Friday, March 2, 2012


Andrew Brietbart died recently. I think this post says all that needs to be said.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Snow Job

Olympia Snowe will not run for reelection. She made noises about the horrors of partisanship in the current Senate. She is a "moderate" Republican, which means she laments having to vote for bat-shit crazy legislation even as she votes for it. Snowe, I would venture, is known to nearly no one outside of Maine except for news and politics junkies. America Elect is a doomed attempt at electing someone as a third party candidate who holds Democratic Party policy positions. Using his acute skills, Jon Chait, who once wrote about how Trump was a real candidate for President, thinks, if that's the word I want, that Snowe is cleverly positioning herself for a run on the AE ticket.

I really doubt that that small state and unknown senator would quit a life-time sinecure for the opportunity to make an ass of herself. But who knows, maybe all evidence to the contrary Chait knows something.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Horrid Little Woman

Megan McArdle has a long post up explaining how income loss really only matters when it happens to the riches. In what she seems to think is a QED moment, she appends this from a "bankruptcy attorney":
Another factor I've noticed with my bankruptcy clients is that a very rich person whose income takes a sudden precipitous drop to a still-pretty-good income can actually wind up in more financial trouble, faster, than a very poor person whose income drops to zero.  If you were making $300k a year and spending $200k of it on fixed expenses, and your household income drops to $125k a year, unless you have substantial liquid savings or are able to sell your house and your car and your boat yank your kids out of private school REALLY fast, you're going to wind up in bankruptcy in a fairly short space of time.  A person who was making $18k a year and suddenly finds themselves making nothing, as a practical matter, can often break their lease and move in with mom and get on food stamps until a new job materializes and wind up with only a couple thousand dollars in debt.   Not that it's not still ultimately much better to be the rich person, but the rich person does get hit with a more panic-inducing financial calamity in the short term.
Having fallen so far, the riches have it much worse, even thought they still earn 125k per annum, because of panic induced by not having 200k per annum anymore. Meanwhile, our poor is home with her family plus her husband and kids but that dislocation doesn't matter because? And what if the parents live month to month in one bedroom apartment? Where do the poors go? What if only one of the poors loses their job? 36k with two kids to 18k with two kids say. Somehow or another staring homelessness and food deprevation in the face is less panic inducing than structured bankruptcy and a decent life on 125k?

Actually and to be fair, the bankruptcy attorney seems to think that poors are single and so they don't have to worry about kids, which is totally bullshit and emblematic of the horribleness of the defenders of the  riches.

It's not a case of no sympathy for the riches when things go bad; it's the case that the poors need help now while the riches have a whole system in place to protect them from the "creative destruction" of a neoliberal economic system come undone.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Obama responds to Romney and Cos lies about fixing the auto industry.

I like the value stuff @1:59

He Has Met The Enemy And His Is Them

David Brooks has a column up in which he laments the crazification of the Republican Party and castigates those mealy-mouthed RINOs who signed the Party's death notice by either moving to the right or tacitly endorsing the Tea Party/Glenn Beck crazies.

Well, you know if you, David Brooks, spent your career courageously standing up for reasonable conservatism then reasonable conservatism is another way of saying middle-brow bullshit enabling crazy talk. Just the other day, Brooks was lamenting the moral failure of the poors because it meant that they weren't able to get the jobs he and his fellows had shipped to China.

He writes columns based on serious misunderstandings or deliberate distortions of his source material; he writes books based on a serious misunderstandings or deliberate distortions of reality and science. His foray into castigating the poors' moral decline led him into further idiocy. The man is a walking, talking, living, and breathing advertisement of the complicity of the "reasonable" Republican elite in the creation of a small and growing ever smaller Party of racists, thugs, and war mongers.

More likely than not, he wrote this column because he decided he needed to pretend to abhor the situation he created. Why that is, I have no idea. The man's ignorance, mendacity, and intellectual dishonesty have so far served to make him one of the highest profile horrid little men in these United States, where laughter shall always be the best medicine. You would think now that his particular flock of chickens are coming home he would openly celebrating.

But maybe a lifetime spent in spewing squid ink hither and yon has made it impossible for the horrid little man to tell the truth.

I forgot to mention that he is just the right height.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Just Dessert

The other day I made a dessert that was so bad the squirrels wouldn't eat it:

I got a different recipe and tweaked it:

Dutch By Design

The Dutch are cool and, of course, just the right height. Here is an English-language blog on Dutch and others' plans for cycling friendly cities.

One Other Thing

The whole, entire, and complete reason for the folderoll about contraception on the Right's part escapes me. Do they really think that this country is populated by small-minded puritans for whom the best of times grows out of denying the pleasures of the flesh to others? It makes no sense. The vast majority of the human race is pretty pleasant; it's the one percenters like Santorum and the Koch Brothers who hate humanity and would be happiest, so their preferred policies suggest, when the world is a smoking ruin. How it is that they expect to survive the neoliberal apocalypse escapes me.

Human Resources Is a Misnomer

I recently applied for a some kind of a job. I got an email the other day explaining that all the applications had been feed into a computer which then didn't select me. The email, which is about was bog standard as it could be, came from a real person and asked me to log into the company's webpage to acknowledge having received the email. What is the point of a HR department that uses machines to make the important decisions and people to fulfill the routinized functions, you ask. It seems to me that by automating the process of selecting winners and losers the system forces us to think like machines. No longer will the cover letter matter but rather it matters that a machine reading your resume finds the various words,whatever they may be, that tell a machine that you can handle the job. It is, in other words, another step in dehumanizing humanity in the service of greater efficiency. Indeed, were I the HR human who wrote the bog standard letter, I would be busy changing careers as all HR humans are now redundant.

What's French For Bicycle?

If you need to get from here to there in France on a bike, here's the map for you. Also French guy on a Mixte:

 See also Scottish guy: