Archive for January, 2010|Monthly archive page

nasty cut

Howard Zinn died a couple of days ago. that sucks.

not quite a blizzard
it is snowing pretty steady here. again. after watching the response to last month’s blizzard, the novelty of snowstorms in Virginia has worn off.
why? because these people don’t know how to handle a snow storm. yeah, that’s right. I said it.
and, as no one wants to pay the goddamn bills to fix the fucking roads in this state, they don’t have the resources to plow the streets even if they did. so wed had something akin to a local transportation apocalpyse.
and … yes, because I don’t have boots. because it’s not supposed to snow in Virginia! no, it’s just not. mayo is not supposed to go on french fries, and it’s not supposed to snow in Virginia. there are rules.

the dumb, dumb musings of a college basketball fan
I hate Illinois hoops. you know why? their pep band played “come out and play” by the Offspring right now. and that is really gay.
but oh no, that’s not the only reason. because I can’t stand Mike Tisdale, that archtype: the rare, talented giant white guy who plays for the team that isn’t yours that you find really annoying. because of that chestbump thing a couple of years ago after Eric Gordon reneged on his verbal commitment to Bruce Weber. well, fuck that. he’s from Indianapolis. 
but mostly because they’re just an Indiana rival. I don’t hate Purdue hoops nearly as much I hate Illinois, which is verboten for most IU fans. but, eh. Hummel’s from Valpo! so I’ll save my blind hatred for the NFL, the other organized sport I pay attention to.
I  just watched Indiana lose on an admittedly great play by the Illinois guard, McCamey, as time expired. we were down 13 at one point in the first half, and I thought we were gonna get run out of the gym, but we came back, lead by six at a point in the second half. so that’s twice we’ve lost to Illinois this year, but we were supposed to lose this game, not lose on a prayer at the buzzer. Illinois needed this win a lot more than we did. and really, who gives a fuck if we make it into the NIT at the end of the season? for our future is bright, and we will be back.

Obama argued with House Republicans on live television for an entire hour and all I got was this lousy t-shirt

“If there’s uniform opposition because the Republican caucus doesn’t get 100 percent or 80 percent of what you want, then it’s going to be hard to get a deal done. That’s because that’s not how democracy works.”

instead of an argument, you may call it polite debate. fine. I call it something that stupid asshole who was our last president for eight years never did. because, if he had, he would have looked like awful. he would have mispronounced words, and blinked a lot. because he was a stupid asshole.
I was gonna “live blog” the State of the Union address earlier this week. I started to, got sleepy, and stopped and just watched it instead. if you watched it, then you probably know that  it kind of sucked, as those speeches often do, and it didn’t do much to alleviate the pressure the Democrats seem to be under in Washington after losing the Massachusetts Senate seat. they’re fucked! they only have an 18-seat majority now! all is lost.
but this Q&A with people like Rep. Jason Chaffetz from Provo does a lot for Obama that the speech wasn’t able to do. it shows he’s willing to debate policy, and he’s well informed. and this recent swing, from the administration on its heels after the party loses a midterm runoff to a mediocre annual clapping session to a whole hour spent dressing down some of the loyal opposition’s finest assholes while the cameras roll, shows that only a few days can make a difference.
I am not convinced, despite the howl of the professional pundit class that suggests otherwise, that the Democrats are gonna get smoked in November. yes, they will lose seats, but they’ve already got a large majority; it only makes sense that they would. but now the Senate Republicans have their precious fucking filibuster. that means stonewalling for the next ten months isn’t an option for them, because they’ll suffer as well. 

read and be informed.


opinions are like assholes

Osama bin Laden on climate change. wherein he namedrops Noam Chomsky. yeah, that’ll help Chomsky go mainstream.

marvelous idiots

“I’d go back to the Carter administration, get rid of the Education Department first. Go back to the Clinton administration, AmeriCorps has got to go. Go back to the Bush administration, TARP funding has got to go. And no funding for ACORN ever.”
— quote from a local congressional candidate and tea party activist

interesting story in the New York Times about a fractious ‘tea party’ function. no one trusts each other, and they all hate the GOP establishment.
I don’t think I’ve ever written on the tea party types before. I don’t recall having done so, so I’ll just start here like this is the beginning. there’s a lot of them in my congressional district, Virginia’s 5th, and there’s a whopping five (I think) of them vying for the Republican nomination to take on Tom Perriello, D-dragonslayer.
at work, McNeill the political reporter has very much enjoyed covering this primary, as it has made for great quotes and great campaign moments. the tea-party candidates all hate the guy backed by the party establishment to run for the seat, a state senator from somewhere down south of here, name of Hurt, and are attempting to unite around someone to Hurt’s right to defeat his nomination.
problem is: they’re crazy, and try to out-crazy each other. no one believes in taxes; they all hate “the bailout,” which doesn’t mean any one thing, I don’t think, but rather anything done in Washington since August ’08; and no one believes in global warming. but then again, neither does my supervisor. so take that for what you will.
so yes. the local tea party activists are dipshits, but you could probably say that around the country. reading the Times story, you get the feeling that if this movement is able to get a wing off the ground, it could actually make some noise in a midterm congressional election. they actually might affect change in the GOP from the ground up, which is a fascinating concept.
this is nothing more than a gut feeling. I certainly hope these assholes don’t win any votes, but I gotta admire their pluck. the Times describes one of these groups as seeking “to take over the Republican Party from the bottom by filling the ranks of local and state parties with grass-roots conservatives …” which is a pretty ambitious goal. and they’re getting what appears to be pretty consistent press coverage. so maybe there’s something to them.

the Democrats have taken notice, well before me, I’m sure, and are looking to exploit this rift in the opposition. here’s a generous cut and paste, as I know none of you assholes click on the links I provide you. fuck. you:

The memo (which is being advertised by Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Robert Menendez and his aides) urges Democratic candidates to force their opponents to answer a series of questions on health care, taxes and some of the favorite causes of the far right:
“Do you believe that Barack Obama is a U.S. citizen? Do you think the 10th Amendment bars Congress from issuing regulations like minimum health care coverage standards? Do you think programs like Social Security and Medicare represent socialism and should never have been created in the first place? Do you think President Obama is a socialist? Do you think America should return to a gold standard?”
If a Republican candidate says no to any of the questions, the memo says Democrats should “make their primary opponent or conservative activists know it. …”


you know, when the game went to overtime, I had this weird pang; for a second, I wanted the Vikings to win. the reason being? I’d rather have Favre in the Super Bowl just so I could root against his ass. I didn’t really have a dog in either fight today, rather just a dog I actively dispise: one Brett Favre. look how sad he is there.
but anyway, that moment was fleeting. and I did the involuntary fist pump and “fuck yeah” when he threw that interception with 14 seconds left, the score tied, and his team in field goal range. how quickly that feeling can go.
so thank you, Brett Favre, for being that asshole that I love to hate. if you decide to bring your bored ass back for another season, fine by me. you’re my NFL security blanket. my constant. every week, I’m rooting for Chicago, whomever Green Bay is playing, and whomever is picking off Brett Favre.

appendix week

I will interrupt this other long stretch of ignoring the blog to address the colossal political news going on today. stop reading that stupid goddamn whatever it is you’re reading  on the internet, and look at this shit:

The Supreme Court struck down prohibtions on corporate donations to political campaigns. McCandidates!

The Obama administration is proposing legislation to limit banking companies from involvment with hedge funds and growing past a certain market share. size and scope!

and national health care reform is literally tearing apart at the fucking seams because the Democrats managed to lose the senate seat that Ted Kennedy held for, like, forty years. oh how fragile it truly is!

and meanwhile Haiti still burns! oh god it burns! so in all seriousness, give to the Red Cross for christ’s sakes.

let the healing begin

send me your prayers and apple juice.

nice job with the photo, Aarti.
the guy in the room next to me was getting work done on his rotator cuff. it made me feel like a total weenie.
but anyway, I’ve got the day off tomorrow to eat a bunch of percocet and write my magnum opus. and continue reading about Haiti. as if there were one country that didn’t need this.

you thought I left the rap game

I’m gonna interrupt this long streak of ignoring the blog to highlight two news stories.

Haiti, as if it didn’t have enough problems already, got hit by a massive earthquake around 3 pm eastern yesterday. AP didn’t have photos coming out of the country for six hours afterward, if that’s any indication of how completely fucked that country is.

and after it uncovered an attack on its email servers targeting the accounts of Chinese human rights activists, Google may pull it’s entire operation in that country if itsn’t allowed to work free of government censors. which means that creepy fucking company that reads your emails to send you targeted advertising may not be totally evil, after all.

good news, Ugandan homosexuals!  you’ve been given reprieve from a possible death sentence to mere  life imprisonment!

and they can thank American evangelicals, widely discredited in the US, for helping to foment this kind of dumbassery.

a new hope

tonight is Orthodox Christmas eve. tomorrow will be Orthodox Christmas. merry Christmas, eastern and southern Europe, a couple of thousand people in Jerusalem, and Egypt and Ethiopia!
Mar was there for all of it; she and mom went with grandma to Aunt Olga’s condo and spent the entire day baking. “traditional” food. mom always breaks into Fiddler on the Roof whenever we talk about the traditional food, and it doesn’t matter that they were Jewish in that play.
you make, at Orthodox Christmas Eve dinner, pierogies, potatoes, pierogies with potatoes in them, potato soup, bread, peas and mushroom soup. and you set out garlic cloves, salt, nuts, prunes, booze and enough Diet Pepsi to keep my many husky cousins satiated. you do not set out plates. you just set out spoons. grandma or someone says a prayer. and you share.
last year’s dinner was a big one. it marked 100 years my family has been throwing it, and grandma was not fooling around about its seriousness. my sister and brother and I, we all turned out for that.
but not everyone does. grandma was one of seven, and of those seven only four had kids. and among them, one set of cousins and aunts and uncles hasn’t shown up for it in years. basically, it’s come down to two branches carrying the torch for this slowly dwindling family gathering. I couldn’t make it this year. Mike as well. and my mom’s sister and my 30-something cousins are in Thailand “taking kickboxing lessons,” I am told. so today, it fell onto Mar’s shoulders to learn how to make some of these starchy delicacies. because it’s called passing that torch, Mar.
for as much importance my mother and grandmother place on the idea of family tradition, not a whole lot of the aforementioned family seems to care. granted, it’s not easy to make it back to northwest Indiana midweek in early January for people in Nashville, San Francisco and Milwaukee — and if anyone actually did, the effort alone would have been surprising — but my grandmother busts her 90-year-old hump putting this thing together every year. same goes for her 88-year-old sister. and that lack of effort, or even acknowledgement of this event, it kind of grinds my gears, so to speak. 
so if it falls to me, Mar and Mike eating store-bought bread and garden center hay on someone’s kitchen table to make it an uninterrupted 150 dinners a few decades from now, then so be it. because grandma had ornaments made for 100 years last year. and that means, that she means, business.