cemeteries date back to the mid-19th Century, when the city of Madison bought a single parcel of land spanning what's now Speedway Road. The city retained the land to the south for Forest Hill Cemetery, and sold the northern section to the Diocese of Madison for use as a Catholic cemetery that's now called Resurrection Cemetery.

North of Speedway RoadForest Hill is hillier and has more trees (the high ground was also used as a Native American burial site). Resurrection Cemetery is flatter and has fewer trees. But this time of year, the biggest difference between the two cemeteries seems to be the distribution of holiday wreaths. The newer sections of Resurrection Cemetery contain numerous wreaths, most of which seem to have come from the same supplier, each having a large red ribbon and three large pine cones. In contrast, there are fewer wreaths in Forest Hill. They're more scattered and there seems to be a greater variety of designs, as if they came from different places.

Curious what accounts for the difference. Anyone know?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Somebody in the Metrodome played like Tony Romo on a great day, but it wasn't Tony Romo

It was the old guy. Brett Favre became not only the oldest quarterback to start an NFL playoff game, but he became the oldest to win one. And "win" is an understatement. The Vikings demolished Dallas and humiliated their star quarterback, Tony Romo, sometimes referred to as the next Brett Favre. Not quite yet. The 40-year-old quarterback seems to be his own next Brett Favre.

With a career -- and team -- record of 4TD passes in a playoff game, Favre is now just one game away from the Super Bowl and some more records. In addition to an awesome defensive effort by the Vikings, Favre was 15 of 24 for 234 yards and no interceptions and had a QB rating of 134.4. Not bad for the old guy who many said should retire to his front porch and his rocking chair before the season started. The New Orleans Saints may soon wish he had.