Thursday, February 05, 2009

RIP Lux Interior

I was never the biggest fan of the Cramps but I always enjoyed their music and their schtick. Much more importantly (to me), they were huge influences on some of my favorite bands, including the Bad Checks, Fetchin' Bones and the Flat Duo-Jets, who toured with them more than once. So one more time, y'all, let's tear this damn place up!


Depleted Heels

No 7 footer coming off the bench. No defensive stopper. No long-range shooter coming off the bench. This team looks a heck of a lot different than it did last fall!

I have no idea what Graves did or didn't do to put him in the doghouse for the rest of the season but that's the least worrisome of the problems. Zeller is a much more problematic absence and we've clearly missed him a number of times this year, particularly when Tyler got into foul trouble. But missing Marcus is by far the biggest obstacle and one we've yet to really find a way to overcome, unless it's in the way we beat Maryland this week - rain down the threes and don't miss. We just do not have the guy to lock down the Tyrese Rices that are out there waiting for us in the NCAAs. Frasor tries his heart out but he's no Ginyard - he's not even a Wes Miller. Ellington and Green have to be focused on scoring (and Wayne's never been more than an adequate defender). I don't see a Dudley Bradley or a Jackie Manuel on this team, so we'll have to play defense by committee and score a LOT of points.


Buddy Holly

Really nice tribute in the Des Moines Register and coverage of the 50th anniversary Winter Dance Party at the Surf Ballroom (hat tip to Dave Menconi).

There are very few artists whose music stands up over time the way Buddy's did - hard to believe that he was only 22 when the plane went down 50 years ago.


Tuesday, February 03, 2009

After the Final Season

For the last couple of years, I've been enjoying Joss Whedon's comic book follow-ons to the final seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel - Buffy Season Eight and Angel: After the Fall. Now comes a new one - Boom! Studios has released the first of the Farscape mini-series. The first issue begins where Farscape: The Peacekeeper Wars ends, with Crichton and Aeryn Sun holding up their newborn as they look out at the cosmos. I was an occasional viewer of Farscape, always enjoying it when I saw it but never scheduling my life around it (unlike the Whedon shows), but I was a fan enough that I'm happy to see the storyline carried on. It looks like they're doing some number of 4-issue mini-series - no word on how many. Check it out!

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Good to see Tom Daschle stepping aside. The tax problems were ridiculous but really more emblematic of a larger problem - that he went from the legislature to health industry lobbyist and had no business then going to Health and Human Services. I have a lot of respect for him and what he's done in the past but that would have been the absolutely wrong signal to send on influence peddling and "business as usual" in Washington. Whatever his reasons were, kudos to him for bowing out.



Why is ANYone listening to John McCain right now? The guy who was convinced that the economy was fundamentally sound as the financial industry was in free-fall? The guy that turned Indiana and North Carolina blue? Yet I keep hearing him in the news talking against a stimulus bill that he so clearly has absolutely no understanding of. 'Bout time old John retired, isn't it?


Sunday, February 01, 2009

Super Bowl Brews

Breaking with my normal penchant for Pale Ales and IPAs, tonight is devoted to Reds

Terrapin Beer Company Big Hoppy Monster (ABV 8.0%)

Magic Hat Roxy Rolles (ABV 5.1%)

The BHM worked well with the baked swordfish I fixed just before kickoff.


Steele in Charge

I don't know how much the choice of a party head means these days. There was general derision among the wingnuts when Howard Dean was chosen for the DNC a few years ago (and not a little trepidation among Democrats) but I maintain that it was primarily his work on the 50 State Initiative (well, that and the idiot in the White House at the time) that won Congress back in 2006 and paved the way for Obama's strategy in 2008. The prevailing strategy had been to shore up the base and nibble away at the margins (hey, it worked for Rove) but the Dean strategy netted a real majority instead of a razor-thin margin. The choice of Dean also signaled the rise of the netroots, which clearly had an impact on Obama's victory. So yeah, they can make a difference.

So what do you take away from the RNCs choice of Michael Steele (Lt. Gov Maryland)? The guy that in his run for the Maryland Senate in 2006 worked together with the Republican gubernatorial candidate to bus in homeless people from Philadelphia to pass out fliers in poor areas of Baltimore that listed both candidates as Democrats. The guy whose campaign handed out "Steele - Democrat" signs and bumper stickers. He's said some things that I thought were outright wacko but on the other hand, pretending you're a Democrat in Maryland doesn't strike me as stupid. It'll be interesting to see what his ideas for rebranding the GOP are over the next few months.


New Source of Revenue

I suggest the Obama administration nominate EVERY American for a high-ranking government job so we'll all pay those back taxes we've been ignoring. Could be a big enough windfall for the Treasury that we can pay for the stimulus.

I had some sympathy early on for Geithner as apparently there is some lack of clarity around income tax for folks working the IMF, but later reports that he was told repeatedly by the IMF that he owed taxes killed that. And Daschle? No excuse.

Obviously with anyone you take the good with the bad and in Geithner's case, it's probably worth it. I want the best possible person for Treasury right now and I don't argue that he's not the guy. But as much as I've liked Daschle from a policy perspective, there's gotta be somebody else out there with the skills for HHS. I know that it's not as simple for these guys as to pop in a new copy of Turbotax (despite Geithner's statement) and do their taxes in a weekend, but if you can afford to pony up over $100K in back taxes on short notice, you can afford a competent accountant to do your books.