Tuesday, March 27, 2012

This may the the worst thing ever

If there was ever an example of how awful the disparity between the 1% and the other 99% is, just read this article, via Chris Moody | The Ticket:
WASHINGTON -- Temperatures are expected to dip below freezing overnight Monday, and Charles Medley will spend the whole time outdoors near the base of the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court. Why? He's hoping to hold a coveted place near the front of a line for access to the oral arguments over the federal health care law.

But when the second day of arguments begins Tuesday morning, Medley won't actually be going inside. He's one of about 25 people camping out Monday--some paid just $5 an hour--in order to hold a place for somebody else interested in watching the health care hearings. Tickets for Supreme Court cases are granted on a first-come-first-serve basis, and because of the enormous popularity of this case, anyone without a special pass or media credential is required to wait for several hours or pay someone to do it for them.

Prices for D.C. line-standers vary widely. Some say they make as much as $15 an hour, while others bring in a third of that. Most don't want to reveal who they're working for, or simply say they don't know to avoid divulging any details. The majority of the people getting paid to hold a spot are unemployed; some are homeless. However, there are actual businesses in the D.C. area that specialize in this, charging as much as $50 per hour to save your place.

Medley, an out-of-work subcontractor who said he found out about the opportunity through a friend, arrived in front of the Supreme Court building at about 2:30 Sunday afternoon. He spent Sunday night outside shielding himself from a light rain, and will sleep on the street here until Wednesday morning, the final day of the hearings. He gets an hour and a half break for lunch each day--people rotate in and out to save spots--and he treks a half a mile to Union Station to use the restroom.

"They're paying for us to stay here for three days," he said, surrounded by new friends perched on lawn chairs who were also holding spots for other people. "It's got to be something real important."

Medley joined a row of men sitting along the sidewalk, joking together. One man, wrapped in blankets, snored loudly. Some listened to music, one read a book by the Rev. T.D. Jakes while others just sat alone quietly.

A cold front is predicted Tuesday that could bring temperatures in the 20s, so everyone has stocked up on blankets, sleeping bags and heavy jackets.

"You better make yourself comfortable if you plan on sitting out here for 72 hours," Medley said, motioning toward a man stretched out on a cot. "It's pretty nice during the day, not bad at night either. You just have to dress for the occasion. You never know when mother nature might hit us with a whammy. But we keep each others' spirits high."

At the front of the line, Chris Woods and Sonya Smith sat together holding a space for a person they declined to name. They arrived late Sunday night and plan to rotate shifts with others. Woods, a 19-year-old wearing a baseball cap, said he intends to stay on for about 15 hours before taking some time to sleep and then would come back.

"It was pretty cold last night," Woods said, but added that he didn't mind it.

At about 3 a.m. the night before, the sprinklers went off, waking up most of the people sleeping and spraying everyone with their head near the bushes. Tonight, many said, they'll sleep the other way around.

This literally makes me want to puke. It's like that scene in that movie "The 300", where slaves actually lay down and let their ruler walk over them as human steps!

Maybe they can set up a lottery, so those of us not wealthy enough to pay someone to sit in the cold (or desperate enough to actually DO it) can still have a shot at seeing the proceedings.

Or, how about they just drop the fucking rules about letting some poor sap wait in line for you and making those lazy rich fuckers have to freeze their own asses off for few days to get a place in the hallowed halls of justice? You step out of line, you lose your place! You don't like it, tough shit! The rich just have it too goddamn easy in this country!

At the very least, maybe some intrepid soul can agree to wait in line for three days for some obscenely wealthy fuckwad, and then when the fat cat comes to claim his spot minutes before the doors open, the line holder suddenly tells him loudly to go (perform random unnatural act upon) his (insert random family member), and then walks inside the Supreme Court building to actually watch (and hopefully blog about) the action.

Now THAT would be awesome!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

I got nuthin'...

It's been a week since my last blog post...and that one was about how tired I am from working second shift!

I think I need to recharge my creative batteries.

My job is cool, don't get me wrong, but the hours are kinda rough. And the time I spend thinking about matters political have dropped to nearly none lately. The tank is almost empty and I'm running on fumes, creatively speaking.

This isn't a good thing when you write a political blog.

I'd like to put the call out to guest bloggers to occasionally blather their thoughts here. As long as they're not diametrically opposed to my beliefs, I'll be happy to run them. You'll have to be the judge of what that pertains to.

My email address is somewhere on the sidebar, so look for it and email your rant with the subject "CT Bob".

And now crickets will chirp until someone emails me something.

One cool thing about my job is that I handle a lot of currency (like, a REAL lot!), and my friend Saramerica may be interested to know how many "Where's George?" stamps I see on $20 bills! I've started taking pictures of them, that I'll post sometime soon.

P.S. - I just saw that Mitt Romney won Illinois today. Looks more and more like my original prediction will come to be. I was kind of hoping that it would be a longer, tougher battle, but the good thing is that the GOP voters won't be especially motivated to come out and vote for the guy in November. I can't believe nobody has created a "Misshttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif me yet?" poster for John McCain!

P.P.S. - Why do people mark twenty dollar notes with "Where's George?"? Shouldn't they only mark singles, since that's the only bill that has a "George" on it? WTF? Maybe they should come up with a "Where's Andrew?" stamp. Hank?

P.P.P.S. - Gee, the more I complain about not having anything to write, the more I come up with shit to blather about!

P.P.P.P.S. - I'm watching video via @Timcast on Ustream right now from Union Sq., where NYC police are clearing OWS folks. It's really great live reporting. Tim has a good eye and a great demeanor for iPhone hotspot journalism. This IS the future!

P.P.P.P.P.S. - That was from late last night. Tim's awesome and you should follow him on Twitter. In other news, now I've got two days off and I intend to par-tay like it's 1997! (I don't remember much from that year, which is an indication to me that it was a good one!)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Second shift

I just got home from work.

It was relatively early tonight, 11:45PM.

Adjusting to second shift is a bit more difficult than I'd imagined. The first month of my new job (and for the record, I'm thrilled beyond words to even have this job, after being un-or-under-employed for the last 18 months) was surreal.

I was tired all the time that first month, because I was still trying to wake up around my usual time of 6:45-ish, even though I often didn't get home until 1AM or later. And getting in at that hour doesn't automatically mean to you get to sleep at that hour. Usually I have to relax for an hour or more before the caffeine would wear off and I was decompressed to the point I could fall asleep. Usually between 2 and 3AM.

So for a few weeks I felt like an insomniac, sort of like Edward Norton at the beginning of "Fight Club", where he was claimed he was never really awake or never really asleep. It's a weird schedule, which I had to alter using Tylenol PM and cheap scotch so I could sleep well past my wife waking up and going to work.

Which I really miss. We always had coffee in bed before going to work. It was a nice routine and a chance to chat with each other in the morning. Now we only get that maybe twice a week, on her days off. Fortunately, she's very willing to sleep 'til 9:30 or 10AM given the opportunity, so we still get to have our coffee together on those days.

But the reality of working second shift is that your entire life seems to revolve around work. You have your "off-time" during the period between when you wake up and when you go to work. A "normal" schedule would typically give you maybe an hour or two after waking until you get to work, and a nice four or five hour window at night after you get home.

Me, I wake up out of my semi-coma around 9:30-ish, wander downstairs in my robe to pour myself a cup of coffee that my wife made three hours ago, and watch a bit of news and weather. Breakfast is the high point of my morning, occurring around 11AM. Since I'm currently on my annual diet, it includes a healthy meal of oatmeal, fresh fruit, and an egg-white omelet. Then I make my salad for dinner, pack it up with some 100-calorie snacks and a few bottles of water, and go back upstairs and check my email and Twitter. If I have a little time, I make some calls and chat with friends and family.

All too soon it's 1PM, and I have to shower and get ready for work. At 2PM, I'm on the clock and the calls start pouring in. Then I'm on the road for the rest of the day, often (as I said) until midnight or later.

The good thing about this crazy schedule is that I'm not spending a lot of money, although I bought a Dunkin Donuts card, so I can simply go to the drive-thru and get a cup of steaming hot coffee without having to fumble around for money. It's the best thing ever!

Although...I do wish they'd stop serving their coffee in styrofoam cups. If they went to paper, I'd feel a little better about myself. But since their coffee keeps me from veering off the road, I'll live with the guilt for now.

So, here I am, living in a sort of half way "after-hours" world these days. I'm not complaining mind you, but I'm just giving some thoughts about my adjustment to the hours.

Blogging just doesn't feel as important now, because it seems that everything important that goes on in the world already happened well before midnight, and by then everyone has written something about it. I'll just be the guy who gets to the party late and repeats what everyone has already said.

I do have to say that Rick Santorum kicked some serious Deep South butt tonight, and is making a real case for a two-man race from here on in! Romney still has a sizable delegate lead, but with 2/3 of the delegates still to be chosen, it's anyone's race! You know how much I love a good GOP knock-down drag-out fight!

Ah, ya see? I couldn't resist talking politics, even this late at night! Heh heh heh...

It's almost 1AM now. G'night

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Superish Tuesday

I call it that because there's nothing really "super" gonna be happening today.

About a third of the 1,144 delegates required to win the Republican nomination are at stake today. Romney currently leads in the race with 180 delegates to Santorum's 90, Gingrich's 29, and Paul's 23.

There are still roughly 1,962 delegates at stake, which means theoretically this is still anyone's race. But the reality is that Romney's main rivals have a very slim chance to win today, due to being left off the ballot in Virginia, and Santorum's failure to qualify in many Ohio Congressional districts.

After today Romney will stretch his lead, and the money will start getting more and more difficult for the other candidates to find.

So, far from being an exciting or even marginally interesting Super Tuesday, today will more likely end up being "Ho-hum Tuesday".

IN OTHER NEWS, today Gov. Malloy filed a civil protection order against a frequent senate/congressional/gubernatorial candidate who has filed a lawsuit against him for slander. I won't name the candidate in question because I'm told she is somewhat inclined to file lawsuits at the drop of a hat. Currently another popular blog in Connecticut is the target of a suit for alleged slander (which I would never do under any circumstances) and for "refusal to identify her as a candidate" (which I clearly did do near the top of this paragraph).

So I think I'm safe here...


(please don't sue me.)

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Rush Limbaugh

He's the single biggest reason why people are fleeing the GOP.

I don't really need to say anything else about him.

(Actually, I could have written up a detailed post about his detestable comments, but I don't want to be in a bad mood all day, so I'll just leave it at this.)

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Andrew Breitbart


The guy was 43 and left a family behind. That is a tragedy.

I really don't know the best way to handle this. I can't help but suspect that the guy was consumed by his own visceral hatred for anything that remotely smacked of liberalism. I didn't like most of what he said or did, and often found him to be a cheap, headline-grabbing phony.

On the other hand, he did do a few things that were entirely justified.

Breitbart showing Anthony Weiner's infamous sexting photo was unpleasant, but certainly not above what nearly any left-leaning journalist would show if it was a Republican politician's "junk" on display. Thankfully, we haven't had to see that so far!

And I'll admit that there were a few times I heard him speak on the news shows and I somewhat admired his pugnacious wit, even though I usually disagreed with whatever point he was making.

But his unwarranted and fabricated attack on Shirley Sharrod by editing the video of her remarks to create a partisan fiction nearly ruined the woman's life. And his vile "eulogy" for Ted Kennedy immediately after his passing was unpardonable:
Rest in Chappaquiddick
26 Aug 09 via web
The impulse to dance on Breitbart's grave is equally nasty, and I am doing everything in my power to not succumb to it. So, I'll try to refrain from further comment and let Andrew speak for himself. From several weeks ago:

I guess what I'm saying is that I'm sorry the man is dead, but I don't feel so sorry that he's gone.



Shirley Sherrod has more class in her pinkie finger than most humans have in their entire bodies!

Myself included.

From the HuffPo:
Shirley Sherrod, the USDA employee who was fired from her job after Breitbart released an incomplete video of her appearing to say she intentionally discriminated against white farmers —she was actually describing how she overcame such prejudices — sent her condolences.

"The news of Mr. Breitbart's death came as a surprise to me when I was informed of it this morning," she said. "My prayers go out to Mr. Breitbart's family as they cope through this very difficult time."