October 31, 2010


No, nothing to see here:

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Pumpkin Atrocities?!? Revenge!!!!

Happy Halloween, folks.


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Inundated in CT

Catch the wave this Tuesday. This definitely has the makings of a historical shift in Congressional control. My own district (CT-5) is definitely in play. Probably the most GOP-leaning district in Connecticut (if there is one), the 5th can be described as a true "swing" district. While historically represented by Republicans, it was re-created in 2002 when the 6th district was lost and the new gerrymandering made it about a third registered Dems, a third registered GOP and a third unaffiliated.

I get the distinct feeling the incumbent Chris Murphy is going down. Sweeping out RINO Nancy Johnson in 2006, Murphy was elected as a "change" candidate in the face of growing dissatisfaction with the Bush Administration and the three "S"s of the GOP controlled Congress - spending, scandals and stupidity. With Captain Fantastic at the top of the ticket in 2008 he was reelected.

Currently he has a 100% rating from the Uber-Left Americans for Democratic Action and he's been one of Pelosi's most loyal minions to date.

His challenger, Sam Caligiuri, is slightly ahead of him in the polls. I have been getting hammered by robocalls to get out and vote (one yesterday from Chris Christie) and the Mrs. (who is unaffiliated) got one from Caligiuri's Mrs. yesterday as well.

In the 4th district, Jim Himes is in a real race against his GOP challenger, Dean Debicella. These two districts have a very good chance of going GOP if this wave holds. And these aren't even races included by most pollsters as ones to watch.

Unfortunately, I think a lot of voters are suffering from Linda McMahon fatigue as you can find her campaign materials in your mailbox EVERY.FREAKING.DAY. Not to mention that a lot of female voters may be turned off by the whole WWE thing. Personally, I have to agree with Rich Lowry at National Review that Professional (ahem) Wrestling is to the popular culture what the BP oil spill was to the Gulf of Mexico. I'd love another GOP seat in the Senate but I pull the lever for Mrs. Smack-down unenthusiastically. I personally don't think she'll win.

The Gubernatorial race is a toss-up when it shouldn't be - Republicans have governed this Blue State since 1995 and it's ripe for takover. But Democrat Dan Malloy hasn't seem to have closed the deal yet.

Not so fearless prediction for Tuesday:
House - GOP net gain 72 seats
Senate - GOP net gain 9 seats
Governors - GOP net gain 8 pick-ups

So say we all!

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October 29, 2010


We recognize her 39th birthday:

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What more needs to be said?

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October 28, 2010

Gratuitous World Series Game 2 Observation

Ya know.....

Sure, I want the Giants to win the Series.

Sure, in retrospect they had tonight's game in the bag after six innings of starting pitching.

But, Jesum Crow, the performance turned in by the Rangers' bullpen was downrignt.......shameful. I've seen the Llama-ettes' softball teams field pitchers better than that. Wheh you're in the World Series, you do not load the bases on balls and then proceed to bring in a couple more runs with additional balls.

It just ain't right at this level.

So super-sekret message to Texas: Yes, I want San Francisco to win it all, but for Heaven's sake, guys, man up!

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Have Some Cheese, Rat!

Regular Friend of the Orgle Mike sends along a column about a subject near and dear to my heart, namely that sinkhole of fraudulent "happiness" known as Disney World:

It is billed as the ‘happiest place on Earth’ where workers are known as cast members rather than employees.

But life in Disney’s Magical ­Kingdom is not so magical, according to a survey of the best U.S. companies to work for.

Disney ranked 41st in the list, dozens of places below the army, where soldiers on deployment to Afghan­istan face the daily threat of death from roadside bombs and Taliban snipers.

All four branches of the military ranked higher than Disney, which employs more than 100,000 worldwide in theme parks including those in Florida, ­California and Paris.

Disgruntled Disney workers have dubbed the parks ‘Mousewitz’ because they were so unhappy with working conditions.

And ‘cast members’ at Disneyland Paris earlier this year started referring to it as the ‘unhappiest place on Earth’ following the ­suicide of three workers.

Union leader Guy-Bruno Mboe called work conditions ‘brutal’ and complained: ‘It’s all about profit, profit, profit.’

Ha! Vindication is MINE!

For what it's worth, it isn't just the Magic Kingdon's working class that suffers. I recall talking with a fellah a few years back who did a little contract legal work with the suits and was of the opinion that Corporate HQ wasone of the most vicious, cut-throat places he'd ever seen.

And of course, any patron with the slightest shred of human dignity knows that the happy talk is a mile wide and half an inch deep.

The old campaigners around here will recall that I went once to Mickey's Lair about six years ago. I am terribly greatful that it's very unlikely I need ever go again.

Posted by Robert at 01:55 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

October 27, 2010


KMR recently saw the flick and suggested looking up the clip of the race. Here it is:

BONUS QUESTION FOR ANY READER: Why were Secretariat's racing silks blue and white? Hint for Mink Monica: the answer is on the wall in Warner Center.

UPDATE: ChrisN nailed it: Secretariat's first owner was a Washington and Lee alum and big benefactor of the school. A print in Warner Center tells the story of the horse and his colors.

Posted by LMC at 08:37 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Things To Make Mom Worry


Federal law enforcement authorities are investigating a nascent plot to carry out a series of terrorist bombings at stations in the Washington Metro system, according to intelligence and law enforcement sources.

The investigation is focused on a naturalized U.S. citizen, originally from Pakistan, who became the target of an undercover sting operation, the sources said. An administration official said the man drew the attention of law enforcement officials by seeking to obtain unspecified materials. The planned attack was not imminent, the sources said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the matter remains under investigation.

The man, Farooque Ahmed, 34, of Ashburn, is believed to have conceived of the plot and planned to carry it out on his own. It is not known how far he proceeded in his preparations.

Ahmed was expected to appear at a hearing scheduled for 2 p.m. at the U.S. District Court in Alexandria. He was arrested in Herndon.

After 9/11, I started making a point of generally getting on the last car of a train on the theory that if someone were to have a go at it, they'd hit the lead car in order to maximize impact. I've got rather slack about it of late, but perhaps it was a pretty good idea after all.

UPDATE: A camelidophile points out that the article is about plans to attack stations, not trains. Well, there's not much I can do about the stations except not loiter around in them more than necessary.

Posted by Robert at 01:38 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Soggy-Bottom Llamas

The big low pressure system that's been flattening the Midwest the past couple days has also been sucking warm, humid air up from what a native Alabaman I know likes to call the "Guff" of Mexico and stacking it over Orgle Manor. Last night, the necessary triggering mechanism arrived and is busy turning teh sticky into rain. (I may say, by the way, that I'm terribly glad I was in Illinois last week and not this.)

I love these enormous, transformational "weather events" this time of year. Perhaps I'll dig out my copy of Sebastian Junger's A Perfect Storm this evening just out of enthusiasm.

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October 26, 2010


Charlie Crist looks small by comparison.

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LMC Brunette Hall of Famer Jaclyn Smith is 65. Here she is, back in the day:

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Because we care about the important stuff.

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October 25, 2010


The Corporation for Public Broadcasting which feeds that organization formally known as National Public Radio, that is. Read Andrew McCarthy's piece over at NRO. I am tired of having been lectured by the likes of Bill Moyers, Tina Totenberg, and Daniel Schorr on the taxpayer dime over the years and the time is long past to cut CPB and NPR loose.

Posted by LMC at 05:34 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

October 24, 2010

Dear Phillies Phans.....

I'm delighted that I won't have to spend any time this year trying to figure out which team in the Series I hate more.


Posted by Robert at 03:19 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

October 21, 2010


New Zealand may have screwed the Nazgul, as Peter Jackson is threatening to pick up his Hobbit and go elsewhere to film what is just about guar-un-teed to be a colossal money-maker.

I'm kind of torn about this story. On the one hand, I kind of feel sorry for New Zealand having this thing blow up, apparently because of union trouble. On the other, long time camelidophiles will already know what I think about Jackson and his handling of the Lord of the Rings movies. For those of you who may be new, allow me to repost what was, in fact, my very first entry into the blogsphere, originally posted November 24, 2003:

I have absolutely no proof that the following conversation took place. However, I am morally certain that it did:


"Yes, Mr. Jackson?"

"Simpkins! Mate, we've got to discuss this character treatment of yours."

"Er, yes, Mr. Jackson - what about it?"

"Right. Look, mate, I told you off to do Gimli, right?"

"Yes, Mr. Jackson."

"Okay, so who is this Gloin guy? You give me five freekin pages of dialogue between him and Frodo at Rivendell. I mean, it reads like My Dinner With Andre, right?"

"Well, Mr. Jackson, Gloin was Gimli's father. He was also one of the thirteen dwarves who went with Bilbo to reclaim the Lonely Mountain from Smaug in The Hobbit. You know, where Bilbo finds the Ring? His conversation with Frodo is important because it both ties the stories together and also gives the audience an overall vision of the strategic situation east of the Misty Mountains. You'll see, Sir, that Gloin is also the Dwarves' representative at Elrond's council and reports that Black Riders are looking for Bilbo and the Ring."

"Wake me when it's over...."


"Look, mate. First, I've already got a bunch of dwarves fighting each other and the elves at the Council. It's a very significant moment in my vision."

"But Sir, Gloin was the only one there in the book. And nobody fought with anybody else."

"F**k the book. Right. And for the tie-in thing, I've already got that covered in the prologue, right? I mean, I'm not paying Cate Winslet all that money for nothing, am I?"

"No, Sir."

"Right, and this dinner thing at Rivendell. Screw it. Would take ten minutes. How the hell can I find room for that and keep Liv Tyler's "Xena" chase with the Black Riders?"

"Well, about that, Sir....."

"Right. Now look, mate. LOTR is a very wonderful and meaningful vision of mine, right? So I need you to be realy respectful of that. Now, we have a problem with Gimli."


"See, we have these big hunky Men, right? Audience will love 'em. And we got that dude playing Legolas, you know, the one who looks kinda like di Caprio on steroids? They'll be all over him. But Gimli is, well, not really eye-candy. Know what I mean, mate?"

"Well, Sir, it's interesting because Tolkein really went out of his way to explore the dwarves in some detail - their origins and so on, and to show how and why they were so different from Elves and Men. There is a lot of source material in The Silmarillion and...."



"I don't give a pair of fetid dingo's kidneys for the Simil-whatever. Audiences don't care. How can I bring my wonderful and meaningful vision of LOTR to the screen in a meaningful and caring way if I can't connect with the audience?"

"Well. Sir..."

"Shut up. I'll tell you how. The dwarf isn't sexy, right? Can't do anything about that. I mean, dwarves are, well, YOU know..... Anyway. So what we want is something that's going to connect with the audience. Something that makes them think 'Oh, that's a dwarf. I know about them. I like them!' So what you need to do is write something into the story that is going to cause that connection. And I've got just the thing for you. (Don't know why I pay these blokes when I have to do all the thinking myself.)"

"Yes, Sir?"

"Two words: Dwarf tossing."


"Dwarf tossing."


"Goddamit, mate, are you deaf? Put in something about dwarf tossing, right? Audiences will love that! Kind of a comic relief thing. Maybe when they're running around in that big cave thing. That'll really get them into it - and let them share my wonderful and meaning vision of what LOTR means in terms they can relate to. So you put it in. Got that? Dwarf tossing!"

(Sadly) "Yes, Sir."

And the rest, as they say, is history.

Ha, ha, ha. I STILL think that was pretty durn good.

Anyhoo, I'm sure our fellow-Llama Gary is all over this story and can give a better (and far more sympathetic) analysis of it.

Posted by Robert at 01:54 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Out On A Limb

From an article about predictions for this coming winter's weather:

NOAA said the Central, Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions each have an equal chance of temperatures and precipitation being above, near or below normal this winter, but the agency cautioned its forecast could change.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is truly the most awesome example of base-covering and bet-hedging I have ever laid eyes on.

What would we do without forecasters?

Posted by Robert at 01:38 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Gratuitous NLCS Observation

Ol' Robbo got home from his travels last evening in time to catch the Giants/Phillies game.

In one word.....Wow.

Giants can put it away in tonight's rematch of Lincecum and Doc Halladay. I must say that ordinarily I'm not overly fond of long-haired hippies, but in this case I'll make an exception.


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October 20, 2010


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'cause I am sure not getting it.

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By the Ninth Circuit, no less, at least for now. Via this at Hot Air.

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other than I feel like it, of course:

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October 18, 2010


Your humble correspondent is working through Max Boot's The Savage Wars of Peace: Small Wars and the Rise of American Power. The money sound bite thus far:

To simply somewhat, the nineteenth-century navy may be described as aristocratic officers spoiling for a fight, leading equally combative, often tipsy enlisted men who were on the fringes of society and, to get to the essence of the matter, would not be missed overmuch if a few died in action. Such men where constantly dispatched by the navy to the far corners of the globe to deal with chaotic situations in politically unstable lands populated by people with little understanding of Western notions such as private property and contracts. Far from home, with no way of communicating in less than a few months' time with their superiors back in Washington, they had amost complete autonomy of action. Is it any wonder, then, that Americans became embroiled in so many small war abroad? The only wonder, really, is that there were not more.

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October 16, 2010


The History Channel ran a piece on "Eighties Gadgets" last night which included a segment on the iconic DeLorean. Although the company went under in 1983, a Texas outfit purchased the parts inventory and it is possible now to build a new DMC-12 using factory-original parts. Now all I need is a Mr. Fusion to power the time circuits . . .

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October 14, 2010


Helen Mirren, of course:

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October 13, 2010

Happy Birthday, Baroness Thatcher!


The Iron Lady was born this day in 1925.

It's been long enough around here that I can tell the story again: Back in the late 80's, I spent the year prior to law school working as a research assistant in Parliament. There I was fortunate enough to snag gallery seats for a couple of Thatcher's Prime Minister Question Time sessions. The strength she projected was amazing and her combination of wit and wisdom left more than one member of the loyal opposition who tried to spike her as nothing more than a small puddle of grease on the bench.

On the other hand, I passed her in the corridor one day and she gave me a very warm smile. For all her power, she also had the personal touch and never, ever gave the impression of looking down her nose at anybody.

Posted by Robert at 08:52 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

October 12, 2010

Gratuitous Gallic Observation

I think the fact that the French are rioting over a government proposal to raise the retirement age from 60 to (gasp!) 62 tells you just about everything you need to know about the European-style welfare state.

Stupid cheese-eating freeloader monkeys!

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October 10, 2010


I came across that phrase or something like it in the last few days and this post on Hot Air seems to confirm it. So this oldie but goodie seems appropo:

I could not resist.

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October 09, 2010


National Security Advisor and retired marine general Jones is out and his deputy Thomas Donilon is in. I am skeptic about putting former flag or general officers in diplomatic positions (such as the present ambassador to Afghanistan) or as national security advisor because the positions require a different skill set than what it takes to be a successful commander. Colin Powell did well as President Reagan's NSA while a serving three-star; Jones did not. Powell worked well with Reagan's inner circle, Jones could not penetrate it.

UPDATE: LMC fav and maximium super-babe Michelle Malkin has a post on Donilon's background at Fannie Mae before the collapse. The more I read about Donilon, the more it looks like he has no background in foreign policy of consequence and his skill set runs more to domestic policy. One wonders what the consequences will be of this pick, especially since Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Admiral Mullen will likely hang it up next year.

Posted by LMC at 08:41 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack


Been a bit busy--I work for a bank which underwent a regulatory exam, recapitalization, and now has new owners. I run the problem loan department where troubled credits go to die with some measure of dignity before organ donation (foreclosure, repossession, etc.).

Posted by LMC at 08:25 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 07, 2010

Gratuitous Nats Posting (TM)

Nats Hat.jpg

Here's a little bit of good news:

Television ratings for Nationals games on MASN doubled this season, leaping from a 0.7 share to 1.4 in the Washington market, MASN spokesman Todd Webster said.

MASN drew roughly 33,000 viewers in the Washington area per game, and in their complete coverage area - from Harrisburg, Pa., to Charlotte - the station averaged 57,000 views. MASN set a record when Stephen Strasburg made his highly anticipated debut, but "it's not just the Strasburg effect," Webster said. "We had seen the ratings spike a month before he came up."

I remember being somewhat dubious when the story came out last year that only 15,000 people were watching the Nats on tee-vee. A 1.4 share this year isn't all that much to cheer about, but at least it's an improvement.

On the other hand, I get rather a kick out of imagining that the lovely and talented Debbi Taylor is speaking to me personally when she does her reports during the broadcasts. Gonna be a little tougher to keep up that pretense now.

Posted by Robert at 11:25 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 05, 2010


Another step closer to in-flight cellphone use:

Singapore Airlines announced today that it will soon allow wireless connections -- for text messages, Blackberrys and perhaps cell phone calls -- on its medium- and long-haul flights.

The move comes as the airline announces a multi-million-dollar collaboration with in-flight connectivity provider OnAir to offer Wi-Fi Internet access and other services on its flights.

Details are still being worked out, but when the airline implements the system early next year, it could be the first carrier to allow passengers to make and receive voice calls on their personal cell phones. The airline is waiting to see how customers respond to the idea.

It is my opinion that it is only a matter of time (and perhaps not very much of it) until in-flight cellphone use is allowed on domestic flights.

To quote the Skywalkers, both Anniken and Luke, "NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!"

I, for one, can't think of anything that could make flying more of a nightmare than it already is than turning a plane-full of passengers loose with their phones. The only possible redeeming value is that the irritation might be sufficient to make me forget to be frightened.

Posted by Robert at 03:56 PM | Comments (3) | TrackBack

October 04, 2010

Gratuitous Nats Posting - "That's A Wrap" Division

Nats Hat.jpg

Well, at least we didn't get swept in our final series this year. That would have been unpleasant to a degree.

So the Nats finish 69-93, winning ten more than last year. Back in April, this is what I had to say about the team's prospects:

I, for one, am going to predict here and now that the Nats place somewhere in the middle of the NL East. I am also going to predict that we make Philly's pennant run merry hell. Payback can be a real beyotch.

But who knows? I may be being unduly cautious myself.

In the post, I was criticizing a professional writer who estimated that the Nats would win 70 games on the season. This is why Robbo is not a professional sports writer.

Nonetheless, I don't think that I was really off in my enthusiasm. For one thing, although I can't find it, the ratio of runs scored versus runs allowed was way down this season from the past couple of disastrous outings. For another, as of the other night, the Nats bullpen had the fourth best ERA in the entire League. For a third, we've got all kinds of young talent finding its feet. (Mark my words, you're going to be hearing a lot about Danny Espinosa before he's done.) Okay, so Strasmas flamed out fast, but Jordan Zimmerman is back and looking better than ever.

Bottom line is that this was most emphatically not the Nat'nals of '08 and '09, and I, for one, enjoyed watching them play this year. And I go into the off-season firmly believing that we are right on the edge of the Big Time. (Sooper-Sekret note to the Lerners: Start spending!)


Posted by Robert at 09:24 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

October 02, 2010

Dude! Where's My Protest?


WASHINGTON (AP) - Thousands of people flocked to the Lincoln Memorial for a rally Saturday organized by labor and civil rights groups, hoping to show support for the Democratic agenda in the face of expected GOP election gains next month.

More than 400 organizations, including faith, environmental and gay rights groups, sponsored the "One Nation Working Together" demonstration on the same end of the National Mall where a month ago tea party activists met to hear conservative commentator Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin.

"We're here to show the rest of the country that there are people who support the progressive agenda," said Ken Bork, who came from Camas, Wash. But he acknowledged that Republicans are enjoying an advantage heading toward the Nov. 2 election that will determine whether Democrats retain control of Congress.

FWIW, Mrs. Robbo took it into her head to take a couple Llama-ettes down to the Aerospace Museum today. Mrs. R is a fairly non-political sort of person and has long been something of a weathervane by which I gauge the mood of that part of the populace who doesn't go in for 24/7 political wonkery.

Her reaction on hitting the Mall? Frustration at trying to find a parking place (she did find one, btb) and utter confusion as to why those groups of hippies and doofuses were standing around like that.

Take it for what you will.

Posted by Robert at 09:57 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

October 01, 2010

Because It's Friday.....

Star Trek and Python....What's not to love?


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