Friday, October 28, 2005
Friday Night Wine Blogging - the return edition
Pinot Noir - Mueller 2001
Russian River Valley
You can smell the oak now - Ginger Haired Yank
I can taste the cola - taryl
Truly a fine bottle - taryl
It was all-right. It wasn't as full bodied as the bottle we tasted at the Hollywood Bowl.....it was good - Ginger Haired Yank
Thursday, October 20, 2005
9 down - 39 to go
What's funny though, is the real 1-2 punch that put Bush down were Hurricane Katrina and his nomination of Miers - certainly items that could never have been predicted when he took office. Personally no strong feelings about Miers, but the conservatives have some fantasy that if they just get one more Supreme Court nominee, then somehow....Roe v. Wade would go away? That Brown v. Board of Education would be repealed? I'm really not sure what conservatives expect beyond some vague belief that all might be right with the world. Still not sure how much of that belief is just GOP manipulation of their core supporters; but you'd think after having the presidency for 7 of the last 10 terms, they'd know that the judiciary just can't go that much farther right. 7 of 9 Supremes are GOP nominees. Read that 2/3 of appellate judges are GOP nominees, so I'm gobsmacked when reading that the left is afraid of losing control of the judicial branch. Sorry guys, but that "control" was & is just a fiction.
Back to metrics:
- For deficit reduction, the GOP fiscal conservatives are making some noises, but given how entrenched the desire to purchase re-election is by the present GOP incumbents, I have no reason to believe that the current attention on budget cutting is more than an ephemeral interlude before "business as usual" returns again.
- For trade, the discussions of Doha are very muted, and clearly Bush lacks the capital needed to gain support for cutting farm subsidies. Sometimes I wonder why he bothered obtaining "fast track" approval for trade deals when his actions have been so protectionist.
- Iraq death toll continues. While last month's death toll looked to be quite low during my last entry, September's death toll nearly doubled in the final 10 days of the month to end at 49. October's US death toll is already 55 with 10 days still to go in the month, so we should hit the 2,000 mark before the month runs out. The military/police death toll for Iraqis continues to be above 200/month (what's reported). The recent vote had none of the hoopla & hope that last January's vote generated - sometimes it's hard to remember what was the purpose of each vote (interim government & interim interim constitution?). Inertia will keep us in Iraq for the rest of Bush's term, but given that we "transferred sovereignty" back on June 28th, 2004 - nearly 16 months ago, and conducted two elections in 1 year, what can folks realistically hope to change in the next 3+ years? If they're expecting Iraq to export more oil or the violence to decrease to any noticeable degree, they're being willfully blind. The next US presidential candidates will have no choice but to run on some "peace with honor" platform, but I expect little to change in troop levels or deaths for Iraqis or US soldiers between now & when the next president takes office. Oh, one other item just struck me - haven't heard much mention of Zarqawi for sometime now. Did we become convinced that he really plays a minor role in the ongoing violence in Iraq?
- OBL is still at large & no draft on the horizon.
- As discussed above, I have few doubts that our troops levels will decrease below 50,000 by the end of Bush's presidency. Actually in one way, with Bush's domestic weakness, I expect him to fight that much more tenaciously to hold onto control of Iraq to make sure that it doesn't fail on his watch.
- Have read little about future presidential candidates recently positioning themselves for a run. Can only guess that next year's election are currently looming larger to folks as they draw closer. Can hope that the Dems will unseat Santorum and pick up 3-4 Senate seats. If they believe that they can pick up control, they're delusional - stick to realistic goals & the Dems will do o.k. in the upcoming election. Shoot for majority status in 2-3 elections, and don't entertain fanciful notions.
Thursday, October 13, 2005
Losing interest in the blogosphere
Am happily surprised how much the political climate has cooled off since the passions of last fall. Too much noise - too much steam that has now slowly seeped out of the system.
Like all liberals, I'm thoroughly enjoying the implosion of the GOP. I guess Miers nomination must fall in the tipping point category. Now conservatives are accusing Bush of cronyism, while it used to be liberals & the mythical MSM who used to use the term "crony capitalism". Good to see that mainstream USA wants good government not Brownies - no one could argue that he had any business having a position of any responsibility.
Also believe that most Americans don't want the rancor of the election season, do understand that we are all Americans and wanting to succeed from 51% of the nation or wishing that 48% would love the country. Don't care so much about the culture wars or accusation of liberal bias - they just want a healthy country, with a robust economy, and soldiers not dying overseas for some nebulous aims.
Well no Friday Night Wine Blogging tomorrow night, since I'll be rooting on the Angels, but will return to posting after riding the Palm Springs tram.
Friday, October 07, 2005
Ginger Haired Yank examines Muscat clarity
Friday Night Wine Blogging - sideways edition
Blogspot just improved their photo software & I've just downed my first rusty nail of the evening, so viewers will have to excuse the sideways posting.
Oh, Chateau St. Michelle Riesling 2004.
Thursday, October 06, 2005
Stop dissin' my Alma Mater
Just out of curiosity, decided to go through the vitaes of the rest of the court:
Roberts: Harvard; Harvard
Breyer: Stanford & Oxford; Harvard
Ginsburg: Cornell; Columbia
Thomas: College of the Holy Cross; Yale
Souter: Harvard & Oxford; Harvard
Kennedy: Stanford & London; Harvard
Scalia: Georgetown; Harvard
O'Connor: Stanford; Stanford
Stevens: Chicago; Northwestern
Hmmm, 5 from Harvard and 7 from the Ivy League. Guess elitism still rules on the Supreme Court.
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
Why I don't like Wolfe, James, Wharton, Hawthorne & Proust
In the modern age, it's too hard to have any sympathy for victimhood, so when Isabel Archer marries some S.O.B. and then returns to him, when Ethan Frome fails at suicide, when Hester Prynne hangs around ostracized while her ex-husband makes her misery his life devotion, when Proust autobiographical character can't go to bed without a kiss from his mother, there's little beyond pity for the characters. Why should we care Lily Bart makes repeated self-destructive errors? Why shouldn't we scream at Hester & the Reverend to go make a new life for themselves in a different part of the colonies - that's why settlers came to America to make a new life?
Thinking back through the various films & books makes me wonder at these authours' continued reputation. Disliked the novel Ethan Frome, the movie house of mirth & despised the film the age of innocence - the only work by Wharton I could stand was miniseries The Buccaneers and that was largely because the scriptwriters could change the ending of an unfinished novel to deviate from Wharton's typical "tragic" ending.
Guess that I've beaten my point into the ground, so I'll make one more attempt at Proust if I can find the Madeline section, but will eschew the others from now on.
Monday, October 03, 2005
Perfect days these days
There good times can't last, but are so sweet when lasting even a few days in a row.
Sunday, October 02, 2005
Spoiler alert - don't know how to create a "fold" on a blog so can't hide plot details off-screen.
Guessed that Book would be one of the characters to die - least necessary to the major plot line - but figured that Jayne would be the most likely to get killed given how he wasn't that integral to the crew, so Wash's death did catch me by surprise. Will they pick up a new love interest for Zoe if there's a sequel?
Overall the film totally kicked ass - as did Summer Glau. Oh, final plot spoiler, Kaylee finally has sex with Simon, albeit with his sister voyeuristically looking on.
Really miss having a Joss's program on TV, so here's hoping that Serenity makes enough $$$$ to generate a sequel.