Friday, October 31, 2008


Dig the crazy Isaac Hayes* voice that says "McCain" near the end of this, McCain's final campaign ad.

Now that he's hit on the winning plan to make fun of hope, he's on the comeback trail!

* joke, but could it be?

Stop Saying That

When will the Right learn that big snowstorms and unusually cold temperatures do not disprove Global Warming?

Idiot Wind

Rashid Khalidi:
I will stick to my policy of letting this idiot wind blow over.

What We Need

We don't need, for example, bigger government, or smaller government. We need better government, smarter government, more competent government.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Insect Sushi

Insect sushi from tokyomango.


Simplistic Anecdotes

John Cole has the background to credibly state this:
Look- the intellectual wing of the Republican party is dead. What is left are brain-dead acolytes spreading meaningless and simplistic anecdotes, trite stories, and distilled nonsense passed on that has a more fitting home in AM radio. The McCain campaign, once again, is just a symptom of the real problem- an intellectually incurious and lazy movement in the final ugly spasms of death. The McCain campaign is now, in their interviews with the press, spreading what we can all recognize as wingnut email chains.
Follow the link, because the post where he reaches this point actually begins by discussing an incredible - and nauseating - little tale spreading in "conservative" circles as something between humor and a "Spread the Wealth" attack.

Sad to See

Skippy's got many examples of why pets hate halloween.


I just got this as part of an email from Marianne Markowitz, CFO of Obama's campign:
As of October 15th, John McCain and the RNC together had nearly $20 million more in cash than the combined total of Obama for America and the DNC. And just this week, we're facing new and unexpected spending against us in Montana and West Virginia.
Really? Is there some aspect of this stat that is misleading? Or is the RNC just that much richer than the DNC?

Have I fallen victim to a GOP Talking Point that Obama's "outspending" McCain?

Update: Yglesias was also unimpressed by this email.

What Happened to McCain Blogger Michael Goldfarb?

For the last few months, I've been making fun of Michael Goldfarb, who got a gig writing an official blog on John McCain's site.

Oddly enough, there hasn't been a single post up there in almost a week, since the last pathetic one mocking the business fortunes of the The New York Times. Did he get fired?

Seem like kind of an important time to be working for the campaign, assuming they thought you were helping.


This is why I love Atrios:
Do that many Texans really believe Obama is a Muslim, or are they just trained enough to know they're supposed to say he is.

This mystery will never be solved.
Takes the basic news item, in this case a study by the University of Texas that found that 23% of Texans think Obama is a Muslim, and thinks one step further.

Economist for Obama

Given how hesitant they were to support him all this year, and how quick they were to mock him and his economic policies, it's fairly stunning that The Economist is endorsing Obama.

Any Bed

McCain cracks himself up by claiming Obama has an "automatic wealth-spreader that folds neatly and fits under any bed."

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

TV Scaring Me

What the FUCK are these Hershey's Chocolate Dunkers from Pizza Hut?


Sarah Freaking Palin

The Editors:
Like, where is Sarah Freaking Palin going to find a VP choice who won’t make her look like a total lightweight, who won’t just use her as a stepping stone to greater things, and who will be willing to launch attacks which she herself finds “too sleazy”?

Oh, I know: Palin/McCain 2012.  That sounds perfect.

The Lies and Hate of Michael Reagan

There's some crazy fucking hate coming out of people Michael Reagan, eldest son of saint Ronald:
There's an old saying that you can't be half-socialist any more than you can be half-pregnant; get knocked up with a socialist fetus and you'll have to deliver a full-born Marxist. There's nothing inbetween. Try it, you'll like it, and if you don't, as the lads in the Gestapo used to tell people, they had ways to make them like it.
Call Barack Obama's program socialism, however and he'll swear on a stack of Qurans it isn't. He calls it change. He says it's fairness, not Marxism.


How does he explain the proven fact that he has been wallowing in a sty surrounded by fervent socialists and sharing in their swill for most of his life?
(My emphasis)

"Gestapo?" A "stack of Qurans?" You're not even trying to hide it.

White Flag of Repetition

Hey, Sarah Palin, what will you do if you lose on Tuesday? Will you go back to Alaska?
"Absolutely not," Sarah Palin says. "I think that, if I were to give up and wave a white flag of surrender against some of the political shots that we've taken, that ... that would ... bring this whole ... I'm not doin' this for naught."
If you keep using that phrase, your political career is gonna stay like that.

Exotic Scenarios

Some encouragment from Ta-Nehisi Coates:
Folks, we are watching a revoloution. I'm talking about the technology, the GOTV effort, the historic numbers for black voters, a sick, sick edge among young voters. Are we going to spend the next days trying to concoct exotic scenarios in which the dastardly Republicans steal this one? Are black folks going to sit around wondering of white people will revert back to their Yacubic nature? Or are we going to start thinking about the change taking place right before our eyes, and what it means for our agenda? What will we do? I'm not asking for self-congratulation--just some self-confidence.

The Reality of Palin

Danielle Crittenden, wife of David Frum, demands the right to be a conservative and a critic of Sarah Palin, in T'Aint "Elitist" to Be Anti-Palin:
Don't get me wrong: I love the idea of Sarah Palin. She conforms to an early American (and pre-feminist) ideal of womanhood: rifle on one hip, baby on the other. I love her modern incarnation of this ideal, complete with Sex-in-the-Tundra wardrobe and kick-ass Jimmy Choos (even if they are paid for by the RNC). I love the idea she represents "common sense" over fancy-pants theorizing. I love -- and certainly identify with -- her real world, "out there" experience over her opponents' closed-off years in Washington. Truly, there are few women I'd rather share a beer with.

The problem is that the reality of Sarah Palin does not match the idea of Sarah Palin. It's as plain as day -- glaringly obvious! -- that she's unfit for the job she's running for. We wouldn't expect the best darn regional car saleswoman to be appointed the next vice president of General Motors. We wouldn't fly in a commercial plane piloted by someone with a Cessna license because we trusted her gut. We wouldn't follow a woman into battle because she's a crack shot at moose hunting. Why is it unreasonable -- or snobbish! -- to have expected a better choice from our party for the next potential leader of the free world?

Fallen Something-Or-Other

I'm sorry to learn that Victoria Jackson is a nut:
You see, what bothers me most [about Obama], besides being a Communist, and a racist, is that he is a LIAR. He pretends to be a Christian and he incriminates himself everytime he speaks about Christianity. To lie about being a believer in Christ is very dangerous. Lightning could strike him at any minute! But seriously, he doesn't have a clue what the Bible says and yet he pretends to be a church- going Christian to win votes. That is sooooo evil.


Josh Marshall:
This is how John McCain ends up -- finishing his presidential quest by arguing that allowing the Bush tax cuts to lapse will bring Socialism to America.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Like A Daydream

One of my favorite Ride songs, and an adorable early video, as played from MTV's new Music Videos site.

I Don't Want the Agency

MTV MUSIC is cool, but why can't I just let it run randomly, one after another, or gently guide it towards my preferences?


MSNBC plays the "balance" game, pretending that we all hear about these rumors equally:
Barack Obama is not a member of a socialist party. John McCain is not a foreigner. Sarah Palin is not Trig's grandmother. And Joe Biden is not dropping out of the race.

Oh, and they're not all having sordid affairs.

But it's Rumor Season again in this country, and with just days to go before the election, both campaigns are frantically knocking down these rumors — often spreading virally on the Internet — along with a steady stream of other nasty hints and allegations that range from the questionable to the outrageous.

One thing you can believe: It'll only get worse between now and Election Day.
Still, it's nice to see news organizations debunk falsehoods.

Monday, October 27, 2008


What else is he going to say?

A --> B

Does anyone call this political journalism? Foxnews:
A 7-year-old radio interview in which Barack Obama discussed the failure of the Supreme Court to rule on redistributing wealth in its civil rights rulings has given fresh ammunition to critics who say the Democratic presidential candidate has a socialist agenda.


Sully asks if this is the best McCain has left in the last days of the election campaigns. I think he's missing the target audience. McCain has entirely stopped trying to convince the electorate to vote Republican. He and the entire GOP are now far more worried about keeping their base intact, staving off the worst of the coming civil war of recriminations. To that end, dog-whistles about terrorists, socialists and other ne'er-do-wells serve a useful purpose, giving Republicans a buffet of ready-made excuses to choose from and get angry about - instead of getting angry with the Party apparatchiks who have presided over the collapse of their Big Tent.

Disturbance in the Force

Palin's spiritual warfare people are nuts.


It's opening paragraphs like this one, by Robert Knight, that makes keeping an eye on wingnut sites all worth it:
The New York Times continues its transformation from the Gray Lady into the Lavender Lady with three more movie reviews on Oct. 24 highlighting “‘gay” films whose combined viewership should roughly equal one night’s worth of gay bar patrons in Greenwich Village.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


DAMASCUS, Syria – U.S. military helicopters launched an extremely rare attack Sunday on Syrian territory close to the border with Iraq, killing eight people in a strike the government in Damascus condemned as "serious aggression."
You know why an attack by US forces on Syria is rare? Because we're not at war with them.


IMG_5281_JJ, originally uploaded by Jezzer Johnson.

No real reason. I just kinda like this bird.


A CNN journalist just told me that today is the 41st anniversary of McCain's plane being shot down.

Saturday, October 25, 2008


Fox News just told me that Palin received "far more cheers than boos" at the recent (2nd) hockey game where she dropped the "first puck."

Spiritual Warfare

You know what would be awesome? To give this woman control of the most destructive military arsenal in the history of our species.
What is known, however, is that Ms. Palin has had long associations with religious leaders who practice a particularly assertive and urgent brand of Pentecostalism known as “spiritual warfare.”

Its adherents believe that demonic forces can colonize specific geographic areas and individuals, and that “spiritual warriors” must “battle” them to assert God’s control, using prayer and evangelism. The movement’s fixation on demons, its aggressiveness and its leaders’ claims to exalted spiritual authority have troubled even some Pentecostal Christians.

Ms. Palin delivered an enthusiastic graduation speech for a class of young spiritual warriors in June at the Wasilla Assembly of God, the church in which she was raised.

As governor, Ms. Palin appointed Patrick Donelson, a pastor and fishing guide who helped found a spiritual warfare ministry, to the only seat reserved for members of the clergy on the state’s Suicide Prevention Council.
What's another word for spiritual warfare? Crusade?

Best to Worst

Maybe Michael Bachmann could make me a list of all the cultures of the world, ordered from best to worst. That would be handy.

Why Isn't John McCain Winning?

My friends, the latest post on the John McCain Official Blog:
Just after the New York Times ended months of intense speculation by announcing its endorsement of Barack Obama, the company's corporate credit rating was lowered to 'junk' status -- an appropriate reflection of the paper's editorial judgment as well as the quality of its reporting.
Oooooh. Utterly vapid.

You do know you're in a presidential campaign? And you're spending your time with this?

Not that the two organizations are not even comparable in terms of bias, but how unprofessional would it be to find, say, a story on the Obama site about FoxNews's financial situation?

Come To Life

Jonathan Martin on the latest video of deranged McCain supporters calling Obama a terrorist and communist:
So these events are like viral emails come to life.


I like this term "Christian Nationalists".

Fear and Sex

Of the 5 or 6 featured stories on the home page of the National Review Online, two of them are about Obama directly.

Here are the two graphics for these stories:

Picture 1.png

Picture 2.png

You've got nothing.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Okay Wait

Sadly, No is a real outpost on the web. It's one of the smartest, sharpest, funniest places of liberal ferocity on the web. You could call it satire, but that would be a limiting view.

It's more than that, and it's hard to explain.

And that is why I'm going to post this entire piece from one of their writers, Gavin, on what he's doing and why (although "having a reason" is part of the issue here). I'm quoting just about the entire piece (excepting the opening, which started like any other "look at this inane shit" post until the part I start to quote), and I'm sure no one will care cuz just about no one reads this blog.

This is a kind of Manifesto for this variety of political commentary.
Okay wait. It’s like, you know, I used to imagine that making fun of these people was a constructive act, in a way — that it would influence them toward kind of a banal crisis of self-reflection in which, at least briefly, they’d be able to see themselves as a reasonable Other would see them, and maybe be forced to think about the limits of the received wingnut worldview, and the pitfalls of ideology, and so forth and all that sort of thing. Then I guess I grew up a little and realized that I was just making excuses for making fun of people all the time. That it was really all about my own deficiencies, about pointing out faults in others as a way of working out issues that I was unwilling to explore in myself, or sometimes even to name.

Then I guess I grew up more, because I stopped worrying about why-this and why-that, and began to pay greater attention to the how and what of things, amidst this grand and unencompassable opera, for lack of a more ready metaphor, that we call life. Specifically, how shall I make fun of Ace so that he looks really ding-honk stupid, and what shall be my specific conceit toward this end? Technique, in other words. Architectonics. Ace is, therefore he will be made fun of, on the Internet, by me.

That’s really an ontological statement, yet one which negates ontology, if you see what I mean. I imagine that it’s what Aleister Crowley was getting at with the phrase, “the fall of Because,” and what mystics of related traditions refer to as “crossing the Abyss.” First there is no joke about Ace masturbating glumly to bodybuilding magazines, and then there does exist a joke about Ace masturbating glumly to bodybuilding magazines. Forget about ‘why’ for a moment: How is something created out of nothing? How do you, as it were, get from one side of the Abyss to the other? I imagine it as what they call the demiurge, which in itself obviates the question of ‘why,’ if you follow how that goes. And so on through the topic, etc.

But what I’m getting at is, okay, what’s actually happening here — or, if you would, what a reasonable Other can be imagined as perceiving — is that we have to come up with something new and clever each time Ace runs through the room burping the alphabet, while all Ace has to do to keep up his end is to intake sufficient calories to sustain motor function, and to pop a vitamin now and then to stave off rickets and/or scurvy.

He could, for instance, type OMABA POOPY and send it blazing through the Internet, via the energy expenditure of one poking index finger, and that’s, you know, just Ace being Ace again, like usual. He could type nothing, and you’d still know — you would know — that he’s out there somewhere thinking something nutrageously bonky that he might as well have typed up and put online, for all the difference between his public utterances (”Heh heh, I have just cracked the secret that will bring down the Obama presidency”) and what other people would call daydreaming and wishful thinking (”Heh heh, I’m a secret agent with a watch that can stop time”). Ace doesn’t have to do, it is only necessary that he exist.

By which I mean, I guess I haven’t gotten it all figured out yet, but I picked up a paperback copy of Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, and after that, it’s Jonathan Livingston Seagull and I guess that Herman Hesse book. I’m just, like, looking for clues.

AVS Tears

Redstate has reached down down down to find a new topic to use in claiming the media hates them:
There is now ample evidence that Barack Obama's campaign has intentionally opted out of credit card address verification services ("AVS") thereby making it extremely easy to contribute to his campaign while the campaign can claim ignorance to theft, excessive contributions, improper contributions, and illegal contributions.
An acronym! Sounds like you know what you're talking about.

Why do I feel I could bet my right leg that you don't entirely understand the details of this system?

Or perhaps you're right - the Obama campaign has deliberately turned off an e-commerce feature preventing foreigners from contributing money to his campaign, and they're thinking "awesome, we're totally going to get away with this!"

They're doing all they can, but [sigh].
The media has patently, willfully failed to report this story.

There is nothing you or I can do to force the media to cover this story. Nothing.
I acknowledge that the entirety of my own post is based on a hunch. A hunch about the Obama campaign's tech credentials versus Erick Erickson's at Redstate (with a bunch of links from NRO, Hotair, and Ace).

Shorter Malkin

Hoaxer Crystal Magnum, the Duke lacrosse accuser, pens memoir
  • Remember the words "Duke" and "Lacrosse" together? That was awesome.

More Portland

IMG_4094.JPG, originally uploaded by cricketheron.

Another set of Portland pics are up...

(again, you'll see people if I know you and you're logged in)

Thursday, October 23, 2008

We're Smart, Too

Who's that announcing a newly coined movement called "Intellectuals for McCain/Palin?"

Why, it's Laura Ingraham.

She went to Dartmouth!

Thumbs Up!


EPA weakens new lead rule after White House objects
WASHINGTON — After the White House intervened, the Environmental Protection Agency last week weakened a rule on airborne lead standards at the last minute so that fewer polluters would have their emissions monitored.

Moment In History

Oh me, oh my.

Picture 4.png

Put it in the history books.

I Am Joe

Is this parody?

Or something produced by Microsoft's ad firm?


Only John Hodgman is awesome enough to write sentences like this:
I WAS RECENTLY CORRECTED BY THE INTERNET regarding a very embarrassing misstatement regarding GNOMES.

Smart Man Runs For President

Obama, interviewed by Joe Klein, namechecks Michael Pollen.
There is no better potential driver that pervades all aspects of our economy than a new energy economy.
I was just reading an article in the New York Times by Michael Pollen about food and the fact that our entire agricultural system is built on cheap oil. As a consequence, our agriculture sector actually is contributing more greenhouse gases than our transportation sector

That's awesome. Can I Has Obama Prez?

The Coming "Wingnut Blogger Heaven"

Tim F at Balloon Juice:
President Obama will give the rightwing a focus for their hate and fear. Even better, unlike us they won’t have to defend anything the government does. Every housefire and treed cat will be more evidence of Democrat perfidy. It will be, and I’m dead serious about this, wingnut blogger heaven.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Wait, I'm confused. Doesn't the fact that most people who support Obama are white mean that Powell is trying to come off as white?


Hodgman has MORE INFORMATION THAN YOU REQUIRE ABOUT LIQUID CHICKEN, which, admittedly, doesn't take much.

Over and Over

When asked why Apple only has one product offering in the vast smartphone market and what further opportunities for innovation or "other market opportunities within that market" Apple might have, Jobs replied, "I wasn't alive then, but from everything I've heard, Babe Ruth only had one home run. He just kept hitting it over and over again.

60 Plus

Oh, my.



I've posted some shots of our trip to Portland. If you know me, you'll see people. Otherwise, enjoy the bridges...

Charitable Purpose


Hit Meh!:
It was always the intent that the clothing go to a charitable purpose after the campaign," said McCain-Palin spokesperson Tracey Schmitt.


I've learned something today. Now I can go to bed.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Callie Shell Photos of Obama

Phenomenal photos of Obama by photographer Callie Shell.

(via kottke)


Jesse Taylor demonstrates algebra:
John Edwards could get 7.2 years of haircuts for what it costs to keep Sarah Palin it high-necked jackets for ten weeks.

Sadly Why

This caption is an example of why I subscribe to Sadly, No.

Picture 2.png

Monday, October 20, 2008

Nice One, MSNBC

This is how you do journalism:
Palin also claimed religion and God had been "mocked" during the campaign, although she offered no evidence to support that.

"Faith in God in general has been mocked through this campaign, and that breaks my heart and that is unfair for others who share a faith in God and choose to worship our Lord in whatever private manner that they deem fit," she said.

Palin is a conservative Christian who was baptized and grew up attending Pentecostal churches. In September, Obama defended Palin's religious beliefs and said it would be "offensive" to portray her faith as strange or wrong.

What Indeed

Nice post from the Getty Images News Blog:

Picture 1.png

Imagine If Bill Kristol Was Your Dad

This is one of the most goddamn irritating articles William Kristol has ever written:
Most of the recent mistakes of American public policy, and most of the contemporary delusions of American public life, haven’t come from an ignorant and excitable public. They’ve been produced by highly educated and sophisticated elites.
You mean like the push for war in Iraq when the country didn't want to?
Needless to say, the public’s not always right, and public opinion’s not always responsible. But as publics go, the American public has a pretty good track record.
You mean like the 2000 election when Gore won the popular vote, and Bush won the "elite" electoral college vote?
In the 1930s, the American people didn’t fall — unlike so many of their supposed intellectual betters — for either fascism or Communism. Since World War II, the American people have resisted the temptations of isolationism and protectionism, and have turned their backs on a history of bigotry.
Our hatred of communism bubbled up from the bottom, as indicated by that great bellweather of public opinion, Joseph McCarthy. Not an inciter, that guy, just a bellweather.

Now, the Pew poll I cited earlier also showed Barack Obama holding a 50 percent to 40 percent lead over John McCain in the race for the White House. You might think this data point poses a challenge to my encomium to the good sense of the American people.
In an article saying we should trust the public over elites, a poll shows the public believes the opposite from the writer. Why should that undermine your argument?
It does. But it’s hard to blame the public for preferring Obama at this stage — given the understandable desire to kick the Republicans out of the White House, and given the failure of the McCain campaign to make its case effectively. And some number of the public may change their minds in the final two weeks of the campaign, and may decide McCain-Palin offers a better kind of change — perhaps enough to give McCain-Palin a victory.

The media elites really hate that idea.
Well, them and the public.
Not just because so many of them prefer Obama. But because they like telling us what’s going to happen.
You poopy-heads!
They’re always annoyed when the people cross them up. Pundits spent all spring telling Hillary Clinton to give up in her contest against Obama — and the public kept on ignoring them and keeping her hopes alive.

Why do elites like to proclaim premature closure — not just in elections, but also in wars and in social struggles? Because it makes them the imperial arbiters, or at least the perspicacious announcers, of what history is going to bring. This puts the elite prognosticators ahead of the curve, ahead of the simple-minded people who might entertain the delusion that they still have a choice.
Specious, self-serving, disingenuous tripe, you dark-hearted piece of shit.


Back from my vacation, and...

If you're not reading Thinkin' Lincoln, you're not living!

Picture 5.png

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Sing It

Rezko and Ayers and Wright, Oh My!


Lustily Booed

Stephen Hayes desparately tries to get a "They Do It, Too" move to stick:
But in the last 36 hours, we've seen three examples of real anger on the left. And as the old media axiom has it, three makes a trend.

This morning at a McCain rally here, a bearded young man in the crowd responded to a McCain critique of Barack Obama by shouting: "You're a liar John!" He then hoisted a young woman with an antiwar poster onto his shoulders and began yelling antiwar gibberish as McCain tried to continue his speech. When McCain supporters ripped up the woman's sign, she unfolded another one and the spectacle continued.

Earlier, at a rally in Philadelphia, Obama praised John McCain's service to America and called for a civil debate over the final days of the campaign. He was lustily booed by his angry supporters.

And yesterday, at a McCain rally in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, another angry heckler shouted "Liar" and other insults at McCain from the crowd.
Can we expect stories on this disturbing trend? Don't bet on it.
Heh. "Lustily booed."

If Palin Says It

Using surrogates to advance an attack and then “rising above” is a classic campaign tactic.  To a degree, the Democrats are doing it.  Biden spent much of the debate hammering at McCain, which opened the floor to Obama to speak positively about himself.  McCain has nothing left but attacks now, so they’re pulling a ham-fisted, stupid version of the same tactic---the foaming at the mouth followers advance bullshit about how Obama is a terrorist, socialist, or the Anti-Christ, and McCain plays the good cop. 

Here’s the thing.  McCain has the power to rein in Sarah Palin, and he has the power to rein in surrogates like Frank Keating, who called Obama “a guy of the street”.  Coming from McCain, the tut-tutting means nothing to the rabid base.  Now, if Sarah Palin says it, I’ll pay attention.  But right now, I’m not buying it.

A Fine Plan


Hell yeah!

On It Goes

Fucking ads on the outside of subway cars?!

Denying Reality

Doing what Bush lived to do: denying reality.
As the Republican vice presidential nominee departed her Pittsburgh hotel on Saturday morning, a reporter asked Palin if she abused her power in firing Monegan, which was the conclusion of the state investigator's report released late Friday.

“No, and if you read the read the report you will see that there was nothing unlawful or unethical about replacing a cabinet member," Palin responded before boarding her campaign bus. "You got to read the report, sir."
Update: Jake Tapper makes a clearer point than I.

Davis Claims Plants

Rick Davis demonstrates how to be disingenuous:
At a rally in Minnesota on Friday, a woman told McCain: "I don't trust Obama. I have read about him and he's an Arab."

McCain shook his head and said, "No ma'am, no ma'am. He's a decent family man...[a] citizen that I just happen to have disagreements with on fundamental issues. That's what this campaign is all about."

One man at the rally said he was "scared of an Obama presidency." McCain later told the man he should not fear Obama.

"I want to be president of the United States, and I don't want Obama to be," he said. "But I have to tell you, I have to tell you, he is a decent person, and a person that you do not have to be scared as President of the United States."

McCain's response was met with boos from the crowd.

When asked about these outbursts, McCain campaign manager Rick Davis said that he didn't know who those people were and if they were there as supporters or to disrupt the rallies.
Shall we start counting the plants, and ask Rick about each one?

Friday, October 10, 2008

Enquiring Minds

Best headline of the day: Will John McCain Suspend His Campaign to Investigate Barack Obama’s Past?


As the phrase goes...What Digby Said. This post is a great example of why she's so incredible.

Worst Yet

You've got to be shitting me:
TROY [NY] — Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's last name is spelled "Osama" on hundreds of absentee ballots mailed out this week to voters in Rensselaer County.
One Sand Lake resident who caught the misspelling, and who asked to remain anonymous, was skeptical.

''It's a little suspicious and at least grossly incompetent,'' the voter said. "If I crossed out the name and wrote in the right spelling my ballot would be invalid."


Maybe some kind of national leader, like a President or something, could pop up and suggest that people stop threatening physical violence against candidates for our next President?


Picture 1.png

Oh, I get it. Baghdad is the punchline. The idea is that Baghdad is a better place to live than the US.

I get it. Hilarious. Lots of chuckles comin' out of Iraq.

Selecting a Whole Album

Picture 3.png

Little Mac tip: When viewing the "coverflow" view (pictured), dragging the actual album cover seen in the 3D view will sometimes (in Party Shuffle, for instance) represent only a single song. If you wanted to (in this example), drag all the songs of Curve's Doppelganger into a playlist along the left side.

However, hold down apple (command) and option when you click and drag. That will force the whole album to be selected when you drag.

Fear and Hope

This election really is a classic battle between fear and hope. All Palin and McCain are offering right now is more fear: fear of a black man, fear of terrorism, fear of the other, fear of Iran, fear of the future, fear of Islam, fear of the truth. And above all: fear of defeat. On that last one, they're rational. Which side are you on?

Thursday, October 09, 2008


I think I quoted Digby saying something like this a few months back, but it still sounds terribly believable:
I know I'm sounding like a broken record, but what we are really seeing is the beginning of a right wing story line about the next president of the United States --- he is a drug user, a foreigner, a terrorist and a traitor. And the importance of that is that it gives permission to the right wing machine to do anything and everything to destroy him. He will not really be president, you see. He will be illegitimate -- a usurper.

Red Dawn Alert

Sadly, No:
The conservative “movement” has now been reduced to sad nostalgia for second-rate wankfest action flicks from the ’80s. Look on your works, Bill Buckley, and despair.


Ta-Nehisi Coates on the desperation:
They're just emptying the clip, throwing chairs, file cabinets, jabbing folks with keys and cell phones.

Until A Few Days Ago
"If Holly says it's over, I guess it's over," [Hugh] Hefner said in a telephone interview Wednesday. "She's still here in the house. Until a few days ago, we were still sharing the same bed."

Anger As Political Advisor

After establishing his "bona fides" as a McCain supporter, David Frum gives a warning:
Those who press this Ayers line of attack are whipping Republicans and conservatives into a fury that is going to be very hard to calm after November. Is it really wise to send conservatives into opposition in a mood of disdain and fury for the next president, incidentally the first African-American president? Anger is a very bad political adviser. It can isolate us and push us to the extremes at exactly the moment when we ought to be rebuilding, rethinking, regrouping and recruiting.

I’m not suggesting that we remit our opposition to a hypothetical President Obama. Only that an outgunned party will need to stay cool. A big part of Obama’s appeal is his self-command. It’s a genuinely impressive quality. Let’s emulate it. We’ll be needing it.

Last Shot

I think many of us believe that there will be some kind of surprise appearing before the election, some kind of last shot approach from McCain.

I've just realized, however, that I had been assuming that it would be a big, newsworthy event of some sort, some clear announcement.

But now I think it will instead be a small item that will bubble up in the world of rightwing blogs - some kind of detail that gets hammered out over and over and spreads until it appears on every news channel and a loud chorus is demanding that Obama "denounce" or "apologize" just a few days before the election.

I'll keep an eye out.

Maverick Family

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For The Record

If you haven't already seen it, here's the odd "My Fellow Prisoners" bit. This clip is 32 seconds long.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008


Andrey Kravstov, Associate Professor of Astronomy at the University of Chicago, in a comment on an NY Times story:
I find it appalling that Sen. McCain would call a science education tool for public (largely children) for a historic planetarium with millions of visitors a year a wasteful earmark. The planetarium's focus, as stated on their website ( is "on inspiring young people, particularly women and minorities, to pursue careers in science." Is an investment in such public facility at the time when US competitiveness in math and sciences is a constant source of alarm a waste?


Steve Doocy is a dick.

But you knew that already.

Ham Ethics

I've added The Weekly Standard to my list of "nuts" blogs, and one of their premier contributors is one Mary Katharine Ham.

Look at this lovely tribute to her mother's wisdom this morning:
As my mother used to say, and she had many occasions to say it, "This room ain't gonna clean itself."

Barack Obama ain't gonna make himself unacceptable as a presidential candidate. John McCain has to do it for him.
She compares a work ethic with a sense that McCain better hurry up and smear Obama.

What a sad affair.

Pet Urn

From a collection of "Weird Inventions" from Dark Roasted Blend, this is a Pet Urn.

dog urn jpeg.JPG

Amongst The Things We Have To Fear

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself. Fear and negative equity … The two things we have to fear are fear itself and negative equity, and the depleted capital of financial institutions … Amongst the things we have to fear are fear itself, negative equity, and the depleted capital of financial institutions.

That One


From Fritz. (via Pandagon)

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

That One

A shit comment for the ages.

Listen to Wil

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Internet Record

This kind of thing will become more and more common in the next few years, as another generation of politicians leaves comes of age, a generation that splashed their activities, opinions, and photos all over the internet.

Not saying admitting to Halo playing's a bad thing, of course!

Join Me

Master comic artist Berkley Breathed, on announcing his plans to end his Bloom County spin-off strip "Opus" on Nov 2nd:
The best way I can help is to leave politics permanently. . . . I call on John McCain to join me.

Fundamentals Are Strong

Today's Post:
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It's all a "mental recession!"

Monday, October 06, 2008

"You're The Villain Today"

What a goddamn asshole:
In the first Congressional hearing into the financial crisis, the former CEO of the bankrupt Lehman Brothers, Richard Fuld, became the poster boy for Wall Street greed today as he defended the $484 million he received in salary, bonuses and stock options since 2000.

"Is that fair?" asked committee chairman Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) who pointed out Fuld owns a mansion in Greenwich, Connecticut, an ocean front estate on Jupiter Island, Florida, a ski chalet in Idaho and a Manhattan apartment.

"If you haven't discovered your role, you're the villain today," said Rep. John Mica (R-FL).

Fuld said given the collapse of Lehman Brothers and its now worthless stock, his actual holdings were closer to $350 million.

"That's still a lot of money," he told the hearing.

Fuld said he took "full responsibility" for the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers and "felt horrible" about it.

But Fuld said he has yet to understand why the federal government helped to bail out the AIG insurance company and other investment banking firms, but did not do so a few days earlier to save Lehman Brothers.

"Until the day they put me in the ground, I will wonder," Fuld told the Congressional panel, seeming to seethe with anger.

"This is a pain that will stay with me the rest of my life."


Amelie Gillette at The A.V. Club:
But what does Beverly Hills Chihuahua's success mean for America?

Obviously, it means Beverly Hills Chihuahua Does The Macarena, or Beverly Hills Chihuahua Dos, or Beverly Hills Chihuahua Gone Loco, or a sequel of some kind.
Prepare yourself.

Giving Up

The Next Right is nervous:
Not every election is winnable, and this might just be an election that the GOP was not supposed to win, even against a fairly weak candidate like Obama.
Hilarious. The piece goes on then for a while about how...
In most elections, I think generic promises about lower taxes is enough to generate sufficient warm fuzzies from the electorate. But this isn't "most elections."
The real frustration with McCain finally comes out at the end.
Oh, and no more suspending the campaign or generaly [sic] looking like you're running around like a chicken with your head cutoff [sic].


Go, Glenn!
There are 30 days to go before this election is over. What we're seeing explode in front of us are both the devastating fruits of eight years of unchallenged right-wing rule under the Bush/Cheney administration and the tactics of a desperate, dying, rotted movement descending further and further into the sewer in order to cling to power. The more they unmask themselves this way, the more smashing will be their defeat, the longer their banishment will be.

Military Role

Jackson Diehl in the Washington Post on how important Petraeus is to McCain:
When was the last time a serving U.S. military officer was made to play such a large role in a presidential campaign, even if involuntarily?

More from FPW.

"Pulling at the Kristol Thread"

Robert Farley considers Bill Kristol's latest piece (which I noted below) continuing to defend Palin and predict how she's totally gonna pull it out for McCain, and wonders if Kristol will ever be shunned by the Right if he turns out to have been totally and completely wrong.

And herein lies the rub. Relationships are the currency of conservative punditry, and that currency is essentially secured by Kristol. If the bedrock of this currency starts to founder (if Kristol drops the mask, or comes under sustained attack from conservatives), then the entire financial system is in trouble. It's not that people think that the entire system will collapse; they just don't know what exactly will happen if the Kristol derivatives turn toxic. At the very least, the system will undergo an earthquake, and the result of that earthquake could be unpleasant. As such, the entire system has a vested interest in making sure that the Kristol derivatives don't turn toxic, and thus that the bedrock currency remains stable.

And so we see a happy convergence trends that will work to prevent a reckoning in conservative punditry after the election. I'm not saying that the reckoning won't happen, just that pulling at the Kristol thread is likely to have wide-ranging consequences in conservative journalism. As such, even though Kristol played an important role in many of most disastrous elements of this administration/campaign, those who might gun for him are going to have to be careful.

A Luxury

Ta-Nehisi Coates:
Call me crazy, or overly optimistic, but I don't think Wright can save these fools. Racism is a luxury that, at this point, a lot of white voters can ill-afford. I think a crucial number of them know that.

Risk 1


Apropos of nothing, I found myself very interested this morning in tracking down the old version of Risk for Macintosh that I used play almost every evening with friends in the dorm in high school, circa 1989.

I gave a half-hearted attempt to track down a version. That "effort" ended at a site that used to host a windows emulator for System 7 that also included in the zip the original ROM of the game. I saw the page in Google cache, but the site itself and its zip were down. Seemed an unlikely solution, anyway.

But I did find a site that had the above screenshot.

I dream of this being released for iPhone. Probably comparable resolutions.

Yann Arthus-Bertrand

It didn't seem possible, but The Big Picture has topped itself. This may really be the most astonishing collection of aerial photos I've ever seen.

These are all by photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand and are part of an exhibit called Earth From Above.

Volunteer Work

Thanks, William Kristol!
And, really, shouldn’t the public get the benefit of another Biden-Palin debate, or even two? If there’s difficulty finding a moderator, I’ll be glad to volunteer.

Who's Ugly

Yes, I'm an Obama supporter, but The Story is not that the election is getting ugly. The McCain campaign is getting ugly. Speak clearly.

Play With Spider

Really satisfying little Flash thing called Play With Spider, where you do just that.

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It follows your cursor, you can add bugs, and grab and drag it if you like.


Sunday, October 05, 2008

Effective Question Defense

Strong strategy from Steve Benen:
The next time McCain and his surrogates bring up Ayers (or Rezko, or Wright), the immediate and obvious question will be, "Why are you trying to stop talking about the economy?"

Saturday, October 04, 2008

John T. Scopes

From a newly released Smithsonian archive.

Honor v2.0

Digby, on talk that the McCain campaign is gearing up to take a nastier, more personal tone in campaign ads:
This is what heroes with honor and integrity do. A true patriot will always try to change the subject by smearing his opponents character, particularly during time of crisis.

Little Buddies

Shoot me.

A prime example of what's so irritating about the NY Times Style section:
Mr. Fulrath is one of a growing number of single — and yes, heterosexual — men who seem to be coming out of the cat closet and unabashedly embracing their feline side. To that end, they are posting photographs and videos of their little buddies on YouTube and on Web sites like, and Twittering about them to anyone who will listen.
OMFG - look at this bullshit!
Stacy Mantle, the founder of, a magazine for pet lovers, said that men are becoming more “cat literate” because they themselves are evolving.

“It’s the unevolved members of the species who tend toward abuse of cats — and oftentimes, women and children,” said Ms. Mantle, who owns 18 cats.
Don't use the word "evolution" if you don't know what it means.

Although there are no hard (or soft) statistics (it is rare to find an owner, man or woman, walking a cat in public), it seems that single, heterosexual male cat owners are on the rise.
What I've emboldened is really the entire content of this article. A passing thought someone had, and then they rewrote that in a few ways and put some quotes in about men who like cats, and a cat therapist who says the "number of her single, straight male clients has risen about 25 percent over the last five years."

Friday, October 03, 2008

George W. Palin

Last night Palin appeared to have mastered the art of George W. Bush style gibberish --- obnoxious, confident and dumb. And the conservative elite are all relieved. They were afraid they had a real problem on their hands --- a candidate who was timorous, insecure and dumb and that is a sure loser.
Actually, be sure to read her whole piece. It's only a few paragraphs, and, I think, a great take on who she is, what she represents, etc.

Little Starbursts

Astonishing real words from Rich Lowry:
I'm sure I'm not the only male in America who, when Palin dropped her first wink, sat up a little straighter on the couch and said, "Hey, I think she just winked at me." And her smile. By the end, when she clearly knew she was doing well, it was so sparkling it was almost mesmerizing. It sent little starbursts through the screen and ricocheting around the living rooms of America. This is a quality that can't be learned; it's either something you have or you don't, and man, she's got it.
(via Sullivan)

More Inequalities

This isn't a trick question. Indeed, it's just arithmetic. Just before the surge policy was implemented, there were 132,000 U.S. troops in Iraq. As of September 2008, the number was 146,000. Even for Sarah Palin, 146,000 is not less than 132,000.


Maybe we deserve Palin:
MASSENA, N.Y. - A group of parents and religious leaders in upstate New York want yoga classes out of public schools, saying the instruction violates boundaries between church and state.

Two high school teachers began using yoga last year to help students relieve stress before exams. Special education teacher Martha Duchscherer and Spanish teacher Kerry Perretta also were developing a districtwide program.

But those plans were halted after parents and others in the community complained students were being indoctrinated in Hindu rites.

Practice With Rush

I think it's sad, and I don't agree that she's a "highly talented first round baseball draft pick," but I think this Conn Carroll is probably right:
And the McCain campaign should have been getting her that needed practice from day one. The major leagues have a farm system for a reason. To develop talent. From day one Palin should have been on Hannity, Hewitt, Rush, and Laura. Is this group going to challenge her in the same way Charlie Gibson will? No. But they would give Palin the opportunity to answer detailed policy questions in a friendly environment, to hone her skills at explaining her world view, and to grow comfortable in the media spotlight.

But the McCain camp did not choose this route. Instead the sequestered Sarah with top McCain advisers who crammed her with McCain-answers instead of letting her discover Palin-answers on her own. Major league teams don't build pitching staffs by calling up their best talent and then leaving them on the bench. They send them to organizations where they are given an opportunity to develop their natural talents, so that when they do play in the bigs, they will be that much better.

Enough With "The Kids"

Dan Lyons is so not funny:
Apparently it was a citizen journalist site and it looks like [CNN] got punked. Or is it pwned? I can’t remember what the kids are saying these days.
That's one of the clearest example of hackneyed sarcasm.

Edge of Sight

Fascinating Article from Phil Plait about how

1) There are objects that are beyond the theoretical limit of what we can see, since they are so far away that the expansion of space is faster than the light (traveling towards us) from these objects, and

2) There may be objects closer, which we can see, but which are affected gravitationally by these just described objects that are outside of our possible view

The Proper Way to Describe It As a Draw

Michael Bérubé:
The important thing is that she opposes taxes that will hurt the umbrella of job creation while standing tall and fighting for a diverse family that rejects the white flag of surrenderdom.  Which is to say, she rallied the base, while Biden rallied liberal elitists who continue to believe that being reasonably informed about shit should be some kind of prerequisite for the presidency.  All else being equal, I’d have to call it a draw.

Talk Show Host

Mustang Bobby:
Here's a little news for Mr. Brooks and the handlers in the McCain campaign: the middle class doesn't want their vice president to come across like a daytime talk show host, and like it or not, they do remember what's been going on in the country for the last eight years. All the folksy charm won't erase that.


Friday GMG:


Do You Like Cheney?

A good new slogan from D. Aristophanes:
Do you like Dick Cheney? Then you’ll love Sarah Palin.


51 > 36

Update: Also...

46 > 21

You might even say...

46 > 2(21)

Dear media: it's not "a draw." She didn't "hold her own." She was handily defeated - if you're just going to talk about, you know, voters' feelings.

What's That, Now?

Awesome detail from Jonathan Chait:
Palin's final quote was from Ronald Reagan, warning that without vigilance, "you and I are going to spend our sunset years telling our children, and our children's children, what it once was like in America when men were free."

In fact, Reagan was not warning about a general lack of vigilance about freedom, he was warning what would happen if Medicare was enacted.
(via Digby)

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Spelling Bee

Chris Matthews says she seemed like she was in a Spelling Bee.


Not sure what the joke is, but K-Lo writes:
A reader suggests: "might I suggest that the drinking game of the night is to take a drink whenever Ifill asks a question..."
So you'll be blind drunk and not witness the rest of the night? Is this saying that all this question-askin' is soooooo obvious that she's in the tank or something? I don't get it.

RedState's Devotion

RedState writes the longest post I've ever seen on the Internet to prove that "The Integrity Issue Favors McCain-Palin Over Obama-Biden." After millions of sections with names like The PTA Mom, the piece concludes with:
As we look back over the last four years in national politics, this much is certain: we needed more people like Sarah Palin in Washington.
Note also: this is only Part 1 of 3! Apparently...
In Part II: How Barack Obama climbed up the greasy pole of Chicago machine politics without upsetting any applecarts.

Great Tips

I love this list of "Basics" from Pogue. It's a misc list, but the first one is the kind of thing it comprises:
* You can double-click a word to highlight it in any document, e-mail or Web page.

"self-centered, self-victimizing, self-pitying worldview"

The Right in this country -- meaning the faction that followed George Bush for the last eight years -- long ago ceased being a movement of political ideas and is driven by two, and only two, extreme emotions: (1) intense, aggressive rage towards their revolving door of enemies, and (2) bottomless self-pity over how unfairly they're being treated. As their imminent defeat looks increasingly likely (potentially on a humiliating scale), these two impulses are in maximum overdrive, feeding off one another in endless self-perpetuation (the more they lose, they more self-pitying they feel, the more they rage against their enemies who oppress them, etc.).


But still -- they're about to lose not because of anything they did, but because the corporate-owned Media hates them and is distorting their message; because they're being persecuted for their religion (which more than 75% of Americans share); because they are just weak, kind, good little Davids being hopelessly crushed by the Goliath forces arrayed in a confederacy against them. That they belong to virtually every majority group and wield most power makes no impact on any of that. This kind of self-centered, self-victimizing, self-pitying worldview provides great psychological comfort and a release from any responsibility for one's actions, and so they are highly motivated never to give it up. To the contrary, they'll cling to it -- are clinging to it -- even more desperately as their failures and rejection by the public become more vividly apparent.

Tragedy Continues

Holy smokes:
A New York City police lieutenant who gave the order to fire a Taser stun gun at a man who then fell to his death in Brooklyn committed suicide at Floyd Bennett Field early on Thursday, law enforcement officials said. The lieutenant, Michael W. Pigott, a 21-year veteran of the force, had been placed on modified assignment without his gun and badge after he gave the order to a sergeant to fire the Taser at a Bedford-Stuyvesant man, Iman Morales.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008


These interviews are legendary.

Double Freak

I wonder if the freakgasm on FoxNews tonight about the "drama" of The Biggest Vote Ever will distract the 'nuts from being able to turn the entirety of their freakout towards the Evil Gwen Ifill.

Negative Infinity


Is Obama too experienced or not experienced enough? Is he green or does he represent entrenched Washington interests?

Getting my Right messages mixed up.

Flights of Fancy

Thomas Franks in the WSJ:
Just imagine the flights of fancy that the theory of borrower malevolence and Wall Street victimization requires conservatives to take.
(via Balloon Juice)


He's got my vote.

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Ta-Nehisi Coates:
[McCain]'s just angry. He's just out control. Can people please stop asking for Barack Obama to "get angry" now? It doesn't look good when McCain does it.

Daily Zen

Sarah preps for the debate in this photo released by the McCain campaign.


Um. There's nothing embarrassing about the photo per se, but...really? This is the one you pick to release? Blurry, and you can't really even make her out b/c she's so tiny?


Wow. 2 minute window into an exasperated, sarcastic man.


I've really been loving this new physics blog Shores of the Dirac Sea.


This image is a beautiful and elegant proof of the Pythagorean Theorem from a post by dberenstein today.

Crowded Tank

Malkin is pre-emptively prepping a scapegoat for the VP debate: that moderator Gwen Ifil is "in the tank" for Obama.

Red State is saying the same thing. He says Drudge is covering it, which is basically a Yahtzee for them.


Palin on global warming:
You know there are, there are man's activities that can be contributed to the issues that we're dealing with now, these impacts. I'm not going to solely blame all of man's activities on changes in climate. Because the world's weather patterns are cyclical.
I don't think these words are in the right order.

Actually, I've isolated the problem to the parts I've bolded. These are errors in communication, obfuscating or inverting the meaning of her sentences.

Helpful List

Matt Bors has some Election Season Maladies.