Tuesday, March 31, 2009
skippy's tuesday nite music club
a few weeks ago, we groused about the tendency of some music acts to disable embedding by request on youtube. we cited the fray and ingrid michaelson as our most recent finds that we couldn't share w/you, our beloved readers.
then recently, ingrid's management team @ secret road (headed by the wonderful teri) wrote to us:
saw your post about the embedding issue with ingrid’s video. i’m assuming it was the video for “the way i am.” it used to work fine and we’re not entirely sure why it was disabled. ingrid isn’t on a label, she has her own company, cabin 24 and all of her videos can be embedded. here is a new link to use...
thanks for pointing this out to us and hope you can include her some other time.
w/o further ado, here's
ingrid michaelson - the way i am
thx tons, teri! and good luck to ingrid!
happy birthday, mr. walken
better late than b.a.d.
what can we say? our policy, as everyone should know by now, is that we will happily link to anyone who links to us.
so we suggest anybody w/an interest in the dark gulag of torture this country has set up stop by and check out andy's blog.
legalized rape in afghanistan?
afghanistan's president, hamid karzai, has signed a law which "legalises" rape, women's groups and the united nations warn. critics claim the president helped rush the bill through parliament in a bid to appease islamic fundamentalists ahead of elections in august.i say let's send mavis leno over as special ambassador to talk some sense into karzai to change this law.
in a massive blow for women's rights, the new shia family law negates the need for sexual consent between married couples, tacitly approves child marriage and restricts a woman's right to leave the home, according to un papers seen by the independent. - the independent
you know what?
Labels: random thoughts
Monday, March 30, 2009
skippy's monday nite music club
hanging doll - hope springs eternal
get out your black eyeliner and faux-nineteenth century funeral clothes! it's goth metal @ its best!
let's look in the "way back" machine
from march 2, 2007 - salon.com
back at the dawn of the automobile era, banks generally refused to loan money for such things as buying a car. it wasn't considered prudent. this was frustrating to companies such as general motors, which naturally wanted as many people as possible to have the wherewithal to purchase cadillacs and oldsmobiles and pontiacs and chevrolets. so gm decided to solve the problem by, in effect, becoming its own bank. in 1919 gm created the general motors acceptance corp., a financial arm of gm that specialized in offering credit to car buyers and allowing them to buy on installment plans.bad auto sales plus subprime mortgates and derivatives...gee...how many scandalicious bad business decisions can you roll up into one.
gmac was a huge success. so much so that, over the years, it gradually expanded its operations, becoming a significant bottom-line contributor to gm's profits. in 1985, gm's execs decided, hey, if we're loaning money to our customers to buy cars, why not go ahead and loan them money to buy homes as well? gm promptly purchased two large mortgage lenders and instantly became the second largest mortgage bank in the u.s.
along the way gmac also became an early player in the world of "structured finance" or derivatives, by taking the income streams generated by all those car and mortgage payments and turning them into bonds, through the process known as "securitization," which it then sold off to investors. all very state-of-the-art, all very emblematic of the career arc of the modern american corporation.
...on thursday, gm shook up wall street by announced that it was delaying filing its 2006 annual report by a couple of weeks. the reason, said analysts, had to do with gmac's significant exposure to the ever-popular subprime lending debacle. like so many other players in the mortgage business in the last few years, gmac's home lending subsidiary, rescap, apparently got pretty deep into making risky loans to homeowners with bad credit, and now is paying the price. - salon.com
palin = failin'
she tells us about the latest hays research poll in which maggie o'connell's popularity falls even lower than it has been:
approval rating: (very positive and somewhat positive)
murkowski 71.6% palin 59.8%
approval index: (very positive minus very negative)
murkowski 25.2 palin 13.7
i think the numbers tell us who alaska’s real golden girl is.
mad about republican math
with gm's future looking cloudy....
Originally uploaded by D-Lyte.
is the sun going down on my ability to get parts for my beloved saabi?
red, white and no big blue
as ibm was firing thousands of american workers last week, the u.s. patent and trademark office published big blue's application to copyright a computerized system that calculates how to offshore jobs while maximizing government tax breaks.
in their application to patent a "method and system for strategic global resource sourcing," five hudson valley ibmers describe how it weighs such plans as "50 percent of resources in china by 2010," against such factors as labor costs, infrastructure and the "minimum head count to qualify for incentives." - timesheraldrecord
note to the blowdried talking heads
perhaps, ask gov. "what's his name" jindal about funding geological services. that should get you a good comedic response.
the perfect storm
just months before the start of last year's stock market collapse, the federal agency that insures the retirement funds of 44 million americans departed from its conservative investment strategy and decided to put much of its $64 billion insurance fund into stocks.remember all those airline bankruptcies awhile back...they shifted their pension funds onto the government through this agency....and those pilots that are so crucial to saving lives...their retirements rely on this agency.
...now, they warn about a "perfect storm" scenario in which the agency's fund plummets in value just as more companies go into bankruptcy and pass their pension responsibilities onto the insurance fund. many analysts say it is inevitable that the agency will face significantly increased liabilities in coming months.
"the worst case scenario is coming to pass," said mark ruloff, a fellow at the pension finance institute, an independent group that monitors pensions. he said the agency leaders "fail to realize that they are an insurer of pension plans and therefore should be investing differently than the risk their participants are taking."
the pension benefit guaranty corporation may be little-known to most americans, but it serves as a lifeline for the 1.3 million people who receive retirement checks from it, and the 44 million others whose plans are backed by the agency. - boston.com
environmental news stories
an obscure agency under fire. the agency for toxic substances & disease registry finds itself at the center of a congressional investigation, facing repeated criticisms for its willingness to please industry by downplaying the public health effects of exposure to environmental contaminants. - chemical & engineering news
kalamazoo river cleanup slowed by chemical company's bankruptcy protection.
be patient: that’s the message from federal regulators to stakeholders pressing for the cleanup of hundreds of thousands of pounds of sediment and soil in the kalamazoo river. the river is contaminated with pcbs. - michigan messenger
new hampshire issues first climate plan. new hampshire's first climate action plan calls for "a new way of living," beginning immediately, to reduce carbon emissions blamed for global warming, and preparing the state for the warming the authors say is already under way. - ap
global warming could cripple winter sports in b.c.: report. as canada prepares to host the 2010 olympic winter games, a new report warns global warming poses a real threat to the continuance of winter sports and canada’s cultural identity. - vancouver sun
bay area spice plant linked to salmonella outbreak. the state health department has issued a consumer alert warning about spices used by asian restaurants manufactured by a bay area plant that have been linked to a salmonella outbreak in central and northern california. - sacramento bee
question of the day...
'cause this is good stuff...
Sunday, March 29, 2009
skippy's sunday nite music club
spoon - i turn my camera on
sham wow ka-pow
he's probably better known to you as the shamwow guy, the ubiquitous television pitchman who has been phenomenally successful peddling absorbent towels and food choppers. shlomi, 44, was arrested last month on a felony battery charge following a violent confrontation with a prostitute in his south beach hotel room. - smoking gunbut wait...there's more....news of other pitchmen. discovery channel has a new show coming out starring two other pitchmen. i'm sure they'll be a hit in a different way than vince.
quote of the day
hey klavan! take the "suck my cock" challenge!
klavan dares liberals to "open" their minds and listen to rush limbaugh for an hour for several days in a row. we were stuck trying to figure out the best way to explain why, knowing all we know about limbaugh and his approach to entertainment (we shan't dignify him with the word "politics"), we don't feel it necessary to listen to an entire program of his.
we finally remembered a line from the stand-up comedy of our good friend buzz belmondo, that goes a little something like this:
we just don't like to eat shit the way limbaugh fixes it.
[ed. note: thanks and a tip o' the kangaroo tail to memeorandum for the link.
and since it dilluted our demand for no ad hominem attacks from klavan, we ourselves refrained from pointing out that his last name sounds like jerry lewis going crazy..."hey pretty lady it's a klavan!"]
addendum: mustang bobby, over @ the reaction, is actually more erudite (and less vulgar) than we on this subject.
environmental news stories sunday....
shampoo in the water supply triggers growth of deadly drug-resistant bugs. fabric softeners, disinfectants, shampoos and other household products are spreading drug-resistant bacteria around britain, scientists have warned. detergents used in factories and mills are also increasing the odds that some medicines will no longer be able to combat dangerous diseases. - london observer
will nafta exterminate canadian pesticide bans? a battle brewing over cosmetic pesticides between one of north america's biggest chemical companies and canadian lawmakers may end up re-shaping the future of canada's environmental policies in the years ahead. - toronto ctv
prosecutor accuses macy's of stalling investigation of tainted jewelry. - macy's department store has refused to give prosecutors the names of customers who purchased children's jewelry made with potentially toxic lead, according to an official with the los angeles district attorney's office. - latte times
satellites and google earth prove potent conservation tool. armed with vivid images from space and remote sensing data, scientists, environmentalists, and armchair conservationists are now tracking threats to the planet and making the information available to anyone with an internet connection. - yale environment 360
farm bug found in hospitals. a deadly new form of mrsa is believed to be spreading from farm animals to human for the first time. the bacteria already has been found in hospitals abroad. experts believe excessive use of antibiotics in factory-farmed animals may be behind its development. - london sunday express
groves abuzz this year. to call it a honeybee glut might be an exaggeration, but this year the ever-shifting balance between kern's almond groves and the bees that pollinate them does seem to have tilted in favor of the trees. - bakersfield californian
speaking of the little bumbly buzzy boys.....the buzz in washington d.c. is that not only is the first lady bringing an organic "victory" garden to the whitehouse....she's bringing in the bees!
going organic in the white house was easy. both bubba's and w's kitchens did that with purchases from local farms and a nearby organic market. but homegrown fare, like what first lady michelle obama hopes to produce with her new spring vegetable garden on the south lawn—now, that's more complicated. and not just because crops have to be planted and tended. washington isn't really known for its population of
honeybees, the buzzy bugs needed for pollination. so—you guessed it—the first-ever white house beehive has been installed. - - usnews
Saturday, March 28, 2009
skippy's saturday nite music club
jerry jeff walker - gettin' by
as phil collins would say: su-su-pseudononymous!
addendum: the immoral minority has several reactions from the alaskan blogger community on the mudflats/doogan affair.
we can assure you that skippy is a male
i am reliably told that you are the anonymous blogger who writes mudflats. i am planning to reveal this in the enews i send to my constituents tomorrow, and am writing to let you know this and offer the opportunity to comment.
along w/gov. palin deriding bloggers for exercising their legal rights in alaska, rep. doogan seems to think that being in government doesn't mean that you are accountable to the citizens that got you there; apparently alaskan officials think the reverse: do what we say or else!
and, as avedon points out, doogan is a democrat.
remember, dems can be morons, too.
here's an idea: why not email rep. doogan and let him know how inappropriate it is for a government official to be wasting time invading a citizen's privacy, simply because they disagree w/the official's public platforms?
addendum: big tent armando, over @ talkleft, points out that a couple of guys named alexander hamilton and james madison (and may we remember to add john jay, as well) were all into this pseudononymous thing. tim f. @ balloon juice echoes the sentiment.
and we found that the supreme court, in mcintyre v. ohio elections commission (1995), was, too:
but we're not lawyers.
double addendum: liberty grape, commenting @ balloon juice, also provides us w/the more important email addys:
if you want to really spread the word, you should email the joint committee on legislative ethics. their emails are firstname.lastname@example.org,
remember tonight...8:30 p.m. california time
earth hour began in sydney in 2007, when 2.2 million homes and businesses switched off their lights for one hour. in 2008 the message had grown into a global sustainability movement, with 50 million people switching off their lights. global landmarks such as the golden gate bridge in san francisco, rome’s colosseum, the Ssydney opera house and the coca cola billboard in times square all stood in darkness.
in 2009, earth hour is being taken to the next level, with the goal of 1 billion people switching off their lights as part of a global vote. unlike any election in history, it is not about what country you’re from, but instead, what planet you’re from. vote earth is a global call to action for every individual, every business, and every community. a call to stand up and take control over the future of our planet. over 74 countries and territories have pledged their support to vote earth during earth hour 2009, and this number is growing everyday. - earthhour
Friday, March 27, 2009
skippy's friday nite music club
kenny wayne shepherd - blue on black
live @ the n'awlins house o' blues...
california congresscritter darrel issa to the first lady
california congressman darrell issa has introduced a bill to restore honor to the white house by prohibiting michelle obama from doing any substantive work. - jezebel and think progresspersonally i think mrs. obama should personally introduce whackadoodle car alarm congresscritter darrel to one of her "guns" via a good uppercut.
why newspapers are dying out
we especially like the explanation under matt lauer's ugly mug.
today ups announced it will stop advertising on o’reilly’s show. here is the statement ups emailed out just moments ago:
we are hoping spocko is reading this. he lead the way in free market response to yellow journalism.
you can help out by adding your own notes (which we highly advise, so as to not appear like astro-turf) to the emails that thinkprogress will send to all of o'loofah's sponsors. fill out the form here.
addendum: via commentor bluebirdofunhappiness @ huffpo, why not email ups and thank them personally?
Another not miracle
This story reminds me of that skydiver woman who did a 50 MPH face-plant in a parking lot and lived. She claimed she was saved by a miracle and her god was looking out for her. Um, her god slammed her face first into a parking lot at 50 MPH. Her god hates her. A god who liked her would have opened her parachute properly.
mad about dick cheney's email
Thursday, March 26, 2009
skippy's thursday nite music club - rip dan seals
england dan & john ford coley - i'd really love to see you tonite
rest in peace, dan seals.
who needs the onion when you've already got the gop?
the ploy was so transparent, that even the media noticed it.
via hilzoy, this fark thread has some interesting alternatives which are just as substantial.
snark and the city
tho we don't condone making fun of people's looks, we must needs point out the plethora of repubbblicans on the boston phoenix's list of the top 100 unsexiest men of 2009. such as:
#94 house republicans john boehner & eric cantor (scum and scummer)
#85 rick santelli (market downer)
#71 john mccain
#68 david zucker (plane wreck)
#61 dick cheney
#56 jonah goldberg
#50 john thain (executive washroom attendant)
#44 ron christie (cubicle gooding jr.)
#31 ron prentice (prop hate)
#27 michael steele (disturb your enthusiasm)
#18 joe the plumber (plungebob dumbpants)
#11 bobby jindal (page boy)
#7 jim cramer (crock broker)
of course, there are a fair number of dems on the list, too, including blogojevich, madoff, john edwards, obama's cabinets, both the almost-was and final answer; and there are quite a few guys that are just plain irrelevant, like the freecreditreport.com guy or the shamwow guy (or chris matthews).
but we rejoice in the number one pick for the unsexiest man of 2009: rush limbaugh (jabba the nut)!
but i thought texans believed
texas insurers suffer record losses, officials seek climate answers. hurricanes clobbered texas insurers last year, draining reserve accounts and igniting a full-blown debate in the legislature about the state's ability to address rising risks related to climate change. - climate wire
teleprompter vs. no teleprompter
(tip o' the kangaroo tail to digby for the youtube!)
dear executives: please fellate us until we ejaculate down your throats
i read your resignation letter to aig ceo edward liddy, which was published in the new york times on my birthday, 3/24/2009. having just turned 55, and being currently unemployed and living check to check, i thought you might be interested in my reaction.
the sense of entitlement that you express is absolutely astounding, and beyond the logical comprehension of a lifelong prole such as myself. you state:
if you feel i’m alone in my lack of compassion for your situation, you might want to check out political cartoonist david rees’ opinion:
so when we hear about gazillionaires angry because they can't continue to scam money out of the very system they themselves broke, pardon us if we don't cry.
[ed. note: left i on the news, who knows how to spell his sex acts, points out that the correct word is 'fellate,' not 'fellatiate,' which is what we originally had in our headline. we will remember this the next time it comes up.
and yes, we meant to say that.]
mad about the laughter police
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
skippy's wednesday nite music club
three days grace - animal i have become
we need a better way
our 100-year-old food inspection system is not aging gracefully. despite a century of improvements, consumers are still playing russian roulette when it comes to the food they eat. even today, one in four americans —- 76 million people —- endures a food-borne illness and 5,000 people die each year.
this year’s peanut meltdown alone has killed nine people, sickened thousands and shaken consumer confidence in food safety. reports of the filthy conditions at peanut corporation of america sound more like upton sinclair’s 1905 “the jungle” than a 21st-century food facility. health inspectors and former employees described roaches, mold-covered walls and a rat dry-roasting in the peanuts. - ajc
the food safety system is "plagued with problems," said jeff levi, executive director of trust for america's health, which released the report in conjunction with the robert wood johnson foundation. - latte times
canned over a tuna sandwich
ralph reese, 57, of queens, new york, set aside one tuna fish sandwich from 30 unsold ones, that he tossed into the trash. when a supervisor asked him why the sandwich was on the counter, reese said he planned on eating it. the supervisor threw the sandwich in the trash and two days later reese was fired for misconduct, meaning reese couldn't apply for unemployment benefits. - walletpopthere is one california politico, sen. jenny oropeza, who is trying to do something about it....but the california restaurant association keeps getting in the way.
at a time when record numbers of people are losing their homes, unemployment is rising and a growing number of families are in need, california caterers, hotels and restaurants throw out roughly 1.5 million tons of perfectly good food every year, according to the state integrated waste management board.
...state sen. jenny oropeza (d-long beach) tried to take a small step toward remedying this last year with legislation that would have imposed the modest requirement that caterers inform clients they have the option of donating uneaten food to charity.
that bill, sb 1443, was shot down by the california restaurant assn., which argued that any such requirement would be troublesome for its members.
so now oropeza is back with a new bill, sb 35, that she says is once again intended to remedy the problem of all that food going to waste. - latte times
while ceos and wall street watch their destruction
north dakota is in a race against time as residents try to shore up huge sandbag levees ahead of massive flooding expected to hit this weekend. forecasters predict the red river's waters will crest at 41 feet by early saturday, exceeding record levels set in 1997. - abc
the blustery, bitter cold weather wednesday may have hampered traffic, but it didn’t seem to slow down flood-fighting efforts.
“it’s a typical north dakota spring day,” said fargo resident lee hoedl
as he took a break from sandbagging to warm his hands by an outdoor fireplace. “green grass one day, snow the next.” - grand forks herald
random thought of the day...
i wouldn't know who has the right answer -- the more i look into the "god's will" question, the less i understand any of this whole business. but i can tell you one thing: if i were god, there wouldn't be a thousand different religions. there would only be one -- and everybody would call it their own.
i'd make sure of it.
Labels: random thoughts
if i ran the zoo
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
skippy's tuesday nite music club
little feat - dixie chicken
from the midnite special, with: bonnie raitt, emmylou harris & jesse winchester.
this is *sooo* sad...
he points at a specific part of the the label on the package -- the part that read, "made in brazil."
i look at him and say, "you have GOT to be yankin' my f*&k@%' chain."
then, for the icing on the cake, he pointed to the port destination listed on the label: baltimore, maryland.
so let me get this straight: there are no paper mills left in virginia, or anywhere else in america, it would seem, so we have to buy our stock from brazil. and then we have to ship it thousands of miles north up the atlantic ocean -- past virgnia, for christ's sake -- to baltimore, and then have a trucker pick it up and drive south for four or five hours to henrico county.
this weekend, i picked up a new utility knife because i broke my last one. as luck would have it, i ran out of spare utility knife blades around the same time i broke my knife, so i bought some new spares, too. the knife is a craftsman, and the blades are from allway tools -- and both are american-made, baby.
and now i'm using them to cut open paper rolls made in brazil.
this is one more reason why i'm glad i torpedoed mockingbird's medley. i was angry about the direction this country was heading when it counted four years ago -- so angry that 2005 is pretty much a blur to me now, whereas 2004 is a lot clearer to me. i don't see the point in being angry anymore. i just cut open the brazilian paper rolls and use them. i listen to people who are furious about the direction this country is headed these days and i ask them, "where were you four years ago?" (very good hint: one mall or another, buying foreign crap they never needed in the first place.)
and you know what else? i've read ayn rand's "atlas shrugged." unlike a lot of the people who've been trashing that novel of late, i actually enjoyed it -- it just didn't turn me into an objectivist zombie, or a faux libertarian with delusions of grandeur. and i'm beginning to wonder whether or not john galt had the right idea...
mad about brit hume
Monday, March 23, 2009
skippy's monday nite music club
garbage - why do you love me
live @ glastonbury...shirley has her way w/a blow up doll...definitely a rockin' performance
the big o you need to know?
the ogallala aquifer: saving a vital u.s. water source. - the ogallala aquifer, the vast underground reservoir that gives life to the fields of the midwest, is disappearing. in some places, the groundwater is already gone. and scientists say it will take natural processes 6,000 years to refill the reservoir. - scientific american
no doubt redoubt
alaska's mt. redoubt volcano, which had been in a tempestuous mood for two months, erupted sunday night at 10:38 p.m., sending an ash cloud 50,000 feet above sea level.
the alaska volcano observatory recorded four more large explosions during the night. tina neal, a geologist with the us geological survey, said that "so far the major population centers in south-central alaska have been spared any kind of dusting of ash." - latimes
the avo staff also warned authorities at the drift river oil terminal -- on the western shore of cook inlet downriver from the volcano -- that mud flows and flooding from melting glaciers might be headed their way.
cook inlet pipe line company, which operates the terminal, said early this morning that it had begun shutting the facility down. - adn
The magician's trick
totally pointless question of the day...
mine is led zeppelin's "four sticks." because i love the way that song rolls, that's why.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
skippy's sunday nite music club
divinyls - boys in town
roos on the run
vandals set loose 15 kangaroos from an australian theme park in southern france, sparking a major search operation, with three marsupials still on the loose on sunday. - afp
"happy" world water day
there’s a word out there getting a lot of use, and it’s not “bailout.” in case you missed the news or you’ve just forgotten, the word is “drought.” and like our sagging economy, many hydrologists say we should just get used to it, because it might be sticking around for a while. - ventura county staron this water awareness day...stop by our bloggy buddy aquafornia and read some more "dry" stories.
in an exclusive interview, eliot spitzer talks to fareed zakaria about the economic crisis and the scandal that led to his own resignation as governor of new york state. spitzer conducted his own in-depth investigation of aig when he was attorney general of new york state and says that while so much attention is focused on the aig bonuses, we might be missing even bigger problems. - cnn
environmental stories sunday
large agriculture operations add billions to our economy but what price are we paying?
merced county may be a bucolic place filled with flowering almond orchards, but some of the worst pollution in the county is connected to the very industries that are at the heart of the area's economy. - merced sun-star
hazards in the water for colorado. - more than 150,000 people in colorado drank from water supplies last year that violated public health standards. - denver post
salmon and culverts at heart of legal battle between tribes, washington state.
a monumental lawsuit is pending in washington state, as 19 tribes prepare for a courtroom debate over highway culverts that keep salmon from reaching their spawning grounds - kitsap sun.
57 varieties of sweet water fishes on verge of extinction in s region. at least fifty-seven indigenous varieties of sweet water fishes, particularly small ones, are on the verge of extinction throughout the southern region. - dhaka new nation
rubber ducks dropped into greenland's jakobshavn glacier to track ice flow. to keep track of climate change, scientists around the world employ some of the most sophisticated devices and machines found in the 21st century. still, sometimes scientists just need a rubber ducky. - palm beach daily news
trudie styler: why i had to use my celebrity to try to save the rainforest. - the film producer, champion of ecological causes and wife of Sting, talks about the environmental outrage at the heart of her new screen project, and why - as a frequent flyer - she dismisses carbon offsetting as 'a crock'. - london observer
after yucca mountain: america's homeless nuclear waste. every year, the nation's 104 nuclear plants create about 2,200 tons of nuclear waste and stow it in storage containers beside cooling towers across america. - salt lake tribune
virginia health department recalls oysters from certain mississippi waters. the virginia department of health today is notifying all shellfish dealers and food distributors in virginia that oysters harvested from a section of mississippi's gulf coast have been linked to an outbreak of norovirus. - richmond times dispatch
farm yields more containers. federal and state investigators found three more containers saturday in their search for illegally buried farm chemicals, waste oil and furniture in a local vineyard. - yakima herald republic
Saturday, March 21, 2009
skippy's saturday nite music club
elvis presley - suspicious minds
quote of the day
washington mutual's holding company is suing federal regulators for billions of dollars, saying the fire sale of the bank's assets to jpmorgan chase violated its rights. - ap
matt taibbi calls it like he sees it
...people are pissed off about this financial crisis, and about this bailout, but they're not pissed off enough. the reality is that the worldwide economic meltdown and the bailout that followed were together a kind of revolution, a coup d'état. they cemented and formalized a political trend that has been snowballing for decades: the gradual takeover of the government by a small class of connected insiders, who used money to control elections, buy influence and systematically weaken financial regulations. - rolling stone.
quote of the day - bonus edition
it was only a few sentences, but carlson managed to get two things wrong. nobody is saying jim cramer is "responsible" for the current recession; they're saying he and cnbc and other media didn't do enough to expose problems earlier. and stewart has been criticizing cramer for at least a year, so carlson's claim that he is only doing so because cramer attacked president obama's economic policies is demonstrably false.
carlson must have liked the "sweaty and pathetic" line; he came back to it during an appearance on cnn's reliable sources on sunday: "cramer was craven and sweaty and pathetic. ... but jon stewart, let's be honest, this was a partisan attack. he went after cramer the moment cramer criticized obama's budget. that was the mortal sin. that's what kicked off this entire feud." ...
of course, the real problem isn't that carlson's attacks on stewart seem overeager and contrived, it's with the merits of his case. he's wrong or lying about the details of the stewart-cramer war of words. in (falsely) challenging stewart's motives, and in defending cnbc from criticism nobody is making, carlson is downplaying the problems with, if not defending, cnbc's reporting. and his contention that jon stewart, rather than cnbc, fails to meet the appropriate standards of journalism, shows an extraordinary lack of perspective. maybe he'll come up with a more compelling critique of stewart soon. we can be sure he'll keep trying -- just like george costanza.
mad about bushie negotiators
gone too toon
Friday, March 20, 2009
skippy's friday nite music club
stan boreson - i just don't look good naked anymore
we can relate...
is a tapper the same as a twitter?
i linked to this article and asked if he could comment on it, and clarify his policy on what is and isn’t acceptable criticism… and within three minutes, my comment was deleted from his site.
so… i reposted, letting the audience know my first post appeared to have been “accidentally” deleted.
… and then he manually stripped out the link to this article.
class act, jake.
true, awol was talking about the death of thousands of american military personnel (not to mention tens of thousands of iraqis), and not the bowling abilities of differently-abled people, but you must admit the disregard for human experience is there.
and the reaction? well, as you can see, all the washington correspondents thought it was just damn hilarious! wow, nothing's funnier than total disdain for those less fortunate than you!
if you're a repubbblican, that is...
(tip o' the kangaroo tail to memeorandum for the links on this story)
remember, "twitter" is the verb for "twit"
not so tweet news
one-third of us birds are endangered, says conservation report, - energy production deriving from wind, ethanol and mountain-top coal mining is contributing to steep drops in bird populations, a u.s. government report found- ap via the guardian
birds are a priceless part of america’s heritage. they are beautiful, they are economically important—and they reflect the health of our environment. this state of the birds report reveals troubling declines of bird populations during the past 40 years—a warning signal of the failing health of our ecosystems. - state of the birds reportfor some amazing bird photos...may we suggest you visit our bloggin' rachel ray lovin' jim fletcher, photography extraordinaire.
kangaroo blogging friday
While you are at the store, pick up a bag of kangaroo
Originally uploaded by alumroot
more furry fun over at the modulator's friday ark.
marilyn coyne's last dance
NORTH READING - Marilyn Coyne survived the Depression with little food and no heat in her parents' flat in Portland, Maine. She married and sent four kids to college. She saw her husband and one of their children die. And, in November, after three years of fighting breast cancer, she was told by a doctor that she had months to live.
In hospice care and losing weight in recent weeks as the cancer crept through her body, she confided to a hospice volunteer that she had a last wish, something that recalled summer nights of her childhood and joy with her husband. She wanted a final square dance.
Yesterday, her wish came true. Coyne donned a floral skirt, a crimson petticoat, and a red peasant shirt, and walked to the center of a nursing room social hall, where nine professional square-dancers, dressed in cowboy shirts and calico, waited for her.
It had been a decade since she last clasped hands with a partner, but as music played, the elfin Coyne deftly followed the dance caller's instructions of allemande left, promenade, and do-si-do. After five minutes of swinging her partner, and singing along with "She'll Be Com ing 'Round the Mountain," Coyne let her thin, 82-year-old frame fall into a padded wooden chair and took a deep breath.
"That," she sighed, "was wonderful."
entire story well-worth reading.
mad about distraction
and did someone bury a shovel at the same time?
detective tyler farrell with the tarrant regional auto crimes task force said a former golf course worker recently contacted authorities. the person had noticed part of the bulldozer while fertilizing part of the course.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
skippy's thursday nite music club
zeptepi - the end
from our buddy essaress...
a.i.g. hates america
while the american international group comes under fire from congress over executive bonuses, it is quietly fighting the federal government for the return of $306 million in tax payments, some related to deals that were conducted through offshore tax havens. -nytimeswhere do these folks have their corporate charter? time to pull it.
quote of the day
cramer v. cramer
6 years later....
baghdad's water still undrinkable 6 years after invasion. ihsan jaafar, iraq's director of public health, said the water had been bad for years, but that it now carried cholera, typhoid, dysentery, hepatitis and other diseases. - mcclatchy newspapers.yep. we've been in iraq 6 years.
$10 million to upgrade executive office
citigroup inc. plans to spend about $10 million on new offices for chief executive officer vikram pandit and his lieutenants, after the u.s. government injected $45 billion of cash into the bank. - bloombergwe're the pooch in this s*** the pooch scenario.
jpmorgan chase wamu gets bailout funds
on a day when aig remained the no. 1 target of populist wrath from both parties, 43 house democrats dashed off a letter to jp morgan chase ceo jamie dimon, blasting the bank's plan to spend $400 million on expanding its indian it workforce. - talking points memo
down the penrose lane
mad about aig bonuses
coming soon: 'sustainable water' certification. a couple of years from now, beer, cola, rice, breakfast cereal, cotton t-shirts and many other goods may come with a new logo: a label which says the water used to make this product came from a sustainable source. - afp
who owns colorado's rainwater? according to the state of colorado, rainwater cannot be collected and should be allowed to fall to the ground and flow into surrounding creeks and streams to become the property of the people and agencies that have bought the rights to those waterways. - latimes
what jellyfish can tell us about climate change. an east stroudsburg university professor has studied a delicate sea creature off japan's coast, and shed new light on how climate change is disrupting the ocean's food chain. - stroudsberg pocono record
islands disappear in india. as islands in eastern india disappear under rising seas, residents are losing land, homes, and farms. - national geographic news
anger as shell reduces renewables investment. royal dutch shell provoked a furious backlash from campaigners yesterday when it announced plans to scale back its renewable energy business and focus purely on oil, gas and biofuels. - london times
taking the climate change fight to the sheep paddock. western australian scientists are aiming to put climatefriendly sheep on the menu, by breeding varieties that belch less methane than conventional flocks. - perth west australian
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
skippy's wednesday nite music club
zlad - elektronik supersonik
only thing can stop us is flat tire...
more failure bonuses on the way
fannie mae plans to pay retention bonuses of at least $1 million to four key executives as part of a plan to keep hundreds of employees from leaving the government-controlled company.if anyone takes a "bonus" when the businesses are bankrupt and faltering, they have hate america. simple as that. they know the country can't afford paying them these massive amounts of money and if they take it...they place greed over country.
rival mortgage finance company freddie mac is planning similar awards, but has not yet reported on which executives will benefit. - ap
rip natasha richardson
photo: tv guide
in a shocking and tragic development, actress natasha richardson has died from an apparent head injury sustained on a skiing trip. latimes:
richardson suffered a devastating brain injury in a skiing accident monday at mont tremblant, a luxury resort in canada. the actress was taking a lesson on a beginner's run near the bottom of the ski area and was not wearing a helmet in what first appeared to be a minor accident.
she initially reported that she was well, but soon started to complain of a headache. hours after the fall, the star of a number of acclaimed stage plays -- including roles in "anna christie," "a streetcar named desire" and "closer" -- slipped into unconsciousness, and she was transported tuesday from a montreal hospital back to new york, where she was surrounded by family and friends.
tho she never was the star in her movies, ms. richardson was always a supporting actor that could be counted on, and often stole the show from those she was supporting (see: maid in america, the parent trap). onstage, she won both the tony award and drama desk award for her performance as sally bowles in the sam mendes production of cabaret.
natasha richardson was married to liam nisson, and they had two little sons. we offer our heartfelt condolences to the family.
the world is a little darker tonite. rip natasha richardson, taken from us far too soon.
addendum: reader henri sends us to this online memorial for natasha.
you don't get a second chance to make a first impression
then he started to talk, and i changed my mind in a hurry.
first point: the california budget process is busted. and the state is damned near busted, now having managed to fall below louisiana as the state with the worst bond rating. good. as far as i'm concerned, acknowledging that fact out loud is the basic eligibility requirement for a gubernatorial candidate.
second point: san francisco has its budget under control, with a rainy-day fund. newsom fixed the multi-hundred-million dollar structural deficit he found, and didn't let it stop him from doing a bunch of expensive stuff that needed doing. that's obviously going to be his central campaign pitch: fiscal competence that isn't just fiscal competence but relates to programs people care about. no idea how accurate his claims are, but he made them convincingly (albeit without saying what, precisely, he has sf spending less money on than it used to).
which leads into: the two-thirds rule for passing the budget sets up a "tyranny of the majority" and has to go, and the only way to get rid of it is via a state constitutional convention that would also get rid of some of the other barnacles on the budget process: not just the set-asides, but holy prop 13 as well. california is a rich state with the eighth largest economy in the world, and it shouldn't be run as a third-world country. "the bar is so low that everyone is complimenting themselves on putting together a midnight deal, as if that was the job we hired them to do."
okay, now he has me completely.
In the Village...
I've been reading Somerby (The Daily Howler) and Digby (Hullaballoo) for years as they've tracked the peculiarities of what they call "the Village", the coterie of Washington insider journalists and pundidiots who support and protect one another and support and protect the politicians and personalities they cover, often to the detriment of the people who go to them for news and information. It is only in the Village that George Bush, the son of a US vice president, scion of a well-moneyed family, connected up the whazoo, product of a prep school and Ivy League education, is painted as a populist. It is only in the Village that the late Tim Russert, a man whose show was described by Dick Cheney's staff as a friendly, easily manipulated forum, could be regarded as a tough interviewer. In the Village, you can paint Representative Gary Condit as Chandra Levy's murderer, destroying his career in the process; when the real murderer confesses years later, you blow it off, pretend you were right to accuse an innocent man of murder, and you won't hear one word of criticism from any other Villagers. In the Village, you can be wrong about everything, but once you're in, you're in for life. When you're a Jet, you're a Jet all the way, from your first cigarette to your last dying day.
A couple of years ago, when I was still producing vast numbers of articles for the now defunct Blanton's and Ashton's web log, I was invited, along with many other bloggers, to a "summit" at NBC news. Intrigued, knowing nothing about what they wanted to discuss, I attended, along with several other bloggers I knew from the New York/metropolitan area. I won't go into a lengthy discussion of what transpired. I wrote about it at the time, as did the others with whom I attended the session, but one thing I never mentioned was the shrimp.
Prior to the summit getting underway, we bloggers were treated to some of NBC's largesse. We were feted with deli platters and cheese platters, cookies and cakes, and a much ballyhooed platter of shrimp. I mean a much ballyhooed platter of shrimp. NBC staff mentioned it several times during the course of the evening. If you got into a conversation with an NBC staffer, you could be sure he or she would ask if you'd had the shrimp. During the big group discussion (the actual "summit"), which took place in Conan O'Brien's studio, with the web loggers sitting in the audience, the shrimp was mentioned a couple of times as well. Oddly enough, the bloggers didn't bring it up, but the NBC people were certain to mention it again and again.
After the general discussion I found myself talking to an executive producer at NBC. The first thing he said to me, after I'd introduced myself, was, "How did you like the shrimp?"
I've thought about that evening quite a bit over the years but it was only today, as I pondered again the remarkable behavior of the Villagers, that the sundry bits and pieces floating around in my brain converged to produce some clarity as to what all that shrimp business, and the Village itself, was about. To give you a handle on those sundry bits and pieces, there are two incidents you need to hear about. First, throughout last year's presidential election campaign, reporters fawned all over John McCain like they were in love, replaying again and again the Village script that McCain was a maverick, ignoring how McCain had voted with Bush time and again on an agenda that was disastrous for the United States, and mentioning, frequently, how McCain had thrown a barbecue for the press. The barbecue: that's the key.
Second, though my recollection is a teensy bit fuzzy, rendering the precise quote perhaps off by a few words, the gist is accurate, so I recall for you a quote from a book I used to own. If I get the time, I'll see if I can find someone with a copy of the book and look it up. The book in question is David Halberstam's "The Summer of '49", which describes the 1949 American League pennant race between the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. At one point Halberstam quotes Joe DiMaggio as he expresses his disgust with sports writers. "Look at 'em, " DiMaggio says contemptuously, "I can buy any one of them for a five dollar steak and a bottle of wine," meaning he could take a reporter to dinner and that's all it would take to get that reported on his side. A five dollar steak and a bottle of wine. Feed them a meal.
That's what the shrimp was about. That's why NBC thought we would all be bought off and become their BFFs, because if you put a shrimp platter out for the NBC news crew, you buy them forever and they become your BFFs. When those disparate stories converged in my mind, I understood how you can own the Villagers: buy them dinner. That's all you have to do. Buy them dinner. They are as cheaply bought as that.
So when you read Somerby and Digby and contemplate the cozy little Village and its inhabitants, keep that in mind. These people aren't ideological, they are bought. They can be bought for a steak dinner and a bottle of wine. If any of you are thinking of running for office, keep that in mind.
mad about bushie spinmeisters
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
skippy's tuesday nite music club
ray charles, jerry lee lewis, fats domino, paul schaffer, ron wood, some other guys - boogie & jambalaya
...new york attorney general andrew cuomo confirmed in a letter to congress that this year, after receiving federal bailout money, aig paid 73 employees bonuses of more than $1 million each.if they weren't retained...they don't need the bonuses.
cuomo also wrote that 11 of the employees no longer work for the company. the largest bonus paid was $6.4 million; seven other people also received more than $4 million each. - cnn
remember how congresscritters said drugs made overseas
the apparently insatiable demands of the world for viagra has brought a rare prosperity to ringaskiddy - population 370 - for it is here that a key ingredient of the drug is made in the town's pfizer plant.happy st. paddy's day...hope your "spirits" rise to the occassion.
most of the farmland around ringaskiddy was handed over to american chemical companies some time ago. pfizer was the first, in 1969, and now dominates the village's skyline as much as the cork-to-swansea car ferryport. - the independent