Maybe you should just set those tax dollars on fire, Senator Hatch

Not content with afull morning of carnage, the Senate Finance Committee apparently had a bit of time on its hands after throwing the Public Option under the bus Tuesday. So they stayed late and passed a measure by Orrin Fucking Hatch to restore funding for abstinence fucking only education. How much money? How much of our tax dollars do 12 committee members want to spend on something thatEVEN TEXAS finally admits doesn’t work? Fifty million. Annually. Yeah, vote down substantive change that would help tens of thousands of people get comprehensive health care but by all fucking means, let’s approve … Continue reading Maybe you should just set those tax dollars on fire, Senator Hatch

Oh, and Speaking of Black Children Reading

Hell Yeah, Dwyane Wade: Food and spirits flowed freely in the foyer of the W Hotel, as pretty young women floated through the crowd, offering margarita shots, and tuxedo-clad waiters served chilled shrimp and tidy canapes. As most of you know, the NBA All-Star grew up in Robbins, an impoverished south suburb that has kept itself going through a mix of tenacity and pride. Wade was in Chicago for “Wade’s World Weekend,” which includes several events to benefit his foundation. While in town, Wade came to the rescue of Robbin’s lone library. The library had run out of money to … Continue reading Oh, and Speaking of Black Children Reading

Student Journos to Politico: Screw You and Your Money

BURN: But where does our alma mater fall on the matter of journalism’s future? It’s an important question, especially given our brand new (and slightly Usdan-like) Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life. For those who don’t know, Robert Allbritton ’92 is the entrepreneur behind, the insurgent beltway gossip newspaper that is pretty much the only news organization in America making money at the moment. Allbritton has made a lot of waves with his print/web business model for journalism, and Wesleyan has been happy to take his money, tossing him a breathless profile in the Wesleyan Connection in … Continue reading Student Journos to Politico: Screw You and Your Money

The Trashanova

My city has a celebrity garbageman, I bet yours doesn’t. But he’s not one of the guys who gets up obscenely early to ride on the back of the garbage truck: he’s their boss. His name is Sidney Torres and he’s gone from being born with a silver spoon in his mouth to making money off rubbish. Here in Debrisville aka New Orleans we call him the Trashanova. Why? Because he’s the handsomest frakking garbage man in the frakking galaxy:   El Sid, as I like to call him, is actually just another greasy, politically connected contractor who oozed out … Continue reading The Trashanova

Why the Census Matters

Soa Census worker was attacked, killed, and left with the word “FED” marked on his chest. Aside from the obvious, why is this a big deal? First, you know there are a lot of Census survey forms that go out, but in many cases, the actual face-to-face contact by Census workers is crucial to getting anything close to an accurate count of people in this country, especially those who are most in need of government services. I’m not just talking about the decennial census, but also the various surveys like the American Community Survey that Bill Sparkman was working on … Continue reading Why the Census Matters

Today on Athenae’s Obsession with Mocking Jonah Goldberg

Wonkette’s commenters are on the case:“Suck It, Liberals Whose Only Pets are Gay Cats!” Who the hell doesn’t like dogs? You have to admit that conservatives have to set the bar for awesomeness pretty low. “Just found out that Ronald Reagan did not, in fact, skull-fuck fetal pigs every morning before breakfast. Just one more aspect of his awesomeness!” You guys can laugh, but this Jonah guy has me looking at my dogs and wondering, what’s wrong with me? It’s not really news that American conservatives are not into pussy. A. —– Continue reading Today on Athenae’s Obsession with Mocking Jonah Goldberg

The Jim Abbott Of South Louisiana

I rarely post uplifting items but there was afront page story in Sunday’s New Orleans Times-Picayune that melted my icy blue heart. It’s about Timmy Ruffino who is an eight year old little leaguer with the same disability that former big league pitcherJim Abbott overcame. Timmy calls it his “little hand.” The story is even more of a tear jerker because young Timmy and his family were flooded out of their house in St. Bernard Parish in 2005. Jim Abbott is, of course, Timmy’s idol. I guess I’m a sucker for this story because I’ve always been interested in guys … Continue reading The Jim Abbott Of South Louisiana

‘That Distinction Doesn’t Really Count for Shit Anymore’

I am buried in work this week, just buried. I would have missed this entirely but apparently I’ve trained you all so well that you find me things I like on your own. Pretty soon this blog will be irrelevant and we can just set up one big crack van where you all say much smarter things to each other than I could ever come up with. Leinie sends this one along. Taibbi: But when you shine a light on Zero Hedge, you’re taking the lightoffthe people he’s focusing on. That’s the primary problem with this kind of activity, and … Continue reading ‘That Distinction Doesn’t Really Count for Shit Anymore’

My Primary Vote, Ladies and Lolcats


Practice City

Amanda: Yes, it’s surprising that traffic on the sidewalk is coming and going, which indicates that people using the sidewalks may not be going in the same direction as you. This isn’t like Disneyland, where everyone is doing the same thing and traffic runs in one direction. This means that people will be coming up the sidewalk and it’s only polite to share it with them. It’s much like driving, in fact—push off to the right, and they’ll generally do the same. Stopping and freaking out, or skittering off into 15 different directions is not necessary. I was talking about … Continue reading Practice City

Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – Duck Soup Edition

Good morning, gentle people – My favourite Marxist philosopher (Groucho) once said (when asked to explain the plot of their new movie)“Take two turkeys, one goose, four cabbages, but no duck, and mix them together. After one taste, you’ll duck soup the rest of your life.” Well, we have turkeys, silly gooses, and cabbage-heads galore for you, so grab another cup of coffee – let’s see if we can break Typepad ! First up –Pickles defends Obama school speech – Freepers go ballistic.‏ Laura Bush defends Obama school speech CNN ^ | 09/07/2009 Posted onMonday, September 07, 2009 2:18:05 PM … Continue reading Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – Duck Soup Edition

Boundaries… Like the corners of your crotch…

(It’s like this and like that and like this… So please stop talking…) I’ve never been accused of being a prude, and I’ve never really had people worrying that they were offending my delicate sensibilities. True, I begged out of a bachelor party before my wedding because the guys planned to take me to a strip club, but that’s a different issue. Having women who use crack being willing to do “anything” for $20 (not a rip, but an actual selling point from one of the guys trying to get me to go there) doesn’t really appeal to me. I … Continue reading Boundaries… Like the corners of your crotch…

Letter From New Orleans: Comfortably Numb

It’s time for more recycling from the new guy. I posted this on July 13, 2006 and I wish I could say that we’re no longer comfortably numb in New Orleans but we’ve had a bit of a relapse. That’s what happens when one’s leaders are numbskulls: Syd Barrett’s death got me thinking in Pink Floyd song titles. A scary concept, I know.Careful With That Axe, Eugene didn’t fit the situation here in NOLA but one title nailed it:Comfortably Numb from The Wall.Comfortably numb describes the state of our political, judicial and socio-economic systems here pre-K. We were muddling through at all levels … Continue reading Letter From New Orleans: Comfortably Numb

Bored Now

Josh: Interestingly, according to the poll, support for a public option has jumped 5 points since late August andopposition to it has dropped 8 points. Emphasis mine, because of course it has. I mean, honestly. It’s hard work, sustaining that level of crazy. It’s hard work spending each and every day tracking down fake statistics and bullshit anecdotes to sustain your phony outrage. It’s hard work simply maintaining interest in something for more than ten seconds when you have the attention span of basically a four-year-old on Pixi Stix, and ain’t none of the teabaggers impressed me much in terms … Continue reading Bored Now

Care Packages

I was JOKING about needing a forklift, but it might be useful in getting all of this to the post office: It’s hard to see under all of the everything but for the record that is 25 pounds of coffee (at least, 25 is when I stopped counting the coffee), video games, snackies, hundreds of minutes of phone time, more peanuts, animal crackers, goldfish, fancy fruit-nut mixes, handfuls of candy, card games and magazines than you can fit in six priority mail boxes. I need to pick up one, maybe two more on my way home from work. Now it … Continue reading Care Packages

Quitting Time Booster Shot

Welcome to the Booster, where we enjoyed a simple ride to clear our head today and make us glad to be alive. – Had an experience today that mirroredthis article from the NYT. I was making a rather large purchase and had to take money out of one bank and give it to another so that one large check could be written. I get to the front of the line around 10 a.m. (not too horribly late in the day) and take our a few thousand dollars out of savings. “Do you mind hundreds and fifties?” the guy asks. I … Continue reading Quitting Time Booster Shot

Friday Cat Blogging

It’s time for the current generation of my kitties to make their First Draft debut. They’re the latest in a long line of knuckleheads that Dr. A and I have had over the years. The first picture involves considerable pathos. It’s Oscar (gray tabby) and Della Street (mouthy tuxedo cat) about to be evacuated for Hurricane Gustav: Now that I’ve tugged at your heartstrings (like Robin on Top Chef this week) here are some more characteristic poses. Here’s young Della Street on her stool: Finally, Oscar, the world’s largest scaredy cat, proving that he’s really a stand-up guy: Continue reading Friday Cat Blogging

Letter From New Orleans: Michel

Okay, it’s time to introduce another recurring feature from the new guy. It’s sort of anhommage to my favorite magazine, The New Yorker. They’ve been running “letters from” various places for eons. If it’s good enough for them, why not First Draft? I’d also like to show that I can do something other than snark and satire even though that’s what I do best. This is also the first post that I’ll be recycling from theAdrastos Virtual Cafe. Don’t worry, I won’t do it very often and only with pieces that I think are more or less timeless. Besides, Athenae … Continue reading Letter From New Orleans: Michel

Monetizing the News

If only there was a way to do it: Katie Couric’s annual salary is more than the entire annual budgets of NPR’sMorning Edition andAll Things Considered combined. Couric’s salary comes to an estimated $15 million a year; NPR spends $6 million a year on its morning show and $5 million on its afternoon one. NPR has seventeen foreign bureaus (which costs it another $9.4 million a year); CBS has twelve. Few figures, I think, better capture the absurd financial structure of the network news. This is not a new development, of course. It’s been unfolding since 1986, when billionaire Laurence … Continue reading Monetizing the News

So Do The Sick Kids You Stalk

Aww, Michelle has feelings! Unsurprisingly, in Lloyd Grove’s attempt to outdo Time in the random conservative psycho knob-polishing event in this week’s Stupid Olympics, there’sscant recounting of Michelle’s greatest triumph: I also passed by the Frosts’ rowhouse. There was an “01 – 20 -09″ bumper sticker plastered on the door and a newer model GMC Suburban parked directly in front of the house. I’ve seen guesstimates of the house’s worth in the $400,000-plus range. Those are high. But Mark Tapscott’s point remains: “[P]eople make choices and it’s clear the Frosts have made choice to invest in property and a business, … Continue reading So Do The Sick Kids You Stalk


From one of the links in Michael’s post aboutGlenn Beck: “A couple days after Kelly’s wife, Terry, had a miscarriage, Beck called her live on the air and says, ‘We hear you had a miscarriage,’ ” remembers Brad Miller, a former Y95 DJ and Clear Channel programmer. “When Terry said, ‘Yes,’ Beck proceeded to joke about how Bruce [Kelly] apparently can’t do anything right — about he can’t even have a baby.” Somewhere, the audio of that exists. Someone has that on tape. Think about that for a moment. A. Continue reading HEY KEITH