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The answer is

42.

Just like your Maximum Leader. Tomorrow that is.

Dude musta put a quaalude in my beer.

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader spend some money on iTunes last night. He purchases songs from artists that had been recommended to him by friends. In all cases, he’d never heard the songs before purchasing them. He normally is a little more judicious and curious before buying. But something felt right about these purchases. (And if he didn’t like them he was only out $10.)

Of all the songs he bought there are two that really stand out and he loves a lot. The first one is “Crazy” by Gnarls Barkley. Your Maximum Leader heard of Gnarls a few years ago, but doesn’t ever recall hearing any songs of theirs. He now owns three songs and does like “Crazy.”

The other song is one your Maximum Leader doubts many (any) of you have heard of. It is “El Camino” by Elizabeth Cook. Sadly, there doesn’t seem to be an “official” video or high quality performance video of her performing the song. Your Maximum Leader liked this vid, so he presents it for your listening and viewing pleasure:

Here is a link to another video of her singing the song. The audio is better so you can hear all the lyrics.

Love it.

Carry on.

Lawrence Eagleburger RIP

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader was just perusing the web and saw on Skippy’s site that Lawrence Eagleburger has died. Go and read Skippy’s post, because he’s said much of what your Maximum Leader would have wanted to say if he’d known the news.

Your Maximum Leader is saddened by the fact that the couldn’t find an obit on the Washington Post web site by cruising through all the normal headings. He was reduced to a search of the site to turn up a result. And sadly the Post obit is tragically poor.

Rest in peace Mr. Secretary. A few of us remember your noble service to our republic.

Carry on.

Summer scandals

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader sees quite a number of scandals in the news of late.

Let us begin with the scandal involving King Carl Gustav XVI of Sweden and strip clubs. First off, this hardly counts as a scandal. Perhaps your Maximum Leader should refer to it as a “scandal.” Apparently the King is “accused” of going to strip clubs. Your Maximum Leader was going to write that the king was accused of “going to strip clubs and having nekkid or nearly nekkid girls dance for him” but then your Maximum Leader thought “what else does one do at a strip club.”

(NB: To define terms: nude is the artistic state of being without clothes; naked is the “regular/day-to-day” condition of being without clothes; nekkid is the state of having no clothes also involving “action.”)

Your Maximum Leader doesn’t get the “scandal” of going to a strip club. Okay, it is a little unseemly to have the King of Sweden getting the crown jewels polished (presumably through his Highness’ tailored trousers) by some girl with daddy issues. But then again… He is the King of Sweden, not the King of Puritan-ville. One supposes that it is possible to be upset with the king if he was using some of his “allowance” from the taxpayers of Sweden to “tip” the women in question. Then again, if a King can’t get a lap dance “on the house” from time to time then monarchy is truly dead. Even in Sweden.

Frankly, your Maximum Leader is fully supporting King Carl Gustav on this one. Lay off the King for pete’s sake. Your Maximum Leader can’t imagine Queen Silvia getting worked up about this. She is German afterall…

In domestic scandal…

There is Congressman Wiener. He lied about his account being hacked and sending a photo of his junk (in underwear) to a girl using Twitter. Additionally, he will not resign from Congress. Your Maximum Leader is of two minds on this. Being of the political stripe he is, your Maximum Leader is confident that if Congressman Wiener were a Republican he would be hounded out of Congress by the media and his caucus-mates. So on some level, your Maximum Leader thinks that he should go. To be clear, the reason he should go is (at this point) not the photo, but the lying about the photo and the repeated lying about the photo.

Of course, Congressman Wiener is a Democrat and to the best of his knowlege he’s never been a big advocate for “pro-family” or “traditional values.” As best your Maximum Leader can tell, the Democrat party doesn’t have much truck for “pro-family” or “traditional values” politicians. So Wiener’s not crossed any party taboos by doing what he’s done. One would like to assume that lying would be a problem to Democrat voters and elected politicians. But your Maximum Leader long ago learned that to most Democrats there is “lying” and “lying about sex.” Democrats say they don’t approve of “lying” but “lying about sex” is a different kettle of fish altogether. Frankly anyone should be allowed to lie about sex (according to Democrats).

Your Maximum Leader has always wondered about lying about sex and Democrats. At some level your Maximum Leader doesn’t think of himself as a puritanical person. Hypothetically, if a candidate was single and it somehow came up that the single candidate planned on playing the field and dating and having sex with people while in office it wouldn’t be a problem. Indeed, the candidate’s honesty would be refreshing. But if a candidate were married (and even married but not a vocal “pro-family” person) but were cheating on his spouse or sending racy photos of himself to people that becomes a general honesty issue. Your Maximum Leader does have issues with people being dishonest. He does believe that if you are dishonest in some areas you are more likely to be dishonest in others. So, if you cheat on your marital oath; you are likely to be willing to cheat on your oath of office….

Your Maximum Leader would like to see Congressman Wiener leave Congress, but that is as much a partisan view as anything else. We’ll see what happens…

Then there is John Edwards. As you surely know, former Senator Edwards was indicted recently. He is accused (and being prosecuted) for violating campaign finance laws and using illegal donations to hide his extramarital affair and love-child.

Now… Allow your Maximum Leader to be clear… Your Maximum Leader, for many years now, has really really really loathed John Edwards. If Edwards burst into flame, your Maximum Leader wouldn’t piss on him to douse the flames (even if your Maximum Leader had an uncomfortably full bladder). John Edwards isn’t worth a bucket of warm spit. John Edwards isn’t worth the powder and shot needed to blow him up. John Edwards is a lousy and dishonorable person.

Okay… Now that those comments are out of the way…

Your Maximum Leader will wager you that John Edwards is acquitted of all the counts against him. Your Maximum Leader would like to see Edwards convicted and go to jail; but it isn’t going to happen. From what your Maximum Leader can tell… These donations never went into the Edwards campaign. The payments used to keep the mistress and love-child out of the news were not written from campaign accounts. It seems hard to convict someone for getting illegal campaign contributions if the contributions never went to the campaign. Of course, as rich as Edwards is (from his years of ambulance chasing), one is surprised that he didn’t just have some sort of personal slush fund that he could make these payments from.

Anyhooo…

Your Maximum Leader thinks Edwards will get off on these charges. It looks like an overzealous prosecution by the US Department of Justice.

Overzealous prosecution by the US Department of Justice… Words your Maximum Leader rarely types in that order… Hummmm….

Carry on.

Mostly baseball

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader is not a superstitous person. With one noteworthy exception, he isn’t aware of a single supersition that he buys into.

That one exception is mojo in sports. The last time your Maximum Leader blogged about his beloved Washington Nationals, they started a big losing streak. That streak appears to be broken. But your Maximum Leader fears that by noting publically that the Nats seem to be doing well… You know… It could mess with their mojo…

Anyhoo…

The Nats western road trip started off well. Your Maximum Leader is hoping to more success. He particularly hopes for some Nationals wins against the Giants.

It is funny… Your Maximum Leader, for many many years, never felt anything towards the Giants. But one of your Maximum Leader’s good buddies is a big Los Angeles Dodgers fan. This friend - being a true Dodgers fan - has deep baseball animosity towards the Giants. Some of that feeling must have rubbed off on your Maximum Leader who now harbors some dislike for the Giants.

Anyhoo…

So your Maximum Leader sees on ESPN that apparently 9 of MLB’s 30 teams are out of compliance with MLB’s debt to earnings rules. Your Maximum Leader’s beloved Washington Nationals are on that list of 9 teams. According to the report:

The violations in question concern debt-service rules intended to limit a club’s debt to 10 times its annual revenue, according to the [Los Angeles] Times. Other teams named in the owners’ briefing were the Baltimore Orioles, Detroit Tigers, Florida Marlins and Washington Nationals. [ML: The first teams listed were the LA Dodgers and the New York Mets. Others mentioned in the report are the Phillies, Cubs, and Rangers.]Selig’s predecessor, Fay Vincent, called the prospect of so many teams in violation of the debt rules “troublesome,” the Times reported. Selig declined comment to the newspaper.

On the one hand your Maximum Leader can see how the Nationals would make this list. The Lerners are still “young” owners, which is to say that they have purchased the team within the past 10 years. There was, your Maximum Leader was sure, quite a bit of leveraging to get the money to buy the team. (Also, your Maximum Leader is casually acquainted with people who were offered shares of the ownership group within the first year or two of the Lerners buying the team. He hears that those shares remain available to anyone who wants to pony up a cool million bucks to be a part minority owner of the team.)

Even armed with that rationalization, it is disturbing to see the Nationals on the list. Especially when you look at some of the other teams on the list. The two teams that shocked your Maximum Leader by appearing on the list were the Chicago Cubs and the Philadelphia Phillies. Your Maximum Leader knows that the Cubs have been for sale for a while now. But he didn’t know that the Phillies were so highly leveraged. That is a bit disturbing.

Well… Your Maximum Leader will anxiously await the first pitch of tonight’s game twixt the Nationals and the Arizona Diamondbacks. And he’ll hope for a good outcome…

The Nat’s curly “W”

Carry on.

UPDATE FROM YOUR MAXIMUM LEADER: Mrs Villain reminded your Maximum Leader of one silly superstitous thing he does persist in doing. If he leaves the Villainschloss and drives away, but then remembers something and returns within a few minutes of leaving to retreive something he forgot; he sits down in a chair and counts to ten before heading back out. It is something that his late beloved paternal grandmother made him do for years. The habit must have stuck.

Carry on.

Another rambling mess of a post

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader recalls, years ago - 2003/4 perhaps, sitting in a bar in DC with James Joyner, Rusty Shakleford and Cranky (among others) talking about blogging.

He specifically remembers much being made of keeping blog posts “on point.” This is to say that except for a “link dump post” all your posts should have a catchy and topical title and be concise and on a single topic.

Apparently your Maximum Leader never learned that lesson as it is apparent that he will be writing another rambling post with no clear subject, no clear title, and no clear point. But it will be his second post in as many days… So that is something.

Does anyone have a photo or vita on Timothy “Tim” Crawford, the Treasurer of SarahPAC? Your Maximum Leader, many moons ago, used to work with a Tim Crawford (for Tim Crawford more accuarately) of the Republican Governors Association. Your Maximum Leader wonders if it is the same Tim Crawford. Your Maximum Leader isn’t sure what he would do if he learned that Sarah Palin’s Tim Crawford is the same person as your Maximum Leader’s Tim Crawford. Nothing he supposes… Except sit back and know that in the “degrees of separation” category your Maximum Leader would appear to have a (tenuous) 1 degree separation from Sarah Palin. That wouldn’t change your Maximum Leader’s opinion of Sarah Palin at all, or Tim Crawford either for that matter. It would just be interesting.

So… Has your Congressman DM’ed you a photo of his “junk” yet? And if he has done so has he done so with certitude that it was actually a photo of his “junk?” What a huge cluster-f for Congressman Weiner. He can’t say “with certitude” that the photo of the “junk” in question was his. What an idiot. Your Maximum Leader particularly appreciated the reported (Wolf Blitzer?) who asked the Congressman if he at least owned a pair of underwear similar to those in the photo. Your Maximum Leader was less impressed when the Congressman couldn’t say conclusively that he did (or didn’t) own a pair of underwear like those in the photo. FYI… Your Maximum Leader can recall what most of his underwear looks like. (Lots of boxer shorts if you care to know…)

NB - your Maximum Leader is on Twitter himself “@maximumleader” is the handle.

FYI - who started calling the male genitals “junk” anyway? How are we to keep from getting confused by “junk in trunks” and “junk in the trunk?” The former being what Congressman Weiner is accused of sending the photo of and the latter is that which Sir Mix-a-lot rapped so eloquently about here.

Your Maximum Leader isn’t sure what he thinks of the new “MyPlate” nutritional guide the USDA is promulgating today. Sure it might be more easy to use than the old food pyramid, but there doesn’t seem to be any portion size recommendations easily discerned from the new “plate.” If fighting obesity is the problem shouldn’t you have some easily visible portion control message there too?

And while we’re mentioning obesity… What if fruits and veggies are the reason why many people get fat? Contraversial theory indeed but one that seems to have some evidence to support it if one draws similar conclusions to Gary Taubes. What if the carbs in fruits and veggies are responsible for making us fat? If we eat mostly proteins we don’t get as fat. (We may not be any healthier mind you, but we may not be fat…)

Speaking about fruits and veggies… Rainier cherries are in. Damn if your Maximum Leader doesn’t love himself rainier cherries.

Speaking of proteins… Your Maximum Leader has 8 pounds of bacon under cure right now. 4 pounds of “regular” cure and 4 pounds of “maple syrup/brown sugar/bourbon” cure. The regular cure will produce the typical “salty” bacon we all know and love. When the curing is finished he’ll smoke up the bacon over hickory or applewood. The “maple/bourbon” cure is just that, regular salt cure plus maple syrup, brown sugar, and bourbon. Your Maximum Leader used Wild Turkey Rare Breed (a very expensive premium bourbon) in this batch of bacon. Mostly to see if it tasted much different than the last few batches (which he made with Makers Mark). He cut down the amount of maple syrup in this batch as well. When he smokes this type of bacon the syrup gets a little too crusty for his tastes sometimes.

In one last political note… Your Maximum Leader sees that Mitt Romney officially kicked off his campaign to become President of the United States today. Your Maximum Leader can’t recall being this ambivilent about a “front-runner’s” announcement in a long long time. Indeed, 2012 is shaping up to be a year where your Maximum Leader is so very ambivilent about the whole race to the White House. The current president is not good. No one on the Republican side is jumping out as a serious challenger. Frankly, not anyone (other than Paul Ryan of Wisconsin) in Congress or the White House or any potential White House challenger is talking seriously about how to confront the terrible debt/deficit problem facing the nation. Where is a US David Cameron when we need him? Your Maximum Leader believes, but has no economic evidence to support this belief, that uncertainty over the nation’s financial future is causing anxiety that is keeping the recession going. It is discouraging to listen to the political classes talk about how to get our financial house in order.

Of course it is worse to listen to the “man on the street” talk about how we are taxed too much, and how he’ll vote against anyone that touches “his Social Security and Medicare.” If your Maximum Leader educate people about one thing it would be that the majority of US Government spending is for Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Without getting those costs down, there isn’t hope of getting ourselves in order financially.

And before any of your Maximum Leader’s liberal readers (there are a few of you out there…) start to say that President’s Health Care bill is a start down that path let him cut you off. The President’s plan isn’t going to be a money saver as best anyone can project. Government health care must (MUST!!!!), because resources are finite, control costs by refusing to pay for some treatments. That decision will kill people. There must be “death panels” as they’ve been described, in order for the scheme to work. Look at Britain for example. They have the NICE board. Basically the NICE board determines what treatments are going to be provided for by the National Health Service and which ones aren’t. If you have a condidtion for which NICE has said there is not an authorized treatment, you don’t get treatment. It is that simple. There seems to be some basic denial among supporters of the President’s plan that you will have to control costs by prohibiting some treatments.

Your Maximum Leader hadn’t planned on addressing “death panels” but he just did. Frankly, if you are going to have some sort of national health plan you have to have a sort of death panel. It is just the way it is. Your Maximum Leader has no problem with that concept. He doesn’t want national health care mind you, but if you have it you just have to HAVE it.

Also… Interesting article in the Economist about the cost of fighting cancer. The interesting bit, that touches on controlling health care costs, was a the Economist’s analysis pointing out that advances in cancer treatment drugs happens because the US health care system (as it is now) will pay for the research. Essentially, the rest of the world piggy-back’s on US health spending. If the US were to cut costs, R&D would diminish around the world and cause new drug advances to come less often or not at all. Now your Maximum Leader knows that some of you out there will dismiss this as “drug company fear mongering” but if you’ve ever worked in a real business you know that businesses are acutely aware of how they make money. They know where and how they make money. If those sources dry up, those businesses also know what will happen to them. Think about it.

Anyhoo…

That is about it for now. Your Maximum Leader will stop writing and go back to day dreaming about boobies (and other stuff).

Carry on.

June 1, 2011

Greetings, loyal minions. Your Maximum Leader apologizes for his dearth of posting. Sadly, he’s been caught up in life. He determined this afternoon to jot down a few thoughts to see if anyone out there is still reading…

Your Maximum Leader did book hotels for his trip to Tennessee later this month. On the agenda for family sight-seeing are: The Hermitage, the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Grand Ole Opry, and Graceland. Yes, your Maximum Leader is going to make sure to take the whole family on the pilgrimage to the home of Elvis. (NB to all readers: If you don’t know already… When the Mike World Order comes, your Maximum Leader will “lean” on the Pope to have Elvis Presley made a Saint. It will happen…) So he is looking forward to that. (Both the vacation and making Elvis a Saint.)

Oh yes… It is the first of the month… Rabbit!

Your Maximum Leader has found himself completely engrossed in HBO’s “Game of Thrones.” Although many people have commended the books to him over the years, your Maximum Leader has never read them. Now thanks to the magic of television, he’s been prompted to go to the devil’s own website (term tm’ed by Robbo) and bought the first 4 books of George R.R. Martin’s “Song of Ice and Fire.” (NB: Your Maximum Leader wonders - but is too lazy to google it to get some closure on the issue - if the “R.R.” in George R.R. Martin stand for “Robert” and “Reuhl.” Mmmmmm….) Anyhoo… Your Maximum Leader is particularly partial to the characters of Tyrion Lannister, the dwarf son of the powerful Lannister family, and Daenerys Targaryen, the last princess of her line and the wife of the Horse Lord Khal Drogo. He has invested himself in the story and now feels the need to learn the whole story. So when the books arrive he’ll get started on learning all there is about this world that Martin has created.

There is an element of “Game of Thrones” that reminds your Maximum Leader of Stephen R. Donaldson’s books called “Mordant’s Need.” The similarity is likely superficial. But the similarities have prompted your Maximum Leader to find his copies of the Mordant’s Need books and re-read them.

BTW, with this purchase from Amazon, your Maximum Leader has broken his promise to himself to not purchase a new book in all of 2011 and only re-read books he owns… He doesn’t think he’d mentioned this promise to himself before on the blog. But he was very good in keeping it - until now of course…

Your Maximum Leader is going through baseball DT’s. This is not to say that he’s not been watching baseball on TV. In fact he’s watched quite a bit of it. He has missed going to a game. It is now June and in all past seasons he would have been to at least one and normally two Nationals games by now. He has been to precisely zero. He has time to go this weekend. But the Nationals are going on an 11 day road trip tomorrow. Your Maximum Leader’s Nats were able to steal two away from the dreaded Phillies, and now they sit in the cellar of the NL East and only 7 games under .500.

Your Maximum Leader is likely going to end this little missive now, as the heavens are about to open with water and electricity in a few minutes. He’ll hope the passing storms does something to minimize the heat that has been affecting his area over the past few days. Odds are rain will only add to the humidity… Mother Nature must like saunas…

Carry on.

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