Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Moving is Teh Sux

It doesn't seem to matter how much you organize or how much you get rid of, it's still gruelling and you still have way too much crap.

In fact, we're not even totally moved yet. We had three levels in our last home. Two of the levels are empty and sparkling clean. One level looks like Sanford & Son. That's our job tomorrow. And then I have to clean it, which should only take a couple of hours, as I have Mad Cleaning Skillz which are too often under utilized.

I am so frickin' over it already.

That is all.

Say, what's been happening in the world outside? Al Gore won an Oscar or something, right?


Sunday, February 18, 2007

Ladies and Gentlemen, Your House of Representatives

Zoot suit, poodle skirt, microwave oven ... close enough.

"Could you picture Davy Crockett at the Alamo looking at his Blackberry getting a message from Congress? 'Davy Crockett, we support you. The only thing is we are not going to send any troops.' I'm sure that would really be impressive to Davy Crockett."

Things Abraham Lincoln never said:

"Put your poo box away."

"Congressmen who willfully take action during wartime that damage morale and undermine the military are saboteurs, and should be arrested, exiled or hanged."

"Well, I'm off to the theater. I certainly hope I have good seats and I don't get shot in the back of the head by John Wilkes Boothe."

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Saturday, February 17, 2007

Matthews Clinton Smear Continues

Chris Matthews will say anything to fit whatever agenda he has at any given moment ... and when it comes to the Clintons, that agenda is always to smear.

Media Matters is currently illustrating his attacks on Hillary because she's a woman, but I noticed a little something that was so blatantly untrue it's stunning.
MATTHEWS: She seems to imply that she didn't know this guy would take us to war. She said, he could -- I gave him the right to do it, but I thought he'd go through sanctions and inspections and all of this.

Everybody in America knew we were going to war with Bush. He made it pretty clear from day one we were going to war.
Besides my very clear memories of Bush repeatedly saying that war was a last resort and that he hadn't made up his mind to invade Iraq, I thought the whole point of the controversy surrounding the Downing Street Memo was that it confirmed what liberals had been saying about Bush -- that he had planned, from day one, to go to war.

Perhaps Matthews, who constantly rewrites his own history, doesn't remember the Downing Street Memo controversy because he didn't talk about it ... except to help Condoleezza Rice come up with a lie to escape the accusation that Bush was fixing intelligence to fit his pre-determined agenda. Which she had to know was a lie, considering (as the incomparable Bob Somerby's The Daily Howler reminded me) that in July of 2002 she had told the State Department's director of policy planning, Richard N. Haass, that discussions of the pros and cons of invading Iraq were moot because the President had already made his decision.

Matthews' attack on Clinton also makes it sound like she's just now coming up with the rationale of "I believed the President when he said he would work to avoid war" to excuse her vote for the authorization. He's done it before, saying Democrats who were bamboozled by the Bush Administration's bogus case for war are just backpedaling because of the disastrous outcome. But as we can see from Hillary Clinton's own words, her rationale for voting for authorization was exactly what she made it out to be.

She's not waffling or changing her mind capriciously like all women do [/sarcasm]. The Bush Administration lied to make its case.

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Peter Pan Salmonella

We have one of the infected jars, and we've eaten nearly halfway through it. Maybe the salmonella settled to the bottom, because we're not sick.

At least I don't think so.

How do you tell the difference between your normal, everyday stomach cramps and bloody diarrhea and special salmonella stomach cramps and diarrhea?

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Friday, February 16, 2007

This is Why Candidates Need Bloggers

Bloggers help fact check. Well, make that leftwing bloggers. Hopefully even a rightwing blogger working for a Congressman should at least be aware from the subject blogswarming and warn his/her employer not to make a complete jackass of himself on the floor of the House.

Don Young of Alaska repeated the phony Abraham Lincoln quote. (TPM Cafe, via Atrios)

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We're Homeowners

We signed the papers today, so we'll be pretty busy for the next couple of weeks doing work on the house and moving.


Thursday, February 15, 2007

I Am Spartacus

And so's my wife.

via EvilMommy.

... in honor of Shakeaspeare's Sister and Pandagon. I share their sins. Proudly.

... The Spartacus Blogroll (sorry if I don't get the name of the blog exactly right or missed anyone. Let me know. ... And please feel free to use this pic.):

Common Place Book; Mixter's Mix; Plum Crazy; Walking To Do; The Tattered Coat; The Quaker Agitator; Dharma Bums; Marked Hoosier; The Fat Lady Sings; Hot Boyfriend Blog; Hughes For America; Agitprop; Simply Left Behind; Just Ain't Right; Head Nurse; If I Ran the Zoo; Lingual Tremors; Evil Mommy; memeorandum; Balls and Walnuts; TBogg; State of the Day; Saying Yes; My Left Wing; Skippy the Bush Kangaroo; Eschaton; Petulant Rumblings; Cap'n Dyke;

... Kitty's Blog; A Poetic Justice; Is Richmond Burning?; Mock, Paper, Scissors; Blog of the Moderate Left; eponymous; Mockingbird's Medley;

... konagod; Cynical-C Blog; The Whole American Hog; Ohio4Edwards; As Ohio Goes; Rook's Rant; driftglass;

... The Sideshow;


Americone Dream

Ben & Jerry's has a new ice cream flavor, Stephen Colbert's Americone Dream. (via Crooks & Liars)

Next up, Bill O'Reilly's BanaAnal PeneTreation.

Colbert digs it.

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A Bracing Spash of Reality

The other day I read a post pouncing on Joe Klein's stunning (for him) realization that liberal bloggers have reasons for their anger. I thought, despite the end of the post calling for civility (as I like to say, the day Limbaugh, Coulter, O'Reilly, Hannity et al no longer have jobs, I'll become civil), it was a remarkable step for a pundit with a large audience and apparent influence on mainstream perceptions of reality.

Thank digby for writing the post that I wanted to write on this very important and heartening subject, but was too busy looking at paint samples to be bothered (the kitchen will be Respite Blue).

As digby points out, for many years liberal bloggers have increasingly documented the insidious rightwing "jihad against their fellow Americans," only to be rewarded with accusations of shrillness and unhinged anger from both the rightwing and the SCLM. But there's nothing like firsthand experience to drive the point home:
But nothing changed until these [ed: so-called] liberal pundits and journalists started blogging.
And now Joe Klein realizes that, though we may be somewhat angry, it is justifiable anger.


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

*No Mosques Were Burned in the Painting of this School

Besides being, as HTML Mencken says at Sadly, No!, psychotically paranoid, Adam Yoshida is just delusional, though it is still a very popular criticism of the left.
At every step, the left – and its many allies on the rest of the political spectrum – have sought to obstruct all efforts to win this war. At every turn they’ve handcuffed our forces and circumscribed our options.
WTF? Liberals have neither been in control of what our forces do nor have we made any decisions as to options. The most leftist liberallyliberal in Congress making the most liberal leftist speech and casting the liberalest lefty vote still hasn't made one bit of difference as to who got what money; how it was spent; what Iraqi town was bombed; whether the 41st Infantry turned right or left at that last intersection; paid one single mercenary private contractor to steal a billion dollars while running over an Iraqi baby in a humvee.

The war has been run entirely by the Bush Administration, baby; every handcuffed troop and every circumscribed option; every squashed Iraqi baby, every missing billion dollars.

But I guess, if the Right can make things go well just by closing their eyes and wishing with all their might, then they must believe the Left can make things go bad with a similar technique (with the extra step of covering our naked bodies in goat blood or something).

I just said to Pither yesterday, the "anti-war" (meaning anti-Iraq war) left was against starting GWII. But once it started and has continued (actually, see Gen. Shinseki for our "pro-winning" advocacy even before the invasion), we have been calling for the troops to be adequately armed and staffed; for the war strategy to be run correctly; for sensible post-war plans; for reality to be recognized and dealt with on a daily basis.

The pro-war right (and liberal hawks) were for starting GWII. But once it started, they (except liberal hawks) were against any Congressional oversight; still haven't staffed or armed the troops adequately; haven't run any strategy well; ignored sensible post-war plans; and ignore reality on a daily basis. The freshly painted schools! We win every battle!

(I'm not providing links to what I'm specifically referring to, because if you don't already know at this point, then you haven't been paying attention or have been listening to liars, and it won't matter how often I post links with examples, it will never sink in).

At this point I don't think it is possible for us to do anything else. The time for getting it right is long past. I never wanted the Iraq venture to fail, I just wanted it to not start. Once it did, I held my breath hoping it would succeed despite knowing it was unlikely. I don't want it to fail now; I just know it already has.

And I had nothing to do with it!

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Anti-Liberty Crusaders

Glenn Greenwald has got a great post about the wrongness of those who say speaking out against administrations or wars during a time of war is treason.

I've heard that argument for many years, from my mom who was driven to distraction by Vietnam protesters. As recently as the run-up to GWII, I had talked to her of wanting to go to downtown Jacksonville, FL (where I lived at the time) to join protesters. I didn't because I had a toddler, and you just don't take toddlers to demonstrations. But we had some heated arguments about it, and I think we didn't speak for a couple of months after this particular one.

I understand the sentiment that's behind the urge to not speak up in protest during wartime. But the mere idea of doing anything more than just tsk-tsking those who speak out has always felt like a basic betrayal of what it means to be American. Particularly when people like Frank Gaffney (see the Greenwald post) suggest it should be a hanging offense:
If there's one thing that really should be a hanging offense, it is behavior that results in our being even less equipped to deal with such threats than we were before this phase of the War for the Free World began on September 11, 2001.
As Greenwald says,
The idea that war opponents were committing treason by virtue of marching against the invasion of Iraq -- or that Senators who currently criticize the war should be treated as traitors -- is as repugnant to our political values and as radical and dangerous as anything which, say, the widely discredited Joe McCarthy ever urged.
Plus, it's simply stupid.

Because if one were to look at the reality behind whose behavior is making us less safe, it would be the Bush Administration, their Democratic and Republican enablers, and all their neocon friends, including Gaffney himself.

The President isn't a king or a dictator, as much as he thinks he is. It is not only the job of the Congress to oversee how the President conducts a war, it is our job as the President's and Congresspeople's employers to make sure they are doing their jobs properly. One method is voting, another is poll-taking, and yet another is gathering en masse to show our numbers and commitment when we're between elections and a pollster hasn't called. Being deposed for egregious wrongdoing by large numbers of very dissatisfied Americans should always be a possible consequence.

To suggest otherwise is to do something to the American people which RWNJs apparently hate; it infantilizes American citizens. Gaffney would pat us on the head and say, "The grown ups are in charge, you just sit there and be quiet and let them take care of everything," even when it is obvious that those grown ups are being criminally irresponsible and corrupt.

Oh, except when it's a Democrat in charge.

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My son, Andy (who just turned 3) calls McDonald's KidDonald's©. It's his word, it's cute, and I'm copyrighting it.

I'm not saying you can't use it. I'm just saying you have to pay. ;-)


Teaching to the Test

My son goes to a small school that's rated as Average. But I really like it. There are small classrooms, devoted teachers, enforced discipline, music, art, computer lab, before and after school programs.

In our immediate neighborhood, there are seven kids my son plays with, but only he and one other 5th grader attends our little Average school. The others go to schools slightly further away that are rated Excellent. Those ratings do have influence. I would have considered transferring my son. But my own experience with his excellent teachers and my personal observations of the teaching that goes on in his school, coupled with the fact that it is such a small school (and it's close enough for him to walk or ride his bike or scooter -- the laziness factor on my part) persuaded me that, despite the Average rating, on balance his school was right for him.

What I recently learned about our school's rating, however, is that it's lower because they haven't been teaching to the CSAP, as the other surrounding schools have. The kids in the other schools are familiar with the test and how to take it. The simple fact of familiarity with how to take the test translates to a better score.

But because of that rating, our little school has been losing students, which translates into lost money. The school gets money to employ one teacher for every 24 students. One grade has 33 students and the school uses its own fundraised money to employ a second teacher.

Money talks. Now our school will start teaching to the CSAP, which means time that should be devoted to reading, math, science or the arts will be spent teaching kids how to fill in bubbles.

I know this argument against relying on testing isn't new. But personally experiencing the stupidity of the system really drives the point home.


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Tell 'Em to Screw Off

In light of the recent Marcotte and Obama nonsense, Sadly, No! commenter Robert Green has the answer all Democratic candidates should give when the right wing attack dogs pounce with faux outrage and controversies, as they will be doing every day for the next ... well, forever.
“my enemies have chosen to intentionally misinterpret my words in order to confuse the public. but they underestimate the public, who know exactly what i meant: [fill in blank by repeating the statement with slight amount of explanation.] they may be able to fool the media, but they can’t fool the american public. next question.”
Not an apology, not an apology non-apology.

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Marcotte Resigns

The hysterical, overblown rantings of the RWNJs have gotten into Amanda Marcotte's head like squirming larva,
... it was creating a situation where I felt that every time I coughed, I was risking the Edwards campaign.

so she resigned from the Edwards campaign.

I can understand why. There was so much attention on her that she felt like a distraction rather than a benefit.

But, really, she was acting as a temporary shield against the slime. The other major presidential contenders are getting smeared on their own merits, and Edwards was being slimed because of Amanda Marcotte. Now the rightwing attack dogs can focus on Edwards himself. The furor would have died down after a couple of months.

Amanda, they're going to find some faux controversy to pin on Edwards. You might as well have stayed.

To paraphrase John Bolton's reaction to the Bush Administration's "appeasement" of North Korea:
“I am very disturbed by this resignation,” Julie O. told the internet tubes. “It sends exactly the wrong signal to would-be RWNJs around the internets: 'If we hold out long enough, wear down the liberal bloggers, eventually you get rewarded,' in this case with the resignation of a liberal campaign blogger who used naughty words."

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Bad Predictions

Sure, there have been plenty. But none so egregiously wrong as the one I made the other day when I thought, "Oh, that's too bad. Well, at least I won't have to hear about Anna Nicole Smith anymore."


Monday, February 12, 2007

The Two Extremes Civility Argument

In a big nutshell at Sadly, No!


Sunday, February 11, 2007

Chunky Lord Voldemort

Opus, February 11, 2007.



I'm ashamed to admit that I didn't use my critical thinking skills any more effectively than Blogs for Bush, which says of Obama's presidential bid:

He hasn’t the experience: Certainly the most impertinent Presidential campaign since Wilke in 1940.
I, too, thought -- and said a couple of times -- that I don't think Obama is ready to run for president, he's not experienced enough.

Sadly,No! replied to Blogs for Bush:

Then again, there was Steve Forbes in 1996 and 2000, who was never elected to any office above and including dog-catcher. Actually, for 2008, there’s presumably Giuliani, who never held a state office. Come to think of it, actually, for 2008, there’s also, presumably, that one-term governor, Mitt Romney. Actually, there’s also Cox and Smith, for the GOP in 2008, who were never elected to a single office above, below, or including municipal sewer commissioner. Come to think of it, there’s also that one-term Republican governor, Gilmore…
Which made me think about the fact that Hillary Clinton is only on her second term as Senator of New York. If Al Gore were to be drafted to run, he would have the most experience of the Democratic and Republican frontrunners.

After all, as Pither pointed out, Al Gore actually was elected President.

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Friday, February 09, 2007

IPCC Hearing in House

Last night I caught some of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) testimony on C-SPAN. Having seen Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth finally, I understood a lot of what they were talking about. It was heartening to see most Republicans finally on board with science (with caveats, such as, as long as it doesn't interfere with the economy). And it was heartening to see these issues, and the myths surrounding them, dealt with so clearly. For the most part.

Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) was the sole Representative to offer a rebuttal to the scientists. He said there were hundreds of scientists who disputed the findings of the IPCC, but it was his fault none of them appeared. He would, however, enter their names in the record. Then he went on to question a couple of topics that made me yell, "were you paying attention?"

The Earth goes through natural warming/cooling cycles, so how do we know this isn't just one of those natural cycles?

As had been explained just a few minutes earlier, we know all about those warming/cooling cycles because of 650,000 years of evidence in the form of ice cores. The amount of carbon being released into the atmosphere now far exceeds any of the natural trends of the past 650,000 years. We also know from 650,000 years of evidence that temperature follows carbon levels. If carbon levels far exceed the natural warming/cooling trend, we know that temperature will follow.

But how do we know how much of the increase is caused by man?

As had been explained just a few minutes earlier, the isotopes in carbon created by burning fossil fuels is different from the isotopes in carbon found in more natural sources, such as volcanic ash and trees. Also, we know how much coal and oil is being taken out of the ground every year, so we know how much is being burned. We know our contribution.

There was another Representative who brought up the issue of the "Ice Age" mania of the 1970s. That's part of the "eggs were bad for us, now they're good ... you scientists don't know what you're talking about" tactic used to discredit Global Warming science. To be fair to the Rep, he brought it up to clarify, since he found the contradiction confusing. But it looked like an attempted "gotcha" to me.

One of the scientists, Richard Allen (the star of the show because of his enthusiasm and humor) explained the way science works. There are lots of ideas out there, people "pushing the envelope" of theory and testing. The media sometimes latches onto topics and blows them out of proportion (Summer of the Shark, Where the White Women At). Rep. Gilchrest (R-MD) interrupted to confirm that at no time was the Ice Age theory endorsed by the National Academy, and the Rep who brought the subject up had to take an extra 10 seconds to say "as we know in the House, the media never hypes things," or something similar. (See, conservatives know how to use irony for comedic effect).

There were also the "but what about the economy" hesitators. "We don't want to be too radical in curbing greenhouse gases because it might hurt the economy." And the scientists were asked about an upcoming study of the economic impact of global climate change. Proving that they have scientific ethics and follow the evidence rather than a political agenda, they declined to make any comment because it is outside their expertise. The upcoming study being referenced, if the Rep can be believed, states that global climate change could cost trillions of dollars and cause a worldwide depression. Sounds like a bigger hurt to the economy than shifting energy technologies.

One thing they did contradict about An Inconvenient Truth was the Greenland ice shelf and the North Atlantic Drift. It was my impression from An Inconvenient Truth that, if the Greenland Ice Shelf were to melt into the North Atlantic, the fresh water could shut down the North Atlantic Drift, the ocean current which keeps Europe warm. The North Atlantic Drift did shut down a long time ago by the draining of the Hudson Bay, causing an Ice Age in Europe. Gilchrest asked about this, and one of the scientists said it wouldn't shut down the current, but it could slow it down, cooling Europe.

And I was angered when one politician said that China is building coal-burning power plants and have stated that they will not do anything about pollution, so what should we do about China? He received a polite reply, that we would be a good example and would help slow the warming trend. But I wanted one of the scientists to snippily reply, "You want us to do your job for you? We're scientists. We look at the evidence and make conclusions about what is going to happen. Maybe if you hadn't wasted time calling us agenda-driven hacks and science a religion and had been working on this years ago, things might not be so dire."

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Tucker Carlson: Striving to Be a Great Black Man

Tuck has a problem with the "Black Value System" of Barack Obama's Chicago church, Trinity United Church of Christ. The Black Value System calls on Black members of the congregation (which is pretty much everyone) to be the best they can be as individuals and when it comes to their community, which is made up of Black people, a community which has historically had very specific problems related to the color of their skin.

Tuck says this is separatist, exclusionary and un-Christian because of the word "Black." (Media Matters)
Now, it would seem to me, Tom, not to make a broad sweeping statement here, but a racially exclusive theology, a theology that ministers to one group of people, based on race, kind of contradicts the basic tenets of Christianity, and is worth talking about. Wouldn't you say?
No. Because the Black Value System doesn't actually have anything to do with theology, except insofar as it calls on members to find strength in God to work to better their community and it's associated with a Christian church.

Exclusive theology is pretty much the basic tenet of most religions, including many of the Christian denominations. You know, the way some people say, "only straight people who don't have gay sex go to Heaven," or "only Christian people who believe in a divine Christ go to Heaven." The Black Value System would be exclusive theology if it said, "only Black people who live by the Black Value System go to Heaven." But the church doesn't only minister to Black people, and it doesn't have as a tenet the exclusive redemption of Black people.

Still, I think Tuck could work on being a better Black man. Though he couldn't do all of the commitments since he's not Black -- that not being anyone's fault, not even the Romans -- he could agree that he has the right to be a Black man. And he could certainly honor Dr. Manford Byrd's example, commit to strengthening Black communities and families with symbolic support, and, most importantly, forswear anti-intellectualism.

I can't stress that last one enough. Tucker Carlson, you must forswear anti-intellectualism. Do it now.

Edited to add: the source link, and to say via Eschaton. D'oh!

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Thursday, February 08, 2007

Edwards Didn't Cave

This is a good sign (via Sadly, No!, who say "eat it, BushCo chumpwagons).

Edwards isn't going to roll over for the lying Swift Boaters. He gets major points for not being too much of a political weenie.

Update: and a much more insightful post at Unclaimed Territory, which says what I would have said if I was as talented as Glenn Greenwald.

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Wednesday, February 07, 2007

This Actually Explains A Lot

The other day when I saw Screech on Red Eye, I thought, "he's doing that bit unnecessarily hard. Maybe it's overcompensation by his nerves because he's on the TV."

But seeing the clip on Sadly, No! of Michelle Malkin reading the words of Amanda Marcotte (not all of them of course, just the ones quote mined for the limited purpose of mocking Marcotte's "insightfulness"), it all becomes clear.

A RWNJs natural response to anything is rage.

There's an episode of Law & Order: CI in which a mini-goomba is making a play to take over the "family" he serves by sucking up to the dying Don and killing the Don's son. Goren observes that the mini-goomba doesn't react to confrontation until he's gone through his internal rolodex of emotions to find the appropriate response. He's smart enough to know that rage isn't always an appropriate response. But it's his only natural response.

That's what I see in Screech and Malkin. They're "playing a role" on TV, and when they look inside themselves for what they imagine is the appropriate emotion, they find rage. Sure, they think they're just channeling a "liberal," as liberals are unhinged, unreasonable and angry. But does it always have to come out with such sneering vehemence? If that's the only thing they can find in themselves, yes.

Usually, deadpan is better, particularly since we liberals hold our own wacky beliefs with all sincerity. The beauty of speaking with utter sincerity is the contrast it gives patently insane words. The craziness should shine through on its own, obvious for all. That's one reason The Daily Show is funny; not much rage, lots of deadpan.

My guess is that if Malkin were to read Amanda's words with sincerity, the emotional impact wouldn't be what Malkin hears in her raging mind.


Peter Boyles: "Mexicans Make Me Stupid"

My mom still likes to cite Peter Boyles to me in political discussions. She doesn't usually cite him when it comes to Mexicans or illegal immigration generally. Which is a good thing, because that issue (as I wrote about before) seems to make him stupid.

The current roiling tempest in his brain is about a planned Federally-funded housing project for homeless HIV/AIDS sufferers in the Highland neighborhood in Denver. His problem with it is that it's named after a "Mexican saint." (Colorado Media Matters)
But like I said, if you were going to name that building with public money and name it after, you know, some -- some Christian saint or name it Saint James, the guy who, you know, gathered the librarians together to make the Bible -- whatever the hell it is, you know. And try that and see what would happen, and city council, and see what those people would do then.
Saint Juan Diego:
Visionary to whom the Virgin Mary appeared at Guadalupe on 9 December 1531, leaving him the image known as Our Lady of Guadalupe. On 20 December 2001 a second miracle attributed to Juan Diego's intervention was decreed by the Congregation and approved by Pope John Paul II.

Maybe Boyles doesn't consider Catholics to be Christians. What do you think William Donohue? Oh, you're too busy baselessly screeching about bloggers being anti-Catholic bigots.


My Two Cents About Edwards Bloggers

He'd better not fire them.

I haven't decided who I'm supporting yet, but if Edwards caves this easily to faux rightwing controversies (Glenn Greenwald) it will not bode any better for him than rolling over did for Gore and Kerry.

Edwards is already getting some support from some Republicans (my mother-in-law, specifically), and she's certainly not going to fall for this phony scandal.

John, the blogosphere is doing your work for you. Come out swinging with McCain campaign blogger Patrick Hynes (as documented in Greenwald's link above).

Update: William Donohue's one of the outspoken opponents of Edwards' female bloggers, calling them anti-Catholic bigots for criticizing the politicized religion of people like William Donohue (konagod). Here's Donohue being a bigot.

Update: More about Patrick Hynes.

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Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Teh Not So Funny

Sometimes you see a comedy act so bad that you not only have to laugh at how bad it is, but you have to laugh to cover up your own discomfort.

Sadly, No! has a "conservative" comedy clip so bad it doesn't even get the discomfort laugh. Maybe I'm not being fair. I couldn't watch the whole thing, it was too painful.

Gavin M. also posted the upcoming "comedy" show, Red Eye, that's supposed to be the conservative answer to The Daily Show (which isn't really liberal). Don't they already do that in the morning? Called Fox & Friends?

And although it is nice to see Screech on the TV again, it would be nice if he were hired to do something other than masturbation, mental or otherwise. (Seriously, dude, your material in the clip isn't so bad, it's the delivery...too angry. Oh, and the Oprah douche thing ... no.)

Update: It's not upcoming, I saw some of it last night. Yeesh. The vox pop was almost as funny as Jay Leno ... meaning not at all funny.

And, hey, what about those IT guys? Why are they such nerds? What does SUV stand for, anyway -- Suppressing Urban Voters? Enquiring minds want to know! Hardyharhar.

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Blogging 101

Those Time journos who have taken up blogging are certainly getting a harsh introduction to the blogosphere in the form of criticism from other blogs and commenters.

This time Joe Klein is getting reamed for, as Atrios says, being an influential pundit who wants to escape responsiblity for his influence. Of course, Klein has been getting reamed, anyway, but now he's blogging and having to deal directly and contemporaneously with criticism.

James in comments of the time-blog, Swampland (16th comment down) has some advice for Klein which everyone should heed when taking up blogging:
Blogging tends to expose you not only to frank and open discussion of your well- and ill-thought out positions and statements both current and past, but also to people who like to pile on gratuitously. It's hard and even shocking at first, but ultimately can result in a healthy dialogue that is lacking in your Beltway fantasy world. First the thicker skin must develop. Then comes the ability to separate the cogent points from the chaff.

What can be shocking is the initial exposure of your pontifications to immediate and frank and honest feedback in real time. It is like putting yourself out there naked to the world. You have this comfortable little vision of yourself and your opinions, reinforced by your smiling and backslapping colleagues who are no less removed from the real world. To have your opinions discussed and examined and turned over and inside out is disconcerting and maybe uncomfortable, but it's a healthy thing and it makes you a better pundit.

It's rarely productive to return a gratuitous attack gratuitously. Ya know what really gets them? A gracious and classy response. It doesn't get you the extra hits though. Heh.

Most normal bloggers do a lot of reading of blogs first. We learn the culture and the rules.

The Big Media journos apparently don't. They seem to think there's nothing to it. But as they are finding out, if you allow comments, you can't really spout off irresponsible nonsense without someone calling you on it, and you'd better be prepared to defend yourself, preferably with aplomb, humor and eloquence rather than whining. (Hmmm, I wonder why so many right wing bloggers don't allow comments?)

And I am quite shocked that people so high up in the media establishment don't have thicker skins. Pither and I had to develop thicker skins very low on the establishment rung, and Pither has continued to run into people sub-network and sub-national exposure who have much thicker skins than national figures like Joe Klein.


Scam Spam Scam

A Libby Trial bombshell, indeed.

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Monday, February 05, 2007

Earth to Major John

Colin at Big Ink is rightly intrigued by the NASA astronaut who jealously attacked a romantic rival.

It also begs the question: what other normal day-in-the-life breakdowns would be particularly illuminated if they happened to astronauts instead of the usual construction workers between jobs?

Astronauts, however, don't seem to have normal day-in-the-life breakdowns because their special training follows them into their normal lives. As evidence,

They also found diapers, which Nowak said she used so she wouldn’t have to stop on the 1,000-mile drive.

That's specialized training in action. Astronauts used to pee in their space suits all the time.

Except wouldn't she still have to stop to change her diaper? What kind of criminal astronaut genius would don a trenchcoat, wig and latex gloves in preparation for a cat fight, and not change out of her sagging, stinking diaper?

Unless the devious astronaut mastermind was planning on using diaper rash as proof of temporary insanity if her plot failed.

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Letters to the Editor

Rocky Mountain News now has a blog-like Letters section, so instead of yelling at the paper on your dining room table or trying to get your snarky response published, you can strike out at the offending letter in comments.

The comments publish right away and are attached to a real publication, so please don't embarrass your political affiliates.

Here's a letter about English vs. Spanish with a comment by me.


Guild Wars vs. World of Warcraft

GraveD1gger says GW wins.

I say we all win.

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Sunday, February 04, 2007

Giant Corporation Rips Off Little Guy

So what else is new? you ask.

Ususally it's us blogger-types ripping off images from the internet and corporations for use on our blogs. We're private individuals with a somewhat working knowledge of copyright laws -- particularly the fair use, satire and parody exemptions -- and not one single copyright lawyer on retainer.

So I was shocked to learn that Coca-Cola had used the 7 Seconds of Love ninja kitten video for South American Coke ads without permission or compensation. (via Cap'n Dyke). Hell, even Sadly, No! had the professional courtesy to ask my permission to use a graphic last week. (BTW, anyone may use anything as long as there is attribution with a link and no attempt to sell the images or use them for marketing, which would probably violate whatever copyright law covered the images I used, anyway).

7 Seconds of Love is the band of Joel Veitch, the purveyor of rathergood.com, the site of internet-famous cut-out characters such as the Viking Kittens. And it's not like they were previously commercially unknown. Quiznos used the bizarre spongmonkeys a couple of years ago.

I don't understand why all the headlines on my search engine refer to a "copyright dispute" between the band and Coca-Cola Company. What's the dispute?
"They (Coke) have a policy of not litigating against bands and we came to a nice agreement," said lead singer Joel Veitch, animator of the video.

What does that mean that Coke doesn't litigate against bands? What would Coke litigate? They stole the video, they got caught.

Anyway, Veitch seems actually pleased that Coke stole from him, for good reason.
"It's really good for the band. You never know, maybe we could get into the charts," he said. "We've never had the money to do a very good job, but now we've got into a good studio and have got a fantastic management team behind us."

I'm not generally a big fan of the ska, but congrats anyway.

I am, however, a big fan of Coca-Cola. Mmmmm, buy an ice cold Coke today.*

*I own 1.828308 shares of Coca-Cola stock.

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Saturday, February 03, 2007

Maru Johnson's Right!

The best part of running for President (and possibly the most important and influential part) happened on Friday. It's all downhill from here.

The contenders picked their theme songs (via WTF Is It Now?)

Maru says:
Sen. Barack Obama: "Theme From Blazing Saddles." OK, I made that up, but it would be pretty cool if he had.


... There's a role for everyone.

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Thursday, February 01, 2007

Rush Limbaugh Nominated for Nobel

Oh, wait ... that was a cruel joke.

It was Al Gore who was really nominated. (via WTF Is It Now?)


I Can't See My Own Blog

Just writing to let you know that I keep getting an error message when I try to link to my own blog through my favorites. I forwarded it to Blogger Support.

But Andy wants me to play Zelda, anyway. He has a little green coat with a hood, a wooden sword he sticks down the back of his shirt, and snow boots. He likes to be Link.


All About Overreacting

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and Attorney General Martha Coakley.

August J. Pollak (via Atrios) says "This was like taping a picture of a fire to the wall of a theater and someone freaked out and called the fire department."

I think it was more like taping a picture of a digitalized cartoon character to the wall of a theater and someone freaked out and called the fire department. At least a picture of a fire might possibly be taken as a pathetic movie villain warning that someone was going to be setting the theater on fire.

Would it have caused a panic if the picture was of Homer Simpson or Bugs Bunny instead of an obscure cartoon character?


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