Entries Tagged as ''

politics & government

Barney the Dinosaur

No Gravatar

Barney Frank“We have a besetting sin today in our politics where people think that you show your depth of commitment to a cause by rigidity, not just by rigidity, but impugning the motives of those on your side who try to get something done.” –Barney Frank

There is some universe where Hank Paulson’s nudge to the hedge funds managers and their ilk is not criminal conspiracy and collusion, but not in this one. The fact that Bloomberg broke the story makes it seem even more egregious — obviously, someone  confused the roles of Secretary of the Treasury with Lord High Protector of Plutocrats. Interesting approach to doing business. Unfortunately, how exactly does the Congress respond? How does the White House respond? We’ve given the Bush administration a pass on things that degrade and demean the nation; won’t the Obama administration apply the same “professional courtesy” to this guy and his minions?

This is why we need public intellectuals like Elizabeth Warren, Paul Krugman and ultimately Barney Frank. Frank’s retirement isn’t terribly surprising — I’d rather hang out in Cambridge and the South Shore than DC, and he’s showing why he’s been there so long while showing the good sense to leave on a high note. For him, this will be a high note, one instance where Cassandra can crow…Frank is probably incapable of appearing to gloat even while gloating. Still the thought of the former Secretary of the Treasury and the former Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors perp-walking into a Congressional Oversite Committee to force meaningful action on derivatives and finanical instruments without Representative Frank’s presence on the committee is sad. We’d love the show.

[Read more →]

ends & oddpolitics & government

The most dangerous class is our Crusader Class

No Gravatar

I’m so sick of our nation’s focus on this ridiculous rich vs. poor scuffle.  We all know that there will always be a distinction between rich and poor, even in Communist Utopias, because the rich and the poor have always been opposing one another and have, over the millennia, reached a sort of natural equilibrium which prevents one from eliminating the other.  Thus, over the course of thousands of years, the poor’s standards of living have increased dramatically, with a similar increase realized by the elites.  Neither of those groups is likely to be the instrument of oppression in the United States of America.

For that dubious distinction we need to look to our Crusader Class.

[Read more →]

bad sports, good sports

Bad sports, good sports: Ndamukong Suh is a dirty player

No Gravatar

When is a dirty player not a dirty player? In the case of Detroit Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh, it is when you ask him. Ask anyone else, though, and you’ll likely hear a different tale. After numerous plays by him over the last couple of years that have gotten him penalized and fined, his reputation has become one of an exceptionally talented player who often steps over the line. On Thanksgiving Day, his actions left no doubt as to which side of that line is his preferred side. During a scuffle with Evan Dietrich-Smith of the Green Bay Packers, he not only banged Dietrich-Smith’s head against the ground several times, but he stomped on his arm with his cleat as he was pulled off of his opponent. Suh was immediately ejected from the game. [Read more →]

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythinghealth & medical

Top ten signs you ate too much on Thanksgiving

No Gravatar

10. While slicing the pumpkin pie, you cut your finger and gravy came out

9. Your belly button, formerly an innie, is now an outie

8. People kept saying, “Happy Thanksgiving, Gov. Christie!”

7. NASA is considering one more mission to photograph the other side of you

6. A policeman came up to you and ordered you to disperse

5. You just woke up from your tryptophan coma

4. You’ve gotten inquiries from the Guinness World Records people

3. Old Country Buffet just issued a lifetime ban

2. Your relatives took a picture of you in your Pilgrim outfit, and it’s still printing

1. You just caught the flesh eating bacteria, and were given 67 years to live
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

moneypolitics & government

Occupy Wall Street’s government problem

No Gravatar

books & writing

Lisa reads Original Sin: A Sally Sin Adventure by Beth McMullen

No Gravatar

What do super spies do when they retire? Buy a beach house on a little island in the South Pacific? Spend their days squirreled away in basement offices in D.C., drinking bad coffee and filing reports no one will read? Maybe they don’t get to retire — maybe they just keep on working until they blow their cover one last time.

In Original Sin: A Sally Sin Adventure, Lucy Hamilton appears to be a run-of-the-mill suburban mom. She has playdates. She gets manicures. She has a handsome husband with an important job and an adorable toddler named Theo. But Lucy Hamilton barely exists. She has no paper trail. But she has plenty of secrets.

[Read more →]

diatribestrusted media & news

A rant and a wish for Thanksgiving

No Gravatar

First, something for which I am less-than-thankful, this Thanksgiving … my annual plea to the media to please, please, PLEASE ignore the people waiting for hours-on-end outside the doors of some megamania superstore, jostling to be the first to glom onto some Black Friday bargain.
[Read more →]

drugs & alcoholrace & culture

Survivors of a lesser ark

No Gravatar

Far from the land of Noah lived Moah. He also was warned of the flood but his task was simpler, rather than saving all of land fauna, Moah built his ark to accomodate all the people and livestock of his little town, most prominently his triplet sons; Bovus, Vincent and Cornelius. Before god spake to him, Moah was a skillful worker of the earth. Grains, cattle and vines he knew best of all men. Like even the ignorant he also kept chickens, sheep and gardened other crops like basil and mint. These arts he taught with perfect consistency to all three of his sons and all three became as much the master of them as their father. Came the day of rains and all the townspeople and their seed and their beasts boarded the ark and waited for the rains to end. Once they did and the waters receded the ark was wrecked on a mountaintop. Moah drowned in this disaster which saw the three sons with equal goods and equal survivors drift apart. Each finally settled on different sides of the mountain, separated by rock and ravine, thinking themselves the only party to live through the deluge. [Read more →]

politics & government

Who cares about Corzine

No Gravatar

When I read the news these days, I hit two sites first and foremost: The Drudge Report and Instapundit.  This morning, Mr. Drudge greeted me with a picture of John Corzine’s bearded mug and the hairline which hasn’t so much receded as it has engaged in a rapid, tactical removal of forces from a hopeless battle front.  Mr. Reynolds at Instapundit was posting links about the man and MF Global at 11:30 PM last night.  It seems that the guy did something truly horrendous or some such, I read where he lost a bit of money, but really: Why does anyone care about John Corzine?

[Read more →]

art & entertainmentmovies

Surprised by fame, or: to Streep or not to Streep?

No Gravatar

On Sunday, I was leafing through People when I spotted somebody I used to work with in the gossip pages. Apparently she’s dating a movie star and they are about to get married.

Wow.

The fact that she was marrying a movie star didn’t shock me so much (her sister is a well-known actress) but rather that somebody I knew had made it into the pages of a tabloid. A law of nature had been violated: celebrity magazines should contain pictures of people I don’t know, like Angelina Jolie, or Jennifer Aniston, or Michael Jackson’s (ex) doctor. [Read more →]

bad sports, good sports

Bad sports, good sports: The thrill of running a half marathon

No Gravatar

Six months ago, I wrote about the back surgery that had derailed my then-new-found love of running. My original plan, once I had started running last year, was to do the Broad Street Run, which is a 10-miler here in Philadelphia each May. When the back problem forced me to stop running, the race was obviously off the board. I had intended to do a 5K or two in advance of that, but had not managed to do that either. Since my last column on the subject, I started running again in June. All of the stamina that I had built up last year was gone, so I was starting from scratch, essentially. Running every other day, I managed to get it back, eventually, and it has paid off for me. This morning, I completed the Philadelphia Half Marathon. [Read more →]

Bob Sullivan's top ten everythingmovies

Top ten X-rated Thanksgiving movies

No Gravatar

10. Homo for the Holidays

9. Makin’ Gravy

8. Deep Turkey

7. Pull My Wishbone!

6. Debbie Does Plymouth

5. Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Gay Pride Parade

4. Butter Balls

3. Do You Want A Breast Or A Thigh?

2. Poke-ahontas

1. Go Ahead and Stuff It!
 

Bob Sullivan’s Top Ten Everything appears every Monday.

travel & foreign lands

Scotland: more than Groundskeeper Willie’s homeland

No Gravatar

I recently took a press trip to Scotland, where I spent four nights in four different hotels. All four were delightful (Edinburgh’s The Balmoral, The Fairmont St Andrews, a Taymouth Estate cottage, and Edinburgh’s The George Hotel) and I recommend each of them highly with one caveat: stay more than one night. Or at least, if you stay a single evening, stay later than 9am the next day. In the attempt to see as much of England’s Canada (only sassy) as possible, my group was forced to ignore this simple guideline, with the result I discovered the one thing I do worse than packing is re-packing and in the process acquired a strange sympathy for the higher-end rock bands of the world (we’re talking at least Kings of Leon level). [Read more →]

environment & naturemoney

The plague of smart

No Gravatar

There is a nasty little radio spot airing nationally. It promotes “green” appliances and goods generally; swirly bulbs, “efficient” washers… that sort of thing although the specifics are tactically muddied. The ad pitches to a curiously young demographic. We’ve all met “Timmy”. Like Dickens’ Tiny Tim, Timmy is infectiously cute and contrived to pull at your major arteries. Timmy wants to go to the State Fair! Well, maybe he did and maybe he didn’t. Maybe he didn’t know there was such a thing as a State Fair but the announcer, whose relation to Timmy is unexplored, asks him breathlessly, “Do you want to go to the State Fair?” Of course he does! Sorry, you can’t. You see, Timmy, your parents are NOT using green, energy efficient doo-dads but the old busted bulbs and machinery, causing them to spend more on utilities and draining their pockets of the gas and ticket money necessary. If only your folks had bought the new, government approved and promoted doohickeys they would have been able to take you there for candy floss and teacup rides, whatever those are. If they get on board today then you can go to next year’s fair. “But I want to go NOW!” Radio Timmy coaches Timmies across the land in whinery to cajole mums and pops into replacing their eight-for-a-dollar earth-warming heat globes with pigtail bulbs at $8 dollars or more a pop. Needless to say, this public service message was paid for by Your Federal Family which draws its budget from you. [Read more →]

politics & governmenttrusted media & news

Newt rises as others falter

No Gravatar

on the lawvirtual children by Scott Warnock

Child abuse: We’re just not getting it

No Gravatar

As we withstand the informational deluge from Penn State, we are faced with the possibility of another case of institutional child abuse, in which a whole group of people, a whole structure, contributed to the horrific abuse of children. It is clear that we are just not getting it. [Read more →]

all workfamily & parenting

My two-week career: tales from the working world

No Gravatar

I’ve been away, dear reader, for quite some time. I’ve been busy driving a child to and from preschool, making Target runs, finding my spiritual center on Oprah’s Lifeclass (the first lesson taught us about the false power of ego), watching The Bachelor and Bachelor Pad (it takes three hours to watch that show every Monday night — that keeps a girl busy!), and wondering how I can avoid cooking the Thanksgiving Day turkey. [Read more →]

books & writing

Lisa reads L.A. Mental by Neil McMahon

No Gravatar

The world is going crazy around Tom Crandall in Neil McMahon’s L.A. Mental. His brother, Nick, calls him in a paranoid frenzy, probably drug-induced. When Tom finds him, Nick literally jumps off a cliff. His sister, Erica, has been receiving threats. His brother Paul is involved in a film project with a charismatic figure that he follows with a cult-like intensity. And those are the only strange things happening — all over Los Angeles, people are going on destructive rampages for no discernible reason. Is there a connection?
[Read more →]

art & entertainmentmovies

A letter to movie studio executives

No Gravatar

Dear Executives of Film,

The other day,  I was at the movies when a PSA flashed on the screen before the previews.  It was a plea from theater owners who are doubtlessly lamenting the move of their audience from the movie theater to their own living room thanks to game changers like Netflix and OnDemand. The PSA was actually pretty effective- there is something huge and remarkably profound that gets loss in the move from big screen to small screen. But I was shaking my head because it seems that you are all still missing the point regarding why we’ve, largely, stepped away from the movies. [Read more →]

moneypolitics & government

A very metric Christmas

No Gravatar

It was slow in coming but fast in going. If you blinked, you missed it: the Christmas Tree Tax. As government grasping goes, it was pretty thin sauce. The proposal was for a 15-cent levy on every cut Christmas tree sold, collected by the Dept of Agriculture and released to an as yet non-existent Christmas Tree Promotion Board or somesuch. Let’s not ponder overlong how it is that a government scarcely able to mention “Christmas” finds no issue of church/state separation in collecting the lunch money for the National Christmas Tree Association. Also we will ignore that the White House will never pay that fifteen cents since their trees are donated which is considered a high honor, if not a fine commercial, for the grower. And of course, as the resident gunslingers explain, this is not a tax and is being delayed with far more fanfare than which it was proposed. To next Christmas? They do not say. [Read more →]

Next Page »