Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Blowhole Jobs

Again, via JMG, New York Times Weekend magazine is exploring homosexuality in the animal world. For instance, the instances of many female albatrosses pairing off together, and this gem:

"Male Amazon River dolphins have been known to penetrate each other in the blowhole."

I guess we now know why they named him "Flipper."

For years, according to the article, scientists ignored or explained away such behavior. For example:

"One primatologist speculated that the real reason two male orangutans were fellating each other was nutritional."

Mmmm....who knew Orangutan spunk could be good for you too? Suddenly the "nutritionist" position at the National Zoo seems more...interesting.

Here's the article. And the Joe My God summary from which I lifted these quotes.


Via JMG, a flickr stream devoted to the misspellings of the Teabaggers.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

New York Times Profiles Some Teabaggers

At least, the masthead said New York Times. Several times I thought I was reading the Onion.

The basic gist of the article was that if you steep a bunch of people who have lost their jobs in a cup full of time you get: Instant Teabagging!

Let's look at a couple of them, shall we?

First, there is Tom Grimes. Tom lost his job and one of the first things he did was call his Democratic Congressman to ask for help keeping his private health insurance access to government-run health care.

Yep, you heard me right. Good old, socialist kill your grandma government run health care.

And then what has he been up to as a Teabagger?

According to the Times, he spent the last month getting other teabaggers to go to the same Congressman's office to protest "the government's takeover of health care."

Then there's Jeff McQueen who lost his job in auto parts sales in Ohio. He became a Teabagger and drove 700 miles to Massachusetts to help Scott Brown win there. He blames Uncle Sam for his job loss: "government is absolutely responsible," he says. No, not because of the bailout, or the stimulus package, or bureaucracy or anything smacking of big government.

Nope. He lost his job because, "the government has allowed free trade and never set up any rules."

Free trade! No government rules! Now there's two things small government activists can be against!

But, who am I to insist on facts and logic and truth when we can make our political decisions based on pure emotion instead.

According to Tom Grimes: "If you don't trust the mindset or the value system of the people running, the system, you can't even look at the facts anymore."

The Rule of Emotion has no room for logic and it's not a big step from that to just do away with the rule of law (except when we want government rules to protect auto parts jobs. I guess laws are okay when we feel like it).

Metro Considers Shortening Yellow Line, Closing Earlier on Weekends

To save money, Metro is considering ending service on the Yellow line to Fort Totten and closing at midnight on the weekends and other changes, according to Midcity.

I can see the Yellow line "shrinking," but their suggestion to close Metro early on weekends is surely a bluff to get local governments to up Metro's funding. Metro now closes at 3 on the weekends and I can't imagine any local government wanting all those drunks on the road and heading back to the suburbs after the bars close.

Of course, Metro might be able to save money if they'd stop wrecking their trains, running over track workers and plowing their buses into joggers and other pedestrians.

But that might be too much to ask.

Not a Photo Op

I get the sense from this picture that Gen. McChrystal and US Ambassador Eikenberry were having a real, serious discussion with the commander-in-chief. This wasn't a "Heckuva job, McChrystal" event. The adults are in charge. Thank God.

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Rhetoric of Obama

Jonathan Bernstein has an interesting analysis of rhetorical themes that have showed up in the president's recent speeches on health care reform (At least, interesting to someone like me who once had aspirations of being a presidential speechwriter. Those aspirations dried up on a November night in 1992).

But it is interesting stuff as Bernstein tries to get a sense of Obama's inner moral and political compass from his rhetoric. And the comments provide some insight, particularly this one from someone from Canada:

Two years ago, I felt that the difference between the three democratic frontrunners could be summed up like this: John Edwards wanted to reform the economy, Hillary Clinton wanted to reform society, and Barak Obama wanted to reform politics. I am still not sure whether people who voted for Obama necessarily understood or supported what he wanted to do, but he took this has a mandate and, inch by inch, he is doing it. He sincerely believes that Americans can do anything they want to do -- "Yes, we can" is the essence of his being. In the end, if he CAN reform American politics, then society and the economy will follow. The Teabaggers who are so opposed to him call him names like fascist and communist because they don't know WHAT to call him, but in some visceral way they recognize what the progressives so far have not -- that Obama actually is aiming to change the way politics is being practiced in America, creating a significant, non-partisan, forward-looking change in how American democracy functions. This is terribly threatening to some on both the right and the left, who are too comfortable with the existing system.

RNC Spends $2,000 at Strip Club

A "lesbian-themed" strip club, no less.

Perhaps they were doing some family values research. Or perhaps promoting equality for women in the workplace?

The RNC is busy denying that the person who went to the club was Chairman Michael Steele. But whether or not Steele attended is not the important question here. The more important question for the party of financial responsibility was why would Steele (or his office) approve an expense by what they are calling "a non-committee staffer" (whatever that is) for $1,946 in "meals" on a single day at a booty club?

No organization I know of would approve such an expense. At least one that was financially well-managed.

I love how the Republicans are for the things they continually fail at: moral values and financial competence.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Dirty Inking

I don't have any problems with tattoos. And I think Patrick Swayze was a fine actor and was sorry about his early demise.

But having Swayze's face tattooed on your calf like the guy in the sauna at the gym today - Dude, too much!


I'm not in favor of it.

Yesterday, DC gay activist Phil Attey suggested on Facebook that a prominent Bush official had a gay relationship with Jeff Gannon. Chris Crain commented:

"I don't think it serves our cause to traffic in rumor and innuendo, especially about the private sex lives of other people. We ought to be better than that."

To which a chorus of people responded angrily that the enemies of gay people don't deserve to have private sex lives.


First -- we have no need for this tactic. We have the better arguments and the tide of history on our side. We need to be better about applying political pressure, but that pressure does not need to take the form of blackmail.

Second -- who decides who should be outed and for what reason? In other words, if a closeted gay politician votes against gay inclusion in hate crimes, does that justify dragging him out of the closet? Not everyone in the gay community agrees that passing hate crimes was needed. There are those in the community who think fighting for same sex marriage is a waste of time. We are not of one mind about everything, so who plays God and decides whose lives are to be messed with?

Finally -- what good will it do? Attey doesn't say how outing the Bush official or insinusating he is gay will move us closer to passing ENDA or repealing DOMA or DADT. Because it doesn't. Because outing is not about advancing politically. It's about revenge.

Crain is right. We are better than that.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Massa and the Sailors

Apparently he has a history of making passes at subordinates, as this Atlantic piece details. According to the same story, a group of sailors who were victims of these passes considered coming forward during Massa's first unsuccessful run for Congress in '06.

I guess they could have called themselves the "Swift Grope Veterans."

Seriously, there is something sick at the heart of all of this -- and it's the closet.

Google Bicycle Maps

Google adds directions for cyclists. At long last I can find my way home. (via DCist).

Scene from the Commute

Copters on the Potomac.

They must have forgotten something, for a few minutes later they turned around and headed back for the Pentagon.