Friday, October 31, 2008

Letting the door hit *us* on his way out

Not content with the devastating effects that deregulation has had on the economy, Bush is attempting to deregulate all kinds of other things in his last couple of months, weakening environmental and consumer protections.
According to the Office of Management and Budget's regulatory calendar, the commercial scallop-fishing industry came in two weeks ago to urge that proposed catch limits be eased, nearly bumping into National Mining Association officials making the case for easing rules meant to keep coal slurry waste out of Appalachian streams. A few days earlier, lawyers for kidney dialysis and biotechnology companies registered their complaints at the OMB about new Medicare reimbursement rules. Lobbyists for customs brokers complained about proposed counterterrorism rules that require the advance reporting of shipping data.
I hope that Congress stays awake long enough to block or modify some of these, or we'll spend most of the next four years just trying to get back to our current beleagured state...

(via Talking Points Memo)

Friday baby blogging

Happy Halloween! (Speck got dressed up last Sunday for a party at Grandma's apartment building, so we have photos in advance of tonight's festivities...)



The building planners were clever enough to provide for the pre-candy set, with cute theme cereal bowls for the tots; Speck was happy to bang hers on the floor for half an hour...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Very spiff

Just watch this short video of a terrain-exploring game in which the 3-D world appears only as you splatter it with paint to make walls and objects visible against the uniform-colored field. Really makes me want to know when the thing launches!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Gettin' in that holiday mood

holiday jack-o-lanternLooking ahead to the spookfest of Friday, a little musical amusement:

Mr. Raven

a rap version of Poe's famous poem . . .

(via Mr. Skullhead on KoL Radio)

Sanity in unexpected places

You know your script must be pretty bad when employees of a telemarketing firm would rather walk off the job than make the calls . . . Good for them for making a stand!

A glimpse behind the curtain

A recent New Yorker had an article about the selection of Biden as Obama's running mate -- more specifically, at the negotiations that took place between the two men about what role the Vice President might have in an Obama White House. The article also looks at a range of historic Vice Presidents, including the fates of several with extensive legislative experience akin to Biden's. Interesting to imagine how the two might work together (and what Biden's ambitions are, something rather lost in the Palin eclipse) and to get a glimpse into Obama's managerial style as well.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Why it matters

thumbnail of LOVE-style VOTE buttonSometimes I feel dumb knocking on doors in Philadelphia and talking to people about the election -- they're almost all Democrats and the turnout rates in Center City, at least, are very high. However, every vote counts in a close election, so it's helpful to know that such contact makes a difference, even if all you're asking is "do you intend to vote?" which is surely a nonthreatening exchange to have . . .

Dangerous cuteness levels (Monday puppy edition)

Oh. my. goodness.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Quote of the weekend

Do not kiss your children
so they will kiss you back
but so they will kiss their children,
and their children's children.
- Noah benShea
poet, philosopher, author
(via Starbucks' "The Way I See It" program, #27)

Schmuck alert

forehead smackYesiree, it's clearly the Republicans who love America and what it stands for. Standing tall to prevent legitimate voters from exercising their civic duty.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

We liberals have sappy patriotism too

I just love this music video in support of Obama. It captures the blend of current youthful energy with the sense of 50 years of cultural momentum that have characterized much of his campaign. And, heck, it kinds of makes you feel all misty and hopeful and stuff.

(via local pal Bill)

Monday, October 20, 2008


Thanks, Atrios!

Monday baby blogging

A couple cute recent pictures of Speck in Daddy's lap. (Thanks to pal Don for the iPhone pictures taken at brunch.) She turns 8 months old this week!

A little giggle and waggle.

two cuties
Such cuteness! (le faint!)

Really, I should also point to this pic, which gives a sense of the crazy clowns that all adults become around a cute and giggly babby, heh . . .


Well, the endorsement of Colin Powell is a big deal for the Obama camp, and I'll admit to being surprised -- I thought Powell was making enough of a statement by just not endorsing McCain. But when you see the clips, he really criticizes McCain for all his oversights and crazinesses, as well as identifying Obama's strengths. A dailyKos post pulls together the Powell interviews with some supporting TV clips in what becomes a summary of the two campaigns today. Something tells me the McCain camp is having a grey start to their week...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Talk to your parents...

This is a nice video. A little low on substance, but long on sincerity (and amusement value).
The kids are there for us!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Not just a metaphor

A brilliant column by Krugman from many years ago helps clarify what is meant by "liquidity" and why economies can go into slumps even when *not* behaving badly. Easy to grasp, incredibly helpful. Somebody should give that man a prize!

(via Follow Me Here)

Poem of the day

XIII (Dedications)

I know you are reading this poem
late, before leaving your office
of the one intense yellow lamp-spot and the darkening window
in the lassitude of a building faded to quiet
long after rush-hour. I know you are reading this poem
standing up in a bookstore far from the ocean
on a grey day of early spring, faint flakes driven
across the plains' enormous spaces around you.
I know you are reading this poem
in a room where too much has happened for you to bear
where the bedclothes lie in stagnant coils on the bed
and the open valise speaks of flight
but you cannot leave yet. I know you are reading this poem
as the underground train loses momentum and before running
up the stairs
stacked stonestoward a new kind of love
your life has never allowed.
I know you are reading this poem by the light
of the television screen where soundless images jerk and slide
while you wait for the newscast from the intifada.
I know you are reading this poem in a waiting-room
of eyes met and unmeeting, of identity with strangers.
I know you are reading this poem by fluorescent light
in the boredom and fatigue of the young who are counted out,
count themselves out, at too early an age. I know
you are reading this poem through your failing sight, the thick
lens enlarging these letters beyond all meaning yet you read on
because even the alphabet is precious.
I know you are reading this poem as you pace beside the stove
warming milk, a crying child on your shoulder, a book in your
because life is short and you too are thirsty.
I know you are reading this poem which is not in your language
guessing at some words while others keep you reading
and I want to know which words they are.
I know you are reading this poem listening for something, torn
between bitterness and hope
turning back once again to the task you cannot refuse.
I know you are reading this poem because there is nothing else
left to read
there where you have landed, stripped as you are.
- Adrienne Rich
An Atlas of the Difficult World
Narcissus Works
(via whiskey river)

If this doesn't give you a smile... might be beyond reach. One. happy. dog.
I mean, that's just the real stuff!

Monday, October 13, 2008

When you least expect it (II) might get a Nobel Prize, despite being some kind of trouble-maker! wow!!

(via Talking Points Memo)

When you least expect it...

...cuteness, from a goose!
A good bit for the start of a new week.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Your moment of snobbiness

stupid people pie chartThe Daily Show did a fantastic send-up this week of the Undecided Voter, focusing particularly on the subtypes of stupid people. One has to have some feeling that, between the year of primaries and the months of main race that have already occurred, anybody paying attention would have an opinion on the Presidential contenders by now. I realize that some folks don't know whom to believe, and that others aren't sure that any of this will actually affect their lives, but it's frustrating that such an uninformed group have such power in this election. This kind of humor helps vent some of that frustration, anyway...

Further and further behind

Those of us who are middle-aged know only too well the challenges that our parents face in dealing with modern "conveniences" like the VCR and computers -- perhaps it's inevitable that our children will find us hopeless too, but I like to think that we have a bit of an edge in being Internet savvy, even if some of our knowledge is wasted in the realms of ftp and html, rather than texting and chat.

Anyway, was much amused that it was my mother who sent me to this video depicting the dread that she and many like her feel in anticipating the forced switch to digital cable in another few months . . . (The subheader of the page cracks me up.)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Friday baby-blogging: Implement edition

Speck likes to feel and taste things, so I put together a box full of household objects -- various kitchen tools, a toilet paper tube, a rock, a cork, an apple, a plastic lid, blah blah. This is a great box for grumpy afternoons, as she is totally fascinated by almost all the items and keeps moving from one to another. Subsequently, we've gotten into the habit of taking a wooden spoon or rubber spatula as a back-up toy for brunches and other restaurant outings. Much humor ensues...

biting the whisk
Why wait for batter?

brunch spatula
Extra gentle on new tooth buds!

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Quote of the day/week

The only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable.
– John Kenneth Galbraith
(via A Mindful Life)

Monday, October 06, 2008

Great visual

A little pictoral summary of the characters running for our national executive offices...
tee hee

Sunday, October 05, 2008

What could possibly go wrong?

Everybody thinks it's a great idea to add lots of off-shore US drilling. Now wasn't there some reason that we used to think that was *not* a great idea?? Sigh.

(via daily Kos)

Friday, October 03, 2008

Friday baby pics: Voguing edition

Have managed to capture Speck's smile on film in a variety of contexts lately, so lots of cute pictures to share. Will have to budget them out over a few days/weeks, so nobody's cute-o-meter overloads!

costume vogue
A little French-ish costume put on her by Grandma. Cracked me (and her, apparently) up...

naked tadah!
Giggly and wiggly on the changing table -- tadah!

In a nutshell, debate edition

This flow chart perfectly captures how Sarah Palin's debate performance felt to me. She way outperformed low expectations, but still was doing high-level hand-waving on the couple of unexpected questions that she hadn't prepped -- nonanswers mixed with incoherance and some "folksy color" had to do. Yeesh.

Biden was stellar, had dignity, no gaffs. Focused criticism on McCain, which was where the discussion should be anyway, and it kept him from getting pegged as a meanie. Lots of specifics from history of legislation, foreign relations, current facts -- can we afford all that in a national office? heh.

Edit: perfect (and pithy) summary of the entire VP debate here.