Friday, August 08, 2008

Friday Cat Blogging

You looking at me?

This is Tigger on his favorite perch--for whatever reason he seems to prefer it to the slightly higher spot, maybe because it's easier to swipe at me when I pass--however he eschewed it last night and hung out with the groundlings, thanks to an air conditioner problem that, thankfully, was minor: the intake from the condenser pan clogged, triggering an auto shutoff switch. Wish I'd known...instead, the ceiling fans ran at maximum power last night, which kept the interior temperature from getting TOO out of control (it held steady at around 85 degrees--normally I keep it at 78, which, combined with high ceilings and the fans, is perfectly comfortable.)

This morning the repairman came over and "fixed" the problem...well, at least he knew what the problem was, and right away, which is why he earns his money.

I'm not stupid, but...I know that I DON'T KNOW a lot of stuff. Better to pay money to those who DO know than to risk screwing things up even worse.

For the record, the a/c went out once before, and the repair wasn't quite as simple: a bad circuit board, installed when I had a new furnace put in, which was oh so fun...$2800 bucks worth of fun, and a lesson to never fully trust house inspectors. They told me the furnace was fine, but the hot water heater was old and could go any time. Three years later the water heater's still going (knock on wood); the furnace didn't last even a single Loosiana winter.

Anyway, I'm much relieved re: the a/c--last night I kept wondering how the hell I was going to manage what I thought might be an expensive repair. I think Tigger's pretty happy, too.

Oh--and the repair guy was telling me it's been a pretty rough haul of late: apparently a lot of folks have been putting off needed repairs thanks to things like $4 a gallon gasoline. Ouch.
Some Real Dead Enders Weigh In

David Nazi-With-a-Nose-Job Duke and other equally repulsive representatives of the, well, repulsive white supremacist movement go on the record as hoping for a "backlash" should Barack Obama be elected president:

They're not exactly rooting for Barack Obama, but prominent white supremacists anticipate a boost to their cause if he becomes the first black president. His election, they say, would trigger a backlash -- whites rising up, a revolution of sorts -- that they think is long overdue.

He'd be a "visual aid," says former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, in trying to bring others around to their view that whites have lost control of America.

I take some comfort in knowing that dead enders like Duke really ARE a dying breed, although it's likely there will always be at least a few of his ilk around...and a few is all it takes to do something truly ugly, given certain circumstances.

Still, it seems--or, at least I think/hope--that Duke's brand of hatred is ending with a whimper as society continues to evolve, leaving no room for pinheads like him.

A couple of days ago I posted about and linked to a story suggesting that Big Time Dick Cheney was getting the cold shoulder from the Rethug national convention. Turns out I was wrong. Dick'll speak on the opening Monday, which I think is referred to as the "pity-fuck" speaking slot.

And I'm sure they'll arrange for a suitable location as well:
The New Know-Nothings

Let them drink crude


What I that know-nothingism--the insistence that there are simple, brute-force, instant-gratification answers to every problem, and that there’s something effeminate and weak about anyone who suggests otherwise--has become the core of Republican policy and political strategy. The party's de facto slogan has become: "Real men don’t think things through."

This is Krugman's way of saying "they take pride in being ignorant," and it extends way beyond the latest round of nonsense about offshore drilling (I guess the wingnuts think offshore platforms magically build themselves and instantaneously materialize at the exact spot where they're needed)...personally, I trace things back to one Ronald Reagan and a media that enabled his particular "insight," which, to draw an analogy, was not unlike someone insisting that their firm grasp of simple arithmetic qualified them to claim expertise in calculus.

Or, to put it another way--"Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people."

But--if the American public is going broke, well...that might make for a different story. I guess we'll see.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Segregation Now, Segregation Tomorrow...

You just know Big Time gets the most perverse of thrills over stuff like this.
"Deadly Milestone"

While wingnuts crow about the surge supposedly working in Iraq--which speaks volumes about what wingnuts consider "working" to be--the mostly forgotten war in Afghanistan claimed its 500th US military fatality.

And who even knows how many Afghans have been killed.

War--central to the wingnut political agenda...provided, of course, they don't have to do any fighting themselves, you know.
Protecting Us From...the Chauffeurs

Oh, Paulie...won't see him no more.

Well, I feel safer already...oh, for fuck's sake--even the goddamned tribunal knows how pathetic it is. They sentenced bin Laden's driver to...66 MONTHS, with credit for time served.

Well, duh. Trumpeting the arrest of Osama bin Laden's chauffeur is like raving about Elvis Presley's COAT. But, then again, considering we've got an administration nominally headed by someone who mixes Sonny Corleone's gift for restraint with Fredo's aptitude and brains, well, maybe it's not too surprising that they've spent all their time and money on the equivalent of Paulie...
They Volunteered



Just two more examples of compassionate conservatism in action.
Um, Joe...

Maybe it's time for the car-key conversation...

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

A Lone Nut For Our Era

Oh, and to digress, I'm NOT a Kennedy assassination conspiracy theorist, although the event still fascinates me as a significant historical turning point...anyway, Greenwald's doing his usual superb and thorough analysis of the latest on the anthrax case.

And whether Ivins was or was not a lone nut doesn't really matter--the sad truth is various strains of wingnuttia (though, as some have pointed out, NOT the Bush administration directly) pointedly used the attacks to push their zealotry and bigotry as a "reasonable" response to Arab "savagery." Turns out that the savagery was certainly of the domestic, home grown variety...Ivins' guilt or innocence is, at this point, academic.

But if it were me, I wouldn't be closing the books on this case just yet...
Gaming the Campaign Finance System

Straight Talk is cheap, but campaigns cost real money, so something's gotta give, no pun intended.

Between the long-chain polymers that comprise his "hair" and the decaying animal and plant matter compressed within his cranium, Newt's noggin could supply at least enough crude to keep heating oil prices stable this winter.

That's drilling I could support.
Anyone Remember Breaking a Mirror?

Nah, I guess not--that'd only bring seven years of bad luck. Looks like we're stuck with Chimperor for a full eight.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

If Ignorance Was Energy...

Wingnuttia would be Saudi Arabia.
The Decider Humble Beseecher

On one level it's amusing to watch erstwhile Sheriff Dubya go into lapdog mode (and "fixed" at that) when making official visits to China (lest they jerk his chain a bit); at the same time, it's sobering to realize that while Shrub slithers into the sunset we'll be paying the debt--in no small measure to China--for his foolishness for a long, long time.
The McCain Energy Policy...

Rhetorical hot air, causing turbines to spin...oh, and plenty of bullshit, but I repeat myself.
You Can Add Forgery to the List of Crimes


Monday, August 04, 2008

I'll Pass on the Chicken Fingers

Yes, Fallujah has no KFC.
Compassionate Conservatism, an Ongoing Series

Crowded, yes, but less toxic than a FEMA trailer

Here's how the richest--and one of the most religious/Christian--nations on earth treats its least fortunate citizens:

At the end of May, the doors closed at Renaissance Village, the FEMA trailer park outside of Baton Rouge that had been home to hundreds of families, its end hastened by an official acknowledgment of unhealthy levels of formaldehyde in the trailers. Those who were left at the park at the end, most of whom were among the neediest of the evacuees, began moving out on their own.

In light of the early promise that the recovery from the hurricane would provide the chance to address New Orleans’s social ills, the farewell to the trailer park might have been an opportunity for a fresh start, with families fortified by more than three years of government support and charity programs. But when the park closed earlier than expected, government planners said they were left unprepared.

State and federal officials blamed each other for the plight of those whose mental limitations, physical afflictions or addictions, exacerbated by their exodus, have kept them from taking advantage of what help was available. Now those people have left their cramped quarters behind but taken their problems with them.

Support systems have been slow to catch up. Red Cross money for necessities like furniture, work clothes and, in some cases, cars, ran out just as Renaissance Village and most of the other trailer sites were closing, and many residents are making do with nothing but a mattress. A contract for case managers who helped evacuees get back on their feet ended in March, and a new case management pilot program is still in the planning stages almost three years after the storm.

"I know we’re behind the eight ball," said Paul Rainwater, the executive director of the Louisiana Recovery Authority. "People talk about recovery, but on one level, we’re still responding."

The problems these families face are complex. Ms. Fountain, 65, could afford to fix the faulty repair work at her house if she had an award from the state’s Road Home program for homeowners. But Ms. Fountain’s husband of three decades died in 2007, and she cannot get the money until she can establish that the house is rightfully hers, a process that costs upward of $1,500. The legal service hired by the state to help low-income people with such issues has a long waiting list.

Meanwhile, Ms. Fountain, still in the Baton Rouge hotel, still grieving for her husband and worried about a son who has just been deployed to Iraq, has given in to incoherent fits of anger. Only recently, the lap dog she got after her husband’s death had to be euthanized.

"She's had mental issues to break out before," said Ms. Fountain’s daughter Jean Marie Selders, who is living with a friend in New Orleans and saving part of her paycheck to help with her mother’s house. "The longer it takes, the more distorted she gets."

And, while the poor get shafted yet again, Ray Nagin, wittingly or not, manages to ensure the New Orleans "brand"--of corruption--remains an issue.

That said, I'm in awe of Karen Gadbois. Over and over again she epitomizes how an informed citizen who truly cares can make a difference.
No Country for Old Men...

...and no convention speeches for Old Dicks, although I guess exceptions will be made for the nominee and Joe Liberman.
Clown Show Joe Will Go to Minneapolis

I'm convinced Holy Joe's voice could induce sleep in people on a meth binge...but if that's what the Rethugs want, by all means let them have it. It'll be interesting to watch the media twist themselves into protein folds as they try to sell this early-bird special to the public.

Meanwhile, Snarlin' John McCain will no doubt try to play the victim on this--I mean, it sure was sleazy of the Tallahassee Democrat to send a black reporter to cover the McCain campaign...