Wedding disaster

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader doesn’t know if this video is real or staged. Either way it made him chuckle.

See the video for yourself. Clicky the linky here.

Your Maximum Leader would have embedded the video here, but it is a little too wide to display correctly in his column.

Carry on.

The hits keep on coming.

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader had a full day yesterday. One that required lots of driving around and socializing. It was a great day in fact. (NB to Kevin: Sorry for being a schmuck and not sticking around longer to help out tidy things up - especially in light of the length of your later absence.) But on the down-side of the day, your Maximum Leader didn’t get to see any football on TV. Neither did he watch “Meet the Press” in the morning.

So… Colin Powell endorsing Obama. Well… Your Maximum Leader can’t say that he predicted this, because he didn’t. Is he surprised… Well… A little. He thought that Powell might have just kept his thoughts to himself. But, he didn’t. Is this a big blow to John McCain? Not exactly. On the balance these endorsements don’t amount to much. Powell’s might carry a little more weight than most, but still that isn’t all that much. Is your Maximum Leader disappointed in Powell’s endorsement? Sure he is. Is it going to change his vote (or the votes of others who have already determined to vote one way or the other). Might the Powell endorsement sway an “undecided” voter? Possibly. Of course if you are still undecided right now it is likely that you are both stupid and easily swayed by the last person you spoke with. So you will keep on being undecided for a few more weeks…

At this point your Maximum Leader is expecting an Obama victory on November 4th. He will be sad for John McCain for a little bit… But then he’ll move on to being filled with black-hearted glee at an Obama presidency. Many prominent persons (Colin Powell & Christopher Buckley) and institutions (the Washington Post) have endorsed Barack Obama because of the potential he brings for change. The common theme of the endorsements are that he is new and fresh and can be a change agent. (The other common theme of the endoresments is that “Obama isn’t a typical liberal Democrat. Read his books and you’ll see.” (NB to Smallholder: Hummm….) Of course, the undercurrent of that line of thinking is that basically Obama is lying about what he will do upon becoming president. You should take a moment and read Skippy’s take on this.

As your Maximum Leader wrote back in February, he believes that an Obama presidency will be four years of soul-crushing for those who believe he can bring change to Washington and the nation. The nature of Washington, coupled with all the various crises facing the nation right now will not be terribly accomodating to a program of change put forth by a (prospective) Obama administration. Indeed it is going to be very nasty and messy.

In fact, your Maximum Leader is dismayed by our immediate future prospects regardless of who wins the Presidency. It hasn’t gotten to the point where he fears for his children’s future… But it is pretty bad…

Of course, the election hasn’t yet occured and anything is possible. Some polls say the race is “tightening.” Some polls say that Obama is widening his lead. Your Maximum Leader can only speak for what he sees and hears around him. Virginia seems rather evenly divided right now. That is a very bad thing for John McCain. There are going to be a lot of ticket splitters here. This is to say that these people will vote for John McCain for President and Mark Warner for Senate. To be honest, your Maximum Leader will likely be one of these. McCain should be far ahead now in Virginia. But Obama’s huge amount of money is keeping him in the race here and keeping volunteers in the streets. It is coming down to turnout. Your Maximum Leader suspects that it will come down to turnout and legal challenges in lots of areas. The prospect of lots of legal challenges fills your Maximum Leader with dismay. But, it is what our republic has come down to.

In other news…

Your Maximum Leader had written off the Tampa Bay Rays after their Game 5 debacle in Boston. But they have come back and won the game they needed to and are going to the World Series. (So we can see that your Maximum Leader’s predictions are worth crap.) Now it is a Phillies/Rays series. This is a difficult choice in terms of choosing for whom to root. Your Maximum Leader can’t really abide by the Phillies, but he is a National League type of guy. The Rays could be one of those “teams of destiny.” But he just can’t get excited about Florida teams in any sport… Mrs Villain has already declared that she will not watch the World Series because she can’t stand either team. Your Maximum Leader loves his baseball so he wants to watch… But he just doesn’t like either team…

As you can tell… Things are going just swimmingly here this morning…

Carry on.

RCBfA & Astronomy

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader was thinking that it has been a while since he last posted anything relating to the RCBfA. Today is as good a day as any to make up for lost posting.

You see… Your Maximum Leader was reading about night in the most recent issue of National Geographic. More accuarately, he was reading about how night isn’t all that dark in many areas of the developed world and why that isn’t a good thing. Your Maximum Leader agrees. Night should be dark and the heavens not obsucred by light reflecting off cities and such…

But your Maximum Leader digresses…

So… There is, in this issue of National Geographic, a photo of a road sign proclaiming a street be “Milky Way.” The photo is shot at night and one can actually see the Milky Way in the background.

That got your Maximum Leader to thinking. He seemed to remember seeing a painting once called “The Origin of the Milky Way” in the National Gallery in London. At first he remembered it as a Titian. But later realized he was incorrect and it is a Tintoretto. For your viewing pleasure, Tintoretto’s “Origin of the Milky Way”:
milkyway.jpg
Clicken to embiggen.

And while we are thinking of Tintoretto… How about his “Four women playing music.”
4womenplaying.jpg
Again, clicken to embiggen. Sadly, your Maximum Leader hasn’t found too many string quartets of the type Tintoretto was painting here. This painting serves as a reminder to your Maximum Leader that he must go to Florence - where there is lots of art. (And presumably artful string quartets.)

Carry on.

Rushed legislation

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader, as you all surely know, is not a fan of legislation that is rushed through the Congress and signed quickly by the President. It almost always is rife with problems and unintended consequences.

To wit: the big “bailout/rescue” package just passed by Congress and signed by President Bush. According to the Washington Post in their piece entitled “Treasury’s Rescue Plan Hits Technical Snag”:

Banking regulators are working today to resolve accounting roadblocks that would hold up the government’s plan to revive financial markets by investing $250 billion in the nation’s banks.

The problem is this: Under existing rules, banks cannot count the Treasury Department’s investment as part of their core capital, the foundation of money that supports a bank’s operations. The very goal of the plan was to buttress those foundations, which have been eroded by recent losses, undermining the stability of the banks.

The Treasury’s initial investment in nine of the largest banks cannot go forward until the accounting issues are resolved, people familiar with the matter said. Regulators are now working to figure out how to change existing rules to accommodate the program, the latest in a string of ad hoc measures to address the financial crisis.

Yesterday, the Federal Reserve issued a rule, effective today, that suspends its long-standing objections to counting such an investment toward core capital. But other regulators have yet to act.

Beautiful. Just friggin beautiful. You’d think that someone might have thought of this while they were actually debating the law.

Friggin beautiful…

Carry on.

Sawx win - Maximum Leader sleeps

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader turned in last night with the Tampa Bay Rays up 5-0 at the close of the 5th inning. He thought the Sawx were done.

Well… Obviously the Citgo sign bad ju ju wasn’t all that bad.

Sawx win.

If you want to read some painful stuff… Try out Thomas Boswell’s column today.

Or even better… Try this one from Tampa Bay Online.

Ouch.

Carry on.

Ovie

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader became a hockey fan early. As he’s surely noted here before, he became a hockey fan long before he became a baseball or football fan. He became a fan because he could go to games when he was young. The Capitals were so bad that he had easy access to cheap tickets. He bonded with the franchise. He’s been a Caps fan ever since.

This is not to say that he’s always been a hockey fan. Over the years the sport appears to have done just about everything it could to implode. He would watch finals games on tv. If there was nothing else on - he’d watch the Caps.

That started to change the year before last. Then last year you Maximum Leader got pumped up again about the team.

This year he bought a partial season ticket plan.

He is on the bandwagon.

One of the key reasons for his change of heart is Alexander Ovechkin. If you haven’t seen Ovie play, you have missed the most entertaining and exciting player that the NHL has to offer. Your Maximum Leader hasn’t seen a player stir up this much excitement since Wayne Gretzky used to come to town (with Edmonton).

You should take a moment to read the good piece on Ovie that ESPN has put up. Alexander Ovechkin: The Puck stops here. A taste:

Ovechkin’s transformation of Washington has been remarkable because DC puckheads are not accustomed to voting with their wallets. “Let’s be honest,” says Caps legend Peter Bondra. “Washington is not Hockeytown.” No wonder: When it first joined the league in 1974-75, it finished 8—67—5 with a 1—39 road record. Rod Langway, one of only four Caps Hall of Famers, arrived in 1982 from Montreal, where, he says, “18,000 people knew my entire life.” In DC, he adds, “it took two years for people to know me.”

Now, a Russian has turned the Verizon Center into a hockey mecca. During the playoffs, media from as far away as Edmonton and Europe were regulars at morning skates. Ovechkin has even reached across the sports aisle to appeal to the bases of other teams. “Alex has the confidence of the fans and the city,” says Hoyas hoops coach John Thompson III. “He has enthusiasm and cares about what he’s doing. He’s gonna make us win games.” Note the use of the word us. The Caps have Capitalized on Ovechkin’s dedication to a Washington rarity: trust.

Your Maximum Leader is excited. He is excited about the Caps in a way he hasn’t been since the trip to the Cup finals a decade ago. (In fact, he is more excited now because in the cup run you got the feeling that the Wings couldnt’ be stopped. And in fact they could not be stopped.)

If you didn’t see the Caps come back from a 0-3 deficit to win against the Penguins last night, you missed some great hockey. He hopes to see a lot more great hockey this season.

Carry on.

Congrats Prime Minister Harper

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader, unforgivably, neglected to extend his congratulations to Stephen Harper and his (minority) government winning the late elections in our neighbour to the north.

Alas, Mr. Harper didn’t completely destroy the Liberals under Stephane Dion. But, the Liberals did lose 19 seats in the Commons.

Your Maximum Leader anxiously awaits his friend Skippy’s analysis.

Carry on.

Christmas at St. Mark’s

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader has been fixated of late. If you know your Maximum Leader personally he’s probably mentioned to you that he wants to go to Venice for Christmas.

Not Venice Beach California.

The Venice. Veniza. La Serenissima. Queen of the Adriatic.

Yes… He even risked the glower of Mrs Villain by announcing at the dinner table one night that he would go by himself if need be.

This fixation has been percolating in your Maximum Leader’s brain for some time. At some point early this year he read this piece in the Guardian entitled “Silent Night in St Mark’s” Two paragraphs of the piece are stuck in your Maximum Leader’s mind. Here they are:

It’s odd that so few tourists go to Venice for Christmas. But their absence - and with them the proprietors of a thousand souvenir stalls - is the winter visitor’s gain. It’s not that you have the place to yourself, but with a layer of tourist kitsch removed, you feel the Venetians are reclaiming their city. Neighbourhoods and markets seem more authentic, and the people standing next to you in the bars and bakeries are locals. The city’s population is less than half what it is during August high season, and as you stroll along empty quays or across deserted squares you savour the essence of Venice, with all of its extravagant architecture laid bare.

Warm dress is essential on Christmas Eve, too. It isn’t possible that the entire population of Venice packs into St Mark’s Basilica for midnight mass, but it feels that way. With the great doors open onto the square, the air is icy. The gold-lined basilica feels like the inside of a giant Fabergé egg. A thousand candles find a million reflections in the Byzantine mosaics, a simulacrum of the heavens. Cumuli of incense curl upwards.

Your Maximum Leader would do this in an instant if the circumstances would allow…

But, they do not allow…

So this remains a fixation in his mind…

Carry on.

Bad ju ju

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader reads that the famous Citgo sign outside Fenway Park caught fire earlier today.

That can’t bode well for the Sawx tonight…

BTW, Sawx behind 2-0 right now in 2nd Inning.

Carry on.

Things that are wrong

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader would like to bring to your attention a number of things that are just wrong.

Number 1: Game Six of the World Series will be delayed by a paid advertisement from Barack Obama. (If the game is required,) It will be delayed by 15 minutes. Senator Obama is buying 30 minutes of prime time to deliver a “longform” speech to the American people. Your Maximum Leader is offended by this. He is offended when any sporting event is pre-empted by something sort of a serious national crisis. While some of your Maximum Leader’s Obama supporters readers might be tempted to say that we are in a serious national crisis… Listen… Your Maximum Leader means SERIOUS. If a speech can be scheduled in advance it is not SERIOUS. Just have Senator Obama start earlier. Damnation.

Number 2: American gluttony. Apparently some guy ate a 15 pound burger (with an additional 5 pounds of fixins’ and bun) in under 5 hours. This just seems wrong.

Number 3: Irish bookies paying out bets made for an Obama victory - now. Great jeezey chreezey! What the hell is going on in the world that bookies are paying out bets made on the outcome of an event that has not yet occured?!? This violates so many different rules it leaves your Maximum Leader just gobsmacked. Let it be known that this would never occur in the Mike World Order. Never.

Number 4: Palin lookalike strippers to strut stuff. What is wrong with this you might ask? Well… Doctrinal issues aside… This event will take place and your Maximum Leader will likely forget to look for photos on the internet to see how it went…

Carry on.

Rawls v Nozick

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader hates it when someone else states something apparently so self-evident that he feels like kicking himself for not thinking of it sooner. Your Maximum Leader is doubly down on himself when that someone not only states something self-evident, but does so in a such a concise manner that it is disarming.

To wit:

The current election is in part a referendum on Rawls versus Nozick.

That brilliant summary comes from Professor Greg Mankiw’s blog. Your Maximum Leader would have never read that were it not for the pointer from our friend FLG at Fear & Loathing in Georgetown.

Do you all know what makes this situation even worse… Your Maximum Leader feels this overwhelming urge to expand on Professor Mankiw’s line and discourse on Rawls and Nozick. But to do so would be a little intellecutally pretensious as well as ruin the simplicity of the cited line.

Carry on.

Didn’t watch it

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader didn’t watch the debate tonight.

He’s been watching the Phillies/Dodgers game.

It looks like it is going to be the Phillies in the World Series…

At least that is the way it looks as of 22:11 tonight. (Had to update the time. Misstyped.)

Your Maximum Leader is turning in now.

Carry on.

Vote for something cool

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader, as longtime readers know, is a real Dracula afficianado. Something about the story speaks to him. He is quite fond of the films as well. Indeed, while doing some painting at the Villainschloss your Maximum Leader discovered that he had quite a number of versions of Dracula on DVD. Perhaps he’ll have a Dracula-fest on Halloween…

Anyhoo…

You should go and vote for your favourite film vampire over at AMC’s Fearfest… Here is the link to get you to the first round of voting.

Of course you need to vote Bela Lugosi… Not like your Maximum Leader is trying to sway your vote or anything…

Carry on.

Sadness

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader must sadly report that Villainette #2’s soccer team lost the championship game earlier this evening. It was 2-1. Villainette #2 is taking it particularly hard. She was the goalie who allowed the second score during the third quarter of the game. It was 1-0 when the third started. And it was 2-0 at the beginning of the fourth quarter. She’s been beating herself up a little bit about it.

A pep-talk from her dad and a big ice cream cone from Carl’s Ice Cream seemed to take the edge off.

For those of you who do not know the area… Carl’s Ice Cream is the best… It takes the edge off just about everything bad.

Carry on.

Too much TV

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader has been watching baseball playoffs in rapt attention over the past few days. Thus, he’s not been spending his quality free-time thinking of intelligent and witty blog posts. Actually, he’s been thinking of many blog posts - just not writing them.

So there.

He was going to write a pithy essay on the election last night… But fate conspired against him. Let us explain…

Villainette #2 is a soccer player. Her team this fall is very good. Last night they were playing in the semi-finals to see which team would advance to play for the league championship. The game last night was a nail-biter. The game was scoreless through 3 quarters. In the 4th quarter, the other team scored with about 3 minutes remaining in the game. Miraculously, Villainette #2’s team managed to score about 1 minute later and tie up the game. Since it is a playoff game, there are no ties allowed. They played a 5 minute overtime… No score… Then they played a second overtime period. Again no score. So the went to the shootout. The first two players (of five selected to kick). Then the next two players on each team missed. The final player on the opposing time missed… The final kicker on Villainette #2’s team came up and kicked the ball. The goalie got his hands on it but the ball spun out of his hands, over his head, and into the goal.

There was some dispute as to whether or not one of the referees had blown a whistle before the ball went in. But Villainette #2’s team won and is now playing in the championship game tonight…

Knowing this… Allow your Maximum Leader to say that he will be going to the game and hoping for the best. He will then head home, grab a bit to eat, then settle in for the NLCS game tonight… So don’t expect any quality posting here.

Carry on.

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