Saturday, February 28, 2009

Clearly Defined

Today's "Stupid Or Lying?" comes from James S. Robbins at NRO:
Surely the goals of the Iraq war were clearly defined, principally regime change, a national policy adopted under president Clinton and achieved by President Bush. The costs of action were weighed and communicated very openly in the months leading up to the war, and afterward — there is no question of them ever being hidden in any way, and Congress regularly considered and voted on war funding.

Something Called

Hunter at Kos:
I'm most struck by his wording, which was not just dissing volcano monitoring, but more exactly, quote: "something called 'volcano monitoring'". That "something called" part was just strange... what, does the supposed new star of the Republican party not know that we monitor volcanoes? Or that volcanoes are real?

More to the point, what did he think "volcano monitoring" might refer to? I mean, there's only two words there -- which one didn't he understand?  Did he think it was a euphemism for something?  And if so, I almost hesitate to ask: for what?

Not Enough

Conservative legend Bill Bennett says the Right shouldn't call what Obama is doing "Socialism," but the trolls aren't satisfied by the anger they can get out of reality (see the comments at Ace's fairly reasonable post).

Very Sad

Erick Erickson over at RedState:
My three year old calls Ann [Coulter] “Wonder Woman.”
Okay then!

That's Clear

More clear headlines like this please: AP: Obama sets firm date to end Iraq war he inherited

John McCain, Will You Please Go Away?

Wow. John McCain is such an asshole.

Cocaine and Coma

If you wrote for the NY Times, and were writing an article about media stars that use twitter, why would you start it this way?
Left alone in a cage with a mountain of cocaine, a lab rat will gorge itself to death. Caught up in a housing bubble, bankers will keep selling mortgage-backed securities — and amassing bonuses — until credit markets seize, companies collapse, and millions of investors lose their jobs and homes.

And news anchors and television personalities who have their own shows, Web sites, blogs and pages on and will send Twitter messages until the last follower falls into a coma.
Am I missing something about Twitter?
It’s tempting to dismiss Twitter fever as a passing fad, the Pok√©mon of the blogosphere. But it’s beginning to look more like yet another gateway drug to full-blown media narcissism.
And then the last 20% of the article focuses on Rick Santelli, who doesn't use Twitter. The suggestion is that his rant the other day was the culmination of the self-absorption that the author believes Twitter engenders.
Those who say Twitter is a harmless pastime, which skeptics are free to ignore, are ignoring the corrosive secondary effects. We already live in an era of me-first journalism, autobiographical blogs and first-person reportage. Even daytime cable news is clotted with Lou Dobbsian anchors who ooze self-regard and intemperate opinion.

On-air meltdowns are the new scoops. The CNBC correspondent Rick Santelli, a former trader, delivered a rant last week...
Blech. Blame writer Alessandra Stanley.

Friday, February 27, 2009

There's Not Even Any SINGing!


Big Hollywood writer Mike Baron is confused by this hip-hop stuff, which is totally not music :
Cultural arbiters such as The New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, and People regularly cover hip-hop as serious art, generally in the music section.  But if music is a combination of rhythm, harmony, and melody, where does hip-hop, with its chanting and choruses “sampled” from better songs fit in?  Is it music?  Not by definition.  It’s a perpetuation of “the dozens,” the tradition of black cultural put-downs and sports-style cheerleading set to a beat.
Wait - where's People's "serious art" section again?


Ace of Spades shows a side of stability and honesty:

Agita Alert: Cliff Kincaid Suggests Obama Not Born in US to Applause from CPAC
It's the kind of throwaway line guaranteed to get laughs and applause.

But is it worth it?

Nope. We conservatives are already alienated from the rest of the country by about a 65/35 split on a lot of critical issues. We're already marginalized. We really don't have to increase the marginalization by pushing silly nits like this.

There are a lot of issues we can potentially win on -- but this ain't one of them. I view this as unserious stuff when we'e got to be deadly serious indeed.

John Bolton's Mustache of White Bushy Justice was unable to control its host organism and let out a joke about Chicago being nuked that played well in the hall but isn't exactly politic.

This stuff isn't outrageous or worthy of condemnation. But we just got our asses kicked big time and really should be focusing like lasers on the real, live issues.
But just when I'm starting to think Ace and I might have some points of understanding, he drops this:

Gingrich hosted a roundtable briefing for bloggers this morning and was stressing that, particularly in this environment, we push issues we're already pretty much winning on, such as Drill Baby Drill and cutting business taxes. More of that, less of the cheap and ultimately counterpoductive gags.
Less "cheap" and more "Drill Baby Drill?" I don't understand these people at all.

Dumbo Octopus

What a beautiful creature. Would it have killed them to move the camera a bit closer?

(via Collision Detection)

Well, I Guess It's 66% Of Your Sample Group

An MSNBC reporter interviewed 6 Iraqis for a story on Obama's plans to withdrawl troops from their country. 4 were concerned about what would happen when US troops left, 1 doubted the US would ever leave, and 1 believed it would be okay.

So what is the headline of this story?

Many Iraqis fear ‘hasty’ withdrawal

Good Old Days

John Cole:
During the depression, were there organizations of idiots running around having little tea parties and chanting porkulus?

Triumphant Ends

I was talking recently about putting together a playlist of tracks that represented what I called "Triumphant Ends" - tracks that end albums in a way that presents a shift of some sense from the rest of the tracks of the album. It's like these songs are "the next morning" from the rest of the album - they acknowledge the journey that preceded them, but are separate from it. They are not a summary of that journey, but a kind of transformation beyond it. The focus is not on being epic (although some of those Cocteau Twins tracks are), but on leaving the rest of the album behind.

It's probably best to let the details of the playlist define it, so here's a screenshot of the current collection. Feel free to leave your suggestions in the comments.

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Be Clear

In other news...

Toyota vs. Toy Yoda!

Retired General Becomes Hero Of Eric Dondero-Types

There are some really creepy people out there.

Retired Major General Commanding General Carroll D. Childers:
I can present a long list of reasons, taken individually, which convinced me NOT to vote for Barack Hussein Obama; his crime associates in the USA, his lack of experience, the mystery of his citizenship, his promise to make coal power industry bankrupt through excessive regulations, his constant adjustment of position on issues, his tax plan, his spread the wealth admission, his obvious socialistic goals, his associations with foreign leaders unfriendly to the USA, the lies he tells about a range of subjects including perhaps who his biological father really is, his most recent revelation of having a “National Security Force” (whatever that is)……………all of these says [sic] he is a person of mystery, of no integrity, and in fact paints him with the same narcissist paint of Hitler, Stalin, Saddam, Mao, and Kim Jong Ill.

But then, there is a simple more direct, easier to understand reason that I did not vote for him and that is his lack of respect for the country that is giving him the opportunity to run for the highest office in the land……..even though I personally think he is not constitutionally eligible.

But more than 50% of America voted for this charlatan and he now has the helm of the ship of state. Even so, he is not MY President. I will not refer to him as such. I will call him Resident Obama, and an illegal resident of the white house at that. I resent him for what he is not. He has not given proof that he is a natural born citizen of these United States. He has spent millions of dollars protecting the truth of his birth from public knowledge; therefore, it is obvious he has something to hide. He is an interloper, a usurper, a fake, a scam artist, a Chicago crook, a recipient of bribes and gratuitous income for which he paid no tax, a socialist (perhaps only a communist or Marxist), and a grave danger to the future of the America that I love and have protected since I was 17 years old.

I have told my two senators and my member of the House of Representatives. I have written 9 justices of the Supreme Court as well as President Bush before he left office. NONE have responded, therefore, they are all complicit and should all be severely punished for having failed in their sworn oath to protect and defend the constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic. The instant Obamb was sworn in, he violated the oath he took because he took the office knowing he is ineligible and there stood Judge Roberts who should have immediately had Obama arrested and deported.

Other than this, my key short-term complaint is that he has not had a heart attack in office. But most important, what I really want is the truth; is Obama a natural born citizen of the United States. If not a natural born citizen, America has been defrauded and then we would be stuck with Joe Biden whose only redeeming attribute is that he is probably not a communist.

Carroll D. Childers P.E.
Major General (Retired)
(my emphasis)

Clown Eric Dondero is unsurprisingly tingling over this guy.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Shorter Heritage Foundation

Obama Budget Recognizes the Need for More Retirement Savings
  • Everything sucks about Obama's budget except for the part we worked on

Sean Hannity's Community Calls For Armed Revolt

Via DougJ, an astonishing piece from a thread at Yes, this is a participant in a social network, so we cannot blame Sean for it.

But what is Sean going to do about it?

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To make sure he's not misunderstood, here's the rest of the post from poll-creator "centerscroll"...
There's a lot of talk on this board about armed revolt [cricket: really?]. I am curious what form of such a revolt the revolutionaries would prefer. I can see a few scenarios:

1. Military Coup - The military deposes the government and declares itself in charge. A junta rules until democracy can be restored, similar to what happened in Pakistan.

2. Armed Rebellion - The fed up civilian population attacks their enemies forcibly. They take to the streets, or wherever they need to go, to ultimately depose the government and install one that follows their own ideals.

3. War for secession - Individual states try to secede and perhaps ultimately must arm to do it.

It's hard for me to see how #1 and #2 could realistically lead to a more constitutional system. Unlike #3, these scenarios are quite different from the American Revolution, which was closer to a secession. The problem in #2 especially is that there is no clear "us" or "them." Since people of different political persuasions are literally intermixed throughout the land, it would require things like killing your own neighbor if they disagree with you politically. While that could certainly work in terms of winning power, it would seem to contradict a lot of constitutional principles, which would presumably be the whole point of such a rebellion to begin with.

#1 is a little more orderly since the military effectively just lops off the governing class, but it also does not appear to lead any kind of constitutional system. Both #1 and #2 most likely lead to strongman type governments like Saddam Hussein in Iraq, where the guy with the most guns ultimately prevails and decides he's the best leader for the rest of eternity. We see these kinds of revolutions in Africa from time to time.

Therefore, #3 seems most realistic, since it does present an opportunity for more homogeneous states to sort of capitalize on their homogeneity. However, it would likely lead to mass migrations of the minority partisans out of the rebel states. Of course, that may be fine with those states.

Yet it seems that the ultimate paradox in any rebellion for freedom from within is that the ultimate goal is to impose the will of the rebels on everyone else through force. It seems the very foundation of representative democracy is ****tered if we accept that we exchange the the power of ideas for the power of the sword upon each other.

Nevertheless, I am still very interested in your own preferred form of revolt.
This is insane.

Deep Thought

When does Rick Santelli head off on his stint as war correspondent in Israel?

It's Your Friends

Dan Lyons is always such a grumpy old man.

This hatred of twitter by some because somehow they think they'll be forced to hear about what their friends ate for breakfast - it's very strange. Maybe you have weird friends?

Twitter's great because it's the specifics of your own friends' idiosyncracies, the things that are specific about them that you actually like. Don't fear it.

Or, on the other hand, just don't use it. I don't really care.

Keep Cutting!

Cut deeper wingnuts! Keep cutting off the insufficiently faithful! Keep cutting till you get it down to the distilled essence of conservative! And when you finally kick all the unbelievers out and have the party whittled down to Joe the Plumber and Rush Limbaugh, be proud of yourself. You just helped kill a major American political party.


American Conservative writer Daniel Larison:
Jindal had the misfortune of representing a party with nothing to say and having the even greater misfortune to be matched up against a President who both definitely has something to say and can say it very effectively, which is why the normally ho-hum irrelevance of the opposition’s response has become full-blown disaster for the GOP. Aside from Michael Steele comments, this was the first time a prominent Republican leader addressed the nation since Bush left office, and this was a valuable opportunity to demonstrate that the GOP had learned from its failures and could now serve as a credible political opposition. As with the GOP leadership’s approach to the stimulus, the party showed again with the response that it had not learned any of the right lessons and that it was simply not up to the task of being that credible opposition. What some on the right seem to be missing is that this failure should seem far more terrible to everyone who reacted very negatively to the President’s address. If much of Obama’s domestic agenda should be stopped or limited as much as possible, as I believe it should, the face of the opposition party that Jindal presented to the nation last night is simply not up to the task, and this is demoralizing and slightly horrifying.

I Got No Beef With A Bird

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Let's call this my bi-monthly reminder that you should be reading the comic strip Thinkin' Lincoln. Click through for today's full strip.

Jack McBrayer Responds

Awesome! Jack McBrayer was on the new Late Night With Jimmy Fallon (which premieres Monday, so...I'm a little confused by what this is from - a practice?) to address the Jindal hoo-hah.

(via TPM)

In The Car

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Republican National Chairman Michael Steele, when asked on Morning Joe about the Republican Party Response delivered by Bobby Jindal:
I didn't see it - I was in the car.
Are you fucking kidding me? I *sure* hope you're lying to parry the issue, because your job is to promote your party. You admit you heard it on the radio, but that seeing it on TV is a completely different thing. A public national speech is your product. This is like the head of Tropicana saying they saw early designs, but never saw the final orange juice packaging that went out to the public. Nuts.

Also, Joe and Michael spoke that the message they should be spreading is that "the GOP fucked up in the last 8 years, but trust us to do better this time." Michael mentioned that he is putting the GOP on a "12 step program," to which Joe chuckled.

Why again should we want our government run by a group that is on a "12-step program?"

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Nobody give Sean Delonas any ideas, okay?

No Mention

Super-smirker Goldfarb reports that John McCain just gave a speech to neocon AEI on Afghanistan and what should happen next.

In the entire 3500 word speech he doesn't say Obama's name once. He refers to "the President's decision" last week to deploy 17,000 more troops to Afghanistan, and he refers once to "President Bush," but never mentions Obama's name.

Isn't that strange? Not sure what it means, but it seems a little odd to me. Seems like if you want something done in Afghanistan, you might want to discuss some practical steps towards accomplishing them, and Obama plays at least *some* role in that, right?

It's All About Manliness

At my favorite place to laugh at, The Haunted Clown Toilet of Angry Sad, Joseph Lindsey reminds us that the heart of wingnut dreams comes down to making sure that men are manly enough.

Greenwald discussed this point in his last book, Great American Hypocrites.

It's hard to pick a few pithy words from his article, so here's most of it:
I long for the days when being a man had to do with things like, my words is good, insult my wife and you get a busted nose, and my silence says more than any nonsense I could ever scream at you. But this is not the image of the masculine male Tinseltown now propagates.

The other day while surfing channels like a Troglodyte on speed waiting for the meat on the grill to ooze a little blood, I came across a show I’m convinced will be the downfall of the American male.

The show’s called “Bromance.” That’s right, “Bromance,” and it’s not on the LOGO channel. It’s on the channel where many first time voters get information on who to vote for and where to get a complimentary t-shirt emblazoned with the image of a hip, slick, cigarette smoking candidate. That’s right, MTV. Now you may be wondering just what a “Bromance” is. Here’s the explanation from the website.

There’s friendship, there’s romance, and then there’s Bromance. What is Bromance? In most cases, it’s a bond between boys that is both manly and intimate. In this case, though, it’s a chance to buddy up with a privileged heartthrob from The Hills, Brody Jenner.

I made it through twenty-minutes and was able to observe the aforementioned Brody Jenner seated in a poolside lounge chair surrounded by candles having a “MAN-DATE” with one of the nine so-called men, hoping to become his new best friend. The candidate vying for Brody’s “heterosexual affections” shed tears while exposing his flaws and all the pressure on him. It ended with a candle-lit man-hug.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my buddies but I don’t want to date them. Good long episodes of crying should be reserved for private time in the bathroom with the shower running.

Brody Jenner is the type of man young women are being told is the ideal: soft, sensitive, vulnerable, not able to take a punch or be there when life gets tough. This isn’t to say women need men or can’t take care of themselves - hell, I need my wife and like it that way. But in the roles between men and women, I believe a woman wants to be with a man whose word is good and can be counted on when life takes a dump in their world.

I don’t think women want men who come home crying after a long days work and say, “Hold me, I feel so vulnerable, my boss was mean today.” But this is what shows like “Bromance” are doing to men while at the same time altering how young women see them.

Oh, and if you’re wondering who Brody Jenner was spawn from, Google “Decathlon winner 1976 summer Olympics,” and there you’ll find a man in full, a testosterone fueled super athlete who’s morphed himself from into Hollywood’s male ideal with the help of a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon and Dr. Phil — who also can’t take a punch.

I’m not advocating misogyny or random acts of violence to express masculinity. I leave that to the lyrics of hip-hop. I’m all for peace, love and understating. I’m just not willing to give up my balls, break my word or shout at some dude, “You hurt my feelings.”
Lord knows I'm not a fan of Bromance, but not because I'm afraid it will make me "give up my balls."

What a strange worldview. Some highlights:

  • Being a man means being violent

  • He would expect weakness to be present in gay communities

  • It's Obama's fault that MTV sold shirts with pictures of him smoking

  • Brody Jenner won't keep his word

  • HE hopes women prefer his own image of a fantasy male

  • Men should hide their feelings

  • "Bromance" makes men come home crying about their boss being mean

  • You'd think Brody would be better, since his dad was at one point a "testosterone fueled super athlete"

  • Hip hop is all about violence and misogyny

  • Watching a TV show will make me "give up my balls"

  • Party of Beavis and Butthead

    Paul Krugman:
    So what did Bobby Jindal choose to ridicule in this response to Obama last night? Volcano monitoring, of course.

    And leaving aside the chutzpah of casting the failure of his own party’s governance as proof that government can’t work, does he really think that the response to natural disasters like Katrina is best undertaken by uncoordinated private action? Hey, why bother having an army? Let’s just rely on self-defense by armed citizens.

    The intellectual incoherence is stunning. Basically, the political philosophy of the GOP right now seems to consist of snickering at stuff that they think sounds funny. The party of ideas has become the party of Beavis and Butthead.
    (my emphasis)

    Gerson To Mergatroid

    Jesse Taylor enjoys Michael Gerson's Dewey Defeats Truman moment.


    CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll among adults who watched the speech last night.

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    No Rules

    Roy Edroso summarizes:
    Governor Bobby Jindal addressed the nation last night, saying that government had tried to drown people during Hurricane Katrina, and would have done so were it not for Jindal and a sheriff who Doesn't Play By The Rules. He also called for tax cuts. Before the speech President Obama delivered a prebuttal.

    Shorter Rightwing Response

    Rachel's Response to Jindal


    Cheeto Rationing

    Brad at Sadly No remarks on Glenn Beck discussing an armed rightwing insurrection:
    This sort of thing doesn’t really offend me because I think most of Beck’s viewers would back down from starting a new civil war once they learned that it would likely lead to Cheeto rationing. But I am amazed at the sheer cognitive dissonance involved in simultaneously believing that it’s treasonous to peacefully oppose an unjustified war but that it’s patriotic to lead an armed insurrection against the government because they want to pay you unemployment benefits. If there’s a weirder political movement than American conservatism, I’ve yet to see it.

    Dealing With It

    John Scalzi:
    My thoughts, briefly: Good speech, done well. But then, I’m a sucker for a president who says, in essence, “You know all that crap everyone else kept putting off? Yeah, now we’ll be dealing with it.” Jesus Christ amen, man. I wouldn’t complain if I got to be part of a responsible generation, one that didn’t sucker punch our children as we made our way out the door.
    (my emphasis)

    Tuesday, February 24, 2009

    Starting And Ending Point

    I know that we haven't agreed on every issue thus far, and there are surely times in the future when we will part ways. But I also know that every American who is sitting here tonight loves this country and wants it to succeed. That must be the starting point for every debate we have in the coming months, and where we return after those debates are done. That is the foundation on which the American people expect us to build common ground.


    I wonder if the bloggers at the National Review have finished their blog posts about Obama's speech yet.


    Barney Frank (tonight on Countdown) on Jindal:
    Giving away someone else's unemployment is not my definition of courage.

    I'd Say Stupid

    Will they never understand the difference between terrorist and accused terrorist? Lying or stupid?

    Monday, February 23, 2009

    You Don't Have a Honeymoon With Someone You Don't Like

    David Kurtz:
    Despite all the "honeymoon is over" silly talk (starts at 3:28 mark), Gallup polling shows that the drop off in Obama's approval ratings from January highs is attributable solely to disenchantment among conservatives -- and that his standing among Democrats and independents has either held steady or actually risen.

    Big Hollywood's Big Night

    Breitbart's Haunted Clown Toilet of Angry Sad - Big Hollywood - exists to feel victimized by Liberal Entertainment. So the Oscars is pretty much their Superbowl, with all the Streep and Penn and mentioning Hanoi Jane, and dreaming of the glorious past when men were men, women were women, and the movies were filled with Jerry Lewis, Charlton Heston and George C. Scott.

    The team was out in force last night, and I've compiled a number of bits from their evening of discussion. Without further ado, your Modern Conservative Movement...

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    (dude was *born* 4 years after E.T. came out)

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    (in case it wasn't clear, dude is defending suburbia - poor suburbia!)

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    (nope, not at all)

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    Hell To Get To Heaven

    I should be asleep, but instead I"m fascinated by right wing response to the Oscars.Dallas Jenkins, at Big Hollywood, says "Take heart, everyone...
    They got their president, and they got their Best Actor, but they’ve cashed in all their chips. You always have to go through hell to get to heaven, so perhaps in 2016 Bobby Jindal will be elected President and Gary Sinise will win Best Actor.

    Coinin' Up A Storm

    The "Obama Generational Theft Act?" Oh, for God's sake.

    Sunday, February 22, 2009

    White Families

    Ace of Spades, your source for news about scary things that are happening worldwide to "white families."

    The blog post is about a UK Daily Mail story with the headline "Britons Flee French Island of Guadeloupe as Rioters Turn on White Families." Unable to resist dipping my toes in the comments, I find this charming sarcasm:
    All they have to do is get rid of those pesky whites, and they'll become an economic powerhouse like Zimbabwe, or New Orleans.


    I love this photo of David Berman from the Silver Jews, at a show in Big Sur. Photographer AGREATNOTION writes:
    Berman reminds me of an indie rock Hunter S. Thompson for some reason. Maybe it's the glasses. He roams around like some kind of deranged rock and roll preacher, tangling the mic cord along the way.


    Steve Benen, on Jindal:
    This seems to happen a lot. A "rising star" in Republican politics decides he or she should be on the national stage; drops any pretense of intellectual seriousness; and trades the respect of credible observers for the adoration of the Republican base.

    Primary Philosophy

    It's sharp and plain observations like this that demonstrate why I have such respect for Atrios:
    But one day I hope this country grows up and recognizes that the fear that maybe someone is getting something I'm not and they don't deserve shouldn't be the primary philosophy of governance.

    Friday, February 20, 2009

    We're Better When You Fail

    Eli from Firedoglake catalogs a possible new Republican meme that Economic Depressions Are Good For Us.

    Who They Are

    John Hinderaker is now calling Rick Santelli a folk hero.

    Know More About Sean Delonas

    Here are two wonderful galleries of the disgraceful tripe that Sean Delonas has generated in his career.

    One from Gawker.

    Another from Shakesville, including good summary comments from Melissa, like "Gay men: They fuck sheep!"

    "Black History Month Was A Particular Trial"


    Rachel Abrams over at The Weekly Standard writes about how grateful she is that she saved her kids from all the Black people honored in public schools in DC.
    Many thanks to Eric Holder and his calumny against America as a "nation of cowards" for the maddening reminder of one of the reasons we yanked our children out of the D.C. public school system and fled to Virginia 15 years ago. Black History Month was a particular trial, during which the children were taught--or rather, hoodwinked into believing (some of them, anyway)--that the light bulb was the invention not of Thomas Edison but of Lewis Latimer, a black man; that bathing, underwear, tables, and chairs were imports to backward "Euro-Americans" from Africa; that Cleopatra was definitely black and Moses probably so; and that Michael Jordan, Bill Cosby, Rosa Parks, Michael Jackson, Martin Luther King, Jr., Harriet Tubman, Malcolm X, Aretha Franklin--you name 'em, we looked 'em up--were all black "leaders," roughly indistinguishable from one another in their contributions to the history of their people, and equally worthy of oral reports to the class, or, better yet, dioramas: basketball court, Birmingham Jail--what's the diff?


    Ta-Nehisi Coates on the GOP's Michael Steele:
    Still, the real question is whether these guys can diversify their policies. Hiring a black guy won't make the Minutemen go away.

    Common Form


    Sometimes at RenewAmerica, all it takes is a glance at the title of a post to catch the Whiff O' Nut:
    The Kinsey/Planned Parenthood/big pornography morality heist
    But for me, at least, I can never stop there. What else does author Judith Reisman have to say?
    American laws were in place to stop "women and men [who] masturbate" from doing so publicly, a common form of solicitation and seduction of young boys.
    Ahh, RenewAmerica.

    Thursday, February 19, 2009

    Government's Good For... Statues

    Those Big Hollywood kids are endlessly hilarious - here's Mr. Skip Press noting a testament to not spending tax dollars:
    I received an email supposedly quoting Margaret Thatcher as saying: “The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money.”

    I’ve never found any proof that this great Briton ever said that, but there’s no doubt she knew her business. After all, she was, on February 21, 2007, the first Prime Minister to be honored with a statue in the House of Parliament while still living.
    Who paid for this statue then?
    It was commissioned by the Speaker's Advisory Committee on Works of Art from Antony Dufort four years ago, at a cost of £80,000.
    Fine with me, but I think Skip's got himself in an infinite loop.

    Whoever Criticized Obama Over Stimulus?

    The oddest defense against the chimp comic from Wingnuts like Gateway Pundit is this kind of approach:
    However, this may be news to Al, but, Speaker Pelosi put together the trillion dollar stimulus bill, not Obama.
    Yeah, all week, it's been all "Pelosi's First Month in Second Term as House Speaker Have Not Been Going Well," hasn't it? You guys have certainly made no steps towards trying to tie Obama to the stimulus package, have you?

    One Way To Put It

    After a single Republican joined the Democrats in voting to approve the California budget...:
    "I am extremely proud of the members of the Legislature, both Republicans and Democrats, who had the courage to stand up and put the needs of Californians first," Schwarzenegger said in a statement.


    The budget stalemate had caused Schwarzenegger to declare a fiscal emergency and send layoff notices to 10,000 state workers.

    Democrats in the Senate needed one Republican vote for passage. Sen. Abel Maldonado was the one Republican amenable to vote for the measure in exchange for certain demands, and lawmakers worked through the night to meet them.


    It frustrates me that so many people in public life think their job is to pontificate about philosophies and put out videos set to the tune “Back In the Saddle”.

    "He Was Smiling In That Way"

    The "show-thrower" explains:
    While he was talking I was looking at all his achievements in my mind. More than a million killed, the destruction and humiliation of mosques, violations against Iraqi women, attacking Iraqis every day and every hour. A whole people are saddened because of his policy, and he was talking with a smile on his face and he was joking with the prime minister and saying he was going to have dinner with him after the press conference... I was blind to anything else. I felt the blood of the innocent people bleeding from beneath his feet and he was smiling in that way... So I reacted to this feeling by throwing my shoes. I couldn't stop the reaction inside me. It was spontaneous

    Poopyhead Defense

    Remember this?
    The former Republican leader, charged with conspiracy and money laundering in a campaign finance case, smiled occasionally as he sat alongside his wife, Christine, in the courtroom.

    In court Friday, rather than the corporate donations DeLay is accused of illegally funneling to candidates, defense lawyer Dick DeGuerin made an issue of the $3,400 in political donations the judge has made to Democratic causes, including one to a group critical of DeLay and Republicans.

    “I noticed yesterday, to which you have contributed, was selling T-shirts with Mr. Delay’s mugshot on it,” DeGuerin said, referring to the liberal interest group and the picture of a smiling DeLay taken Thursday.

    Perkins shot back.

    “Let me just say I haven’t ever seen that T-shirt, number one,” the judge said. “Number two, I haven’t bought it. Number three, the last time I contributed to MoveOn that I know of was prior to the November election last year, when they were primarily helping Sen. [John] Kerry,” the Democrats’ 2004 presidential nominee.
    Good times.

    GOP to Get "Off The Hook"

    Oh oh oh, please do!

    Washington Times - Steele: GOP needs 'hip-hop' makeover:
    Newly elected Republican National Committee Chairman Michael S. Steele plans an “off the hook” public relations offensive to attract younger voters, especially blacks and Hispanics, by applying the party's principles to “urban-suburban hip-hop settings.”

    (via Hoffmania)

    Wednesday, February 18, 2009

    Conservatives Like When Rats Know Their Place

    This piece by John Nolte, Top 5: More Conservative Films For Thought, may be one of the dumbest things out of Big Hollywood yet. Just a little nibble:
    But while “The Incredibles” is a great film, “Ratatouille” is a masterpiece and even more conservative. The story of a rat with unique cooking skills does examine the same theme of extraordinariness, which is summed up in a monologue by Anton Ego (Peter O’ Toole), the film’s appropriately named food critic: “Not everyone can become a great artist, but a great artist can come from anywhere.” But “Ratatouille” goes beyond a single conservative theme to upend a decades-long Hollywood sacred cow which demands morally superior animals teach humans “very special” lessons.
    Our rodent protagonist is Remy, and the film’s first shocker is that he doesn’t see we humans as threats to his natural habitat, spoilers of Mother Earth or an aberration of the eco-system. He sees us in a wholly positive light, even superior to his own species, which is made up of thieves who don’t wash their hands. Remy aspires to be like us, those who do more than survive, “…they discover, they create.”
    Ahh, says John, I'm encouraged by movies where rats think we're better than them.

    Shorter Hinderaker

    Who's A Chimp?
    • But libruls called Bush a chimp! What's the difference??
    Update: Chris from Cynical-C helps explain this difference to John:
    If the person you are calling a monkey belongs to a race that has been compared to simians for the past 500 or so years to paint them as sub-humans to buy, sell, or push to the back of the bus without the slightest bit of guilt, then you just may be passing through a little town called Wrongville.


    This intensely depressing series of photos on Searching For A Job from the Sacramento Bee's "The Frame" photoblog makes me damn grateful to not be among those yet laid off.


    If I Noticed This, Perhaps NPR Should Too

    Listening to Morning Edition this, uh, morning, I did an aural double-take when Ari Shapiro asked about bank bailouts while talking to Raghuram Rajan of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business:

    Shapiro: Or should the government just say, "We're going to buy you up so we don't have to keep dumping money into you"?

    Rajan: There is this question of nationalization that keeps coming up. When the government actually owns these banks, it becomes responsible for all the liabilities of the banks. Supposing the government goes in and replaces the equity holders and says now these are government-owned banks. Then the government becomes responsible to all the debt holders who otherwise have made losses. In other words, with a nationalization, what you get is a transfer of wealth from the taxpayer to all the bondholders who earlier were dependent on the private bank to repay them. Now [they] can depend on the full faith and credit of the government to repay them.

    That's just not true, and if I know it, then surely Ari Shapiro should. Hell, he's doing the story.

    Don't take my word for it, though. Here's Dean Baker.

    Marmot Arrives

    Please welcome newcomer Marmot, who will be posting here occasionally. He is fond of puppies and kittens, and believes that Politics and the English Language are well-related.

    I'm Better Than the Experts at Galaxy Categorization

    And so are you. So says Galaxy Zoo, anyway. Sort of.

    It's a storehouse of about 250,000 pics of galaxies taken by various observatories around the planet. Apparently, a large group of non-experts can better categorize them than small groups of experts, according to an interview yesterday on BBC Radio news.

    Collective intelligence, I'm guessing.


    Hey, cartoonist Sean Delonas is in the news again!

    I've mentioned Sean before - actually, I wrote:
    Sean Delonas, if you were standing on a platform that was sinking into lava and i was above you holding a line of rope, I'd let you fuckin burn.


    Penny Arcade, on Resident Evil 5:
    This is not a game where you play some rascal zephyr in a flower's dream. This is a game where you run for your fucking life, for hours, until you die.
    Okay, I'm excited.

    Tuesday, February 17, 2009


    I don't think she know that she's not supposed to say that.

    More Appropriate Scale

    Mitt's hilarious:
    Romney, the former business whiz and governor of Massachusetts, is looking to unload two of his four mansions, collectively valued in the currently-sour real estate market at close to $10 million.

    The more expensive of the two homes is a 9,500 square foot cabin on 11 acres in Deer Valley, Utah, listed at $5.25 million. The property comes complete with 9.5 bathrooms and is entirely furnished with custom-made furniture. The real-estate Web site describes the 10-year-old ski cabin as the "perfect retreat" with "several gathering areas [that] provide enough space for lots of family and/or guests."

    Also on the market is the Romneys' chief residence in the posh suburban Boston neighborhood of Belmont, where most home prices run well into the millions. The Romney house, which comes with a tennis court and 2.5 acres of land, has yet to be listed, though the Boston Globe estimates the price will be set at $3 million — $1 million less than what the home was worth 2 years ago.
    What's extra funny is how spokesmen often demonstrate more disconnect from reality than just saying nothing would have conveyed.

    Eric Fehrnstrom, a spokesman for Romney, said the moves are not an indication the nation's flagging economy has affected the Romney family.

    "Now that the children are all grown with families of their own, the Romneys have too much space and are downsizing and simplifying," Fehrnstrom said.
    Right. Now that the children have families of their own, Mitt no longer needs a fourth mansion with a tennis court.

    I don't really have anything against the rich, except when they pretend they're not.

    Friday, February 06, 2009

    Memories of 98-1

    For some reason I keep thinking about the Senate voting 98-1 for the Patriot Act and all going to the steps of the capital to sing "God Bless America" together. Try to picture that happening under a Democratic president under any circumstances.

    Rugged Individualism

    Is this the highly-touted conservative self-sufficiency?
    I’m calling on wealthy conservatives everywhere to please step forward and donate to the grass roots of the Republican Party.

    Taking Success

    I originally discovered this site Delaware Libertarian searching the net for others that had run into Silly Clown Eric Dondero, and I must confess I don't always agree with them, but I really like this take by Brian Miller on the hypocrisy around the Phelps nonsense, and how the public claims celebrity success to share as "ours" and disowns and blames failures:
    Consider the case of Olympic athlete Michael Phelps. He is the most awarded Olympian in modern history -- a tour-de-force of prowess who brought home gold medals in fistfuls. I remember sitting with friends, watching the game. Their expanding waistlines strained as they chowed down on nachos, guzzled Budweiser, and shouted "we did it!" when Phelps won.

    I wanted to say "'we' had nothing to do with it." Phelps did all the hard work. He trained hard for 11 hours a day. He skipped out on nachos and Bud. He maintained a near 0% bodyfat level. He did things that the average American simply couldn't do.

    Yet we weren't willing to let his victory be his -- no, it was "ours."

    Fast forward to the recent bong-hit "scandal." The press is full of angry commentators demanding Phelps's blood, speaking of "betrayal," demanding punishment.

    The irony is amazing. At least 1/3 of them are full-out hypocrites, since that's about the proportion of Americans who has ever tried pot. The remainder, wheedling about "what it teaches their children," would be better off not feeding them high-calorie-density foods (since about 40% of children are overweight).

    In today's America, success belongs to "everybody," while personal responsibility is something for other people. By sloughing off our own failings, pointing angrily at the latest celebrity whose personal failings are splashed across news pages, and mouthing cheap rhetoric, we feel "justified" in our own existences.

    Not A Contest

    [T]hese aren't just statistics. This is not a game. This is not a contest for who's in power and who's up and who's down. These are your constituents. These are families you know and you care about.

    Swung Bat Caused

    Gavin M:
    We’ll know when sports journalism has joined the Washington reporters’ general melee against reality when we start to see statements like, “A swung bat caused a baseball to be emitted from the hand of pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka, who plays for both teams.”

    Thursday, February 05, 2009

    September 10th Kind of Guy

    Ernie Mannix thinks he should be commended for being polite while he blames Obama for any future attacks on the US:
    I respect you as a man, and you are my President. I just think you are a September 10th kind of guy. Please move your political clock 24 hours ahead. Consider the advance of this clock “America Savings Time.”  Most of all sir, please understand your enemy.
    The Right think they can recreate the good ol' days of 2002-2005, when they could get anything they wanted by just accusing Democrats of not being bomb-happy enough. So far, it seems they're right.

    Making Lemons

    Nate Silver, on Obama's losing control of the debate over the stimulus package and the growing appearance of the word "pork" in media coverage over the last two weeks, despite the plan not having significantly changed:
    The Congressional Republicans, on the other hand, are fairly good at making lemons out of lemonade.

    Wednesday, February 04, 2009

    Dark Days

    Pretty dark out in the blogosphere today. Not sure what else to add.

    Shorter NY Post

    • Ooh, is little baby going to CRY?! Wah wah!
    Update: Alternately...
    • Admitting mistakes equals depression

    Tuesday, February 03, 2009

    I don't think I ever saw Joe's final report Live from the Ground of Israel?

    Come On, Guys

    John Cole:
    Seriously- we were confronted with story after story about how the Obama team had the most “intrusive application ever.” Did it not ask them if they had paid their damned taxes?
    Seriously. This is getting annoying.

    Memories of NYC in Legos

    These are brilliant.


    What It's Come To

    This is what it's come to for Republican staffers in Congress. In the midst of an economic crisis, and after balking at a stimulus package, the GOP is turning to an unlicensed plumber/campaign prop to discuss legislative strategy on economic policy.

    Obama Appointee?

    I don't know anything about the TV show 24, except that I know that conservatives are feeling a bit let-down this year that the show seems slightly less torture-loving than they'd like it to be.

    Writer Jude over at Andrew Breitbart’s Haunted Clown Toilet of Angry Sad has decided to liveblog his hero, but runs into some disappointment near the end.
    9:58pm - Oh, F#%k you, Jack. Schlumpy does not need to turn himself in. You weren’t going to until your hand was forced. Wait, is Jack kind of like an Obama appointee?
    Uh-oh. Hero crisis!

    Monday, February 02, 2009

    The Masters

    When I saw that article the other day called Republican is the New Punk, I knew I shouldn't waste my time addressing it because Sadly No would take care of it best.
    He might as well have said, ‘Polenta is the new risotto’, then spent 500 words talking about oatmeal, for all the light he sheds on this supposed punk-rockness of Republicans.


    It sure seems just as excruciating keeping our nation's political discourse away from Teh Stoopid as it was before the election.