Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sarah Palin's Next Job

Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, was convicted of lying on his federal financial disclosure forms. A felony, no less.

Sarah Palin, says, "The time has come for him to step aside. Even if elected on Tuesday, Senator Stevens should step aside to allow a special election to give Alaskans a real choice of who will serve them in Congress."

You betcha Sen. Palin.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Dumb Unions - The CTA and Gay Marriage

The California Teachers Association donated $1 million to fight a proposed constitutional amendment that would bar gay marriages.

"For us, it's a civil rights issue," said the association's President David Sanchez. "We don't believe people should be treated differently."

By "us," Sanchez must mean the union's hierarchy because it couldn't possibly have taken that stand on behalf of the CTA's primary constituency -- its members.

Forget the right or wrong of Prop. 8. Sanchez et. al. just made it more difficult for teachers to negotiate with dozens if not hundreds of conservative school boards statewide come contract time. Many of those boards govern districts where teachers are least supported and most underpaid.

Good for the union. Bad for the members. Classic.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Blind Boy's Pea Soup

This recipe was developed by legendary bluesman Blind Boy Bill Bucy to feed his band during their tours of the Mississippi Delta. Younger brother Jive reported Blind Boy's last words were, "Please, God, don't make me eat that crap in heaven."

The Notes
  • 8 ozs. dried peas (one package) Do not soak prior to cooking. Uh-uh.
  • 1 celery stalk chopped
  • 1 large carrot chopped
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic peeled and whole
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Dash red pepper
  • Dash freshly ground black pepper
  • Salt if you want it
  • Ham bone or other pig meat, such as salt pork or ham ends
The Arrangement
  • Place ingredients in a pot and add 8 cups of water.
  • After contents come to a boil, remove pig meat and set aside.
  • Continue boiling for 20 minutes.
  • Reduce heat and simmer for 2-3 hours stirring occasionally.
  • Cool. Yes, cool. You don't eat Blind Boy's Pea Soup right away because, like the blues, "it's gotta come from a long time back."
Refrigerate. (Couldn't take a fridge on the road back then, so Blind Boy made his girlfriend hold the pot next to her heart as they drove to the next gig.)

The Performance

The next night, chop up the pig meat, toss it in the soup pot and reheat. Best with a few Dixies and some soda crackers. Blind Boy contemporary Bo Diddley ate it with cornbread. Huh.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Street Economics Q4 - The Winners

The economy smells like tuna salad left too long in the sun. But a number of people and industries will profit from the downturn.

Some of them are visible and will become icons of hatred for all us regular folks. Right now the No. 1 voodoo doll is Robert Fuld, CEO of bankrupt Lehman Brothers, who, along with a couple of cronies, was anointed with a $20 million severance package.

But there are others that not only will survive, but prosper during the big slide while folks like us count our loose change before going to the grocery store. Some of the less-obvious winners:

Brewers -- There is a direct correlation between economic health and beer sales. When times get tough, people stop buying from Mr. Curvoisier and start buying from Messrs. Busch and Miller.

The Military -- As low-end jobs disappear, military recruitment will become easier. Yes, enlistees might get shot at, but free housing, medical care, food and clothing will make the risk more acceptable.

Birth Control Makers -- The U.S. birth rate dropped 15 percent during the Great Depression.

Retail Brokerages
- They charge fees when you buy. They charge fees when you sell. Some of them charge fees when you don't do anything.

The Sex Trade -- As a professional analyst would put it, "Anticipated increases in competition will exert downward pressure on pricing. However, demand will remain at historically high levels. Therefore, we believe marketing and quality of service will be the keys to success for this industry in the near- and mid-term."