Does anyone else think it odd that Barack Obama (a) has pushed for a bailout of the Big Three but (b) decided to hang up the skates on his Senatorial career just before a vote on such a package? 

Do remember that the Senate is still was 49 Democrats, 49 Republicans, one independent and one wanker. Presumably, there will be no vote from Ted Kennedy. And God only knows who else would decline to show up. Unless Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D-Blithering Idiot) appoints Barry’s replacement right quick, we are looking at an operative Republican majority on this here vote. Hell, it may even be down to Bunker Boy to split a tie (voting “Evil” as is his wont).

And so: a bailout may be necessary to stave off disaster, at least a little while, but Barry has calculated that, for whatever benefits may come, voting for a bailout would not be Change We Can Believe In. Sneaky.


There is no end to the kind of shenanigans which Caligutard & Co. could pull during the lame duck session, all of which Hope & Change Inc. will have to reverse. However, I would like to think that Congress would all be lazy enough to just twiddle their thumbs and play hide-the-salami with their interns and pages during about 8 riotous weeks of a non-stop Lame Duck Session Going Away/Non-Denominational Holiday Party.

Probably another chess move leading to an ability to say that nothing before 1/20/09 is his doing. Given who is in charge right now, who can blame him?

Perhaps he knows it wouldn’t pass anyway, or that Bush will veto it, and is counting on his promise to do it after 1/20 as being sufficient to keep the domestics from bankruptcy before then? Maybe?

@Promnight: I don’t think the Formerly Big 3 will go into the tank by Jan 20. Obama can let the Repugs look like the union-hating assholes they are and then try to fix things in Jan and Feb. I don’t claim to really have a clue about how to fix the financial mess, but it does seem to me that, as you suggested, the biggest problem isn’t the nature of the cars Detroit is putting out — the Japanese cars aren’t selling either — but that people are scared to buy anything. That would include me. What would make me not scared is the feeling that, in 15 years or so, I could retire and not have to eat cat food.

For a fun read on the Wall Street mess, check out:

@Dodgerblue: What, you’re not counting on your children and grandchildren to support you in your old age? Lucky for me both of my parents were government employees and retired under the old pension system, because I’m barely keeping myself from eating cat food, let alone them.

I’m sure Prommie could come up with some recipes to make cat food quite delectable. And that stuff is more expensive than a can of garbanzo beans, as I remember from my cat-guardian days…

@SanFranLefty: I’ll be eating ramen so I can buy the cats their expensive prescription food. I’m smoking and drinking like a fiend because I can’t afford to live past retirement.

@Mistress Cynica:
An engineer I work with calls retirement the Freedom 85 plan. I honestly don’t expect to retire.

Odd that just 8 years ago, many of my classmates were talking about the Freedom 35 plan till the tech bubble took care of that.

FYI: A Canada City insurance company runs a retirement investment plan called Freedom 55 (aka retire at 55.)

@ManchuCandidate: Retire at 35? Seriously? Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?!

Several of my friends and former classmates were internet/tech stock option millionaires at the tender age of 30 (net “worth” was somewhere in the neighborhood of 4-8 million.)

Now? Not so much. Despite the fact that I work in high tech, I didn’t end up working for one of the stockmarket darlings till the party was just about to end. At the time I was annoyed that I didn’t get stock options. Now, don’t care especially after I heard what my friends had to go thru to deal with the tax man.

Mistress Cynica: Now wait. Smoking and drinking may get you out of the whole retirement planning thing, but the health care bills on the back end are no picnic either.

Do what I do. Smoke and drink because it is fun.

ManchuCandidate: Please recall that I went to Stanford in the late 90s, where every CS major had champagne wishes. Now they all have mortgages that are about to ‘splode and negative job security. Weird business, life is.

@ManchuCandidate: Yes. If you’re not in with the founders, you are spending a lot of time with tax lawyers.

@chicago bureau: when were you planning on to tell JNOV and me that you once trotted around the farm? you’ve been sitting by quietly while my friend Dodger has ragged on the Cardinal and Shallow Alto, and JNOV and I have had to defend their honor? did you ever spot Condi back in your days? Chelsea?

@SanFranLefty: My kids both want to be public school teachers. They’ll be asking me for money when I’m being lowered into the grave.

@Dodgerblue: Well, at least they aren’t clamoring to be public interest attorneys. They’d make less than a public school teacher and have three times the student loan debt.

@SanFranLefty: What, you’re suggesting that the psychic value of what we do doesn’t make up for the fact that we’re making way less than a first-year associate at a big LA or SF law firm?

@SanFranLefty: Always the dried legumes, my Lefty, cans are so much more expensive, even the chick peas, and I know they are not a legume, but they do make the hummus, which is a staple I could live on.

But you must have a pressure cooker, its not a matter of convenience, its a matter of saving fuel, otherwise the fuel usage eats up the savings of buying dried beans.

If I had to do a poverty food plan, well, Ramen, works for billions, but I would go with this:

Flour and Masa. Learn to make your own unleavened breads, tortillas, flatbreads, and if ya can get a mother going, do stovetop yeast bread, pita.

Dried legumes, and chick peas. Lentils, black beans, cannellini, great northern. Thats some variety. And get some mung beans too, and sprout them for your fresh veggie.

Hot sauce by the gallon is still cheap.

Oil. Just a few spices, onions and garlic, jalapenos, tomatoes.

With these basics, and the occasional treat of chicken legs or turkey wings or ham hocks or pork shoulder, whatever is $.89 a pound, I could live and be happy, I think.

SanFranLefty: There was, a while back, a big topic of conversation in re Stanford, U$C, etc., in which I defended L.S.J.U. fairly well. (I would have stuck up for Stanford more vigorously than I did, but we were talking about football so it was kind of difficult, unfortunately.) I do miss Stanford so.

Condi: saw her once, walking past the Quad. Was going by in my bike the other way — brazenly fast, as was the style at the time. No desire to crash into her, for I do have a moral code. (Sorry.)

Chelsea: three stories (there would be more, but I was a year ahead of her).

(1) During the Band Run (i.e., the Stanford Band running around campus on the first night of Orientation so that all of the frosh can, you know, frolic and such), I happened to be in town for Sophomore College (during which I got to meet, of all people, Bill Rehnquist). And so I joined in the Band Run, just for fun. Running across the Tressider parking lot, I look to my right and there, two feet in front of me, is Chelsea — one more step and it would have been an open field tackle. Crisis / Secret Service interrogation narrowly averted. On her first night on campus, no less.

(2) Assclown from Star Magazine comes to the radio station where I was prepping for a three-hour show. Assclown asks about fistfight between Chelsea and Carolyn Starr that she heard about. Assclown politely shown door. (Politely, for Star Magazine hacks, includes a maximum of three curse words with a maximum of two direct objects used with said curse words.)

(3) Chelsea and I were signed up for the same philospohy seminar, which she learned in the first day would be about sex, morality, and the law. She dropped it after the first class.

@chicago bureau: Because she realized the futility of trying to regulate sexual morality through law?

Prommie: Try again. Hint: seminar was in Fall Quarter 1999.

@Prommie: Because she realized any thought she expressed might be picked up by some assclown in the media and be used against one or both of her parents. Also, guessing some of the discussions could have become awkward for her.

@chicago bureau: SF was crawling this weekend with fans of the University of Spoiled Children up for the big rematch of the biggest upset EVAH. Unfortunately LSJU performed as expected. Generally when the discussion turns to the performance of the football team I change the subject to the Band.

@Prommie: That, or her nerves were probably still a little raw since this was the same time her dad was getting impeached for diddling an intern.

@SanFranLefty: Hey, the Farm did OK for 3 quarters. And speaking of Figueroa Tech, I was on campus recently for a piano recital by a friend and I made a wrong turn on my way back to the parking lot, finding myself in front of Tommy Trojan. My hands went involuntarily to my zipper, one of my lifetime ambitions being to pee on the statue. Regrettably, there were too many people around.

@chicago bureau: @Mistress Cynica: Oh, I knoweded that, just being kidding-like and stuff.

@SanFranLefty: @Dodgerblue: Y’all see that Hopey McUnicorn actually spent considerable time on 60 minutes discussing the BCS and his preference for a 3 round playoff to determined the college championship?

I knew there was a reason I love that unicorn; he actually promised to use his office, to “throw his weight around” to try to make it happen! I loves me some Unicorn now.

I mean, ending wars, closing down our secret prisons, ending torture, protecting the environment, shutting down the republican corporate kleptocratic system of massive systemic corruption, sure, I expected all this from Hopey, but fixing the BCS and creating a national division 1 playoff system? Thats off the charts. Go, Hopey.

@Prommie: Yes, that part of the interview made me laugh, especially Michelle’s “Don’t mind me” response. I told Mr. SFL he gets the same look on his face discussing Dead shows that Unicorn had discussing the football playoffs. He told me I get the same eye-rolling look on my face that Michelle had when he goes on about Dead shows.

I think the BCS playoff would be totes cool and about fricken time.

@SanFranLefty: yes, with a playoff, as opposed to this ridiculous popularity contest, them weak nancy-boy teams out there on the west coast would have to face the monsters of the SEC before they get to any championship game, with predictable results.

Noder Dame would no longer get its pity-cult votes, either.

The Big 2 and the 10 dwarfs would see some real competition too.

@Prommie: I agree. The Big 10 would need to learn how to defend what we in the West call the “forward pass.” Possibly, that’s all those guys will learn in their college careers.

Prommie, SanFranLefty: For real, now — is there a postseason system anywhere in the world that makes less sense than the BCS?

The Winston Sprint Cup chase? Somewhat contrived, and excludes the two road race tracks — but it makes sense somehow. Same for the goafers’ FedEx Cup.

Aggregate / away goals in soccer? No. If you win, you win. Simple. But, again: based in at least some sort of logic.

But no college football playoff because, by God, room must be made for the Poulan Weed-Eater Bowl, featuring an 8-4 major conference team and a 9-3 team from a scrub conference. To do otherwise would be TREASON. Really.

Dodgerblue: Now, now. You have seen a handful of people airing it out in the Big 11 in the past decade or so. Those who have done it have been rewarded, on occasion. Tom Brady, for one, over at Meeeshigan.

But, of course, being a Stanford guy, I am completely sold on the West Coast Offense and will proselytize for it like a totally, obviously non-Mormon member of the LDS church against the marrying of the gays.

@chicago bureau: Olympics gymnastics scoring makes more sense than the BCS.

@rptrcub, lefty, dodger: I made less as a beginning legal aid lawyer on the Navajo reservation than I did as a reporter with a few years experience and a handful or prizes.

@redmanlaw: When I started as a staff atty at San Fernando Valley Neighborhood Legal Services, Inc. in lovely Pacoima, CA in 1975, I was paid $800/month. And my car, an old VW, got better mileage than my Subie does now.

@redmanlaw: Nice. Nixon is also on my list.

@chicago bureau: But no college football playoff because, by God, room must be made for the Poulan Weed-Eater Bowl

Go Ducks!

@nojo: new Mexico is not bowl eligible this year, so the New Mexico Bowl is scrambling for a team like BYU whose fans travel or Air Force who might draw the zoomies from the base.

@redmanlaw: And there you have it: Oregon fans have a reputation for putting butts in bowl seats, no matter how pitiful the sponsor. And the whole bowl system is an exercise in winter holiday travel. You can have playoffs soon as you figure out the payoffs.

My favorite used to be Sandy Eggo’s own Toilet Bowl, but Culligan no longer sponsors the event. A cultural loss.

My knowledge of political geography was enhanced by the association of the Orange Bowl with Fla, the Sugar Bowl with the south, etc. etc.

The most my kids are learning is the relative worth of snack food companies.

@redmanlaw: @nojo: Texas A&M fans will travel anywhere in the world to see them play/lose, so Aggies v. Ducks in the New Mexico Bowl would sell out the stadium. Of course, then ABQ and Santa Fe would be crawling with Aggies, so there’s a downside…..

@SanFranLefty: . . . and clogging up our ski areas even more than usual with cries of “eeee-haw” ringing across the bunny slopes. I think they’ll be giving away the tickets by game day.

nojo: You joke, but Sandy Eggo actually has a semi-legit non-New Years’ Day Week bowl with the Holiday Bowl, which is usually a good game.

Shoot. If I were the God of Sports, the Division I-A bowls would be limited thusly —


That’s it. Ten stinking bowl games, with a reasonable geographic distribution. And no corporate sponsorship / takeover of names. (Sorry, Chick-fil-A: Peach…. Bowl.) Add on one all-star / scouting combine bowl (the Senior Bowl, for kids that actually, ahem, stayed in school), and that would do it.

This would actually permit an eighteen-team play-off: two play-in games, four rounds thereafter. So simple, even the NCAA could do it.

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