Apri... Err, Hallowe'en Fools?

Holy crap.

Scozzafava has dropped out of the NY-23 race, leaving the field to the Dem and the teabagger.

The GUP (Grand Undead Party) apparently can't field a viable candidate for a seat they've held for aeons...

Leave Comedy To the Rabbits

So last night CJ linked to this Onion News Network piece, which I thought was the awesomest bit of basketball-related funny I'd ever seen.

Then Conor linked to this:

The moral of the story: No matter how good the professionals are at comedy, they eventually get trumped by someone with a tragic lack of self-awareness.

Endgame in Honduras

Al has the blow-by-blow. Not much to say until the deal gets ratified and the details become public, but I am interested to see whether Zelaya's proposed Constitutional Reform Assembly actually happens or not.

Given that Honduras' Constitution was apparently put together during a drunken, all-night Nomic session, it probably should happen. But should doesn't mean will.


Boo is on to something. If Lieberman won't side with the Dems on their signature issue because of his "principals" that's fine, but there's absolutely no reason for them to let him keep his chair assignments in the Senate if he does.

Please Let Arcade Fire Cover Moribund the Burgermeister

While a Gabriel covers album sounds like a good idea, the hint that these are "swap songs" and that the covered artists will, in turn, do Gabriel covers is an even better one.

Radiohead doing Biko, perhaps? Regina Spektor tackling Big Time? Bowie doing... hell, whatever he wants.

Cover albums are always a risky proposition, but this one has a shot at being Stay Awake-level awesome.

Random Thoughts From a Random Thursday

- in the future karaoke songbooks will have interactive, video game-like features, so that certain artists can only be unlocked once you'd proven you're ready for them. And by 'certain artists', I mean Queen.

- got talked into a dangerous Artist/Title combo play using my karaoke deck last night at Tequila. The result (Artist G, Song Title K) actually produced three possible outcomes: Kissing a Fool by George Michael, Keep Your Hands To Yourself by the Georgia Satellites and Knockin' On Heaven's Door by GNR. (Plus, had I known it at all, Kicking and Screaming by Garth Brooks.) You can see on the left which one I went with.

Jason's nights (or Richie's, since they use the same book) and Steve-O's are about the only places I'd dare try that though. Other books just aren't deep enough for those kind of shenanigans.

- bumped into Patrick on my way out of Tequila. He's re-launching his bar. Sweet! Given that Tequila is on Adelaide, half a block from Croc Rock, that should be enough info for some people to guess which bar it is I'm talking about.

-also bumped into a certain old friend/fling/whatever the hell that was at Tequila. (It was an eventful random Thursday.) She was her usual self at karaoke, which is to say drunk and... hmm, I was going to say flirty, but that's not exactly the right word. The more accurate term would be unkind, so I won't say it.

The point is, she's exactly the sort of woman I would have fallen for hard once upon a time (she's rather ridiculously hot, and sends out that 'help I need rescuing' vibe), but as of last night I think I can safely say those days are behind me.

It also bodes well for the new thing that's started up in the last week or so...

What, you thought I wasn't posting much because of work, getting ready to move and the fact that my current pad more closely resembles a DMZ? Pshaw.

Conservatives For Government Spending!

Bruce Bartlett continues to go rogue (for realz, not in the Palin sense):

According to the Congressional Budget Office's January 2009 estimate for fiscal year 2009, outlays were projected to be $3,543 billion and revenues were projected to be $2,357 billion, leaving a deficit of $1,186 billion. Keep in mind that these estimates were made before Obama took office, based on existing law and policy, and did not take into account any actions that Obama might implement.

Therefore, unless one thinks that McCain would have somehow or other raised taxes and cut spending (with a Democratic Congress), rather than enacting a stimulus of his own, then a deficit of $1.2 trillion was baked in the cake the day Obama took office. Any suggestion that McCain would have brought in a lower deficit is simply fanciful.

Now let's fast forward to the end of fiscal year 2009, which ended on September 30. According to CBO, it ended with spending at $3,515 billion and revenues of $2,106 billion for a deficit of $1,409 billion.

To recap, the deficit came in $223 billion higher than projected, but spending was $28 billion and revenues were $251 billion less than expected. Thus we can conclude that more than 100 percent of the increase in the deficit since January is accounted for by lower revenues. Not one penny is due to higher spending.

It should be further noted that revenues are lower to a large extent because of tax cuts included in the February stimulus. According to the Joint Committee on Taxation, these tax cuts reduced revenues in FY2009 by $98 billion over what would otherwise have been the case. This is important because the Republican position has consistently been that tax cuts and only tax cuts are an appropriate response to the economic crisis.

If God were really a teabagger, Bartlett would be smited for such apostasy.

It'll Be a Hell of a Wake

AG highlights the carnage in the recent audit of newspaper circulation. The short version: we all knew the industry was dying, but the end would appear to be closer than even the pessimists anticipated.

The Senile Old Lady is now under a million readers a day. Think about that for a minute.

To me the answer seems a bit obvious: if newspapers can't turn a profit any more, it's time for communities to start looking for not-for-profit sources of news. But that's easier to glibly say than to put into practice.

On the other hand, when the White House correspondents for major networks apparently can't tell news from nonsense, I start wondering if the newspapers can't take the rest of the journo-industrial complex with them when they finally die off.

Inmates Running the Asylum?

Foxes in the hen house? I'm trying to find the most appropriate analogy for this. VC's Anderson nails it:

Put another way, I don’t see a justification for creating a conglomerate firm — one which combines a government-guaranteed banking firm with a proprietary risk taking firm — unless the idea is that the higher risk trading profits will benefit the lower risk part of the firm, while the lower risk part of the firm will anchor the higher risk trading ... how? What value does the lower risk part contribute — oh, I remember, a government guarantee. Why in principle couldn’t investors get the true economic value of each by buying shares of each? Isn’t the only real point of bundling these two firms together in a single holding company in order to tap the government guarantee for the entity as a conglomerate, implicitly in ordinary times and explicitly when the the tail-risk event occurs? If someone wants to explain to me what the additional value-added of creating this conglomerate is apart from the public subsidy, I am happy to be persuaded, but at this moment I can’t see what it is.

"Treasury" is essentially the lobbying arm of Wall Street at this point. I can't even begin to imagine why someone would take a proposal like this one seriously, other than as a blueprint for the absolute last thing that should be done.

On the Bright Side, He Had No Credibility To Lose

Limbaugh swallows an even clumsier hoax than the Bush National Guard stuff.

Clearly, just like Moby Dickhead, Dan Rather's response during that nonsense should have been to acknowledge the hoax as soon as he found out about it, but then say "Well, we all know this is exactly what Bush's National Guard stint was really like, even if these particular documents are forgeries, so it doesn't really matter." Then his job would have been safe from wingnut fury, right?


Again you have made me unleash my dogs of war

It's looking as though, at long last, there might be a fourth Mad Max movie.

The big kerfuffle at the moment is over the casting, and whether Mel Gibson will return. Count me in the 'who cares?' camp. The series is, and always has been, George Miller's baby, and I still have yet to see a bad George Miller movie.

Having Miller head back out to the wasteland, with perhaps a chip on his shoulder (given how long he's been trying to get this thing off the ground, when it should have been a no-brainer for a studio to finance) is just insanely great news. If Mel's along for the ride too, that's just the cherry on top of the geekgasm sundae.

My eventual goal, once I have a giant Wall O' DVDs, is to buy some 1:18 die-cast car models from various movies to slot in next to the appropriate DVD cases. Currently the #1 purchase, once I'm ready to go on the Wall, will be a white 1970 Vanishing Point Challenger R/T (or, for you young philistines, that white muscle car from Tarantino's Death Proof the girls play Ship's Mast with). #2 would be a Road Warrior Interceptor.

If Fury Road actually goes into production, I may just reverse those two on the priority list.