Saturday, April 04, 2009

Meu Nome é Gal

Good Evening Garlic Fans

Once again, we have hat-in-hand, brim full of apologies, for the lack of posting the past few days.

We, more-or-less, hit a wall, needing rest, to recharge the batteries, after attempting to balance out the writing time, with all the activity we've had on the homefront the past few weeks.

And, we had intended to do some posting today, however, it turned into a "Comcastic" day, as our fabled service provider had, apparently, a nation-wide email outage.

Not that this, necessarily, should have prevented us from posting, however, if keeping Outlook open, after anticipating, per Comcast, resolution, almost on an hourly basis, this slowed things up, as our Outlook cycled, perpetually, often leading to time-consuming, computer-freezing, "file synchronization", and having a "Network Password" box popping up, about every five-seconds, all not anywhere close to inspiring creativity.

So, another day of chilling out (well, as best we could), with a eye towards a plan to start banging away tomorrow (Sunday).

To help buffer the nuisance today, we turned to one of our all-time favorites, vocalist Gal Costa, to drift away from it all.

Here's one of her classics - Enjoy!


This Date ... On The Garlic

4 April 2008... On The Garlic

In Your Land, There Was A King ...

4 April 2006... On The Garlic

DeLay Resignation Clears Way For Medal of Freedom Award

Top Ten Cloves: Things To Look Forward To When Katie Couric Takes Over As CBS News Anchor

4 April 2005... On The Garlic - Special Pope Coverage

Who Gets Nod For Next Pope? Conclave Wide Open; Third World, Koppel, Buchanan, Schwarzenegger On Short List

Special Pope-Cam Gives Round-The-Clock Coverage

Frist Concurs With Vatican Diagnosis; Viewed Videotape of Papal Apartment For Hours

Top Ten Cloves: Things Overheard At The Red Sox-Yankee Opener

Thursday, April 02, 2009

It Never Entered My Mind

Lo Siento ...

Busy, full, bursting day on the homefront, leaving me completely drained ...

So, while we gather back our energy, check out a little George Shearing, with his monster rendition of a classic staple ...

George Shearing - It Never Entered My Mind

It Never Entered My Mind - George Shearing

This Date ... On The Garlic

2 April 2008... On The Garlic

A Little Yoo Wop

I Missed Home Ec For This!

2 April 2007... On The Garlic

Look No Further, Your Handy Baseball Primer

2 April 2006... On The Garlic

Special Essay - Play Ball! ... Batter Up! Could You Please Tell Me, What Is This Thing Called Baseball?

Garlic Poll Results: Most People Think The PNAC Is ...

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

New Math

A bit of a cumbersome day on the homefront (and perhaps, with the excitement of last weekend, a wee bit tired).

So, we're going to throw one out to those hardy, game nitwits in the PartyofNoicans.

After the ridicule they received last week, for there infamous "Budget with No Numbers", they had another bell-ringing today, calling attention to their new budget, which, well, it's barely an improvement of what they offered last week

Still few numbers, lots of tax cuts, a bigger deficit, and even more unanswered questions.

They are pathetic.

Here's a sampling you can wade through.


Josh Marshall: Reassuringly the Same

Bob Cesca: $4 Trillion

D-Day: New And Improved, With Numbers!

So, with the PartyofNoicans deft mathematics skills in mind, what better salute can we give them, but the classic Tom Lehrer tune, "New Math" (the audio is Lehrer, the visual, an actor).

Somebody, please, send the PartyofNoicans a copy of "Writing A Budget for Dummies", though, we realize, even with that, it also, may be above their capabilities.

Tom Lehrer: New Math

This Date ... On The Garlic

1 April 2008... On The Garlic

Don't Tell The Lincoln Group About This ...

Rififi Director, Jules Dassin, Blacklisted, Dies at 96

1 April 2007... On The Garlic

Hey, Wait A Minute ... We're Not Falling For That One Again ... The Results - The Garlic Weekly Poll

1 April 2006... On The Garlic

Weekend Special - Sautéed Cloves 1 April 2006

1 April 2005... On The Garlic

Happy April Fools Day! Entire World Clicks Onto The Garlic Sets New Web/Blog Record

Top Ten Cloves: Special April Fools Headlines We'll Never See

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Top Ten Cloves: Great Things About Obama Taking Over General Motors

News Item: Your Government, Running The Auto Industry

10. Presidential Limo now covered by the new, Government warranty

9. Extra discount if you say you plan to drive your GM car sleeveless

8. Next year, GM Execs get to watch Super Bowl, in the White House, with the President

7. GM employees' children get to play on that great swing set at the White House

6. GM cars, with doors open, about the same span as Presidents' ears

5. Bonus Bonus - When you buy a new GM car, before you drive off the lot, Rick Warren comes and gives it an Invocation

4. Safer Roads - To purchase a GM car, you have to go through a vigorous vetting process

3. GM Executives can now use Air Force One to fly to meetings

2. All GM models will come with Teleprompter installed, as standard equipment

1. Any problems with your GM car? ... Blame Bush!

Bonus Mister Goodwrench President Riffs

Sam Youngman and J. Taylor Rushing: President Obama’s auto plan throws lawmakers

Conor Clarke: Is Obama's Auto Plan "Unprecedented"?

The Anonymous Liberal: Does the Press Corps Understand What Bankruptcy Is?

DownWithTyranny: Is GM Headed For Bankruptcy Afterall?

Megan McArdle: Whither GM?

What's Good For Tesla Motors ...

And, In The Coma Department ...

This is even sillier, more "dumb-as-a-doorknob" than that god-awful Sandra Bullock beauty pageant movie.

Miss Universe Visits Guantánamo Bay

Ms. Mendoza, who competed as Miss Venezuela, has a blog on the pageant’s Web site, and this account of the visit appeared there last Friday, after her deployment:

This week, Guantánamo!!! It was an incredible experience.

We arrived in Gitmo on Friday and stared going around the town, everybody knew Crystle and I were coming so the first thing we did was attend a big lunch and then we visited one of the bars they have in the base. We talked about Gitmo and what is was like living there. The next days we had a wonderful time, this truly was a memorable trip! We hung out with the guys from the East Coast and they showed us the boat inside and out, how they work and what they do, we took a ride around the land and it was a loooot of fun!

We also met the Military dogs, and they did a very nice demonstration of their skills. All the guys from the Army were amazing with us.

We visited the Detainees camps and we saw the jails, where they shower, how the recreate themselves with movies, classes of art, books. It was very interesting.

We took a ride with the Marines around the land to see the division of Gitmo and Cuba while they were informed us with a little bit of history.

The water in Guantánamo Bay is soooo beautiful! It was unbelievable, we were able to enjoy it for at least an hour. We went to the glass beach, and realized the name of it comes from the little pieces of broken glass from hundred of years ago. It is pretty to see all the colors shining with the sun. That day we met a beautiful lady named Rebeca who does wonders with the glasses from the beach. She creates jewelry with it and of course I bought a necklace from her that will remind me of Guantánamo Bay :)

I didn’t want to leave, it was such a relaxing place, so calm and beautiful.
Hmmm ... "Didn't want to leave ..."

Well there Miss Universe, you may not realize how lucky you are.

As a native Venezuelan, if you had wanted to visit Gitmo when The Bush Grindhouse was running things, you may have gotten your wish, in an attempt to embarrass your country's leader, getting slapped with an Enemy Combatant label, and warehousing you there for a few years.

Plenty of time to leaf through those art books, I suppose.

Eli, over on Firedoglake, puts it about right;
Yes, I'm sure Gitmo is lovely this time of year... if you're on the outside. And even if you're on the inside, why, it's just like summer camp, but without due process! Awesome!
Start the office pool for when the Lifetime, or "E", Channel movie pops on the screen, of a "Miss Universe", or "Miss World" visits a Gitmo-like place, sees the horrors, leads a frothing campaign against it, falls in love with the young, handsome Senator, and together, they save the world.

A Shel Silverstein Rememberance

This was one of those posts I referenced yesterday, that I had intended to get up over the weekend

Shel Silverstein.

Man, does that bring back memories.

Good memories ... Warm memories

Having a bevy of nieces and nephews, we would sit, day-after-day, night-after-night, reading any one of his tremendous works.

'The Giving Tree'... 'A Light In The Attic'... 'A Giraffe and a Half' ... 'The Missing Piece' ... 'Where The Sidewalk Ends' ... 'Lafcadio: The Lion That Shot Back' ... All of them ...

Sometimes, acting out the stories ... Embellishing them ... Hamming it up, of course.

And later, as an older adult, discovering the hilarious 'Uncle Shelby's ABZ Book'

Over on Open Salon (where we post, from time-to-time), I espied Skip Williamson's "Shel Silverstein", and immediately dove into it.

Williamson describes himself as "Cartoonist, writer, artist, unrepentant insurgent, publication designer, pornographer and an aggravating carbuncle on the ass of Culture", and was a Playboy Art Director, way back, when Playboy ruled the world from Chicago, that being where he met, and struck a friendship, with Silverstein.

Shel and I would talk a lot. His mind was brim full of all kinds of shit. Stuff that was always spilling out in songs and poems and cartoons and conversations. His thoughts were constantly overflowing his physical casing. His ideas were organic, had souls and needed to get out and live on their own. More often than not he'd be confronting them internally, lost in inwardly implicit conversation, deciphering the spooks and enigmas that were clawing their way out.


I got to know Shel when I introduced myself just outside my office on the tenth floor of the Playboy building. He'd been hanging around the art department talking to Kerig and Lenny. I was effusive and fawning. Nervously I darted into my office and retrieved a art-filled sketchbook. "You're a major influence on my art" I bleated.

He leafed through my book of drawings and snorted "I don't see it!"

It's hard not to want to copy the whole thing here, it's a great read.

Go over and check out Skip Williamson's "Shel Silverstein".

And, visit Shel Silverstein's website.

This Date ... On The Garlic

31 March 2008... On The Garlic

Top Ten Cloves: Excuses Hillary Clinton Is Giving For Not Paying Her Campaign Bills

We Bring You The Head of Alphonso Jackson

It's Now Dirt Nap Time In America

31 March 2005... On The Garlic

Yankee's Have More Than The Unit For Sox Opener; Tensions High As Many On Team Bringing Big Brothers For Retribution

Media Hunts For Next Med Case; Looking For High Tensions, Legal and Rights Extras

NIST Warns Of Caution In 'Springing Forward'; Cites Annual Deaths, Injuries Climbing

Top Ten Cloves: Highlights of First Lady's Trip To Afghanistan

Monday, March 30, 2009

What's Good For Tesla Motors ...

So, it seems, the Obama Administration is going into "Good Cop/Bad Cop" mode, under a dangling light bulb, whacking General Motors and Chrysler with telephone books, while lounging around with, giving coffee and smokes, to the Fat Cat Greed Heads on Wall Street.

They sent a Clemenza-like character to Detroit and the word back from the trip is "Oh, Rick Wagoner, you won't see him no more,"

And the Fat Cat Greed Heads of Wall Street are probably thumbing through their Blackberries, as they wait for Obama, and Secretary of the Treasury Timothy "What's that, Lassie? (Woof, woof!!) Timmy Geithner's in the well?!!" Geithner to deliver the cash, to find the number of the cleaning company, to start getting those summer homes opened up, scrubbed nice-and-spiffy, and ready to rock for the Memorial Day barbecue.

Deb Cupples, over on Buck Naked Politics, has a good rundown on why the now former GM Chief Rick Wagoner gets the boot, but just as the news was settling on the rather forceful action by Obama, more-and-more posts are popping up, questioning the double-standard of handling Detroit, versus Wall Street.

Here's a big hint - Larry Summers didn't worm his way up from the Motor City.

A big H/T To Joan Walsh for helping to point to the answers;

Krugman isn't the only smart person raising these concerns. If Evan Thomas' smug tone in the Newsweek piece turns you off, take the time to read Simon Johnson's terrifying Atlantic piece, "The Quiet Coup," which lays out the foundation of our current mess and then comes to similar conclusions as Krugman about the drastic steps needed to recover: The government must take over unhealthy banks, dramatically restructure them, save the ones that can be saved and later sell them back to private investors. (The piece was apparently written before Geithner's plan was released so it doesn't comment on it directly.)


Strangely, or not, on the same morning I read Johnson, a smart reader took the time to send me this 1999 New York Times piece about the way leading Democrats, including Clinton administration Treasury Secretary and Obama economic czar Larry Summers, hailed the repeal of Glass-Steagall, the Depression-era law that kept banks out of the insurance and broker businesses. It's as tough to read as Simon Johnson's piece, in its way.
Henry Blodget is scratching his head, as well, with his "Rick Wagoner Goes But Ken Lewis Stays?", while Frank James, on The Swamp, asks "Why no GM treatment for Wall Street?"

Robert Stein, on ConnectingTheDots, also, sees the double-standard;
The White House's willingness to take over GM is in sharp contrast to its hands-off approach to the banks in the plan to make toxic assets disappear. Does anybody in Washington know more about making cars than making loans?
The Detroit News editorialized today that "Dumping Wagoner lets Obama deflect attention away from Wall Street, where his Treasury Department is still moving through quicksand, and turn it on Detroit.

He can portray himself as being tough on the corporate executives who are ruining America, without having to draw blood from the bankers."

Elana Schor, over on TPMDC, in her "The Double-Standard Question Haunting Today's Detroit Announcement";
Here's how Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (MI), the third-ranked House Republican leader, put it to Reuters:

"Mr. Wagoner has been asked to resign as a political offering despite his having led GM's painful restructuring to date. Mr. Wagoner has honorably resigned for the sake of his company's working families.

When will the Wall Street CEOs receiving TARP funds summon the honor to resign? Will this White House ever bother to raise the issue? I doubt it."
And, Libby Spencer, on The Impolitic, has the gem-of-the-day, in her "General Motors Meltdown"

Dan at Pruning Shears voices my only objection in the quote of the day:

Responding to the looting of Wall Street by busting the UAW feels an awful lot like responding to 9/11 by invading Iraq

Are all roads leading to Tesla Motors?

But for all the sturm-and-drang being vented today, only Brad Friedman, on The Brad Blog, seems to be in possession of the Magic-8 Ball missing from the White House.

Tesla Unveils All-Electric Sedan, But Needs Federal Loan for Factory to Build It

So let's add one plus one here ...


So, if the federal government is currently bailing out the Detroit automakers, who have refused (and/or failed) to bring an all-electric car to market since GM abandoned the very popular EV1 in the late 90's, for reasons still-unexplained, and since Tesla is waiting for federal loan guarantees, why not put two and two together and give them the loans, but require that they use Detroit plants to build the cars, in hopes of avoiding the layoffs of thousands of Big Three autoworkers?

Here's the Press Release on that new Tesla Model S sedan (while Matt Nauman, of Mercury News, took the Tesla Roadster out for a thrilling spin).

Sounds like a plan to me.

Perhaps, will we come to the day of "What's Good For Tesla Motors, is good for the country?".

Bonus "Wall Street Good/Detroit Bad" Riffs


The Anonymous Liberal: Do Conservatives Understand How Bankruptcy Works?

Josh Marshall: Just a Thought

Yves Smith: Auto Company Plans Rejected by Task Force

Andrew Leonard: Why so hard on the Rust Belt, and so easy on Wall Street?

You Don't Hit With Your Face

We suspect, that many who read this are going to be quite surprised.

Afterall, when you think about Lawrence Peter Berra, aka Yogi, you, almost always, go to his infamous bag of malapropisms, and think, "what a lug head".

Well, Salon's King Kaufman's interview ("The genius of Yogi Berra") with author Allan Barra, who has just penned a new book, "Yogi Berra: Eternal Yankee" will point out that Yogi was anything but a "lug head";

But, as Barra points out, Yogi's been a success at almost everything he ever tried. Pitchers who were brilliant when he was behind the plate never did anything much when he wasn't. Whitey Ford, one of the greatest left-handers ever, often says he never shook off one of Berra's signs, and Don Larsen has said the same thing about his World Series perfect game.

Berra won more World Series than any other player. He won three Most Valuable Player awards and appeared in 17 straight All-Star games. He was the leader and the on-field constant of the only team ever to win five straight World Series, the 1949-53 New York Yankees.

He was only the second manager ever to win a pennant in each league. He was a great coach and he's a good businessman. And just about everyone who's ever dealt with Yogi Berra has come away not just liking him, but respecting his decency, his integrity and his intelligence. There's more to Yogi Berra than meets the eye.


Overall, though, I have to say that before I started thinking about writing this book I just didn't appreciate Yogi's greatness. I never saw him as the glue that held the only five-time, five-World Series championship team [the 1949-53 Yankees] together.

Barra talks with Kaufman about the incredible success Yogi Berra had, both on, and off, the field, his contract negotiations (in the day before greasy agents), and, if he (Barra) were starting a baseball team;
So, you know, overall I would say, yes, I would take Babe Ruth, I would love to have Lou Gehrig, I'd love to have Mantle. But I'm not certain that if I was gonna pick a baseball team and I wanted overall value for 10 years, that I wouldn't start with Yogi Berra as my first pick.
Go read (and there's a link there to listen to the audio version of the interview) "The genius of Yogi Berra"

It's a good one, and, as Yogi might say, "You can observe a lot by watching."

PNAC Going All Xe On Us

Well, Well, Well ...

What to do when you get get canned by the NYT....

I guess, they figure a new coat of paint, and hanging a different shingle, is going to wipe out their miserably record of failure.

Kristol Launches Project For A New American Century 2.0: ‘The Foreign Policy Initiative’

Kristol’s new “political organization” for neoconservatives is now a reality:

A newly-formed and still obscure neo-conservative foreign policy organisation is giving some observers flashbacks to the 1990s, when its predecessor staked out the aggressively unilateralist foreign policy that came to fruition under the George W. Bush administration.

The blandly-named Foreign Policy Initiative (FPI) - the brainchild of Weekly Standard editor William Kristol, neo-conservative foreign policy guru Robert Kagan, and former Bush administration official Dan Senor - has thus far kept a low profile; its only activity to this point has been to sponsor a conference pushing for a U.S. “surge” in Afghanistan.
Or, as Matt Duss asks, in "Project For The Rehabilitation Of Neoconservatism"
What do you do if your previous organization — and the ideology behind it — has become inextricably bound in the public’s imagination to one of the worst foreign policy blunders in American history? Obviously, shut it down, and start a new organization with a new name.

At least, they kept it in English.

Bonus Little Billy Kristol's New Tree House Riffs

Spencer Ackerman: Man Of Many Names But The Motives Stay The Same

Andrew Sullivan: The Empire Slogs On

Steve Benen: Bill Kristol's Next Act


Garlic Poll Results - Most People Think The PNAC Is ...

Where's Ernest Borgnine when you need him?

First Rule of Neocon Club - You Do Not Talk About Neocon Club

For The Want of A Catscan ...

Good Afternoon Garlic Fans ...

So sorry about the lack-of-posting the past three-days, as we ran into another emergency situation on the homefront early Friday morning, lining up, and setting the tone, for a cumbersome, time-consuming weekend.

The Aunt we care for took a little tumble (again), just after breakfast on Friday, and, while, seemingly uninjured, we felt the prudent course was to get her to the hospital, just the same, to be sure there was nothing wrong.

So off we went, and, in just under two-hours in the Emergency Room, we were informed that the Aunt's regular Doctor has ordered for her to be admitted, for overnight observation (more specifically, to monitor her bloodwork for enzymes, which would have indicated heart trouble).

All the tests (X-Ray, Echocardiogram, bloodwork, EKG and Catscan -which we will come back to) - were normal, no trouble indicated.

Of course, we had to contend with the Aunt not wanting to stay in the hospital.

Saturday AM, upon arriving at the hospital, all tests were still good and that the Aunt would be discharged.

However, would we mind doing another Catscan?

Seems they didn't do one the day before, due to the Aunt not being cooperative, so between that, and waiting nearly a half-hour for a wheelchair, to get her downstairs, we were a bit delayed in getting out of there.

It took her a bit of time to readjust back at home, and a bit more excitement Sunday morning (but all was okay), we had extra monitoring duty on her, leaving time, and energy, to write, by the wayside.

So, we will get back into the groove today, and tomorrow, both riffing on what's going on now, and a few posts that would have been put up over the weekend.

Once again, many thanks for continuing to visit and support The Garlic.

This Date ... On The Garlic

30 March 2008... On The Garlic

It's Here! ... Baseball and The Garlic's Infamous Essay!

Some Slaps For His Taps

30 March 2006... On The Garlic

Politics and Sports Collide: Paperwork Mix-Up Has Feingold Censuring Bonds and MLB Investigating Bush

Top Ten Cloves: Problems Iraqi P.M. al-Jaafari Has Telling Bush To Stop Interfering In Iraqi Politics

30 March 2005... On The Garlic

Google Acquires Urchin; Sets Up For Revenue Windfall

White House Eyes Role For Annan

Top Ten Cloves: McDonald's New Hit Rap Tunes