…who was visiting from Birmingham and in our shop for the first time. We had a lovely visit and then we recommended he have lunch at Jackson’s across the street. The first martini, we made sure to tell him, is on the house.
About an hour later, I was called out of the back while eating my OWN lunch from Jackson’s to see…a waiter with a deLIcious cocktail for me, courtesy of our new friend from Birmingham.
Chivalry is alive and well.
…In our favor
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The economy grew at a faster-than-expected 5.7 percent pace in the fourth quarter, the quickest pace in more than six years, as businesses reduced inventories less aggressively, the Commerce Department said on Friday.
Now it’s easy to have a high rate of growth when you’re starting with a smaller economy, obviously, but this is a hopeful development.
Now, there are some things that do concern me in this report, however:
Growth was boosted a sharp slowdown in the pace of inventory liquidation, a factor that could mask the strength of the economic recovery from the longest and deepest downturn since the Great Depression.
…Business inventories fell only $33.5 billion in fourth quarter after dropping $139.2 billion in the July-September period. The change in inventories alone added 3.39 percentage points to GDP in the last quarter. This was the biggest percentage contribution since the fourth quarter of 1987.
For the whole of 2009, the economy contracted 2.4 percent, the biggest decline since 1946, the first year after the end of World War II, the department said.
In the last three months of 2009, consumer spending increased at a 2 percent annual rate, below the 2.8 percent annual pace in the prior quarter when consumption got a boost from the government’s “cash for clunkers” program.
To my untrained mind a slowing down of inventory liquidation could indicate that stuff ain’t selling.
But we’ll see.
So I’m walking down Wall Street a few minutes ago, call it 5:30 in the morning. The temperature is 16 degrees. It’s windy; the radio said the wind chill was 4. Cold enough that I’m not wearing my glasses because the metal frames get so cold they feel like ice picks in my temples. Up ahead at the intersection of Wall and William I see two young ladies who seem rather under-dressed given the weather.
Remarkably so, in fact. They’re both wearing very short black wispy and sleeveless dresses which show off their lithe figures to great advantage; especially the figure of the young lady who is bent over with her head immersed in the garbage can, evidently reviewing what she’s been consuming for what I assume has been all night, whilst her friend whose watery and glazed eyes can’t seem to quite focus on much of anything as I walk by pats her on the back.
Someone’s going to miss that 9 am conference call, methinks.
All aboard the Spending Freeze Express
Senate Democrats passed a $1.9 trillion increase in the federal debt limit Thursday, seeking to push off another politically painful debt vote until after the midterm elections.
All 60 Democrats and no Republicans voted for the debt limit increase. The measure, which the House has yet to vote on, would put the debt ceiling at roughly $14.3 trillion.
Yes, all “60” Democrats
Sen. Paul Kirk (D-Mass.) voted for the debt increase. Sen.-elect Scott Brown (R-Mass.), his replacement, has not been seated.
I really wish a Republican in the Senate would get some cajones and object to Kirk still being there; according to HotAir’s reading of Mass Law Kirk is no longer a Senator
Massachusetts law says that an appointed senator remains in office “until election and qualification of the person duly elected to fill the vacancy.” The vacancy occurred when Senator Edward Kennedy died in August. Kirk was picked as interim senator by Governor Deval Patrick.
Democrats in Massachusetts have talked about delaying Brown’s “certification,” should he defeat Democrat Martha Coakley on Tuesday. Their aim would be to allow Kirk to remain in the Senate and vote the health care bill.
But based on Massachusetts law, Senate precedent, and the U.S. Constitution, Republican attorneys said Kirk will no longer be a senator after election day, period. Brown meets the age, citizenship, and residency requirements in the Constitution to qualify for the Senate. “Qualification” does not require state “certification,” the lawyers said.
It seems to me this is completely correct. It is not unreasonable to say that Brown can not vote until his election is “certified”, but per the above quoted law Kirk most certainly can not vote now that a qualified replacement has been elected.
As of that election there are only 99 Senators.
Talk about running jokes
Initial jobless claims fall less than expected. Durable goods rise less than expected. Ford posts its 1st annual profit in 4 years.
…First-time jobless claims fell by 8,000 to 470,000 from a revised 478,000 last week, the Labor Department reported this morning.
Economists had expected claims to have fallen to below 450,000 last week from a previously reported 482,000.
A separate report on durable goods orders showed a 0.3% increase in December to $167.9 billion after a revised 0.4% decline in November. Economists were looking for a gain of 1.7%.
Why does it feel like we’re living the Cheese Shop skit?
…is a REAL doll.
Well, for some reason, call it momentary insanity, I watched the speech last night. I dislike these things (and I say this evenhandedly, as they are just as awful when the President is of either Party), especially the Politburo-like standing ovations at certain bullet points throughout. They’re a pathetic joke.
I’m still wondering where Obama got this revered reputation as a Great Orator. I just don’t understand it. Aside from being factually challenged, shall we say, on several issues he came across to me as being somewhat petulant and lacking in decorum. He also spoke in 3 or 4 word sentence bites that were awfully reminiscent of those awful W tortured locutions.
I don’t see where he did himself any favors last night. He ticked off his base with talk of new nuke plants and drilling. He ticked off his opposition with wanting to spend more to save money on the spending he’s already done. He said that without his Stimulus Plan unemployment would be twice what it is now…ignoring the minor detail that what it is now is basically twice what we were promised it would be when the original plan was passed.
When the rousing finish of your speech is talking about “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, well, you’ve got some issues.
OBAMA: “Starting in 2011, we are prepared to freeze government spending for three years. Spending related to our national security, Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security will not be affected. But all other discretionary government programs will. Like any cash-strapped family, we will work within a budget to invest in what we need and sacrifice what we don’t.”
THE FACTS: The anticipated savings from this proposal would amount to less than 1 percent of the deficit — and that’s if the president can persuade Congress to go along.
Obama is a convert to the cause of broad spending freezes. In the presidential campaign, he criticized Republican opponent John McCain for suggesting one. “The problem with a spending freeze is you’re using a hatchet where you need a scalpel,” he said a month before the election. Now, Obama wants domestic spending held steady in most areas where the government can control year-to-year costs. The proposal is similar to McCain’s.
Oh, wait. I see what happened. Figures.
One of the authors is a “Drinkard”.
Ebola searches for enlightenment and the deeper meaning of “is”.
Went to Wiccan and Buddhist services the last two weeks. Where Buddhist was relaxing, Wiccan was absolutely hysterical. Bloody stinky hippie convention.
So it is written.
…Dina Titus (D., Nev.), reportedly stood up during a meeting with Pelosi last week to declare that her Senate co-delegate Sen. Reid “is done; he’s going to lose” his re-election bid, and that Democrats were “f***ed” if they failed to learn from the victory of Republican Scott Brown in Massachusetts.
Ignore the chicken blood on my back fence.
In scenes described as Dallas-sur-Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Guy Arnaud and his daughter, Carole, have been fighting tooth and nail over an ancestral estate north of Avignon encompassing two prized wine domains.
…The feud began when Mr Arnaud, who owns one of the region’s largest vineyards, spread over the chateaux of Cabrières and Maucoil, decided to share out some of his land between his three daughters and their husbands while still alive.
Each daughter was due to get 17 hectares (42 acres) of vineyards, estimated to be worth up to €500,000 (£440,000) per hectare.
Two of the daughters were happy with the arrangement. But the third, Carole Perveyrie-Arnaud, decided the inheritance process was taking too long and that she wanted immediate access to her share to be able to cultivate it.
Sometimes it’s good to be poor and not to have such points of conflict.
Although I wouldn’t mind owning a winery…
This takes place in England, naturally, but how long before something like this happens here
Nicole Mamo, 48, wanted to post an advert for a £5.80-an-hour domestic cleaner on her local Jobcentre Plus website.
The text of the advert ended by stating that any applicants for the post ”must be very reliable and hard-working”.
But when Ms Mamo called the Jobcentre Plus in Thetford, Norfolk, the following day she was told that her advert would not be displayed instore.
A Jobcentre Plus worker claimed that the word ”reliable” meant they could be sued for discriminating against unreliable workers.
I’m simply gobsmacked by this. I laugh. I cry. I say wtF!
This is our world.
This is our world ruled by bureaucrats.
This is why we need to elect candidates who will prune back government with chainsaws.
Blaw your warst, ye rain and win’
CONCORD, N.H. – First the Old Man, now the Big Wind. New Hampshire’s Mount Washington has lost its distinction as the site of the fastest wind gust ever recorded on Earth, officials at the Mount Washington Observatory said Tuesday.
The concession came three days after the World Meteorological Organization posted a snippet on its Web site saying a panel of experts reviewing extreme weather and climate data turned up a 253 mph gust on Australia’s Barrow Island during Cyclone Olivia in 1996.
Come in frae the cauld blast, the drift, and the snaw ;
Come under my plaidie, and sit down beside me,
There’s room in’t, dear lassie, believe me, for twa.
(text mostly from here)
…(which major dad was kind enough to change the channel to) can be summarized succinctly as:
Up. Down. Up. SPLAT. glideglideglideDONK. Spin. SPLAT. Up. Crawl. Up. Half twist in the full layout position. SPLAT. Up. SPLAT. Spin. Stop. Wave.
As y’all know I like to mess around a lot in the kitchen. My Bride correctly interprets this as an excuse on my part to open lots of wine, and when you add in that I do like food, hell I love food, well, then it’s a win-win for everybody in the Bingley household. Being the cheap frugal Scot bastard that I am I also vacuum-pack (I use the Ziplock vacuum pump: it’s cheap and works great for my needs. would I use it to, say, store Ted Williams’ head? No, but for “everyday” use it beats spending over $150 on those other high-falutin’ heat sealer brands) and freeze lots of leftovers. The invariable outcome of this is lots of frozen goodies…
Let’s see, that’s about 1 1/2 pounds of pulled pork, about a pound of grilled leg of lamb and some frozen uncooked Pamelas from Costco.
I just *happened* to have set out a pound of beans a-soaking the night before
so I thought I’d make (up) some sort of cassoulet-type dish, which is great for a Saturday night in January.
First off, you can never go wrong by melting half a stick of butter in your big pot
Purists may scream but I prefer to cut the Pamelas while they’re still slightly frozen; it makes it much easier to get those cute little cubes and you don’t have that slimy raw chicken slipping about which can be a pain to cut regardless of how sharp your knife is
so cut them into 1″ or so cubes and plop them in the pot to start cooking in the butter. Take a couple of small-to-medium sized onions
chop them up fairly fine and throw them in with the sizzlin’ buzzard. You want to give the chicken a bit of a head start since it’s raw.
I had some boneless leg of lamb that I had grilled over cherry a few weeks back, so I cubed that fluffy up
checked on the status of the chickens and onions (adding some fresh pepper just because it seemed like a good idea)
and then dumped the lamb in.
The pulled pork I just sort of very roughly chopped, as the pork fibers were already broken down by 14 hours in the smoker and I knew they would mushyfy even more over the next few hours so I wasn’t too concerned about getting them too bite-sized
so I then dumped that into the pot along with a hearty tablespoon of dried rosemary, one tablespoon of dried parsley, half a tablespoon of dried thyme, half a tablespoon of dried tarragon (ed: I forgot this yesterday), a teaspoon of celery seed, 4 cloves of garlic cut into large chunks and some salt. Rinse and drain the beans and dump them in and cover with a full quart of chicken stock
add a can of diced tomatoes, juice and all
oh and about a cup of white wine, at least
then let it simmer, covered, for four hours or so
and serve it with garlic bread.
Simple, warm and tasty for a cold Winter’s night. Yes, I know it’s not a “traditional” cassoulet, but it sure hit the spot.
Update: in response to several concerned questions raised about the Gitmo-like conditions that surely exist at Casa Bingley, here is a photo of The World’s Biggest Mooch in full Chicken Begging Mode whilst I was cooking this on Saturday
and yes, he of course was rewarded.
And celebrate Burns Night.
Long life, my Lord, an’ health be yours,
Unskaithed by hunger’d Highland boors;
Lord grant me nae duddie, desperate beggar,
Wi’ dirk, claymore, and rusty trigger,
May twin auld Scotland o’ a life
She likes-as butchers like a knife.
Birth Bardday, old man.
…I snag me not one, but TWO ~ TWO!!!! ~ Marco Rubio hugs [ths: link added], shameless tart that I am.
And soon my sweet major dad’s gonna be doing me some smoky, sticky, saucy boneless ribs on the barbie.
I be da lucky gal.
I am a registered Independent. I voted for Barack Obama. And for that, I am sorry.
I’m not sorry for you. I’m sorry for me. Because I voted for Obama for me, not for you. I voted for hope and change and all the intangibles that Obama was peddling in the wake of the financial crisis, Sarah Palin, Sept. 11 and all the other ills that shook our country in the last decade. I wanted something new. Something different. What I got was, I suppose, exactly what I voted for – a spin doctor. And not a very good one at that.
Well, I’m sorry for us, sweetie, not you ~ trust me. Because the gist of your being swung to the dark pit of despair side boils down to “Before John McCain unwittingly picked a tabloid-magazine cover girl for his running mate…But as soon as Palin climbed out of her igloo and onto the national scene… I felt my choice was to risk McCain dropping dead and letting the world’s most well-known hockey mom run this country…But between picking Palin, suggesting that the first debates be delayed and, well, picking Palin, he made it easy for Obama to win…”
I get your drift. You’re sooo smart, you were horrified by the thought of McCain’s untimely demise leaving the country in the hands of that…pick your epithet. (I like “governor”, but hey! YOU’RE the genius.) But in all your romantic fulminations about our barefooted, globe-trotting, single/grand parented, mixed race, never-held-a-real-job, Apollo descended unto man, eloquent-as-long-as-it’s-scripted President, it NEVER occurred to you that the SAME standard you held McCain to could have as easily befallen the handsome Adonis who so enthralled you? NEVER?!?!?!
That, considering the vagaries of fate, he too, could be…say…hit by a bus in Chicago stepping off the curb in front of Whole Foods? Leaving organic arugula to fly everywhere and this country…
…in Joe Biden’s hands.
Because, thanks to you, God FORBID anything happens to the guy you elected, that’s who we got.
And Sarah Palin was worse ~ to the point of multiple dings, donks and digs in your sad little commentary ~ than that utterly terrifying thought? And you don’t mention his dumb ass once? Not ONCE did the thought of that complete doofus being selected by your One give you pause about HIS abilities/lack thereof?
That is You are just so sad. If that’s the best you can do, STFU already.
I mean, geesh, c’mon guys: every school-age kid knows that if you’re going to make shit up you need to be consistent with your stories
White House advisers appearing on the Sunday talk shows gave three different estimates of how many jobs could be credited to President Obama’s Recovery Act.
…Valerie Jarrett had the most conservative count, saying “the Recovery Act saved thousands and thousands of jobs,” while David Axelrod gave the bill the most credit, saying it has “created more than – or saved more than 2 million jobs.” Press Secretary Robert Gibbs came in between them, saying the plan had “saved or created 1.5 million jobs.”
Politico gives the full context of these idjits’ remarks so they can’t claim that they were unfairly quoted or some such nonsense.
It would be exceedingly humorous if these people didn’t have so much power over us.
“You’re ruining my marriage”, the MTI snarled Ebola.
“I deal with your f*ck-ups all day, and then go home and yell at my husband!”
“Lady”, Ebola thought, “If that’s true, you got bigger problems than me…”
And “Yay, Colts” for major dad. I’m not picking sides in this one, having emotional attachments to both teams. See? I AM a moderate!
Hot DAWG!!!!! SUPERBOWL BOUND!!!!!
Oh, Bourbon Street is hopping now, cher! Rob, if I had your number, I’d be callin’.