Thursday, December 18, 2008

Big Ups ... to Pat Fitzgerald

Dey Know (Blago).

Via Matt Yglesias. Continue Reading »

Could it be things were all so simple?

So, I've been sitting in the auto repair shop for the second time in two weeks. That generally sucks. But it's not so bad this time.

Someone in this place has been straight '90s jammin'. In one 10-minute block or so, I've heard Al B. Sure's "Rescue Me," Lisa Lisa & The Cult Jam's "Wonder If I Take You Home," Tony Terry's "Lovey Dovey," and Juicy's "Sugar Free."

Just reminds me that I really, really need to get my iTunes game right. And that, man, I really miss the ol' days:

How could anyone ever forget about Full Force?

UPDATE: By the way, I had a crazy crush on Lisa Lisa back in the day. You've got no idea. Continue Reading »

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

More on why I'm 100 percent black

My irrational hatred of the Boston Celtics. I really don't want to live in a world where they're the NBA's best team in back-to-back seasons.

I'm done living in the mid '80s, you know?

And since when did K.G. become the league's biggest goon? I honestly don't think I've disliked a basketball player so much since the heyday of John Stockton and Karl Malone. Or maybe Dirk Nowitzki.

Below is something that makes me feel a little better about all this. At least for the moment.

I'm learning to fall in love with Joe Johnson's game. And the Hawks really seem to get under the Celtics' skin. You know, my kind of team. Continue Reading »


I learned something new on my drive to work today: Hardee's is reintroducing the Pork Chop Biscuit. Apparently, now they've added gravy.

Maybe I don't understand the allure, given that I haven't consistently eaten pork since the mid-1990s. But why in the hell would someone partake of something this disgusting?

This doesn't look the least bit appetizing. Continue Reading »

Our national failure

Above is a chart of child poverty rates for members of the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development. I can't recall much talk about America's unspeakably high rate - in international terms - during the campaign season.

Matt Y digs in:
I’d like to think that most Americans are just too insular to realize that our child poverty rate is absolutely off the charts in international terms, even when compared to other high-immigration Anglophone countries, to say nothing of the Nordics.

... The alternative to people just not knowing is the idea that people just don’t care which, frankly, is an upsetting possibility I’d prefer not to believe in.

I tend to think it's some combination of both. We also can't overlook the possibility that the problem is so pervasive that some Americans can't even fathom that it exists to this degree.

With that in mind, I can't help but think how nice it would be if John Edwards still had a meaningful platform. Continue Reading »

Cousin It?

Believe it or not, this "woman" seems to have run afoul of the law.
Continue Reading »

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Bad-faith negotiations

I'm a rock-ribbed union guy, and I've participated in several byline strikes during my 8-year career. Working in a union-protected shop is much better than working in one that is not.

But I hope I'm misreading this proposal from the News Media Guild:
The Guild, which represents 1,400 editorial, technology and support workers at AP, has been bargaining with management since October 21 on a new contract to replace the one that expired on November 30.

The Guild said there has been agreement on a handful of articles, "but the sides remain far apart."

It said management had proposed a wage freeze in the first year of a two-year agreement, followed by a two percent increase the following year.

The Guild said it had opened with a 10 percent wage increase proposal, "but has indicated flexibility at the bargaining table."

Ten percent? Certainly that's a misprint. Continue Reading »

Showing our soles

Matt Y is not mincing words about the Iraq War:

The Iraqi people didn’t ask to be conquered and occupied by a foreign power that destroyed their country and then immediately set about meddling in Iraqi politics and until just a month or so ago was struggling mightily for the right to permanently station military forces on Iraqi soil contrary to the will of the Iraqi public. Not only did Iraqis not ask for such services, but nobody anywhere has ever asked for them.

The harsh reality is that this was not a noble undertaking done for good reasons. It was a criminal enterprise launched by madmen cheered on by a chorus of fools and cowards. And it’s seen as such by virtually everyone all around the world — including but by no means limited to the Arab world.

To which our outgoing president of the past eight years says, "so what?"
Continue Reading »

Monday, December 15, 2008

The real Detroit

Sitting in my inbox this morning was the following column from Washington Post auto industry writer Warren Brown.

It's a great read, detailing the distinction between the Detroit of lawmakers' myths and the American auto industry as it actually exists today.

To me, this closing passage was most important:

Perception: All Detroit needs is deep restructuring and federal bailout money for long-term viability.

Reality: Wrong. Detroit needs what America sorely needs -- a Congress with the leadership chutzpah to devise and implement industrial and energy policies that will help to keep native manufacturing industries alive. Detroit's problem isn't poor products or lack of products. It's a national government still wedded to the debilitating siren song of cheap gasoline. It's a nationally collapsed financial system. And it's governmental hypocrisy -- our willingness to pour tax dollars into foreign enterprises, most of them not unionized, while griping about doing the same for homegrown, unionized manufacturers largely responsible for building America's middle class.

Unfortunately, the GOP has seized upon the Big 3's crushing financial problems as a cudgel to break unions. I hope the blue-collars and working class among us remember that in 2010, when Republicans trot out campaign props like Joe the Plumber. Continue Reading »

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Auto out-of-Tune

If Kanye West is really going to be the "voice of this generation," he's probably going to need to work on his, um, voice.

Given the quality of his previous three albums, I'm willing to allow him a mulligan for last night's performance on "Saturday Night Live." But I truly hope this Auto-Tune stuff is just a phase. A short one.

But for those folks surprised at how most Auto-Tuners sound in an actual live performance, clearly they haven't seen the debacle that was T-Pain's rendition of Keith Sweat's "I Want Her" at a VH1 hip-hip awards show.

Dreadful. Continue Reading »