Sunday, February 28, 2010

That's one scary Brothel

Don Cherry is running:

I'm ever so thankful

That Charles Pierce is out there blogging...this takedown of sports glibbertarian Bill Simmons is short, thorough, and well -- awesome.

For those of you who haven't read his foray outside of sports, Idiot America, you really should do so.

Open Your Mind. Open Your Heart. Open Your Wallet.

To take inventory of the blogs I read every day, I need look only as far as my bookmarks bar. Here are the highlights: 538, The Awl, Booman, Balloon Juice, Dependable Renegade, Roger Ebert, Naked Capitalism, Ritholtz, Gawker, Taibbi, Phila, Ta-Nahesi Coates, Josh Marshall, and d r i f t g l a s s

About that last one. 

I'll admit it.  Sometimes I read d r i f t g l a s s and become alarmed.  I don't always get all the sci-fi references and some of his Photoshopping freaks me out to the point of needing brain bleach, but I am never anything less than impressed by the man's passion, perspective, and patented ability to turn a phrase.  I think he's doing some of his best work of late, especially his posts that relate to "Da Mare" a/k/a Little Ritchie Daley, who sold his soul long before he sold Chicago's parking meters. 

The other day I noticed that The New York Times has figured out a way to get writers to write for free and it irritated me.  It's bad enough that Arianna and her ilk have sold the "Write for the glory of writing for Arianna" schtick so to many folks, but when Pinch & Co. get up to it, it's a brand new day, and not in a good way.  Writers ought to get paid for their labors, same as publishers get paid for playing wingman to a coterie of foppish neocon shitbags duping a country into a war, railroading presidents and scientistswithholding crucial stories at the behest of the White House, and making crappy business decisions.
Which brings me to my point:  d r i f t g l a s s is having a fundraiser.  If you like his work and you've got a few bucks to spare, click on over there and show him a little love for his labors.  I can offer you a money-back guarantee that your hard-earned cash won't go to gin up any wars.  

What Steve Said

Steven Benen sums up the horrendous fawning over "President" McCain on "Meet the Press" yet again:

For those keeping score, this will be McCain's 20th appearance on a Sunday morning talk show since Obama's inauguration. That's an average of 1.5 appearances a month, every month, for over a year -- more than any other public official in the country.

And if the McCain/Lieberman/Graham wank-umvirate are considered I'd bet they've been on about three-out-of-four Sundays.

And who, exactly, is John McCain? He's the one who lost the 2008 presidential race badly, and is now just another reactionary conservative senator in the minority. Gregory will apparently ask for McCain's thoughts about health care, despite the fact that the senator's thoughts on the subject appear to fall somewhere between wrong, petty, and ridiculous.

And, worse yet, Gregory will not even attempt to challenge any of grandpa's ridiculous lies.

If it's Sunday, it's an alternative reality. Save it for Harry Turtledove.


Hey everybody,

Look at the gentile talking points I'm just accepting from Republicans and gumming forth now!

I'm too lazy to look

Since Al Gore has an Op-Ed in the New York Times today, which right-wing moron has argued that since Hawaii wasn't wiped off the face of the earth like the talking heads implied, but rather dealt with a tsunami the approximate size predicted by scientists, global warming has been disproved?

Surely it's happened by now?

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Dude, left hanging

For those of you who don't follow any sports, let alone non-'Murican ones you may not know the story of how two British defenders had it revealed that one, John Terry, in the recent past slept with and got pregnant the girlfriend of another, Wayne Bridge. It's been a big enough scandal that even a few Americans know about it.

Well, this week Bridge said he would not be on the national team with Terry on it even after the latter had his captaincy stripped.

Well today their respective teams are meeting in London (Manchester City at Chelsea) and there was, as always the handshakes between the two teams. Terry in blue, Bridge in White.

Guess who got left hanging?

One just doesn't sleep with another's lingerie model and expect everything to be cool.

Holy shit!

An incredibly powerful earthquake - 8.8 magnitude on the Richter Scale -- in Chile and resulting huge tsunami has hit, about 70 miles from the city of Concepcion (about the size of Des Moines). CNN just said there are reports of waves of up to 40 meters* hitting Easter Island (home of the Moais) and a Tsunami warning for Hawaii for this morning.

Could be yet another horrible story to rival Haiti (Japan just escaped a 7.0 quake relatively unscathed).

(*seems ridiculously high and CNN has a Tsunami expert on saying that's very unlikely)

Friday, February 26, 2010

The Awesomest Olympic Games Quote ever!

Via Deadspin, Norwegian cross-country skier Odd-Bjørn Hjelmeset (c'mon "Odd-Bjorn"?) explains why he was not up to snuff and his team only got the silver medal:

My name is Odd-Bjørn Hjelmeset. I skied the second lap and I fucked up today. I think I have seen too much porn in the last 14 days. I have the room next to Petter Northug and every day there is noise in there. So I think that is the reason I fucked up. By the way, Tiger Woods is a really good man.

Petter Northug, now I'm like 1/4 norwegian and I'm from Minnesota, so I have an intrinsic knowledge of the language as long as you don't expect me to read, spell, or speak it.

And I can tell you, Olympians should not room next to Peter North. And as the whole quote makes self-evident, keep the snow below your skis, not below your nostrils.

The Mark is You

Can't recommend Matt Taibbi's latest -- Wall Street's Bailout Hustle -- enough.  

Of course, anyone who wants to have a substantive public discussion about the issues Taibbi's article raises will first have to listen to pundits and elite journalists shrieking, "But he called Lloyd Blankfein 'Dr. Ballsachs!'" for ten minutes, at which point the clock will run out on the segment which will conclude that Matt Taibbi really isn't "serious", because that's just the way Idiot America rolls.

Better Late Than Never

Last night The Russian and I were discussing politics and Kevin Phillips came up.  So this morning I threw his name into Google and came upon this November 7, 2008 Bill Moyers interview of Kevin Phillips and it is interesting and pretty much spot-on even fifteen months after it occurred.  



On Meet the Press!

The rich, they're just better than you

The get the double-standards:

Oakland parking officers were ordered to avoid enforcing neighborhood parking violations in two of the city's wealthier neighborhoods but told to continue enforcing the same violations in the rest of the city, according to a city memo obtained by The Chronicle.

They don't have to wear hand-me-down dentures.

But they can travel the country as one of the true founding-losers.

Who really cares?!

The horror, the horror!

The International Olympic Committee will investigate the actions of Canadian women's hockey players who celebrated their gold medal victory Thursday night by swigging beer and smoking cigars on the ice in Vancouver.

The next thing you know, they'll investigate the snow-boarders for smoking pot.

Nobody could have not anticipated

Former Bush hack, naturally made WaPo Columnist, prefers his Presidents be dumb, ill-spoken, lame nickname-spouting bores:

President Obama, as usual, was fluent, professorial and occasionally prickly. Some are impressed by the president’s informed, academic manner. Others (myself included) find an annoying condescension in Obama’s never-ending seminar.

"Saracen Pig", "Spartican Doggy"

Bush and Cheney met for the first time since they left the White House yesterday ... and sadly, it wasn't in the dock.

I'd mock it more, but I swear, this is a transcript of their meeting:

"Mr. President, welcome," began Cheney.

"Lookin' good," replied Bush.

"Holding up," said Cheney.

"Lookin' good," said Bush again.

"Could be worse," said Cheney

And to summarize ...

I believe it has been established the Canadians have the second best National Anthem (France always wins the Gold this category).

Thursday, February 25, 2010

When Did We All Start to Hate the Phone?

I read this, which lead me to this, and yes, I hate the phone, too.  I think I've hated it for a little more ten years now (which coincides with the boom of email, I guess), but before that? Wow, I would jaw and jaw away with my friends for hours.  Do teenagers still talk on the phone or is it all texting?  Anyway, I'll add four more reasons to avoid talking on the phone to this list:
  1. Call waiting.  I don't have it, but I have friends who do, and I need to tell you something.  All those times when you said, "Oh wait! Hold on!" and put me on hold without giving me a second (thought), we were not disconnected. I hung up.  And when you called me back and said, "What happened?" and I said, "I don't know", I was lying.  I knew exactly what happened -- I hung up on you.  That's what I do when people are rude.  I did it to you and I'll do it again.  You know who you are. 
  2. Squeezing a call in while you are running from one appointment to another, waiting for your coffee or lunch, standing in the elevator, etc.  I know you live in fear of those few minutes when you've got to sit quietly with your own thoughts, but I'm not a one-woman entertainment committee, so please wait to call me until you've got some actual time to pay attention to whatever you want to talk with me about.
  3. Make-work for your phone.  When we're scheduled to meet at 6 PM and it's 5:55 and you've arrived a few minutes early you don't need to use those five minutes to call me and say, "I'm in the back by the fireplace" or "It's actually closer to 83rd than it is to 84th (Street). "  I know where I'm going and I can find you.  If I am lost or late, I'll call you.  But if everything's on time, there' s no need to call. I'll be there.
  4. I'd rather see you in person.  Seriously. Unless you just need to telegraph some bit of information (in which case email or a text is perfectly acceptable), I'd rather sit down over coffee or a cocktail or take a walk with you.  It's more fun. 

If You Can Make It Here You'll Make It Anywhere


Remember our Ugly Building Battle?  

Want to have an Ugly State Government Battle?  And no, Steve King is federal, so you can't factor him into the Iowa quotient. 

Meanwhile, I've got Eliot Spitzer, Pedro Espada, Hiram Monserrate, and David Paterson, among other illustrious figures. 

You game?


Well, maybe the NY Times WAS on to something

A week or so ago (too lazy to look it up) I mocked the NY Times a bit over promising something earthshaking against flat-lining NY Governor David Patterson.

Well, it appears I may have been premature, at least on this story.

OMG, there might be Ombudsworthy topics going on at the Post...

I better get the FUCK OUTTA TOWN until it blows over!

Hey, what are ya' gonna do? Sally Quinn is the last person left still throwing key parties.

It's Healthcare Summit Day!!!

Don't forget your bronzer!


Harold Ford is having a hard time fooling people.

And he doesn't seem at ALL a shallow opportunist now does he?

I salute you

Watching the hockey from the Olympics, I'm convinced that Mike Emrick might be the best play-by-play guy I've ever heard in any sport. Yesterday he did four straight games, dropping knowledge and trivia while pronouncing impossible names, never screwing up, in one of the hardest, if not THE hardest sport to do play by play in.

The guy is impressive.

Although Mike Milberry should tone down his Don Cherry, Jr. impression -- there's only ONE Don Cherry (thank god!).

Dear Conservatives, you'll have to overcompensate in some other manner

Because soon no one will be providing or selling hummers...

...oh, sorry, providing or selling Hummers™.
General Motors says it will discontinue Hummer after its bid to sell the brand to a Chinese company failed.

Yes, the offensive symbol of excess and primary resting place of yellow ribbon magnets and bumper stickers proclaiming certain colors don't run will expire -- the end of a ridiculous and offensive era.

Good riddance.

(pic from here)

[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Compare & Contrast

Greeks demanding stuff from their government.


Americans demanding stuff from their government.

Who do you think is going to get action?

Retire Her to Grey Gardens

Send Sally permanently to East Hampton. In a few years, the Mayles brothers can go over there with cameras and film the sequel to Grey Gardens.

New York Times Just Gives Up on Journalism

As if you needed any more convincing that the New York Times sucks utterly, click here and read about yet another shameful example of how the Times has fallen down on the job once again.

(Just as an aside, the NYT has also figured out a way to make writers work for nothing more than the supposed glory of appearing in the New York Times. Do you suppose that little A.G. Sulzberger writes for free? But I digress...)

Not a dime for the NYT people: not one thin dime. You know that generous souls will post Krugman, Bittman, and Herbert (and Rich for anyone who still cares) within two minutes of their columns going up, so there really isn't any reason to give the NYT any of your hard-earned cash. The only thing you have to lose by not subscribing when the firewall goes up is aggravation in the form of Thomas Friedman, Maureen Dowd, Ross Douthat, and the like.

"Oh noes!" you say. "The NYT is all we've got! What if Murdoch buys it?" Quite frankly, who gives a damn? The Pentagon Papers glory days of the NYT are long gone. Since that time the NYT has done its part to impeach a president, gin up a war in Iraq, create full employment for right-wing assholes, pen dozens of phony trend stories, and flame the mommy wars. You can get all that on the internets for free, so why would line the pockets of losers like Pinch Sulzberger, Bill Keller, and Clark Hoyt?

The Beverly Killbillys

California beauty queens, really making a name for themselves:

Miss Beverly Hills 2010 Lauren Ashley, who will compete in the Miss California pageant in November, has gone further. Ashley told Fox News that not only is she against same-sex marriage, but that she thinks it is divine law that gays should be put to death because “the Bible is pretty black and white“

I hope you haven't eaten shellfish lately Lauren (wasn't there a porn star named Lauren Ashley?...surely that's the case).

In any case, things sure have gone downhill since Ellie Mae Clampett left town.

But inspite of this dedication to murder...

Ashley also told Fox that she “has a lot of friends that are gay,” and that there’s “no hate between [her] and anyone.”

"I think you should be killed -- tee hee -- nothing personal."

Naturally, Ashley appears on Fox.

Time for the Nike Shoes, Sweats, and Pudding Cups

Oh, dear -- someone else is planning on taking flying lessons:

...famous angry person Andrew Breitbart has announced that "within the next three weeks" he will personally "[take] down "the institutional left."

Far be it from me to guess how this will end, but I'm pretty sure it will involve Steve Doocy, a Renuzit air-freshener, a pound of kielbasa, and a piper cub.

And the tragi-comedy continues

There is, apparently, no end to the douchebaggery both substantial and petty from Blackwater employees -- whether murdering, raping, or just being assholes, they're a full-service flock of cretins:

Blackwater personnel appear to have gone to exceptional lengths to obtain weapons from U.S. military weapons storehouses intended for use by the Afghan police...Gen. David Petraeus, the commander of all U.S. military forces in the Middle East and South Asia, wrote to the committee to explain that "there is no current or past written policy, order, directive, or instruction that allows U.S. Military contractors or subcontractors in Afghanistan to use weapons stored at 22 Bunkers."

On one of those occasions, in September 2008, Chief Warrant Officer Greg Sailer, who worked at 22 Bunkers and is a friend of a Blackwater officer working in Afghanistan, signed over more than 200 AK-47s to an individual identified as "Eric Cartman" or possibly "Carjman" from Blackwater's Counter Narcotics Training Unit. A Blackwater lawyer told committee staff that no one by those names has ever been employed by the company. Eric Cartman is the name of an obnoxious character from Comedy Central's popular "South Park" cartoon.

Oh, Bristol Palin's going to act

This will be right up there with Sofia Coppola in Godfather III, except that the latter had other actual talents.

Let's look at a similar debut:

Where everyday is 'Opposite Day'

Oh, how Fox & Friends newly minted insanity disguised as facts always end up coming together:

Right-wing media figures have seized on comments Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made linking unemployment to a rise in domestic violence by suggesting that if he loses his re-election bid, then Reid, whose mother was a victim of domestic abuse, will subsequently become abusive toward his wife.

Other than Harry Reid being factually correct, this goes beyond mere talking points. The same day Steve Doocy decides to say that Democrat Harry Reid will abuse women if he loses reelection in Nevada the actual Republican Governor of Nevada Jim Gibbons had this revealed:

The federal civil suit was brought by Chrissy Mazzeo, a cocktail waitress who says that Gibbons assaulted and groped her in a parking lot after spending hours drinking at a Las Vegas restaurant...on February 5 of this year, the governor was deposed for four hours ... [d]uring the deposition, Gibbons claimed that he hasn't been sexually intimate with any woman since 1995, and that he's "living proof that you can survive without sex for that long."

So he couldn't have abuse a woman because he's sexually frustrated...oh THAT never happens.

Yet Republican Jim Gibbons is never mentioned on Fox & Friends.

Funny that.

[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

xoxoxo Frank

Oh no!  The NYT has a "Magazine Preview" up right now.  It's a mash note to profile of the nudist truck-driving Massachusetts Republican Scott Brown written by none other than Frank Bruni.  The last time Frank Bruni covered politics we wound up with President Fredo McFuckStick, a terrorist attack that killed 3,000 people, two wars that killed hundreds of thousands more, two vile Supreme Court appointments, and record deficits.

God help us all. 

More than four hours...

The Annals of Unfortunate Headlines:

He should have practiced more with the banana.

And yes, I hope things turn out well...and I am pretty much mentally a 14-year old.

Oh, another terrible indication of being soft-on-terror

Boy, this Obama guy just has no idea, it's making Dick Cheney literally sick:

In another blow to the Taliban senior leadership, Pakistani authorities have captured Mullah Abdul Kabir, a member of the group’s inner circle and a leading military commander against American forces in eastern Afghanistan, according to a Pakistani intelligence official...

Mullah Kabir is a member of the Quetta Shura, the small group of leaders who direct the Taliban’s operations and who report to Mullah Muhammad Omar, the group’s founder. The group is named for the Pakistani city where many of the Taliban’s leaders are thought to be hiding.

Score another one for the criminal justice system

More than 150 arrested, prosecuted, sentenced by civilian opposed to three, THREE!, for the Cheney-beloved military tribunal system.


Oh dear, the Teabaggers big pinup, Scott Brown, in the understandable interest of kissing his constituents' ass and having a chance at keeping his job over that of K-Lo and losing it for sure, voted for closure on the Jobs bill.

And, as you can imagine, the results are hilarious!

I'm sure there are many people acting like a dick

At the Olympics, and I'm sure many (hell, I know my fellow-citizens "most") are probably Americans, but this guy does seem a real stand-out:

Evgeni Plushenko, the decorated Russian figure skater, was poised to repeat as a gold medalist in the Vancouver Olympics last week, but fell short on the second night to American Evan Lysacek.

Since then, Plushenko has blamed the judges and gotten support from his own prime minister, Vladimir Putin...

...It seems Plushenko has found a way to get past the near-miss, however -- and it doesn't involve a Sex Bomb. A visit to his web site reveals that he won a silver medal in 2002 and a gold in 2006. Both true. But then he claims to have won a platinum medal at the 2010 Winter Games.

"The Post's left-leaning editorial page"

Ah, the above is what passes for the wit and wisdom of Howard Kurtz. Washington Post's village meme-enforcer and Michelle Malkin's enabler. And with the hiring of Bush torturer lover Marc Thiessen his words are as accurate as ever.

But the new hires are one thing, it is in the long-standing columnists of the Post that you truly find "liberal" in full-flower. And the "liberal" consensus is "let's get us another war on!"

Anne Applebaum realizes that Obama is just not going to start another war with Iran for all manner of really logical reasons -- so we'll just let those crazy Israeli's get us into it with the crazier Iranians.

I do not think Obama would restore the fortunes of his presidency by bombing Iran, like a character out of that movie "Wag the Dog." But I do hope that this administration is ready, militarily and psychologically, not for a war of choice but for an unwanted war of necessity.

Wahoo! Wolverines and shit!

At the same time, America's Concern Troll will not be out-trolled!

It may be time for Barack Obama, ever the soul of moderation, to borrow a tactic from Richard Nixon and fight crazy with crazy. The way things are going, it would be crazy not to.

Yes, it's finally come to that, Richard Cohen channeling Peggy Noonan's phrasing.

[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Monday, February 22, 2010

Lady-parts, ha ha!

When I called the guy a knuckle-dragger, I wasn't taking the drag part in this manner:

Ladies and Gentlemen,

One of your prime-time speakers for the 2012 Republican National Convention!

The daughter of the man who allegedly flew a plane into an IRS building in Austin, killing one person and injuring a dozen others, says her father is a hero because he stood up to the system.

"I think too many people lay around and wait for things to happen. But if nobody comes out and speaks up on behalf of injustice, then nothing will ever be accomplished," Samantha Bell told Good Morning America.

She was generous enough to add that flying a plane into a building and killing people was going too far however. Mighty big of her.

Somehow fitting and beyond the realm of mere comedy


In a recent interview, Jimmie Walker went on and on…and on about the love he has for his best friend Ann Coulter. Let’s take a moment to let that marinate.

“Ann is Ann,” the “Good Times” star told EUR’s Lee Bailey. “She’s a great woman, I have nothing but good things to say about her.”

Using words like “adorable” and “sweet” to describe the right wing talk show host, known for using racist rhetoric in discussing her conservative views, Walker brushes off her polarizing antics as part of her pundit persona.

“She does the Ann stuff,” Walker concedes. “But she’s just a beautiful person. I adore her. …She’s a very, very nice person and I’m lucky to know her.


Dear Ross Douthat, 

A "narrow" escape is when you flee to your dorm room on a Friday night just in time don your Ronald Reagan feety pajamas and brew up some Earl Grey to sip while you read The Collected Works of David Brooks and catch a re-run of the Margaret Thatcher episode of "Firing Line" rather than wilt under the expectations of a purring, birth-control-pill-popping Chunky Reese Witherspoon.

John Edwards didn't win a single 2008 presidential primary.


We had to commit mass slaughter to save lives

Good thing we let guys like this off the hook -- that should work out AWESOMELY in the future:

At the core of the legal arguments were the views of Yoo, strongly backed by David Addington, Vice President Dick Cheney's legal counsel, that the president's wartime powers were essentially unlimited and included the authority to override laws passed by Congress, such as a statute banning the use of torture. Pressed on his views in an interview with OPR investigators, Yoo was asked:

"What about ordering a village of resistants to be massacred? ... Is that a power that the president could legally—"

"Yeah," Yoo replied, according to a partial transcript included in the report. "Although, let me say this: So, certainly, that would fall within the commander-in-chief's power over tactical decisions."

"To order a village of civilians to be [exterminated]?" the OPR investigator asked again.

"Sure," said Yoo.

Only the President can do what Lt. Calley went to prison for.

I'm trying to figure out the moral distinction between Cheney, Addington, and Yoo and their historical counterparts Goebbels, Heydrich, and Stuckart -- I guess it's that all three of the former are not anti-Semitic and have been rewarded for their criminality. After that it gets a little harder.

Second best team in Duluth

I come from Minnesota originally -- but importantly, I come from the Southern half of the state. The part of the State that doesn't ski, play hockey, or curl...and we suck at Broomball, ice fishing, snowmobiling and driving our cars on a frozen-lakes also, once they become an Olympic sport.

To summarize, the south of Minnesota has no imagination whatsoever.

Anyhoo, this article about the U.S. Curling Team has a very "beer league" vibe to it.

The miracle of Dick Ebersol

Let's do a 30th Anniversary deal about the Miracle on Ice and then NOT show the United States vs. Canada on the main network, LIVE -- no, we must show tape delayed skiing and ice dancing.

That's commitment for ya'.

Words to live by

With the Olympics presently going on, if you don't know by now, you'll certainly hear at least a dozen times starting here, that today is the 30th Anniversary of the "Miracle on Ice". On February 22, 1980, to hear Glenn Beck tell it, a flock of young Republicans, pictured here, overthrew Jimmy Carter, "history's greatest monster" [and maybe that's the way Al Michaels would tell it now too].

In actuality, of course, it was the defeat of the Soviet hockey team -- truly a world power -- by a young American team coached by Herb Brooks -- America, at that time, being a small and plucky country of no prior consequence -- at least that's what Glenn Beck tells me.

Brooks had many sayings -- like most great coaches -- a pertinent one he made as his team, having beaten Soviets, were on the verge of blowing the gold medal by falling behind Finland. It has resonance to the Obama Administration and the Democrats to a variety of things, but mostly health care reform:

"If you lose this game, you will take it to your fucking grave….YOUR FUCKING GRAVE!"

Do you believe in political miracles?

Eh, probably not.

[Cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Revenge for 2000 is Nigh

Did anyone watch "Nature" tonight?  Apparently, GIANT BURMESE PYTHONS are taking over the entire state of Florida.  They eat large mammals, are prey to no animal, and breed faster than hunters can kill them.  They are SLITHERING, albeit slowly, all over Florida.

Would it be wrong to hope that one of them swallows Joe Scarborough?

Update:  wow. My sibling sent me this picture to illustrate the capabilities of these GIANT BURMESE PYTHONS.  I think one could easily accommodate Rush, too, pansypoo.

What Digby embeds

A rather startling graphic of the deficit and the role Bush played to all those deficit-scolds who constantly ignore it. When did Pete Peterson last emphasize the wealthy give up their tax cuts versus putting the screws to the poor anyway?

Pretty much never.

And if you were wondering

What a David Broder column would look like in the New York Times, look no further than Evan Bayh's sad clown prose this morning.

Watch a man betray most everything his father stood for in 1,000 words or less.

(pic from here)


Ooh, la, la:

"Nothing gets me more excited than a State government putting the screws to poor and middle class!"

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Coverage light-years beyond relevance

This year's Presidential straw-poll at CPAC:

Only 2,395 straw poll votes were cast by what organizers said was 10,000 attendees at this year's CPAC.

Haley Barbour: 1%

Mitch Daniels: 2%

Newt Gingrich: 4%

Mike Huckabee: 4%

Bronze: Sarah Palin: 7%

Gold (Standard) Ron Paul: 31%

Tim Pawlenty: 6%

Mike Pence: 5%

Silver Mitt Romney: 22%

Rick Santorum: 2%

John Thune: 2%

Good luck with that one.

That's rich!

Fresh manure out of CPAC

Yeah, the same guy who somehow got paid money to write this:

The Dollars. Always the Dollars.


Petitions and begging are one thing, but money is entirely another

The only way Starbucks will hear you is if you stop patronizing Starbucks.  


A Wedding (Or "Somewhere, Robert Altman is Smiling"

Sordid Sally Quinn working through the problems of her equally sordid family in her Washington Post column is funny, but the comments the column generated are absolutely side-splitting

Saturday AM 10

  1. Book recommendation for Rudy Giuliani's soon-to-be incarcerated best budy, Bernie Kerik.  I've mentioned You Got Nothing Coming before, but it's worth another shout-out because it really is good.  Bernie:  you got something coming and it ain't nothing nice.  
  2. If you haven't overdosed on Bernie/Rudy schadenfreude yet, read gossip fossil Cindy Adam's post-sentencing interview with Bernie.
  3. On Thursday night, I headed over to Madison Square Garden to see Eric Clapton and Jeff Beck in a "Together and Apart" show.  Beck played a set, Clapton played a set, and then they played a set together.  Here are the set lists for those who are interested, and yes, they really did play "Moon River" and it was great.  The concert-goers ranged in age from sixteen to about seventy, which I found rather cheerful.  The kids came out to see the guitar gods and the old folks came out to see, well, the guitar gods.    
  4. Roger Ebert put up a worthwhile follow-up post to that Esquire interview I mentioned the other night.  
  5. Speaking of Chicagoans, if you're one and looking for a gig, (little) Mayor Daley is advertising for aldermen on the internets
  6. Even more Chicagoans: are you listening to the driftglass/blue gal podcasts?
  7. Today is obviously Chicago Day: the library tells me that, The Adventures of Auggie March, which I reserved a few weeks back, has arrived. (BTW, I wonder what Hitchens has to say in that Auggie intro?  Hitchens' review of Wolf Hall has made me want to read that, too.  Look at what he says about Orwell's 1984 at that link.  Tell me what you think.)
  8. As a follow-up to The Dark Heart of Italy I need to see Videocracy.
  9. Massachusetts:  thanks for sending this buffoon to the greatest deliberative body in the world. /rolls eyes  
  10. Somewhere, William F. Buckley is smiling

What a surprise

I remember the bombardment of advertisements "Our Little Genius" got on Fox as the NFL season wore down -- struck me as yet another low point in game/reality show programming another knotch in creepy up from child beauty pageants.

But as rarely watch Fox in prime time with the exception of an occasional episode of the Simpsons I hadn't paid attention to the fact it never actually aired (that's a lot of ad revenue wasted).

Apparently, it's like they made it into a baby version of Charles Van Doren.

Friday, February 19, 2010

I'm not surprised Tiger's Wife didn't attend his press statement

About how he's guilty of only having "loved too much, so very very very much".

But I'm kind of surprised who was there.

Sarah Palin is really enjoying the Olympics

Especially curling.

Although, once they add 'Snowmachine Racing' to the competition, it will be truly awesome!

Literally true, if politically incorrect

Sarah Palin substantially outwitted by a retarded person*.

I guess former Governor Palin does not have a sense of humor. I thought the line "I am the daughter of the former governor of Alaska" was very funny. I think the word is "sarcasm."

In my family we think laughing is good. My parents raised me to have a sense of humor and to live a normal life. My mother did not carry me around under her arm like a loaf of French bread the way former Governor Palin carries her son Trig around looking for sympathy and votes.

*(I know, I know, but it doesn't work without the phrase)

And as they were complaining

Three Cheney posts is really three too many, but this deserves a whoopin', while Dick and Dickette were bashing Obama on his prosecution of their wars...

Pakistani authorities, aided by U.S. intelligence, have apprehended more Afghan Taliban chiefs following the capture of the movement's No. 2 figure — arrests that together represent the biggest blow to the insurgents since the U.S.-led invasion in 2001.

The arrests of more than a dozen Taliban leaders, including known associates of Osama bin Laden, came as militants fought to keep a grip on their southern stronghold of Marjah...

The arrests follow the capture in Karachi of Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, second only to the Taliban's one-eyed leader, Mullah Mohammad Omar. The White House and the Pakistani army have confirmed Baradar's arrest but have released few details, including when and how he was apprehended.

Pakistani intelligence officials said Baradar was traveling by car on the outskirts of Karachi when agents intercepted his vehicle, arresting him along with three bodyguards. One intelligence official said Baradar has provided "useful" information that led to the arrests of other militants.

Extensively quoted from the AP (don't sue and/or taze me bro).

Meanwhile, it hasn't been without costs.

And I also hear he is perceived to have a vision-problem

Good job New York Times!

New York Governor Patterson seen as aloof and increasingly remote...

This is their big scoop? That a guy with really shitty approval ratings, who is going to be clobbered in a primary, likes to be alone?

Shocking, who could have anticipated?!

No to Affirmative Action, Yes to a Meritocracy

That's the Republicans for you!

Liz Cheney leaves open the possibility of a Presidential run in 2012, and Mitt Romney is definitely running. Jeb Bush is a possibility too. All, of course, achieved their current status solely on the basis of their clear talents, having come to prominence from absolutely no where.

But the real key will be who Bill Kristol, Jonah Goldberg, John Podhoretz and Meghan McCain endorse.

Because it is TOTALLY about merit!

Thanks for not coming out to vote Massachusetts Democrats

Because your new Senator has agreed there are three meaningful ways to express your frustration.

1. Not Voting

2. Voting for Scott Brown

3. Flying Planes into Buildings to protest the actions of the American government.

Yeah, that's right, he said it.

Must be getting ready for CPAC, because it isn't terrorism if it's a white guy who hates the government.

In the name of Love being an Asshole

Let some Republicans just pass up the subtle offensiveness, and just get on to the full-blown obnoxiousness assholery:

Utah State Sen. Mark Madsen (R) is introducing legislation to create a holiday honoring John Moses Browning — the Utah native and “gun pioneer” who founded the Browning Arms company — on the same day as Martin Luther King Day.

Oh, if only he could celebrate it at the Lorraine Motel?

Noblesse O-bilge

Well look who showed up at the 38th Annual Hotel/Motel Art Fair and Book Burning yesterday...
Liz Cheney also came out swinging in her conference address.

"There's no polite way to put this, but that kind of incompetence gets people killed," Cheney said, accusing the Obama administration of missing warnings from the intelligence community that Yemeni terrorists were plotting an attack.

"There is no doubt that the daily intelligence briefings that the president receives contained much more information on the threat from Yemen," she said, without a hint of irony...

If this was a reality-based community, as opposed to CPAC, Liz would then have turned around and arrested her father (and commenced the torture immediately, she is a Cheney after all).

[cross-posted at Firedoglake]

Thursday, February 18, 2010

This guy makes Sarah Palin look like a Rocket Scientist modestly intelligent

What a moroon!

The Tea Party's choice in the Florida Republican primary, Marco Rubio, began his address to a crowd of conservative conventioneers by taking a shot at President Obama for reading from a teleprompter. He did it while standing in front of two easily visible teleprompters...A HuffPost reporter, however, watched his speech from the front row and Rubio could clearly be seen looking intently and repeatedly at the teleprompters.

"This Plays Well for Rudy Giuliani!"

Yes, those were the first words I heard out of Joe Scarborough's mouth upon his colleague's announcement of the death of Benazir Bhutto. I wonder if the odious Scarborough would use the same words now:

This guy was almost our first Secretary of Homeland Security based on Rudy Giuliani's flawless assessment of his sterling character.
Bye, Bernie.
And more importantly, Bye forever, Rudy.

Conjugal Visits or will he just have to settle for a mop handle?

Rudy's BFF is off the market for four years, due to get out, just in time to see Rudy 2016 tank about the time of the Iowa Caucuses.

Save it for the 'Ice Capades'!

One thing that people my age (mid-40s and over) remember about the Olympics growing up was the stylized "Good vs. Evil" bullshit that was touted whenever an American squared off against a Russian.

Hence the 'Miracle on Ice' victory of the college kids against the almighty "Red Army Machine" -- which turned out to be full of decent guys who could really play hockey and about which the only real tragedy is that some of them didn't get to come and dominate the NHL. I mean the 'Miracle on Ice' is an awesome story, but the Soviet hockey players were not exactly the East German female swim-team.

And then there was Russian weight-lifter and jovial fat man Vasiliy Alekseyev who symbolized nothing more than that some people love beets too damn much.

But the Cold War is over, dead and buried, and we won by TKO. U-S-A! U-S-A! -- though as a technicality it also royally fucked us over at the same time as we choke on our military expenditures and ever-awesome overseas occupations.

Anyhoo, NBC seems determined to try to make a Commie-Monster out of a Russian men's figure skater.

I'm sorry NBC, but I just don't fear the Russians ability to out do us in the realm of sequins and feather-boas.


Who could not have predicted Grandpa Davey would cut-and-paste yet another mash note to a retiring self-proclaimed centrist who made Broder swoon by mouthing platitudes and professing love for Republicans all while soaking up as much cash as they possibly could?

Maybe only Steve Doocy and the rest of the Fox & Friends crew is dumb enough to not have anticipated that one (yeah, right "maybe").

Uh, he's a golfer

It's bad enough network news departments appear to believe McCain is President or something, but it's one thing for ESPN to cover this, but Tiger Woods is not a head of state:

Expect the broadcast networks to break into their daytime lineups at 11 a.m. Friday to cover Tiger Woods's news conference in step with the cable news networks -- just as though it were a presidential address to the nation.

Golly, I bet he's going to say he's sorry.

Surely, this ranks up there with the moon landing.

Well-heeled Racists

Let's call a teabag a tagbag:

Tea Party activists are 60 percent male and 80 percent white, with 77 percent of them self-identifying as “conservatives” and 44 percent identifying as “Republicans.” While 47 percent of Americans report making less than $50,000 a year, only 26 percent of Tea Party activists make that little, while 34 percent make $75,000 or more.

The kind of pinheads that can afford to go from motel convention to motel convention dressed up like Button Gwinnett.

NBC's Olympic Coverage is epically awful

With the refusal to show live programming dispite the availability of four channels, interrupting sports etc.

But hey, Colbert is in Vancouver and he is sticking it to those syrup-sucking iceholes and their free health care!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

"There is no need to pity me. Look how happy I am."

Read this Esquire profile of film critic, prolific blogger, master Tweeter, and all-around mensch Roger Ebert.

Heads up: there's a photograph of Ebert taken after multiple facial surgeries at the link. It's initially jarring.  But don't be afraid.  He's not.

Why I ignore Sunday Morning Chat Shows

I mean, Christ on a Werther's Original did Old Man Broder really say this?

Rochester, N.Y.: On "Meet the Press" on Sunday your colleague David Broder was talking about a possible Unity 12 ticket that might pair Evan Bayh with, say, Scott Brown as principled, centrist third party team. Do you think that's likely? Could something like this thaw the bipartisan ice?

Broder has achieved the impossible, he's now less relevant to political reporting than dead people.

Shorter Dennis Prager

Offended by a Doritos ad...of course:

No small child should ever slap an adult and if one slapped me I'd beat the shit out of the little brat as a reaffirmation of my manhood!!!

What Pereene said

Yesterday morning while flipping channels, I performed an experiment -- completely subjective in value, but revealing to some extent nonetheless.

I thought, "Let's see how long I can watch FoxNews and see how long it takes for some crazy person to say something completely batshit crazy?".

So I turned to FoxNews knowing it was Fox & Friends figuring, "five minutes including commercials tops".

But Glenn Beck was on and I knew it would be a miracle if it was half that -- c'mon Beck, Doucy, Kilmeade, Carlson those are the Four-Morons of the Retardocalypse (I apologize to Sarah Palin in advance). Let's just say when it comes to CRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAZY Glenn Beck never underperforms.

Six seconds in, SIX-FUCKING-SECONDS, he completes the statement "so here you have a leading scientist saying Global Warming is a LIE!".

I believe he managed to utter this without tears, so it was a bit of a surprise in that at least.

But what of this, alleged scandal...well, it's about what you'd figure, as Pereene says (quoted at length):

Over in Britain, their papers have been going nuts over the revelation of errors in the last report form the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. There were two legitimate (but fairly inconsequential) errors in the report that were promptly corrected. The errors did not have anything to do with the question of whether or not climate change is real and human-driven. But, whatever! Cry "scandal" and let slip the "-gate" suffix!

When it comes to the question of climate science, I trust climatologists a lot more than British journalists. Have you ever met a British journalist? First of all, they're all alcoholics [Ed. CHRIS HITCHENS PLEASE TRY TO STAND UP!!]. Secondly, and more importantly, journalists the world over don't understand science. {Ed. JOHN TIERNEY & GREG EASTERBROOK LADIES AND GENTLEMEN!] I don't understand science! I rely on scientists for that. But journalists do understand scandal very well. They are experts in scandal.

So what you have here are basically conservative bloggers relying on the scientific illiteracy of journalists to trump up errors (real and wholly imagined) in a report that is a summary of established science, which reliably turns into stories asserting that the evidence behind climate change is "in doubt."

And now the same British people who are all getting the measles again because they're scared of autism don't believe in global warming anymore, because it snowed.

One of this British publisher's examples of supposed major threats that turned out to have been overhyped (by the generalist media, keep in mind, and not usually by those cursed "experts") is "acid rain." The funny thing about that particular overhyped threat is that it went away because it was combated by determined government action. Our government-hating Libertarian friends at Reason magazine actually just named acid rain reduction as one of their five reasons Libertarians shouldn't hate Big Government!

And this was the best comment on Glenn Beck and his followers:


This is the same population that would burn atheists at the stake for being "skeptical" of their imaginary friend in the sky.

But who will laugh maniacally now?

Abandon Chin!

People [ed. so you know it's true!] reports that Leno sidekick Kevin Eubanks—whom Letterman dubbed "the guy with the guitar who laughs at everything"—is heading for the door.

I suggest CRAZY LEMUR!

Brodereeze from Pearlstein

As they noted at Balloon Juice...oy!

...many good people either have been reduced to shameless pandering (John McCain) or are simply giving up and going home (Byron Dorgan, Evan Bayh, Billy Tauzin).

McCain has always been a gigantic panderer...especially to the press corps, sickeningly so. Bayh, see below. Dorgan I'll let off, but Tauzin?

Billy Tauzin never went home. He resigned, during his term, to land a seven-figure job with the pharmaceutical industry so he could steer home the legislation he'd been pushing at their bidding for 20 times less the money.

To call that asshole a "good person" is sickening.

Tiniest of Violins

Evan Byah (who's father was the real deal by the way) calling for a the incumbents to be tossed out [wonder who that would put in charge of Congress?] and decrying the system...and how it leaves him with $13 million to put in his bank account.

And Evan knew how to bring in the cash.

Fuck you, you pusillanimous hypocrite.

All the above will be ignored, of course, in the obligatory forthcoming Broder column that praises his awesome bipartisan manner.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Unlike many spree killers

The Biology Professor who killed three colleagues was not somebody you can look at -- if you knew her history -- and say, her actions were shocking.

I mean, holy shit!

I wrote earlier shooting your brother can fuck you up, but it sure looks like the being fucked up part came before that incident took place. And unlike some conservatives this isn't like Huckabee's pardon of a serial rapists, but it is an indication that even a locally powerful person in the right location (her mother) can really throw a monkey-wrench into the judicial system (and speaking of being fucked up, imagine what this prior incident [daughter shooting son] did to that woman's psyche).

Of course, in between killing sprees she gets a Ph.D in biology from Harvard and joins academia -- no small accomplishment [and judging by her haircut toured with Emo Phillips, hell she might be Emo Phillips].

Just the weirdest CV ever I suppose. In fact, this sounds more like a bizarre Hitchcock movie ripped off by Brian DePalma.

Not that I have my finger on pop-culture or anything

But I have a Facebook page that I put together for some reason, and I share -- to some extent the Twitter page with DeDurkheim (he puts up about, oh 90% plus of those, I'm responsible for the occasional non-lucid tweet).

I have to say, the Facebook page is more of a pain in the ass than anything. Other than accepting "friendships" from dozens of people or more on the rare occasions I visit, being taken hostage, given virtual posies, and other annoying events I have no idea what the fuck point it has.

So if you are recommending stuff to me on Facebook, or taking me hostage, don't take my infrequent responses personally, it's just that I really, truly, wish I had not bothered and couldn't give a shit.

Now the Twitter-thing seems to serve the whole Zeitgeist element of Facebook without being a pain in the ass, I can appreciate that.


America's Concern Troll

Shorter Cohen: Watch me take this layup of a column about Sarah Palin with easy and lucid points just sitting there for the taking and get nothing but air.

But I'm a fine basketball player, just ask all my friends at the Daycare Center.

Still, there is one point:

The lady from Alaska is a phony. She has sold out for money, quitting office so that she could cash in. She asserted her small-town bona fides, her antipathy both to the establishment and the mainstream media -- and then got herself a ghostwriter, a booking agent and a (Fox News) network contract. She is rich, famous for the metaphorical 15 minutes Andy Warhol allotted us all and, elbows swinging, is forging her way to oblivion. She was neither a threat (the left) nor an opportunity (the right), but just a fantasy -- until the American people turned the lights on.

When you are less perceptive than Richard Cohen, David Broder, it's time for you to turn off the internet connection at the assisted-living facility.

Outstanding news

This guy is even better than an Al Qaeda #3 and we didn't have to use a missile to kill 80 civilians to get him:

The Taliban’s top military commander was captured several days ago in Karachi, Pakistan, in a secret joint operation by Pakistani and American intelligence forces, according to American government officials.

The commander, Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar, is an Afghan described by American officials as the most significant Taliban figure to be detained since the American-led war in Afghanistan started more than eight years ago. He ranks second in influence only to Mullah Muhammad Omar, the Taliban’s founder and a close associate of Osama bin Laden before the Sept. 11 attacks.

Mullah Baradar has been in Pakistani custody for several days, with American and Pakistani intelligence officials both taking part in interrogations, according to the officials.

And as Spencer Ackerman so correctly states, keep interrogating, but don't torture him. Gather intelligence and encourage others to capitulate through civilized treatment. This is a big coup for the Obama Administration's approach in Afghanistan/Pakistan...hopefully it is the start of a string of successes. And maybe it will get some positive reporting to the idea that torturing is NOT the way to do things.

In other words, do the exact fucking opposite of what Dick Cheney would do.

Bring it on

Oh the crazy hay-makers are going to be flying:

Chris Simcox, the co-founder of the Minuteman Civil Defense Corps, the militant anti-illegal immigration group, has dropped his own primary challenge to Sen. John McCain for Senate to endorse former Congressman J.D. Hayworth, according to Hayworth spokesman Jason Rose.

And Hayworth is going to go full-crazy, meaning that Mr. Straight-talk will be both full of bullshit and angry as hell.

This may be the most enjoyable primary of the election cycle -- plus I don't live there, and that's a real bonus.

Please excuse me, but I’m paid to just write crap

Apparently, in between Broder columns and Palin Op-Eds the Washington Post has just given up trying to live in our reality.

For example,Charles Lane, on Evan Bayh's departure from the Senate:

Quitting the Senate was a no-lose move for the presidentially ambitious Bayh, since he can now crawl away from the political wreckage for a couple of years, plausibly alleging that he tried to steer the party in a different direction -- and then be perfectly positioned to mount a centrist primary challenge to Obama in 2012, depending on circumstances.

Yeah, right Charles, a Democratic primary challenge to Obama from "the right" -- "depending on the circumstances" -- probably the same kind of "circumstances" that could deliver you a Pulitzer Prize.

[Cross-Posted at Firedoglake]

Monday, February 15, 2010

The British Have All the Fun!

We need one of these!

Think of the fun we'd have with Evan Bayh today -- or any number of other wankers any other day -- with this.

Q & A

If you are going to ask this question in public, you had better know the answer before you ask it.

Update 02/17/10: HOAX. (Still think the above stands, though.)

New Gig Possibility for Evan Bayh

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (a/k/a PhRMA) needs a new president as of last Thursday.

Just a suggestion.

Speaking of Ginormous Tools

I missed Joe the Dumber complaining that John McCain had screwed up his life over the weekend. 

Um, party of "personal responsibility" Joe?  

And did you ever managed to get licensed to plumb? 

Ginormous Tool to Retire

Josh Marshall says:

Evan Bayh will announce today he's retiring from Congress. Which is a huge blow for the Democrats and a big, big surprise.

How, exactly, is it a "huge blow for the Democrats"?  It's not like they're leveraging their majority or anything, so what's one less Democratic senator, especially a "centrist" nitwit like Bahy?

As for surprises, it's big big, alright. As in a big, big pleasant surprise. 

Good riddance, loser.

Update:  See?  The guy's a dick.  He's always been a dick.  He'll always be a dick.  When does he officially become a lobbyist?

Vice-Presidential friends

It has become the closest thing America has to an "Al Qaeda No. 3".

Before birthing (because they never abort anything) another talking point

Yes, Obama quietly raised the debt ceiling yesterday.

Like Bush never did it.

He did it four times...

Since Bush took office in 2001, the federal budget has gone from four years of surpluses, the longest such run since before the Great Depression, to deficits brought on by a recession, tax cuts, the Sept. 11 attacks, wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and Gulf Coast hurricane damage.

Five times...

Six times...

On the day President Bush took office, the national debt stood at $5.727 trillion. The latest number from the Treasury Department shows the national debt now stands at more than $9.849 trillion. That’s a 71.9 percent increase on Mr. Bush’s watch.

And this was just before the bailout.