Monday, September 29, 2008

Day In, Day Out

Great song. But also a good description for the persistent pleasure of watching Bill Kristol get it wrong.

Vote Of No Confidence

Had the Republican house members possessed the slightest confidence that McCain's canary of a campaign had a prayer of winning, they would have eaten the bullet and voted this dog through. They don't and they didn't. John McCain is toast.

I didn't like this bill either but, then, I'm a bomb-throwing Demmycrat. This vote represents the permanent loss of the business class for the Republican Party, irrespective of their drool about Capital Gains and over-regulation.

Steve Schmidt Is A Hack....

....And his candidate is a liar, a coward, and a fool. How richly they deserve the loss that they are going to experience Nov. 4th.


You don't tug on Superman's cape, you don't piss in the wind. You don't pull on the mask of the ol' Lone Ranger and you don't fuck around with a bill that a majority of the constituents of both major parties hate. The immigration fiasco taught them nothing.

Just The Facts, Ma'am.

BAILOUT REJECTED
House Votes ‘No,’ 228-205; Stocks Plunge

My New Goddamn Computer

Very cool. Tons of RAM, hot processor.
Too cool. Transparent case. Florescent lights and diodes in the interior, so bright that they illuminate the entire room. It looks like a pinball machine from the 1980's....in fact, I wish he had included a couple of flippers and a ball. You can't turn the lights off without turning the machine off. With design skills like this, the dude really ought to be working for a bigger company, maybe Microsoft. The other day I watched a gnat fly into the case, get paralyzed by the light, and die of exhaustion. It was even better than playing The Sims, except that the body is still there.

Grace Under Pressure

"Pristine, perfect. One of the great livers of our time. Awash in Dewar's and full of health."

Paul Desmond
(dying of lung cancer)

Friday, September 26, 2008

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Gonna Roll The Bones

Now, I gotta admit, I really don't want McCain to win this thing (I was a big fan at one point, though). What is surprising is that McCain appears to agree with me. This whole debate/campaign suspension thing is just nuts. He is not even winning his news cycle, his base is disappointed, and the entire idea was just crazed to begin with. Even the whack-jobs at Free Republic are speechless.

Clearly, this is another one of McCain's emotional, shoot-from-the-hip misfires. They say he prefers craps to poker....I can certainly see why.

Let Them Fail

Ive taken awhile to comment on this here, as I am all too aware that my economic education does not extend much beyond One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish. I was, however, mightily unpersuaded by the performances of Bernanke and Paulson before the Senate and downright alarmed by the non-reviewability features of the proposed legislation. Then, when I saw that both Larry Kudlow and Megan McArdle agreed that the bailout was necessary, I knew that this was a Really Terrible Idea for sure.

Larison is doing a great job on all of this. I will just add that the arguments by the central Bankers sound a lot like a junkie asking for you to buy his next fix so that he won't have to steal your TV. Pure blackmail.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Fear Of Fermentation


The best homebrewing advice I've ever seen is "don't panic". Unfortunately, I am prone to panic with pretty much every effort.

My latest batch was concocted with a Munton's Brown Scottish Ale kit, a packet of Windsor Ale Yeast and, here's where the panic set in, 2 lbs. of corn sugar. I couldn't find my hydrometer but obviously everything had to be running pretty high, gravity- wise, which was my intent. After 48 hours, I saw no action in the airlock at all so I immediately assumed that fermentation was stuck. So I immediately ran down to Mecca Coffee, which is Brookside's designated destination for the homebrewer and grabbed some more yeast. Rehydrated the yeast for about 45 minutes, with little sugar to bring it to life, and opened the fermenter. The wort had a thin layer of foam on top already and I tossed the new yeast solution in.

The result was the most awesome demonstration of yeasty power I have ever seen. The entire wort appeared to literally boil. I slammed the lid back on and watched the airlock which was now bubbling continuously.

Clearly, the wort was fermenting already, just very, very slowly. I presume that the amount of fermentables was too great for the single packet of yeast that I had originally pitched and that the yeast while still alive had either been put to sleep or was just too attenuated for a really good ferment....I suspect the latter. In other words I could have just left well enough alone and the whole thing would probably have eventually done it's magic, though I feel a lot better for having just re-pitched.

Homebrewers are like any other hobbyist in that they are prone to revel in/intimidate with a lot of weird gnostic lore (often hard won, I admit). For every time a homebrewer freaks, it probably pays to remember that there are prisoners brewing up things with no sanitation, no equipment, and no recognizable ingredients. Man has been brewing stuff for thousands of years before they even understood what yeast and bacteria were. Making a great beer may be difficult, but making a pretty fair, drinkable one ain't rocket science.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Megyn Kelly Commits Journalism

What has gotten into everybody? Nobody watches cable news to get informed....We watch it to see vapid but delectable hardbodies babble inanities. So I'm quite disappointed to note that some of these hotties actually know how to do their job, though fortunately they don't demonstrate it all the time. Is this just a regrettable fad, like Lindsey Lohan becoming a lesbian? First, Campbell Brown reduced Tucker Bounds to a whimpering, quivering blob of jelly, now Megyn Kelly - Fox News! - shows that she can do the same trick. Damn, folks, if I wanted the truth I would be watching C-Span.

Whatever they are paying Tucker Bounds isn't enough (by the way, doesn't he look a bit like Anthony Perkins in Psycho?). A little more treatment like this and he'll be one of those guys paying hot dominatrixs to degrade him. I wonder if that's how Dick Morris got into the toe-sucking thing.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Man, I Hate Schools Like That.

I was just re-reading Gary Brecher's great article "Victor Davis Hanson: Portrait Of A Traitor" (more on that shortly) when I encountered his description of UC Santa Cruz:

Hanson graduated from UC Santa Cruz in 1975. I don't know if you non-Californians understand what that means. UC Santa Cruz is the official sex-and-drugs campus of the whole UC system. It's so hippie-cool and mellow it doesn't even give grades, which are just too bourgeois. You just get little notes from your teachers. The kids who go there are rich brats who don't have to worry about getting a job-because graduating from there is like telling your future employers you were stoned for four straight years.

And Hanson graduated from there in 1975. I can only dream about what it must've been like to be a student at Santa Cruz back then, at the climax of the hippie days. I seriously doubt if anybody on that campus was un-stoned from enrollment to graduation, or un-laid for more than a week.

That's all very nice but those of us who went to Bennington know that Santa Cruz had a rep for bunk drugs and lame, frigid women. Just sayin'. All of that explains a lot about Hanson though, now that I think on it.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Sally The Sleuth


I see that some shrill bureaucrat with the Eu wants to ban "sexist" advertising on TV. Well, allrighty then. It should be a simple matter to extend this to print, and then we will bid a very fond "adieu" to many dear friends of my youth....The Land O' Lakes Maiden, The White Rock Nymph, jeez, maybe even the Morton Salt Girl .

Hopefully, I won't live to see it. All of this reminds me of Roger Ebert's remark that Emmanuelle was filmed "back when people actually enjoyed sex". Almost (but not quite) needless to say, this line of reasoning, if we can deem it such, is what led to John Ashcroft draping the immodest statuary in the Justice Department. Taken to it's logical conclusion, we shouldn't have to endure such frankly prurient works as the Venus De Milo, Michaelangelo's David, or the entire ouvre of Toulouse-Lautrec, Rubens and Beardsley either.

Which brings me at last to Sally The Sleuth. While creator Adolphe Barreaux may not rank with Rubens he wasn't a bad little artist, at least by pulp standards. Or maybe I just dig it. Sally first appeared in 1934 in the pages of Spicy Detective magazine, a publication that thrived on at least implying sex and usually in the context of a little kinky rape-fetish-bondage situation -all three at the same time, if possible. Although quite chaste by today's standards, Sally apparently packed a wallop in it's day, as did the better-drawn British equivalent Jane.

Those who need a little more of Sally can find her charms in various reprint formats.

Burning Chrome

I very much wanted to like Google's new Chrome, as I just sort of like the whole "cloud computing" idea. However, running XP with 512 RAM, and with three open tabs, Chrome turns out to be an incredible memory vampire....by incredible I mean it will interfere with even simple applications that are running alongside it. Sucks up CPU, too. I see that this partly has to do with the design of the browser, as well as probably involving some bloated media-heavy webpages (the arstechnica site was a likely offender, and as one of the cooler Chrome features is the ability to check and see which webpages are the most poorly designed, I may use it again just to see what applet was eating all of my processor).

I really would like to be on board with Chrome, but there is just no way unless they reduce that footprint or until I get the next generation of PC.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Grow A Pair

The level of Democratic panic over the effective speech by Governor Palin was predictable, amusing, and pathetic. They remind me of the guy in Aliens: "We're in some pretty shit now! Game over, man! Game over!"

Spare me. Did anyone really think that beating McCain would be easy? That electing the first black President in history would be a cinch? These children. I remember having to run against Reagan.

Everyone needs to kick back, take a valium if necessary and recall that Palin is not the candidate in the center ring.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Courtesy of TPM

Excellent comment on the McCain/Palin media pushback effort here.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Republican National Convention

I may be biased but I don't think this convention is going terribly well for them. Certainly, it isn't doing anything for me.

And they should worry about that because, while I can't support this Republican Party I could conceivably support a Republican Party. I'm Roman Catholic, pro-life, low-tax, anti-regulatory, a trifle libertarian (aye, there's the rub)....A focus group would probably say that I'm exactly the kind of Democrat they should be trying to peel off. But there is just nothing there for me tonight. Even on the pro-life issue they are so self-righteous and off-putting that they don't make me want to support them -and if I feel that way, how must the rest of America feel?

McCain's Unforced Error

Incredibly, McCain declined tonight to appear on the softball Larry King Live apparently as punishment for Campbell Brown's takedown of McCain spokesman Tucker Bounds.

Campbell Brown's interview was reasonably tough, but in no way unfair. Certainly not as unfair as most high-profile Senate Subcommittee inquiries. Whining about the media, in my opinion, makes a candidate appear weak and cowardly anyway.

But, even if McCain's faux indignation be ever so deserved, it's a stupid, self-destructive move on his part. McCain needs the media exposure very badly....more badly than CNN needs him. Does he think the questions from MSNBC will be softer? Will PBS be gentle? If McCain wants to be a long-running FoxNews exclusive, I guess that's cool with me. But he might as well concede the election now, if that's the case, and take his super-hot wife on a well deserved vacation. Of course, that's what I would have done in the first place.

McCain transformed defeat into victory so well during his primary race that I had become really impressed by the savvy of his campaign. Then he inexplicably did virtually nothing while the Democratic primary raged on. After Obama's trip abroad he seemed to come alive again and actually picked up some runs. Now he's back in his slump with only two months to go. Obama's almost a fucking machine at this point, so I don't see him making too many mistakes from here on out. Obama can't quite run the clock yet, but he may be there soon. If McCain has game left, this would be the time to whip it out.

Monday, September 1, 2008

The Miracle That Was Cyd Charisse

Sometimes, someone will ask why I believe in God and I lack a concise answer. Then I remember Cyd Charisse, which I think meets my burden of proof.


Can you imagine if we all made love with the same exquisite slowness, patience and timing that they display here? It would be a better world, I suspect.

The Hunger

Presidential Aspirants prefer to call it "the fire in the belly" but, as usual, they are being way too kind to themselves. It bears a much closer resemblance to the desperate need of the brain-eating zombies in Return Of The Living Dead.
I am reminded of this by John Cole's noting that the McCain campaign just hired Tucker Eskew. For those who may have forgotten, Eskew was one of the high-level Bush operatives who stage-managed the brutal and ugly South Carolina primary destruction of McCain's previous run at the Presidency....c'mon, you remember, the one where McCain got accused of having fathered a black child out of wedlock. The one where it was suggested that his years in the Hanoi Hilton had driven him completely insane. Up to now, everyone assumed that Eskew would be about as welcome in the McCain campaign as Susan Atkins would be at a Tate family reunion. But we misunderestimated McCain's sheer hunger - his deep psychological craving for the Presidency. By any means necessary. This is the kind of thing that would have made for good material in a John O'Hara novel.
All politicians have this ghastly trait, for sure. But some hide it better than others. Obama disguises his mad ambition very well, as did Huckabee. Even a sociopath like Clinton could conceal it at times. But Nixon couldn't hide his for even a second and McCain can't either. You can read it on the face....raw nerves, anger and fear. Anyone who has spent time with heroin addicts or alcoholics knows that look.

Campbell Brown Rocks

She just eviscerated McCain flacker Tucker Bounds on CNN.

Video here.