My virtual office.

An unexpected night off last night, or a partial one. I was two hours into a seven-hour shift, typical Sunday night, the world of business slowly coming back from the weekend as Monday’s sun moved around the globe. There was a flurry in Australia, not much out of India, Europe ditto and then the equivalent of a five-bell bulletin for the pharmaceuticals industry — the CEO of Pfizer was throwing in the towel, unexpectedly. He said he was tired (which put Madeline Kahn in my head for the rest of the night, singing “…tired of playing the game…”). I got the first few of what surely would be an avalanche of stories into the queue and then my internet went out.

Restarted the laptop. Nothing. Restarted laptop and router. Nothing. Restarted laptop, router and cable modem, ditto. Repeated everything. Nothing. Tried to call Comcast, and the service line was busy. Hmm, a clue. Went on Twitter via my phone, searched “comcast” and got page after page of tweets from “one minute ago” from people using words like SUX and FAIL. Obviously, this wasn’t just our house. So I called the main office in Ann Arbor and got the payroll person/office manager, or rather she would be the office manager if we had an office. She said she thought the überboss was awake, but he was in California. Lucky I have his cell number. Called him, and he covered while I went off to Caribou Coffee and got on their network.

This all took about half an hour.

But Caribou was closing at 10, so the office manager roused the guy who would replace me at 1 a.m., and he agreed to come on three hours early. Meanwhile, we had the Pfizer story dripping into our client’s breaking-news queue right on schedule. My relief IM’d me at 9:55 and took the helm, and I left as Caribou was getting ready to lock up.

Went home, internet still out. But the cable worked, so I watched “Boardwalk Empire” and treated myself to a pre-midnight bedtime. This morning, on Facebook, I saw the guy who replaced me last night, tagged in a photo. It was the first time I’d ever seen his face. (He lives in Texas.)

And I’m telling you all this why? Because it occurred to me during all this what a very modern workplace this is, how very much of the modern world it is. One of our editors is famous for taking a multi-week tour of Europe a few years back, and never missing a shift. He did his research carefully, and made sure he was always near a good wifi hotspot, did his job, and let his bank account reliably refill every payday. He lives across town, in Detroit. Never met him, either, although my friend Michael has, at a party.

“I met your colleague Zack,” he e-mailed.

“Really?” I replied. “What does he look like?”

I know some of you are baffled by all this. (And I know I lost some of you back when I used the phrase “five-bell bulletin.”) I have a part-time job. Title: Editor. I call myself a news farmer. We track news of interest to our corporate clients. We’re entirely virtual, we’re all contractors, and we’re scattered from sea to shining sea. Advantage: Work at home, on your couch, in your jammies and slippers. Disadvantage: Work at home, see no one, communicate with colleagues entirely via IM and e-mail. And so when someone invites you to a party, with actual living flesh-and-blood guests, you’re pathetically grateful, which is how I found myself at a gorgeous Palmer Woods mansion — the Van Dusen, if you’re interested — on Saturday night.

This was part of the Palmer Woods holiday home tour, Palmer Woods being the grandest of Detroit’s grand old neighborhoods, every house a showplace, with a truly diverse population of well-to-do buppies and yuppies and flamboyantly creative and artistic gentlemen. Two of the latter were the official hosts of the afterglow, with their spectacular flower arrangements everywhere and samovars of Pama martinis. And I looked up, and who was leaning against the piano but James McDaniel, whom most of you remember as Lt. Fancy on “NYPD Blue,” but is known around here as Sgt. Longford on “Detroit 1-8-7.”

No, I didn’t talk to him. I think the absolute worst thing about being an actor would be having people flock around you like toadies, telling you how much they like your work. Although Michael did, and said he was a really nice guy.

All in all, not a bad weekend. How was yours?

I’ll tell you what, parties and “Boardwalk Empire” sure beat the news this weekend, which takes us to the bloggage:

Krugman on Bush tax cuts: Just say no:

So Mr. Obama should draw a line in the sand, right here, right now. If Republicans hold out, and taxes go up, he should tell the nation the truth, and denounce the blackmail attempt for what it is.

Yes. Yes yes yes yes yes. Why is this so hard?

Alex says that if I make this column the lead in today’s entry, the headline should be Blow: Me. Whaddaya think? I think the column is stupid, personally.

No, I will not be changing my Facebook profile picture to a cartoon today. As LGM puts it:

It’s an under-publicized historical fact that A. Lincoln was persuaded to issue the Emancipation Proclamation after millions of union supporters changed their Facechapbook avatars to dageuerreotypes of famous abolitionists.

Monday, Monday. Gotta get to it.

Posted at 9:58 am in Current events, Detroit life, Same ol' same ol' |
 

52 responses to “My virtual office.”

  1. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 6, 2010 at 10:07 am

    Oh, it does no harm, unless it becomes a substitute for actual action. My wife told me to go with Dudley Do-right over Foghorn Leghorn, my first choice, but then she wouldn’t use Nell. There’s a whole ‘nother story about the Lucy pic she’s using, behind the “Psychiatric Help, 5 cents” booth.

    I don’t get why the small but meaningful number (12%, MediaMatters says) of the million-plus gang who are actually people-employing small businesses can’t be protected in some way, and then let the rates snap back for $250K and up. I’m for that, and I’m in the dwindling conservative caucus around here.

  2. Linda said on December 6, 2010 at 10:27 am

    Jeff, you can think those things because you are not dependent on campaign cash. Have you ever seen a bigger band of whores than congressional Republicans? They think “on principle” that extending unemployment is wrong, but are willing to do it if their real constituency gets theirs. Not the chumps they periodically hustle votes from, but the people whose priorities are most important to them.

    And have you seen a bigger band of wimps than Democrats? Really, what is their selling point? “We won’t treat you quite as crappily as Republicans?”

  3. Rana said on December 6, 2010 at 10:41 am

    These days my working assumption is not that the Democrats are clueless or wimpy, but that they like things as they are. They provide enough weak protest to keep the fiction of the two parties being on opposing sides alive, then go ahead with the plan.

    Note that I’m not saying that there is no difference between the two parties. While both serve and benefit from a system shaped by corporate power, it’s what they do with the crumbs left over that’s different. However, those crumbs are just that, crumbs. Neither part is likely at this point to shake up who gets to sit at the table, and who does not.

  4. Rana said on December 6, 2010 at 10:52 am

    Nancy, I’m contemplating your account of the office-by-network situation you describe (and the role that Caribou Coffee played in it). I’ve come to the by-now-inescapable conclusion that I’m unlikely to ever have a job that expects me to commute to an office every day. Instead, the income I earn is going to be obtained through a patchwork of part-time jobs, freelancing, and online work.

    Right now I’m getting credentialed to do indexing, which is one of those untethered professions – this month’s industry periodical has one article that’s a group interview with people who index while traveling, one while exploring Europe, one from their Winnebago, one who has combined it with pet- and house-sitting for 15 years.* One of the first lessons on the CD-ROM course is, indeed, that “Indexing is an unsocial profession” – meaning that work will come over the holidays or other inconvenient times, and that except for occasional meetings and online contacts, you work alone.

    I figure the hours I spend studying in Starbucks – the only place outside my house that stays open until 11pm in this city – are a large part of what keeps me sane, since they are my main source of embodied human contact during the week. If you go there often enough – my friend and I are now on a first-name basis with the manager – you recognize the other regulars, even if you never get their names. Since they have wi-fi, I can also keep up with my other line of contact, the internet, as you did at Caribou.

    *One of the other articles is contemplating the possible competition from indexers in India and China in the future.

  5. Julie Robinson said on December 6, 2010 at 11:10 am

    Reading this description of news farming I was struck by its similarity to the newspaper carrier. You are affected by circumstances beyond your control, you don’t get paid if you’re not working, and you find your own substitute. There’s something ironic there.

    Rana, I think the Dems are just tired and finding it easier to let events control them. They need to come back swinging in the new Congress.

    Yesterday I had an incredible experience. Our pastor has resigned and our daughter was asked to fill in for a few services. I was totally unprepared for the rush of emotions when she proclaimed the forgiveness of our sins. I had to blink back my tears and am still at a loss for words. It was a God moment and a Mom moment and very dear to me.

  6. LAMary said on December 6, 2010 at 11:14 am

    Before looking at which column Alex was referring to, I thought maybe it included a photo of you wearing a hat like this one:

    http://www.style.com/peopleparties/celebritysearch/person694/slideshow?iphoto=16

    That would be perfect for you mansion visits.

  7. moe99 said on December 6, 2010 at 11:21 am

    Jeff tmmo: It is far closer to that than you imagine. I received this analysis of the tax cuts from an attorney in AZ. Too bad the media can’t take the time to understand it and write about it accurately.

    “…income over $250,000 will be taxed at a higher rate. But even those who make $1 million a year will see the first $200,000 (for single filers) or $250,000 (married filing jointly) taxed at the lower current rates, and the lines will be moved so that some income now taxed at 33% will go down to a 28% marginal rate. Everybody paying income taxes now would see the Bush income tax cuts extended at current rates, and people up around the top 3% (at ~$200,000) would see their marginal tax rates go down on part of that income.

    Under Obama’s proposal, income approaching and then over $250,000, which is now taxed at 33 and 35% – the change from 33 to 35% is at $373,650 – will go down to 28% at the lower end of the range, and will go up to 36% at $250,000 (married filing jointly) or $200,000 (for single filers), and then to 39.6% at $375,700 and above (whether single or married filing jointly).”

  8. Catherine said on December 6, 2010 at 11:23 am

    My work is a lot like what you describe. I can and do work anywhere and anytime. The only time I’m not in touch with clients and vendors is when I’m completely off the grid, which is almost never.

    The funny thing is trying to explain this to people who don’t work that way. Two recent examples: Our school district is moving offices, and were appalled at the idea they might have to go to two different sites in the same city. I was like, “Folks, my clients are in NY, LA and Hong Kong, and my vendors are in S America, NY, LA and India. So suck it.” Another organization I work with was looking at moving/downsizing offices, and were upset that executive-level people might lose offices! with doors! and windows! The new office is a table at Starbucks, IMO.

  9. Sue said on December 6, 2010 at 11:24 am

    I believe the ‘deal’ they are working on regarding tax cuts will be: 2 more years of the current plan in exchange for not throwing millions of unemployed people under the bus by cutting off their benefits.
    What will happen? Someone will forget to put a time frame on the unemployment benefits and there will be another big fight about it in a few months, when benefits begin to expire for the next group. Then in two years, in spite of the fact that polls will continue to show that the majority of Americans think the tax cut for the 250K+ folks should expire, Republicans will effectively use the issue to scare voters and Democrats will somehow be unable to communicate the reality effectively enough to keep from losing their seats.
    Just like they are now. Why isn’t anyone asking this simple question: if the reason for this tax cut for the rich is because they create jobs, WHERE ARE THE JOBS? Where is the statistical proof that jobs are created by giving personal tax breaks to, say, bankers and owners of manufacturing companies? Can we draw a line from the manufacturer who is moving jobs out of the country and his income and say, no jobs here, folks? This should be brought up everywhere, in every speech, by every politician who isn’t working hard at preserving the status quo.
    BTW, is anyone even bothering to contact their elected representatives about anything anymore? I’m not and I have to admit I feel like a fool for trying this past year or so.

  10. Kim said on December 6, 2010 at 11:25 am

    Does anybody else remember when earning $250,000/year used to be a lot of money?

  11. LAMary said on December 6, 2010 at 11:39 am

    Kim, for me that still would be a lot of money and I live a big expensive city.

  12. 4dbirds said on December 6, 2010 at 11:41 am

    “Yes. Yes yes yes yes yes. Why is this so hard?”
    Because he wants it this way. I’m off the bandwagon. The man is either a conservative or the weakest person to occupy the office. Unless congress lets the cuts expire for all, I’m done with them too.

  13. coozledad said on December 6, 2010 at 11:46 am

    LA Mary: Poor Isabella Blow. I’ve seen that hat she was wearing on the wall of a Chinese restaurant. I guess the definition of genius is a couple of neurons firing the message “I’ll bet that would look good on my head”, and then no responsible cells resisting with a counterargument.

  14. LAMary said on December 6, 2010 at 11:51 am

    Isabella is dead and gone but her hat collaborations with Philip Treacy live on. That thing Sarah Jessica Parker wore on her head at the Londond premiere of SATC 2 was a product of the Blow/Treacy team.

    Even more off topic:
    Here’s some modern wit incorporated into a snappy comeback from Tit Palin:
    http://gawker.com/5706776/bristol-palins-stale-lesbian-joke-repertoire?skyline=true&s=i

  15. nancy said on December 6, 2010 at 11:59 am

    Why do so many objectively, um, unpretty women like Isabella compensate with ridiculous avant-garde fashion? You could almost put Lady Gaga in that group, although I think she’s nice looking enough, in the bare handful of extant pictures showing her pre-Gaga. I believe fashion is art, but lordy. That “hat” is ridiculous, even for edgy style.

  16. ROgirl said on December 6, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    If BP ($P Jr.) wrote that Facebook post she’d be running her mother’s campaign.

  17. nancy said on December 6, 2010 at 12:13 pm

    That was exactly my thought — allusions to k.d. lang and the Indigo Girls by a 20-year-old high school dropout who spent the first 18 in Alaska? Canard? Please. Will these people ever stop insulting our intelligence?

  18. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 6, 2010 at 12:30 pm

    Julie — awesome. Thanks for telling us about that moment.

  19. LAMary said on December 6, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    The Palin snappy comeback just reeks of old fart campaign guy writing, doesn’t it? Bet he thought it was genius work.

  20. nancy said on December 6, 2010 at 12:41 pm

    No, it’s some woman named Rebecca Mansour. She’s the ghost on the social-networking front, and likely on many others, as well. I can scarcely believe the girl who attended five colleges before graduation had given thought one to JFK’s Houston speech about his Catholicism until she read the first draft prepared by Team Palin.

  21. a different Connie said on December 6, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    A great cartoon about the work at home life:

    http://theoatmeal.com/comics/working_home

  22. coozledad said on December 6, 2010 at 12:58 pm

    That’s a perfect demonstration of the Republicans’ cargo-cultism when it comes to humor. You could say the same thing about Maureen Dowd and Charles Blow, too.
    If you were writing a screenplay about a down at heels drunk failure of a comedian, you’d want to crib his responses to hecklers from Jonah Goldberg, or Ross Douthat, or John McCain’s joke writing team. It’s like they’re decorating the coastline with stale pop culture references hoping the funny will drift ashore.

  23. Sue said on December 6, 2010 at 1:07 pm

    Nancy, LAMary and Cooz: **yeahbut** even stale, pop culture references to KD Lang and the Indigo girls would probably still go over the heads of either Palin girl’s intended audiences.
    A lesbian joke using a couple of recent female Supreme Court appointees would hit it right out of the park with that intended audience. This is a real lost opportunity, if you ask me.

  24. John G. Wallace said on December 6, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    Still waiting for Assange to cash in his frequent flyer miles for a charted BBJ “rendition” flight with personal service, and the world’s only ensuite airborne Water Boarding spa.

    The masses could give a crap about details of the wars, and snarky diplomatic cables, and buy the story he’s “putting our troops in danger.” How? By revealing the Pakistani intelligence (oxymoron alert) fed intel and arms to the taliban, that NEWS FLASH: Karzai is corrupt.

    But if the masses grasp the fact that the U.S. and British and likely Russian nukes have been shut down or rendered inert by UFO’s, that might be too much truth for the average Fox News viewer. Of course they won’t get the fact that without our strategic and theatre wide nuclear deterance advantage, it comes down to the biggest kid on the block who wins.

    It also means the cold war was likely a comfort blanket of Mutally Assured Destruction, when in fact all the superpowers knew they were potentially armed with a gun filled with blanks. There’s a news story.

  25. Kim said on December 6, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    LAMary – $250K is totally a lot of money! I was trying to be ironic. Maybe the hat I am wearing – it looks like the treehouse my kids built, complete with trapdoor – really is squeezing my brain too hard.

  26. Rana said on December 6, 2010 at 2:06 pm

    a different Connie, English speak is becoming hardness, yes. 😉

  27. LAMary said on December 6, 2010 at 2:07 pm

    Sorry for misunderstanding, Kim. Truly, if I made 250k the kids’ tuition would be no sweat, the dental bills, the car repairs, the new washing machine I had to buy last month…aaaaaaaghhhh.

  28. moe99 said on December 6, 2010 at 2:31 pm

    Part of the reason that I am so frustrated about this tax crap is that the media is NOT reporting what Democrats are saying. I hate to sound like prospero, but it seems that Sen. Kerry was dishing it out y’day but all we get in the intertubes is crickets:

    http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2010/12/5/925822/-Nobody-Wrote-a-Diary-About-John-Kerry-Today

  29. mark said on December 6, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    Is that the same John Kerry who docked his multi-million dollar yacht outside Massachusetts to avoid taxes? http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/07/23/john-kerry-saves-500000-b_n_656985.html

  30. moe99 said on December 6, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    sigh

  31. beb said on December 6, 2010 at 3:49 pm

    Mark, this is why millionaires deserve to pay a high marginal tax rate. They already have so many ways of skimping on our taxes. They don’t need any more.

  32. moe99 said on December 6, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    http://blogs.reuters.com/felix-salmon/2010/12/06/chart-of-the-day-u-s-taxes/

  33. prospero said on December 6, 2010 at 4:46 pm

    “Kerry’s Yacht” is the property of an LLC incorporated in Pittsburgh of which Teresa Heinz is the controlling owner. I think if tax avoidance was a priority, they would have tried Delaware. The yacht was actually purchased in Rhode Island and all pertinent taxes were paid. The boat’s intended mostly for charter use, so I imagine mooring and other usage taxes are legally deductible as business taxes. Just about pure politics-as-usual misdirection. Monkey-see, monkey-do crap-flinging to give cover to…

    Republicans committing political blackmail and legislative kidnapping over taxes and unemployment benefits. Their policies (using the term as loosely as granny panties in a DKNY ad) and tactics are aimed at screwing over at least 987% of Americans, including the most desperateand have zero chance of producing jobs. And the booboisee will continue to blame Democrats.

    As often as I’ve said Americans are too dumb to vote, I’m starting to believe there may be benefit-of-the-doubt psychiatric explanation — Stockholm Syndrome. I suppose that’s more optimistic than attributing this seemingly inexplicable behavior to widespread stupidity. I mean, Patty Hearst eventually got over Cinque.

  34. coozledad said on December 6, 2010 at 5:01 pm

    Prospero: But they’ll never get over their leathery otter-maned captor. He apparently punched all the buttons that made latency worthwhile.
    I still don’t understand why Republicans find it so hard to employ their odious little “Thank you ever so much for your service” phrase re Kerry.

  35. Deborah said on December 6, 2010 at 5:09 pm

    Sad, I just read on TPM that Elizabeth Edwards has taken a turn for the worse. I hope that hussy Reille Hunter rots in hell. Not that she has anything to do with Elizabeth’s cancer, and John probably chased tail all over the place a long time before that. But my God couldn’t she have waited for the corpse to cool?

    Julie, your comment above about your daughter brought tears to my eyes, and I don’t even go to church anymore.

  36. prospero said on December 6, 2010 at 5:19 pm

    And Mark, how do you think Kerry’s voting on the tax cuts. I think he’s with Bill Gates and Warren Buffet on this. Newt Gingrich says let rich folks decide on their tax cuts. Well, Kerry’s a commoniss demon, right? Gates is a wishy-washy nerd and Buffet’s an old-school, unabashed Republican capitalist. That’s your perfect bipartisan commission.

    Thing is, too, GOP would not even vote for setting tax-cut ceiling at the first $1,000,000, in the interest of extending long-erm unemployment benefits, that would immediately boost the US economy. Somebody want to claim that’s fiscally responsible behavior, or that seven figures isn’t a lot of money? Related to the merde claims about damaging “small bidnesses”, I’d bet the $1mil put-upon would be hedge funds, white-shoe lawfirms, and a bunch of cosmetic surgery LLCs.

  37. Jeff Borden said on December 6, 2010 at 5:24 pm

    Personally, I am more than willing to forgo affordable health care, embrace a slashing of Social Security and Medicare and work until I am 70 if it helps those nice Koch brothers and their conservative Republican friends.

    They’re such nice folks. . .always looking out for each other It’s time we proles stopped dreaming about a better life here on earth. As our conservative Republican friends can vouch, the really cool stuff will all happen to us when we die and go to heaven with Jesus and the Koch Brothers.

  38. prospero said on December 6, 2010 at 5:31 pm

    Coozledad: Republican enmity for Kerry is unmatched because he exposed Naked Emperor Raygun.

    Meanwhile, we’ve renovated our 25 yr. old condo. Ten years of college and grad school tuitions ended a short while back, and we’ve been more than doing our share to boost the economy, spending cash like shore leave, including installing (renewable green) bamboo where we’ve had 80s peach semi-shag for the last ten years. What is the best method for keeping these floors clean, y’all. Swiffer sucks. Hands and knees is a drag. What about those Shark thangs on TV.

  39. Sue said on December 6, 2010 at 5:38 pm

    And let’s not forget that one of the many sticking points in this whole negotiation is that while the tax cuts don’t have to be paid for, the unemployment extension does. If this compromise goes through and the tax cuts remain in place, I will be looking for how that little detail gets ironed out. Maybe we get the tax cuts without having to pay for them, but the unemployment insurance extension is paid for by cutting the funding for the National Association for Providing Heat for Little Match Girls.
    Oh, man, I’ve been reading TPM too much.

  40. prospero said on December 6, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    Jeff:

    Koch bros. remind me of Hunt Bros. who crashed the economy for personal gain by creating the Silver Bubble in the 70s. At the height of their finagling, in 1977, public records showed Nelson Bunker Hunt paid less than $100 in federal income tax. As Bristol would say, that was a gratuitous “big middle finger” to American taxpayers. I think Don Ameche and Ralph Bellamy played them in a bioflick. One can only hopes the Kochs get similar just deserts.

  41. Scout said on December 6, 2010 at 5:56 pm

    prospero, use Bona products to clean your bamboo. Bona is available at a hardware store near you.

  42. prospero said on December 6, 2010 at 6:05 pm

    Domo arigato, Scout. Here’s a Swiffer vss. Bona comparison I found on the net:

    http://www.findanyfloor.com/article/BonavsSwiffer-TheBambooFlooringCleanerFace-off.xhtml

    Pretty convincing.

  43. brian stouder said on December 6, 2010 at 7:17 pm

    With regard to my man President Obama, this whole tax issue reminds me of that line in Apocalypse Now; it’s a shit sandwich, and he has to take a bite. The lame-duck Democratic Congress is perfectly framed and screwed; all they can do is lose. If the congress does nothing, and ALL taxes go up, who will get the blame? (Hint: can’t you just see Bone-Head Boehner complaining about all the “chicken crap” going on? And how “Help is on the way”? And how the new congress and new Bone-Head speaker will make Job One fixing the mess that the evil Democrats and out-of-touch San Franciso Democratic Speaker Pelosi left behind?

    Meanwhile, the congressional Republicans have nothing to lose, at all. All they have to do is sit on their asses and bloviate, and then collect their winnings (either a big tax cut for their bosses and bagmen, or else a golden political club to use in the next election cycle)

    Meanwhile, President Obama is actually trying to govern, and is earning no points from either side. I liked the allusion to A. Lincoln being urged toward an Emancipation Proclamation by Facebook cartoons. Read how unhappy Lincoln’s own party was with him in the first two years of his administration (and never mind the northern Democrats and the damnable rebels!); Lincoln lurched from one catastrophe to the next, and constantly tried to accomodate border states and Norther Democrats, while short-changing many of his earlier ardent supporters – who became deeply uneasy about his methods and his prospects.

    By way of saying, I don’t like the current state of affairs, either; but Bone-Head Boehner (et al) has the whip hand just now; I think this is the Bone-Head/Tea Party zenith (compared to President Obama), and then going forward into the new congress, those chuckleheads will actually have responsibility for and ownership of our national challenges and responses, as Obama has right now.

    I’ve noticed that the radio lip-flappers have changed their tack a bit; now, instead portraying President Obama as a scarey black president who wants to sabotage America, the new portrait is one of an ineffectual little man (or “boy”, if they dare) who is out of his depth and who is not up to the job. I suppose this is necessary, so as not to credit President Obama when the economy rebounds (as surely it will), and the goal becomes to credit the GOP congress and not the Obama White House.

    But – whatever. My stock response anymore, when someone wants to badmouth my man Obama, is to ask “Who do you think will do a better job?”. And when they say (as they always do) – “ANYBODY!!” – I point out that “anybody” isn’t going to be on the ballot in 2012. They will have to select one person, warts and all, and that person will have to defeat President Obama in a national election; and I honestly don’t think anyone currently of the top 6 or 8 GOP national figures has any chance of defeating the president.

    But, we’ll see.

  44. 4dbirds said on December 6, 2010 at 7:18 pm

    Bona, Bona, Bona. The stuff is great.

  45. Deborah said on December 6, 2010 at 7:35 pm

    Brian, I hope you are right but as of now I am crabby and disillusioned. I love Obama more than God, he’s been my man since he hit the scene in Illinois. I hope he can pull it off but it feels really, really bad now. The Republicans have ALL the power and not too long ago they were in complete chaos. What’s wrong with this picture?

  46. DellaDash said on December 6, 2010 at 8:05 pm

    Ditto, Brian. Well put.

    MyManObama is compromising where he has to in order to champion those most in need of government assistance right now – the unemployed.

    No slim, young junior Senator was ever going to be able to ride in and slay all of our country’s dragons.

    That he’s acting like a civil servant rather than a grandstanding politician doesn’t disappoint me in the least.

  47. Rana said on December 6, 2010 at 8:17 pm

    Prospero – wrap a damp kitchen towel (the flour sack kind) around a dust mop, maybe with a bit of soap or vinegar (depending on your floor’s treatment) and push it around. Cheaper than Swiffer, does a better job, doesn’t have to be replaced.

  48. MichaelG said on December 6, 2010 at 9:45 pm

    Mary (way back at the beginning) that hat was lurvly but I really liked the shower curtain in which the lady was wrapped.

    Wi-Fi? New ways of working? My ass was on the 6:00 AM plane to Ontario to make a meeting at the Unemployment Insurance call center in Riverside this morning. We’re doing a renovation on the building. Somebody saved some money by snaffling up a 1995 spec built tilt up. Wanna see some shitty construction? Water intrusion? I got home at 5:30 this evening. That’s a long day and I’m sure the State of California is grateful for my efforts.

    They employ over 200 people at the call center. Ever see one of those places? They’re something. Every time I get bummed about my job, a visit to a place like this makes me realize how lucky I am. That pre-dawn flight suddenly looks pretty good. I asked the manager why they didn’t just outsource the whole thing to India. I thought it was funny. He didn’t.

    I’m already gonna work until I’m seventy which is only four short years away. So are a lot of you and a lot of other Americans. That’s simply the new reality.

    Sorry Brian, Julie and the rest of you hopefuls. Obama and the Dems have caved. The Reps and Boner only have the high hand because it has been ceded to them. What we saw today really happened months ago and was entirely predictable. Read Krugman. He speaks truth.

    At my age I can’t start over. If they screw social security and my pension which I still hope to enjoy one day, I am fucked. Wish I made $250,000. Shit, I’d take half that.

    I have Pergo flooring in my place. I just vacuum and then use your basic sponge mop and a squirt bottle filled with white vinegar. Cheap and works fine.

  49. Linda said on December 6, 2010 at 10:11 pm

    If you want some fun reading, go to Free Republic and see their reaction to the leaks about the tax deal. They are enraged, and accuse McConnell and Boehner of…caving. Apparently they believed the Republicans when they said they were concerned about balancing the budget, as opposed to handing candy to the rich. Silly them!

    Some poster even talked about “primarying” McConnell to punish him for his wickedness. Things like that, and a child’s belief in Santa and the Easter Bunny, touch my cold, shriveled heart.

  50. Linda said on December 6, 2010 at 10:12 pm

    If you want some fun reading, go to Free Republic and see their reaction to the leaks about the tax deal. They are enraged, and accuse McConnell and Boehner of…caving. Apparently they believed the Republicans when they said they were concerned about balancing the budget, as opposed to handing candy to the rich. Silly them!

    Some poster even talked about “primarying” McConnell to punish him for his wickedness. Those types of things,like a child’s belief in Santa and the Easter Bunny, touch my cold, shriveled heart.

  51. alex said on December 6, 2010 at 10:24 pm

    Never gave a rat’s ass for Swiffer until I had a dust and tobacco coated charcoal drawing and no idea how to clean it. Swiffer did a beautiful job and I was so glad to have found a use for it.

    Thanks for keeping the faith, Brian and Della. Mine’s being tried, and hard, but I’m hoping we come out of this stupid game of chicken with the rich paying what they did pre-2001.

    Prospero, Warren Buffett came out strongly against the Bush tax cuts back at the time they were being contemplated. He said he could see it benefiting people like him in the short term but knew the trickle-down rationale was phony and he flat out said that a vibrant economy full of middle class consumer spending serves his overall interests better than a sluggish economy full of wealth gambled in the stock market. I’d trust him to make economic policy a whole lot more than the people now in charge of it.

  52. Denice said on December 6, 2010 at 11:24 pm

    Yea, lost the intertubes here too. I heard on the TV news that it was out. For once something I wanted to know!