Saturday, 16 July 2011

Maybe I'm a little late to the party but..

I only just read this description of Congress, supposedly by Samuel Clemens. After seeing their actions over the past two years, I'm fully prepared to describe it as "accurate":

"Reader, suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself. Simply suppose you were a member of Congress. And suppose you started-up what you believed to be your faculties, and worked out the draft of a law to cover the needs of some industry or other which you did not know anything about. What would you do with that draft - submit it to somebody who did know something about it, and get instruction and advice? Yes?

It is natural to think that; but the member of Congress proceeds differently. He drafts that law to cover a matter which he knows nothing about; he straightaway submits it to the National Asylum, who are similarly ignorant concerning the thing; they amend-out any accidental clearness or coherences which may have escaped notice; then they pass it, and it presently goes into effect. It goes into effect. and of course it begins to confuse and hamper interested parties, because they do not understand it. But this has been foreseen, and has also been provided for - in a most curious way. Each public department at Washington keeps a minor asylum of salaried inmates whose business it is to invent a meaning for laws that have no meaning; and to detect meanings, where any exist, and distort and confuse them. This process is called 'interpreting.' And sublime and awe-inspiring is this art."

Anyone know anything more about this passage? I'd love for it to actually be by Mr. Twain.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Congressional Cowardice

Kevin over at Lowering the Bar has a hilarious but accurate explanation of what congress is planning, so that nobody but Obama will be blamed for raising the debt ceiling -- something regrettable that nobody disputes needs to be done.

The long and short of it? Well the phrase "approval-by-veto" should probably ring alarm bells, anyhow:

In other words, Congress would approve a resolution of disapproval in order to force the President to disapprove that disapproval, which would turn it into an approval, one that Congress knows it would be unable to re-disapprove. That would leave us with the interim approval-by-veto, so that the limit would somehow end up being raised even though neither branch would have actually cast any vote in favor of anything.

Oh America, this is why nobody takes you seriously anymore.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

I think you mean "pro bonobo"

Just for fun: Legal Questions Raised By Success of Monkey Photographer at Lowerin the Bar.

Happy Thursday, everyone!

Friday, 1 July 2011


In his latest post, Dean Dad says: "I was a denizen of college radio in the late 80’s, just before the music we played broke out as “alternative.” In those days, a new release by R.E.M. or The Replacements was a Very Big Deal. (I vividly remember the disappointment when Don’t Tell a Soul came out.) It was a blast, but it was the kind of blast that relied on a specific historical moment." It's not the point of his post, but it reminded me that I hadn't listened to the Replacements since High School.

You know what?

I'm still in love with that song.

Also, Happy Canada Day, all you lucky Canucks :)