Monday, June 30, 2008

No Guarantees

Strangely level-headed comment from the usually nutty John Derbyshire at NRO:
We're stuck with the guy now, I suppose. Let's keep in mind, though, that great acts of valor and endurance are no guarantees of executive good sense.


I've seen the polling reports -- McCain's Viet Nam experience is like a nuclear warhead, it obliterates everything it touches. Want to talk about the economy? Healthcare? Oil prices? McCain's history as a POW trumps it all. Waldman and Brock talk about it in their book as one of the pillars of the McCain legend. And despite the Fox News contention that "McCain never mentions it" (15 times in one day), McCain does talk about it. All the time. It's all he's got.


The whole experience, however, does demonstrate that the Republican attack machine is so self-sufficient and freestanding that it doesn't need big GOP money to survive any more. Having claimed a compliant media largely for themselves, they can just put the pig on auto-pilot and go suck Mai Thai's by the pool.

McCain Is Not Perfect

Michael Shear at the doesn't let it slip by unquestioned:
Targeting a politician's character flaws is a time-tested strategy, but it is a complicated argument for McCain, who has also shifted his positions in the course of the campaign. This month, with gasoline prices soaring, the Republican reversed his position on offshore oil drilling.
Not so hard, right?

"Godforsaken dreck"


Shannen Coffin from the National Review Online:
I took my family to see WALL-E this weekend. I have been a huge fan of Disney Pixar's movies. Parents are usually just as entertained as their kids are. With WALL-E, that's probably true only if you thought An Inconvenient Truth was Oscar-worthy. As for me, Pixar's latest offering was Godforsaken dreck. Mankind has had to abandon the earth because there is too much garbage. WALL-E is the only remaining garbage compacting robot in a metropolis of garbage skyscrapers. And his only living companion is a cockroach, described by a Washington Post reviewer (who doubtlessly thinks very highly of the Nobel Committee) as cute, but pretty much just a cockroach. Really charming stuff for my three-year old, who was asking to leave about fifty minutes in. When we finally see the humans, they are corpulent, lazy slobs who move around by robotic deck chairs on a giant space cruiseship. Oh, and let's not forget the mega-corporation that runs everything (ironically, the ship looked a little like a Disney Cruise ship in the year 2800). From the first moment of the film, my kids were bombarded with leftist propaganda about the evils of mankind. It's a shame, too, because the robot had promise. The story was just awful, however. Nice to see that Disney and Pixar can make mega-millions off of telling us just how greedy, lazy, and destructive we all are. There's no hope for mankind. Hand over your wallet.
No. Comment.

Friday, June 27, 2008


FH140009, originally uploaded by burnerchris.

I love flickr.

Roger Clegg Is Irritated By A Govt Apology to Native Americans

What kind of asshole do you have to be to get all huffy because the govt passes a "Resolution of Apology to Native Peoples of the United States?"

Roger Clegg demonstrates:
And, of course, now that we’ve apologized to the Native Peoples, what about all the other groups? Do you think it will occur to, say, Revs. Al and Jesse that some other apologies are in order?
No, Roger, you can stop at the destruction of a continent and milleniums millenia of history, and hundreds of years of enslavement.

Why don't you go freak out about a day honoring the Corvette?!

Kumbaya Smear

Michelle Cottle:
Not to rain on anyone's grand reconciliation, but someone in the Obama camp should have seen to it that today's public love-in got stuck with a better label than Unity Day. Ick. So cheesy. Makes the party sound like a bunch of hand-holdling, kumbaya-singing peaceniks--hardly the image the Dems need to be fostering. Next thing you know both camps will wind up out into the woods on one of those ghastly trust-building retreats where everyone swings from trees and falls backward into each other's arms.

I personally would have preferred something more along the lines of Reluctantly-joining-forces-to-kick-the-GOP's-ass Day, but I realize that truth in advertising has its limitations.


Maybe I AM in fact guilty of liking Obama because he seems like a person that I mySELF would want to have a beer with - as opposed to Bush, who did NOT seem like that kind of person*.

In any case, I love bits like this:
At one point during [Obama's] remarks praising Hillary someone called out, "She rocks!" To which he nodded and replied, "She rocks, she rocks -- that's the point I'm trying to make."
(*just a joke)

John McCain was the only Senator other than convalescing Ted Kennedy to not vote on the GI Bill. By his cowardly absence on a matter of principle (he had backed an alternate version of the bill that was defeated), he associated himself with the six radically anti-veteran Republicans who voted no. Apparently, as Brandon Friedman points out, McCain's "admiration, respect and deep gratitude" for veterans doesn't go as far as thanking them by providing for their education after they leave the battlefield.

For shame.
Just musing here...

Would it be a terrible idea if the majority and minority leaders get to decide on the "default" vote of the members of their caucus, so that there would never be an "abstain" option? Obviously it's not a just Dems or just Repubs issue. I don't know how this would work for other smaller parties.

"Whereas the Corvette is truly a symbol of American pride"

What the motherfucking hell is our government up to down there?

The House yesterday designated (by voice vote) this coming Monday as National Corvette Day, introduced by Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill).
"H. Res. 970

In the House of Representatives, U. S.,

June 26, 2008.
Whereas the Chevrolet Corvette is America's first sports car;

Whereas the first production Corvette rolled off a Flint, Michigan, assembly line on June 30, 1953;

Whereas the Corvette is now manufactured in Bowling Green, Kentucky;

Whereas the Corvette is the most widely respected production sports car in United States history;

Whereas the Corvette is truly a symbol of American pride;

Whereas General Motors is celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2008; and

Whereas the 30th of June would be an appropriate day to designate as `National Corvette Day': Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the United States House of Representatives supports the designation of a `National Corvette Day' to honor the Chevrolet Corvette."
I'm sure GM will be celebrating this on Monday, what with their stock at 53-year lows.

(via The Crypt)

The Fate of a Rat with a Fluffy Tail

I must be an odd sensation to be Mark Noonan:
Some enviros say “go solar” and then other say “halt construction because there’s a squirrel out there”(and yes, the fate of a rat with a fluffy tail - ie, a squirrel - is one of the concerns). Pick one, already. Life ain’t perfect and there’s always a trade-off - in order to go solor [sic] we are going to have to actually build stuff, which will mean that part of that natural environment you whackos are always on about will have to be modified for human use…but the payoff will be less greenhouse emissions and thus we’ll be “fixing” that global warming nonsense you’ve been having a heart attack about lately.
I need a word for Dumbass Blog Rubberneckin'.

And I wish Mark would start video posts.

Defamer coins a new term in referring to the "Matthew Broderick gerund dramedy Finding Amanda."

RSS Reading

As Wil Wheaton often says at the top of his poker-related blog posts...

WARNING: RSS Reading style post ahead. Skip if this kind of thing bores you.

My RSS feeds are organized in a few different ways.

Primarily I rank them by Importance To Me, ie. how much do I care about the feed relative to how much I care about missing posts here and there.

These levels are:

A - "best"
B - "daily"
C - "good"
D - "zaggregate"

I would rename them A, B, C and D, except you can't rename folders in Google Reader at this moment. Blech.

"zaggregrate" was named as such because at one point Google Reader wouldn't let you organize your folders manually - they were auto-sorted alphabetically.

Blogs appear in one and only one of these "importance" categories (even tho GR allows you to use these categories/folders as tags, ie one-to-many).

Four may be too many at this point, but the last two are really just "Archives" for me. I rarely like to say goodbye entirely to any feed (although I do when I need to). Google Reader allows you to easily "collapse" the list of feeds in a given folder, so I generally never actually open the folder for "zaggregate" - it's just a source of feeds that occasionally percolate into my River of News reading style.

Google Reader allows you to view any group of feeds (ie, "folder") by Order Posted or by "Auto," which supposedly lets less frequently updated blogs float to the top. All my "importance" groups I view by Order Posted. I often read my feeds by going directly to "best," and sometimes directly to "daily." I rarely select "good" or "zaggregate" as a group, but rather let the contents of those posts just appear interspersed with the rest of my blogs as I browse through "All Items," which I always view sorted by "Auto."

I used to have all my blogs tagged my topic, but have found that many topics ("food," "books/movies," etc) are not the way my mind works. I still have "apple" (which is my default, and usually the first thing I work my way through quickly), "games" (videogames, which is sometimes a topic I'm in the mood to read through), and "politics," (which I have as a distinct topic mostly so I can easily mark "ALL" my politics feeds as read sometimes, when I'm sick of politics and want to clear it out).

The final feed I have is "rare" - this is for feeds that update rarely, of course, and for ones that I really really don't want to miss. Friends' baby or personal sites, infrequent long-form writers, Official Google notices (which come every 3 months or something), etc.

I heard about this awesome Seinfeld/D&D mashup comic from Wil Wheaton's twitter feed.

How Droll

The Official John McCain blog has resorted to cheap Photoshop attack jokes.

Update: Oh, right, I forgot. They had another Photoshop joke just yesterday, adding Obama's signature to the Declaration of Independence. What a jerk! He signed the Dec of Independence!

Why is this funny? I love rightwing humor. Remember this?


Keith & Glenn

My email to MSNBC, regarding Glenn's response to Keith's response to Glenn's original piece.

I have great respect for Keith Olbermann, but one frustration I've had with him all along is that he very very rarely invites anyone on his show that disagrees with him in any way. There's really no "debate" on the show, just agreement on an existing streamlined viewpoint.

In the recent somewhat public sparring between Keith and Glenn Greenwald, I was disappointed to read in Keith's post at DailyKos that "I didn't read his full piece," while he says that "John Dean is worth 25 Glenn Greenwalds." If you "don't know much about Mr. Greenwald," why throw out that childish little spat?

In my humble opinion, Glenn is one of the wisest political observers and most courageous critics of the modern political sphere, across the spectrum, and Keith comes off a bit of a fool in denouncing him out of hand in that way.

In any case, the point of this email is to suggest that Keith invite Glenn onto his show for some discussion. I think their debate is a healthy one of real issues, strategies and concerns, and to hold it face to face will be much more effective and instructive than to spar back and forth so indirectly. It would increase my respect for Keith (and, honestly, bring me back to watching more regularly) to see him show that he is committed to real discussion by bringing on Glenn.

At very least, I'd love to see Keith show a touch more respect for Glenn and the intelligent and thoughtful writing he has contributed to our national discussion over the last 5 years or so.


Okay, Glenn and Keith, steady now. A vigorous debate is fine, but don't let it get out of hand.

Also, in the same post from Glenn:
No political leader deserves that sort of blind faith -- not Bush and not Obama. That's how a small child thinks about his Daddy, not how a citizen should think about a political leader.


The worst thing about this Verizon iphone-wannabe is the label of "MAIN MENU" on the main menu page.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

"reviewing the novel that they themselves are writing"

James Wolcott on Richard Cohen's latest piece o' crap:
"A presidential race is only incidentally about issues," Cohen informs us, thus reaffirming Bob Somerby's in Daily Howler that Beltway pundits are engaged in an epic bout of metacriticism, reviewing the novel that they themselves are writing, a cartoon travesty starring fictionalized versions of Hillary Clinton, Al Gore, et al that double as voodoo dolls. There's no intellectual floor to their petty maraudings. It's novels all the way down.

(via Echidne)

More Wingnut Fantasy

Picture 2.png

Media Matters has an awesome quote from dickweed Hugh Hewitt:
HEWITT: By the way, I -- I'm still trying to find two tickets to the Ohio State-USC game. And none of the USC people will give up their tickets to me. I'd pay fair price. They -- they know Ohio State's gonna slaughter the Trojans. They know that they're gonna slaughter the Trojans, and therefore they do not want me there at the bloodbath, since it's probably the last football game we'll ever get to see before the United States gets blown up by the Islamists under Obama.
You know, I hope he really is scared shitless that that's gonna happen. What a tool.

Victory, Noonan-Style

And....cut. Noonan says we're done:
Obama’s plan would have ensured our defeat in Iraq and risked a longer, bloodier war in the future; because McCain’s plan prevailed we’ve now got victory in Iraq and a real chance to completely change the socio-political dynamic in the Middle East. Who do you want as President in January - the man who was completely wrong, or the man who was completely right?
If we've "got victory," does that mean the troops can come home?

Two Thoughts

Glenn provides a handy how-to:
It isn't that difficult to keep the following two thoughts in one's head at the same time -- though it seems to be for many people:

(1) What Barack Obama is doing on Issue X is wrong, indefensible and worthy of extreme criticism;

(2) I support Barack Obama for President because he's a better choice than John McCain.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Fist Jab


I love this image from the cover of this month's New York Magazine.

New nightmare source material

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Double-Clicking Links

Yes yes yes yes yes!!

Merlin Mann on Twitter:
Double-clicking links is the new "spinach on your tooth." We do no favor when we say nothing.
One of my TOP peeves.


Learned a new word in the Economist today.

Picture 1.png

John McCain Is Aware of the Internet

I noted how John McCain admitted that he doesn't know how to use a computer earlier this year.

Well, via circuitous blog hops, I may now unveil a quote from Mark SooHoo, deputy e-campaign manager for McCain, in attempts to clarify why this isn't a big deal::
You don’t necessarily have to use a computer to understand, you know, how it shapes the country. … John McCain is aware of the Internet.
Forget "I Am Aware of All Internet Traditions"...


(image made with the lol builder)

Monday, June 23, 2008

Outside His Head

I've been enjoying Accelerando by Charles Stross, published in 2005 and available for free at
Sometimes he isn't certain he's still human; too many threads of his consciousness seem to live outside his head, reporting back whenever they find something interesting. Sometimes he feels like a puppet, and that frightens him because it's one of the early-warning signs of schizophrenia.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Fast Eddie

David Brooks entertains himself:
Back when he was in the Illinois State Senate, Dr. Barack could have taken positions on politically uncomfortable issues. But Fast Eddie Obama voted “present” nearly 130 times. From time to time, he threw his voting power under the truck.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Always Great For McCain

I really should get away from townhall for a bit, but if you need a handy cheat sheet for all the rightwing points and angles of the silly offshore-drilling brouhaha, Dick Morris and Eileen McGann have got ya covered:
Suddenly, everything is on the table. Offshore drilling, Alaska drilling, nuclear power, wind, solar, flex-fuel cars, plug-in cars are all increasingly attractive options and John McCain seems alive to the need to go there while Obama is strangely passive. During the Democratic primary, he opposed a gas tax holiday and continues to be against offshore and Alaska drilling and squishy on nuclear power. That leaves turning down your thermostat and walking to work as the Democratic policies.

The end is pretty awesome, too.
The move away from oil will be exponential from here on out, dooming radical Islam and reversing climate change at the same time. But while we are getting new cars, we need more oil and McCain has flanked Obama on this issue. Big time.

Can't Fool Her

Lisa De Pasquale at suspects something:
Obviously, Goodnight Bush is meant for childish liberals rather than children.

Lisa doesn't like this bamboozlin'!
As the end of the George W. Bush presidency nears, one wonders what will become of all the leftists who have made a living bashing the President and the Vice President with colorful pictures and words. I suppose they’ll just go back to their cushy jobs at America’s colleges and universities. Or perhaps they’ll butcher another classic and pen Paddington Bares It All for PETA or The Little Engine That Could – Thanks to Affirmative Action.


I mentioned the other day how the media seems to be getting more comfortable using "strong" words in describing Obama's approach to arguments and issues. Here's another one that stuck out at me in a McClatchy article about McCain's compaign criticizing Obama for not accepting public financing: :
Obama would not relent.
I'd kinda like that on a t-shirt.

"Country I Love" TV Ad

This is apparently Obama's first television ad of the general election. I think it will be fantastically effective.

Spousal Benefit

Noam Shreiber notes a distinction:
I agree that candidates and their surrogates shouldn't take ad hominem shots at their opponents' spouses the way the GOP has taken shots at Michelle. But, as Jonathan suggests, certainly the spouses' business dealings and finances are fair game if their husbands derive questionable benefits from them

General Sense of Discomfort

Digby reminds us of the overall strategy in this endless stream of false - and easily refutable - smears aimed at Obama:
I think it's important to remember that they don't care about "credibility" at least the way we think of it. This is about the death by a thousand cuts, not any particular story. They start with a few tales that acclimate people to the idea that the Democrat has something to hide. He's not being forthcoming. Something's not quite right. Over time it creates a general sense of discomfort with the person, eventually even on the part of those who know it isn't true. (They resent the victim for making them have to deal with these things. It's exhausting.)

Threatening Your Customers

Threatening Your Customers, originally uploaded by cricketheron.

The latest in the "you are all criminals" approach to "anti-piracy"
customer PR.

Incidentally, here's a link to the "member" companies of the "International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition," the funder listed at the bottom. This is not a message from "my city."

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Comes Down to Culture

It's never too late to blame the victims of Katrina.

McQ, at QandO:
Now comes Iowa. Flooded across a much larger area, and just as devastating to those flooded out, not a bit of whining, crying, blame or finger-pointing seems to be going on.

As subtitled a featured article about the flood, "no looting, no shooting, no one blaming Bush". Huh.


How refreshing. People actually doing for themselves and not waiting on someone else to do it for them. I'm sure the foreign press is disappointed it's unable to document the floods as the latest chapter in America's decline.

Now I've seen the complaints that these floods aren't comparable to Katrina and that the devastation in the wake of Katrina was far greater than Iowa will probably suffer. Well that's easy to say sitting high and dry in your home a few hundred or thousand miles away - but for those Iowans who have lost everything, I'd bet they'd disagree.

And I'd also point out that where Katrina actually made landfall - Mississippi - and literally scrubbed towns off the face of the earth, the recovery was much swifter (and the drama considerably less) than in New Orleans.

Nope, I think it comes down to culture. And no I'm not using "culture" as a code word for "race". It has to do with a culture of dependency, which, frankly, doesn't care what color you are. The culture in Iowa (just like Mississippi during Katrina) doesn't lend itself to the pitiful pictures and stories that came out of New Orleans.

Chappelle Signal


Kathy G, in light of various recent things (including the "Can we still call it the White House?" pin), calls out for Dave Chappelle to return to TV:
Your country needs you, Dave. Your return to television would be the highest form of patriotism. Come back, before the entire goddamn country loses its shit.

Agrees With Them

I've finally realized what "maverick" really means. It means someone who takes both sides of every issue but everyone thinks he really means it.
I noted a similar quote from Atrios in February:
Increasingly I've come to realize that John McCain is very good at convincing people that he agrees with them.


In fact, I've never heard anyone in the telecom amnesty debate ever deny that the telecoms broke the law. How could anyone deny that? Our long-standing federal laws could not be clearer, since their core purpose was to prohibit telecoms from allowing the Government access to their customers' communications without warrants. That telecoms "broke the law" -- continuously, knowingly and deliberately -- is hardly in dispute. That's precisely what makes amnesty so corrupt.

For Comcast to claim that this fact is "defamatory" -- all in order to block ads aimed at one of their donated-to Congressman who, in turn, is working feverishly to obtain amnesty for Comcast -- is indefensible though unsurprising. Comcast is, after all, one of the telecoms that purposely broke our surveillance laws for years in order to allow illegal government spying on their customers. For that reason, it would be foolish to expect any better behavior from them.
Sickening people.

New Term Alert


Maybe it's older, but this is first time I've seen it. The Official McCain blog takes a new term out for a spin: the "9/10 Democrat".

Affluence or Influence

I like this insight from John Cole:
Email documents from Countrywide show he got half-point off on his loan from the prevailing rate, but I am not sure whether that is due to Dodd’s affluence or his influence. Probably a bit of both.
I'm surprised Republicans are trying to push this "who got preferential treatment" thing, but I guess it's an attempt to muddy the waters, like the tried before the 2006 elections, a la "they're all corrupt" stories in the face of Abramoff, Mark Foley, Larry Craig, etc.


Apelad honors "Firefox Download Day."

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The media seems to be getting comfortable saying things like "Obama quickly fired back" - that's a good thing. They seem to like the story of his "quick responses" and his "aggressiveness."

That will help him avoid the Kerry hole.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Shibuya Rock Trooper

Danny Choo's so cool.


Monday, June 16, 2008

Koo Koo Ka-Choo

Hey, what's Rich Lowry up to?:
Lately, the Iraq War has looked more and more like another Vietnam -- not for us, but for al-Qaida.
How's that now?

They'll Never Support You

The wingnuts on the right are sometimes like a childhood bully who taunts a kid to do something obviously dumb, like tasting shit, saying that they're too chicken to do it, and then when they do it, they laugh at them.

Obama, don't do anything to appease them ever, because they will hate you still.

I don't think that visiting Iraq is "caving," despite this nut's opinion. I actually think it's not a crazy idea for the potential President of the United State to visit Iraq at this point in our country's history, and I think the notion has probably occurred to Obama on his own, even before the latest wave of Iraq-Obama-Visit craze.

But I have no problem with folks like RedState asking "Is There Anything We Can't Make Him Cave On?" Yes. You guys have totally won! Nicely done.

Agree On Poverty

This could make for a curious Summer:
The forthcoming volume [due this summer] from Stephen Mansfield, whose sympathetic "The Faith of George W. Bush" spent 15 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list in 2004, is titled "The Faith of Barack Obama." Its tone ranges from gently critical to gushing, and the author defends Obama-and even his controversial former minister, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright-from conservative critics, and portrays him as a compelling figure for Christian voters.

"Young Evangelicals are saying, 'Look, I'm pro-life but I'm looking at a guy who's first of all black-and they love that; two, who's a Christian; and three who believes faith should bear on public policy," Mansfield, who described himself as a conservative Republican, said in a telephone interview. "They disagree with him on abortion, but they agree with him on poverty, on the war."

Losing Cities

Glenn's got a great rundown of how Newt Gingrich loves to talk about us "losing a city" if we don't do what he and the neocons say.
Casually threatening Americans with the loss of a city unless they allow their Government to violate core constitutional guarantees is deranged fear-mongering in its most unadorned form, exactly what every two-bit tyrant tells his country about why they must be deprived of basic liberties. But what makes it all the more notable is how repeatedly Gingrich invokes this same deranged formulation in order to argue for a whole array of policies he supports -- we better accept what Gingrich wants or else we'll "lose a city."

"Terrorist Connected"

Dear Tennessee Democratic Party Executive Committee Member Fred Hobbs: please explain to America why you think Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee for the Presidency of the United States of America, might be "terrorist connected." For bonus points, Mr. Hobbs, what the hell -- see if you can do it without using the word negro. Go on, we'll wait.

No, I'm dead serious. You wouldn't presume Hillary Clinton was "terrorist connected." You wouldn't presume John Edwards, or John Kerry, or Al Gore or Joe Biden or Chris Dodd or, for that matter, John McCain was "terrorist connected." So what's different about Barack Obama?

Forever's Gonna Start Tonight With Ninjas

Atrios is right, it's really the greatest video ever made.

Did you know that there were ninjas in the "Total Eclipse of the Heart" video?

Summer Vacat 08 120

Summer Vacat 08 120, originally uploaded by Zach Elseman.

A very pretty chelicerate to start the week

Sunday, June 15, 2008


I love these lyrics from the song "Tape Song" off the new Kills record, Midnight Boom:
time ain't gonna cure you honey
time don't give a shit
time ain't gonna cure you honey
time's just gonna hit on you

Goldfarb's Killin' Em

This is pretty funny.

Barack used the following metaphor in describing the need to be prepared to fight in the general election:
If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun.
And now the wingnuts are trying to turn the details of his metaphor into a demonstration of gun law hypocrisy.

Witness the Official John McCain Blog, under the auteurship of Michael Goldfarb, making these two incomparably dumb-ass "arguments":
First, Barack Obama has a long track record as a proponent of stringent gun-control regulations--to the point that a questionnaire filled out by his staff, and with the candidate's handwriting on it, stated that Obama favored a ban on the manufacture, sale, and distribution of handguns. Can we assume that Senator Obama now opposes efforts to ban the possession of handguns?

Second, would Obama be carrying a concealed weapon to this fight? Will he have a permit?
Keep it up! Yer gettin' traction. I should start keeping a list of these handfuls of tossed pasta that get thrown at the wall to see what sticks.

Update: Michael Stickings has found way more lunacy on this topic. Someone's even claiming that Obama, via this quote, was declaring "jihad."

Friday, June 13, 2008


It's remarkable the consistency of the respectful and warm blog condolences for Tim Russert appearing from EVERYWHERE across the blogosphere - from wingnut left to wingnut right, and everyone in between.


Why They Write

I don't know if I can take the bullshit coming out of the "official" John McCain for President blog anymore:
It's a Friday afternoon, and lo and behold, the Obama campaign is working to weasel its way out of another commitment to the American people.
I read a lot of right-wing lunatic blogs, and often wonder about the psychology involved, whether the writers actually believe what they are saying or whether they have some other kind of influence (religion, dumbassery, etc).

This blog is an official propaganda arm for McCain, so there's not really even any fun in it. He's paid to say things that are negative for Obama and positive for McCain, despite the facts. I'm following it to keep an eye on the shape of smears and falsehoods right as they form. I have to remind myself that it's not a mind that's writing it but rather an intent.

Okay, I'll keep following it. And try not to feel the need to refute every last point.


Oh fer chrissakes. Guantanamo has a gift shop.



Paul Krugman acknowledges the sexism that did pervade the 2008 Democratic primary:
This whole story shouldn’t affect peoples’ votes in the general election: there are huge substantive issues at stake, and a wide difference between the candidates on those issues. So this is no time for a protest vote. But 2008 was definitely the year in which the progressive movement lost a lot of its innocence.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


Two articles came out in the last couple of days, both about how Obama or McCain is having trouble with congressional support from their own party. The funny fact is that both articles drop the same number of non-supporters: fourteen.

Associated Press:
Barack Obama, for all his attention and primary successes, does not go over so well in a fair number of Democratic lawmakers' home districts. So it seems there is little chance that some will endorse him for president.


For most of these fence-sitters — at least 14 as of Wednesday — it boils down to political necessity: They are vulnerable Democrats in conservative-leaning districts who take pains to avoid aligning closely with the national party.
At least 14 Republican members of Congress have refused to endorse or publicly support Sen. John McCain for president, and more than a dozen others declined to answer whether they back the Arizona senator. conclusion? Non-story, apparently. TheHill even notes that...
It is not unusual for certain factions of the Democratic and Republican parties not to embrace their respective candidates for president.
The Sun rose today, but it wasn't sunny everywhere!

In fact, this is pretty much a non-blog-post! Pattern recognition, pure and simple.

Scalia's Threats

Justic Scalia didn't get his way and so he chooses to drop proactive blame on his fellow Supreme Court Justices:
[This Supreme Court ruling reestablishing habeus corpus] will almost certainly cause more Americans to get killed.

The Beauty of Time and Pixels

What happens when a WFMU blogger decides to share some of his random found images? Magic.

Extraordinary Times

Glenn Greenwald, in his article this morning "U.S. Supreme Court restores habeas corpus, strikes down Military Commissions Act," quotes this extraordinary section from the decision (pdf):
The laws and Constitution are designed to survive, and remain in force, in extraordinary times. Liberty and security can be reconciled; and in our system, they are reconciled within the framework of law.
Amen, Justices, amen.

False Prophets

As Atrios has started describing it, this is going to be an awesome election:
Obama can call himself anything he likes, but there is a clear requirement for one to qualify as a Christian and Obama doesn't meet that requirement. One cannot deny central tenets of the Christian faith, including the deity and uniqueness of Christ as the sole mediator between God and Man and be a Christian. Such people do have a label applied to them in Scripture. They are called "false prophets."
Update: John Cole: "This election is going to be so awesome."

Wednesday, June 11, 2008


It was not easy to do, but FOX News has hit a new low. Despicable.

Is there an individual responsible for this? Let that person stand up and be honored.


The Editors remind us what to expect out of talking heads and Op-Eds for the next six months:
Issues are boring, so ignore them, or say that they don’t exist.  Instead, use your magic powers of punditry to descry their very souls!  The Democrat is creepy, the Republican is swell, nobody’s as perfect as me, time for my nap.  So very, very serious.

Yacht Pin

John Cole finds the very definition of "Heh-Indeedy".

One The Bus

I like Mustang Bobby's metaphor for Bush's words the other day about being concern he'll be thought of as too pro-war:
What you have here is a man who is suddenly realizing that his administration is going down in history as the worst in American history, and like the kid trying to frantically write a ten-page book report on the school bus, he knows he's screwed. If it wasn't so tragic, it would be laughingly pathetic.

Sloth Baby

My heart breaks. I'm a sucker for sloths.

John McCain Can't Use a Computer

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Pam Spaulding caught this one:
Interviewer: Are you a Mac or a PC user?

McCain: Neither. I am an illiterate that has to rely on my wife for all the assistance that I can get.
Oh, COME the fuck on. This is not a good sign. Understanding technology (and this is just EMAIL) is not some frosting on the modern world. It's an essential component of the choices that government needs to make - in safety, in education, in the economy, in community.

Pam's comments are right on:
There are plenty of "seasoned" citizens out there who surf the web and know how to use email, so he doesn't get a pass for playing the crusty old coot card. There is zero excuse for John McCain to be completely helpless at the keyboard. If he cannot grasp the basic concept of email, the Internet, blogs or even a word processor on his own, we know the man is living in the past. You cannot delegate out knowledge about 21st century communication and technology that you would need to make critical decisions about the direction you want to take this country, and how to protect and secure it in the digital age. Completely unacceptable.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Not A Man Of Peace

George is a horrible fucking deluded motherfucker.

Solstice Holiday Yoga Celebrations

Fake Steve Jobs is pissed at David Pogue for complaining about the limitations of the iPhone 3G:
This new phone that you're bitching about? This took years of people's lives. Years. There are kids who didn't have their parents at their ballgames and school plays and solstice holiday yoga celebrations because those parents were working on the v2 iPhone.

Sad To Say

The $199 starting price [for the iPhone] is a huge deal, but, given that data plans have gone up $10 per month, we’ll be paying $240 more over two years for a phone that costs $200 less.

Plastic Balls to Protect the Water

Shit is fucked up in LA:
Department of Water and Power released about 400,000 black plastic 4-inch balls as the first installment of approximately 3 million to form a floating cover over 7 acres of the reservoir to protect the water from sunlight.
Really? It's come to that, that we need to protect the water from the Sun?

Incidentally, that blog, The Big Picture, is absolutely worth your time! I'm not going to steal their visual thunder, so go see the incredible pictures yourself!

Update: I'm just joking here. I don't think LA's in some kind of disaster - it's just kinda odd.

APIs For Government Data

Techdirt asks Where Are The APIs For Government Data?
Basically, the government has put up websites, but it hasn't done much to make it so that it's easy to access the data available in those websites or (even more important) let other applications and services do something with that data and actually make it useful to the citizens that data is supposed to help.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Goodnight Bush

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I don't know about the writing, but the artwork's beautiful in this parody of "Goodnight Moon" called "Goodnight Bush."

Oil, Like Air And Food

Some sweet Blogs For Victory for ya - this from the mind of Leo Pusateri:
Mr. President, now’s not the time to humor the delusional fancies of the crazy uncles in the attic making life a living hell for the rest of the family. You’re damned right we’re “addicted” to oil; in much the same manner as we’re “addicted” to air and to food. So what? We’ve got plenty of it if our legislators would finally quit kowtowing to the crazy uncles in the enviro-whacko movement and act in the interests of the American people for a change.

Corrente On and On

Lamberte still thinks Hillary can "win":
In fact, the Stages coping strategy is only one of many possible: Ghandi’s “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win” is another possibility. The fact that the Stages reaction is passive and disempowering, unlike Ghandi’s, may offer a clue to why Obama’s supporters are recommending it to us so heartily. Eh?

Years of Their Lives

Fake Steve Jobs:
You know what? I hate each and every one of you. There. I said it. I've wanted to say that for years and now I have. You smug pricks, you phony hippies, thinking you're all so cool and smart and hip because you're sitting there at an Apple event when really you're just a bunch of poser frigtards who don't know shit about technology and haven't the slightest idea of how these products are made or how much work goes into them or the huge effort involved and how hundreds of engineers have given up years of their lives so that you can have your pretty little toys.

Saturday, June 07, 2008


Wanna know how awesome this presidential campaign is going to be? Get ready for shit like this, from the always laughable Blogs For Victory.


Yes, an insinuation that the Democratic Party nominee will hire a terrorist as his Sec of Defense. Hilarious!

Steel yourself for the onslaught.

Friday, June 06, 2008

The Flash Idiocy of 20080606

The Macalope adds a bit more coverage of one of the most ignorant bits of tech "journalism" in history, first noted by Gruber - a guy from who confuses Flash, the animation and vector software from Adobe/Macromedia, and "flash" memory.



Goldenfiddle's right, this is a pretty awesome Lou Reed comment:
New York Magazine: Sirius's impending merger with XM is anticipated to boost earnings. Do you own any stock in the company?

Lou Reed: What are you, a fucking asshole? I'm here telling you the truth about music and you want to know if I have stock in the fucking radio? You fucking piece of shit. What did I do to deserve that?

What Is This Change You're Promising?

In discussing an argument against selecting Hillary (the I'll-keep-him-at-arms-length-generally George Will had said "She would be a potent unifier of John McCain’s party"), John Cole writes:
What Obama offers us is the chance, no matter how slight to change the conversation from “Who do I vote against?” to “What is this change you’re promising, and why should I vote for you?”

Theories of the Omnipotent Executive

There are two critical conclusions highlighted by this episode:

(1) whether McCain embraces the Bush/Cheney/Yoo theories of the omnipotent executive is, far and away, one of the most vital questions of the campaign, since the vast bulk of the radicalism and accompanying controversies of the last eight years -- from spying to detention to torture to extreme government secrecy -- arise out of those theories; despite that fact, those issues have been missing almost entirely from the media's coverage of the campaign -- until now; and

(2) despite how central these issues have been, McCain is simply incapable of forming a coherent position on what he thinks about any of this, dramatically changing his answers almost from one day to the next depending on who is asking. This behavior, culminating in his embrace this week of the Bush/Cheney/Yoo theories, severely undermines the two attributes the media relentlessly uses to depict him -- his "moderate" ideology and his straight-talking, principled independence.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Josh Marshall Notes the "Golf We Can Believe In"

Josh Marshall was the first one to find it, but it's just so awesome that I am happy to spread his discovery.

Look at the primary four tabs of McCain's website as of right now, 5pm ET, June 5th 2008. Go go gadget self-satire!

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Anything stand out as a bit number...fore!!


All this Dems bein' friends again stuff is putting me in a good mood. Thus, today's lolcat.


So Bad It's Good

NY Times:
On the Iraq war, all Mr. McCain has offered so far is the same dodge Mr. Bush has employed so many times: to flip-flop between “things are going so badly in Iraq that we cannot leave” and — the more recent — “things are going so well in Iraq that we cannot leave.” Mr. Obama needs to explain that that is not a strategy and then outline his own plans for an orderly exit.
I believe the phrase is...Heh. Indeed.


I love this picture of an apartment complex in Osaka, Japan.


(via the great/glorious Dark Roasted Blend)

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Baby Steps

* To the Obama supporters who were not assholes, this isn't directed to you.

Her Situation Is Unprecedented

Oh, what the hell, let me quote the whole thing. Former Bill Clinton speechwriter David Kusnet, writing in The New Republic about Hillary's non-concession speech:
Well, yes, Hillary Clinton's remarks last night were unusual. But, bear in mind, it's her situation that is unprecedented--not her speech.

The primaries and caucuses are all over. She trails by a narrower margin than any runner-up in either party since 1952. And keep in mind, there is no tradition of second-place finishers withdrawing on the nights their opponents clinch the nominations. Nelson Rockefeller in 1968, Ronald Reagan in 1976, Edward Kennedy in 1980, Gary Hart in 1984, and Jesse Jackson in 1988--they all kept going against even greater odds than Clinton faces now.

Of course, Clinton has no mathematical way to win, but in "the fullness of time," as old-fashioned orators used to say--and, these days, that can be by the end of a week--her intentions may become clearer. She'll have spoken to key supporters, to Barack Obama, and perhaps to her party's leaders in the Senate. Sooner or later, she'll give the speech most Democrats, including many who supported her, are awaiting--a gracious concession to Barack Obama and an appeal for party unity. The point isn't when she gives this speech but how she gives it--it must be a clarion call, not an uncertain trumpet.

Plus, a straightforward concession speech Tuesday night might have stranded some prominent backers, while affording some of her most devoted rank-and-file followers (and maybe the candidate herself) too little time to cool down from the intense emotions of the campaign. And silence was not an option (imagine what the commentators would have said if she hadn't spoken at all). So she gave a spirited and occasionally eloquent speech that summed up her campaign, thanked her supporters, and left the door open for whatever will be decided behind closed doors.

Yes, the speech sounded at times as if she had won, rather than lost, by the narrowest of margins. While ungrudgingly generous, her praise for Obama at the beginning of the speech sounded more like a winner consoling a loser. But what matters most is what came afterwards--or, more importantly, what didn't come afterwards. The tone of the remainder of her remarks was almost entirely elegiac--looking backwards to the issues she'd raised and the people she'd met, not forward to a further fight for the nomination. While she offered no answer to her own question--"Where do we go from here?"--her message was clear from her concluding declaration that she is committed to "uniting this party." True, she pointed yet again to her strength in the swing states, her margin (by some reckonings) in the popular vote, and her insistence that every vote be counted. But she must have known that these lines did not offer a ringing rationale for continuing her campaign through August. Indeed, she said little that hinted at actively competing in the weeks ahead and nothing that the Republicans could later use against Obama. Instead, she reiterated her support for the causes she had embraced in her campaign, most notably universal health coverage--commitments that are unifying rather than divisive for Democrats. 

The speech was in keeping with the populist tone she'd struck in the final leg of the campaign, when she won major industrial states, as well as areas where wages have long lagged behind the rest of the nation. Yes, she should have used that same kind of oratory to attack Bush, McCain, and the other adversaries whom she and Obama will soon be strafing together. But, contrary to what many of the TV commentators and other instant-responders have been saying, she set the stage for a graceful withdrawal, not a scorched-earth battle that would destroy the Democrats' chances.

No candidate has ever been in exactly the situation in which Clinton finds herself. Finding the right way out--and the right words to explain herself--will take a little time. That's the least the Democrats owe her in return for what they need from her.
I think this is pretty fair.

Good Gravy

Two Weeks?



("Two Weeks" means only one thing to me)

Unplugged Controller blog:
At the risk of bolstering the reporters-mooning-at-Obama stereotype, if this evening's speeches were a video game, a wrinkled wizard would be hollering "Finish Him!" to Barack Obama while a dizzied John McCain wobbled.  And Hillary Clinton would be frenetically mashing the buttons on an unplugged controller


Balloon Juice:
From now on, I am just going to ignore Hillary. She is not the candidate. She lost. The story is not about her, it is about Obama and McCain and winning in November.
I feel a bit more ambiguous about the topic, since she did gain just about (thought not quite) half of the support of the Democractic Party, and I think that, rules aside, that deserves something. Or at least it did.

I concur with comment #1 on that page, though.
John, good luck ignoring Hillary. The media won’t, as long as she continues playing her power game. As I listened to Hillary last night, I was thinking that Rachel Maddow remains right – she has no intention of conceding and plans to take this to the convention.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Hoffmania!: Electrifying

The horrible taste in my mouth from the earlier speeches was gone five minutes into Obama's. 32,000 people inside and outside Xcel Center in St. Paul received a stunning lesson on how to deal with your in-party AND other-party opponents. He gave kudos to all the original Dem candidates, almost four minutes giving huge props to Hillary (with absolutely no boos, only cheers), marking clear differences between himself and McCain (after McCain played cute with Obama's campaign slogan earlier), and categorically defining just about every tenet of the Democratic Party.
Also: go away, Harold Ford! You lost. Why should we listen to your advice?

How Battle Lines Are Drawn

Marvelous thoughts from ECHIDNE:
It has certainly been a learning experience for me, something that has made me accept very humbly that my understanding of the human psyche is altogether deficient, that my optimism about the importance of thought and debate is vastly inflated and that human beings are excellent in seeing the mote in their neighbor's eye while ignoring the humongous beam sticking out of their own eye socket.

Or perhaps I'm just too cold and reptile-like to really appreciate what kinds of feelings have been first flared and then wounded in all the zillions of blog fights I have followed. I was never in love with any musicians, either.

Still. To have someone who you have debated with and joked with and argued with turn into a pod-person who can only scan your comments for signs of infidelity to their chosen leader is upsetting, to say the least, and to observe how blogs turned into all-Clinton or all-Obama in less than a nanosecond is really confusing.

Or maybe not. Maybe we are all offered a lesson about how battle lines are drawn, what really energizes and motivates people, and maybe we are all also going to learn how to become friends again. I hope so, anyway.

Goodnight, Dems!


Smokey the Bear is back! And he's preventing forest fires in Uncanny Valley State Park!
I'd say Fucking Nightmare State Park.

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(image credit definitely not ME)

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Twitter's default profile image:

Newcomer Plurk's default profile image:


Extract Toxins

Sometimes I just like to post web ads I find.


This one was found at this dark place.

For Such Is My Life

Richard Cohen, are you actually trying to come across as an asshole? Does starting your article thusly seem like humor to you?:
Wherever I go -- from glittering dinner party to glittering dinner party -- the famous and powerful people I meet (for such is my life) tell me how lucky I am to be a journalist in this the greatest of all presidential contests
Maybe he's in a contest to out-Brooks David Brooks.

And, back to substance, if you say you "loathe what has happened to the press," does that mean you yearn for the days of, say, 2002-2003, when the press fucking rocked?

Here's a classic Cohen bit, from the time, apparently, before he loathed the press...

Richard Cohen, from 2/6/2003, on Colin Powell's speech to the UN:
This is where Colin Powell brought us all yesterday. The evidence he presented to the United Nations -- some of it circumstantial, some of it absolutely bone-chilling in its detail -- had to prove to anyone that Iraq not only hasn't accounted for its weapons of mass destruction but without a doubt still retains them. Only a fool -- or possibly a Frenchman -- could conclude otherwise.
(via Glenn)
Best of times, Dick.

Media Control

A still for the ages.

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Arbuckle Gets It

Jim Davis likes GarfieldMinusGarfield!

Good for him.

(via Techdirt)

"that which pertaineth unto a man"

Dwindling In Unbelief has a list of the Top Ten Abominations to God.

The list gets a little snippy, I think, and a bit out of context in places (#10, especially, as the commenter notes), and the stupid Clinton comment is unnecessary, but at least I learned about this one, from Deuteronomy 22:5
The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment: for all that do so are abomination unto the LORD thy God.
Who knew God cared?

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David Brooks Is A Poser

Awesome. Hoffmania writes:
Forget beer. This morning on MSNBC, David Brooks created the "Who would you like to share an Awesome Blossom Onion with" meme:
"Obama's problem is he doesn't seem like the kind of guy who can go into an Applebee's salad bar and people think he fits in naturally there."
PSSST! HEY! DAVID! Come close. Um...Applebees doesn't have salad bars. If you're going to use this as a vehicle to test someone's folksiness, at least know what the hell you're talking about. Okay, bud?

Again, I don't want my president eating at Applebees. I don't want my president to have a beer with me. I want my president to have the biggest brains, be the most elite and have the least desire to have a beer at Applebees as possible.

Eugene Robinson on MSNBC just now: "I tend to take this sociology a little more seriously when it's delivered by people who actually eat at Applebees more than once in a decade."

The Great Friendster Diaspora

This series of twitter posts from Xeni Jardin (of BoingBoing etc) is pure poetry.

(I've reorganized them to run from oldest to newest):
Twitter's outages may drive me to bail if they don't get shit together but "plurk"? I can't. This feels like The Great Friendster Diaspora.

You children are too young to recall, but during The Great Friendster Diaspora, bloggers gnawed on their own flesh and inbound links.

We fashioned lean-tos from blinking banner ads, and brewed eula bark into a sort of dark "rss" to warm us through the black nights.

Neighbors! Don't abandon your twitterfarms for plurk, the wells all run dry! O, for our forefathers' BBS acres. Stark, but stable, and free.
Plurk has a beautiful timeline, but come on - P L U R K? "Plurking?!"

Monday, June 02, 2008


Smart children hate Bush.

Playing Dumb

I love having disparate voices in my feeds, but Corrente is really driving me nuts. I have no problem with their ruthless pro-Clinton position, but how how HOW can you make a statement like this with a straight face? How? Here's vastleft writing:
Obama was awarded numerous delegates in MI, even though he didn’t get any votes in that state (barring a few write-ins, perhaps)? Where, this side of Stalingrad, is that considered fair?
This is the definition of disingenuousness. How can you just say "even though he didn't get any votes" in Michigan? What state of mind can you possibly be in where you can discount the fact that he wasn't on the ballot? Do you really think that's an unimportant technicality to your argument?

Democracy is messy, sure, but how will you get over making comments like this?
It’s only an issue if it costs Obama, which is 2008’s answer to “It’s OK If You’re A Republican.”
Yes. Obama is the 2008 version of the Republican party.

Shaping Minds, "Need to Execute"

Mike S. Adams in
Over the course of the last two years I’ve been telling my students...
It's all fine and good to point out the idiocy of articles in places like, but it's fucking terrifying to realize that some of the authors have a captive group of student minds they are free to "educate."
The necessity of executing people like Coker should be readily apparent to anyone – regardless of his state of moral “evolution.” The need to execute those who rape our grandchildren – and grandmothers, for that matter – should be just as apparent to the enlightened mind.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Some Things Should Be Labeled as False

Fantastic piece by the Public Editor at the NY Times, critiquing factual errors in a recent Op-Ed that suggested that Obama would be hated by the Muslim world because he would be guilty of "apostasy" (completely false, apparently). I especially like this smackdown of the "it's Op-Ed, why does it have to be true?" position:
Shipley, the Op-Ed editor, said he regretted not urging Luttwak to soften his language about possible assassination, given how sensitive the subject is. But he said he did not think the Op-Ed page was under any obligation to present an alternative view, beyond some letters to the editor.

I do not agree. With a subject this charged, readers would have been far better served with more than a single, extreme point of view. When writers purport to educate readers about complex matters, and they are arguably wrong, I think The Times cannot label it opinion and let it go at that.

Delicious Library

I've been spending the weekend with the new 2.0 version of Delicious Library, a wonderful piece of Mac software that allows you to catalog many types of possessions, including books, dvds, videogames, and even clothes, toys and electronics. It can use the iSight camera as a barcode scanner, making the import process mostly painless. There are the occasional item which you cannot find the proper image for on the web, forcing me to take photos like this.

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Ten Thousand Times

Fafblog tells Clinton supporters to cheer up and provides a numbers of things that could happen between now and the convention.
Hillary Clinton wins Puerto Rico, just as expected. In a surprise twist however Puerto Rico turns out to be ten thousand times the size of Puerto Rico.