9.30.2004

Drag outfit saves pitcher

Really there are more important things in the world, but I can't resist (Via 6-4-2):

Cleveland rookie pitcher Kyle Denney was saved from more serious injury by the USC cheerleader outfit he was wearing as part of the usual rookie hazing ritual. Two shots were fired into his team bus:

'[The players] heard a loud pop, and Ludwick felt something,' [team spokesman Bart] Swain said. 'Then Kyle eventually felt a burning sensation in his right calf. He didn't know what it was, but he reached down and saw blood.'

Team trainers Lonnie Soloff and Rick Jameyson were able to remove the bullet on the bus.

Oddly enough, Denney was dressed in a USC cheerleader's outfit during the incident as part of the team's yearly ritual for rookies. The outfit, which included a blonde wig and knee-high boots, might have actually saved Denney from further injury, Swain said.

'Because of the boot, the bullet didn't go far into his calf,' Swain said. 'So that helped him. When Lonnie and Rick opened the boot, the bullet pretty much popped right out.'"

9.27.2004

Oyez


Via Digby, this Jeffrey Rosen article on Bush v. Gore:

"To top it off, the Court rarely took cases before they were ripe, and the political process in Florida was still unfolding. 'It was just inconceivable to us that the Court would want to lose its credibility in such a patently political way,' one of the clerks recalls. 'That would be the end of the Court.'"

But guess what? It wasn't the end of the Court. The Court hasn't lost any of its credibility. I'm sure there isn't a Democrat in Washington who wouldn't bow and scrape before Scalia -- because of the ideal he represents. Indeed, I would. So would most people I know.

We crick the knee to Scalia, but he would not do the same for us.

And what's the alternative? To disobey the Court because its illegitimate? To acknowledge that there's no one who can be trusted to be an arbiter; that there's no public fiction (fig. res publica) whose maintenance justifies putting partisan advantage aside? That's a big step. The moment we look at this Honorable Court and see a bunch of black-robed Praetorians, we know that we really have become Rome.

Except with a weaker knowledge of the classics, of course. And (presumably) better popular music.

If L.A. had been smart

The real job must take priority this week so blogging, never heavy in the best of times, will be souffle-light. However, I will point out that, in all the blogging self-ref, hardly anyone notices this piece by John Tierney, on why cars are great.:

"The reason for Los Angeles's traffic morass is because it didn't build enough freeways, incredible as that sounds... Its traffic is terrible because it built only about half the freeways originally planned, so that it now has fewer miles of freeway per capita than any other major city."

See that? The problem with L.A. is that it lacks a six-lane freeway running down Santa Monica Boulevard, like they wanted to build. The problem with Manhattan is that the stupid residents didn't let that visonry (English pronounciation) Robert Moses have his way and build an expressway in Greenwich Village. That's what would have made these cities livable!

So that point's no good. His other point -- let's not try to change people, let's try to make the cars and freeways better -- is well-taken. I much prefer the train myself, but it is simply impossible in L.A. without a vast public expenditure that isn't coming. In other words, cars don't kill people, emissions kill people.

9.26.2004

Civilization

Glad to see The Truculent One, Steve Gilliard, foodblogging again.

Why I like sports


Wolcott, on the Rose film, which I didn't see:

"I was also impressed with the panel discussion ESPN held after the film, which was far more informative and interesting than any of the political panels I've seen this weekend. Unlike political pundits, sports guys have to know their stuff and be able to back it up on cross exam; whereas William Safire and Andrea Mitchell can spin cobwebs every time they speak without losing oracle status"

I even prefer sportswriting to watching sports, generally. It takes less time and there are fewer car ads. I fell upon blogs because the good ones have the energy, knowledge, and, crucially, personality of good sportswriting.

Also noted

Most bloggers I saw were linking to Billmon's article in the LA Times. Can't blame them for navel-gazing -- for who will look at one's own navel, if one doesn't oneself? -- but I actually thought this of note, too.

America the Conservative : " The nation's racial heterogeneity also partly explains its conservatism. U.S. heterogeneity sharply contrasts with the much greater homogeneity in Canada, Britain and continental Europe. People are much less likely to support income redistribution to people who are members of different racial or ethnic groups. Ethnic divisions make it easier for the enemies of welfare to vilify the poor, by making them seem like parasites who could be rich but prefer to live on the public dollar. The pro-redistribution populists were defeated in the South in the 1890s by politicians who stressed that populism would help blacks (which was true) and that blacks were dangerous criminals (which was not.) The enemies of Lyndon B. Johnson's Great Society also employed racial messages that conveyed the idea that welfare recipients were dangerous outsiders who should not be helped. The sharp racial division that runs through American society makes it possible to castigate poor people in a way that would be impossible in a homogeneous nation like Sweden, where the poor look the same as everyone else."

Itals added. Is this true? I tend to think it is.

Even more


Memories of Development
Sonata Adler
National Endowment for Ass-Kicking
John D. and Catherine T. Ramone Foundation
The Indistinguishable
The Passive Aggressives
Glue of the Old Warhorse
Music of the Undead

At some point I'm going to have to go back to writing sentences. Not any time soon, however.

9.25.2004

More classical band names

From the Mixed-Up Files of Vincent Persechetti
Harbison & Son
Soggy Taters
Tone Def
Da Compton Classical Playas
Too Loud to Die
Intonation Nation

A friend writes

Alex Ross: The Rest Is Noise: :

"Here is my list of possible names for the would-be hipper-than-thou classical ensembles of the future:
Majestic Morendo
The Fussies
Gesamtkunstwerkit
Collapsing Talmud Edition
Karl Ditters von Diddydorf
Samuel Barber of Seville
John Sheppard Blues Explosion
Pfitzner Boys
Boulezbians
The Revolution Will Not Be Chromaticized

Kind of lame, I know. Help me out, blogosphere."


(Post edited because funny diacriticals didn't import.

Here's some:

Welcome to the Tenordome
Insane Clown Ensemble
Diabolis Pro Musica
Up In Your Grill Chamber Players
The New York Rangers
Fish Heads featuring Middle C.
Critical Darlings

9.23.2004

Kentucky Classics, or Paraprosdokian, anyone?

There's a long post at Crooked Timber about media bias -- so long, in fact, that it is not compatible with getting to work in the morning.

However the highlight is this link: Kentucky Classics, a guide to terms of rhetoric. Delicious remembers being subjected to many of these during high school Latin, and finds them invaluable, though not in any tangible way that can be proven.

9.22.2004

Why I read Batgirl

And I don't even care about the Twins:
"Or, in other words, Stick it, Sox. Even, dare I say, Shove it. Take all your petty, bitchy, whining comments and shove it squarely up your below .500 bums. I know, I know, it's all a great tragedy, and circumstances have conspired to keep you in second place for the past three years, I mean it can't have anything to do with your completely inferior play, and the Twins are the luckiest team in baseball, plus they're full of cheating with that whole CheatDome, and you have your best players on the DL and it's just not fair because you don't have any prospects, who said you needed prospects anyway when you have stars, I mean the Twins don't have any stars, I mean there's Radke and Santana but that's it, after that the roster can't really do much, so how can they possibly beat you so soundly year after year, and the Cubs get all the attention and Freddy Garcia didn't save your team like he was supposed to and neither did Everett or Alomar—and really, who saw that coming?—and the world is full of uncertainty and life just isn't fair. And shouldn't it be? I mean, of all things that should be fair, weather and home runs and Valley Fair and all things in love and war, shouldn't life be fair? Because you’re such a great group of guys, terrific role models for the kids, full of hustle and heart and a good attitude, full of class and shouldn't that be worth something? I mean, shouldn't it?

Alas, it's not. Not when we're just so damned much better than you are. We haven't just beaten you, we've kicked your bums back and forth and up and down a few times and diagonally and counter crosswise and a few directions you didn't even know was possible."

9.21.2004

Passing thought.


Maybe I should call this blog Soggy Taters.

Emmys (or "Emmies")

I suppose I ought to blog over the Emmys, being in television. But I don't care. Indeed, in my small experience, many of the nominees don't care so much either. (Though not all, god knows.) It's nice to win, of course; but life goes on -- in fact, if you work on a nominated show, you almost certainly have to go to work the day after the Emmys.

It's this bourgeois quality that makes TV life better than working in the movies. Shows get shot out from under you all the time, but every once in a while you have a couple of years where you're going to the same office, working with the same people, attending the Christmas party, etc. You can go a long stretch with only minimal contact with executives and their very expensive casual clothes. It's nice.

Of course, it's also this bourgeois quality that makes us TV people much less cool compared to movie people. But when you're as fat as I am that's by the board anyway.

From the invaluable Morning News

Airport Codes: The ABC's   A History and Explanation

Check this out

From Richard Reeves:

"One of the facts that came out during testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee was that, so far, not a single Iraqi has completed a full training program. Yes, 32,000 Iraqis have begun police training, but they were put out in the line of fire before they finished the program."

This is one where you really ought to read the whole things if you like to be depressed. And not depressed in a partisan way, for we are equally fucked even if my candidate John Kerry wins.

N.B. -- the banner ad on top of the Yahoo page where I got this had a picture of Donald Trump. It seems sort of wrong and decadent, somehow. And not the good, I-devoted-my-life-to-the-worthless-pursuit-of-a-really-good-desert-wine decadence, either.

What the iPod knew

Today at the gym my iPod came up with Les McCann's "Compared To What":

The president he's got his war
Folks don't know just what it's for
Nobody gives you rhyme or reason
Have one doubt, they call it "reason


I don't feel like finding a link, but enjoy the whole thing, if possible.

9.20.2004

My personal goo-goo hobbyhorse or, We Will All Be Like Nebraska


Per this post, on redistricting, I would like you all to meet my personal good-government hobbyhorse. I call her "Unicameral State legislatures."

No, really! I can see the reason for two houses in the U.S. Congress -- we're balancing the issues of state representation and popular representation -- but what is being balanced on the state level.

Think of it! One whole layer of government thrown, onion-like, in the compost! The important but too-confusing morass of who represents us at the state level simplified! And the importance of each election for a party increased (thereby, one hopes, adding to ideological cohesion)!

Anyway, it's only a dream. But someday, someday, we will all be like Nebraska.

The camel's nose

The fact that we are seriously discussing internment is the most sinister thing to happen yet, I think.

"We"? The fact that internment is being discussed. That the proposal is being floated. One can sound hysterical opposing it. But where is the hysteria, really?

9.18.2004

Schwarzenegger Non-bullshit watch

Schwarzenegger Defies California Republicans:
"On September 13, over the protests of Christian fundamentalist groups, Schwarzenegger signed another bill authored by lesbian Assemblymember Christine Kehoe (D-San Diego) which will require insurance companies to treat domestic partners just like married couples.

The move puts him sharply at odds with the Republicans in the Legislature, where gay rights have become a party line issue...
San Francisco's gay Assemblyman Mark Leno, a Democrat, said that gay civil rights issues have become a litmus test. "Incredibly" Leno said, "In the history of the state Capitol, there has never been a single Republican vote in favor of LGBT civil rights - not one."


"Incredibly"? Still, good job, bullshit artist.
"

Even in academia

At the end of a good post about Big-time College Sports Jon Mandel writes:

"[A] few years ago, my school moved from division II to division I for reasons that were never made very clear. The suspicion that some had at the time was that this was simply a way of boosting the egos of the administration. They didn't see a move to division I as means to accomplish some other end -- it was the end (not just to win more games or attract more applicants or gather more donations). I don't know whether that is correct, but it points to the possibility that something not captured in Frank's account might be at work. If school officials are motivated by something like a macho attitude that is gratified simply by the spending itself, then it seems that much of Frank's analysis succeeds in debunking a mere rationalization -- which, of course, may be a valuable project in its own right."

(Itals added.) Bosses doing something to make themselves feel more boss-like? Even in academia?

Delicious doesn't read much actually business literature so he doesn't know if the phenomenon of free-spending idiot boss is really covered in the depth it deserves. But he knows a lot of people out here in Hollywood who are the beneficiaries of said phenomenon.


PS -- The school in question in the CT post is "The University at Albany." It's really just SUNY Albany! Part of the makeover, I guess. Don't tell anyone.

9.17.2004

All apologies (3)

While screwing around with the format I have somehow lost my blogroll, which I was actually going to post about, even.

It may take awhile for me to teach myself how to fix it.

Wow.


Rick James Death Due to Heart Attack, Drugs

I Found Some Of Your Life

Via Morning News. The intro says it all:

You are unknown to me.
Your camera's memory card was in a taxi; I have it now.
I am going to post one of your pictures each day.
I will also narrate as if I were you.
Maybe you will come here and reclaim this piece of your life.

9.16.2004

All apologies (2)


Delicious has been very busy providing America with its necessary television comedy, a career which he has to combine with being a lazy man.

Rants re: television comedy to come after some rest.

9.15.2004

Ah, college

Alex Ross:
"Robert Gable, aka aworks, has put John Cage's 4'33' on his iPod, so that the ambient sounds of his environment periodically interrupt the mad rush of music on Shuffle. It's a delightful idea. Apropos of little, in college I helped to organize a radio broadcast of 4'33' — a performance on Baroque instruments, or so we claimed. It lasted only one minute, because tempos were much faster in the Baroque period, har har."

When I was in college someone played 4'33' as their entry in the symphony's concerto competition. Cage seems to have written one of the few musical jokes that actually works.

True, but depressing

Yglesias: "As Judis says, the trouble isn't that people are lying it's that there's a process (as in Marx's theory of ideology) where people come to sincerely believe in the high-minded normative justifications for behavior that is, in fact, quite cynical and self-interested. It gives you what's really the worst of both words because you wind up genuinely surprised when the Filipinos (or Mexicans or Cubans or Vietnamese or Iraqis) don't welcome you as liberators, leaving you confused about what to do next."

That's when I think, "I'm surprised that they're surprised." But then again, no (to quote Bernie Taupin): when you grow up in the greater U.S. area you are fed a diet of Divine Right theory. The current term of art for that, I understand, is "exceptionalism." But you don't need Bush, or Woodrow Wilson, to see that it's really Divine Right.

Note that Kissinger -- who didn't grow up in these parts -- could hardly be said to suffer from the sort of disillusionment described here.

As a boy my mind would wander during Mass and I would look at the American flag up there on the altar and wonder, why should God particularly care about the U.S.? (Maybe I should have added "per se," but I was only a boy.) Catholics own their history, and that means believing in a God who has seen the nations come and go; somewhat, in this respect, like an old barfly.

More toy department

I find this hard to believe:

Yahoo! News - NHL Lockout Looms; ESPN Scrambling: "ESPN executives and advertisers are scrambling to figure out what they're going to do if labor strife disrupts the scheduled Oct. 13 start of the NHL season. "

Scrambling? I think not. Because it's not like a lockout hasn't been in the cards for a year and a half. I'm sure all parties have contingency plans. Indeed, even I, as a hockey fan, have a contingency plan. It is to read the great classics, perhaps with Jane Austen, beginning with Soul On Ice and working my way through the rest of the oeuvre.

9.13.2004

One small win for grammar

I was in Target with Mrs. D. The express lanes say, "8 items or fewer." Bless you.

My birthday

That's right. I'm 200 pounds young today. Take it away, Miss Bishop:


The Bight
[On my birthday]

At low tide like this how sheer the water is.
White, crumbling ribs of marl protrude and glare
and the boats are dry, the pilings dry as matches.
Absorbing, rather than being absorbed,
the water in the bight doesn't wet anything,
the color of the gas flame turned as low as possible.
One can smell it turning to gas; if one were Baudelaire
one could probably hear it turning to marimba music.
The little ocher dredge at work off the end of the dock
already plays the dry perfectly off-beat claves.
The birds are outsize. Pelicans crash
into this peculiar gas unnecessarily hard,
it seems to me, like pickaxes,
rarely coming up with anything to show for it,
and going off with humorous elbowings.
Black-and-white man-of-war birds soar
on impalpable drafts
and open their tails like scissors on the curves
or tense them like wishbones, till they tremble.
The frowsy sponge boats keep coming in
with the obliging air of retrievers,
bristling with jackstraw gaffs and hooks
and decorated with bobbles of sponges.
There is a fence of chicken wire along the dock
where, glinting like little plowshares,
the blue-gray shark tails are hung up to dry
for the Chinese-restaurant trade.
Some of the little white boats are still piled up
against each other, or lie on their sides, stove in,
and not yet salvaged, if they ever will be, from the last bad storm,
like torn-open, unanswered letters.
The bight is littered with old correspondences.
Click. Click. Goes the dredge,
and brings up a dripping jawful of marl.
All the untidy activity continues,
awful but cheerful.

The case for Kerry

In shorthand.

9.11.2004

Schwarzenegger Bullshit Watch (4)

Liar, uh, bullshit artist:
"Court and other consumer advocates also lambasted Schwarzenegger's endorsement of Proposition 64, which would change the state's Unfair Competition Law.

The initiative is aimed at limiting the 70-year-old law, which lets private citizens sue companies even when people filing the complaints have not been personally injured. The proposition would allow only the state attorney general or local public officials to sue on behalf of the public to enforce laws governing business competition....

Environmentalists, who have filed suits under the law in the past to supplement enforcement by government officials, said they felt betrayed by Schwarzenegger since the governor just three weeks ago assured them that he wanted to fine-tune the law in the Legislature, not at the ballot box."


(LA Times. Emphasis added, natch.)

9.09.2004

Our 30-year campaign to maleducate Americans begins to pay off

Fred Kaplan, on the myriad mistakes that led to 9/11: "In the vast majority of these foul-ups, the problem wasn't with the agencies' organizational charts but rather with the quality of the people filling those charts. The trouble wasn't so much the flow of information but rather what people did with information when they got it. The key question is not so much how the government was structured but rather who did what, when?

Washington is now debating how to restructure the intelligence community -- whether to break up the CIA, expand the CIA director's powers, or create a new national intelligence authority. This is an important debate. But the chronicle of 9/11 tells us that a much more important debate should be going on over how to reward smart people inside the intelligence community -- and how to recruit more of them."

Schwarzenegger Bullshit Watch (3)

No tanks.

3 more Rs

The littler of my little Deliciouses begins kindergarten today:

I

My child and I hold hands on the way to school,
And when I leave him at the first-grade door
He cries a little but is brave; he does
Let go. My selfish tears remind me how
I cried before that door a life ago.
I may have had a hard time letting go.

Each fall the children must endure together
What every child also endures alone:
Learning the alphabet, the integers,
Three dozen bits and pieces of a stuff
So arbitrary, so peremptory,
That worlds invisible and visible

Bow down before it, as in Joseph's dream
The sheaves bowed down and then the stars bowed down
Before the dreaming of a little boy.
That dream got him such hatred of his brothers
As cost the greater part of life to mend,
And yet great kindness came of it in the end.

II

A school is where they grind the grain of thought,
And grind the children who must mind the thought.
It may be those two grindings are but one,
As from the alphabet come Shakespeare's Plays,
As from the integers comes Euler's Law,
As from the whole, inseperably, the lives,

The shrunken lives that have not been set free
By law or by poetic phantasy.
But may they be. My child has disappeared
Behind the schoolroom door. And should I live
To see his coming forth, a life away,
I know my hope, but do not know its form

Nor hope to know it. May the fathers he finds
Among his teachers have a care of him
More than his father could. How that will look
I do not know, I do not need to know.
Even our tears belong to ritual.
But may great kindness come of it in the end.

(Howard Nemerov)

9.08.2004

Awesome post

Read the whole thing.

Here's a good Wisdom of Crowds item

From King Kaufman at Salon (yeah, you probably need a subscription):

"The good news is that there is one thing the people in this great and divided country can agree upon: which teams are going to win the eight divisions in the NFL this season. America is a nation united in the idea that pretty much the same teams that won the NFL's division titles last season are going to do it again.

The problem here is that this never happens. Since the NFL entered the 'Wait, I've been away for a year and now you're telling me that what team won the Super Bowl?!' era in 1998, exactly four division champions from the previous year have won the same division again. And now readers of this column and media 'experts' across the land are predicting that six division champs are going to repeat this season alone."


The six are Carolina, Philadelphia, KC, Baltimore, Indianapolis, and N.E. Delicious doesn't care much for the NFL -- who knew crypto-fascism was going to have so many commercials? -- but he was interested in this pigskin prognostication. Is this a wisdom-of-crowds item? Surowecki? Anyone? Bueller?

The Right roams the battlefield, shooting the wounded

Delicious is forced to conclude that the Right has won the media war if they have to resort to fake outrage regarding nomenclature as the current awful liberal media crime. Even Dubcek got on board there.

(Whole construct taken down at the the Timber, not that it matters.)

9.07.2004

"I had done all that I could; and no man is well pleased to have his all neglected, be it ever so little."

Probably the 3 people (all of them me) who read this blog also read Talking Points, but I was so taken by Jimmy Carter's letter to Zell Miller that I thought I'd reprint part of it:

"I, myself, never claimed to have been a war hero, but I served in the navy from 1942 to 1953, and, as president, greatly strengthened our military forces and protected our nation and its interests in every way. I don’t believe this warrants your referring to me as a pacificist.

Zell, I have known you for forty-two years and have, in the past, respected you as a trustworthy political leader and a personal friend. But now, there are many of us loyal Democrats who feel uncomfortable in seeing that you have chosen the rich over the poor, unilateral preemptive war over a strong nation united with others for peace, lies and obfuscation over the truth, and the political technique of personal character assassination as a way to win elections or to garner a few moments of applause. These are not the characteristics of great Democrats whose legacy you and I have inherited."


Then JMM says that he was told it was a "private communication." So how'd he get it?

A note for negative campaigners

From Reeves, one of my favorite old-school guys:

"President Bush has a record, and I assume Kerry's negative researchers are all over that. The devil is in the details. Democrats usually see governance as making speeches and passing laws. Republicans are better executives, and their governance is better traced through executive orders and federal regulations. Bush has issued 150 or so executive orders and, with almost no scrutiny, presided over the enforcement, modification or elimination of thousands of federal regulations -- word changes that allow coal miners to lop off the tops of Appalachian mountains or that channel federal aid to favored religious groups."

Happy Arrival Day!

Apparently, today is the 350th anniversary of the first Jewish immigrants to the new world, in New Amsterdam. Eszter at Crooked Timber is reminded of a wedding she just went to, and writes:

"There are several reasons why I live in the U.S. and although no one factor is fully responsible, one contributing reason is that no matter how people try to downplay it, anti-Semitism is alive and well in Europe. I prefer to live in a country where I do not have to be on my guard all the time about being Jewish. (I realize experiences must vary across the U.S., but this is my experience having lived in seven states in rural, suburban and urban areas and I appreciate it.) At my friends' wedding, Jews and non-Jews of numerous backgrounds came together to celebrate in the joy of two wonderful people. In my mind, this story is the perfect tribute to Arrival Day."

No politics about this, just a "right on," so to speak.

Another fan of Yeovil

Gopnik(in a recent New Yorker):

"The space between what the wine writers say and what the wine novice tastes is a standard subject of satire. (The best was written, exactly contemporary with Orwell, by Stephen Potter in the Winemanship section of his peerless Lifemanship books.)"

I can make no stronger recommendation to the few readers here than to check out those Stephen Potter books -- although I have tried to get several comedy professionals interested in them, to limited avail. I suspect one needs a little bit of Anglophilia to get into their voice. But they're still funny, and just true enough.

The tale of two hands

Came upon this in the Wall Street Journal:

WSJ.com - After Storms, Florida Wakes Up
To a New Insurance Reality
: "As Floridians begin picking up the pieces from the second devastating hurricane in less than a month, many are also discovering the full effects of a decade of maneuvering by insurance companies and state officials that has dramatically reduced the obligations of private insurers to pay for the impact of catastrophic storms."


Typical business, I thought. Selling themselves as caring and then trying to stiff their customers for as much as they can get away with. And the government, supposedly our stewards, letting them get away with it:

As a result, hundreds of thousands of Florida homeowners -- including many who have paid for what they believed was "full" property insurance -- now find themselves holding the bag for a much bigger portion of the estimated $10 billion to $15 billion in insured damage from Frances and Charley than they would have a decade ago.

Florida regulators and legislators allowed private insurance companies to add hefty new deductibles to homeowners' policies and to raise premium rates in some cases by as much as fourfold.


On the other hand:

What has happened in Florida is partly the result of a big shift in the way U.S. insurance companies have operated over the past decade. The industry has adopted increasingly sophisticated underwriting tools to avoid insuring higher-risk homes and has taken steps to lay more of the burden to pay claims on policyholders themselves. California residents who face the threat of storms or wildfires, for example, must choose between sometimes bare-bones coverage offered by insurance pools organized by the state and high-cost policies from niche insurers such as Lloyd's of London.

And it's hard to blame them. No one has a right to live cheaply in hurricane alley. Delicious lives in California, where we know a devastating earthquake is going to happen one of these days, and it's hard to see how that makes for good business for an insurance company.

Come visit America

Proof that M. Yglesias needs to visit, oh, say, Disneyland:

"As I say, it's hard to see how soda could not make you fat. At the same time, folks are drinking soda everywhere I turn and they're not exactly dropping dead on the street corners, so it's hard to imagine that this is our most pressing public health threat."

9.06.2004

Agreed

From Pinto:

This has to be one of my favorite plays of all time:

Athletics seventh. D.Miller grounded out, third baseman Mueller to first baseman Millar.

Heh

Yglesias: "You might think that our friendly war hawks would care about this, since you obviously can't conduct a generational struggle if your country goes bankrupt in six years. But, of course, they don't care about it any more than they wonder why, if success in Iraq is so important, they should keep the gang that lost $9 billion dollars and tried to put an Iranian spy in charge of the country running the show."

9.03.2004

Ready for my caricature, Mr. DeMille

It's nice that the dyspeptic Mr. Wolcott has a blog, even if:

1. he doesn't allow comments (in character, though, I think), and
2. It's impossible to read! In Safari it is, anyway. His fancy title loads right over the first entry -- which I linked to anyway, because it's about Pat Moynihan, who I always liked -- and the left margin is right on the point where the browser ends and, according to legend, the dragons begin.

I imagine one so sure of and fastidious about his prose won't allow such things to persist much longer. Unless it's a deliberate effect! Or he hates Macs.


UPDATE: Perhaps Wolcott can answer a question that crossed my mind this morning which is, Who is America's tallest novelist?

Kaus & Kerry

Delicious and the little Deliciouses are about to take off for the beach but I wanted to assert one thing, which is, resolved: The worst thing about a Kerry defeat -- unless I am wrong in my surmise that America is too lazy to be fascist -- will be the four years of I-told-you-sos from Mickey Kaus.

I just don't get the vibe of the guy, the gleefulness of his Kerry-hatred. Maybe it's because I dislike what Bush has done so much more, but I don't get the constant shivs, especially at this late date, and, also, to what end? The dude would rather be right than have Kerry president.

The other thing influencing me in this is my belief that Kerry was probably the best of that field. I've only seen Edwards a few times, but I find him a little syrupy for my taste. Dean would have been a good campaigner, but it's not clear that he could have made the transition to human-seeming robot that is necessary for the general campaign (see "21st Century, building a bridge to"). For Lieberman, of course, human-seeming robot would be a step up.

Kerry, to me, is a smart guy who would hire other smart guys and get things back on track. Is that so wrong? Churchillian he ain't. But is this a Churchill moment anymore? (A subject, I hope, for a later post.)

See ya -- with the proviso that I would not want to be you.

Notes toward a list of imaginary luxury foods

Lobster-fed steak
Chocolate-robed oysters

Keen eye

I always liked Mark Crispin Miller (although he's not exactly a lighthearted guy), and I liked this observation C. Pierce forwards from TAPPED:

"As to Miller, it was he who pointed out how the president only stumbles over himself when he talks about things that don't really interest him -- like domestic programs."

9.02.2004

The Bushes and the Cheneys

are on the stage (I'm watching the CSPAN rebroadcast), and one phrase comes oddly to mind: "Ghetto Fabulous."

Why? I don' know.

OMG THIS IS BIGGER THAN GARBO SPEAKS!

Larry King blogs!

Posted: 10:00 p.m. ET
From Larry King, host, 'Larry King Live'
It's a new thrill to me to blog ... and I may become a permanent blogger. In fact, blogging could become my life"


Fans of his late great three-dot USA Today column ("Tommy Lasorda's pasta sauce is very, very good") can only hold our breath.

"Lake Superior defines the term 'Great Lake.'" I just made that one up. If he's not going to blog that way, then I will.

Nice job, Pharisee

And the last voice you hear from Straw Man Festival, a/k/a the Republican Convention:

Benediction
Cardinal Egan


(Via Ailes)

Sexist beveraging

Digby says :

"Update: John Edwards knows how to make this appeal for our side and it's not because he's so darned cute. It's because he knows how to subtly aim the message.

'If you got up and went to the refrigerator to get a Diet Coke, you would have missed any discussion of what they’re going to do about health care, what they’re going to do about jobs, what they plan to do about this mess in Iraq.'

Diet coke, see? He's not talking to some hairy mook. "


FYI, those of us who get most of our calories from beer like to cut corners elsewhere.

Next time, do research


From the wires:
"Erika and Brian Marwood, who moved from Colorado to Orlando two months ago and huddled in their bathroom with glow sticks and candles while Charley rushed overhead, made their way this time to a Holiday Inn in Tifton, Ga.

'We thought we were doing a good thing getting away from the snow, but there are no hurricanes in Colorado,' Erika Marwood said."

9.01.2004

Spreading the bad word

From The Poor Man:

At a closed, invitation-only Bush campaign rally for Christian conservatives yesterday, Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas called for a broad social conservative agenda notably different from the televised presentations at the Republican convention, including adopting requirements that pregnant women considering abortions be offered anesthetics for their fetuses and loosening requirements on the separation of church and state.

Get this around. Anyone who has any offbeat religious persuasion, like, eventually, Catholics, is threatened by this.

Fafblog is back

Writing the plain american that dogs and cats can read:

"'But didn't Santa give us salvation for Christmas?' says me.
'We did not have enough faith in him!' says Giblets. 'An now look at us we are damned to hell!'

More toy department

Good article about Barry Bonds. Interesting quote:

"Some people lose their drive as they get older ? they'd rather be with their family, they don't want to travel, there are parts of the industry they don't want to do anymore, and it affects their mental approach to the whole game," [Dave} Winfield said.

"I don't see Barry losing the mental drive. He's very strong, and he keeps people away from intruding on his space and making him lose concentration."


This might explain -- only in part I'm sure -- Bonds' legendary surliness. Maybe when he retires he de-surlify somewhat; I hope so, I'd like to hear him talk baseball someday. I imagine, not least because he grew up around the game, that he'd have some interesting things to say.

My take is that Bonds's surliness has three causes:
1. He is surly
2. We think athletes shouldn't be surly.
3. Everyone else -- actors and politicians -- is so stage-managed now that genuine human surliness is surprising.

Here's a straw to clutch

Check it.