Saturday, June 07, 2008

No glass ceiling for entertainers in MN

The DFL in Minnesota has just selected Al Franken to be our candidate for Norm Coleman's Senate seat. Sad day for party activists who generally favored his competitor Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer. I guess we're trying to keep up with California (Sonny Bono, Arnold) in retraining entertainers for new careers (Jesse the Body and now Franken). Should be a circus.

Glass ceilings

Here's a line from Hillary's concession speech:

Although we weren’t able to shatter that hardest, highest glass ceiling this time, thanks to you it’s got about 18 million cracks in it.

Huh? Black people don't bump into the glass ceiling? If she's going to count all the votes she received as cracks in the glass ceiling, shouldn't she also count all the votes Obama received? The line should have read "36 million cracks", and "we still have a chance to crack it".

And now in post-speech interviews, Terry McCauliffe is going on and on about her 18 million votes cracking the glass ceiling. Sigh.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Paid Family Leave

In follow-up to our earlier exchange about paid leave, here is a post by K.A. Geier at Tapped today, noting that "[a]ccording to a recent study done by Harvard and McGill universities, 169 of the 173 countries studied offer some form of guaranteed paid maternity or parental leave. Alas, the U.S. is one of those four countries which does not offer the benefit, putting us in the [company] of such stellar economies as Lesotho, Papua New Guinea, and Swaziland." The piece goes on to discuss paid leave in terms of economic theory.

Music Map

Same thing for music. Frank Zappa appears on a map for Chopin.

Literature Map

Check this out.  You can identify an author you like and it will show you a bunch of other authors you might like, in a graphical representation where supposedly the most similar are closest the author you identified.  Can't vouch for the results, but it's an interesting idea.  

If Google can do it, so can I

I know it's like being a Manchester United or Green Bay Packers fan but I love this painting:

Holland House Cocktails

Here's Scooter's aforementioned Holland House Ad:

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Re: Prediction (not hedging)

Let me say this: how deeply I regret that I cannot get behind the first legitimate African-American candidate for president.

Would that the first had been any of the conservative African-Americans about whom I've posted before and to whom I've contributed. I could pull that lever in a second...ok, maybe not Lynn Swann. Given the Republican candidate, I might even have considered Harold Ford (my favorite A-A Democrat).

I've long believed and hoped that the first woman or first A-A prez would be an elephant. I hope that belief is not shattered in November.

Odds: McCain vs. Obama compares odds available today through various betting channels:


Three days before the convention, The Obama Bombshell drops. Hillary is nominated. It is discovered that Team Clinton was behind the Bombshell. Obama supporters are outraged, stay home on election day. McCain wins in a landslide.

[Update:  Stephanie has added color and bolding.]

Holland House Cocktails

Re: Golf Gear

Perhaps you'd prefer some Sen. Obama winter gear.

Golf gear?!

John McCain's revamped website features four tabs, one of which is "Golf Gear":

Oh my word. I expected he'd be a more worthy opponent.

Update: H/t Josh Marshall at TPM.

With apologies to Mr. Lileks

Dang. I can't figure out how to post a Holland House Cocktail Mixes ad I just found in a December, 1963 Life Magazine.

Picture a Rob Petrie-like man with smile on his face leaning back on the couch feet on stool with lovely wife Laura sitting on the floor next to him with her elbow on the couch as she gazes lovingly. The picture is funny enough but the text just kills:

This is Mrs. Charles C. Walters of San Mateo, California, a very considerate wife. Today, between the hours fo 4:30 and 6:00 p.m., she bathed the baby, fed the other two children [apparently they did better than replacement rate in 1963] and sent them out to play, freshened herself up, started dinner and still had time to greet her husband with a refreshing, delicious Daiquiri.

Picture is beneath that paragraph and this paragraph follows:

This is Charlie Walters, a very tired husband. Today he got a call from the comptroller about his expense account, was told his raise would be held up six months, and rode home in a bus that broke down twice. Home at last, he's welcomed with an utterly delicious Daiquiri. Actually, Charlie was looking forward to a Bourbon Manhattan [isn’t that like saying a gin martini?]. But he drank the Daiquiri and had to admit it was great. (And why not? It was made with his own favorite rum!) Maybe tomorrow Marge will make him a Bourbon Manhattan. She makes all kinds of cocktails equally well with Holland House Cocktail Mixes.

Oh to live in 1963 forever.

RE: Prediction

I am forced to type with one hand since arm is being twisted. If the election were held today, I think Obama would win easily, both popularly and electorally. Fortunately for me, the election is not tomorrow.

By November, I say McCain wins comfortably in the electoral college though the popular vote should be close.

[Update:  Stephanie has added color and bolding to Scooter's post.  Am sure Scooter would have added these if he'd been typing with both hands.]

DNC rejects lobbyist and PAC money

Politico reports: [T]he DNC will no longer accept checks from federal lobbyists or political action committees, mirroring the strict standard Obama adopted for his presidential campaign.

So you might think, cynically, that they'd make this announcement today and declare a date in the future when the new policy would kick in, thereby leaving plenty of time to collect checks from these orgs before getting on the moral high ground.

But no. It's effective today. It's all about the grass-roots (see Karen Tumulty's piece in Time); and isn't that the antithesis of elitism?

Re: Prediction

Absolutely no chance Sen. Clinton runs as third party candidate. None. The Clintons have already soured many of the Dems and most of the MSM. Were she to run as a third party candidate, the Clintons would become anathema to both.

I also think that there is almost no chance that she is offered a VP slot though I think she’d take it. She’d want the kind of freedom and power that Reagan offered Ford when RR was looking for a VP before deciding on Bush the Elder. And while Lynne Cheney is as smart and charming and active as any Second Lady I can recall, still we hear very little about her. Can you imagine the headlines and camera time President Clinton would seek as Second Husband? The "dream ticket" is a three for one. If I were Senator Obama, I’d never do that.

What I might do if I were Obama is promise to nominate her for (shudder) a place on the Supreme Court. This was a topic of discussion on The Corner yesterday. I don’t think she could get confirmed unless the predicted slam of the Republicans in the Senate races actually takes place. I would publicly decry but privately and hypocritically support any stall tactics the Rep. Senators could muster. I think she might have just enough hubris to think she could make to the bench and therefore accept Sen. Obama’s offer.

As for the prediction, still too early for me. McCain is polling much better than I expected but I don’t think all those Sen. Clinton supporters we heard about this weekend are really going to stay home or vote for McCain in November. I agree with Steph (and Stewart and the Fox panel) that he was a disaster on Tuesday. There is no way McCain can compete with Sen. Obama on charisma. His handlers need to tell him to be himself...the "straight talking," curmudgeonly, veteran grandfather type. America can embrace that because we all know that guy. It is too bad that Reagan already used the age issue against Vice President Mondale in a single debate line that, had that election been close, I’d have said won it for RR. RR ran as the charming optimistic grandfather. McCain should run as the, if not dour, then gruff optimistic (oxymoronic, I know) grandfather.

Sheesh. I hope he’s talking to Sarah Palin. Her name has not been tossed around enough.

Re: Prediction: McCain vs Obama

This election is the poster-child of the "I'll vote for not who is best for the job, but who won't be the worst". My prediction comes with a caveat. In the past several days, I've heard the rightie radio hacks promoting a Hillary 3rd-party Independent run (ala Ross Perot). They claim that would be a good thing for Conservatives. Not sure I really follow that logic, except for the un-stated hope that Obama and Hillary will split the Dem vote, therefore McCain would win. I can't really see her doing that, unless she feels snubbed by not getting the VP slot. So my prediction is... Obama if Hillary doesn't run as an Independent; McCain if she does.

Prediction: McCain vs Obama

On the record, everyone. Who will be the next President of the United States of America?

(Proposal for stakes: Losers have to read and report on Scooter's materials on monetary policy if he hasn't made himself do it by November. Other ideas welcome.)

My prediction: Obama. I make this prediction after seeing McCain & Co's debacle on Tuesday night. To see Stewart's take on it, start at the 5:00 minute mark:

The problem isn't merely that McCain is a poor public speaker. The problem is that he has hired for his campaign a group of folks who orchestrated this mess. Someone advised him to be on TV giving a speech on Tuesday night next to Obama; someone chose a green background; someone thought it'd be adequate to give the speech in front of 100 people; someone wrote the speech; someone coached McCain to bare his teeth at the end of every sentence; and no one has told him not to hee-hee-hee as if he's reading it off the prompter. And then the candidate himself. Yeesh. Seriously, this is his second run for the Presidency, and this is as much skill as he's been able to acquire? This appearance displayed incompetence from beginning to end. It made me yearn for Bush's bud Brownie, the icon of incompetence. I don't think the electorate is in the mood for bush-league this year. Pun intended.

Some might point out that Bush wasn't a very good speaker either and that didn't stop us from electing him, but Bush merely had to compete with Gore and Kerry, both of whose manners or bearings were tough to take.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Re: dimes

How does this fit?

Fed, can you spare a dime?

$50 billion here, $100 billion there, pretty soon you're talking about real money.

Yikes. That can't be good.

H/T Ezra Klein at The American Prospect who labels it "Chart of the Day: Holy Shit Edition" (and gives h/t to Nick Beaudrot).

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Philip Bobbit’s Terror and Consent

VDH’s conclusion on Philip Bobbit’s Terror and Consent:

I end with a modest suggestion. Bobbitt is too valuable a voice not to be heard. A range of authors, from Robert Kagan to Christopher Hitchens, have appealed to general audiences by condensing complex ideas into easily accessible and often short extended essays. Should Bobbitt write a brief summary of the 1,500 pages of The Shield of Achilles and Terror and Consent, his valuable and astute ideas might find the audience that his recent two books sadly will not — but surely deserve.

"Whitey" video

"removed by user."


I had the pleasure of playing the Tour 18 course in Humble/Houston yesterday in incredible heat (I did my Rachael Ray impression and wore an iced-down towel on my head most of the day). I think LJ has played this course, too.

It was a fund raising tournament supporting Methodist Retirement Communities, a client of my firm.

On my team's very first hole, the ninth for the course, we faced faced the famous island green of Sawgrass's 17th. It's not long but very intimidating.

First guy, in the drink. Second guy (moi), 20 feet from the pin, third guy (firm's important client), in the drink. Fourth guy, hitting his 28th tee shot ever...10 feet from pin, d--n him!

Could it be Gore?

Private jet flying now from Nashville to Minneapolis:

[Update: No, it wasn't.]

"Whitey" video!


Lee Child

New Jack Reacher book reviewed here. Article about Child here. I've read all the of the Reacher series and loved it, as has T.