Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

Mascots, originally uploaded by alisonagosti.

Have a happy and safe New Year's Eve, everyone!

(Fully random image - I just like it)


Hey, Alberto...Fuck You.

Did you have to give up golf, too?

Update: Krugman's disgusted, too.

No Way To Be Certain

John Hinderacker blames all problems on his Enemy:
The site has been down (or hopelessly slow) since late this afternoon. The problem apparently was a denial of service attack. We understand that the attack originated from five IP addresses, all located in the U.S. While there is no way to be certain, we assume it most likely came from someone who is unhappy with our commentary on events in Gaza.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008


dday, on the GOP trying to figure out whether "Barack The Magic Negro" was okay:
Given this, I'm pretty sure it doesn't matter who is elected as Chairman of the RNC. Hopefully they'll move on to more pressing issues like the impact of clowns on children and whether or not cousins of illegal aliens should be allowed in national parks.

Quote of the Day

Zbigniew Brzezinski, to Joe Scarborough:
You know, you have such a stunningly superficial knowledge of what went on that it's almost embarrassing to listen to you.

Who Lived Through It

I love this reminder from KevDog:
Yes, history will judge this President and harshly. But that doesn’t mean we aren’t allowed to add our two cents. After all, we are the poor bastards who lived through it. This is all too typical of the dismissive attitude that nearly everyone in the administration has had for the people they purport to govern.
Dear future history: we hated him for so many reasons, every time he opened his mouth.


Vote for the winners in the current bracket of GEEK MADNESS: Jor-El Region, Round 1!

Tough bracket.

Prager Fail

Dennis Prager, digging himself deeper and deeper.

What a jackass.

Chelicerata on Chelicerata

Enjoy a BibliOdyssey post today called Monograph of Spiders!


Monday, December 29, 2008

"Finish The Job"

Michael, what the fuck do you mean?
The problem with this, however, is that if Israel doesn't finish the job, Hamas may accrue some benefit from the additional suffering of the Palestinian people.
You think? I'm sure that destroying the policing and security infrastructure will certainly reduce the number of rockets fired.

At this point, the only way to eliminate the threat of rocket fire into Israel from the Gaza Strip is to kill 1.5 million people. So, Israel, there you go. Your move.


Michael Goldfarb thinks that "Norks" is a good term to describe North Korea.

Pretty cool, Marb!

Wally Lamb: "Global warming: the new eugenics"


Wally Lamb teaches us about science:
The eugenics movement and the global warming movement are similar in many respects. Both ideas were introduced by scientists, advanced by politicians, popularized by the media, embraced as a moral necessity, resulted in severe consequences, and eventually rejected as harmful hogwash.
Wally wally wally!
Scientists, politicians, preachers, and ordinary people who doubted the doctrine of eugenics were outcasts, subject to ridicule and worse. Scientists, politicians, preachers, and ordinary people who doubt the doctrine of global warming are outcasts, ridiculed, and worse.

The eugenics movement, carried to its logical conclusion by Hitler, killed millions of innocent people. Global warming, when carried to its logical conclusion, will kill far more people than eugenics, and cause incomprehensible agony to people who desperately need affordable energy to survive and prosper.
This is no way to start a new year.
The idea that increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is "killing God's green earth," is as preposterous as the idea that society would be better if it consisted only of blond-haired, blue-eyed Aryans.
Like juggling jello.
It is the height of arrogance to think that Congress can enact laws that will be obeyed by nature.
It is the height of arrogance to think that turtles can be responsible airline pilots.


It must be a strange feeling to be as incredibly wrong as John Hinderaker:
I don't think that anyone actually does believe that the planet is threatened by global warming. I think that was just an excuse--like the global cooling scare of a few decades ago--for centralizing control over the economy in the government. Now that such centralization is happening, quite unexpectedly, for reasons having nothing to do with the environment, watch for the Left to throw the global warming gang--who always were tiresome, at best--overboard.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Your Record

This is madness:
Israel argues that, while most Gaza rockets are not deadly, they are designed to be.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Shorter Martin Feldstein

Defense Spending Would Be Great Stimulus -
  • We don't spend enough on the military in this country.
  • Santa

    Santa photos from SacBee's The Frame. Don't miss the one of Santa on an ostrich.
    Santa escapes the snowstorm by relaxing in the hot tub at M & T Christmas Trees Saturday Dec. 13 in Sandy, Utah. Santa and his two reindeer greet customers and take photos with them. Deserert News / Michael Brandy

    Tuesday, December 23, 2008

    Warner's Angry About Kwanzaa

    Can you imagine being such a bitter and insecure person as Warner Todd Huston:
    Each year, with the onset of Christmas, we are treated to another gauzy, fluff piece about how great Kwanzaa is by yet another PC spewing newspaper columnist.


    I got a strange, surreal kick out of it at first, but now following Britney Spears on twitter is just making me sad.

    Public Goods

    Krugman shows you the bait-and-switch in the anti-stimulus argument:
    Yes, the standard theory of consumer choice says that a consumer gains more utility if he or she gets to freely allocate a dollar of spending than if someone else makes the choices: I’d rather buy myself a $10 meal than have you feed me $10 worth of food that you select.

    But that’s not what we’re talking about when we talk about stimulus spending: we’re not talking about the government buying consumption goods for the public at large. Instead, we’re talking about spending more on public goods: goods that the private market won’t supply, or at any rate won’t supply in sufficient quantities. things like roads, communication networks, sewage systems, and so on. And every Econ 101 textbook explains that the provision of public goods is a necessary function of government.

    When we’re asking whether it’s better to have the government stimulate the economy or to try to stimulate private spending, we’re asking among other things whether a marginal dollar spent on public goods is worth more or less than a marginal dollar spent on private consumption. And there’s nothing, even in Econ 101, that clearly favors private spending on private goods over public spending on public goods.

    In other words, the attempt to claim the authority of economics for the idea that stimulus in the form of tax cuts is better, at a microeconomic level, than stimulus in the form of infrastructure spending is a case of bait and switch. Don’t fall for it.

    College Is Evil

    This is pretty stunning. One often hears wingnuts mocking "elite college professors," etc, but Mark Noonan lets it all hang out here. College, he says, is primarily a way to make people Democrats. It doesn't occur to him that education is a special case of an influence, that it affects the individual's ability to make choices - just that those who do X vote for Y, where he doesn't like Y. Hence, X is evil.
    Our liberals, from Obama on down, are pledged to making college more “affordable” - which isn’t the same as “less expensive” and has zero to do with “more effective”. What it means is “making it easier for ever more kids to enter the schools, thus providing an ever increasing pool of money for those bastions of liberal/left orthodoxy, the colleges and universities of the United States”. One only has to consider that people affiliated with the University of California gave $2 million in political donations in 2008, with 93% of that going to the Democrats, to understand that Democrats have a vested interest in making college more “affordable”. The more “affordable” it is, the more election swag they’ll get. Overall, $51 million was donated by people in education in 2008, with 82% of the total going to Democrats. This is a sweet deal, and whether or not kids are getting educated doesn’t make the slightest bit of difference. We’re talking money and power here, understand?
    In his clarification, rather than stepping back from his mockery of education, he only makes it worse.

    Now, don’t get me wrong - college has its purpose. We certainly want our doctors and engineers well educated in their trade before they take a knife to us or design the new bridge - and, on the whole, we get good results from our engineering and medical courses. But outside of those areas where results are very concrete and easily measurable, we’re not really getting all that much.
    If Mark Noonan ran a country, he would not educate children beyond becoming "doctors and engineers." Again I say - I wish we could give these knuckleheads their own country and let them see how their ideas work out!

    As some exit music, here's a bit more Noonan, listing all the jobs where education is unneeded.
    But suppose you are one who doesn’t have a hankering for climbing the bureaucratic ladder? Maybe a person likes constructing things, and so would like to start up a construction business. Perhaps another likes the hustle and bustle of a sales job and so looks into opening up an appliance store. And then there’s the person who has a bit of artistic talent and thus wants make sculptures for people’s gardens. On and on it goes - a whole bunch of things, mostly very useful, for which a college degree would be mostly useless. And therein lies the rub - we’ve got this education system which is a one-size-fits-all-everyone-goes-to-college bit of nonsense. And even in that nonsense it fails miserably given the number of kids who wind up illiterate after spending years in the education system.
    Running a business certainly doesn't profit from schooling or anything.

    Primary Goal

    The only thing Coulter really believes in all that is that Democratic women are hags and that the primary goal of conservatism is to piss off liberals. The rest of it is just puerile taunts and sarcastic bully blather. But that is the essence of Limbaugh conservatism and it is the foundation upon which their comeback will be built.

    And it would be a mistake to underestimate the power of liberal hating as an organizing principle. The entire contemporary American political culture is based on it. Sadly for Coulter, that doesn't necessarily translate into Republican success. After all, establishment Democrats are giving them quite a run for their money. And with our new directive to be tolerant of the bigots who despise us and everything we stand for, we'll all soon be on exactly the same page and the country can come together in its mutual loathing for ... us. It could work.

    Monday, December 22, 2008

    Their World

    What makes a man writes something as dumb as this?
    Sweden is in the forefront of the disintegration of Europe that has been so ably chronicled by Mark Steyn and others.
    Ding Ding DING!

    Fred's Not Dead

    The Guardian:
    Anyone tempted to feel sorry for the Republican candidates who lost in such spectacular style in the US presidential race can now relax. The 2008 hopefuls have started to re-emerge in a new guise: as the hosts of right-wing talk radio shows.

    Like a scene from Night of the Living Dead, several political corpses left scattered across the early primary states have been spotted twitching, then crawling and finally standing up and dusting themselves down. The first to be born again as a radio host is Fred Thompson, who has just been awarded a two-hour programme with the syndicated network Westwood One.

    The choice of Thompson to replace conservative talk show legend Bill O'Reilly, who is giving up his programme to concentrate on TV broadcasting, has astonished commentators. Not only was Thompson thoroughly trounced during the Republican nomination process, but his performance on the campaign stump was so lacklustre that many wondered whether he was alive even then.
    If you can stomach it, here's Fred being a dick on camera, courtesy of the Heritage Foundation.

    Etheridge on Warren

    Pretty powerful post up at Huffington Post from Melissa Etheridge:
    I told my manager to reach out to Pastor Warren and say "In the spirit of unity I would like to talk to him." They gave him my phone number. On the day of the conference I received a call from Pastor Rick, and before I could say anything, he told me what a fan he was. He had most of my albums from the very first one. What? This didn't sound like a gay hater, much less a preacher. He explained in very thoughtful words that as a Christian he believed in equal rights for everyone. He believed every loving relationship should have equal protection. He struggled with proposition 8 because he didn't want to see marriage redefined as anything other than between a man and a woman. He said he regretted his choice of words in his video message to his congregation about proposition 8 when he mentioned pedophiles and those who commit incest. He said that in no way, is that how he thought about gays. He invited me to his church, I invited him to my home to meet my wife and kids. He told me of his wife's struggle with breast cancer just a year before mine.

    When we met later that night, he entered the room with open arms and an open heart. We agreed to build bridges to the future.

    Brothers and sisters the choice is ours now. We have the world's attention. We have the capability to create change, awesome change in this world, but before we change minds we must change hearts. Sure, there are plenty of hateful people who will always hold on to their bigotry like a child to a blanket. But there are also good people out there, Christian and otherwise that are beginning to listen. They don't hate us, they fear change. Maybe in our anger, as we consider marches and boycotts, perhaps we can consider stretching out our hands. Maybe instead of marching on his church, we can show up en mass and volunteer for one of the many organizations affiliated with his church that work for HIV/AIDS causes all around the world.

    Maybe if they get to know us, they wont fear us.

    I know, call me a dreamer, but I feel a new era is upon us.

    I will be attending the inauguration with my family, and with hope in my heart. I know we are headed in the direction of marriage equality and equal protection for all families.

    Happy Holidays my friends and a Happy New Year to you.

    Peace on earth, goodwill toward all men and women... and everyone in-between.
    I wonder what the very furious John Aravosis will say to that.


    Melissa McKewan:
    I love how it's just "gay Americans" who are pissed off [about Warren], according to Fox. Erasing allies is such a useful marginalization tactic, helpfully suggesting that there's no principle behind the outrage; just a bunch of hysterics playing identity politics for shits and grins.

    Fine, Fox—make me queer, if you like. But next time you do a report on "Teh Gay Menace," I want to see that percentage of the population number bumped up to at least 25%.


    Just for the holidays, here's the latest installment of Creepy Ads on Townhall.

    Picture 1.png

    Goes to something called Grassfire, where, when you sign up and add (a maximum of ten) family members, you can mark the biggest issues to you, like "Pardon Agents Ramos/Compean" or "Reform taxes/eliminating the IRS" or "Oppose radical global warming activism."

    (I originally saw the ad with this story, to which there's no reason to click, unless you think John McCaslin can write a funny conservative Twas The Night Before Xmas satire).

    Never Wrong

    Caught having posted something debunked by Snopes, what does NRO writer John Hood say?
    I'm a big fan of the wisdom of crowds/hive mind thesis, but you gotta know when to just relax and enjoy a good story.
    Huh? If by "wisdom of crowds/hive mind thesis" you mean people talking and working out what's true. Jon continues to not say I Was Wrong:
    Besides, if you follow the Snopes link, you'll find that the debunking isn't really a debunking of the relationship at all, just a quibbling with its details.
    Well, the primary point of John's original post was that some aspect of the Space Shuttle owed its size to the width of two horses' asses - the latter determined the size of ancient Roman roads, which supposedly led to the size of railroads and then that determined the size of a tunnel part of the Shuttle had to travel through.

    In other words, there was nothing inevitable about a railroad gauge supposedly traceable to the size of wheel ruts in Imperial Rome. Had the Civil War taken a different course, the eventual standard railroad gauge used throughout North America might well have been different than the current one.

    Back to Mr. Hood, who sticks out his tongue:
    As for the fact that America finally adopted the English standard because the Union defeated the Confederacy in the Late Unpleasantness, you'll have to pardon some of us with particular namesakes if we choose not to dwell on such things at merry times of the year.
    Snopes continues to quibble with details, ie. continue to demonstrate that what John posted was false (er, "a good story"):
    Now, as for that Space Shuttle addendum...When Thiokol was building the solid rocket boosters (SRB) for the space shuttle, they had to keep shipping considerations in mind, but they didn't necessarily have to alter their design because any particular tunnel that lay between their plant and the Florida launch site wasn't large enough. (The original article implies that one specific railroad tunnel was a cause for concern, but since the location of the tunnel isn't identified, it's difficult to evaluate that claim.)

    In any case, railroads don't run through tunnels only "slightly wider than the railroad track" unless every one of their engines and all their rolling stock is also only "slightly wider than the railroad track." (And unless the tunnels encompass only a single set of tracks, of course). Data from the U.S. Army's Rail Transport in a Theater of Operations document, for example, makes it fairly clear that one would be hard-pressed to find railroad equipment anywhere only "slightly wider" than 4 feet, 8.5 inches.
    I've nothing against posting fanciful tales, but this "not admitting when you're wrong" is a bit of thing for you guys, so forgive us if we're a little sensitive.

    Shorter Eric Dondero


    Libertarian Republican: Detroit Lions 0 - 15, first ever all-time NFL losing team: Sympton of Michigan's Democrat politics?
  • Sports in Detroit are bad because there are so many Democrats there.
  • Influence

    Krugman on that NYTimes article:
    I’m also with Barry Ritholtz that Bush’s emphasis on homeownership was not the problem. Bush favored homeownership; I’m sure he also favored marital fidelity; his influence on homeownership and his influence on adultery were probably comparable. It’s Bush’s opposition to financial regulation that did the evil deed.

    Sunday, December 21, 2008


    Cheney, who has low approval ratings, predicted that history would vindicate him and Bush.

    "We've been here for eight years now, eventually you wear out your welcome in this business but I'm very comfortable with where we are and what we've achieved substantively," he said.
    Well, some of you wear it out.

    George H. W. Bush


    Bill Clinton


    George W. Bush

    Juan Cole on Warren

    Juan Cole's quite an intelligent guy, and here's his take on a conference he recently appeared at along with pre-inaug blogo-topic of the week Rick Warren.

    Saturday, December 20, 2008

    Pony Hunting

    Regarding Lieberman's Op-Ed in the Washington Post on how awesome our success in Iraq is gonna be, creature writes:
    [O]nce a pony hunting license has been issued, it never expires

    Friday, December 19, 2008


    John Cole nominated this piece, THE LEFT BEREFT, by Ralph Peters, as the worst ever editorial.

    My favorite part is the phrase "the don't-think-won't-think left."

    Instaputz prefers the last line.

    Update: I think John's right. And that last line's pretty incredible.

    The Way You Put It

    I realized I hadn't been reading the nuts over at the Heritage Foundation, so I added them to my reading list. And quickly found this bit of logical gymnastics from one Conn Carroll, entitled, of course, Protecting Religious Liberty:
    But while gay groups have the luxury of worrying about the “symbolism” of Obama choices that have no actual effect on real-world policy, social conservatives are not so lucky. Yesterday, the Bush administration issued a regulation clarifying a 1970s anti-discrimination law that prohibits recipients of federal money from discriminating against doctors, nurses and health care aides who refuse to take part in procedures because of their religious convictions.
    "Clarifying a 1970s anti-discrimination law" - nice.

    It Won't Stop

    Okay, there is an endless flood of people this year making asses of themselves by looking at snow and saying Snow is different than the word "warming" in the phrase Global Warming.

    It's like they synchronized their Ignoramus Watches last week.

    Fuck Off

    Yeah, I got yer "real emotional goodbye" right here, you odious little failure!

    The Letter Y

    Been following Jimmy Fallon on Twitter of late. He just posted this great shot from this tweet. I guess he was on Sesame Street.


    Cognitive-Enhancing Drugs

    I read this fantastic paper in Nature magazine called Towards responsible use of cognitive-enhancing drugs by the healthy. It addresses a number of the objections to such use:
    Human ingenuity has given us means of enhancing our brains through inventions such as written language, printing and the Internet. Most authors of this Commentary are teachers and strive to enhance the minds of their students, both by adding substantive information and by showing them new and better ways to process that information. And we are all aware of the abilities to enhance our brains with adequate exercise, nutrition and sleep. The drugs just reviewed, along with newer technologies such as brain stimulation and prosthetic brain chips, should be viewed in the same general category as education, good health habits, and information technology — ways that our uniquely innovative species tries to improve itself.
    It's really a fascinating topic, but also a strikingly well-written paper, lucid, concise, and well-structured. It addresses objections it feels are not valid - "that it is cheating, that it is unnatural and that it amounts to drug abuse" - and objections it feels are substantive:

    1. Safety
    2. Freedom "from coercion to enhance"
    3. Fairness

    In each case, the authors "call for an evidence-based approach to the evaluation of the risks and benefits of cognitive enhancement."

    As I've said, it's a great paper. Highly recommended reading in a topic that will only grow over the next 50 years.

    Ignorance on CNN

    Lou Dobbs pulls this "it's snowing a lot - what's with global warming?" bullshit.

    From Steve Benen's commentary at that link:
    Why CNN airs this nonsense, in between commercials promoting its "Planet in Peril" series, is a mystery.

    Update: I neglected to mention that the bizarre commentary from CNN's Chad Myers wasn't much better. He argued that it's "arrogant" to think that humans can affect the climate ("Mother nature is so big," he said) and that people who accept global warming are only looking at "a hundred years worth of data, not millions of years that the world has been around.

    Why is this man a CNN meteorologist?

    Free Money Via Bush

    Hilzoy has a fantastically snarky way to make use of Bush's new "Conscience" law, which allows "health workers" to not do aspects of their job if it conflicts with their religious beliefs.
    This is a wonderful rule for slackers, since it provides a legally protected way to get paid while doing no work at all. Here's the plan:

    (1) Get an MD, and a job as a doctor.
    (2) Become a Christian Scientist.
    (3) Announce your religious objection to participating in any medical procedure, or to supporting such procedures in any way (e.g., by doing the other doctors' paperwork. This refusal would be protected under the rule.)
    (4) When your employer protests, explain that your right to refuse to participate in any medical procedure at all is legally protected under this rule.

    Voila: white-collar welfare! See how easy?

    Thursday, December 18, 2008

    Shorter Ed Morrisey

    Global warming hits Las Vegas
  • Hey, it's snowing in the desert! So much for your "global warming!"
  • If Then

    Watch Eric Dondero's mind at work as he complains that the Cake Police in our country prohibit Adolf Hitler to be written out but, um, allow Obama to use his full name at his...inauguration?
    Saddam Hussein's murderous rampage was less than Hitler's, but only per capita when you figure in the populations under his control. Most estimates put the deaths under his 40-year rule, at a figure close to 2 million. This includes the well-over 1 million Iraqi deaths, another 500,000 Iranians, 200,000 Kurds, and some 60,000 Kuwaitis. Many like the Kurds, were gassed similar to Hitler's methods. Others were simply shot in the back of the head. Still others faced days, weeks and months of brutal torture behind bars in Saddam's prison cells.
    Eric prepares for the triple flip...

    And we have a President-elect who not only shares the name of this most vicious of all brutal dictators in human history, but is now apparently proudly proclaiming the name for his innaugural ceremony.
    9.5! 9.0! 10.0!

    Just imagine for a second some eccentric Asian couple naming one of their kids Nguyn Pol Pot Ahn, or some Hispanic couple naming their kid Juan Fidel Castro or even Hector Che Guevara.

    Some perverse form of political correctness is at work here. Hitler, rightly so, gets castigated in the anals of history, but another dictator of a lesser scale, but still just as brutal and sadistic in his tactics, Saddam Hussein, gets a free pass, all because a popular American politician from a preferred ethnic group, happens to share his name.
    Yes, Saddam Hussein got a fucking free-pass, you imbecile.

    And wait - "preferred ethnic group?" What's *that* all about?

    NextGenGOP Denounces Cheney and Torture

    Marvelous post from Abel S. Delgado at encouraging his beloved Republican party to stand up and denounce torture.
    While we as Republicans are trying to decide whether to give the outgoing President credit for his accomplishments or completely disassociate ourselves from what has been a thoroughly disappointing lack of leadership, the administration is trying to put a positive spin on the Bush Legacy. Something we cannot accept, however, is Vice President Dick Cheney defending the indefensible: torture. Cheney was the chief force behind the Neo-Conservative movement that morphed our party from the party that defended small government and personal liberty to the party that defended big government spying on Americans and water-boarding.

    Cheney wants us to believe it was the right thing to do. Forget Franklin’s contention that “those who would sacrifice freedom for security deserve neither,” forget Jefferson’s assertion of “inalienable rights,” and forget Madison’s masterful architecture of a divided government that protects our rights. President Bush and Vice President Cheney kept us safe after 9/11 and as loyal Republicans we shouldn’t second guess their methods in doing so, right? Wrong. Am I grateful they kept me safe? Of course. Am I absolutely ashamed and disgraced that they tortured others in doing so? Of course.

    Cheney admits he was directly involved in approving “severe interrogation methods” at Guantanamo and wants to keep that black eye on America’s conscience open, despite calls from members of both parties to close it and the willingness of European governments to take in the enemy combatants. He says water-boarding is okay by him. While our Navy Seals have gone through it in training, I highly doubt Cheney would have the same opinion if he were ever subjected to it. Why is the stance on torture important to Republicans once Cheney leaves office? Because we can no longer think like Cheney. We can’t be the party that thinks torture is okay and still expect to win the trust of the American people in securing individual liberties. Torture is not okay, torture is not American, and we need to stop defending its use.
    This is the kind of Republican I could actually debate with. Bravo.

    Wednesday, December 17, 2008


    Some snark from my new readee Who Is IOZ:
    If ever there were a man who be-bopped through life with the Theme from Rocky on endless loop in his brain, that man is Tom Friedman. Here's a guy who'd go out to the desert to eat peyote and have a vision of the inside of Best Buy.


    Because it's too striking, I am unable to not post this shot from the Big Picture set I just wrote about.


    A man in a traditional "Perchten" costume performs during an Austrian league soccer match in Ried, Austria November 12, 2008. (REUTERS/Dominic Ebenbichler (AUSTRIA)

    A Lot Happening On The Earth

    When The Big Picture has their Year 2008 in Photos special, you don't miss it. And this is only Part 1 of 3!

    Hasselbeck Gives Me An Idea

    Proving that loyalty is truly all the (current) White House cares about, motherfucking Elizabeth Hasselbeck, the ex-survivor contestant turned dumb-ass wingnut, has been invited to the White House Christmas party.

    Okay, I've got a very serious idea. I want a new Reality Show called "I Want To Be A Rightwing Media Star." Hosted Hasselbeck and Glenn Beck, it will take aspiring dumb-asses and let them compete to be the most influential (in a Palin on-stage kinda way) rightwing media presence. I'd absolutely watch that, seeing as they try different techniques and language and learn what works and what doesn't.

    Oh God that would be awesome.


    This moment has a permanent place in my brain.



    QandO earns the "nuts" tag I have them assigned to in my rss reader.
    I've thought about the "shoe thrower" for a couple of days and come to the conclusion that he's pretty representative of a type of person we see more of today through out society at large. The emotionally and politically immature.

    They're characterized by no self-discipline, no respect for anything other than their own feelings and acting them out. What our shoe thrower did was throw a well publicized tantrum, not much different than a 2 year old tossing his oatmeal bowl at a mom who, tyrant that she is, makes him eat that horrible stuff for his own good.
    What Bush did to Iraq was like a mom making them eat oatmeal? How the fuck can you believe that?

    Confidence and Competence


    Person of the Year 2008 - TIME:
    For having the confidence to sketch an ambitious future in a gloomy hour, and for showing the competence that makes Americans hopeful he might pull it off, the President-elect is TIME's Person of the Year.
    Palin was a runner-up.

    Tuesday, December 16, 2008

    Ebert on Writing and Reading Out Loud

    Phenomenal article about writing by Roger Ebert:
    The most recent time I read those words, it was 10 o'clock at night in the rehab center. Dead quiet, in the dead of winter. My room chilly. I was holding the book while seated in a wheelchair by the side of my bed. The wheelchair tilted back to ease the pain of my shoulders, where flesh had been removed to try to patch the hole in my chin. I had a blanket wrapped around me, even covering my head and the back of my neck.

    When I was drinking, I went to O'Rourke's on North Avenue, which was heated in the early days only by a wood-burning stove. Dress warmly and drink in a cool room, was my motto. Now in the hospital those cold, cold words of McCarthys' transported me. At a point beneath desire, I was there on Suttree's leaking houseboat in the hopeless dawn, sharing the ordeal of Suttree, the general, and Golgotha. It was an improvement. I was not trapped in a bed and a chair. I was not hooked up to anything. I was miserable, but I was alive, and McCarthy was still able to write that perfect terse dialogue. That is the thing about McCarthy. He is both the teller and the subject of Suttree. I do not mean anything so banal as that the book is autobiographical. It is the merciless record of a state of mind, the alcoholic state of mind, even when Suttree is not drinking but is white-knuckling it.
    This is just a fairly arbitrary pullquote. I recommend making 10 minutes to read the whole thing, and let the writing examples he gives really resonate in your mind.



    Ladies and gentlemen, may I present to you: the "liberal" on FOX News, Juan Williams!
    But on a serious level, how many American lives have been sacrificed to the cause of liberating Iraq? How much money has been spent while they’re not spending their own profits from their oil? American money. So I just think it’s absolutely the act of an ingrate for them to behave in this way. Just unbelievable to me.
    It's probably for the best that they're not even replacing Colmes.


    Erick Erickson thinks that if he doesn't like something, he'll call it "hack."

    Like accepting a position as the Communications Director for the Vice President of the United States.
    Jay Carney is a good guy. He’ll serve Biden well in what will be a position of little influence in a small corner of oblivion. He is not the first. He won’t be the last. He’s just another example of the mainstream media showing its bias against conservatives.

    I will miss his coverage at Time. Its always sad to see a good guy turn hack.

    Delgo For the Record

    Apparently, some animated film called Delgo, starring the vocal talents of Jennifer Love Hewitt and Freddie Prinze Jr, had the lowest gross ever for a film that opened on more than 2000 screens (2160, in fact). Defamer:
    Its $424 per-theater average means that some showings of the animated sci-fi fantasy in more competitive markets likely played to audiences of fewer than five people at a time.
    I can't imagine why this film didn't like the box office on fire:

    Puts me in the memory of...



    The Editors:
    Judged as a display of alertness and ninja prowess, the President’s dodge is, indeed, impressive.  But George W. Bush has spent most of his life fucking things up horribly, and then escaping any consequences for his incompetence and indifference.  This is who he is.  What you have seen is not a moment of quick thinking, it was  the man’s essence.  He always escapes unharmed.

    Monday, December 15, 2008

    What's Yer Damage?

    I can't tell why John Hinderaker is so bent out of shape that more attention is not being given in the media to Muslim Congressman Keith Ellison's trip to Mecca this year.

    It really quite simply seems that John feels that it's a scandal for Muslims to uphold one of the 5 pillars.

    If I'm missing something as to why John might be hopping up and down about this, please tell me.

    Just For A Couple Months

    Shorter Me to the Entire Wingnutosphere:
  • Can you guys shut up for a second while we try to fix the shit you and your heroes broke in our country?
  • Limousine Whats?

    What's that, Billy Kristol?:
    Most of today’s limousine liberals are embarrassed by their political alliance with the workers who built those limousines.
    Ahh, I see. Never heard it before myself. The term was invented in 1969, and then used by people like The Weekly Standard and Ann Coulter.

    Is that like buying a Texas ranch to use as a prop?


    Hey, Wing Nuts!


    Just make sure you and your ignorance don't have any contact with children, mkay?

    Iraqis Rally in Support of "Shoe Man"

    I haven't seen this mentioned yet this morning in US news...

    BBC NEWS | Iraq rally for Bush shoe attacker:
    Thousands of Iraqis have demanded the release of a local TV reporter who threw his shoes at US President George W Bush at a Baghdad news conference.

    Crowds gathered in Baghdad's Sadr City district, calling for "hero" Muntadar al-Zaidi to be freed from custody. There were similar scenes in Najaf.

    Officials at the Iraqi-owned TV station, al-Baghdadiya, also called for the release of their journalist.


    In Cairo, Muzhir al-Khafaji, programming director for al-Baghdadiya TV, described the journalist as a "proud Arab and an open-minded man".

    "We fear for his safety," he told the AFP news agency, adding that Mr Zaidi had been arrested twice before by the Americans.

    "We fear that our correspondents in Iraq will be arrested. We have 200 correspondents there," he added.

    "He has no ties with the former regime. His family was arrested under Saddam's regime."
    I don't condone physical attacks of any kind on political leaders, but it's essential for Americans to understand the mood in Iraq - or, rather, the many moods of Iraq.

    Shoe Meaning

    You've probably heard the quote that came with the first shoe, but here's what Muthathar al Zaidi yelled for the second one, as translated from the video by commenter Erdia at Firedoglake:
    First Shoe: This is the gift from the Irakis this is the farewell kiss you dog.

    Second Shoe: This is from the widows, the orphans and those killed in Irak. 
    Update: BBC concurs on the translation.

    Bush: "So What?"

    Being remembered by history:
    Bush: There have been no attacks since I have been president, since 9/11. One of the major theaters against al Qaeda turns out to have been Iraq. This is where al Qaeda said they were going to take their stand. This is where al Qaeda was hoping to take ...

    Raddatz: But not until after the U.S. invaded.

    Bush: Yeah, that’s right. So what? The point is that al Qaeda said they’re going to take a stand. Well, first of all in the post-9/11 environment Saddam Hussein posed a threat. And then upon removal, al Qaeda decides to take a stand. And they’re becoming defeated and I think history will say, one, the world was better off without Saddam, two, along with the Iraqi troops we have denied al Qaeda a safe haven because a young democracy is beginning to grow, which will be an important sign for people in the Middle East.

    Sunday, December 14, 2008

    Foreign Policy

    Contributor "bs" from RedState, on the Shoe incident:
    Is this one of those strange Middle Eastern customs?
    Why yes, it is. CNN:
    Hurling shoes at someone, or sitting so that the bottom of a shoe faces another person, is considered an insult among Muslims.
    The Right's favorite approach is: mockery of one's own ignorance.


    Scott Johnson, of Power Line, apparently in all seriousness.
    In some respects I'm beginning to miss President Bush already.


    Malkin is now even accusing Iraqis of being "unhinged," or having BDS, aka "Bush Derangement Syndrome," like she smears everyone in the rest of the world who criticizes Bush's failed Presidency.

    And of course I'm not saying that the best thing to do to fix the crimes of Bush is to throw a shoe at him. But I get some pleasure out of seeing the fucker duck.

    This is a farewell kiss, dog!
    - Iraqi journalist who threw a shoe at Bush during his "surprise" visit.

    Anti-Girlie Man Libertarians

    Okay, I give up. How is Eric Dondero's Libertarian Republican not a parody?
    Exciting New Partnership for Libertarian Republican blogRealManMagazine.jpg

    From the Editor - We have received a permenent link for LR blog from a major website: Real Man Magazine. We are proud to announce our new partnership with this fine on-line magazine. Real Man Mag. now has us up on the Top of their Links Page. And we are linking to them, and will be highlighting some of their political coverage in the future.

    I cannot think of a more compatible website that more fully reflects the values of Libertarian Republican blog than Real Man Magazine. We here at LR are the Anti-Girlie Man Libertarians. We despise the limp-wristed pacifistic, anti-masculine non-interventionist foreign policy espoused by Leftwing Libertarians such as those at,, the Ron Paul sites, Reason, Cato and even the majority of Libertarian Party websites.

    At the same time we proudly express our support for the US Military and Military values. And we fully acknowledge and even glorify the often "bad boy" aspects of Military life: Rock 'n Roll, Booze and Broads.

    Like the old motto says: Sailors have more Fun. And Marines, and Soldiers, and Airmen, Coasties, and Guardsmen.

    At Real Man Magazine their motto is "Encouraging Men to Act like Men." Pre-cisely!

    And their site is not just of Hot Chics in skimpy bathing suits. They have a serious, philosophical side, as well; totally Libertarian! It includes a special section for "War" which covers military affairs, from a very Pro-American, Kick Ass! perspective.

    Please visit our new partner's website for a look. Why not add them to your Daily Favorites.

    And the next time you hear some Dude say, "I like Libertarians, but they seem kind of wimpy on foreign policy," remind them, that that's just the Geeky Leftwing of the libertarian movement, and that Real Men support Masculinity and Masculine/Military values.
    My previous run-in with Eric, where he suggested I might be "one of those dweeby girlie man grad students who never served," was here.

    Vice Puppy

    The Vice Puppy!


    (photo by Tom Kelly IV)

    Hasselback on Evolution

    A Sunday morning treat. Just about 30 seconds long, so press play.

    Saturday, December 13, 2008

    Mac Tip: When right-clicking on selected text in Safari, and selecting "Search In Google," hold down the Apple (command) key to have the search open into a new tab.

    Picture 1.png

    Friday, December 12, 2008

    No Interesting Thing

    Yeah, this is pretty much how I felt about Playstation's fake Second Life, Playstation Home:
    There is nothing about the experience of using Home to suggest that you are actually moving through a single, contiguous environment. It is very clearly a handful of walled off zones, where you are confronted by incessant load screens in a desperate search for stimulation. From the moment you enter one of their ultrahygenic "amusement regions," it's clear that all life has been burned away. You get the sense that this is a place in which no interesting thing could ever happen.


    I tend to like posting links to Dinosaur Comics, via arbitrary single panels, on Friday. This post totally goes along with that tradition!

    Picture 2.png

    Party of Hoover

    Their attempted influence didn't succeed, but this is still a memorable quote from Cheney:
    Bush personally lobbied recalcitrant Senate Republicans after Vice President Dick Cheney failed to round up support Wednesday during a contentious two-hour meeting.

    "If we don't do this, we will be known as the party of Herbert Hoover forever," Cheney told them, according to a Senate Republican aide, evoking the president whose inaction is widely blamed for helping trigger the Great Depression in the early 1930s.
    (via Benen)

    Bad For My Health

    I just reached wingnut overload. I have to get away from this shit for a couple of days.
    Burt Prelutsky : Sheep and Goats -
    The other day, I read a letter to the editor in the L.A. Times written by an irate homosexual. Come to think of it, is there any other kind?
    In any case, he was quite upset over the fact that a great many people are blaming gays in general for the actions of what he regards as a few. It was his contention that in the wake of the vote in favor of Proposition 8, only a tiny percentage of gays were vandalizing churches and intimidating shopkeepers.

    What he says is probably true. But it is equally true that only a relatively small number of homosexuals have bothered tying the knot in Connecticut, Massachusetts or even in California, where such marriages were permitted until the recent election.

    I don’t have a problem with homosexuals boycotting businesses because they found out that the owners had contributed to the “Yes on 8” campaign. That is certainly their prerogative. But the few shouldn’t think for a moment that they’re winning the hearts and minds of straights when they behave like vicious louts. At the same time, the majority shouldn’t think they deserve our respect when they don’t condemn the behavior of the barbarians, but, rather, try to convince us we shouldn’t judge them all by the actions of a minority within the minority.

    I’m reminded that it wasn’t all that long ago that America’s Muslims were telling us that they weren’t all terrorists.
    Hands starting to shake...
    And if you recall, a lot of us, gays included, I’m willing to wager, were asking why they weren’t busy condemning the cold-blooded brutality of their co-religionists instead of telling us not to judge them all alike.
    Eyeballs tensing...

    This being the holiday season, the word “tolerance” gets tossed around like a beach ball at an L.A. Dodgers game. By and large, it’s liberals who carry on as if they have the word copyrighted. Which would be funny if there weren’t serious repercussions. One of which is the misnamed Fairness Doctrine, which hangs by a slender thread, like the sword of Damocles, over the heads of conservative talk show hosts.
    Nobody's pushing for the fucking Fairness - oh, never mind - heart rate rising!

    Liberals are so intolerant they often can’t even bear to have people say “Merry Christmas” in their presence.
    In fact, they can’t even bring themselves to recognize it as a celebration of a specific event. Instead, they dismiss it as the holiday season or the winter solstice. Isn’t it funny how nobody feels the compulsion to exchange gifts or attend church services or decorate their homes for the summer solstice? Well, in spite of Kwanzaa and Chanukah, this is Christmas season because most Americans are celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. Even though I’m Jewish, even I have to acknowledge it’s a special occasion, and those who feel entitled to disparage it are worse than Scrooge. They are bigoted, intolerant, ignoramuses.
    I'm going to go beat up priests or something.

    Thursday, December 11, 2008

    Not So Fun

    The GOP does a lot of chest-thumping about "Country First" and patriotism. It's fun to watch them destroy American manufacturing so they can keep Japanese and German corporate executives happy. OK, maybe not so fun.

    Come On, Guys!

    James Kirchick is pouting because "feminists" (or, rather, the blog Feministing) won't get upset over the Obama speechwriter/Hillary-cardboard-cutout photo.

    What's wrong, James? Women not acting the way you'd like them to?

    Also, did link to the story, on December 7, linking approvingly to a critical take at Shakespeare's Sister (another "feminist" blog, James!) of the "boys will be boys" defense the photo had been invoking around the blogosphere. The issue was discussed a bit in the comments, and that was that.

    It was not, as you put it, "a minor scandal."

    And just because you can't find mention of it 4 days later because you can't use a search engine or click back far enough in the archives doesn't mean shit. And I'll be sure to keep an eye out at your blog for more posts from you about people not being feminist enough.

    From one of your commenters:
    Really, Jamie, is your entire career going to consist of this sort of concern-trolling?


    Fascinating and thoughtful (on both sides!) interview with Bill Ayers on Hardball with Chris Matthew.

    Wednesday, December 10, 2008

    Piling Up

    Bill Bennett was just on Fox News talking to Hannity and Colmes.

    Asked why the Blagojevich scandal is "bad news" for Obama, Bennett said that with Obama's associations "like Reverend Wright and Bill Ayers," the bad is "piling up." Combined with his Muslim faith, lack of US citizenship, throwing his grandmother "under the bus," his goal of taking the national treasury and dividing it up in US-population number of alltoments - Obama's fucked.

    Worn Out

    james poling:
    I’m pretty sure Lincoln’s casket is worn the fuck out from rolling over in his grave over the past hundred or so years.

    That'll Help

    Another fine point from Gavin:
    To look on the bright side, ‘President of the United States’ will certainly look good on his citizenship application, and would seem amply to satisfy the requirements for a work visa.

    Tuesday, December 09, 2008


    You know what was awesome? This:



    IMG_0756.JPG, originally uploaded by cricketheron.

    I'm totally confused.

    As I write at the original Flickr page, this spot of the sidewalk along my block is usually where I scuff my feet to blur out the hateful religious fundamentalist screeds written by someone overnight. And in this morning's entry, we find the standard cross at the top, but then he starts comparing Abbott and Costello to Moses and Elijah! Huh?

    And, with a little searching, I find that Mexican Hayride is the name of a 1948 film version of a Cole Porter musical starring those two. What a strange person.

    Two other examples of this guy's work here and here.

    Doing It Right

    I play the wingnut-satirist sometimes, but I can't hold a candle to the wisdom and wit of Gavin M.


    Atrios takes a breath:
    I mean, argue with people if you disagree with them, but there seems to be this weird notion that if some blogger with high traffic says mean things about Obama then his administration will fall.


    Pat Boone wins the Dick of the Day award for his use of the phrase "homegrown sexual jihadists!" Believe it or not, he's comparing the Mumbai terrorists to Prop 8 protesters.


    A few more bites before we go:
    Assuming you have become aware of all this, let me ask you: Have you not seen the awful similarity between what happened in Mumbai and what's happening right now in our cities?

    Oh, I know the homosexual "rights" demonstrations haven't reached the same level of violence, but I'm referring to the anger, the vehemence, the total disregard for law and order and the supposed rights of their fellow citizens. I'm referring to the intolerance, the hate seething in the words, faces and actions of those who didn't get their way in a democratic election, and who proclaim loudly that they will get their way, no matter what the electorate wants!

    Hate is hate, no matter where it erupts. And hate, unbridled, will eventually and inevitably boil into violence. How crazily ironic that the homosexual activists and sympathizers cry for "tolerance" and "equal rights" and understanding –while they spew vitriol and threats and hate at those who disagree with them on moral and societal grounds.
    Check out this ironclad logic:
    Not just the Bible, but Webster's Dictionary, defines this covenantal relationship called "marriage" as a commitment between one man and one woman.
    And, the winning phrase in context:
    What troubles me so deeply, and should trouble all thinking Americans, is that there is a real, unbroken line between the jihadist savagery in Mumbai and the hedonistic, irresponsible, blindly selfish goals and tactics of our homegrown sexual jihadists. Hate is hate, no matter where it erupts. And by its very nature, if it's not held in check, it will escalate into acts vile, violent and destructive.
    This post is really up there to win an award.

    Monday, December 08, 2008

    Think It Through

    Yes, you know what this is...


    Check it out. That's an awesome mashup.

    Healthy Debate

    Patrick Ruffini, over at The Next Right, is not impressed by the Obama-Is-Not-A-Citizen nonsense.
    Willingness to move this sort of the story will be a major dividing line between the last right and the next right.
    Amen. I'd love to have some debate with folks who denounce nonsense like that.


    Digby continues her use of the term "hippie punch" and expands the metaphor:
    Instead of writing a letter to, say, the actual people that are going to obstruct Obama's agenda, like the ones who will filibuster the auto industry rescue, Hildebrand finds it important to break up all gatherings of five hippies in a field. That's important to the survival of the nation.

    Sunday, December 07, 2008

    Too Occupied

    This pathological belief that we're all meeting in Whole Foods to talk about the "Fairness Doctrine" is truly bizarre.

    John Cole:
    I can’t figure it out. Look, guys- you so did such a smashing job fucking EVERYTHING up that Congress and the Obama administration are too occupied with actual emergencies to worry about the stupid damned fairness doctrine.

    Cosmic Fleet Voyager

    Good stuff.


    Friday, December 05, 2008

    We Took the Dollar Signs

    Gavin is fucking brilliant:
    GAVIN ADDS: And there’s also the shocking unemployment news today, sure.

    See, everyone’s getting so excited, but this is just one of those high-spirited George W. Bush practical jokes that we’ve come so well to appreciate.

    Remember when he got to the White House, and his people made up a story that the Clintons had trashed the place, removing ‘W’ keys from the keyboards and writing on the bathroom walls, and all that? That was a good one!

    Now with the $8.5 trillion in bailouts, when Obama gets to the White House, all the money will be gone from the US Treasury, and stuffed into the pockets of the same arrogant bubbleheads responsible for cratering the economy, who will then squander it in short-sighted and selfish ways designed to give each of them a short-term advantage over their competitors, in effect taking a leaf blower to it all and blowing it into a giant, blazing fireplace — after which everyone will agree to act surprised.

    It’ll be like, “Here’s your US Government, Mr. Obama. We took the dollar signs off the keyboards.”


    The Internet these days:

    Youse guys are in a "circular firing squad!"
    No, youse guys are!

    Youse guys are just "concern trolls!"
    No, youse guys are!


    Jon Stewart, as quoted by SilentPatriot, on outgoing Prez Bush:
    Do we really have to build this guy a library?! I mean, can't we just get him an arcade/go-kart course?


    Jon Swift:
    I know there are probably some uncompassionate and vengeful liberals who would prefer to see conservatives left to the vagaries of the free market, and even some conservatives who are too proud to accept government charity and would prefer to stick to their priniciples. But as President Bush showed us, in a crisis you are sometimes forced to abandon your principles temporarily to survive. Being a conservative, like the Constitution, is not a suicide pact. To fight the terrorists President Bush was forced to bring back the era of big government, on a temporary basis, just as President Reagan was forced to spend profligately to end the Cold War. Conservatives must face reality the way Bush and Reagan did and realize that the only way to preserve our ideals may be to sacrifice them for a time and reluctantly accept government checks. Once we have gotten back on our feet again, then we can go back to doing what we do best: condemning lazy welfare queens and berating the poor for not raising themselves by their own bootstraps.

    Thursday, December 04, 2008


    The craziest thing for me about this interview with the iconic mother from this Great Depression era photograph was that she was only 32 at the time.


    Wednesday, December 03, 2008

    Our Principal Weapons Are

    Is this a satire?
    My name is John Fleming and I am running for Congress in Louisiana's 4th Congressional District. We are the last congressional race in the country. Voters go to the polls this Saturday, December 6, and I am asking each of you to join my campaign and help start the movement to take back the House. I am a man of conviction, drive and the desire to uphold America's Constitution. I want to go to Washington with a single purpose: to represent the people as a servant leader.

    I am a true social and fiscal conservative. Unlike many so-called politicians today, I am standing firm on my conservative values and traditions. My top priority is helping our economy by supporting tax cuts and drilling to create American jobs.
    After some soul-searching following the 2008 elections, the future of the Republican platform is:
    1. Tax cuts
    2. Drilling
    Holy smokes.

    Ideas in Bill Roggio's Head


    Bill Roggio muses over at The Weekly Standard:
    How Do We Fix Pakistan?

    Robert Kagan offers an interesting potential solution to Pakistan’s problem of Islamist extremist groups threatening the viability of the state: "Have the international community declare that parts of Pakistan have become ungovernable and a menace to international security. Establish an international force to work with the Pakistanis to root out terrorist camps in Kashmir as well as in the tribal areas."

    The problem with this approach is...
    Got any idea how that sentence will end? Will he say the problem is that something called the "international community" could never get together and agree to do this? Or that no international group is going to just suggest it's a good idea to steal parts of a country that has access to a nuclear bomb? This is a crazy neo-con Army Men game that Bill and Robert are considering. How does he finish that sentence?
    The problem with this approach is the roots of extremism run deeper than just at the fringes of the tribal areas and in Kashmir. Taliban, al Qaeda, and other extremist activists and sympathizers are entrenched in the intelligence and security services. Terror groups aren't just based in Waziristan and Kashmir.
    So the problem with this idea of just everyone in the world getting together and invading and taking parts of Pakistan away from it is just that that would not be enough?! You'd have to really get to it and invade lots of the country and take away all the problem parts and people and ideologies, and you'd want to make sure you did with an "international community" that you got together.

    Thanks a lot, you fucking moron.

    And don't miss his early submission for dumb-ass paragraph of the year.
    After NATO’s debacle in Afghanistan, what international force is going to be willing to take on Pakistan’s Islamists, who make Afghanistan’s extremists look like armed boy scouts in comparison? NATO countries are balking at the historically low casualty rates in Afghanistan and are looking to cut and run. And after trumpeting U.S. casualties in Iraq, will the American public and our political elites stand for similar if not higher casualty rates in Pakistan as were encountered in Iraq?
  • No other debacle to mention?
  • "cut and run?" You guys still say that anymore?
  • Seems he's suggesting that he has the steely reserve to face high casualty rates, where the American public and "political elites" do not


    Update: After some consideration, I think it's fair to point out that the quote from Kagan does actually envision "an international force to work with the Pakistanis." That is clearly not the same as the "stealing" I felt he was implying, although I still believe the response from Bill is misdirected. The "problem with this approach" should focus on what Pakistan might think if told "hey, we all got together and came over for an intervention about part of your country - let's do it together, mkay?", or on the potential that such an "international force" could actually reach agreement to do such a thing. But instead, Bill's take is that such an "international force" would actually have to work "with Pakistan" to fix all of Pakistan, not just some sections. This is even less realistic a level of Call of Duty to imagine.
  • SysPref

    On a Mac...

    Use option-UPVOLUME or option-DOWNVOLUME to quickly open the Sounds preference pane.

    Use option-UPBRIGHTNESS or option-DOWNBRIGHTNESS to quickly open the Displays preference pane.


    I can't explain it. I should hate them by now. But I don't.



    How does Amanda Marcotte title a post on Robert Novak proving himself an even bigger asshole? With my new favorite phrase:

    Megawatt Choadery.

    "Plastic Error Multipliers"


    Picture 1.png

    True Fault

    How will it help for wingnuts to go after blue collar retirees?


    Glenn on "Nepotistic succession in the political class":
    One of the most encouraging aspects of Barack Obama's success -- and, for that matter, the ascension of someone like Sarah Palin or Bill Clinton -- is the pure self-sufficiency and lack of family connection behind it.  But even pointing that out demonstrates how meritocratic self-sufficiency has almost become the exception rather than the rule.  That we now treat Presidents like Kings and expect them to exercise similar powers is consistent with the broader trend whereby we are ruled by a Versailles on the Potomac, with all the bloated, decadent insularity that implies.

    Family Life

    Shorter Eric Dondero:
    Libertarian Republican: Penn. Gov. Ed Rendell outs fellow Dem Gov. Janet Napolitano, caught saying "she has no family," at Governor's Conference
  • Being unmarried means you're lesbian - not that there's anything wrong with that. And lesbians have no families.

    Update: As Marmot noted here, if you're not reading Eric's comments over at the post, you're really missing out! While explaining why whipping up a frenzy of speculation about the private life of a member of the government is *not* inconsistent with his "libertarianism," Eric writes:

    This is why Sarah Palin is the absolute greatest candidate that the Republican Party has ever produced.
  • Context

    I talked about Kristol's rant on how we're not hating Islam purely enough for his tastes when we talk about the Mumbai tragedy, and Matt Eckel at Foreign Policy Watch speaks clearly on the same topic:
    I'm not quite sure where to start here. Yes, Nussbaum does focus on violence directed against Muslims in India by Hindu nationalists - violence that has been horrific, large-scale, organized, systemic and woefully persistent - because it provides some context to the situation in region. It doesn't justify the attackers. It ought not evoke empathy for them. It is, though, an aspect of the ethno-religious conflict in South Asia that people should consider when they try to make sense of what's going on there. Professor Nussbaum does her readers a service in illuminating it. "Islamist terror" and "Jihadism" aren't the end-all-be-all-catch-all enemies of humanity. They are phenomena that thrive in particular places and grow out of particular circumstances. If we want to curb their spread, an understanding of those circumstances might not be amiss. Oh, and by the way, comparing the situation of Indian Muslims to that of some minorities in the United States isn't liberal self-flagellation. It's context.
    My emphasis.

    People More Knowledgeable

    NextGenGOP attempts to figure out ways to make the Republican Party/Brand appeal to Latinos:
    5. Propose economic, education, and health care plan alternatives to the Democrats:

    Just like the rest of Americans, Latinos said their number one concern this election was the economy and just like many Americans, Latinos may be willing to give big government solutions to our economy a try. If we do not offer them an alternative, then why wouldn’t they support big government? We need to be the small government party but that can’t be it. Opposing Democratic proposals that would make matters worse does not solve the original problem. We have to propose market-oriented solutions to our market-related problems. On education, Latinos in poorer communities would naturally support voucher programs to make sure their studious children get the best education possible. But vouchers alone are not an education program. Most Democrats oppose charter schools, we should support them. Most Democrats oppose competitive teacher pay, we should support it. Education is indeed the civil rights issue of our time and instead of just proposing to throw more money at the problem, Republicans who are well versed in real education solutions and work to implement them will undoubtedly earn the respect of Latino families. In regards to health care, I honestly do not know what Republicans can offer to counter Democratic proposals that would appeal to Latinos but I am sure people more knowledgeable than I on the subject can figure it out.
    In other words...
    We should totally come up with something different than what the Democrats say, and it should probably just rely on the market to fix everything, including our "market-related problems," but for the life of me I have no idea what that would be.

    Tuesday, December 02, 2008

    Zappa and Parents


    Awesome photo of Frank Zappa with his parents.

    Part of the newly-release LIFE magazine collection on google, and originally noted by the highly-recommended swissmiss.

    Click-through for the full-size version!

    Brooks Is Making Me Crazy

    David Brooks shakes his head and says that nothing major changed in the 2008 elections, as regards foreign policy. The big change, he says, already happened a few years ago - and was effected by Condi Rice, Robert Gates, and George mother-fucking-W Bush. He's up on stage waving his hands around, trying to convince us that what we chose was something the previous administration already figured out, and that Obama's highest goal can be to continue these late-game shifts in policy.
    Obama and his team didn’t invent this approach. But if they can put it into action, that would be continuity we can believe in.

    If you've had enough of this bullshit, go read "Requiem for a Maverick" by Matt Taibbi, where he refuses to be cowered by the Republican attempts to write a non-embarrasing version of the history of this election, to somehow soften the American people's clear request to NOT BE GOVERNED BY THEM ANYMORE.
    The ironic thing is that the destruction of the Republican Party was a two-part process. Their president, George W. Bush, did most of the work by making virtually every mistake possible in his two terms, reducing the mightiest economy on Earth to the status of a beggar-debtor nation like Pakistan or Zambia. This was fucking up on a scale known only to a select few groups in history, your Romanovs, your Habsburgs, maybe the Han Dynasty, which pissed away a golden age of Chinese history by letting eunuchs take over the state. But John McCain and Sarah Palin made their own unique contribution to the disaster by running perhaps the most incompetent presidential campaign in modern times. They compounded a millionfold Bush's legacy of incompetence by soiling both possible Republican ideological strategies going forward: They killed off Bush-style neoconservatism as well as the more traditional fiscal conservatism McCain himself was once known for by trying to fuse both approaches into one gorgeously incoherent ticket. It was like trying to follow the recipes for Texas 10-alarm chili and a three-layer Black Forest chocolate cake in the same pan at the same time. The result — well, just take a bite!
    We don't want you. Go tell your stories to your fellow rejectees.

    Everything He's Got

    Perhaps the" real "Chris Matthews has emerged now that MSNBC has been made safe for progressives. Or, conversely, maybe the real Chris Matthews is actually an opportunistic, hypocritical jackass who should be shunned from any kind of Democratic politics for as long as he lives. Your mileage may vary depending upon whether you think enthusiastically sucking up to the GOP on television for the past decade is something that should be forgotten.

    I won't bother to write the book on Matthews again, but as one who has been chronicling his televised rhetorical atrocities for years, let's just say his record speaks for itself. The amount of damage he did, going all the way back to the Clinton years and up until just about five minutes ago is considerable. He is as unacceptable as a Democratic high official as Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, perhaps less so because of the fact that he is, by all accounts, a whore who has made millions of dollars a year destroying Democrats, while privately assuring his friends and associates that he doesn't really mean it. At least Rush plays for his own team with everything he's got.
    Yeah, just another quote from the Hullabaloo site today. Busy.


    I know that, in official Washington, the road to salvation for any fresh-faced Democrat looking to succeed is to punch a hippie.

    Monday, December 01, 2008

    What To Do About Monsters In Your "Tribe"

    Juan Cole quotes the BBC:
    The Muslim community in Mumbai says it doesn't want the gunmen who attacked Mumbai to be buried in the Muslim cemetery, on the grounds that they are not Muslims.

    A spokesman for the Muslim council said, "These terrorists are a black spot on our religion, we will very sternly protest the burial of these terrorists in our cemetery . . ."

    Certainly the perpetrators are criminals from the point of view of Islamic law. The Qur'an forbids murder (qatl) and the classical jurisprudence on jihad forbids the killing of innocent noncombatants, sneak attacks, or the undertaking of military action without the authorization of duly constituted Muslim authorities.
    And Bill Kristol stomps his feet and complains that we're not blaming Islam enough:
    Consider first an op-ed article in Sunday’s Los Angeles Times by Martha Nussbaum, a well-known professor of law and ethics at the University of Chicago. The article was headlined “Terrorism in India has many faces.” But one face that Nussbaum fails to mention specifically is that of Lashkar-e-Taiba, the Islamic terror group originating in Pakistan that seems to have been centrally involved in the attack on Mumbai.

    This is because Nussbaum’s main concern is not explaining or curbing Islamic terror. Rather, she writes that “if, as now seems likely, last week’s terrible events in Mumbai were the work of Islamic terrorists, that’s more bad news for India’s minority Muslim population.” She deplores past acts of Hindu terror against India’s Muslims. She worries about Muslim youths being rounded up on suspicion of terrorism with little or no evidence. And she notes that this is “an analogue to the current ugly phenomenon of racial profiling in the United States.”

    So jihadists kill innocents in Mumbai — and Nussbaum ends up decrying racial profiling here. Is it just that liberal academics are required to include some alleged ugly American phenomenon in everything they write?
    Bill ends his post by quoting a father of a National Guard in India killed by the gunmen at the Taj Motel, saying "He died for the nation." Bill, sitting on his ass in his office, not content with the death and destruction his influence has already caused in the US and in the world at large, has the gall to write:
    Patriotism is an indispensable weapon in the defense of civilization against barbarism.
    You rotten squirt of pus.
    I hate these security questions. Here's a list of options I had recently on a bank website.

    Picture 1.png

    I'm not married, so that knocks out many of them, leaving me to decide what year I'm into on any given day I'm trying to log in.