There are very few things in politics that can be said with certainty or even near-certainty, but here’s one that I’m close to 100% sure about: there’s a whole host of staffers in the White House praying that California doesn’t legalize pot this Fall.
If you haven’t been following, the odds of legal pot next year on the west coast are about even money. There’s both a bill in the Assembly and, more importantly, a referendum on the November ballot that is polling above 50% right now. And we’re not talking Massachusetts-style decriminalization, or even Amsterdam-style psuedo-legalization. We’re talking totally legal, commercial production, distribution, sale, and consumption. Five points: Read more »
So since I last reported on saving 80% at Safeway, I’ve done some coupon maven-ing here and there. I bought five tubes of high-end toothpaste (Colgate with baking soda peroxide) for zero cents; I paid 72 cents for two bottles of shampoo, two Old Spice deodorants, a fancy new Schick Quattro razor and a refill pack of titanium blades, bringing to mind my favorite Onion article that actually came true; I learned that my Safeway has an unadvertised policy of doubling any manufacturer’s coupon under $1, making every 75 cent coupon quite vaulable; and I got a teenage girl working the register at Safeway to blurt out “Jesus fucking Christ” in awe after I paid less than $20 for a mostly-full cart of groceries.
But I’ve also learned that Safeway is not the best place to execute these tricks. It’s CVS. Hands down. For three reasons: Read more »
Several times in the last few weeks, I’ve seen claims made about “the south.” Things like polling data that reported regional cross-tabs, political analysts claiming something distinctive about the region and the 2010 election, or just a friend conjecturing about some regional cultural phenomenon. And, as usual, none of the sources defined what they meant by “the south.” Which makes it pretty hard to assess the claim. Of course, part of the problem is that’s there’s not really any utterly stable definition; it depends what you are talking about it.
This is more extreme than it first appears. Read more »
In response to a question about executive war power and the detention of enemy combatants, Kagan said that the Obama administration (through the Office of the Solicitor General and the DOJ) has grounded its opinion of its power not under inherent Article II powers, but instead under the statutory powers granted by Congress under the Authorization for the Use of Military Force in Iraq and Afghanistan (AUMF). Fair enough.
She then went on to talk about the famous “Youngstown” test as articulated by Justice Jackson: a question of Presidential authoriy can fall into one of three situation. First, when Congress has specifically authorized the President to act; second, when Congress has been silent; and third, when Congress has specifically barred the activity in question. The first should be given the widest lattitude, the second somewhat less, and the last should be given the least latitude.
Conveniently, the argument is that the AUMF puts Read more »
Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia passed away early this morning. He will be remembered for many things, some good and some bad. He was the longest-serving Senator in American history, having served over 51 years. He was a staunch institutional defender of Congress in an age of Presidential supremancy, perhaps the last true Whig. And he is the last of the old-line southern Democrats, a once-upon-a-time member of the Klan and active participant in the filibuster against the civil rights act in 1964 (Byrd has long since renounced — and apologized for — both things). Read more »
I was going to title this post, “In which I give away $1 billion,” but that’s just a recipe for huge snark. Nevertheless, I do think the following idea is a potentially Youtube-esque payday for whoever has the time, perseverence, and risk tolerance to quit their job and form the startup. If I were 23 and unmarried with no kids, it is unquestionably what I would do. But I’m not so I won’t. And now the fabulous idea (which I must co-credit to my brother-in-laws) is yours for the taking. Just thank me when you are the next Internet gazillionaire. Or cut me into the profits. Here’s the idea: Read more »
Question: If you had to come up with a list of the top 50 or Top 100 or Top 1000 rock acts of all-time, how many of them would be British?
A lot. Just off the top of your head, you’d probably say: Beatles, Stones, Who, Zeppelin, Queen, Clash, Pink Floyd, Clapton, Bowie, Radiohead, T. Rex, Sex Pistlols, Black Sabbath, Cream, Def Leppard, ELO, Rainbow, Depp Purple, Iron Maiden, Judas Priest, Motorhead, Free, Genesis, Faces, Police, Smiths, Kinks, Pet Shop Boys, and Oasis.
What about America? How many instantly come to mind? Read more »
In the past three weeks I’ve read two books — The Best and the Brightest and The Big Short. Despite being written 40 years apart and dealing with utterly different topics (foreign policy in the 60′s and Wall Street in the 00′s, respectively), the books are fundamentally about the same thing: ostensibly smart people making enormously consequential errors because they refuse to accept reality, substituting either outdated or fantastical views of the world for plainly available facts.
In TBATB, the most painful errors (in retrospect) are those of Read more »
So, I’ve always been fascinated with the coupon mavens, the people who allegedly save 80% at the grocery store by skillfully combining store coupons, manufacturers coupons, and sale prices. But I was always either skeptical or lazy or figured it took too much effort, so I never tried out their strategies.
The moment that got me was when he struck out Delwyn Young in the 2nd. (The link has all of the K’s from last night; the Young whiff is at about the 0:49 mark of the video). Strasburg has been rightfully heralded as the next Walter Johnson because of the seeming ease at which he is able to throw the ball 100 mph (and maybe once 103 — see picture). But starting with the Young strikeout, Read more »
I play a lot of pick-up basketball, mostly at a park near my house that has a bunch of full-court setups, lights for night play, and almost always at least one decent game going during any hours I’m thinking of playing. The competition is good, and there are enough regulars that the rules and norms are pretty well entrenched; you can show up, inquire about next, jump on a team, and not have to worry about the ground rules.
It doesn’t really matter, though; the games play by pretty much the standard pick-up structure: games straight to 11, everything counts for one, call your own fouls by saying “ball,” no backcourt, checks from half-court after out of bounds turnovers, only call un-ignorable violations (like egregious carries or travels) and never call offensive fouls, unless you want to fess up to it yourself (like a hideous over-the-back). Winners stay on the court, whoever has next builds a team with the first four guys who asked him, and a queue of nexts builds behind that. All very standard.
What interests me, from both a basketball and non-basketball standpoint, is how disputes both within the game and within the queue structure for next are settled. Read more »
I think I’m going to lose it if I have to listen to one more person talk about how America’s fiscal problems are a “failure of the political class.” You hear this every Sunday on the major talk shows, David Brooks writes some variation of it every other week in the back of the New York Times, and most of the Washington journalistic corp not only buys into the idea, but all of them seem to think they invented the concept because they were the last ones to write about it.
It’s complete nonsense. Whatever shortcomings you might ascribe to America democracy, that the Members of Congress are ignoring a massive pubic outcry is not one of them. As if somehow the problem is that all the people want nice balanced budgets and a reduced public debt, it’s just that the politicians won’t deliver it to them. Please… Read more »
I’m pretty sure that everyone who grew up playing baseball has been supremely jobbed by an ump at least once in his life. I was standing on second base at Krank Park in Albany when the 1989 county little league championship game ended. My West Albany Little League lost 1-0 to City American Little League after Josh Myrtle struck out with runners on 2nd and 3rd. Two pitches earlier, I had scored the winning run when Josh sent a no-doubter high down the left field line and into the south-side night.I was halfway between 3rd and home, trotting with my hands in the air, before I realized they were sending me back to second. Foul ball, my ass. That thing was fair by 20 feet. And everyone in the park knew it. Even the ump. But he didn’t change his call. And Krank Park still doesn’t have tall enough foul poles. Years later, when we were playing Babe Ruth, Josh was still bitter. “That was my last little league at-bat. That fucker ended my childhood.”
Fast forward to last night. Five thoughts, in no particular order:
1. There is no question in my mind that perfect-game attempts are the most exciting thing that one can randomly happen upon when you’re sitting around watching otherwise-meaningless regular-season sports. Normally, I might choose a Golden Girls rerun over having to watch every pitch of a A’s-Rays game, but make it a perfect game in the 7th inning and I’ll be afraid to go the bathroom. And the Internet / cable TV revolution has made it so much more likely that you’ll be able to get to the game live. I’ve seen all three this month, and it’s been great. Read more »
You really can’t swing a dead cat around the chattering class these days without hearing about the “anti-incumbent” situation both political parties are facing this primary season and then this November. It’s really become the CW of a wide stripe of armchair political analysts, both the (over)paid type on TV and their counterparts at your water cooler. Judging by those two bellwethers, you’d think that most of the House was in serious danger of losing this fall.
I agree that there’s something very interesting (and perhaps quite unusual) going on right now in American electoral politics. But I’m skeptical that “anti-incumbency” is the right word for it.The supposed evidence has significant flaws: there was no incumbent running in PA-12. there’s no incumbent running for Senate in Florida. There’s no incumbent running for Senate in Kentucky. The Pennsylvania Senate race featured an incumbent who was facing a new primary electorate for the first time.
But, you say, what about the other primaries? Read more »