Let us savor

Along with Marvin Gaye’s rendition of the national anthem at the 1983 All-Star game, this is the clip that makes me feel best about being an American.

Wow! Wow, what an honor! The White House Correspondents’ dinner. To actually — to sit here at the same table with my hero, George W. Bush, to be this close to the man. I feel like I’m dreaming. Somebody pinch me. You know what? I’m a pretty sound sleeper; that may not be enough. Somebody shoot me in the face.

What’s remarkable watching it again is that it’s fairly tame by any reasonable standard. Villagers are nothing if not thin-skinned.

I’ll bet they’re yukking it up over Leno tonight tomorrow.



You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out

The amount of thought going into this idea is self-evident:

Van Cleave said one proposed bill would allow no one but an on-duty officer doing undercover work to drink alcohol while carrying a concealed weapon. The other bill will say that anyone can carry a concealed gun and drink if they wish, “as long as they are not drunk.”

“Whatever the General Assembly assumes will apply to everyone,” he said. “Police officers and permit holders are all in the same tent; so I say: General Assembly, you choose. But whatever it is, we’re equal.”

If there was any way to make sure that these guys would be segregated and there would be no collateral damage inflicted on innocent citizens, I’d completely support the idea of gun nuts being allowed to drink while packing heat. Thinning the herd, if you will.



Failing Up

Once you are deemed a serious person, there is literally no mistake too big to keep people in DC from listening to you:

Robert Rubin is poisoning Washington again.

The former Treasury Secretary who presided over the nearly-fatal deregulation of the financial industry — then made $126 million nearly killing Citigroup — had been keeping an appropriately low profile in the nation’s capital ever since everything he wrought went pear-shaped.

But now he’s back, and once again trying to influence public policy.

On Friday he made his third major (and apology-free) Washington appearance in two weeks, delivering opening remarks at a conference that his pet think tank, the Hamilton Project, co-sponsored with the liberal Center for American Progress.

But the last thing Washington needs right now is another infusion of Rubinomics — by which I mean the combination of deregulatory zeal, deficit obsession, free tradeism and general coziness with fat-cat Wall Street bankers that Rubin epitomizes.

Can’t we just give this guy an op-ed column at the Washington Post with the rest of the DC fuck-ups and be done with him?



Just Shoot Me

I see Randy Scheunemann posted another idiotic message to Sarah Palin’s facebook page, so I guess we all know what the topic of discussion will be Sunday morning.



Open Thread

Pens hockey tonight.

BTW- a quick update on the bird feeder obsession. I’m now up to four feeders- one in front and three in the back, and I have quite a chirpy posse these days. My latest addition was one like this that I filled with sunflower seeds, and the cardinals are all over it.

And the craziest thing is my favorite birds to watch are actually the ones who don’t care about the feeders- the robins. I like how they just sort of hop around doing their thing then WHAMMO- out of nowhere a worm gets it. They don’t even see it coming. I saw a robin eat a worm so big this morning it could have been a snake.








Wait For the Seamless Transition

Here we go:

Federal and state officials criticized BP on Friday for what they said was an inadequate response to the growing oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. They urged the oil company to do more to stop a leaking undersea oil well 50 miles offshore as floating crude oil imperiled the fragile marshes of the Gulf coast.

At an afternoon press conference with other officials in Louisiana, Ken Salazar, the secretary of the interior, said he told BP officials and engineers at their command center in Houston “to work harder and faster and smarter to get the job done.”

“Those responsible,” he added, “will be held accountable.”

The disaster began with an explosion and fire on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig last week, which sank the rig and left 11 people missing and presumed dead and three more critically injured. The well the rig was drilling, 5,000 feet below the surface, is now leaking oil at a rate of about 5,000 barrels a day.

The rig was owned and operated by Transocean under lease to BP. Under federal law, BP must pay the cost of containing and cleaning up the oil.

Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, who also spoke at the news conference, was forceful in his criticism of the company’s efforts to cope with the disaster.

“I do have concerns,” he said, “that BP’s current resources are not adequate to meet the three challenges we face.” For one, he said, the company had not managed to stop the well from leaking. For another, he said, the floating booms being used by the company had not been effective in halting the progress of the slick.

You all know what is going to come next, don’t you? After spending a few days getting no traction calling the oil spill in the Gulf “Obama’s Katrina,” it is going to be most excellent watching the usual suspects pirouette and attack Obama for being too hard on the oil industry.

Also, place your bets on which Sunday bobblehead will still attempt to call this “Obama’s Katrina.” My money is on David Gregory, as always.



Hard Times

I guess the NY Times has finally run out of gangster bankster sob stories and now is profiling the financial woes of actual gangsters:

This is Joe DeFede, a retired New York gangster who oversaw the rackets in the city’s garment district in the 1990s, a perch that provided him with a Cadillac, a driver, three horses stabled at Aqueduct and a home entertainment system columned in the style of ancient Greece. Like many mobsters, he walked through life with dignity and pride and, usually, with several thousand dollars in his pocket.

These days, though, he walks with a faltering step of age and with the weight of financial worry. After a five-year prison stint, legal fees and the crushing costs of creating a new identity — he entered but then left the witness protection program — the boss is almost broke. He and his second wife, Nancy, live on an annual income they said was not much more than $30,000: Social Security, a modest annuity and her pension from 20 years of working in a bank.

“That’s the fear we got,” said Mr. DeFede, 76, a slight man with a bookmaker’s grin who is known as Little Joe. “We try to keep our payments up” — for the car, the house, a recent hip replacement — “but sometimes we can’t hack it.”

Or as Mrs. DeFede, 74, explained, “We’re just scraping by.”

Who will speak for Joe DeFede’s out there?

James Pethokoukis? Rick Santelli?