Neither funny, nor appropriate

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader sees that a Pennsylvania Newspaper (The Warren Times Observer) ran a classified ad calling for President Obama to “follow in the steps of Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley and Kennedy!” According to the AP story picked up by the Washington Post no one in the classified section caught the connection between the four presidents listed in the ad. The newspaper is cooperating with authorities (read the Secret Service) to track down the person who placed the ad.

Your Maximum Leader would be willing to bet dollars to doughnuts that the ad was placed on-line through one of those classified ad aggregator websites that so many smaller papers use to allow readers to place ads on-line with little fuss.

Whoever placed the ad is a complete idiot. Your Maximum Leader hopes ill befalls him (and he’s pretty sure that when the Secret Service catches up with the ad-placer ill will befall him).

Carry on.

Ack! My arteries!

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader loves himself some Krispy Kreme doughnuts. Yes he does. He’s never been much of a Dunkin Doughnuts guy. Always Krispy Kreme. When that red “hot” sign is on those original doughnuts are just like little edible orgasms.

Apparently those edible orgasms aren’t good for your arteries… or your sewer pipes. To wit: Fairfax County (VA) is suing Krispy Kreme becuase “grease and other waste” from a KK factory are clogging the county sewers. The county claims that the discharges from the factory were so bad that the local sewer pumping station began to smell like doughnuts.

And a sewage pumping station smelling like doughnuts is a negative how exactly?

Your Maximum Leader is hoping that justice (and little bits of edible heaven) prevail in a court of law.

Carry on.

Chris Matthews alert!

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader is getting an odd tingling up his leg when he looks at:

this photo posted by Agent Bedhead.

Carry on.

A Tweet-ish thing.

I wonder if Michael J. Fox’s medical condition is in any way related to him being the evil anti-Elvis.

Not an uneventful week

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader has noticed that this has been a rather eventful week in terms of news. Lots of interesting stuff to comment upon.

The most important happening of the week must be the North Korean nuclear test. One supposes that the election of Barack Obama hasn’t changed too much in terms of US/Korea relations. Is this the “test” that Joe Biden suggested would come in the first six months of the Obama presidency? Could be. Your Maximum Leader isn’t sure that Obama’s reaction has been any different than John McCain’s would have been (or George W. Bush’s for that matter) had he been elected president. It seems like Hillary Clinton and our diplomatic corps are working to get China on board with whatever the long-term plan is going to be. All in all your Maximum Leader seems sort of sanguine on what will go on in the Koreas. It is good to see that South Korea (and US troops there) are on high alert since the North has started being more bellicose than usual. Your Maximum Leader can’t see “our” side starting anything. And if the North decides to “start something” (either at sea or along the DMZ) then the S. Korean/US/UN forces will respond proportionately. It is difficult to imagine a senario that gets out of hand. Although, if things do get out of hand it will be very ugly very quickly with the potential for a million casualties in Seoul alone. This pot will continue to boil slowly for a while yet…

The next biggest story is President Obama’s nomination of Judge Sotomayor to fill Justice Souter’s* seat on the Supreme Court. Your Maximum Leader has been reading the usual suspects (like Volokh) to get more information on Sotomayor. She is about what your Maximum Leader expected of Obama. She will be a strong “activist” and “liberal” justice if confirmed. Some of her past comments concerning the wealth and variety of experiences a hispanic woman would bring to the court (and to the justice system at large) make your Maximum Leader cring. They seem, on their face, to be completely contrary to the notion of “equal justice under law” (the motto that is carved into the very stone of the Supreme Court building). Indeed, her comments remind your Maximum Leader of the moment he knew he was a “judicial conservative.”

Your Maximum Leader hadn’t bothered to think hard about the Supreme Court or its role in our Republic until he got to college. Sure he wanted Reagan to get the judges he wanted because “our side” won the election and that is the way things went. By the fall of 1987 your Maximum Leader was a freshman at college and Robert Bork had just been rejected as a nominee to the Supreme Court. That fall Judge Leon Higginbotham came to speak on campus and your Maximum Leader went to listen to Judge Higginbotham’s speech and lectures. By the end of a question and answer session between students and Judge Higginbotham your Maximum Leader had had an epiphany. The moment that stands out was one where a student was asking Judge Higginbotham about sentencing in drug cases. As part of his answer Judge Higginbotham commented that a white kid from the suburbs of Philadelphia should get a harsher sentence for a coccaine conviction than a black kid from the projects in Philadelphia. His rationale went that the white kid had a different environment where he was better able to know the concequences of his actions, thus should be punished more harshly than the black kid who had a different life experience. Now, your Maximum Leader knows that the judge was speaking hypothetically and very broadly; but the very notion of unequal treatment based on socio-economic grouping (and race one should add) opened your Maximum Leader’s eyes to notions of justice and the role of judges. When your Maximum Leader hears the replayed comments made in the past by Judge Sotomayor, his heckles are raised and he immediately starts opposing her and thinking her a bad choice for the highest bench in the land.

Of course, your Maximum Leader isn’t sure how Republicans can conceivably stop her nomination. Smearing her like Democrats smeared Robert Bork (or Clarence Thomas) doesn’t appear to be an option. It isn’t an option because of the politics of it. None has balls enough to risk being made to look like a bigoted racist - which is how any attack will be countered. Indeed, an interview your Maximum Leader recently saw with Chuck Schumer (Arse - NY) seemed to confirm his suspicions of how the “counterattacks” will come.

Yes… It has not been an uneventful week…

Carry on.

* - A sharp minion and frequent commenter (Hey Maggie!) noted that your Maximum Leader wrote first that Justice Breyer was retiring. Your Maximum Leader knew that it isn’t Breyer but David Souter who is retiring. Your Maximum Leader supposes that it was wishful thinking on his part that he wrote that it was Breyer… Sorry…

Carry on.

Song of the moment.

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maxmium Leader (in the spirit of FLG and others) is currently listening to:

Ida Maria’s “I like you so much better when you’re naked.”

He’d embed the video, but embedding has been disabled on You Tube.

It is a fun little song. It was a “discovery download” free on iTunes a few weeks ago. Your Maximum Leader downloaded it and discovered that he did, in fact, like the song…

Click through and give a listen is you like alternative/punk music from Norwegian chicks…

Carry on.


Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader and Mrs Villain were watching the news last night. We saw clips of President Obama’s speech. During the clips Mrs Villain asked what it was that the President was standing in front of. Your Maximum Leader indicated he was at the Archives and was standing in front of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. After he said that he mused aloud that the lights would be awfully bright and it seemed odd to risk damage to the documents just for a photo op. He further mused that the documents in the case couldn’t be the real Constitution. Mrs Villain wondered if there was any way to “know” that the real Constitution wasn’t used or harmed for the purposes of a presidential speech.

Well… It turns out the Constitution was fake. Thanks ABC.

Carry on.

Suffer the children… Updated.

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader started to blog about this last night, but didn’t publish before the great Velociman put this out there…

So… Here is a lovely story for you…

Yesterday was going to be a big day for the kindergartners of Conway Elementary School. It was going to be their day to go to the White House for a tour. Your Maximum Leader knew about this a while ago. He knew because Conway Elementary School is the school for the Villainschloss and you hear things through the neighborhood. The teachers and students were pretty excited to go. And really, who wouldn’t be? Regardless of the resident of the White House it is a national treasure and should be visited.

Yesterday, early in the morning, parents were dropping their kids off to get on the buses that would take them to Washington and their rendezvous with the White House. They had a timetable to keep.

Little did they know how their story would end. Local NBC affiliate WRC wound up reporting on it.

As your Maximum Leader heard the story from some of the participants… The group from school was scheduled to arrive begin their tour at 10am. The school was advised by the White House tours office that the Pittsburgh Steelers were coming to the White House and that the school group had to be prompt, because as soon as the kindergartners were finished with their tour the preperations for the Steelers would begin. Knowing this the teachers and parents at Conway resolved to leave earlier than they planned to allow extra time. If you have ever travelled to Washington DC you know we have bad traffic. The drive from Conway Elementary to the White House should take about an hour under “good” conditions. Knowing this the Teachers advised parents that the buses were leaving the parking lot at 8am.

Alas… Even leaving early did not help the kids and their teachers and parents. Traffic was bad and they were running behind. Your Maximum Leader has been told that the coordinator for the trip telephoned the White House and advised them of the delay. The White House people told them that they would hold the tour as long as they could. The coordinator and the bus drivers agreed that the could make it to the White House around 10:15. They were advised that this would still work.

The buses arrived at the White House at 10:25.

And at 10:25 they were turned away. The kids were driven back to Conway. They saw the White House through the fence.

UPDATE: Your Maximum Leader has just heard from some other parents that the original story he heard is not the full story. The kids were allowed off the buses and were given a tour of the White House grounds. They just were not allowed into the White House. After the walk around the White House, the kids went to the World War II Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial where they had a picnic. So the day wasn’t completely lost.

Your Maximum Leader has read the NBC report and it states that the White House said the group was supposed to come at 9:30am and they held the tour for nearly an hour. According to what people have told your Maximum Leader, 9:30 was never in the cards. So rather than holding the tour for nearly an hour, it was held for about 15 mins or so. Your Maximum Leader isn’t sure if the White House people are lying outright to cover their arses or if his sources are exaggerating a little bit.

Now, your Maximum Leader is not entirely unschooled in how White House events work. He’s been involved in one or two in the past. He knows the White House is a schedule driven place. But one has to wonder what the hell wasn’t going on in the mind of the staffers who pulled the plug on some kindergartners. Turning 5 and 6 year old kids away at the gates? Have you ever tried to get anywhere on a tight schedule with a 5 year old? How about four buses full of 5 and 6 year old kids? Its tough. Did no one think of the public relations problem you might run into?

Oh yeah… Stafford County VA (where the school is located) went for John McCain last year…

Paybacks are hell (for children).

Carry on.

Britain today… US tomorrow…

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader is sure that yesterday you were sitting around saying to yourself, “Self, I wonder if the Washington Nationals will be able to snap their 7 game losing streak tonight against the Pirates?” Well… If you weren’t saying that to yourself it is likely that your thoughts were cluttered with other mental ephemera. So, while you were cluttered it is possible that you missed this little tidbit. Standard & Poor downgraded Britain.

Okay. Standard & Poor didn’t actually downgrade Britain from First World to Third World or anything. In fact S&P didn’t actually downgrade Britain’s AAA bond rating… Yet. According to the piece:

In cutting its outlook for Britain’s sovereign rating from stable to negative for the first time, Standard & Poor’s cited debt levels approaching the size of the nation’s gross domestic product. While S&P reaffirmed Britain’s actual long-term credit rating at AAA, its statement was effectively a warning about massive government spending.

A sovereign rating downgrade can undermine investor confidence at a time when many governments need investors to buy their debt. That could make it more costly to finance bank bailouts or stimulus spending.

The lowering of the outlook for Britain serves as a cautionary note for the United States, analysts said, because the federal government is also running record deficits as it tries to revive the economy.

On NPR’s Marketplace yesterday they ran a short piece on this subject and hit a few interesting points that ought to be noted here. One of the reasons for the warning (and potential downgrade) was that British government debt will soon reach 100% of GDP. If you’ve been looking at some of these fun charts that show the massive deficits projected under the Obama Administration you will realize that US debt could soon reach the 100% of GDP level…

So lets review some facts… A few months ago the Chinese (a major US creditor) openly mused about the future credit worthiness of the the US. Britain’s been warned that continued public sector spending without restraint will cause their bond rating to fall and make it harder to borrow (and thus spend). The Obama Administration has outlined spending over the next 10 years that is unprecedented in recent history (WWII might have had similar spending levels). US spending is financed in large part by borrowing…

Do you see a trend here? It isn’t just that we are saddling our progeny with massive debts; it is that we are running through our credit lines with no sign of stopping and eventually that credit will dry up or become too expensive to maintain. When that happens will our whole nation be like California? Or like Zimbabwe?

Carry on.

Scientific proof… That MD drivers are bad…

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader has long held that Maryland drivers suck. For many years he thought this was just another battlefield in the ongoing “Virginia v. Maryland - which is better” war. From time to time others would make comments about bad Maryland drivers. (For some reason Robbo and FLG jump to mind.)

Now GMAC Insurance has done a study across the whole US measuring how well drivers knew basic road safety rules. Here are the results if you are interested. Well guess what… Virginia is 21 and Maryland is 40. (DC is 44.)

There. Maryland drivers suck. QED.

Carry on.

In the style of Twitter…

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader isn’t much a Twitter person. Indeed, he isn’t a Twitter person at all. He only follows one Twitter feed… And he only follows it using a web browser and his computer.

What Twitter feed would that be? It would be the feed of his first blog-crush… The lovely Anna of Primal Purge. (NB: Is there ever a blog-crush like your first? Probably not…)


Your Maximum Leader might decide to activate that whole “create-a-post-via-email” function and create some blog posts in the style of Twitter… Or as your Maximum Leader prefers to think of it… Sort of like a blog post like an compliation of aphorisms, sort of like this one.

Consider this a warning of that which is to come.

Carry on.

Mourning over

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader is done mourning for the Washington Capitals’ season. After bearing witness with his own eyes to the horrible debacle that was Game 7 of the Easter Conference Semi-finals he now believes he can blog again. Frankly, he now believes he can get back on living. If the Caps had lost a close game the net affect on your Maximum Leader would not have been as bad as the beating they took at the hands of the Penguins. The Penguins totally schooled (skool’d?) the Capitals last week. Your Maximum Leader was all ready to mentally purge all the demons surrounding the Penguins in the post-season…

Well… Those demons are still alive and camped out in the part of your Maximum Leader’s consciousness that relates to hockey…


Your Maximum Leader will do his best to comment on some of the goings-on in the world. He’s got lots of thoughts he feels the need to share. If you are still reading this site at all… You might have the need to read those thoughts…

Then again… You might just be here to stick pins in the body and see if you get a reaction. Well… Feel free to stick pins… Your Maximum Leader is back and will be more responsive to pins.

Carry on.

Gone squishy?

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader has received a few (okay two) comments wondering if, after his last post, he’s gone squishy. (Or gone “wobbly” as Margaret Thatcher would say.) He fears his post that started with Arlen Specter and ended on ideological purity might be misinterpreted.

First off… As the post title said, your Maximum Leader isn’t crying over Arlen’s loss of seniority. He deserved it. But your Maximum Leader wonders if the move does hamper the Dems ability to woo the other “moderate” Republicans in the Senate.

Secondly… Your Maximum Leader believes that there is a role for moderates in both parties. The role is to moderate the extremes that are out there on both sides. The loss of a key Republican moderate diminishes the relative power of the Republican party in the Senate, and it feeds the continuing news cycle on the demise of the Republican party.

Speaking of the demise of the Republican party… Don’t buy flowers for the grave yet. It seems to your Maximum Leader that in 2002 the news cycle was lamenting the demise of the Democrat party. The worm turns friends. Both parties go acendent and decendent. The worm will turn again.

So, your Maximum Leader’s concern about losing Arlen Specter is linked to his belief that losing moderates will make the cycle of decline go longer than it needs to. This is speculation only. There is no scientific way of predicting these things…

Don’t fear your Maximum Leader going squishy on you. He’s just trying to think a little long term; and trying to cut down on some of the excessive celebration at Arlen’s departure.

Carry on.

Lets Go Caps…

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader gives you all that old refrain… Were it not for the playoff hockey and family responsibilities he’d be blogging more… Blah… Blah… Blah… Yadda… Yadda… Yadda…

(NB: Would your Maximum Leader yadda… yadda… sex? Or thievery? Heh. For him to know and all that business…)


As you can tell from the subject line of this post, your Maximum Leader’s beloved Washington Capitals are still alive in the Eastern Conference Semi-finals. Its been a damned close-run thing however. Your Maximum Leader and his whole family (minus the Wee Villain who was asleep) were watching the game last night. When the Pens tied it up and sent the game to OT your Maximum Leader felt a lump in his gut. He kept a brave face up and tried to cheer up his girls who had the same feeling apparently; but were not nearly so good at keeping it in. They immediately thought the worst. Their dear ole dad reminded them that they play the games for a reason and that the Caps were due. And due they were. OT goal sending the series back to DC for the decisive game 7.

Your Maximum Leader will be there tomorrow night. It is yet undetermined which of his two lovely daughters will be coming with him. That is likely to be hashed (hatched?) out tonight at dinner. He might have to restrain them both lest it come to blows.


Your Maximum Leader is hoping the Caps can put away the Pens tomorrow night and advance to the Eastern Conference finals.

Lets go Caps!

Carry on.

Not crying.

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader has three or four decent thoughtful posts ruminating in his brain. But he is lazy apparently. Last night (prime time for blogging), he opted to watch recorded sit-coms on the old Tivo. Tonight he knows he’ll be watching the Caps/Pens game.

Your Maximum Leader is becoming (if he hasn’t already become) a lackadasical blogger… Sad really…


Your Maximum Leader reads that Senator Arlen Specter’s seniority has been stripped. Apparently ole Arlen (Rat - Pennsylvania) was promised that he could keep his seniority by Harry Reid (Arsehole - Nevada) when Arlen decided to “rat” (as Winston Churchill called it). The Democrats in the Senate decided that Harry’s promise wasn’t worth squat and they voted to put Arlen at the back of the class.

One wonders if Arlen is now considering “re-rating” (again in the words of Winston Churchill).

Frankly, your Maximum Leader is surprised at this move by the Democrats. If they had hoped to woo Olympia Snowe or Susan Collins this move might put the kybosh on that. What is the benefit of switching if you lose seniority in a body in which seniority is everything?

Your Maximum Leader hasn’t weighed in on Arlen’s rat-move. All in all your Maximum Leader is not pleased to see Specter go. This isn’t out of any love of Arlen Specter. It is a tactical move in your Maximum Leader’s mind. Sure you couldn’t rely on Specter if you were a Republican for many more partisan agenda items. In the final analysis it is better to have the extra hand on deck if you can get some use out him than not to have him on deck at all. It is numbers. With Specter holding on the “R” after his name you made the Dems work for him. Now with the “D” after his name the Republicans have to work for his vote.

This leads to a larger question about ideological purity that seems to drive many of your Maximum Leader’s fellow travellers. Your Maximum Leader isn’t as concerned about ideological purity as many others are. As Lee Atwater once told your Maximum Leader, “The Republicans could run Bozo the Clown and the Democrats could run Joseph Stalin and each one would be guaranteed to get about 40% of the vote. You are after 11% of the middle.” This little insight has always tempered your Maximum Leader’s view of ideological purity in both major parties in America.

Let us just admit that there are hard-core Republicans and hard-core Democrats. For the people in these groups no amount of argument or cajoling will change their mind. (To continue to channel Winston Churchill, “A fanatic is someone who won’t change his mind and can’t change the subject.”) The job of the “wings” of the parties is to convince a portion of the middle to side with them. This middle is pretty flexible and transient. They aren’t going to “stick with” one side or the other for very long. Your Maximum Leader doesn’t believe that you can permenantly move enough people one side or the other to create a “permenant majority.” History tends to bear out this belief. The worm turns. It always turns.

This leads us back to Arlen Specter (and Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe). There is a role for “moderate Republicans” in the Republican party. There is also a role for “moderate Democrats” in the Democratic party. (There are noticably few “moderate Democrats” in the Senate, but there are a few in the House. There used to be many more 15-20 years ago…) The role of these “moderates” is clear. It is to moderate political excess on both sides. Both sides can be guilty of excesses. You need the soft middle to absorb some of that excess. Without the soft squishy middle you get dramatic sea-changes. These are generally bad all around. Your Maximum Leader believes that we are in a predominantly bad sea-change right now. Some of your Maximum Leader’s more liberal friends believe that the Reagan years were a predominantly bad sea-change (a claim with which your Maximum Leader disagrees). Having a few moderates on your side makes the wishy-washy center a little more comfortable siding with your side (for the time you’ll have them). Moderates are never the driving force behind a party. Neither are they the idea people of a party. Having a few moderates doesn’t make the Republicans less conservative on the balance or the Democrats less liberal. It makes them a little more friendly.

Carry on.

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