Archive for the ‘Articli’ Category

“The Big Takeover”

March 23, 2009

The global economic crisis isn’t about money – it’s about power. How Wall Street insiders are using the bailout to stage a revolution.

Rolling Stone gets off to a good start (I haven’t gotten far, article came recommended):

The latest bailout came as AIG admitted to having just posted the largest quarterly loss in American corporate history — some $61.7 billion. In the final three months of last year, the company lost more than $27 million every hour. That’s $465,000 a minute, a yearly income for a median American household every six seconds, roughly $7,750 a second. And all this happened at the end of eight straight years that America devoted to frantically chasing the shadow of a terrorist threat to no avail, eight years spent stopping every citizen at every airport to search every purse, bag, crotch and briefcase for juice boxes and explosive tubes of toothpaste. Yet in the end, our government had no mechanism for searching the balance sheets of companies that held life-or-death power over our society and was unable to spot holes in the national economy the size of Libya (whose entire GDP last year was smaller than AIG’s 2008 losses).

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Obama’s message to Iran: BBC’s breakdown and Iran’s response

March 20, 2009

The BBC deconstructs Obama’s message to Iran: (that’s my boy!)

Incidentally, the US position now diverges quite strongly from the Israeli. The Israelis have recently been making increasingly worried statements about Iran’s potential nuclear weapons capacity, suggesting that while diplomacy might come first, military action might come second.

Iran seems open to the overture, with an aide to Ahmadinejad saying he “welcomes” the approach from Washington:

Iran today hailed an unprecedented direct appeal by the US president, Barack Obama, for better relations between the two countries, but urged the US to “realise its previous mistakes” as well as end sanctions and drop its support for Israel.

I can’t call the man crazy when he talks like that—sanctions should end when we address their desire for nukes; either by offering them more attractive carrots, or, the highly unlikely but perfectly just course: denuclearize the entire Middle East to stop the escalating arms race (ahem, Israel?).  And there is also this component:

However, there was no official response from Tehran to a far blunter message from Shimon Peres, the president of Israel, who called on Iran to “return to the enlightened world” and halt the uranium enrichment that could allow it manufacture nuclear weapons.

It looks like the Iranians have a real opportunity here:  their hostility to Israel is mostly driven by their strategic sovereign interest–given that Iran is an emerging power whose dominance in the region was secured by Sadaam’s ouster but is challenged by Israel–and they may very well see that it is deeply in their own interest to highlight their moderates, push for reconciliation with the US, and “enter the international community” as Obama mentioned…this all makes it very hard for us to keep supporting Israel’s push for war against Iran and Israel’s push to generally subvert and weaken it.  I recently read an Israeli columnist who commented along the lines of “what happens if Iranians elect (an Iranian moderate) while we have Avigdor Lieberman as our foreign minister…who will the international community say is more extreme then?”  I think that logic very-much applies to us.  We want to stabilize the shit out of that region, while Israel’s private interests lean toward instability (freeze’s the peace process, enhances their claim to being the only non-savage in the region and therefor worthy of our protection and aid).  Obama is more likely to take the pragmatic road of stability and peace in the region over Israel’s (then increasingly deranged) cries of “wolf” regarding some imaginary existential threat from Iran.  We simply can’t afford to ignore the costs in favor of blind adherence to principle–not since Iraq, and not against Iran.

 

Final Comment:  I am hopeful that Iran tries to subvert Israel by improving its relations with America.  My goodness; the political potential energy of this situation!  Our problems in Iraq diminish, our beefs with Syria and Lebanon cool-off.  I bet if the situation thaws down enough, the Arab players in the region may back off their nuke-pursuit, feeling confident that their normalization of relations with the USA will prevent Israel from attacking them (we will not support, and hopefully not tolerate, a unilateral Israeli attack amidst our succeeding efforts to ease tension and increase cooperation).  And what if Israel does attack, with or without our consent?  Well then Iran simply beats the shit out of Israel. (Citizens, Iran is not Iraq.  They have a conventional, generally modern military…which is far bigger than Israel’s band of nationalist boy scouts).  If Israel uses its nukes against Iran, my bet is that the international community will cut them off.  And the US will not be able to save them in the face of the diplomatic and political winds that would follow a preemptive nuclear strike by Israel.

The End of Prohibition Growing Less Unlikely

March 12, 2009

One curious advantage that the economic crisis presents is the opportunity to reexamine conventional wisdom regarding the prohibition of drugs in this country.  Many states are facing enormous budgetary challenges in the face of the worsening economy and it appears that many are considering the potential revenues for the state if it legalized, regulated, and taxed drugs (or most realistically: marijuana) and the potential savings in expenditures devoted to policing, arresting, processing, and incarcerating nonviolent drug offenders.

We already learned, weeks ago, that Attorney General Eric Holder said the official policy of the Obama WH will be that “federal resources should not be used to circumvent state laws”–in response to a question regarding states with laws allowing medical marijuana.  Decriminalization–in this economic climate, under this president–may be much closer than we thought.

California is taking the lead, with its history of wide popular support among Californians for the decriminalization of marijuana.  Here is Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-Calif.) her state could be a great host for an experiment in reform.  Here’s the video from CNN:

ForeignPolicy.com also highlights changing attitudes in the EU.  A report by the European Commission “found no evidence that the global drug problem was reduced…from 1998 to 2007”.

The UN, now meeting in Vienna for the first time in 10 years to reassess global drug policy, is reaching even more dramatic conclusions: It’s worse than mere inertia…. drug policy is making matters worse, not better. UN Office of Drug and Crime’s head, Antonio Maria Costa, “acknowledged that drug control policies had, as an unintended consequence, led the growth of organized crime,” as the BBC put it.

Middle East Reality Check –Roger Cohen, NYT

March 10, 2009

This is column by Roger Cohen is very good.  It gives a good summary of the emerging sentiments among the new administration, and among the citizenry as voiced by J-Street and other progressive groups, regarding the way forward with the middle east.  The Realist school of foreign policy is finally overpowering neoconservatism.  Rejoice.

Here is a quote worth highlighting.  The entire column has been pasted after the jump.

The 1988 Hamas Charter is vile, but I think it’s wrong to get hung up on the prior recognition of Israel issue. Perhaps Hamas is sincere in its calls for Israel’s disappearance — although it has offered a decades-long truce — but then it’s also possible that Israel in reality has no desire to see a Palestinian state.

One view of Israel’s continued expansion of settlements, Gaza blockade, West Bank walling-in and wanton recourse to high-tech force would be that it’s designed precisely to bludgeon, undermine and humiliate the Palestinian people until their dreams of statehood and dignity evaporate.

The argument over recognition is in the end a form of evasion designed to perpetuate the conflict.

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World Events Roundup

March 4, 2009

News bulletin for today from around the world.  Happy perusing!

 Middle East

While visiting Israel, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to a two-state solution. Nathan Brown thinks it’s time for Plan B.

Clinton told an Arab foreign minister that it’s “doubtful” that Iran will respond to U.S. offers of negotiations.

International donors have pledged $4.48 billion to rebuild Gaza.

Asia

Sri Lanka’s cricket team was attacked by gunmen in Lahore, Pakistan.

The United States’ new North Korea envoy Stephen Bosworth arrived in Beijing to being work reviving the stalled six-party talks.

An aide to Japanese opposition leader Ichiro Ozawa has been convicted of bribery.

Americas

Congressional Democrats are cracking down on tax havens.

U.S. stocks hit a 12-year low on Monday.

Raul Castro has ousted two top officials who were loyal to his brother Fidel.

Africa

The head of Guinea-Bissau’s parliament will become interim president after Monday’s presidential assassination. 

Tanzania has launched a campaign to prevent the widespread murder of albinos.

A prominent Rwandan minister has been convicted of genocide.

Europe 

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown is in Washington to meet with Barack Obama.

Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party dominated local elections in Russia.

Poland has renewed its commitment to early entry into the Eurozone.

The Bush Obama two step

March 3, 2009

brought to you live from the Daily Dish:

Damon Linker sees it:

…will the country really stick with Obama as he attempts to enact his stunningly ambitious agenda? They just might. But not because the 44th president has reawakened the liberalism that’s been slumbering in their souls since the summer of 1968. As National Review’s Rich Lowry noted in a brief post last week, Obama is defending his agenda not in ideological but in pragmatic terms — saying, in effect, “Hey, I’m not a big-government guy; it’s just that the Republicans made such a wreck of the place that I have no choice but to do some big things to clean up the mess.” And as Lowry recognizes, that’s an argument that just might just persuade the American people to go along for the ride, shifting the political spectrum to the left for a generation, while also managing at long last to bury Reaganite conservatism.

Welcome to the realignment.

I saw it coming.

Real-life Plagiarism!

February 27, 2009

See mom…adults do it too!!

The NY Observer reports that Fortune magazine is issuing an apology in its March issue for passages lifted from a 2004 NYT Magazine article.  It’s kinda wild to read matching paragraphs from the “new” and original articles and realize: yeah, that’s the art of good writing…that this drew carey look-alike seems to lack.

Here is the first of several side-by-side comparisons from the article:

TIMES MAGAZINE:

Alekperov’s titanium-and-glass desk is fastidiously neat — he hates disorder — and behind it hangs a frieze of the double-headed eagle, which is Russia’s coat of arms. If a visitor doesn’t yet grasp his message, there is just one photograph on his desk, a black-and-white portrait that shows not his wife or teenage son but President Putin. If, in your mind’s eye, you replace the eagle with a hammer and sickle, and if you imagine a photo of Leonid Brezhnev on the desk, you could be back in the U.S.S.R.

FORTUNE:

Behind his glass desk is the double-headed eagle, which is Russia’s coat of arms, and photos of Medvedev and Putin. Replace the eagle with a hammer and sickle and substitute a photograph of Nikita Khrushchev, and you could be back in the USSR.

As much he deserves it, I can’t help but call it a shame; he really seemed to be a rising star of sorts, but this will likely follow him throughout his career as a journalist.  I mean he took it from the New York Times of all places.  Who’s gonna notice that, right?  (HatTip: Chew-dog)

Bobby Jindal = Kenneth, the NBC page

February 26, 2009

http://gawker.com/5159908/bobby-jindal-channels-kenneth-the-page-in-gop-response

Gawker has edited together several sections of Bobby Jindal’s response speech to show how he has a rather large resemblance to Kenneth, from 30 Rock.  They don’t butcher words to make him say things he doesn’t already, they just put together all the Kenneth-like moments so you can better see the connection. 

I can see Jindal’s political potential, or at least I considered him a dangerous opponent before his response to Obama.  He has the identity politics and personal biography stacked in his favor (ps: watch for the India lobby to break out bigtime in the next few years, son…they are overtly learning from the Israeli Lobby how to build political clout and financial leverage, while so far avoiding the dissent-suppression and bully tactics of the neocon Israel Lobby), is a Rhodes scholar, and holds the GOP-winning-lottery-ticket that is his “colored skin”.  I can’t help but feel like he blew his wad last night though.  He asked too much of himself, following Obama like that.  As one Arena contributor put it at Politico, “It’s like seeing a fake Rolex after you’ve seen the real thing”.  I mean, it’s still a pretty watch.  It’s just obviously of lesser quality than the original.  He used his hands to make the same gesture over and over again, was reallllly folksy and down-home-anecdotal, and probably woulda done much better with a live audience to feed off of:  all unfortunate, trivial aspects of politics that end up mattering in real life (think Nixon v. Kennedy, first TV debate ever). 

Maybe he can still carve out an image for himself, but even then: I struggle to believe this country will elect a Catholic who doubts evolution in favor of Intelligent Design…not after someone like Obama is president (or against someone like Barack Obama…please).  I mean, the Vatican has rejected a literal reading of Genesis and has conveniently decreed Evolution to be God’s work.  If Catholics think he’s crazy and evangelicals don’t forget he’s Catholic…what rubes does he command?

Judge Rules Anti-Gay Marriage Donors Can’t Remain Secret

February 26, 2009

This is somewhat of an old story, but I had saved it to come back to after the LSAT.  I found it very interesting because I wasn’t entirely clear how I felt about it.  On some level, I do find it kinda creepy that political donations are entirely in public view (name, address, amount), but I also think that’s a very important principle that I wish would extend far further: it forces a small degree of accountability for one’s beliefs, as if political opinions should be something you can declare and defend publicly. 

There is a certain delicious* irony to sentences like this:

Supporters of the ban on gay marriage said public disclosure of their financial supporters had put the donors at risk of personal harassment or boycotts to their businesses.

I first thought their claims were BS merely because of the somewhat inherent harassment that lay in voting to ban gay marriage, but apparently some pro-Prop-8ers were threatening to boycott people who didn’t donate!:

Fred Karger, founder of gay-rights group Californians Against Hate, said the initiative’s backers had threatened boycotts against businesses that failed to donate to their effort during the campaign.

MY THOUGHTS

The Hardest Job in Football

February 18, 2009

Here’s a meaty read from this month’s issue of The Atlantic: an interesting piece about the behind-the-scenes work that goes into the orchestral dance of directing cameras and choosing which view will appear in your TV screen during NFL football games.  It is by Mark Bowden, a great narrative and investigative writer, whose books Killing Pablo and Doctor Dealer I have read (I currently own and will soon dig into his Guests of the Ayatollah, about the Iranian hostage crisis).

The article gives a really interesting inside-look at things.  You get a feel for the mechanics of the cameras and what they can do, a larger survey of the evolution of the sport and its marriage to TV, and an appreciation for the role Fish plays as the conductor in the orchestra that produces the drama unfolding for you at home.

These are the basics, cameras one through five, that are used to cover every televised football game, college or pro. The rest are specialty cameras. Six and eight are mounted on three-foot-high platforms behind each end zone, to one side of the goalposts…Fish will sometimes instruct these cameras’ operators to focus on specific players—in this game they were Justin Tuck, the Giants’ gifted pass-rushing end, and Bengals receiver Chad Johnson—in order to put together a video package that summarizes those players’ ups and downs during the game.

THE HARDEST JOB IN FOOTBALL  –Mark Bowden

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The Inspiring Moral Leadership of the Hampshire Students (repost + thoughts)

February 17, 2009

Due to PapoWorld’s recently pensive state of mind, I’m going to directly repost something written by Philip Weiss.  I tend to really like boutique blogs who can devote themselves fully and deeply to a particular topic or issue (so long as they do so with integrity and from a position of moderate credibility).  When it comes to anything about Israel, these sorts of niche blogs are essential.  I should state upfront: Philip Weiss represents a more progressive viewpoint, whereas many others might, and do, take a position far more supportive of a State’s use of violence (and more-generally, the principle underlying much of American foreign policy, that might makes right). 

(One may accuse me of editorializing there, in my characterization of the spectrum of views on Israeli occupation, but you need to ask yourself what other defense is there, other than might makes right, to overcome the fact of Israel’s creation on Palestinian land.  The Israeli claims obfuscate things for the inattentive observer by pointing to recent tits or tats in the unending conflict, overlooking the cause of the rockets and suicide bombers.  Mind you, this all comes from a government that refuses to give back even the land taken in ’67, and was recently revealed to be 100% complicit in–and condoning of–the illegal settlements that many, yours truly included, consider nothing less than theft and naked imperialism.)

Philip Weiss on “The inspiring moral leadership of the Hampshire students” for encouraging their university’s divestment from companies supporting the Israeli occupation (the post ’67 one), after the jump  JUMP

The Popular Uprising Against the Fed

February 13, 2009

(that title makes it sound like I’m soon gonna be calling for “agrarian reform!” and nationalization of industry, doesn’t it?  lol)

Here’s a great article from The American Conservative magazine examining the fading of the taboo against criticizing the Fed.  Or perhaps not taboo but exclusion from discourse (kinda reminds me of Chomsky’s manufacturing Consent, where he accuses the MSM of defining the terms of debate within exclusive parameters and/or not giving voice to viewpoints that greatly upset conventional wisdom…or power).  It looks at Ron Paul as an icon of this resurgent unease or even hostility toward the Fed, and examines how he served to bring the debate into the mainstream and have it somewhat ratified via his virulent, empassioned supporters.

It also makes a pretty convincing case for the wisdom of the Austrian school of economics, a long-time critic of fiat money (money that is created within a system, as opposed to currency that is backed by commodities like silver or gold) and central banking.  I confess I am quite confused and uninformed when it comes to macroeconomics; an uncertainty that grates at me when I see convincing, albeit frivolous and surely suspect, internet movies decrying international banking and central banking (along with 9/11 and, in this particular movie: Zeitgeist, religion).  I just wish I knew more so I could put suspicions to rest.

Any Citizens out there wanna share knowledge on the subject?  I struggle with: A) Does the Fed “lend” money to the US government, and charge interest? (If so, what on earth is anyone doing charging our gov interest for the money our gov creates?)  B) Are there good reasons why not to be suspicious of the enormous amount of power concentrated with the Fed, especially now that we are handing them huge sums of money?  C) Why did we get off the gold standard?  Was this a good thing?  Ron Paul sure made sense when he ranted against this on the campaign trail (and yes, I still commend his courage in mentioning ‘blowback’ in the context of 9/11 at mainstream debates…more whispers of Chomsky).

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Monday Morning Roundup

February 9, 2009

Hello Citizens!  The Hiatus is over, the LSAT is taken, and Billy Pilgrim has spoken : So It Goes.  I am slowly regathering my wits and my sanity, after intensive sleep reacquisition therapy this weekend.  PapoWorld may take a little bit to really spread its legs and open its stride, as I do have many aspects of my life that have been deeply neglected for the last three months.  But I will be posting some stuff, probably little more than the ruminations of my now-gelatinous brain, so please bear with me a bit.  To all who offered feedback, thanks a lot for it.  All readers are free to continue critiquing the site or hyping certain aspects you like.

Would people on the subway not steal my lunch money if I had one of these bad muthafuckas?

Apparently the AP is now bustin’ Shepard Fairey’s balls alleging “copyright infringement” for his use of an AP photo to make his uber-mega-famous picture.  Life as a no-longer-underground-dissentmaster shouldn’t be so rough.  But it is.  Welcome to the sunlight, Shep.  (UPDATE) Ouch, the sun aint letting up soon.

A lil blast from the past, to shiver ye timbers: PNAC Statement of Principles (HatTip: Groove of Yore)

Normally I want more substance and less cutesy attitude from HuffPo’s Sunday TVSoundoff, but the sarcasm of this week’s just seemed aptly fitting, given the political circus our country seems to have become while I was cramming to learn logic games.

I saw Forrest Gump recently and couldn’t stop asking myself, what happened to “Jenny”??  The actress, who is kinda really totally beautiful at the end when she’s a waitress with the lil bouncy curls (not to mention, kinda hot in a dark and exploitative cum-dumspter kinda vibe earlier in the movie).  Looks like she married Sean Penn.  wack.  Maybe her career ended cus someone made that really creepy blog.  Or maybe Commie-Pinko Penn is so paid she can lay around at home looking edible.

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LSAT Hiatus & Countdown

February 2, 2009

It Is What It Is

 

Please give feedback.  PapoWorld will be back on Monday.  (HatTip: Creedo, for his disaster-recovery efforts this weekend)

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The inside story of why not a single House Republican supported the president’s stimulus package; and other related news.

February 1, 2009

This may be the only post for the day (I have GOT to focus on LSAT stuff till the test next Sat.; and, there’s a big bowl people are passing around tonight or something), save for a possible later post about incredibly silly (and perhaps cruel) pet gadgets.  The articles in TheDailyBeast and Nate Silver’s 538.com are really worth your attention, partic. Silver’s.

The Daily Beast explores some inside baseball on why the stimulus bill drew not a single GOP vote in the House:

It turned out that this estimate was 1,000 percent too high, because Emanuel’s go-for-the-big-win style, even when mixed with the president’s earnest charm, did not gain even one vote from the House GOP. The caucus held together like a stone wall when it came time to vote on the Democratic-authored $825 billion stimulus package—all 177 members joined 11 “Blue Dog” Democrats for the 244-188 final tally. How this was done explains the sudden and surprising new discipline of the Republican Party.

Joe Klein defends the spirit of bipartisanship:

Obama’s almost fetishistic pursuit of Republicans — two hours spent with the crabby minority at the Capitol! — is another attempt to deprive his enemies of a Great Satan. The President will make some Republican-oriented concessions, dropping some of the cheesier spending from the stimulus plan. He will get some GOP votes for his stimulus package, but more important, he is establishing himself as a relentlessly reasonable and polite presence in town — and his comity is making it all the more difficult for buffoons like Rush Limbaugh to influence the tone of the Republican opposition.

Time explains the spending from a Keynesian perspective:

— we all really do seem to be Keynesians now. Just about every expert agrees that pumping $1 trillion into a moribund economy will rev up the ethereal goods-and-services engine that Keynes called “aggregate demand” and stimulate at least some short-term activity, even if it is all wasted on money pits.

Political pollster and presidential campaign guru whizkid wunderkind Nate Silver offers some bleak prognostications for the future of the GOP.  Here he explains The Republican Death Spiral:

Most fundamentally of all, the McCain campaign radically overestimated the importance of appealing to the base. House Republicans may be replicating their mistake. Self-described conservative Republicans represent only about 20 percent of the population. This base is not necessarily becoming smaller; it’s still alive and kicking. What is true, however, is that the (1) base has never been sufficient to form a winning electoral coalition, and (2) that there are fewer and fewer non-base (e.g. moderates, libertarian Republicans, Republican leaning-independents). As these moderates have fled the GOP, the party’s electoral fortunes have tanked. But simultaneously, they have had less and less influence on the Republican message.
Thus the Republicans, arguably, are in something of a death spiral. The more conservative, partisan, and strident their message becomes, the more they alienate non-base Republicans. But the more they alienate non-base Republicans, the fewer of them are left to worry about appeasing. Thus, their message becomes continually more appealing to the base — but more conservative, partisan, and strident to the rest of us. And the process loops back upon itself.

not much more

The Audacity of Greed

January 31, 2009

I saw this headline on my way in to work this morning (to do more LSAT practice) and couldn’t believe it: Wall St. is shameful? Traders blast Obama.  I found the story online and realized how easy it would be to get two anonymous “traders” to whine to a small paper about Obama’s pushback against bonuses…that this story means little.  But it still enraged me, and I think this sentiment is indeed real and pervasive among some of the “traders” in the industry.

Jody, who wouldn’t give her last name, said she had just landed a job at a major Wall Street firm after nine months of job searching.   “[Obama] has to sit down and understand the compensation structure of low- to middle-management Wall Street. … A bonus is 20 to 50 percent of a person’s annual salary,” she said. “If you want to stimulate the economy, you can’t take the legs out of the working man.”

“the working man”!!!  (more…)

Shot in the Foot

January 31, 2009

Fucking Democrats.

Now Tom Daschle is running into trouble with his confirmation over unpaid taxes!  Another appointee with tax trouble.  All we need right now is to give the ornery House GOP an effective catch-phrase to demagogue the stimulus bill:

“It’s easier for the other side to advocate for higher taxes because you know what?” the minority whip asked.
“They don’t pay ’em!” the roomful of Republicans shouted back. (Politico)

ABC’s Jake Tapper has the scoop:

The nomination of former Senator Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., to be President Obama’s Secretary of Health and Human Services has hit a traffic snarl on its way through the Senate Finance Committee.  The controversy deals with a car and driver lent to Daschle by a wealthy Democratic friend, a chauffeur service the former senator used for years without declaring it on his taxes…The Cadillac and driver were never part of Daschle’s official compensation package at InterMedia but Mr. Daschle — who as Senate majority leader enjoyed the use of a car and driver at taxpayer expense — didn’t declare their services on his income taxes, as tax laws require.

Apparently, this isn’t news to Team O:

During the vetting process to become HHS secretary, Daschle corrected the tax violation, voluntarily paying $101,943 in back taxes plus interest, working with his accountant to amend his tax returns for 2005 through 2007.

Hopefully that means we floated this to key players and got their assurances, along with making all the necessary amends, to minimize the damage of this thing.

It continues: Health care groups paid Daschle $220K

Why I’m Selling My Virginity

January 30, 2009

No doubt you’ve heard of her by now…But she’s explained herself in The Daily Beast.  I kinda dig her explanation.  I took some of these sorts of classes in school (*see below) and I think Ms. I-Really-Haven’t-Taken-Shaft-Yet might have some brains in her.

For me, valuing virginity as sacred is simply not a concept I could embrace. But valuing virginity monetarily—now that’s a concept I could definitely get behind. I no longer view the selling of sex as wrong or immoral—my time at college showed me that I had too blindly accepted such arbitrary norms. And for what it’s worth, the winning bid won’t necessarily be the highest—I get to choose.

Normally this quote would lead me to run and say this girl whored-about in college and learned it aint no sacred wafer, but…

Are they gonna verify she’s a V?  Whoever’s dropping paper to pierce that privacy purst better damn well make surrre she’s a V.  (Can any of my middle eastern Citizens weigh in?  What means are available for achieving virginity certitude?)

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Is 60 within reach??

January 30, 2009

The Obama administration has been floating the idea of naming Republican Sen. Judd Gregg (N.H.) to be Commerce Secretary. 

Politico does the math:

Democrats “are delighted because it could mean they gain a pivotal seat.” Asked “whether he’d ever been offered the Commerce job, Gregg told Politico: ‘I am not at liberty to discuss that.'” Politico adds that “a White House official would say only that Obama “has not made a decision” about the Commerce job.” New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch “is a Democrat. If Gregg were to leave and Lynch were to appoint a Democrat in his place — and if Al Franken wins in Minnesota — the Democratic Party would suddenly control 60 seats in the Senate.”

 I wonder how this will all pan out.  I imagine the GOP will try their hardest to get him to stay, preventing the 60-seat, filibuster-breakin’, magic number.  But like, this may be Gregg’s dream job.  I hope hope hope…

Of course, the identity-politics-pander-parade is doing their best to derail this fucking GIFT.

The 5-State Solution?

January 29, 2009

Friedman has a pretty decent idea.  In today’s column he remembers an interview with Prince Abdullah of Saudi Arabia (now King) from back in 2002 and goes on to speculate what King Abdullah’s suggested plan for Obama would be today. 

I like this part:

Saudi Arabia would pay all the costs of the Egyptian and Jordanian trustees, plus a $1 billion a year service fee to each country — as well as all the budgetary needs of the Palestinian Authority. The entire plan would be based on U.N. Resolutions 242 and 338 and blessed by the U.N. Security Council.

 

Into the Rabbit Hole…