Daily Office:


Matins: John McCain has delivered himself over to the Republican Party handlers whose only objective is a victory for the Party. They’re not taking a chance on Senator McCain (whom they’ve never cared for anyway). No more Mr Nice Guy.

Lauds: Crayons!

Tierce: A while back — at Sext on 10 March, to be exact — I took one of my occasional fliers, and accused today’s right-leaning Federal judiciary of seeking to overturn progressive commercial-law decisions from the early Twentieth Century that underpin our consumer economy. I was teeny-tinily overstating, and if anybody had called me on it, I’d have been obliged to temporize.

No longer. Adam Liptak reports on the so-called “pre-emption doctrine,” a wildly pro-business, anti-consumer principle that is wholly consonant with what we know about Republican Party objectives.

Sext: For seventeen years, Dan Hanna took two self-snaps a day, making one full turn every year. The Time of My Life is stop-action animation with a vengeance! From 31 to 48, Mr Hanna ages very well, but still….  (via kottke.org)

Vespers: Hats off to Jessica Stockton Bagnulo, who is halfway to opening a bookstore in Fort Greene with strong support from the business community, from a $15,000 first prize in a Citibank competition to her business partner, a Random House sales rep.


§ Matins. The problem is that when Senator McCain tries to stay on message, he comes across as an only slightly more awake version of Fred Dalton Thompson.

The senator wasn’t supposed to happen, so to speak. Party operatives wanted someone who would naturally appeal to the “base.” They did not want a leader. They’ll do the leading, thank you very much.

We’ll never know, I suppose, whether John McCain could have won this election on his own, in his own way.  

§ Lauds. Do they have crayons elsewhere? More to the point: are foreign parents so generous? Not that mine were so generous. My father would have been generous, I’m sure, but my mother saw no need for the big box with all the colors, complete with crayon sharpener, even though she was eager to exploit my precocious command of perspective as a party trick.

My existential problem with crayons was all about skin. People weren’t pink, and they weren’t salmon — what were they? The failure of crayons to capture the elusive colors of WASP dermality — a lack of colors, perhaps — nipped my artistic career in the bud.

I may have been an exploited child, but I exploited the hell out of my parents, right back.

§ Tierce. Here’s how it works: the Federal government signs off on a regulated product — a drug, say. Very specific warning language is stipulated. But the warning language is not exactly comprehensive, and, for lack of proper warning, a medical patient is injured. Tough noogies! The drug manufacturer was in full compliance with Federal regulations! And we all know how Republicans work the regulatory racket! They stuff the regulatory agencies with creatures of the very businesses that are supposed to be regulated. It will be very, very cosy for Big Pharma (among others) if “pre-emption” becomes the law of the land. As for you and me…

It’s called “pre-emption” because the Federal regulations trump any tougher state or local requirements. Country First!

§ Sext. Dan Hanna possesses a protean physiognomy that can be completely transformed by hair management. In other words, he could play one of those psychopathic masters of disguise who can wheedle their way into anything. It’s a good thing that taking all this pictures left Mr Hanna no time for plotting world dominion!

§ Vespers. It’s the prelude to a story, not quite the beginning: the prospect of a new independent bookstore in New York City is news. We wish Ms Stockton Bagnulo all the luck in the world.

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