Tuesday, January 20, 2009


As of 12:04 EST, The President of the United States:

Congratulations Mr. President and God bless.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Happy MLK Day!

He saw the promise land:

I have a dream:

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Obama Almost Here

Two more days to Christmas, um, I mean the swearing in of Obama. Obama has called on people to use MLK day tomorrow, the day before his election, as a national day of service. Find a project here.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Greatest Sitcom Ever

Ok, here's the pitch:
The sitcom's lead character is about the President of the United States. So it's like Spin City except it's in the White House, so Spin City meets West Wing! And get this, HE'S BLACK! Like Benson, but if Benson was the mayor! Yeah, crazy, but it gets better. Ok see the president's mother-in-law MOVES INTO THE WHITE HOUSE WITH HIM! Right! So it's cutting edge racially progressive, I mean, a black President is WAY past Different Strokes (I mean, a rich white guy adopting not one but TWO black kids? Move over Webster!), but ALSO it's a family comedy like "Everybody Loves Raymond." I'm telling you, sure fire hit!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


For those with a taste for change.

Reid Is WAG

As atrios notes here, Sen. H. Reid looks like he's planning to fold again in the face of stiff opposition. On the merits of seating Burris I'm a bit agnostic. On strictly legal grounds there is a case for denying him the seat and a case for the idea that such a denial would be improper (see here for a general discussion).

But on the political front, this shows just what a weak player Harry Reid is. In poker terms, Harry Reid is a WAG: Weak AGressive. In terms of poker typology, this is basically the type of player that is actively looking to give their chips away. Aggressive players generally raise with inferior holdings, always bet draws, and tend to bluff at any unraised pot post flop. They want to put their money in the middle. Weak players tend to fold when they should not if pressure is applied. They will fold straight and flush draws even when they have the pot odds to call, they will raise then fold with top pair, and generally rarely call any all in unless they have the nuts (the best possible hand). In other words, WAGs are the worst of both worlds. They aggressively build up the stakes, but then fail to fight for them by following through.

But back to Reid: politically he's a WAG. Time and time again, he will talk tough, generating press and hyping expectations of a showdown, only to fold to pressure when the other side is willing to commit to a fight. Harry Reid did a great job of leading the Minority, several times out maneuvering the inept Bill Frist with parliamentary procedure, but as a majority leader he's been weak. He needs to learn to either fight or shut his damn mouth if he ain't going to.

Celebration Time For Franken

In honor of Franken's achievement, I bring you: Al Franken in tight pants imitating Mick Jagger!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Meet The Junior Senator From Minnesota

Congratulations Senator Franken.

Today the Minnesota state canvassing board officially certified Al Franken the winner by 225 votes, a margin of 0.0077% and Al Franken has declared victory. It should be noted that Coleman has not yet conceded defeat. Coleman may well continue legal challenges (though one seeking to count certain rejected absentee ballots was denied by the Minnesota Supreme Court today).

The certification by the board makes it very difficult for Coleman to win any legal challenge. The certification is the final step by the canvassing board officials, i.e. the people charged with actually counting the votes. This decision means that legally Franken is presumed to be the nominee, and any challenge by Coleman will bear a much heavier burden of persuasion. Think of it like the NFL replay rule: the call on the field is presumed to be right unless the replay indisputably shows that it should be overturned.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Chaos In Gaza

As no doubt you are aware by now, Israel decided to celebrate the New Year with 6 days of bombings in the Gaza strip (although to be fair to the Israelis, it's not THEIR new year). The Israeli defense forces only target Hamas targets, but when you're dropping bombs in a densely populated city (imagine an intensive bombing campaign in Philadelphia which has about the same population density as the Gaza strip) a few children die. It's the thought that counts though right?

On a more serious note, Ezra Klein makes a very good point here.
To make it more concrete, in July, the Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem reported that 123 Israeli minors had been killed by Palestinians since the second intifada began in 2000, compared with 951 Palestinian minors killed by Israeli security forces. Israel's supporters emphasize that the children were not killed purposefully, but were collateral damage of targeted operations. By contrast, Palestinian suicide bombers have targeted children directly. Israelis define their struggle in contrast to the intentions of Hamas. Palestinians define their struggle in terms of the actions of the Israelis.

It's true, Israel never intends to kill civilians. And it's true that terrorists intentionally target civilians. As Ezra says, "If Hamas lay down all its weapons, Israel would lift its blockade. If Israel lay down all its weapons, Hamas would kill as many Israelis as it could." But in practical terms Israel is far more successful at doing by accident what Hamas has been trying to do on purpose.

Official College Football Day

New Year's Day is more or less the official college football watching holiday. It used to be that all the major bowls were held today, but with the proliferation of bowl games and the coming of the BCS that's no longer true. Still there are several bowl games today, including the only two I'll probably watch this year unless I watch the "BCS National Championship Game" which is not until January EIGHTH(?)(!).

Anyway, Carolina lost in embarrassing fashion this morning to Iowa. Thankfully Clemson lost to Nebraska, so it wasn't a total waste.