Saturday, February 28, 2009


Wow, this has not been my morning for WPS news. Not even close.

Puma unveiled the new uniforms for the league this past week, which I paid attention to only long enough to decide that (1) I like the Red Stars' Chicago flag-inspired jerseys, and (2) I cannot afford 70 bucks to buy one, even if I could get past the girl-cut that wouldn't fit my shoulders anyway. I did not pay attention to the point that my head needs to explode until this today. The story is here.

The WTF factor comes here:

arodhucles555.jpg picture by tinaanna

Hey, what's up with the goofy shorts?

haorampone555.jpg picture by tinaanna

Wait a minute...

osbornedimartino555.jpg picture by tinaanna


Uh, excuse me? Hi, we're the WPS, the last chance for pro women's soccer to be taken seriously in this country--seriously comes with a huge grain of salt, of course, since, you know, we got the double whammy of both "soccer" and "women" going here--so we need to do everything exactly right. Hey, I know! Let's put the girls in skorts! It'll be just like A League of Their Own! And we should get Rosie to be a spokeswoman, because that will tie in with the theme and totally bring all of America on board with us!

Jesus fucking Christ on a Triscuit. In a skort. I mean, at least they won't be wearing them during games, but why Puma thought it even needed to offer them as an option to some of the teams for wear "to and from the field, after practice -- and if a player really wants to, they can wear it on the field, too, in training or warm-up"--confuses me and pisses me off just a little. Here, honey, button this wrap onto your shorts to cover up so you look like a lady on your way to and from practice where you will be running and sweating your ass off. And feel free to leave it during pregame warmups until the last possible second, okay? Because God forbid someone should see you and forget you're a girl. Or see your muscular quads.

The Red Stars did not go with this option. Thank you, Chicago.


My beloved Chicago Red Stars signed one of the big-name international players they called dibs on in the international draft. Unfortunately, it's Cristiane, the whiniest, diving-est, most annoying-est player on Brazil's national team.

When last we saw Cristiane, she was flailing around on the turf after the final whistle ended the US' 1-0 victory over Brazil in the World Cup Final, weeping and wailing after her many artistic and intricate flips to the ground after being bumped, breathed on, looked at, or merely thought about by US players failed to result in free kicks or penalties that might have put the ball in the net for Brazil.

So sad.

For the record, I didn't like Dennis Rodman either when he played for the Bulls. Hopefully her histrionics will die down a little once she hits Toyota Park. She is crazy fast and can do remarkable things with the ball. Let your game be enough, sweet cheeks, and leave the theatrics at home.

Friday, February 27, 2009

The Answer

A while back, a commenter asked me what I'd like to pick Rachel Maddow's brain over if we had the chance to sit down, and I have simply not been able to move past the goofy grin and incoherent noises that would be falling out of my mouth if that ever were to happen, since I would instantly and irrevocably be transformed into a babbling puddle of goo.

Megan Carpentier, however, has her shit infinitely more together than I ever will, and unwittingly provided me with my answer with this interview--over cocktails!--with the Good Doctor.

My interview with Rachel would actually go exactly like this one imagined by a commenter on the piece:
My interview with Rachel Maddow would go something like this-

Morninggloria: Hi Rachel, I really love your show gush gush gush gush talking talking talking getting nervous about talking and trying to get to question but ending up asking a question that's not even close to what I intended to ask. Gush gush gush.

Rachel: crickets.

Morninggloria: vomits on self.

'Nuff said.

Boo Hootie Hoo

Oh no! Carla, dear sweet nice cook-with-love Carla took some very bad advice from her sous chef and came in third in the Top Chef finale. We weep. And now annoying smug Hosea walks away with the title and the 100K, and we can't quite decide if this is better or worse than annoying cocky Stefan winning. Ugh. Ugh, ugh. Carla! Hootie! Please! Just trust your gut and quit letting other people make you second-guess yourself!

A lesson for us all, I suppose, where "us all" of course means "me." I totally get Carla wanting to compete without being devious or nasty, wanting to play nice and get along with everyone. And I totally get her innate lack of self-confidence and tendency to let stronger personalities talk her out of her own good ideas in favor of their own shitty ones. Stand up, woman, and let your own merits be enough, because they are considerable.

She helpfully listed her favorite DC haunts in a chat with the Washington Post on Wednesday, so if I'm ever there you will find me lurking on 14th near Adams, hopefully whispering Hootie? every time a tall African-American chef-like woman walks by.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

In Hootie Hopefulness

Go Carla!

programming note: I won't actually be watching the finale until tomorrow night--stay up until 11:00? Love ya, Top Chef, but I don't think that's happening--so don't spoil it for me in comments, por favor. Hopefully Friday will be one big giant Carla lovefest on the Boltblog!

Life in the Petri Dish, Part Two

Yesterday it was a proposal to permanently eliminate business property taxes and significantly cut corporate income and capital gains taxes in a state that's looking at a major budgetary shortfall. Today in Jan Brewer's Arizona, we are reminded of exactly how important the Janet Napolitano firewall was in the statehouse.
A major abortion bill has cleared its first hurdle at the Arizona Legislature.
The House Health and Human Services Committee on Wednesday endorsed the Republican-sponsored bill on a 5-0 vote, with Democratic opponents boycotting the hearing and not voting on the measure.

The legislation would require a pre-abortion waiting period and mandatory disclosures to women seeking abortions. It also allows pharmacists and health care providers to refuse to participate in abortion or emergency contraception on moral grounds. Other provisions toughen the existing law on parental rights.

Let's look at that scorecard. Gutting public education, gutting health and human services, instituting a conscience clause, mandating anti-abortion scare tactics? Check, check, check, and checkaroony. I normally deplore slippery slope speculating, but I really have to wonder what's next on the all-conservative-policies-all-the-time experimental agenda. The Sonoran Desert Protection Plan has to be on shaky ground these days, along with any other environmental conservation measure that's been flung up in the path of the belly scrapers. Perhaps some even nastier anti-immigration policy is in the works. Maybe we'll one-up North Dakota and give full personhood rights to sperm and unfertilized eggs (as long as they reside in the bodies of legally-here heterosexual Americans, of course). I'm sure all we need to do is wait until tomorrow to get even more good news.

Conscience clauses. Fuck me. Waiting periods. "Mandatory disclosures." I certainly can't wait to get some clarification about what that entails. Wait, wait, let me guess. Did you know your baby has fingernails? Fuck. Me. Oh, wait, here we go.

[The] proposal also would require that a patient be informed of alternatives to abortion, medical benefits and government assistance available pre- and postnatal, the medical risks associated with both having an abortion and carrying the fetus to term and the probable gestational age and physiological characteristics of the fetus.

Ur behbeh haz fingernalz! Check.

Now how about that conscience clause? Here's the full text of the bill. At the very top of the document it's made clear that "abortion does not include birth control devices [or] oral contraceptives used to inhibit or prevent ovulation or conception." Okay, great--it's a nutter bill, but at least it's grounded in a rational definition of abortion, right? What could go wrong? Oh. Apparently the definition can be ignored when it comes to constructing the conscience clause.

A pharmacy, hospital or health professional, or any employee of a pharmacy, hospital or health professional, who states in writing an objection to abortion, abortion medication or emergency contraception on moral or religious grounds is not required to facilitate or participate in the provision of an abortion, abortion medication or emergency contraception.

So given the fact that the bill goes out of its way to clarify that oral contraceptives intended to inhibit ovulation--in other words, exactly what emergency contraceptives are--are not abortion equivalents, it's pretty clear that the inclusion of Plan B within the conscience clause is purely a sop to pharmacists who either failed the progestin section of the final exam or are too interested in making sure whores suffer the consequences of their wanton fucking to care. Or it's a sop to the legislators who will vote for this anyway and like to think Plan B is abortion. And, by the way, the reporter who wrote the story for the Citizen should be just a little bit ashamed for wording the article in a way that conflates EC with pharmaceutical abortion. In either event, Rep. Barto can't be bothered by the problems this might cause to women in rural areas of the state--and remember, no less a luminary than Cindy McCain herself said the only way to get around Arizona is by small private plane since there are no roads here:

The prime sponsor of the legislation, state Rep. Nancy Barto, downplayed any hurdles the provision would represent.

"Certainly, people in rural areas are accustomed to traveling long distances for services," said Barto, R-Phoenix. "This isn't going to keep women from receiving these prescriptions."

See, if you're already used to having to drive 50 miles to the pharmacy, it won't be at all inconvenient to drive another 50 when the first pharmacist invites you to fuck off, and then another 50, and another 50 until you manage to hit a Walgreen's with a pharmacist who will actually do his job! Why are you complaining? Harpy!

I hope Sec. Napolitano totally rocks Homeland Security and turns it into an effective, functional agency so that it will have been worth it for her to give the Maricopa County Republicans a two-year head start on turning Arizona into a conservative politician's paradise. But this sets the bar impossibly damn high.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Welcome to the Ehrlenmeyer Flask

*cracking knuckles*

Well, well, well, this morning's paper brought the news that post-Janet Napolitano Arizona is rapidly being converted into a lab for experimental Total Republican Policy Immersion, and I'm not sure whether we're rats or fruit flies in this scenario. The state is already looking at a budget shortfall of $2.4 billion in the next fiscal year, so the next logical step after gutting education and human services--"logical" here meaning "prescribed under conservative fiscal dogma"--is to... cut taxes! Republicans on the House Ways and Means Committee voted Monday to permanently repeal the state property tax rather than allowing it to return this year after a scheduled three-year hiatus.
And lawmakers sent out clear signals that repealing the property tax may just be the beginning of Republican efforts to cut taxes, particularly on businesses.

Committee members began debating — but did not vote on — another bill from Rep. Rick Murphy, R-Glendale, who chairs the committee. The bill would cut corporate income taxes, reduce property taxes companies pay on equipment and slash the taxes paid on capital gains.

The reasoning is as expected; Arizona's existing property tax structure is on the ouch side, hitting businesses at twice the rate of domestic property taxes and rolling equipment in excess of $65K into the assessed valuation, and so discourages businesses from moving here. And the Republican reaction is equally expected; rather than modifying the structure, they want to eliminate the property tax outright and cut the corporate income tax rate in order to lure more companies here. And this will result in an immediate $250 million shortfall for the state this year.

It's a tossup. The equipment tax is a strong disincentive for more lucrative manufacturing operations. More companies opening up shop here means more jobs. Across-the-board property tax elimination, corporate rate cuts, and a proposed whopping 57 percent reduction of corporate capital gains taxes means less revenue for the state. And our new solidly Republican state government has already shown that less revenue means zero support for education and social services beyond the stuff that's federally mandated, because they cannot for the life of them recognize any connection between the quality of public education and the quality of the jobs that will be available to graduates of the system.

The revenue loss would mean less money for education, [Tucson High teacher Elizabeth Slaine] said. And Arizona's economy won't improve unless there are people qualified to be in business.

Rep. Andy Biggs, R-Gilbert, scoffed at that contention.

"Education does not create jobs," he said. "Entrepreneurs and businesses create jobs."

Good luck building your business with people who can't read or do basic math well enough to fill out your purchase orders, Andy. I'm not sure where the entrepreneurs you're counting on will be coming from, unless you're assuming they'll all have to be lured in from out-of-state with your massive tax breaks. Hell, while you're at it, why not simply convert Arizona to a mainland offshore island economy, where no uncomfortable questions are asked of corporate masters and a permanent underclass is being readied as we speak?

Monday, February 23, 2009


Spring sprang over the weekend. Now it is hot.

Yet again, I failed to see any of the films nominated for Best Film, although I did see Wall-E. Which had a nominated song and some technical awards. For me that's pretty good. As much as I love the movie theater popcorn, I do not love paying upwards of nine-ten bucks to sit in a room with people who bring infants and toddlers to definitely non-age-appropriate movies, who idly text on their phones throughout the movie, or just sit and have full-volume conversations during the movie. And it sucks, because I used to love going to the movies way back in the day.

I paid to see Raiders of the Lost Ark twenty times in the theater. Twenty! Total geek in high school! Total geek still!

Total geek who hasn't gotten around to seeing Slumdog. Is it on video yet?

I liked Hugh Jackman as host, and had no idea he could sing. Sophia Loren frightened me. You know she was just waiting for someone to ask uh, what now? about that homemade pot-scrubber dress so she could coolly remove their head with a single icy glare. I also liked the mini-affirmation ceremonies for the best acting noms. Everyone goes home a winner!

In other news, I am still apparently not back into it enough to dive into politics. Coming soon, I promise.

Saturday, February 21, 2009


After a day jam-packed with utterly mundane domestic chores, I am unapologetically sitting with my feet up watching the Tar Heels biff it to a bunch of guys dressed like mustard bottles and enjoying the best snacks the kitchen has to offer. If pale ale and Girl Scout cookies are wrong, I don't want to be right ever again.

Thin Mints. Le sigh.

What a fuck of a week. My deepest personal misery can never touch the super special suckwad misery that accompanies my kid's life unraveling. His best friend is still in an undisclosed location in California and CPS can barely muster the energy for a shrug in the boy's direction. And he (my kid) got cut from the varsity volleyball team in a decision that spurred the captain to come apologize to him on behalf of the rest of the team for the coach's baffling rostering decisions. But! He got his driver's license today, so maybe things will start to turn around for him.

They better. I've been too heartsick to do much besides bury myself in work, not even slacking enough to update the blog more than a couple of times.

There is a lot to talk about, after all. We have North Dakota deciding that zygotes have equal legal standing to actual people and superior legal standing to their mobile incubators the women carrying them. We have the Arizona legislature deciding to cut off all non-federally-mandated funding to the Division of Economic Security, which administers minor programs like children & family services and services to people with developmental disabilities. Oh! And we have Hootie-Hoo Carla advancing to the finale of Top Chef! Swoon!

I will get to these topics tomorrow. Today I am busy with a Thin Mints tower.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

This is not a Cupcake Blog

Public service announcement:

Many, many readers have found their way here after Google searches returning this innocent little picture:

I brazenly nicked it from the Google myself back on my birthday, because it was the happiest little cupcake picture I could find. I would like to eat it even now.

So if you have come here in search of cupcakes, you will be sorely disappointed, but if you are interested in breathless up-to-the-minute updates on what it means to be a totally cool cutting-edge middle-aged lesbian Tucson archaeologist who may or may not have an unhealthy fixation on Rachel Maddow, do stick around.

Or if you're Homer and want to bake me some highly glutenized cupcakes like the one in the picture, you can do that too.

We now continue with our regularly scheduled John McCain Is A Total Douchebag programming. Enjoy!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Oh, This is Nice

Just a reminder, if we needed one, that no matter what happens in Hawaii or how loud the post-election anti-Prop 8 protests were or how many lesbians finagle marriage licenses in Tucson, the crap is still out there, and it's thick. The following is merely a short excerpt from a full-page ad run in the Salt Lake Tribune.
For example, by holding hands and kissing in the public area of: an apartment complex playground, in a family neighborhood, at a party, or to present one's self as a homosexual person in the workplace, is stating and displaying that he or she practices sodomy, and if backed by law, will force the acceptance of homosexuality as a relationship equal to a man and woman relationship.

Quelle horreur. By holding hands in "the public area of a party"--do you need a press pass to get in there? I am confused--you send a message about a specific sexual practice. Kinda throws our annual Christmas party into a whole new light; O Holy Night indeed! I'm not sure what message is sent by a straight couple holding hands, although the way this is written, apparently all hand-holding couples are broadcasting their affinity for non-P/V sex, since orientation isn't exactly specified there in the present active participle. Utah, you can has it. I was there once, or at least my right hand was, for maybe ten seconds while playing at the Four Corners Monument. That will be plenty for one lifetime.

Top!Secret G-woman knows how to keep me cheery! By sending along stuff from Andrew Sullivan she knows I didn't get around to reading!

Sunday, February 15, 2009


Friday's Daily Star announced that two lesbians got a marriage license from the Pima County clerk in Tucson during a Freedom to Marry protest on Thursday. The original plan appeared to have been for a male couple to attempt to obtain a license as a centerpiece of the protest, and that part went off without a hitch when their application was rejected on the basis of the word "bride" having been scratched out and replaced with "groom." So then the lesbians decided to give it a go and just left the form unaltered. The clerk shrugged and said whatevs, and they walked out with a signed, stamped, and notarized marriage license, leaving their fellow protestors a bit dumfounded and forcing a slight change in the program from full-on protest to slightly befuddled celebration.
[Clerk of the court Patti] Noland said her clerks do not ask about a couple's gender when they apply for a marriage certificate.

"It doesn't matter one way or another. If they fill out the form and swear it's true and correct, we'll issue the marriage license," Noland said.

The women could face charges of fraudulent schemes and practices, a Class 5 felony.

The women are prepared to argue that the information they provided and swore to is accurate, and that they cannot be held liable for an inherently faulty legal form that presupposes "bride/groom" rather than "party 1/party 2." No one is really expecting any charges to be filed, and no one, unfortunately, is really expecting any state-sanctioned nuptials either. The local marriage equality folks are lining up the ACLU and Lamba Legal for the inevitable court case when the state--bound both by statute and the reprehensible constitutional amendment passed in November by every fucking county except ours--refuses to honor the license that was issued.

Still, interesting times. Interesting decision by the clerk who okayed the application, interesting reaction by the head clerk, and, I'm sure, an interesting bit of litigation coming down the pike. Stay tuned.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Back, if a Bit Boggled

The runaway is alive, at least, and his foster mother is pretty sure his drug-addict biological mom has taken him to California. The cops are about as disinterested as they can be, possibly because the kid in question is 16 and male and with biological relatives, despite the fact that they were stripped of their parental rights because of, oh yeah, that little major drug problem. They told the foster mom to call them if she figures out exactly where he is and then maybe they'll try to get him back.

My ex, who works for the division of state government that encompasses Child Protective Services, says the cops are fairly worthless in cases like this until CPS and the foster care system get on their asses. I hope that happens soon. I just want the boy to come home so my son can get his life back on track--it's not every day that the guy you've been best friends with since fourth grade just disappears--and then I want to hug him and strangle him. Haven't decided which order those will happen in yet.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Goddamn Kids

We have been taking a brief hiatus, hopefully no more than a few days. My son's best friend ran away from home Sunday night and has yet to be definitively located, so my focus needs to be someplace other than political and cultural snark for now.

Hug 'em if you got 'em.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

John McCain is a Fucking Tool

Remember the John McCain we had during the campaign? The one who scoffed at Barack Obama's ability to get anything done in Washington because only he, St. John Bipartisan McCain, had an established record of putting partisan politics aside and reaching across the aisle for the greater good of the country? Yeah, that guy? He doesn't exist any more.
But this week, with President Barack Obama in the White House and McCain back in Congress, the Arizona senator has played a prominent and uncompromising role in rallying Republican opposition to the Democratic majority and its stimulus plan.

McCain's actions in the stimulus debate make for a very different leadership profile than he touted during the presidential campaign. His push for tax cuts as well as spending cuts, and his slashing, partisan rhetoric, are a far cry from his role a few years ago in leading a bipartisan coalition that sought compromise on how the Senate handles judicial nominations.

The Senate debate on the stimulus plan is only a few days old, but McCain's already demonstrating a distressing readiness to engage in campaign-style obfuscation to score political points at the expense of that greater good.

"This bill has become nothing more than a massive spending bill," he has said. "To portray it as stimulus flies in the face of reality."

Does McCain understand what stimulus is? It is an injection of cash into the economy, and providing federal and state agencies with funding to spend on projects that have to be contracted out to private companies that will then be able to, you know, pay their employees to do the work is a far surer syringe than yet another round of tax cuts that will ensure the wealthiest Americans have even more cash to sock away in untouchable offshore accounts. So yes, it is a massive spending bill. But it will spread the wealth to a far greater segment of the population and result in concrete, material results that benefit society as a whole than the same amount of money handed out in the form of tax cuts. And ain't nothin' wrong with that.

Let Rachel break it down for you.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Friday Again? That Was Quick

The week screamed by and I barely noticed. Some items pinging my radar today:

In the Whole Lotta Good, Little Bitta Crap department we have Obama capping a week of signing SCHIP and capping bailed-out-executive compensation at $500K (sniff, sob) by reversing course on federally-funded faith-based organizations and deciding they can go ahead and keep discriminating in hiring after all.
Obama clearly singled out the policy during a July campaign speech, declaring that "if you get a federal grant, you can't use that grant money to proselytize to the people you help and you can't discriminate against them — or against the people you hire—on the basis of their religion."

But once he won the election, religious conservatives began lobbying Obama and his transition team on the issue.

Thursday's announcement surprised and pleased religious conservatives, who had a strong ally in Bush and had been pressing the new Democratic president to revoke his earlier promise.

While this may not be as bad as it looks on the surface--a review process has been put in place to "ensure that federal programs and practices involving grants or contracts to faith-based organizations are consistent with law," allowing specific grants to be evaluated for legality in hiring--the glossy picture doesn't show the details of what was probably intended to be a compromise but has come back looking like capitulation. Capitulation to conservatives, again, for no apparent gain other than the ability to cite specific examples of attempted cooperation and accomodation of decidedly non-liberal viewpoints, while giving a tacit imprimatur to religious discrimination and using federal funds for just a little bit of proselytizing on the side.

In other capitulation news, I think I'm capitulating on trying to understand the machinations at work as the Senate holds the stimulus bill up by its ankles and shakes it in hopes that something good falls out of its pockets. It came in at $880B, climbed to $920B, moderate Republicans tried to trim it to $650B, and now it's settled at about $800B. And still no one is sure what needs to be in it and what needs to be out. I sure as hell don't know.

Some items on the cutting board included $99 million in technology upgrades for the State Department's National Cyber Security Initiative, $200 million for benefits for Filipino veterans, $55 million for the Historic Preservation Fund, and $122 million for the Coast Guard to purchase new or renovated polar icebreakers.

But senators also debated whether to keep in the bill numerous big-ticket items that their colleagues had fought for. About $14 billion in Pell grant funding appeared to have survived, but some senators were targeting at least $10 billion in other education programs. Billions of dollars in energy efficiency incentives and state aid also were under review by the centrist group.

Could the problem be that the scope of the stimulus package is simply too far-reaching and hopelessly broad? We are in a state of panic and everyone agrees that somebody has to do something right now about it, but one of the first rules of surviving a disaster is to compartmentalize. We need economic triage, and what's coming out of the House and Senate at the moment is the equivalent of the guests in a ballroom that's caught fire running around screaming with their hands in the air trying to put out all the fires and collect all the fur coats and save the champagne and finish the quickie in behind the stairs and hey how about we strip that old wallpaper while we're in here instead of assessing, planning, and executing a series of small tasks in order.

Don't get me wrong; I love Filipino veterans as much as the next guy, and appreciate the need for polar icebreakers--although if the Coast Guard can just wait a few months, all the polar ice should be gone anyway--but I don't know that their funding belongs in this bill. The on-fire ballroom absolutely needs some ADA-compliant toilets and low-energy compact fluorescent lighting, but the plumbers and electricians should really wait to get in there until the fire is out or there might not be enough money left over to pay the firemen, and then no ballroom left to upgrade. Can we not have a series of stimulus bills that are graded to address the most pressing needs first?

That, of course, would require a majority of senators to agree on those most pressing needs, and prospects for that are grim.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

My Terrible Dark Secret

I may or may not have kind of a thing for Martha Stewart, not in a dykey way, just an awkward awestruckness at her ingenuity. I definitely have a totally dykey thing for Rachel Maddow, as you may have surmised. And I like carrot soup.

Forthwith, what it looks like when my worlds collide.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Monday Recession Blues

Hot on the heels of Homer's succinct summation of Arizona's new all-Republican state government on, well, the state of Arizona, we learn this morning that a Tucson city councilman has proposed a one-year waiver of impact fees for developers in an attempt to jumpstart the construction industry in the area.
The money that would be given up is funding that would pay for infrastructure and services around the new commercial and residential developments.

[Rodney] Glassman's proposal has broad support from the development and construction sectors. In fact, Glassman said he crafted it after meeting with several commercial and residential developers.

In fact? I'm sure he did. Glassman claims that allowing developers to forego impact fees would foster more urban infill development and curtail sprawl into the few outlying areas that remain untouched by the housing boom of the early '00s. Considering that the impact fees were instituted in the first place to rein in that sprawl, wherein developers were allowed to cram as many crackerjack houses onto lots as they could without being liable for the resulting exponential increase in demand for high-volume roads, utilities, public safety, and schools, this argument sounds just a wee bit counterintuitive to me.

Also confusing my limited brainpower this morning is the continuing connection of a metropolitan area's economic health to new housing starts. I understand that guys in construction need to build houses in order to get paid, but has anyone noticed how many houses in fairly new developments are standing vacant? Or vacant and unfinished? Or how many houses in established neighborhoods are for sale? Who exactly is supposed to buy and live in all the new houses Councilman Glassman is hoping to help build? It's not a big Habitat for Humanity project he has in mind.

It's a similar boggling argument to the one made by Representative Don Manzullo (R-IL) on Rachel Maddow Thursday night, in which he insisted that a better use of stimulus money than infrastructure improvements would be subsidizing new car loans so that American auto manufacturers would get the new orders they need to stay in business.

You take a $5000 voucher, you go to your Chrysler dealer or dealer of your choice, you buy the car, you knock 25 percent off that car, then you could buy a nice Jeep Patriot for less than $300 a month!

Well, okay. Buying that nice Jeep Patriot with government help still means I'm out, what, $299 a month, and that I've helped keep a couple hundred Illinois GM workers on the job for an additional couple of months before the company folds. The end result is that they're still out of work sooner rather than later and I'm stuck with a shiny new SUV I can't afford to make the payments on or keep in gas. Take the cash for those umpteen million $5000 vouchers you want to hand out and pour it into rail upgrades and bridge repair and updating the electric grid, and while it still may be only a few thousand workers here and there whose jobs are being preserved--likely none of them in the auto industry--in return for those continuing individual paychecks and individual boosts in buying power we get something concrete to show for it. We get infrastructure improvements that ultimately benefit everyone. But the Republicans somehow think it's socialism when government money is used for public works rather than for individual conspicuous consumption.

Pulling back to Tucson, now, the question remains of who benefits from impact fee suspensions besides Pulte Homes and Diamond Ventures when the rest of us are stuck with the bill for the new roads, sewers, and gas lines that will be run to the new houses. And what, exactly, is supposed to make infill more attractive than blade 'n' grade when the cost to the builder is all the same.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

We Also Has a Migraine

Ancient and not-so-ancient people the world over drilled holes in their heads from time to time (or hacked good-sized chunks out of their own skulls with stone knives), and after the past 24 hours that is starting to make more and more sense to me.

This might have helped yesterday.

They always hit in the wee hours of a weekend morning, like 3:30 wee, which severely limits my chances of getting a Torodol shot from my doctor's office. Can it ever be during regular business hours? Heavens no.

Figure VIII is the ticket.

Would you like to be Boltgirl for a day? Find an icepick. Draw an imaginary line connecting your left and right temples. Hold the icepick horizontally and place the point at the intersection of this imaginary line with the outside of your left temple. Have a friend drive the icepick into your head along this line, preferably with a four-pound crackhammer, until the point of the pick is lodged directly behind your left eyeball. Leave it there for 48 hours. Maybe tie a weight to the handle of the pick so it wiggles every time you move your head. There, wasn't that easy?

In other news, the Super Bowl is today and I sincerely hope my head stops exploding long enough for me to drink enough beer to make it explode in different ways. Chez Bolt is not rooting for the Cardinals, despite being located in the same state. The girlfriend grew up outside Pittsburgh and the Steelers have always been my AFC team of choice, and, besides, Bill Bidwell is slimy, the Cards never made much of an effort to be friendly to Baja Arizona, and all the taxpayer money that went to build their very strange looking stadium in Glendale opened the gates to an ongoing flood of public funds to that godawful municipality, which has since sucked more than the lion's share of resources to west Phoenix and left Tucson more and more in the dust.

And thus ends the bitchfest for this weekend.