Norbizness is my hero

Norbizness watched the debates last night, so I didn’t have to. “But… But….” I hear you say, “aren’t you worried about not being ‘informed’?”

Well, if not knowing a fucking thing about anything doesn’t bother the President, why should it bother me?

Plus, The Mighty Norb has the transcript:

Here’s the transcript, with alterations and severe compacting, of course.

BUSH: Good evening. Tonight I will discuss two vital priorities for the American people, and then I’ll answer your questions, even the ones from people who don’t fellate me.

You want cheap gas. I want it too. Maybe somebody could help a brotha out. There will be no price gouging at gas pumps in America. You’re going to take your reaming by the Saudis straight, with no chaser.

So here’s my four-point program: (1) conservate (2) innovate (3) hydrogenate and (4) help others conservate. None of this is really in the so-called “energy bill,” which is mostly a series of giveaways to bloated multinational oil corporations. Which is a good thing, but there’s no time to explain.

Congress also needs to address the challenges facing Social Security. I’ve traveled the country to talk with selected groups of highly screened but still strangely unenthusiastic American people. They were like dead fish, all pasty and unresponsive. Oh, that reminds me… whatever I say here tonight, do not apply the same reasoning to Medicare. I know fuck-all about Medicare. OK, then.

There are a lot of baby boomers. They will be retiring. Logan’s Run is not yet a reality. Therefore, Social Security will go bankrupt 20 years after Japan and China foreclose on the American government with their super-currency.

There’s more.

Tiger Drop

Well, today’s officially the day. Tiger is available for general release. I love this “article” at I think Steve Jobs has a mole.

Despite a much smaller user base, Mac OS X has been steps ahead of Microsoft’s Windows on key fronts since its first release in 2001.

It’s got more advanced and polished graphics. It’s less prone to malicious attacks. And Macs look better than nearly all Windows PCs.

Until recently, Apple has been dogged by a reputation for high prices. Its computers now start at $499, and the number of programs that run on them has grown dramatically. Tiger provides another incentive to switch from Windows.

Personally, I am not yet sold on the new appearance of I really loved the last iteration of I am prepared to give it a chance. I have only had it for about 48 hours (I have my sources) so I don’t have strong opinions about any aspect of Tiger, yet.

But rest assured, I will.

Ahmed Chalabi: The Athletes Foot of Mesopotamia

This guy will not go away. Unbelievable.

Iraq failed to name an oil minister for its new government on Thursday and controversial politician Ahmad Chalabi was appointed acting minister of an industry plagued by sabotage attacks and uncertainty.

Wasn’t he headed for Tehran in the trunk of a car last time we heard from him?

Right, this guy:

Members of the political organization headed by Ahmed Chalabi are suspected of providing information to Iran on U.S. troop positions in Iraq and of kidnapping a prominent physician from his home, according to U.S. and Iraqi officials familiar with three investigations into a group the Bush administration once favored to run postwar Iraq.

It’s a Bush Country Double Double

Ah, life in the Red States

SANFORD, Fla. — The Seminole County sheriff’s office said a Volusia County man is in custody on his 16th drunken-driving arrest.

Mitchell Raulerson, 55, of Seville, was stopped in Sanford by an officer who was suspicious about his hand-drawn license plate.

Raulerson is also charged with driving on a permanently revoked driver’s license and driving an unregistered and uninsured vehicle.

A Seminole sheriff’s sergeant said Raulerson’s speech was slurred, his eyes were bloodshot and he had empty beer cans in his van.

Well, at least this happened in Jeblandia, not in Brother George’s Texas….

Eleven of his arrests came in Texas.


Just another dead, gay, drug-addicted republican election fixer…

I have to hand it to the NY Times… it has to be difficult to serve this up without blinking… I mean, it must take an urban dispassion that I can only aspire to. (“A gay, drug-addicted republican election fixer…? It happens all the time around here, son. We got a million of them. Look at dear Karl… Brush those hayseeds out of your hair…”)

ON the morning of Saturday, Feb. 26, a day before the Academy Awards, the actress Carrie Fisher woke up in her Beverly Hills home next to the lifeless body of a gay Republican political operative named R. Gregory Stevens.

Before its abrupt end, Mr. Stevens’s journey had taken him from the beaches of San Clemente, Calif., and the slopes of Sun Valley, Idaho, all the way up the Republican ranks to a job in the first Bush White House at age 26. And it launched him on a jet-setting career as a political fixer manipulating elections in backrooms and palaces from Costa Rica to Croatia, Thailand to Togo, South Korea to the former Soviet Union.

AND… and to run the story in the “Arts and Leisure” section?

That’s so “We refuse to be phased by this…”

I am not worthy.

220… 221, whatever it takes.

Ever get the impression the Bush White House just throws darts at a board to see who gets what job?

Karen Hughes as “the Bush administration’s choice for a State Department post designed to change Islamic perceptions about America.” Uh. What?

John Bolton, in the words of former colleague Frederick Vreeland:

“Bolton has none of the qualities needed for that job,” Frederick Vreeland, a former U.S. ambassador to Morocco, said in an e-mail to the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “On the contrary, he has all the qualities needed to harm the image and objectives in the U.N. and its affiliated international organizations. If it is now U.S. policy not to reform the U.N but to destroy it, Bolton is our man.”

Add these incompetents to the list with Bernard Kerik and everyone’s favorite White House Reporter/Male Escort (like you need a link for THAT…). What the hell’s going on up there?

All these appointments are clearly made along the fault lines of the President’s perception if who is most loyal, not who is most qualified. I would guess this would be a natural reaction for a man who isn’t terribly bright trying to cope with the many defections which have occurred in the last two years. Makes me wonder if the President is running right past competent people in favor of people who he knows won’t publicly contradict the Administrations coddling of theocrats, abandoning of science and mindless worship at the altar of the NeoCons.

On a more speculative note, this speaks volumes about the institutional paranoia that seems to be gripping the White House, what with loyalty oaths for public gatherings, screenings for Lefty “Troublemakers” at these scripted public appearances and the manhandling of the media that has become the hallmark of this administration… Is this the beginnings of the spectacular flameout, a la Jew-obsessed Richard Nixon?

Popcorn, anyone?

How good is Uglesich’s restaurant?

Well, it’s in New Orleans and its obit is in the NY Times.

Five days a week, 11 months a year, lines have formed outside the ramshackle building, which displays a sign from the long-defunct Jax Brewery in one window. On Good Friday this year, customers began arriving at 9 in the morning, even though the restaurant does not open for lunch, the only meal it serves, until 10:30. Soon there were more than 200 people in line, and the sun was setting as the last of the day’s 400-odd clients were being served.

All this with just 10 tables inside and 6 on the sidewalk outside.

Soon Uglesich’s will close forever, at least in its present form. Anthony and Gail Uglesich are exhausted, worn out by years of rising at 4:30 and working flat-out all day. Balding, bearlike, Mr. Uglesich, 66, told me he would shut the doors in mid-May, but he has renewed his liquor license, just in case he finds retirement miserable.

Man, this place is incredible. 16 tables total, and I had three of the best meals of my life there. For once I can read the NY Times’ Food page and say “I ate there!”

The last time I ate there, I had a dozen raw oysters (it was winter, or at least, as much winter as New Orleans gets), half a shrimp and oyster Po’ Boy and a plate of shrimp and grits. Mercy, was it good. I hate to see something like Uglesich go away. But it sounds like these folks have earned some down time.

Hey, check this out

Looks like there might be a Solar Tower coming to the US after all. All those plans I made for keeping myself in grits and groceries for a Post-Peak Oil world might not be necessary.

An Australian company and its American counterpart are scouring the Southwest for a site to build a mammoth, multimillion-dollar solar tower project aimed at using hot air to produce emission-free electricity that could supply about 200,000 homes.

El Paso is among areas being looked at, along with sites in other parts of West Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada and California, said Roger Davey, executive chairman and CEO of EnviroMission Ltd., based in Melbourne, Australia.

A decision on a site in the United States is “months away, not years away,” Davey said.

Thanks to Jesse at In Search of Telford for the heads up.

Mac Users: $20k a month more smug

They don’t call Micro$oft “The Evil Empire” for nothing: has learned that Microsoft is currently paying a $20,000 a month retainer to former Christian Coalition head Ralph Reed’s consulting firm Century Strategies. Which now begs the question of whether Reed was in any way involved with Microsoft’s recent decision to abandon its decades long support for gay civil rights in order to curry favor with anti-gay bigots of the radical right.

I have to wonder if this is protection money. Oh, wait, as I read down, it appears that’s exactly what it’s for:

Now, just think a minute. Microsoft finds itself under criticism from the local evangelical leader, religious right shareholders, bigoted employees and who knows who else. They don’t know what to do. Who do they turn to? Well, if I’m in a religious right pickle, I’d turn to my $20,000 a month retainered religious right consultant, the former leader of the religious right, Ralph Reed.

Picture the scene:

The year is 1999. Ralph Reed and half a dozen guys with crooked teeth and no necks enter the office of Bill Gates.

Reed: Nice multi-billion dollar empire ya got here. (Reed steps between Gates and the screen of his laptop.) Be a shame if something happened to it.

Gates: (nervously) Whaddya mean? I run an honest, er, successful business here. We have 90% of the market share.

One of Reed’s minions, Cletus, knocks over a million dollar Armani end table and stomps it into kindling.

Gates: Hey, it took me ten minutes to raise the money to pay for that table!

Cletus grins, baring a tobacco-juice stained set of gnarled choppers.

Reed: Look, Bill. I have the ear of the next President of the United States. How do I know that? Let’s just say I have it on VERY reliable sources. SUPREME sources. (He chuckles, then looks around. The minions join in, braying and spraying tobacco juice all over the white carpet. Reed continues-) You got a little anti-trust problem? We can make it go away. Or not. You want 50 million Christians to boycott your little operating system? I can make that happen, too.

Gates: (stammering) But you people don’t use computers. You don’t even believe in evolution!

Reed: (shouting) WE CAN FIGURE OUT AOL, BITCH! Don’t make me pull out the NUCULAR OPTION!

Gates: Good lord, don’t you mean “nuclear”?

Reed: SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP! Cletus, straighten Mr. Gates’ tie!

Cletus: He ain’t wearing no tie.


Cletus grabs Gates by the throat.

Reed: (shouting into Gates’ ear) Look, Pal, you may be the richest man in the world, but the Justice Department is going to belong to Us, soon, and we can make it easy for you or hard for you, GOT THAT?! You choose! We can make you squeal like a pig, Mr. Gates!!

Reed nods and Cletus releases Gates, who falls into his $40,000 chair, gasping.

Reed: (Turning to leave, then over his shoulder as he flicks specks of dust off of his brown suit-) Have a nice day, Mr. Gates. Jesus loves you.