|random thoughts and thoroughbred selections|
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Saturday, April 07, 2007
The Video I'd Post Here If I Were Bob
BG's Household Hints
So, assume for a minute you've got a down comforter, and that down comforter has a tear through which it is spilling its feathers. Every time you take the duvet off or put the duvet on, feathers get all over the place.
Let's further assume you want to clean up the mess and fix the comforter. Follow these steps:
2) Open the tear wider so that you may get the nozzle of the vacuum hose inside
3) Get in there and start sucking the feathers out of the tear with the vacuum (failing, of course, to realize that the tear in the middle of the comforter isn't for a sewn-off segment of feathers - it goes into the entire pile of filling)
4) Give up on the vacuuming after sucking feathers nearer to the tear, causing the spillage to be worse.
5) Get your hotel-swiped "sewing kit" from the kitchen. Spend ten minutes to thread a needle in order to sew the tear shut.
6) Fail to realize that every time you push the threaded needle through the inside of the tear, you effectively harpoon feathers which attach themselves to the thread, which effectively knot the thread and prevent it from being effectively pulled completely through the threading. Realize this quickly, having punctured the fabric exactly twice before failing.
7) Break thread off when jammed instead of cutting it, causing a whiplash effect to the area around the tear, ejecting feathers into the air at an unprecedented rate.
8) Admit defeat, roll up comforter and shove in a garbage bag, either for storage or disposal - likely the latter.
9) Vacuum feathers from bed, causing dust canister to fill with feathers and making the motor whine at a dangerously high pitch
10) Empty dust canister into garbage can, ejecting feathers all over the kitchen as you attempt to do so
11) Realize that feathers are static-charged and clinging to the plastic in the dust canister. Attempt to get them out by hand, ejecting more feathers into the kitchen air
12) Give up on dry cleaning the dust canister, spray it down and dry it
13) Throw away paper towels used to dry. When opening the trash can, fail to realize that dropping wet paper towels on a pile of loose feathers will eject even more feathers into the air
14) Blog about it when your sense of humor returns three hours later.
Friday, April 06, 2007
CJ and I have been talking about Mitt Romney's announcement regarding the first quarter fundraising numbers this week, and I've been interested to hear his take. CJ doesn't think Romney is appealing to true conservatives, nor as strong a figure on the homeland security side as someone like Giuliani. I wasn't sure what to think, but I found the $20M he raised to be a huge surprise. It obviously stamps him as a serious player, even though he's not polling as strong as Giuliani at present. I found a couple of articles today that are helping to crystallize my thoughts, and had written the post below as an email to CJ. Rather than send it, I thought I'd post it.
Mitt raised his $20M with only 33,000 donors, compared to Obama's $25M through 100,000 donors. It's instructive, I think, to ask why there's a difference between the two extreme models of fundraising here and what that means. Check this article out:
Romney Used His Wealth to Enlist Richest Donors [New York Times]
It details how Romney has created a system of PACs and controlled a couple of other fundraising organs which allow him to raise huge amounts of money from donors with deep pockets. Here's a snippet:
At the start of the first quarter of this year, for example, Mr. Romney lent his campaign $2.35 million to pay for an elaborate demonstration of just how fast he could raise money from others. He rented the Boston convention center, furnished it with more than 400 laptop computers, loaded each with custom software and had more than 400 telephone lines installed.Obviously, you aren't asking the CEO-caliber donors making the calls to randomly dial their way through the phone book. I think it's a safe leap to make to assume these CEO volunteers were asked to call people just like themselves, and I would bet the sales pitch is fundamentally similar to what Obama's pitch to the grass roots Dem small pocket donor is: Romney is just like you, he understands your politics and your values, and will represent your needs holding the highest office in the land.
When I heard $20M was the number from the Romney folks this week, I was a little shocked. Reading this puts it all into perspective. Your party isn't a grassroots organization, despite the Big Tent rhetoric. It is the party that is centrally driven by the interests of industry and commerce, and if industry and commerce want to get behind a candidate, they're going to drive that candidate into the nomination. This is certainly what appears to be happening, and compared to his competition, Mitt just fits in this space. No one else has the CEO credentials and credibility Mitt has.
I firmly believe two things right now. One, Romney is being sheltered from public scrutiny at present, simply by not being as visible as the other contenders. It's like the small forward who could have been a top five lottery pick in the NBA, but chose to go back for his Junior year instead. The more the scouts see him, the more they find things to nitpick in his game (and go for the bright and shiny eighteen-year-old seven-foot Serb with the perceived higher "upside" instead). Principally, the less we see of Mitt now, the more he can be positioned with the right rhetorical framework and marketing campaign when he does turn the campaign on full force later. This is an awfully shrewd move from whoever is handling the guy.
The second thing I believe? He's going to be the nominee. Money drives politics - not just on your side. How many of those 100,000 Obama donors will donate again? He'll be lucky to have 33,000 repeat donors, but will inevitably pick up new ones along the campaign to replace some of those he's lost. How many of Romney's 33,000 will give again? If there were any way to validate this, I'd bet you $100 right now that he gets 25,000 of those donors to give again - and again. He's targeting the deep-pocket donors who have a proven track record of supporting Republican candidates. Someone is going to get that money, and so far that someone looks to be Mitt Romney.
Forget all the bullshit about "family values" (even though Romney has this in spades compared to McCain/Giuliani/Gingrich) and this notion of "true conservative" credentials when you think about who is and isn't a "serious" candidate. If Romney is going to be the favored candidate of the biggest donors on the Republican side of the aisle, he's going to get the nom.
(h/t to Devilstower at DailyKos, who's even more cynical about this than I am. A great read though - Mitt Romney's Political Pyramid)
Clarifying a point I made above - "Your party isn't a grassroots organization, despite the Big Tent rhetoric. It is the party that is centrally driven by the interests of industry and commerce, and if industry and commerce want to get behind a candidate, they're going to drive that candidate into the nomination."
This is intended to be a different statement than "Republicans are beholden to the lobby and special interest groups that represent industry and commerce." Instead, what I mean, is that the wealthiest Americans vote for their economic interests over any such ideals as "abortion" or "gay marriage" or abstract concepts such as "national security." These wealthiest Americans want to continue to operate in an environment that is favorable to the preservation and augmentation of their wealth, as they have the money and power to not really worry a great deal about access to things like abortion or personal security, if these things are a personal priority.
These individuals are wealthy precisely because they control industry and commerce. They are Republican donors because they feel this party best represents their core economic values, and their money has bought them access and a voice in the shaping of policy. That they are seemingly aligning themselves with Romney, putting their financial weight in his corner, is hardly insignificant and merits watching.
Obviously, Dems have deep pocket donors, many of whom are major players in industry and commerce. This discussion is not meant to put a good/bad Dem/Repub paradigm in place. The Romney campaign is only significant in current terms when compared to McCain's or Giuliani's or the probable entry of Thompson (the actor, not the cheesehead nutball). The point I'm making is that if the big base of deep pocket Republican donors lines up in large numbers behind Romney, he's going to get the nomination regardless of how he plays to "the base" of the party.
Thursday, April 05, 2007
I won a short story contest at Dethroner.com last week.
A real short story. Six words. My winning entry:
Losing creative spark... Call Ted McGinley!
Apparently, I win a kazoo. Whoo hoo! Anyway, share your six word stories in my comments, although they couldn't kick as much ass as mine did.
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
Taste the Smear
As a dog owner, I'm absolutely sympathetic to reasonable approaches to animal rights. Wear your furs, eat your pork chops, drink your milk - that's all fine by me. But I think we can come to a pretty strong consensus that there's a line we probably shouldn't cross when dealing with animals. Like, um, I dunno... demonstrating surgical products on a dog, then putting the dog down after the demo?
I don't know why I'm so amused by this article then:
Judith Giuliani once demonstrated surgical products for a controversial medical-supply company that used dogs - which were later killed - in operations whose only purpose was to sell equipment to doctors, The Post has learned.Well, that's good to hear. I mean, she was selling supplies to doctors, and doctors treat our wounded troops. Is the New York Post against the troops? Why would they even bring this up, unless they hate America?
"It was a horribly cruel, outrageous program," Friends of Animals President Priscilla Feral said about the demonstrations of medical staplers on dogs conducted by U.S. Surgical Corp. employees during Giuliani's tenure there in the late 1970s.Come on Post, your liberal bias is showing. Are you now saying you're against the effective closing of wounds suffered by our troops? Terrorists opened those wounds. Why do you support terrorists? (And is anyone else amused by an animal rights activist named "Feral?")
In Sunday's Post, Rudy Giuliani's presidential campaign spokesman, Michael McKeon, said of Judi Giuliani's work with U.S. Surgical, "She was in the operating room hundreds of times, using her nursing skills and training doctors in the stapling technique."She's a nurse, as was Florence Nightengale, who was an important woman in our fight against the British that gave us the freedom today that our troops are fighting for. Why does the New York Post hate liberty?
Finally, he said only that Judi had not been involved in procuring dogs for sales demonstrations - but did not comment on whether she participated in demonstrations involving dogs.Well, that settles that then. She didn't actually procure the dogs herself, so there's nothing to see here. America. Terrorists. Liberal Media.
The company, now part of Tyco Healthcare, has long acknowledged its salespeople routinely demonstrated staples on anesthetized dogs as part of sales pitches to doctors.See? This is all about security. The Democrat media machine wants to distract you and draw sympathy for these poor, noble pooches that died in the name of security, and therefore, freedom. These dogs are heroes, and Judy Giuliani is a canineheromaker.
Anyone who thinks otherwise is a MoveOn.org-PETA-Loving-Vegan-East-Coast-Bleeding-Heart-Liberal who is basically the same as a terrorist.
Bill Simmons @ ESPN
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