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Saturday, February 28, 2009

The True Rainbow Coalition...

Much noise has been made about the fact that the Republican Party has recently elected Michael Steele, an alleged African-American as its leader. This is pretty big deal for a party
that attracts very few non-white voters and hasn't had an African-American in Congress for some years now.

The Democrats, on the other hand, draw their support from a wide spectrum of Americans. A term that Jesse Jackson popularized was "Rainbow Coalition" describing an appeal to Americans: white, black, brown, yellow or red.  There is one hue though, that the Republicans are taking a lead in, ORANGE

While I cannot think of a single Orange-American in the Democratic caucus, the Republicans have elected one, John Boehner, as their House Leader.  Governor of Florida and potential Presidential candidate Charlie Crist is also an Orange-American

I implore the Democratic leadership not to dismiss this as empty symbolism and to reach out to Orange-Americans in all future elections.

The Future of the GOP?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Retrocession is so in right now....

"Drill, baby, drill!"
This man hates freedom, but loves glamour shots

Professional dick-weed, Representative Louie Gohmert has proposed two bills in Congress. The first would exempt District residents from paying federal income tax on income earned in the District as long as the district is without a vote in Congress. Nice and condescending and designed to trip up the DC voting rights movement. This bill should still be passed as long as it is retroactive. I'm sure the check is in the mail, Louie.

The second dick bill Gohmert has proposed would retrocede the District to Maryland. This bill ignores the wishes of the people of the District and the wishes of the people of Maryland to honor hundreds of years of separate history.

In response to Gohmert's bills, I have one of my own. I propose a bill to retrocede Texas to France. Louie already sounds French, anyway. If the Texans find my modest proposal too gaulling, we could also retrocede them to Mexico, Spain or the Confederate States of America.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Black Biography Month?

Why is it that almost all of the emphasis of Black History Month is placed on individuals?  Real black history is social events, social movements, the lives of people common and great.  History is an aggregation of experiences, not the stories of the exceptional.  

Sunday, February 15, 2009

More Geographic Schadenfreude...

I've already been smugly gloating over the utter collapse of the economy of Florida.  I need to add to my list another pair of places I really really hate: Charlotte and Las Vegas.  

Charlotte's boom economy was based on the growth of the very banks that were feeding the frenzy in Florida.  They grew too big too fast and on a foundation literally made of sand.  Their tasteless and senseless sprawl mimicked that of their idiot brethren to the South.  

Las Vegas is a huge fucking city in a goddamn desert.  You'd have to be a fucking moron to build a city in a goddamn desert.  Not only is it a huge city in a goddamn desert,  it is a city whose major economic activity is completely unproductive, but uses a disproportionately large amount of water.  I once had a layover in the Las Vegas airport and I was physically ill by the time I left.  The sound and sight of the slots was alternately numbing and jarring.  I was saddened at the sight of slot zombies shuffling about.

Now I'm just waiting for the fall of Phoenix to fill out my list of stupidest goddamn places in America to live that did really well in the last twenty years but will inevitably collapse because of their own ignorant shortsightedness (TM).

Thursday, February 12, 2009


I have long thought of Florida as one giant Ponzi scheme.  It is a state with no real economy beyond real estate, and as such has no income tax.  The government largely relies on taxes on real estate transactions and tourism.  Florida has more in common economically with Saudi Arabia than the rest of America.  It is a place that does not rely on the work and ingenuity of it's people.  Saudi Arabia depends on oil; Florida depends on speculation and rent seeking.  The New Yorker just had a great article detailing what a hell-hole Florida is.  (note to self, hyperlink article) 

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


If it's not on the test, it doesn't matter.  

If you ever present any information that does not look exactly like an NCLB assessment, then you are the anti-Christ.  

A message from the District of Columbia Public Schools.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Amazing Etymologies!

Along with "Last Year's Zeitgeist", I'm piloting another new feature for this blog: Amaaaaaaazing Etymologies, where we examine the amazing origins of the words that make up our amazing mutt language.

Today's Amaaaaaazing Etymology is "dollar."  When the founders of our nation were looking for something to call their money, they chose not to go with the very British, "pound."  But whence came the word "dollar?"  Well, believe it or not, it comes from the name of an Austro-Czech town by the name of Joachimsthaler.  Joachimstha
ler, had very rich silver mines in the seventeenth century, a time when the rest of Europe was busy debasing its coinage.  The people of Joachimsthaler kept it real, as in real silver, so a coin from Joachimsthaler became known as a standard on which other coins were measured.  And because Joachimsthaler is really really hard to say or write, this was eventually shortened to "thaler" in everyday speech.  From the German-Czech spelling of "thaler" it was just a short jump to the modern English, "dollar."

And that's today's Amaaaaaaazing Etymology.

Way better than having the queen's face on all your sickles, knuts and galleons....

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Last Year's Zeitgeist.... First Edition

I'm a slow thinker.  Ideas stew for a long long time before I find my inspiration; for that reason, I'm starting a column called "Last Year's Zeitgeist."  In The Dark Knight, the Joker's true destruction lies not in the murder committed by his own hands or those of his henchmen, but in the destructive choices he forces others to make.  He takes idle parlor games (maybe I should change the name to "Last Century's Zeitgeist...) and tests them on live subjects.  The most devious of these is placing bombs on two separate ferries and the detonator for each ship on the opposite ship.  The Joker then tells each of the ships' complement that it can save itself with the destruction of the other.  He lets the people decide who will live and who will die.

The obvious parallel to the Joker is Osama bin Laden.  You may remember him as the number one enemy of America for a few months in late 2001- early 2002.  Obama's real power lay not in his ability to knock down buildings or sink ships, but in the ability to force American's to make difficult decisions.  We'd all like to think we would be willing to run into a burning building to save an infant.  Normally, we are never faced with that choice, but philoso-villians, like the Joker and bin Laden force us into those choices.  At first, Americans performed admirably, thousands of ordinary people rose to face the challenges of 9/11.  They faced the concrete choices of bravery steadfastly.  Some lived and some perished in the choosing.  

But I said the true villainy wasn't in the knocking down of buildings or the hijacking of planes.  It was in the choices we faced afterwards.  It was when George Bush, Dick Cheney, a majority of the House and 99 Senators made the dubious and cowardly choice in sacrificing liberty for the illusion of safety.  Luckily for Gotham (spoiler alert) they have a con in a jumpsuit and a man in a business suit with more backbone than our leaders.  They escaped the Joker's plot without blood on their hands.  

(And if this were still early 2008, I might put in a plug to have the businessman and the con run as a ticket for President and Vice President.  I might even waste some time photoshopping a faux poster.  But it's not early 2008; this was last year's zeitgeist.)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


Good riddance to Tom Daschle.  

Daschle was never very good with ethics when as a Senator his wife was a very well compensated lobbyist for the airline industry (THANKS MRS. DASCHLE!).  Then as an ex-senator he advised the medical-industrial complex on how to work the system to their advantage.  Anyone who thinks a chauffeured limo is a "friendly gift" is too far gone to save.  

We are all better off without him.  Good riddance.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

World Record Flash Mob!

I forgot to claim credit for it earlier, but a few weeks ago I sent an e-mail out to a few friends, you can read the contents below:

Dear Friends, 

I propose we bring back the flash mob in style!  This January 20th, let's all meet at the National Mall and begin cheering at 12:00.  It'll be totally awesome!  Please forward this to all your friends!


PS: If you don't forward this to 25 people in 25 minutes, you will never be kissed ever again.

Personally, I was expecting about twenty or some people to show up and a couple of confused tourists, but this thing really caught on!  I read that the Washington Post estimated about TWO MILLION people showed up-- I even heard the Barack Obama might have come too!  Sweet!