31 January, 2009

Ein Zwei Drei Beer

Hmmm... Must be February already. Because it is now time for...


See David for details.

But in the meantime, unless you thought I wrote that title for the completely obvious reason, let me introduce the latest party animal...


And yes. His name really is a reference to Cowboy Bebop. We're all dorks over here. It's completely natural.

He's pretty much a classic herding dog when it comes to his behavior. If you are, Heaven forbid, attempting to leave his domain, he will sound the alarm and charge. If you are, Heaven forbid, trying to enter his domain, he will sound the alarm and charge.

I swear that he'd be the world's best guard dog if he would only grow a bit more. But, yet again, he's a corgi. Low, lean, fast, and able to get into amazingly difficult places. I know this for certain, as I still have the claw marks on my chest from when he crawled into my bed and slipped under the covers just so he could wash Alice's back. Alice was not amused. Violently so. And her claws were already aimed at me, so... Yeah.

(Oh. And a PSA for folks out there: Bactine is not meant to be applied to nipples. Not even male ones. You have been warned.)

(And you may laugh now.)

His most endearing quality? His addiction to belly rubs. That and he really wants to be a lap dog, even though he is far too big to fit in my lap.

28 January, 2009

John Galt Wept

This. Quoted in full.

This just can’t be true:

Three days after receiving $25 billion in federal bailout funds, Bank of America Corp. hosted a conference call with conservative activists and business officials to organize opposition to the U.S. labor community’s top legislative priority.

Participants on the October 17 call—including at least one representative from another bailout recipient, AIG —were urged to persuade their clients to send “large contributions” to groups working against the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), as well as to vulnerable Senate Republicans, who could help block passage of the bill.

If this is true, not another damned dime. Let everyone of them fail. Not one more tax cut to businesses with over 50 people, and in fact, raise their damned taxes. Send the money to unemployment benefits funds, because corporate America simply can not be trusted with anything. In the most serious economic crisis in decades, and these folks are spending the money to organize to crush labor.

Seriously, if this is accurate, these people are sick.

We gave them money. All of us gave them money. A great big heaping crapload of money. They begged for it. They plead for it. They crawled on hands and knees over deep-pile carpeting and broken-glass tales of woe. And this is how they want to do things? Beg and plead for financial assistance and then play politics as usual immediately afterwards?

Yeah. Right. I personally say this.

From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.

And now, we the American people are no longer able.

Then there's this little gem from the original article:
"This is the demise of a civilization," said Marcus. "This is how a civilization disappears. I am sitting here as an elder statesman and I'm watching this happen and I don't believe it."


"This bill may be one of the worst things I have ever seen in my life," he said, explaining that he could have been on "a 350-foot boat out in the Mediterranean," but felt it was more important to engage on this fight.
Preserve us from retail magnates with Darcy Taggart complexes, excessive ego inflation, and one of the most overbearing and insensate self-martyrdoms in recorded history. Abandoning his personal Atlantis to try and salvage his civilization...

Not even Ayn Rand would have supported this double-standard existence.

Even if it winds up tossing us further into a depression, Atlas has got to shrug.

08 January, 2009

On A Personal Note

I now have a dog.

Literally. I have a dog. A 7-year old purebred Welsh corgi. A very overweight corgi, as you could probably tell from the above photo, so she is on a diet and exercise regimen until we can get her back down to a healthier weight.

Gypsy here has attached herself to me with such strength that not even duct tape could equal. From the first time she laid eyes on me, she determined that I was going to be her owner. The only other time I have seen this happen is when Alice came home for the first time.

And yes. It is weird having a dog. For one thing, scooping poop in public isn't exactly the most suave thing in the world. On the other hand, I now get plenty of attention at Starbucks when I go for my venti whole milk white mocha. Well, okay. SHE gets plenty of attention. I just sit and bask in her glow.

I'm not too certain about the name Gypsy, however. It goes against the naming tradition I've built. Buffy the Miller Moth Slayer, Alice in Wonderland, and Wendy Goes To Neverland. I should change it to Buttercup for a Princess Bride reference.

Don't ask me what the cats think about this. The response would be unprintable.

07 January, 2009

First Horse, THEN Cart

Ryan Grim of the HuffPo:
The organization will be dedicated to finding progressive candidates who might have an outside shot at winning and "take them under our wing," in Green's words. The group's name -- the Progressive Change Campaign Committee, or the P-triple-C -- is a reference to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, which financially backs Democratic candidates it thinks have a shot to win but does not prioritize progressive Democrats over conservative Democrats. The DCCC has had a patchy relationship with the liberal blogosphere, which charges it with relying too heavily on old-school expensive Democratic consultants and not being willing to take chances on progressive candidates.
How about maybe we instead work on getting Democrats with intestinal fortitude, personal integrity, and a basic comprehension of ethics and morality? You know, so we don't have to deal with more episodes of Reid being spineless, Rangel being crooked, Blago being evil, Murtha being clueless, Caroline Kennedy being... Well, a self-serving entitlement-burdened Kennedy, basically.

We have the opportunity to start cleaning up the trash in this party. And what are the progressives wanting to do instead? Score political points and increase their market share.

And, of course, everyone is also playing their favorite game known as What Digby Said:
This is an essential component of progressive politics. The stale CW of the village Democrats gets passed on to congressional candidates by simple osmosis --- there's no creativity, no use of modern methods and no real progressive message and the progressive ends up losing.
Regretfully for the progressive wing of the party, they end up losing not because of the ever-dreadful conventional wisdom and less-than-full-throated support from the DCCC but because those particular politics don't always play well in Peoria, much less any given congressional district. Or, as in one of the races referenced in the HuffPo article, they can run such a poor campaign that they couldn't even get elected for the Berkeley City Council.

As a party, we need to run smarter, not simply run outside the lines for the sake of intra-partisan squabbles. Given how the DCCC has become an old-boys network of mostly self-serving snake-oil salesmen and seems to be mostly interested in pandering to J Street consultancies, it would be better if someone were to revamp the national party's networks along these lines rather than doing it only for those particular politicos that follow their own agendas.

After all, it worked out oh so well for the Club For Growth, the Christian Coalition, Heritage Foundation and the National Center For Public Policy Research... In the limelight for a few short years, and all geared up to be on the descendant for a while.

I have to wonder if the Progressive wing of the Democratic Party would rather just blow everything in a blaze of glory, just like the GOP did over the first 6 years of the Bush43 Administration, rather than strive for something more lasting. If so, they're certainly on the right track with this ever-present push for allegedly "better" Democrats.

If these folks have their way, I predict that not only will the Dem majority only last 4 years, but they will be lucky to not pull Obama down with them and keep him from a second term.