Saturday, June 28, 2008

Build Your Own Aphorism

South Carolina Teen Decapitated by Roller Coaster as He Attempts to Retrieve Lost Hat.

The Aphorism Of The Yard Sale

You're driving down the street in the suburbs, and you spot a yard sale. Prominently featured, a painting of dogs playing poker. As a person, you may attempt to judge the person who is selling. Don't! Here's why. 

You may think them idiots for buying the damn painting in the first place. But then again, they are offering it at giveaway prices now, so they are smart enough to get rid of it.

Aphorism as follows: 


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Club Night Post Script

Writing from home now... I don't know what the lesson to be learned from this experience is... except perhaps this. To get into that kind of club, you have to really want it. I didn't. I don't really like that kind of music, I'm too old to hang out with those people, and I don't like fun . I'd have been a tourist.

I was only there because I had won a guest list spot on an internet radio show, and I had only called the show because my friend hosts it. It's a recipe for meh. So it's for the best really, and I'm home at a decent time. I'll go to bed and forget any of this happened.

Wish I'd gotten better pictures though. Apologies for that.

I give up

Look at all those people! and they're ON the list.

Well, its more cool to me to not make it into a club. I woulda just blogged all night anyway.

Hurdle #2

I'm told I'm not on the guest list. Not that it matters... They're only letting girls in right now anyway. This Club Opera is a tough nut to crack!


Made dark and mysterious by bad lighting.

Where the action is

Not a big turnout so far.

Tough club

So I'm waiting in line... A second ago they just let Chelsea E. in. She's the talent!

Hurdle #1

So I just asked the doorman when they're letting people in..."10:15" he said with a sly smile. Get there early, th invites said! Good grief.

Hollywood is scary at night. I'm in my car until I can find a block with less hookers.

Club Opera, Hollywood

It's really really RED.

I'm a Creep, I'm a Weirdo... What The Hell Am I Doing Here... I Don't Belong Here

Tonight, in a few minutes, I'm leaving to go to a record release party in Hollywood. It's clearly not my area of expertise, but what the hell... it beats TV. I'll try to send pics and liveblog the event, or at least my failure to get into the event. Watch this space!

The Rock Of Conservatism

Republicans - they are the stable ones. Agree or disagree with 'em, at least you know where they stand. They're conservatives, and once they take a position they dig their heels and stick with it! Positions like this:

Karl Rove tells O'Reilly that it's wrong to out a CIA agent. “[T]hey’ve got a very callous view about our nation’s security and interests,” Rove charged.

John McCain doesn't think terrorists should be allowed habeas corpus rights, because the Nazis weren't. "There was no habeas at Nuremburg and there should be no habeas for Osama bin Laden". He is at odds with the guy who said this in 2005: "Now, I know that some of these guys are terrible, terrible killers and the worst kind of scum of humanity. But, one, they deserve to have some adjudication of their cases. And there’s a fear that if you release them that they’ll go back and fight again against us. … [I]f it means releasing some of them, you’ll have to release them. Look, even Adolf Eichmann got a trial. " Of course, that guy was living in a pre-9/11... no wait, it was a post-9/11 world, but now it's a post 9/11 world that's three years MORE post-9/11, and that matters. Somehow.

Republicans don't understand why their criticisms of Barack Obama don't stick. After all, not only is he a Muslim, he's also been brainwashed to believe everything his Christian Pastor told him. He's both too black AND too white. He changed his mind on what kind of campaign contributions he will accept, and it's awful if a candidate does that. He's a secret terrorist, and like all terrorists he's hiding in plain sight by running for President. He proves his hatred of America by not wearing a flag lapel button, as repeated pointed out by people who must also hate America.

Me, I think the reason these accusations don't stick is because they keep getting knocked off by opposing accusations.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Monday, June 23, 2008

Cry Havoc! Let Slip The Ugly Dogs!

As promised, the Worlds Ugliest Dog contest was held this last weekend in Sonoma. I give you the winner - Gus!

Gus and his benefactors

True to form, Gus is a Chinese Crested breed, hairless except for a bizarre doggy mohawk, skinny as hell and unable to hold his tongue in his hideous head. The winners of the contest have uniformly been like this, and I'm beginning to think the judges are playing favorites.

The press release contains what may be the best pageant quote of any contest ever.

Said (Gus' owner) Jeanenne, “I’m just in shock. We came so far and are so happy that we can put the winnings towards Gus’ radiation treatment. We’re just thrilled.”

A closer look at the ugliest dog in the world.

There he is now / prepare for the worst / the ugliest dog in the un-i-verse.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Al Gore's Place - The Old Switcheroo!

Just a little addendum to this Al Gore's energy usage post from yesterday. In the comments someone posted a link to a spreadsheet entitled 100,000 Chernobyl-type Nuclear Reactors Required to Sustain Gore Lifestyle! At first I thought it was Onion-style satire; then looking again I realized the premise wasn't that Al Gore himself was using that much energy; it's how much energy we'd need if we all lived like Al Gore.

It's a little insight into the right-wing mind. You know how Bill Bennett was the arbiter of morality until it was discovered that he has a huge gambling addiction? And you know how those couple of senators were on committees to make things harder for gay folk even though it turns out they themselves were secretly gay? Well dig - obviously, Republicans resent Al Gore because he owns too much property! 

Obviously we're not going to make every man, woman and child in the world as rich as Al Gore, so the only way they'll be satisfied is if we seize his land and turn it over to, I don't know, the workers. After all, the workers control the means of production! And all this "tax breaks for the rich" nonsense - they know it isn't sustainable! They're making sure the middle class bears the burden, because once the revolution comes we'll ALL be middle class!  And don't tell me they're against Soviet-style surveillance techniques! 

I'm just kidding. The kind of people who are in favor of stuff like this would also want some kind of Berlin-style wall along our border.

ANWR Factoid

I would have normally reserved this for a snide comment in a right wing blog, but none of the ones I read have brought up Bush's speech this morning. In it, Bush entreats Congress to relax restrictions of offshore drilling, because oil prices are too darn high.

You will recall a few days ago I blogged about ANWR, and I just saw another factoid about it. If we approve drilling off the coast of Alaska (which can't possibly hurt the environment because they're really, really careful with this stuff nowadays) the price of oil will drop 75 cents. That is, per barrel of crude oil. Today a barrel of light sweet crude runs $132.50. So you can look forward to a corresponding drop at the pump. In about five years, once they put all the equipment in.

The source of this statistic is a Department of Energy study commissioned by Rep Ted Stevens, of Alaska. I bet if we also drill off the coast of Florida and California, we can conservatively put enough extra supply in the pipeline to drop the price of a barrel by $5.00. So presumably that's, what, almost 4 cents a gallon? That oughtta help! Five years from now, of course.

And of course, thats assuming that OPEC doesn't compensate by raising the price of their oil. And that the Governers of California and Florida (both Republican) don't fight the plan tooth and nail because, you know, they get a lot of income out of those unspoiled beaches.

But hey, I got plans for that four cents - there are stamps to buy.


PS - the communists at the Wall Street Journal say it would take 20 years to go fully online and the price of a barrel of oil might drop 75 cents by 2025. Of course, since the Supreme Court says we have to give enemy combabtants rights and everything, we'll all be dead long before then. We might as well leave the wildlife alone.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

And Cheney Has Shot More People While Under The Influence of Alcohol Than the Average American

Maybe I'm too easily distracted. But get a load of this!

Energy Guzzled by Al Gore’s Home in Past Year Could Power 232 U.S. Homes for a Month 
Gore’s personal electricity consumption up 10%, despite “energy-efficient” home renovations 

Look, it's our good friends at The Tennessee Center for Policy Research! They're back again. You may recall last year they put out a similar press release that I took issue with. I questioned the numbers they were publishing, but in fact those were accurate numbers. It's the analysis which was slanted and stuffed with lies like a falsehood burrito. 

This biggest lie, of course, is the comparison. An average US home may consume X amount of electricity, but the average US citizen is neither a former vice president, board member of Apple, Nobel Prize Winner nor millionaire. Gore's house is A LOT BIGGER than the average American home. 

Furthermore, the average home in TENNESSEE uses 1.5 times the national average, so they're not even comparing Gore's house to others in the same climate. And their source, this table by the EIA, appears to calculate energy consumption by PERSON, not household. So let's do the math based on average people per average home, versus people in Gore's mansion. This includes live-in domestics and aides, if he uses some rooms as offices.

Now they say he's using 10% more energy than before the renovations. 17,768 khw a month, to be precise. The press release from last year? 22,619 kwh. I'm kinda having a problem with that math. See, I'm almost certain 17 is LESS than 22. I think 12%, but like I say math and I aren't best friends. My guess is they're comparing the numbers now to the months before the renovations were complete, which would make sense because things would be shut down for rewiring.

I know, if you're conservative you already stopped reading, because you like the simple cheap shot rather than the fair comparison. "Press 1 For English, 2 For Deportation" is all you need to know. Tell you what though - Clinton was a detail guy and he balanced the budget. Bush legendarily "doesn't do nuance" and he calls anything he doesn't understand Fuzzy Math. This math is so fuzzy, you might as well stick a couple of ping pong balls in it and call it a Muppet.

I'd Like To Say The Whig Party was a Mistake

Al Gore has publicly endorsed Obama, at long last. I'm predicting zero impact from this, though it's kind of comforting. And good for completists, the kind of people who collect all of the things in a set. "Wait! I also need the Han Solo frozen in Carbonite figure!"

But really, the subset of Democrats who preferred Hillary, but were on the fence between Obama and McCain, was pretty small. Hillary's own endorsement presumably took care of them. All that Gore can add is helpful spreadsheets and a PowerPoint show which explains why Obama is the right guy for the job.

Meanwhile, David Frum suggests that McCains VP should be Rudy Giuliani. Oh please, please, please let it happen. McCain has to secure that all important "war with Iran until the end of time" vote. It's what Americans want!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Anwr, You Hang Your Hat

Hat tip to WHERE ARE MY KEYS for this timely editorial cartoon, implying that high gas prices would be alleviated if only we'd let the oil companies drill in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Damn those liberals and their love of nature!

Thing is, I read this on Free Republic and you gotta trust them: the problem isn't scarcity of oil, it's lack of refining capacity. We need more refineries! And this same thing turned up in a pamphlet that I read published by Union 76.

So if we had more domestic crude oil, it wouldn't help at all would it, because we couldn't refine it. And of course, it wouldn't be available for another five years. In that time we will all probably find less expensive alternatives, thus eliminating the need to screw with the environment. Leave the prices where they are - this problem will solve itself.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

The Triangle Snaps Shut, At Last

Oh how I've longed for this day. Ever since primary season started and I decided that I'd rather have an optimist than a revenge-bent fearmonger for my candidate. I've been hoping that Obama could pick up enough delegates to win the nomination. And now, at long last, he has.

Dude's not president yet. And we are Democrats, so even though the current president sports historically low popularity and his presumptive successor proudly boasts of wanting to continue almost all his policies, we could still blow it in a big way. If we've learned anything this year it's that you can't take sure things for granted.

I'll be interested to see how this affects the polls. As you know, rightside bloggers have boasted for half a year that McCain was polling higher than either Democrat. Now that there is only one Democrat, that will probably change no?

Something we won't know until November is how many people were bluffing during the primaries. Ann Coulter famously said that if McCain wins the nomination, she was going to vote for Hillary. Presumably now she would have to simply not vote. Assuming that she's allowed to vote at all after the last time. We also have the legion of Hillary supporters who claim they're going to vote for McCain rather than Obama. Some probably will. Some, like Amanda Peyser of the New York Post, clearly have always hated Hillary but still claim they were going to vote for her. Sure, Amanda.

There is no question that the right was pushing for a second Clinton candidacy, and now they're angry and frustrated. They didn't get the person they wanted on either side! How does a depressed attack dog behave? Stay tuned.

Whither Hillary? My hope is she'll put her skills to good use, and by skills I mean dirty politics, skullduggery and thirst for vengence. And most importantly, I hope she'll apply them to McCain and Co, not Obama. After all, Obama has only tormented her for one year; the Republicans have grinding away since 1992. Hillary Clinton could be our party's Karl Rove; if that's overreaching then she at least could be our party's Dick Morris. (I know, but that was then. This is now.)

Ironic, isn't it? We start the race earlier and earlier, and when we come down to the finalists they only get 6 months at each other. Think of all the money we could have saved! No, I have no idea how to fix that one. All I do know is that it's rapidly becoming a country where every candidate is either on the side of the corporations, or the trial lawyers and unions, because they're payin' for all the advertisin'. Which means that no matter who loses, TV networks win. Hmmm... I'm going to give this some thought.

Throw Back the Little Ones

Just caught this item on Crooks and Liars excoriating David Brooks for saying that Barack Obama doesn't seem like the kind of guy you'd see at the Applebee's salad bar. C&L's objection? APPLEBEE'S DOESN'T HAVE A SALAD BAR, dammit!

I have to admit that Brooks may or may not be off base with his remark, but C&L is on track to have the biggest non-issue ever with the item. Come on! It doesn't prove Brooks is an idiot, it merely proves he doesn't eat at Applebees. I am a common schlub, and I don't eat at Applebee's either. Come on people, focus! Pundits say far worse things factually. Rather than worry about the existance of an obviously metaphorical salad bar, perhaps we could instead point out when pundits say that John McCain has little in common with the current president, or that Obama is a terrorist. You know, that kind of factual inaccuracy.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Everybody Hates Scott

I came across Scott McClellan on PBS's NEWSHOUR Friday night. After a solid week of reactions to his new book, he seemed like the old Scott again - dodging questions, answering in vague generalities, defensive and sweaty. The whole interview went a little like this exchange:

JEFFREY BROWN: You use terms like "shading the truth." Is that a euphemism for lying or purposely misleading?

SCOTT MCCLELLAN: Well, I think that this is the example that there are many good people that come to D.C. for the right reasons, to get things done for the American people and make a positive difference, but they get caught up in this permanent campaign culture that exists and they lose sight of some of the more important objectives of working across the aisle.

He held onto that "permanent campaign culture" talking point like a Titanic survivor holds onto a floating steamer trunk. What he was trying to avoid, apparently, was singling out George Bush. Maybe he feared it would make him look like a disgruntled former employee. Maybe he feared a sheaf of death threats left at his hotel room. Speculation of course, because he didn't say ANYTHING definite at all.

I wouldn't blame him if he were disgruntled, by the way. He insists that he didn't know he was lying to the American people as press secretary, but on some level he must have known. You can see it in the panicked whites of his eyes. He was too easy to read. Therefore he made a lousy press secretary, and they let him go. But if I were him I'd be angry that they ever put me in that position in the first place.

Now of course, the criticism levelled against him from the right is that he is disloyal, and that he's making it all up now, but he was telling the truth while he was press secretary. Strikes me as an unlikely scenario (the practical definition of press secretary has never been "teller of the truth") but they're running with it anyway. As for disloyalty, it goes both ways. But McClellan, spinning his book to keep the president out of it, showed so much loyalty on Friday that you'd think the interview was on Fox News.

By the way, have they sat him down on Fox yet? That would be a pretty interesting 45 seconds. 30 if they give him to O'Reilly.

--Amendment, 6/3: Lookie there! McClellan appeared on O'Reilly last night! I'm tempted to assume that the administration concluded that putting that 'tude in mild-mannered Bob Dole's mouth just didn't work and they decided to bust out the big gun. In any event the substance was the same - "how dare you say those things, and show disloyalty!" The substance was not "you're lying!" When you can't kill the message, destroy the messenger.