Friday, October 13, 2006

It wasn't just me who thought Tim Welke's strike zone intruded into the flight path for LaGuardia.

Drop what you're doing. Stop whatever you are thinking.

Go read this.

Then vote.
"It was reported this week that a $20 million provision has been placed in the military spending bill to pay for a party celebrating America's victory in Iraq and Afghanistan. So save the date: February 8th, 3046."
---Amy Poehler

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Rooting interest in the postseason? Hard to say.

Tigers, I guess. Hard not to love the rags to riches theme. I have a kind of sympathetic Mets fandom, because they're not the Yankees. 2004 erased 1986 for me, and the Mets have been through a lot.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

RIP, Mr. O'Neil.

RIP, Mr. O'Neil.

RIP, Mr. Lidle.
I know nothing about auto repair. I, similarly, cannot determine whether or not I am being ripped off when I get an auto repair bill. I can go by word of mouth, or seek advice from former customers on the Web, or read Consumer Reports. But I don't KNOW how good my auto repair place is. Similarly, the health care consumer doesn't know if their doctor is any good, either. You can use word of mouth, check the Web-but you don't know. If you're not getting care that you are supposed to
get (ie that your doctor wants to give you) because your insurance doesn't feel like paying for it, you lose. Health care rationing is going on, in America, right now, today-except it is going to line the pockets of Aetna and Cigna. Personally, since there is going to be rationing, I would rather the
government do it, and at least have a fighting chance that it be rational.
And, don't forget-what is your defense against denial of care? Those wasteful, frivolous lawsuits. I honestly hope it never happens to you, but a life threatening illness to you or a loved one might help you see how hopelessly broken the US system is.

And who else favors national health care? Those communists at General Motors-
"Another potential ally in reform is Big Business. The experience of General Motors is emblematic. GM, which provides health insurance to more people than any other private employer in the country, calculates that its health-care bill adds more than $1,500 to the price of every vehicle sold. Chief Executive Richard Wagoner Jr. has publicly complained that there's a crying need for a national solution. Self-interest? Sure, but most American companies share the pain to some degree. "
Hospital Corporation of America-
"HCA CEO Jack Bovender came close to calling for a single-payer system, though he still couldn't utter the phrase "socialized medicine." "Hospitals have become the ultimate safety net for health care services for the vast majority of America's more than 44 million uninsured," he said. "It is time for all sectors of society, both public and private, health care and non-health care, to participate in solving this societal issue, by providing affordable health insurance for all Americans and more equitably sharing this growing cost to society." "
the National Association of Manufacturers-
“Now that the magnitude of these underlying costs pressures is understood, it is important that federal and state officials begin to address them with new pro-manufacturing policies,” he said. “Foremost among these should be tax, regulatory, health and legal reforms.”

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

I just finished, in succession, biographies of George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. (The recent Joseph Ellis ones.) The latter one particularly revolves around the central question of Jefferson's character-the slaveowner who believed that all men should be free. Ellis, essentially, argues, that Jefferson believed BOTH of those things-that slavery must continue and that all men should be free. It makes your brain hurt.

We all know that the founders, and the ancient Greeks, and most of the people who have walked the planet, lived very different lives from 21st century Westerners. Thus, it is unfair to look at say, John McGraw (New York Giants manager from the pre-integration years) and castigate him for not signing black ballplayers. The late Buck O'Neil, bless him, said as clearly as he could that he was not bitter about the fame and glory denied him by his skin color, and he has a lot more right than I do to judge. So my brain hurts, and I move along.

I don't understand homophobia, either, here on National Coming Out Day. I have an academic interest in what homosexuality feels like, in the same sense that I want to know what any human whose life is different from mine has experienced. I don't honestly know any gay people. I mean, statistically I know I must. But no one I know has told me that they are gay. I wonder what it is about homosexuality that inspires such a virulent dislike-Christians who profess to love thy neighbor and simultaneously hate thy neighbor. My brain hurts

I understand that feeling-the often quoted words from Fitzgerald-to hold two opposing ideas in your head at the same time is the mark of superior intelligence. I know that I need to schedule flu shots, get my finances in order, begin to plan for a trip this weekend, not let another day of vacation (my first in four years!) slip by...and yet I have spent the day communing with Jefferson, agonizing with the revealed civilian death figure from Iraq, and blogging, and posting angry political screeds on bulletin boards.

I feel like Michael Stipe sounds when he sings "All The Way To Reno".

I guess I'm fairly intelligent. I don't know. But whatever intelligence I do have feels like a curse today-there is too much misery to breathe. Too much information to process, too much to know and read and feel and understand.

Jefferson knew he had more to learn. Could it be that I want to learn less?

600,000 people. Fuck me.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


From Rich Lowry's column:

"The apparent North Korean nuclear test — as yet unconfirmed — punctuates more than a decade’s worth of deal-making, confidence-building, cajoling and negotiating with a regime that has responded to it all only by enhancing its rogue status."

Oh, really? Can you identify deal making, confidence building, cajoling, or negotiating that has gone on since 2001? Remember, Dick Cheney said we don't negotiate with evil, we destroy it.

Been workin like a charm so far....

"REPORTER: How satisfied are you as to how your staff has handled this scandal so far and whether anyone should resign in your office.

HASTERT: Well I, uh, you know, look, this, I understand my, I have, understood what my staff told me, uh and uh I think from that response they've handled it as well as uh they should. However, in 20/20 hindsight probably you can do everything a little bit better....

I didn't think anybody at any time in my office did anything wrong. I found out about these revelations last Friday, that is the first information I had about it."

Uh, no.

"House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert's chief of staff confronted then-Rep. Mark Foley about his inappropriate social contact with male pages well before the speaker said aides in his office took any action, a current congressional staff member with personal knowledge of Foley and his behavior with pages said yesterday."

( )

"Various accounts agree that only two people -- Rep. John M. Shimkus (R-Ill.), chairman of the Page Board, and then-House Clerk Jeff Trandahl, also a board member -- confronted Foley in November 2005 about the messages. But none has definitively said who decided that only those two should handle the task.

A Sept. 30 "internal review" released by Hastert's office says that aides to Rep. Rodney Alexander (R-La.) alerted Hastert's aides to the e-mails. Among those dealing with the matter were Hastert's deputy chief of staff, Mike Stokke, and his in-house counsel, Ted Van Der Meid."

( )

"I believe this, on the contrary, the strongest government on earth. I believe it is the only one where every man, at the call of the laws, would fly to the standard of the law, and would meet invasions of the public order as his own personal concern."

-Thomas Jefferson
Well I screwed up my playoff picks pretty good, having the Padres beating the Mets and then the Yankees beating the Mets in the World Series.

Let's see if I can get it right this time:

Tigers over A's
Mets over Cardinals

Mets over Tigers
I heard Mark Halperin of ABC on NPR yesterday, and he was talking about how Matt Drudge, who admits only some of the items on his site are true, drives news coverage. What I wanted to ask him, but couldn't get through, was THIS IS ONLY TRUE BECAUSE YOU MAKE IT THAT WAY. The reason why Drudge drives coverage is because lazy fatasses at ABC don't have the nerve to do some real reporting. The fact that Drudge is reporting something isn't news.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

It's hard to believe the Yankees are really eliminated. I thought they were a lot better than the Tigers.