Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Balance the California budget!

California is so screwed. Mostly because of the ease with which propositions can done and passed, tying the hands of politicians. But hey, maybe you can balance the budget!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Blackberries and meetings

Mind your Blackberry.

I'm sorry, but anyone who uses their Blackberry in a meeting who isn't looking up something for that meeting is a dick.

An end to the UBS tax case?

The United States has, for a few years now, been pushing hard against the Swiss bank UBS to disclose the names of accounts where it appears Americans have been stashing money in order to avoid US taxes.

As expected, the Swiss have been pushing back hard on the efforts, but it looks like a settlement might be around the corner.

Frankly, it sounds like the lawsuit already did much of the work in smoking out many of the account holders anyway, plus a fat fine that UBS already paid. Presumably they'll be writing the US Treasury another big check.

The GOP's Southern Asshole Philosophy

Sen Bob Corker blows off meeting with hobbling Sotomayor because she was late.

Wonder what the topic of the next meeting was that it was more important that a SCOTUS nominee? Starting the next meeting early is a nice gesture, too. I'm guessing this stunt ends up in a future political ad for his next opponent.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Warp drive setback?

Warp drive theoretical, though it might form a black hole.

That would definitely be a bug, not a feature. though perhaps the ending point need not be at the actual destination, but farther away....

Friday, June 12, 2009

Holocause Museum shooter's son puts out a statement

A good one, I think.

Photoshop follies...

City of Toronto digitally adds black guy to magazine cover to add diversity.

As Andrew Sullivan points out, The Onion got there first.

PAYGO returns?

Obama urges a return to binding PAYGO rules.

This is great news, particularly if Congress follows through. There was no bigger act of fiscal responsibility than passing PAYGO in 1990, despite its inclusion in the Omnibus Budget of 1990 which cost Bush Republican support (and eventually, the Presidency in 1992).

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Railroading a college student for murder in Italy?

The "case" against Amanda Knox

Interesting how perspective can change everything about a case.

Sounds to me like a spacey college student, with little understanding of her circumstances, having everything so does and says twisted around.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Settlements

Coming late to the party, but not because I haven't read and thought about it. But this Eric Martin post on the settlement question (vis-a-vis Israeli sanctions against the US (!!)) seems spot on.

Holocause Museum

Worth a mention.

When does three far right wacko shootings make a trend? How about accompanied by the level of hatred that continues to spill out on the far right about Obama?

Shep Smith expresses his concern about the base.

Am I saying the GOP is violent? No--no way. Not for a moment. But I think the GOP in general, and some Republicans in particular, find that irresponsibly fanning the flames of citizen anger against their perceived political opponents to be about the only thing they know how to do anymore.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Train a comin'?

Sounds like it. Maybe some stimulus money can be used? Or gambling revenues? Seems to me a train to Mount Airy would be in their best interest as well.

Missing the point...

Saturday, June 06, 2009

"Least. Welcome. Convert. Ever."

Charles Taylor. The ChristiJew.

Save Salt Publishing

The arts are getting hammered in the recession, all over the globe. A publisher I've long admired, Salt Publishing in the UK, typifies what is going on, and is struggling to keep it going. Some of their fans have worked to help save them, through a Just One Book campaign. Vince Gotera has the lowdown.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Obama's Cairo speech

Many on the right are left, as we've seen time and time again after a very good Obama speech, as sputtering obstructionists.

Some are just making stuff up. Others (like Hewitt) are bemoaning that Obama has abandoned thuggish neo-con foreign policy so publicly. These people confuse the fact of Obama speaking on Muslim issues in a Muslim country with him seemingly agreeing with Islamists--they are looking for the codes, in other words.

His actual speech, however, lays out, to a Muslim audience very solid and non-controversial policies: The case for a two-state solution to the Palestinian/Israeli conflict (while taking a direct shot at Holocaust deniers), telling Muslims that they have a responsibility toward peace (loved this line: "America will align our policies with those who pursue peace"), telling Iran they cannot have nukes, and so on.

The difference Obama brings is the same one that got him elected: The willingness to negotiate through respectful interactions instead of pre-conditions, presidential war authority as a negotiating tactic, and the recognition that diplomacy works, by and large, by getting people to concentrate on the mutual goals rather than on the concessions to get there.

This speech, the latest of a series of speeches of the century by Obama, is one I'm thinking over in light of a fantastic Ambinder column I've been mulling over for the last day or so.