Tuesday, March 30, 2010

quote of the day

"Jay [Leno's] a creep. I would never do anything to help Jay. When Jay was number one at 11:30 at night I told Dave Letterman, 'You can count on me. As long as you want me, I'll be there for you.' Because I can't stand Jay and I'll say it right on TV that Jay's a f***ing creep."
– Howard Stern
audio of stern and rosie o'donnell dismantling jay leno here.

staying idle on idol

readers aren't happy with my basically ignoring american idol this season.

What has happened to your Idol posts? It has been almost a month and we are in fear that something bad has happened to you. Every morning after idol I come into work and we pull up tuesdaysblog to see what you have to say. The girls at the dental office have taken a fondness to your writings. Please bring Idol back!!
Please tell me FF Idol returns this week?
WTF Tuesdaysblog? Where is Fast-forward Idol? You're not suggesting we have to endure actually watching the show, are you? I much prefer just reading what you have to say about it the next day.
why no ff-idol on tuesdaysblog? lack of time, perhaps. lack of interest, maybe. this is not to say it won't return at some point...

Monday, March 29, 2010

in threes...?

first sean hayes, now ricky martin... (this would be akin to paul lynde and charles nelson reilly coming out in the 70's.) my question is... who's next?

Saturday, March 27, 2010

quote of the day

"I would like to just take a moment to thank the teabaggers. Thank you so much for helping us pass health care – for resurrecting the Obama presidency.

And I know they're saying 'But Bill, why are you thanking me? I was so against it I marched on Washington with teabags hanging off my founding fathers costume, with a gun on my hip and a picture of Obama dressed as Hitler, screaming about his birth certificate.'

Yes, and America saw that and said, 'I think I'll go with the calm black man.'"
– bill maher

a new, muscular obama

are we seeing a new, emboldened, muscular obama?
President Obama, making a muscular show of his executive authority just one day after Congress left for spring recess, said Saturday that he would bypass the Senate and install 15 appointees, including a union lawyer whose nomination to the National Labor Relations Board was blocked last month with the help of two Democrats.

Coming on the heels of Mr. Obama’s big victory on health care legislation, Saturday’s move suggests a newly emboldened president who is unafraid to provoke a confrontation with the minority party.

Just two days ago, all 41 Senate Republicans sent Mr. Obama a letter urging him not to appoint the union lawyer, Craig Becker, during the recess. Mr. Obama’s action, in defiance of the Republicans, was hailed by union leaders, but it also seemed certain to intensify the partisan rancor that has enveloped Washington.
but kevin drum says the move is as significant in who obama did not appoint as who he did:
After he took office Obama nominated two Democrats and one Republican to fill the [National Labor Relations Board's] three vacant seats and got support from a couple of Republicans on the HELP committee for the entire slate. But when it got to the Senate floor John McCain put a hold on [Craig] Becker, and his nomination — along with the others — died.

Fast forward to today and Obama finally decides to fill the board using recess appointments.

But what does he do? He only appoints the two Democrats. This is not what you do if you're trying to make nice. It's what you do if you're playing hardball and you want to send a pointed message to the GOP caucus. You won't act on my nominees? Fine. I'll appoint my guys and then leave it up to you to round up 50 votes in the Senate for yours. Have fun.

bill booked his athiest buddy

bill maher and christopher hitchens on the catholic church.

Friday, March 26, 2010

cute cute, little baby.

little pee pee, little toes.

i'm just a bill

frivolous and political

wisconsin governor jim doyle has responded to his state attorney general's request to sue the federal government over health care legislation. pretty. clear.
March 25, 2010

Dear Attorney General Van Hollen:

I have received your request for permission to file an action to contest national health insurance reform. I am denying that request.

This law is an act of Congress, signed by the President of the United States. The lawsuit you suggest is a frivolous and political attempt to thwart the actions of Congress and the law of the country.

National health insurance reform will extend coverage to more than 172,000 Wisconsin residents and will benefit families and small businesses throughout the state.

This year, small business owners will receive tax credits to buy health insurance. Insurance companies will no longer be able to deny coverage to American children because of a pre-existing condition; nor will they be able to drop someone's coverage when they get sick and need it the most.

This law enhances the actions taken by my Administration to make Wisconsin America’s health care leader.

The State of Wisconsin will not enter into litigation intended to deny health care for tens of thousands of residents.


Jim Doyle

Thursday, March 25, 2010

quote of the day

"Leaders of the Republican Party called the passage of (the Health Care Reform) bill Armageddon! Armageddon! The end of freedom as we know it!

So after I signed the bill I looked around to see if there were any asteroids falling, some cracks opening up in the earth. Turned out it was a nice day."

– president barack obama

i'm not dead yet

no last minute public option in the senate reconciliation bill.

"bring her on."

massachusetts senator scott brown is having fantasies about rachel maddow.

i'm not dead yet

could there still be life for the public option in this health care bill? this news late wednesday, early thursday from huffington post:
Senate Republicans succeeded early Thursday morning in finding two flaws in the House-passed Health Care reconciliation package. Neither is of any substance, but the Senate parliamentarian informed Democratic leaders that both are in violation of the Byrd Rule.

The House is once again required to vote on it. With no substantial changes, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) should have little problem assembling the same coalition of 220 Democrats who passed the measure Sunday night. That's already four more than the minimum 216 required for passage.

The ruling might give Democrats another option -- the public one.

Democratic leadership no longer has to worry that additional amendments would send it back to the House, since it must return to the lower chamber regardless. The Senate is now free to put to the test that much-debated question of whether 50 votes exist for a public option. Democrats could also elect to expand Medicare or Medicaid, now that they only need 50 votes in the Senate and the approval of the House.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

take a picture, it'll last longer

grace slick and janis joplin in 1967, by legendary rock and roll photographer jim marshall. marshall died in his sleep last night in new york city, at age 74.

the pope's final act?

could wisconsin's rev. lawrence murphy case be what brings down this pope?
Top Vatican officials — including the future Pope Benedict XVI — did not defrock a priest who molested as many as 200 deaf boys, even though several American bishops repeatedly warned them that failure to act on the matter could embarrass the church, according to church files newly unearthed as part of a lawsuit.

The internal correspondence from bishops in Wisconsin directly to Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, the future pope, shows that while church officials tussled over whether the priest should be dismissed, their highest priority was protecting the church from scandal.

can you hear the sound of hysteria?

american idiot, the green day musical based on the albums 21st century breakdown and american idiot, begins previews tonight at the st. james theatre in new york. despite some flaws, this was a jaw-dropper at berkeley rep last fall, and is already considered a front-runner for the tony award for best musical. it also looks likely to make the jump to the big screen, produced and/or directed by tom hanks.

sadly missing from the new york cast is matt caplan, whose tunny was one of the best things in the california production.

gramps gets it right

grampa mccain credits his former running mate with the helping to foment the anger of the tea party (he's right) and says that dems are "scared to death of them." he's right, and they should be.


is there a limit to how many people you can unfriend on facebook?

the tea party spoilers

a new quinnipiac poll shows that the tea party could have a major effect on elections in november. in democrats' favor.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

the king of cool

never before seen images from a 1963 photo shoot with steve mcqueen.

the winds begin to shift

a recent cnn poll measuring public opinion on the health care reform bill showed 39% in support, 59% opposed.

those numbers look quite different if you break them down a bit. of that 59%, 13% opposed it because it isn't liberal enough. in other words, 46% actually opposed the bill. 52% supported it or wanted it to go further.

today, both a usa today poll and a gallup poll show public opinion is shifting in favor of the legislation, the president and - hold on to your hats - democrats.

usa today:
By 49%-40% those surveyed say it was "a good thing" rather than a bad one that Congress passed the bill. Half describe their reaction in positive terms, as "enthusiastic" or "pleased," while about four in 10 describe it in negative ways, as "disappointed" or "angry."

The largest single group, 48%, calls the bill "a good first step" that should be followed by more action on health care. An additional 4% also have a favorable view, saying the bill makes the most important changes needed in the nation's health care system.
Nearly half of Americans give a thumbs-up to Congress' passage of a healthcare reform bill last weekend, with 49% calling it "a good thing." Republicans and Democrats have polar opposite reactions, with independents evenly split. Americans' emotional responses to the bill's passage are more positive than negative -- with 50% enthusiastic or pleased versus 42% angry or disappointed.

somewhere along the way

elephant seals in the sunset. roughly seven miles north of san simeon on the california central coast. december-ish 2009. more somewhere here.

Monday, March 22, 2010

quote of the day

"The health care bill, ObamaCare, is dead with not the slightest prospect of resurrection. Democrats have talked up clever strategies to pass the bill in the Senate despite Brown, but they won’t fly. ObamaCare went into the emergency room in Massachusetts and didn’t make it out alive."
– Fred Barnes
January 20, 2010

whose waterloo is it anyway?

senator jim demint's prediction about obama may well come back to haunt him and the party of "hell no" in november.

judy's cream of wheat

judy makes breakfast for liza, courtesy of punchy players (who also gave us a memorable version of lucy and desi's "breezin' along with the breeze.")

tweet of the day

killing grannies and babies

what obamacare actually means for most americans.

a president of great historical import

the new republic's jonathan chait reacts to the passage of health care reform:
Let me offer a ludicrously premature opinion: Barack Obama has sealed his reputation as a president of great historical import. We don't know what will follow in his presidency, and it's quite possible that some future event--a war, a scandal--will define his presidency. But we do know that he has put his imprint on the structure of American government in a way that no Democratic president since Lyndon Johnson has.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

teddy is smiling

he worked tirelessly his entire life for health care reform and called it "the cause of my life."
"Quality care shouldn't depend on your financial resources, or the type of job you have, or the medical condition you face. Every American should be able to get the same treatment that U.S. senators are entitled to.

This is the cause of my life. It is a key reason that I defied my illness last summer to speak at the Democratic convention in Denver—to support Barack Obama, but also to make sure, as I said, "that we will break the old gridlock and guarantee that every American…will have decent, quality health care as a fundamental right and not just a privilege."

For four decades I have carried this cause—from the floor of the United States Senate to every part of this country. It has never been merely a question of policy; it goes to the heart of my belief in a just society."

Saturday, March 20, 2010

showing true tea party colors

calling one congressman a "nigger," one a "faggot," spitting at another, and threatening violence if health care reform passes.

rep. james clyburn (d-sc) responds to the racial slurs:
"It was absolutely shocking to me.

Last Monday, this past Monday, I stayed home to meet on the campus of Claflin University where fifty years ago as of last Monday. I led the first demonstrations in South Carolina, the sit ins... and quite frankly I heard some things today I have not heard since that day. I heard people saying things that I have not heard since March 15, 1960 when I was marching to try and get off the back of the bus.

It doesn't make me nervous as all. In fact, as I said to one heckler, I am the hardest person in the world to intimidate, so they better go somewhere else.

A lot of us have been saying for a long time that much of this, much of this is not about health care a all. And I think a lot of those people today demonstrated that this is not about health care."
there comes a time when you either have to denounce this kind of rhetoric and behavior, or embrace it and be it.

"reclining dude in a white tank top"

okay, you're too ooged out to actually use chatroulette yourself. i get it. so then watch merton the piano improv guy freestyle with random strangers on chatroulette.

Friday, March 19, 2010


dana perino just makes my skin crawl.

but larry had a heart attack. and then another one. and then another one.

and then donna got cancer. and even though they had health insurance, the co-pays and deductibles soon added up to the point where they could no longer afford to keep their home.

buy the dvd here. or click here to watch part 2.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

no bearing on a member's ability to perform

60% of iraq / afghanistan vets say don't ask, don't tell repeal is not a big deal.

"this is not the bill i wanted to support."

rep. dennis kucinich (d-ohio) announces his decision to vote in favor of president obama's health care reform bill, despite the fact that it does not contain everything he wanted, including a strong public option.
"I know I have to make a decision, not on the bill as i would like to see it, but as it is. My criticism of the legislation has been well reported. I do not retract those criticisms, I incorporate them into this statement. They stand as legitimate and cautionary."

h-y-p-o-c-r-i-t-e-s, ctd.

the american enterprise institute's norm ornstein:
I can’t recall a level of feigned indignation nearly as great as what we are seeing now from congressional Republicans and their acolytes at the Wall Street Journal, and on blogs, talk radio, and cable news. It reached a ridiculous level of misinformation and disinformation over the use of reconciliation, and now threatens to top that level over the projected use of a self-executing rule by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

In the last Congress that Republicans controlled, from 2005 to 2006, Rules Committee Chairman David Dreier used the self-executing rule more than 35 times, and was no stranger to the concept of “deem and pass.”


rep. dennis kucinich (d-oh) is on my tv right now, holding a press conference. if he announces his support for the health care bill, he's a hero. if he announces he's voting no, he's an attention seeking fame-hog.
UPDATE 10:10 am est: hero.

UPDATE 10:15 am est:
even more fascinating – while kucinich is basically mid-sentence explaining his decision to vote for hcr, rep. john shadegg (r-az) is on msnbc critiquing what he cannot hear kucinich saying.

easy for you to say

happy maewyn succat day. or should i say, happy palladius from gaul day?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

philip seymour hoffman's boyfriend

ewan mcgregor speculates about life with a boyfriend (instead of a wife of 15 years and three daughters.)
"I'd like to be Philip Seymour Hoffman's boyfriend. I think we'd make a good couple. We'd look good, we'd look slightly odd and we'd go to interesting parties and people would be interested in us.  I don't know him, but I'd like to be his boyfriend."
oh go on. who would you pick?

treated with dignity and respect

from the aclu of pennsylvania:
The Pennsylvania Senate Judiciary Committee today voted against legislation to amend the state constitution to ban same sex marriage. The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania hailed the vote as a victory for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community in the commonwealth.

"The efforts to embed discrimination against LGBT people into our constitution have failed for a third time," said Andy Hoover, legislative director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania, citing failed attempts to pass similar legislation in 2006 and 2008. "This committee today recognized that LGBT people are our neighbors, our co-workers, our friends, and our family members and that they deserve to be treated with dignity and respect."
(hat tip pam's house blend)

quote of the day

"I'm not sure that [soldiers on the ground in the field care one way or the other if their comrade in arms are gay or lesbian.]

You heard Gen. Powell who was the chairman when [Don't Ask, Don't Tell] was implemented, had a big hand in that, who said that yes, indeed, the earth has revolved around the sun a number of times since that period 15 months ago. You have heard a variety of anecdotal input. We have experienced certainly in the CIA and the FBI -- I know, I served, in fact, in combat with individuals who were gay and who were lesbian in combat situations.

Frankly, you know, over time you said, hey, how's this guy shooting or how is her analysis or what have you?"

general david petraeus
centcom commander

Monday, March 15, 2010

a day at the beach

milwaukee's bradford beach, circa 1954. photograph by everett harding.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

the ability to think big

let's talk vision. let's talk vision on the scale of putting a man on the moon. let's talk high-speed rail from beijing to london:
China is clearly taking the lead on high-speed rail, but it is not satisfied just to have it within its own country. It wants a straight connection to Europe on high-speed rail now.

It might seem like a pipe dream if it weren’t for the fact that China is already about halfway through the construction of the largest high-speed rail (HSR) network in the world with the fastest trains in the world.

the pope and the sex abuse scandal

from the london times:
The Pope was drawn directly into the Roman Catholic sex abuse scandal last night as news emerged of his part in a decision to send a paedophile priest for therapy. The cleric went on to reoffend and was convicted of child abuse but continues to work as a priest in Upper Bavaria.

The priest was sent from Essen to Munich for therapy in 1980 when he was accused of forcing an 11-year-old boy to perform oral sex. The archdiocese confirmed that the Pope, who was then a cardinal, had approved a decision to accommodate the priest in a rectory while the therapy took place.

The priest, identified only as H, was subsequently convicted of sexually abusing minors after he was moved to pastoral work in nearby Grafing.

pro-life orgs for the senate health bill

from the national catholic reporter:
Twenty-five pro-life Catholic theologians and Evangelical leaders yesterday sent letters to members of Congress urging them not to let misleading information about abortion provisions in the Senate health care bill block passage of sorely-needed reform.

Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, a Washington-based advocacy group, said that the Senate health bill upholds abortion funding restrictions and supports pregnant women. The letter included a page by page analysis of the Senate bill as it pertains to abortion.

less jefferson and more schlafley

a "far-right faction" of the texas state board of education may have decided friday that your child needs to learn much less about thomas jefferson and much more about phyllis schlafley.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

quote of the day

"Show me where Christ said 'Love thy fellow man, except for the gay ones.' Gay people, too, are made in my God's image. I would never worship a homophobic God.

'But they are sinners,' I can hear the preachers and politicians say. 'They are choosing a life of sin for which they must be punished.' My scientist and medical friends have shared with me a reality that so many gay people have confirmed, I now know it in my heart to be true. No one chooses to be gay. Sexual orientation, like skin color, is another feature of our diversity as a human family.

Isn't it amazing that we are all made in God's image, and yet there is so much diversity among his people? Does God love his dark- or his light-skinned children less? The brave more than the timid? And does any of us know the mind of God so well that we can decide for him who is included, and who is excluded, from the circle of his love?
archbishop desmond tutu

beck thinks you're as big an idiot as he is

golly glenn, and all this time i thought it was about fireworks.

blindfolded, shocked and spanked

seriously, when you're blindfolded and bent over in this position what could be better than a sharp electrical shock and a good whack in the ass with a wooden paddle?
Designed for use by secret organizations as part of initiation ceremonies, a new applicant would be blind folded and placed atop this device. The new member would then be required to initiate the device by pulling on the handles, where upon they would be simultaneously given an electrical shock and spanked with a paddle. Welcome to the club and don't forget to pay your dues. The patent was issued in 1900 to Edmund De Moulin and Ulysses S. De Moulin.
more patent designs here.

as good today as it's always been

roger ebert calls this new television ad for the uk's hovis bread "simply a great two-minute film, even if it is a commercial."

size does matter

at least now we know why they've been saying no so often.

Friday, March 12, 2010

"once you kill a cow...

...you gotta make a burger." beyonce gets lady gaga'd. definitely nsfw.

hcr (or not) in the next 9 days?

open left calculates a health care reform timeline, based on president obama delaying his asian trip:
If President Obama is delaying his trip, that strongly implies the House leadership is looking (for) a vote on the Senate health reform bill for next Saturday, March 20th, at the very latest. He is sticking around to sign it into law, so the Senate can take up the reconciliation bill that the House will pass nearly simultaneously.
if that timeline plays out, news like this mean it's going to be a fairly intense week.

this friday is so tuesday

a little something to perk up your day.

guess who's, uh...not coming to prom.

what do you do when a lesbian wants to bring her girlfriend to prom, and one of them is actually gonna wear – i hope you're sitting down – a tuxedo? well you cancel prom of course.

JACKSON, Miss. – Constance McMillen didn't believe her Mississippi school district would really call off her senior prom rather than allow her to show up with her girlfriend and wear a tuxedo. On Thursday, a day after the Itawamba County school board did just that, the 18-year-old lesbian high school senior reluctantly returned to campus to some unfriendly looks, she said.

"Somebody said, 'Thanks for ruining my senior year.'" McMillen said.

The district announced Wednesday it wouldn't host the April 2 prom.
parents, please: do everything you can to keep your children from coming into contact with scary lesbians. don't let your children see lesbians on television, don't let them read about lesbians in books, and for god's sake don't let them see lesbians dancing together in formal wear.
UPDATE 1:20 am – constance has gone viral.

(hat tip b.t.ryback)

the three great health reform myths

1. obama is proposing a government takeover of one-sixth of the economy.

2. reform does nothing to control costs.

3. health reform is fiscally irresponsible.
three of the most often repeated arguments against the current health care reform plan. all three easily debunked. ladies and gentlemen, mr. paul krugman.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

husbands and husbands

see, it's not all that difficult to understand.

(hat tip towleroad)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

a rush to health care reform

further incentive to pass health care reform now.
CALLER: If the health care bill passes, where would you go for health care yourself? And the second part of that is, what would happen to the doctors, do they have to participate in the federal program, or could they opt out of it? [...]

RUSH LIMBAUGH: My guess in even in Canada and even in the UK, doctors have opted out. And once they’ve opted, they can’t see anybody Medicare, Medicaid, or what will become the exchanges. They have to have a clientele of private patients that will pay them a retainer and it’ll be a very small practice. I don’t know if that’s been outlawed in the Senate bill. I don’t know. I’ll just tell you this, if this passes and it’s five years from now and all that stuff gets implemented — I am leaving the country. I’ll go to Costa Rica.
do we really have to wait five years?

the obama we voted for

if this is what we see between now and november, democrats have a lot more to be hopeful about than they thought.

sean hayes: i was never in.

sean hayes (sort of) tells the advocate he's gay and absolutely nobody is surprised.

Monday, March 8, 2010

so fresh it almost makes me want to cry

time to show those evil spuds what's what.

the new album is due in may.


i guess only barbra streisand knows what barbra streisand might have said had kathryn bigelow not won the best director oscar.

the oscar's "kanye moment"

the strangest moment of the night, besides that opening number.

why my oscar picks (and the oscars) sucked

i didn't go with my gut. my gut said hurt locker and kathryn bigelow. always listen to your gut.

gripes about the show:
a) marc shaiman, everyone knows you can pull a mediocre showtune out of your ass in, like, 5 minutes. but usually they don't stink as bad as this one did.

b) charming and out-of-the-closet as he is, we've all seen neil patrick harris not able to sing very well more than enough times to realize he really cannot sing very well.


c) while some of the moves in that bizarre best original score dance-a-thon were amazing, it told us absolutely nothing about either moviemaking or the nominees.
this was one of the first times in my life i watched the oscars and thought, "ugh, what a bunch of self-important jerk-offs." and in all honesty, i don't really think many of those people are self-important jerk-offs. in fact, i know some of them aren't.

but then, thankfully, there was sandra bullock, whose grace and humor at first made me tear up a bit, and then made me laugh out loud for a good minute and a half. if her performance in the blind side is as good as her acceptance speech, she deserved that oscar.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

the beer belly of america

floating sheep shows us the places in the u.s. (in red) where there are more bars than grocery stores. one guess which state is completely covered.

(hat tip sullivan)

tuesdays' oscar picks

my hastily thrown together oscar picks, should wins and will wins. my best actress, best actor and best picture choices are somewhat handicapped because i have yet to see the blind side, the last station, invictus or up. if i had to pick best actress from the other nominees i'd choose gabby sidibe. along that line, i'd be happy for any precious or inglourious basterds win, but ultimately i think the hurt locker is a better film.

jeff bridges was great in crazy heart, as was christoph waltz in inglourious basterds. and any other year i might have given a supporting actress award to maggie gyllenhaal in crazy heart, but there was nothing, and i mean nothing like mo'nique in precious – this year or many other years for that matter. if you haven't seen it, you're really missing an amazing performance.

should win - the hurt locker
will will - avatar


should and will win - jeff bridges


will win - sandra bullock


should and will win - christoph waltz


should and will win - mo'nique


should and will win - inglourious basterds


should and will win - jason reitman / up in the air


should win - kathryn bigelow
will win - james cameron

Friday, March 5, 2010

as bad as mccarthy

"It could be worse than some of the assertions made by McCarthy, depending on some of the validity of those assertions."
liz cheney's fear mongering goes too far for even conservatives.

jay-z in the (white) house!

a photo of rapper jay-z visiting the white house situation room – a big deal to some. now imagine george w. bush is still president and this is johnny cash. would anyone care?

gay parents? pack your pencil case.

it's doubtful the catholic church will ever recognize gay marriage, but now a catholic school in denver won't even teach the kids of gay parents.
A pre-school student at a Catholic school in Boulder, Colorado will not be allowed to return next year because the child’s parents are lesbians living together, which the Denver Archdiocese calls a violation of the school’s beliefs and policy.
the denver archdiocese says it's only following official school policy – "parents living in open discord with catholic teaching in areas of faith and morals unfortunately choose by their actions to disqualify their children from enrollment." how many other parents are in "discord" with catholic policy?

love the sinner, hate the sin ...and punish the children? the archdiocese in washington d.c. certainly seems to understands that.

quote of the day

"Unemployment compensation -- today is a big day in America. Only 36,000 people lost their jobs today, which is really good. Unemployment rate around America has not changed. Prognosticators thought it would go up; it has not.

So, we need to extend -- there are about 15 million people in America out of work. These extended unemployment benefits will help millions of those people.
– senate majority leader harry reid, (d-nv)

that oscar dress

24 years later, when folks talk about oscar fashion, they still talk about this:

(btw...this is either a giant oscar, or a really tiny cher.)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

the big lie about passing health care

h-y-p-o-c-r-i-t-e-s: the washington post's e.j. dionne explains, in simple language, how the democrats are not "ramming anything down america's throat."
It is all, I am sorry to say, one big lie -- or, if you're sensitive, an astonishing exercise in hypocrisy.

In an op-ed in Tuesday's Post, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) offered an excellent example of this hypocrisy. Right off, the piece was wrong on a core fact. Hatch accused the Democrats of trying to, yes, "ram through the Senate a multitrillion-dollar health-care bill."

No. The health-care bill passed the Senate in December with 60 votes under the normal process. The only thing that would pass under a simple majority vote would be a series of amendments that fit comfortably under the "reconciliation" rules established to deal with money issues. Near the end of his column, Hatch conceded that reconciliation would be used for "only parts" of the bill. But why didn't he say that in the first place?

Hatch grandly cited "America's Founders" as wanting the Senate to be about "deliberation." But the Founders said nothing in the Constitution about the filibuster, let alone "reconciliation." Judging from what they put in the actual document, the Founders would be appalled at the idea that every major bill should need the votes of three-fifths of the Senate to pass.

Hatch quoted Sens. Robert Byrd and Kent Conrad, both Democrats, as opposing the use of reconciliation on health care. What he didn't say is that Byrd's comment from a year ago was about passing the entire bill under reconciliation, which no one is proposing. As for Conrad, he made clear to The Post's Ezra Klein this week that it's perfectly appropriate to use reconciliation "to improve or perfect the package," which is the only thing that Democrats have proposed doing through reconciliation.

Hatch said that reconciliation should not be used for "substantive legislation" unless the legislation has "significant bipartisan support." But surely the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts, which were passed under reconciliation and increased the deficit by $1.7 trillion during his presidency, were "substantive legislation." The 2003 dividends tax cut could muster only 50 votes. Vice President Dick Cheney had to break the tie. Talk about "ramming through."

The underlying "principle" here seems to be that it's fine to pass tax cuts for the wealthy on narrow votes but an outrage to use reconciliation to help middle-income and poor people get health insurance.

catching kibble at 1000 frames per second

yes, this is an ad for pedigree dog food. yes, it is really, really cool. and yes, dogs are better than cats.

is joe lieberman the gays' new best friend?

this is good. but even a broken watch is right twice a day.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

h-y-p-o-c-r-i-t-e-s, ctd.

senator judd gregg (r-nh) is a hypocrite:

six impossible things before breakfast

Alice laughed: "There's no use trying," she said; "one can't believe impossible things."

"I daresay you haven't had much practice," said the Queen. "When I was younger, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."

the district of columbia today becomes the sixth place in the united states to issue marriage licences to same-sex couples (a mandatory waiting period prevents those couples from actually marrying until march 9.) same-sex marriage (soon to be known as just "marriage") is legal in connecticut, iowa, massachusetts, new hampshire and vermont.

new york, rhode island, and maryland all recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. oregon's coquille indian tribe also permits same-sex couples to marry.

regret the error

best worst photo caption of the day.

(hat tip cuprisin)

barack had an snl dream

the ex-presidents (the saturday night live versions) pay barack obama a nightime visit to discuss a strong, independent consumer financial protection agency. (senate negotiators on the banking committee are currently working on a cfpa compromise.)

funny? or die?

jesus in pizza sauce!

not quite as convincing as the naan-jesus, but still good.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

it's roger ebert day

first, read this:
Roger Ebert can’t remember the last thing he ate. He can't remember the last thing he drank, either, or the last thing he said. Of course, those things existed; those lasts happened. They just didn't happen with enough warning for him to have bothered committing them to memory — it wasn't as though he sat down, knowingly, to his last supper or last cup of coffee or to whisper a last word into Chaz's ear. The doctors told him they were going to give him back his ability to eat, drink, and talk. But the doctors were wrong, weren't they? On some morning or afternoon or evening, sometime in 2006, Ebert took his last bite and sip, and he spoke his last word.
then, follow this. finally, watch this:

"tonight," just say le-no

so sorry to have missed this:
After seeing [Jay Leno] last night with his tired jokes, embarrassing attempts at appearing edgy and hip—the awful sex jokes, the uncharacteristic and clumsy political-insult humor—and that odd passiveness as a breathtakingly obnoxious Jamie Foxx commandeered his show, I’m ready to join the Leno-disdaining mob.
tonight, instead of watching "the tonight show," i'll be reading conan o'brien's twitter feed. funnier, much less cloying, and no jamie foxx (always a good thing.)

Monday, March 1, 2010

quote of the day

"I’ve examined this race in every possible way, and I keep returning to the same fundamental conclusion: If I run, the likely result would be a brutal and highly negative Democratic primary — a primary where the winner emerges weakened and the Republican strengthened. I refuse to do anything that would help Republicans win a Senate seat in New York, and give the Senate majority to the Republicans."
– harold ford
on his decision to not run for senate in new york

dems open to switching

ten house democrats appear to be open to switching their previous "no" votes on health care reform to "yes," says the associated press.

a tree grows in brooklyn

Brooklyn prosecutors on Monday cleared ACORN of criminal wrongdoing after a four-month probe that began when undercover conservative activists filmed workers giving what appeared to be illegal advice on how to hide money.

While the video by James O'Keefe and Hannah Giles seemed to show three ACORN workers advising a prostitute how to hide ill-gotten gains, the unedited version was not as clear, according to a law enforcement source.

"They edited the tape to meet their agenda," said the source.

clouds in my coffee

40 years later we're still wondering who's so vain?

it's a value

lindsay graham thinks the gop is losing younger voters over climate change:
I have been to enough college campuses to know if you are 30 or younger this climate issue is not a debate. It’s a value. These young people grew up with recycling and a sensitivity to the environment — and the world will be better off for it... You can have a genuine debate about the science of climate change, but when you say that those who believe it are buying a hoax and are wacky people you are putting at risk your party’s future with younger people.

vermin who need to be eliminated

atrios on the media's obsession with teabaggers:
It kind of fascinates me that people who have never followed politics, never taken a class in public policy, hell sometimes never even voted, all of a sudden think they know how to run a diverse country of 300 million. Not only do they have all the answers, but anyone who disagrees with them are vermin who need to be eliminated. Since they really have nothing substantial to add to the conversation, I'd like to ignore these people, but the media just won't let me.