Gonna get this done early, before the day overwhelms me.
One of those themes I keep coming back to is my desire to know specifics about why were so damn lucky Bush is our President. What exactly did he do on September 11 that no other potential president would have done? What exactly would a President Gore or Kerry have done over the past couple years--turn the country over to bin Laden? Ezra Klein goes down that path as well; apparently what matters is enthusiasm.
Big Stars of Left Blogg Towne: Atrios on them Zombie lies, keep comin' back. Katie Couric and Prickly City this week. Gilliard on Russert/Obama/Belafonte. Ted Barlow: Who does Osama actually sound like? Kevin Drum on Health Savings Accounts: "Just remember: if you think more risk, more complexity, and less healthcare are the answer, HSAs are for you. The rest of us will keep pushing for something that actually makes sense." (If Democrats don't make that the catchphrase of opposing HSAs, I'll go down to the Hill and kick every one of them myself.)
Some relatively new stars are Glenn Greenwald, who runs down that famous civility issue, and Peter Daou, who talks more about the Democrats' broken triange. Both these guys should be among your regular reading.
And of COURSE you already know about the The 2006 George W. Bush Dead Kitten Survey.
Haven't given much space to baseball lately, but since I just ponied up for my season tickets this morning, here goes: I agree with Curly W that Jim Bowden is making moves for the sake of making moves, and ultimately doing the Nats more harm than good. Oleanders & Morning Glories is doing a series on MLB mascots that obviously deserves more of my attention. Finally, feminists speak out on that Anna Benson.
I refer, of course, to Snakes on a Plane.
How did I not know about this sooner? Seriously, Snakes on a Plane. Holy shit.
Two anti-climactic conference championship games yesterday. Congrats to the two dozen or so Steelers fans I know, and to the smattering of Seahawks fans like Frinklin. Not sure what the media's storyline for this one will be--they'll probably focus on Jerome Bettis. And they could do a lot worse than that.
Of course, what people will remember most about this season is the collapse of the Colts. I believe Dungy should take play-calling back from Manning, especially late in games, because Manning calls too many passes, especially long passes. Look at the final drive in the playoff game against the Steelers after getting that miracle fumble back from Bettis: 2nd and 2 on the Steelers' 36, 39 seconds to go. How about a quick out to move the chains and stop the clock? Maybe even a run (did they have any timeouts left), followed by a spike? No, Manning takes a shot down the field to Wayne, and then another incompletion, leading to the awful field goal attempt. The game against San Diego that ruined the undefeated season didn't contain such an egregious example, but was similar--throw throw throw throw, when a few more runs may have been appropriate. Take the drive in the fourth quarter when the Colts were down two with about five minutes to go. Plenty of time, and a field goal could win the game. Best-case scenario is a clock-killing drive with the winning kick at the end. But Manning's out there throwing on just about every down.
Whatever. Two weeks of nonsense, including Easterbrook's annual complaint that the playoffs shouldn't be as popular as they are because most teams aren't playing, followed by what will either be a laugher, or "the greatest Super Bowl EVER," as it seems like 4 of the last 5 have been called.
There are certain points that I seem to make here a lot (and by "make" I mean "link to someone else who explains it far better than I ever could"). I have a lot of those this week.
Think ridiculous medical malpractice lawsuits are a huge problem? They're not.
Would Republicans change their tune if a Democrat was in power and the same things happened? Of course.
People who support the war and are bravely, so bravely doing their part at home rather than enlisting and actually fighting? Chickenhawks.
Invade Iran? Bad idea.
Bush's Medicaid drug plan? So bungled as to be indistinguishable from malice.
Ticking time bomb scenarios to justify torture? Stupid. Seriously, for God's sake, just stop. 24 is a TV show, OK? It's not real.
Less seroius: The Bush presidency as text adventure. More cool music videos that very few have ever seen. And if you one watch one Homestar Runner cartoon this year, make it the Trogdor third birthday celebration.
Because there must be blog for every topic under the sun. I just got one of those single serve-coffee pod brewers for Christmas, and through dumb luck I've found there's a blog for that.
No one should ever say I'm hard to buy presents for, because it's all right there on my Amazon wish list. Now I've got a nifty plugin under the blogroll that shows you what I'm interested in. Get your own here.
Just like I've been sayin'. Amazing what being out of office does for our Democratic leaders--both Clinton and Gore feel free to speak the truth.
A few months ago I took exception to a Peter King item in which he told us we were all bad people for being tired of the New England Patriots. I wonder if King still thinks the Patriots are the epitome of class and sportsmanship now that they've lost, and losing starts to take its toll.
I really hate arguing with people on the Internet, because for the most part people refuse to be convinced of anything--they continue to believe they're right no matter how much contrary evidence is presented to them. Case in point: this installment of the always-excellent Ask the Pilot column, in which Patrick Smith makes well-reasoned comments that a recent Alaska Airlines depressurization incident weren't really that big a deal. The blogger who is selling his hysterics over the incident didn't just refuse to engage these points; he deleted the comments from his blog. He'd rather be a jackass and continue to wail about what a horrible experience it was than actually read what Smith has to say.
Furthermore, people continue to provoke James Wolcott, despite all the evidence that this will lead to your public humiliation.
The Joseph Arthur video was on this list of the 50 best videos of the year, which is interesting for the comment thread as much as the content. I don't see many videos these days, but I can't imagine that all hip-hop videos are the same. Someone must be doing something interesting out there--MF Doom? Kanye West? The Roots? Anyone?
A couple days ago we were out to lunch at a cafeteria-type place. Mrs. Fool was off getting food; I was trying to get set up at a table, with the Little Fools in the double stroller. An older gentleman walked by, and asked Lizzie "Is that your little brother? or sister?" And she answered "Sister."
He looked at me. "You're lucky," he said.
"Indeed I am," I replied.
First LFF of 2006! Just as much passed-on, not-written-by-me quality content as last year!
More on the "Bush supporters are a bunch of bed-wetting pansies" theme at Digby, this time by Glenn Greenwald.
The "Snapper says no to Wal-Mart" is being passed around. I was all going to reference it back to what selling to Wal-Mart did to Vlasic, but TBogg beat me to it.
I don't go through the Pentagon Metro station much these days, and I'm kind of glad. Because these "we're watching" ads are creeeeeeeeeeeepy. But hey, the innocent have nothing to hide, right? Put more of these all over America and maybe people will rethink their position on the Patriot Act and unchecked wiretapping.
The latest issue of Keyboard Kommandos is a fine piece of work. Another extremely fine piece of work is the Rude Pundit's recent posts on visiting the New Orleans area. If you're easily offended and thus avoid the Rude One, seriously, check it out this time. It's reporting that we're not getting from the Liberal Media.
Finally, if you care to destroy any productivity you might have had remaining on this Friday afternoon, check out Jay Is Games' top 20 of 2005.
My Nats 20-game plan details (and invoice) arrived in the mail today.
Despite the negatives, it's nice to at least imagine going to a baseball game again. FoolBlog readers who are in the area, e-mail me or drop a comment if you'd like to be on my Nats ticket e-mail list. I'll be selling both seats for a number of games at face value, and on those days when I am a friendless loser, I'll write asking for someone to go to a game with me. A ticket for the latter occasion will cost you just a hot dog and a beer.
As luck would have it, I got a postcard from the Orioles this week, inviting me to an exclusive ticket pre-sale event today, two days before they're available to the general public (so exclusive there's only several thousand of us who got the opportunity, of course). So today I went online and picked up tickets for... Nats at O's, natch, June 24. I'm generally not down with cheering for the road team, but in this case I'll make an exception. Peter Angelos can cram it.
"Is Reggie Bush the greatest of all time? You decide." Followed by Reggie Bush highlight reel.
Not sure. Do you have a highlight reel of everyone else who's ever played college football? Or at least the really good players? I'll need that for your "greatest of all time" tasking. Y'know, when you have a chance. No rush. Thanks.
A few weeks ago I commented on the Post's stunning revelation that people act like drunk morons at Redskins games, and it's not exactly a place you want to take your kids. Seems like that's extending to TV as well.
Sunday I was watching Redskins-Eagles at home, and they ran an ad for the forthcoming movie Hostel. I got from the ad that Quentin Tarantino produced it, and thus I free-associated Pulp Fiction: Hostel looks like the Maynard/Zed/Gimp scene, only with all the humor and interesting characters removed, and about thirty times more violent. Fortunately, my two-year-old was not in the room at the time.
Dammit, I really hate sounding like a Focus on the Family pinhead. I wholeheartedly agree with the suggestion, "If you don't like it, don't watch it or listen to it (or let your kids do the same)." But criminy, I'd like to think I can watch a sporting event in my house without worrying about my daughter seeing footage of a screaming dude in his underwear, tied to a chair, and a hand wielding a power drill.
And of course, this sequence occurred on Fox, whose programming and news divisions really need to sit down and compare agendas.
Friday night: Made hash from the Christmas roast, and served with a frittata. I've decided the frittata is the best way to cook family-style eggs: easy, quick, cooks up real nice, and the pan comes clean very easily.
Saturday: I mentioned a couple weeks ago that I felt an Asian kick coming on. That came to fruition, as I made my own pho ga. First I made stock from the Christmas Eve turkey (which was so massive I only used half the carcass for this batch), using ginger and scallions rather than my typical carrots 'n' celery. I assembled the soup with rice noodles, turkey, and the variety of condiments (has anyone ever made turkey pho before?). As with deep-frying, the results were not bad, but on the whole I think best left to professionals--my effort won't make me forget Pho 75 any time soon.
Sunday: We've adopted black-eyed peas as our New Years Day lucky dish. Love 'em. They're easy, too: Soak a half-pound of dried black-eyed peas for at least four hours, then drain. Toss in a pan with two stalks of celery and half an onion chopped up, half a pound of flavorful porky meat (smoked sausage, ham, et. al.), and a half-teaspoon of dried red pepper flakes. Add water just to cover, and simmer for 30 to 60 minutes. Serve over rice, preferably with greens on the side, and hot sauce a-plenty.
Monday: More of that Asian kick, as I made Balinese yellow shrimp curry (props to the Big Book of Asian Cooking). Pretty good, but it suffered as I left out the Thai chiles. Mrs. Fool hasn't been down with spicy food since her pregnancy, and the Thai chiles I got were freakin' HOT, so I skipped them for her benefit. I chopped one of them and put it on my serving, which was fine, but just not the same as cooking them up with the ginger, garlic, and lemongrass, and having that heat permeate the dish.
Ex-Mayor Marion Barry robbed, apparently by some "youths" who had helped him carry groceries earlier.
Make all the jokes about Marion Barry you want, but he has a LOT of friends in the District. Some crimes in DC go uninvestigated because witnesses are afraid to step forward, but if any of these kids let a single word slip, they're up the creek. They'd better HOPE they get arrested before anything else happens to them.
I spent the better part of the week studying for a new certification, and I took the test late Friday (passed easily, natch). So no LFF for you, until I finally sat myself down at the computer at this late hour. Please excuse this post being largely incoherent; just click the freakin' links.
Good post by Amanda at Pandagon on the push for "family values" being a reaction by the Boomers as their life paths are rejected by the next generation. As one who didn't get married and have kids until his 30s, I think there's something to this.
This is some weird crap: Bush loves him some brush-clearin'. We knew that, sure, but it goes beyond. Good follow-on analysis by Digby, as always.
I love it when a legislator draws up a law or rule opposing something, then those all-about-character conservatives oppose it, because we already don't like that, see, and we don't need a law that makes it official. DoD vs. human trafficking is the latest example.
A bunch of awfulness thrown together in one barely discernable pile, because I'm tired: Add Ohio to the list of states I don't ever want to live in. Wolcott on the bloody fantasies of the wingnuts. Torture is still stupid. What's good for Bush is good for America! Norbiz comments on Juan Cole's ten myths about Iraq.
I'm pulling this one out of the pile, because it's the best of the lot: at Blah3, turning America into an Israel-style hyper-secure state means turning it into a place not worth living in.
To end on a more pleasant note, as soon as Jeanne put up a post saying her computer had died, I knew this would happen. Couldn't have happened to a better blogger.