Monday, June 29, 2009

Verily, This Was The King Of Pop

Clearly I have underestimated Michael Jackson's hold on our popular psyche. The news people can't get enough of him. Last night as I was going to bed, the BBC World Service devoted 10 minutes at the top of the hour to him; this is time they would normally devote to the revolution in Iran. You don't see McMahon or Fawcett getting this treatment.

Then again, Jackson was a unique guy. In addition to his (I'll be generous) unusual public persona, he also had a rare and beautiful voice, a phrasing that cannot be duplicated, and a knack for making what he did for a living look easy, even as he made a normal life look impossible.

How easy he made singing became apparent to me last night at the Karaoke bar. No less than 5 people took on Jackson's material, some of them very very good, and all came out as weak imitations. It only served to remind me that Jackson himself was a genius. I'm no fan of that kind of drippy, electric-piano eighties easy listening, but when Michael Jackson is mixed up in it I can always listen to it. Hate the song, love the singer. I recall when I first heard MAN IN THE MIRROR my thought was, "that's brilliant" and and suspect had it come from anyone else it would have been "how trite."

Sadly he did his job so well for the first twenty years that once the nineties rolled around, we were all stocked up with Jackomusic and didn't need any more. So sales dropped off but we were still willing to stick around and let him entertain us with his increasingly bizarre facelifts and terrifying behavior around children. We never tired of that, and it looks like we're not going to for a long time to come.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Billy Mays Dead At 50


Let My Lizard People Go

"The bill's passage, by 219-212*, with eight Democrats voting against it, also established a marker for the United States when international negotiations on a new climate-change treaty begin later this year."
Eight democrats voting against a bill - isn't it time to stop blocking Al Franken?

I mean really, this vote demonstrates that there is enough range in the Democratic party that there is no NEED for the increasingly scarce Republicans. We oppose ourselves. Once Republicans drum out the 4 who voted for they bill (attention bias watch customers: the NYT fails to mention that any Republicans voted for it) they'll be small enough to stop being a voting bloc and just take up residence as a kind of elected lobby. A party of spokesmen.

* I'm reading elsewhere that it was 44 Democrats voting nay, which would just further buttress my position.

Friday, June 26, 2009

It Doesn't Happen in Threes

During the last few days, we lost FOUR famous people - Sky Saxon, garage-band icon and leader of The Seeds, passed away yesterday. If you don't think Sky counts, you're not pushin' hard enough.

Enough already!

Let He Who Is Most Familiar With Sin Cast The First Stone

ABC News posts a helpful and entertaining guide to politicians who condemned Bill Clinton for his extra-marital activities while shrugging off their own. Mark Sanford makes the list, as does John Edwards and the usual suspects. My favorite quote: In his 2007 memoirs, DeLay, R-Texas, revealed a secret: he had had an extramarital affair that pre-dated Clinton's impeachment. He saw no hypocrisy, however. "I was no longer committing adultery by that time, the impeachment trial. There's a big difference."

This Is Fair

Sarah Palin was very upset the other day, because someone on a blog had used a picture of her and baby Trig and photoshopped the head of a local right-wing talk show host onto Trig. I won't reproduce that image here. I believe I read somewhere that she is fair game, but her children should be off limits. Fair enough. Courtesy SOMETHING AWFUL, acceptable Palin Photoshop Humor.

There! We can all get along!

Shoulda Seen This Coming

In Los Angeles there was this talk radio host named Michael Jackson. He went off the air in this town eventually because he was quiet, reasonable, and encouraged debate from all sides of the spectrum. In other words, there was no market for him.

He is still alive, and these people are seated around his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. I don't think they know. When the talk radio host eventually passes away, I hope his fans will do him the courtesy of holding a vigil at the wrong star, just to balance the books a little.
(h/t Tbogg)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Bad Week For Icons

Ed McMahon, you were underestimated for your whole life. I miss you.

Farrah Fawcett, you were underestimated for the first part of your life, then you did some remarkable work. I miss you too.

Michael Jackson, I miss you even more. I have no idea what you were like in private but your public persona was that of our nations biggest weirdo. You were the poster boy for celebrity craziness. Once the king of pop, you became a story to frighten children with. Safe bet: we shall not see your like again.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

There Is A Perfectly Reasonable Explaination For This

The liberal media never identifies Democrats if they're involved in scandals. Yes! No one involved in a scandal is ever associated in the press with the Democrat party.

Therefore, Fox has to do this once in a while, just to balance things out. In the big scheme of things, this freeze frame is completely accurate.

(h/t Wonkette, which probably added the crayon scrawlin' themselves)

The Good News About Mark Sanford

Hey, it wasn't a male prostitute. Same goes for John Ensign; image-wise, you guys are stepping way up from the Larry Craig/Ted Haggard era. And it certainly helps that sanctity of marriage argument when you're seen as cheating on your wives with women, rather then men.


Sorry, just let me have my fun.

Listen, you probably weren't listening but when the Clinton impeachment was going on. But I'd frequently pose the plaintive question, "are you SURE you want to pin your whole strategy on this?" Because there is a potential downside to demonizing politicians' infidelity. It's as if the guy calling the shots was either not a politician, never had sex, or both.

Grover Norquist must be quite a guy.



Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Rough Press Conference

Here's some of the questions the Obama lovin' far left liberal media posed at the press conference this morning.

Major Garrett, Fox News: In your opening remarks, sir, you said about Iran that you were appalled and outraged. What took you so long?

Followup: Are Iranian diplomats still welcome at the embassy on Fourth of July, sir?

?: Wouldn't that drive private insurance out of business?

"Chip": Were you influenced at all by John McCain and Lindsey Graham accusing you of being timid and weak?

?: ... how many cigarettes a day do you now smoke? Do you smoke alone or in the presence of other people? And do you believe the new law should help you to quit? If so, why?

My favorite, because it's acknowleged that this is one that Obama knew was coming, and he specifically asked for it. Nico Pitney from the Huffington Post: I wanted to use this opportunity to ask you a question directly from an Iranian. We solicited questions on tonight from people who are still courageous enough to be communicating online. And one of them wanted to ask you this: Under which conditions would you accept the election of Ahmadinejad? And if you do accept it without any significant changes in the conditions there, isn't that a betrayal of -- of what the demonstrators there are working to achieve?

My point in taking these questions and not posting the answers is this - the press isn't coddling this guy at all. They're not being mean either, but it's not the Gannon-fest that people like, say, Warner Todd Huston are painting it to be.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Kill the Shepard

Many people rely on Fox News because they believe it is the only unbiased source of reporting on television. That's why when someone on Fox suggests that they may be mistaken, they demand he be fired.

On June 10, (Shepard) Smith was in the middle of three hours of coverage of the killing at the Holocaust Museum in Washington, in which officials identified an elderly anti-Semite as the killer. He then mentioned a prior warning by the Department of Homeland Security about right-wing extremist groups and connected that to the angry e-mail messages he had been receiving.

“When a crazy man has walked into a Holocaust museum and shot the security guard, maybe that’s an appropriate time to warn people: you’ve got a crazy person in your life, keep an eye on him,” he said in an interview in his Manhattan office last week.

Mr. Smith said he fully anticipated one result of those comments: the nasty e-mail increased.

“Thousands of them,” Mr. Smith said. “And I know they don’t mean the things they say. I know they don’t hate me and want death on my family.”
He thinks it's bad for him, imagine the mail Juan Williams gets! If I'm Shep, I'm getting pretty tired of swimming upstream all the time; maybe I'm looking for a new gig at CNN or somethin'. Why not? At least there, his far-left moonbattiness (do you know he insisted that people were trapped in the Houston Astrodome after Katrina? Brownie himself hadn't even heard that one!) will go unnoticed.

Hungering For Democracy

I'm going to meet Republicans halfway here. A frequent claim made, when defending the Iraq war, is that we gave the Iraqis the Democracy that they craved. I usually brush this off as another lie, (Weapons of Mass Destruction! Hussein was tied up with 9/11!) but clearly, this is not a lie. Events in Iran reinforce the idea that the Middle East passionately wants free and fair elections.

Where I part company with my Republican brethren (and you are my brethren, except those of you who are my sistern) is on this: they clearly want Democracy, but they don't want Americans giving it to 'em. If we gave them the chance in Iraq, the first thing they'd vote out would be us. Guaranteed. Democracy won't transform the Middle East into a benign haven for us. It will, however, give the PEOPLE who hate us more power and the GOVERNMENT who hates us less.

This is why, if you aren't rooting for Ahmadinejad (yes, I had to cut and paste the name) the last thing you want is for Obama to speak out in support of his opponent. Once that guy becomes the American Choice, his political career is over. Let's step back and let the rest of the world handle this one, shall we? They have their uses sometimes too.

Instant Cognitive Dissonance Generator

Just spotted in the lunch room freezer:


It just takes the addition of one word to turn a rational thing into a complete physical impossibility.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day Word Of Wisdom

When I was young I used to ask my dad "if there's a Mother's Day and a Father's Day, why isn't there a Children's Day?" He'd sigh wearily and reply "every day is Children's Day."

Fathers who recognize this are the reason we honor them today.

Friday, June 19, 2009

The Return of The PUMAs

Remember them PUMAs, the massive bloc of Democrat voters who were so enraged by Hillary Clinton's loss in the primaries that they threatened to write Hil in and split that vote? How'd that work out anyway? I don't recall but I have a vague recollection that some wags suggested the whole thing was a black ops project of the RNC that failed massively. Indeed, my favorite PUMAs packed up and went home.

But by Golly, they're still out there, representin' for my girl Hil!

Check out Hillbuzz! They're keeping an eye out! Here's a posting from the 9th.
1100am – Meeting with Sukhbataar Batbold, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Mongolia

Remainder of the Day: being awesome
Admittedly, that's all I could find about her in five pages of posts. But their plate is full! It's only logical that Hillary Clinton supporters would be more concerned with vilifying David Letterman for all those nasty things he said about Sarah Palin. Here they are crowing over their victory in getting Olive Garden to pull its ads from Letterman's show!

Still, how can you believe them once you've seen the massive PUMA protest outside Letterman's studios last week?

No, they're not just fading into the night. Like real pumas do.
***Update: Here's something I'm a little surpised to not see in Hillbuzz.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Another Slippery Slope

courtesy GraphJam

Here's Why Obama Is Talking To Doctors

PRINCETON, NJ -- Nearly three-quarters of Americans (73%) say they are confident in doctors to recommend the right thing for reforming the U.S. healthcare system. That is significantly higher than the public confidence extended to President Barack Obama, as well as to six other entities that will be weighing in during the emerging healthcare reform debate.


You might conclude that the only reason I even posted this was to point out that the people whom the public trusts LEAST to reform the health care system are Congressional Republicans. Well, fine, think what you want.

Why Hasn't the MSM Covered The New Cell Phone Tax?

I'm getting a little static from WAMK about how the liberal media doesn't run with all those talking points - one he didn't mention is the trope that the administration was going to tax cell phone use if you have a business-issued cell phone. You didn't see ANYTHING about that in the MSM yesterday, and it was all over the right wings blogs. Much was made of Obama's new tax.

Well, that was yesterday. Today there is this:

The Obama administration is in favor of repealing a 1989 law that asked to tax people for using their work cellphones for personal calls. A turn of events after last week, when the IRS said they wanted to enforce it.

Of course, the law was dumb nowadays and almost impossible to enforce, as Douglas Shulman—Internal Revenue Service Commissioner—puts it:

[Treasury] Secretary [Timothy] Geithner and I ask that Congress act to make clear that there will be no tax consequence to employers or employees for personal use of work-related devices such as cellphones provided by employers. The passage of time, advances in technology, and the nature of communication in the modern workplace have rendered this law obsolete.
Interstingly, Gizmodo quotes two sources; Reuters headlines it as The Obama Administration wanting to repeal the law, while the Murdoch-owned Wall Street Journal manages to tell the whole story without even mentioning Geithner. I'm just wondering - should the MSM have run with this story yesterday?

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

A Reason To Be Ashamed, A Reason To Be Proud

"I'm looking forward on reading your post on why it's ok for Obama to keep the White House visitor log secret.

Am I a racist for calling him out on that?

It is good to see that the same Lefties that sued Bush are now suing Obama. Guess there are a few more votes he'll lose come 2012.

Hope and change my ass."

My embittered friend WAMK is referring to this story:

MSNBC reports that the Obama administration has denied its request for the names of individuals who have visited the White House since the Inauguration. Additionally, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington announced today that it is suing the Department of Homeland Security after the non-partisan organization was denied a request for records of visits of “leading coal company executives.” The Obama administration’s explanation:

The administration ought to be able to hold secret meetings in the White House, “such as an elected official interviewing for an administration position or an ambassador coming for a discussion on issues that would affect international negotiations,” said Obama spokesman Ben LaBolt.

The Bush administration made the same arguments, which were ruled against twice in federal court.

You probably already know I'm deeply upset at this. I'm annoyed, I think it's wrong, and I hope the administration will change its policy on this very soon. The article I'm linking to points out numerous campaign statements in which Obama promises to stop exactly this kind of behavior. They should NOT continue this policy.

Here's my bright spot - as you can see, I'm getting this very damaging story from MSNBC, via the "right-wing smear site" ThinkProgress. At least I can use this ugly situation as fodder for one of my other points, which is that the vast left-wing media bias conspiracy isn't as bad as the right keeps saying. Between this and Letterman apologizing for his remarks because he had gotten criticism from Mark Shields on the PBS NewsHour - well, WAMK, believe what you want, but these are some of the reasons why I think the MSM bias isn't a problem. In fact I doubt there is a bias.

Here's Why I'm For Free Speech

Wouldn't you rather have these people out in the open, where you can see 'em?

Hat tip Crooks & Liars

Monday, June 15, 2009


"And if I smile, tell me some bad news before I laugh and act like a fool."

- The Who, Behind Blue Eyes

The other day I was talking on the phone and I caught a glimpse of myself, a reflection in my glossy computer monitor. I was smiling. I wasn't saying smiley things especially (in fact, I was a little pissed off) and seeing how cheerful I appeared, frankly, really freaked me out. I thought "am I one of those people who is always smiling? You know, those people? Because those people freak me out. They're dangerous.

My first job when I moved to Los Angeles was in a six-plex in North Hollywood. The staff was one quarter gang-bangers, one quarter drug addicts, almost 50% nervous white people like myself, and Todd. Todd was a tall, good-looking boy scout kinda guy. Relentlessly cheerful. He was so upbeat all the time that I would try to chip away at him. "Did you know," I'd ask, "that your name is the German word for death?" He had showbiz aspirations and I'd remind him that most screenplays never get financed, let alone made. Todd maintained a cheerful positive attitude. "Sombody's got to make it, why not me?"

One night, a guy on PCP went nuts in the parking lot and had to be subdued by six police officers with nightsticks. "He gave 'em quite a fight" Todd chuckled. Another night the manager, who was slated to testify in an organized crime trial the next day, went next door for a drink and was shot six times in the face. Todd said a little prayer for the manager AND the assailant.

I worked with smiling Todd for about a month, and then one night on his break he went across the street for ice cream. He had a disagreement with the clerk over the change that was due him, and Todd snapped. He threw a chair at the back wall mirror, and had to be dragged off by many of the same police who had gone after PCP guy. Never saw him again.


Which is why I was so relieved to see my reflection an hour ago. It was the expression I think I usually wear, an emotionless blank. Maybe a touch dyspeptic. THAT made me smile.

A Plea for Clarification About Media Bias

Okay, I'm not going to convince you that the MSM isn't liberal-biased. If you believe that, there is not amount of counter evidence that will prove otherwise. So let's move on - why is it a problem?

Since you know I'm an idiot, assume that you'll have to explain EVERYTHING that's wrong with this unfair situation. Give examples!

More Non-Racism: Panel 44

Ha ha geddit???? Because who would let a black person be president?

...and now we’re learning about some super-funny racist emails sent out by a
Tennessee GOP legislative staffer for Republican state senator Diane Black.
Let’s meet the charming Sherri Goforth, who sent the image above to god knows
how many people because, ha, a Negro in the White House?
No no, I'm misinterpreting... This is funny because Obama is DEMOCRAT.

It's Not All Bad News

Shockingly unexpected as the results of the Iranian election were, at least we can cheer ourselves up with this:

Yes, it's a real full-size Gundam robot, built by those robot-lovin' Japanese. How does this help with Iran? It don't. Giant robots won't solve all our problems!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Technology Has A Liberal Bias

You may recall I'm the nut who won't subscribe to cable. Well, up until Friday I was picking up all the local digital channels and they looked swell. This weekend I lost two - 779 mHz and 785 mHz. Here in Los Angeles, those two channels are Channel 11 and 13 - both owned by NewsCorp. Fox and My Network, specifically.

Are you afraid, Obama? Why have you silenced FAMILY GUY?

Comedy And The Left

I wish I had a transcript, but this morning on LeShow Harry Shearer made a point that I'd like to see taken to heart. He was remarking about the battle between Palin and Letterman, and pointed out that it pleased him, because comedians and politicians should be enemies.

He's damn right. Every time Obama turns up on a talk show, I die a little inside. It just feels wrong. A news show maybe. But any time you see a politician sitting somewhere that Bob Saget or Angelina Jolie normally is found, you should just stop watching that show for a couple of weeks. To train 'em. The proper place for the president is as a punchline in a monologue. And it shouldn't be complimentary - if you don't have something mean to say, you shouldn't say anything at all.

More Non-Racism: Gorilla My Dreams

I've decided to stop numbering these posts now, for the same reasons that after a certain age you don't put a candle for every year on your birthday cake.

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A state Republican activist has admitted to and apologized for calling a gorilla that escaped from the Riverbanks Zoo Friday an "ancestor" of First Lady Michelle Obama.

A screen capture of the comment, made on the Internet site Facebook, was obtained by FITSNews, the website of South Carolina politico Will Folks.

The image shows a post by an aide to state Attorney General Henry McMaster describing Friday morning's gorilla escape at Columbia's Riverbanks Zoo.

Longtime SCGOP activist and former state Senate candidate Rusty DePass responded with the comment, "I'm sure it's just one of Michelle's ancestors - probably harmless."

DePass told WIS News 10 he was talking about First Lady Michelle Obama.

DePass has been involved in state politics for decades, and helped elect Republican Governor Jim Edwards in 1974. He was an early South Carolina supporter of former President George W. Bush in 2000.

We spoke with DePass over the phone Friday night. He said, "I am as sorry as I can be if I offended anyone. The comment was clearly in jest."...He also said, "The comment was hers. Not mine," saying the first lady made statements in the media recently saying we are all descendants of apes.

But an Internet search for those comments turned up no news articles of the like.
Good luck in 2010, boys!

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Search For Equivilency

Both these via Wonkette. First:

Logic puzzle - If von Brunn = Wright, then Wright has shot and killed museum guard? Shouldn't Wright more accurately be compared to Bill O'Reilly?

Next, via the weekly Comics Curmudgeon feature:

I'll just take my snark neat instead of adding the ice of my own comments. "This, however, is wrong, because wars involved tens of thousands of dead people, and even more people losing limbs and being psychologically scarred for life, and whole societies wrecked for decades, whereas a corporate reorg at worst means, what, we might be subsidizing some electric cars or something? "

Boehner's On the Right Track

John Boehner, talking yesterday to Stephanopolous:

“We’re digging ourselves out of a deep hole,” he admitted. “We took it in the shorts with Bush-Cheney, the Iraq War, and by sacrificing fiscal responsibility to hold power.”
It's a little simple, blaming it on Bush and Cheney though. My observation is that what really caused trouble for these guys is Party Unity. It was the willingness to go along with Bush-Cheney's crazier ideas, and then loudly insist THIS IS CONSERVATISM, DAMMIT! If it contradicted some deeply held belief, just insist louder.

And to be fair, there were many nutty things that Republicans just wouldn't buy. Bush's Social Security plan never flew, for example. Harriet Miers never even made it to the confirmation hearing stage. John Bolton didn't have a lot of supporters in Congress, though had it been necessary they might have had to step up anyway. Still, the perception is that almost anything Bush wanted, Republicans would approve. And two of those things were tax cuts simultaneous with a very expensive war.

Anyway, if people make fun of the Democrats for their disorganization and inability to stay on message, well, how you like us now?

The Right Pushes Back Against Fairness and Balance

A compendium of fun reactions to Shepherd Smith's recent remarks.

I Like This Reasoning

Publius, with whom I frequently disagree, takes the time to break down the arguments pro and con about killing abortion doctors. His conclusions, I think, are sound.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Just What Killed Variety Shows, Anyway?

Subtitle: Sweet Jesus, what IS THIS?

This time, hat tip to Graham Linehan, genius behind THE IT CROWD and FATHER TED.

A Whole MOVIE Goes With This!

Hat tip to Peter Serafinowicz, the British chameleon. Though he declined to elaborate on details, information about the movie can be found here.

Von Brunn Not O'Reilly's Problem

Crazy holocaust-museum shooter James von Brunn may have possibly, possibly, also considered shooting up the offices of The Weekly Standard.

...(FBI agents) told staffers that they had found the address of the magazine on a piece of paper associated with the shooter, James von Brunn, and asked whether the Standard had received any threats.

The magazine is about a mile north of the Holocaust Museum, and there's no other indication that von Brunn had targeted it. Von Brunn's published rants included attacks on "neocons," and the Standard has been at the heart of the neoconservative movement.

The suggestion that the Standard may have been a target complicates any view of the racist shooter in contemporary left-right terms. Von Brunn's white supremacist roots put him under the rubric of a "right-wing extremist," but the substance of his views -- which included everything from believing that President Bush may have been in on the September 11 attacks to denying that President Obama is an American citizen -- are too far on the fringe to fit into conventional political classification.
So for what it's worth, this blogger is willing to write off von Brunn as not motivated by right wing hate speech. Clearly he is a bipartisan maniac.

Fox News Personalities Need To Be Shot

Who knew that this is how they felt about it? Fox News, Via Think Progress:

Meanwhile, O'Reilly says Gays aren't hurting anybody and should be allowed to do whatever they want.

Some Judges Need To Be Shot

A three-judge panel today required Republican Norm Coleman to pay Democrat Al Franken $94,783 to cover court costs in the seven-week U.S. Senate trial.

The ruling, by the panel that heard the trial, approves an administrative decision last month by the Ramsey County clerk's office. Franken's team had sought $161,510, but a deputy county clerk rejected a request that Coleman pay Franken for his cost of obtaining public records that made up many of the exhibits in the trial and some other expenses.

Also not included are $16,000 in attorneys fees that Franken wants Coleman to pay for sanctions the panel imposed after Coleman's lawyers failed to disclose information about Republican election judge Pamela Howell before her testimony.

Coleman will also have to pay interest on the $94,783 until the debt is paid.
- Associated Press

Some Talk Show Hosts Need To Be Shot

Letterman boiled down: "I would certainly apologize for saying those things, if I had said any of those things."

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

How DARE You, DHS? ***Update***

Even Wonkette is telling us to not make too much of this.

A gunman armed with a shotgun walked into the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in downtown Washington today and opened fire on a security guard before being shot and seriously wounded by two other guards, authorities said.

The security guard and the gunman were both transported to George Washington University Hospital with serious injuries, police said. A hospital spokesperson declined to release information on the condition of the two.

A third person sustained minor injuries in the shooting, according to police.

A law enforcement source identified the gunman as James W. von Brunn, who is known to authorities as a white supremacist.
To be fair, even though the guy is a prominent white supremacist, I haven't found anything that says he's Right Wing. So consider this a place marker until we learn otherwise. I promise as soon as I find out a political affiliation I'll post.

***Updated*** This doesn't prove he's right-wing. I mean, maybe he's a PUMA. In any event, he was on the "where's the birth certificate?" bandwagon.

*** Updated Again*** And there's this, signifying possible membership on a Ron Paul mailing list.

Time Capsule

This, to me, is what that Gallup Poll thing was all about:

Madeline's Dad said...
I will predict that on the economy, Obama's disapproval numbers will be higher than his approval numbers by the end of the summer. What is your prediction?

piker62 said...
Me, I think the numbers will vary about 4 points on the average. The policy approval/disapproval spread will go no more than 4 points one way or the other. On the whole, I think more will continue to approve than disapprove.

There. Now we have something to look forward to at the end of summer. We can go back to this and see who was right.

Important weasel blocking here: Hopefully Gallup will poll then like they did now, with one question about "the economy". If WAMK tries to compare that number to the the ones about "The Federal budget deficit" and "controlling federal spending" he's cheating.

The Wilderness

More fun with polling: Nobody knows exactly who is leading the Republican party; but the witnesses describe him as an old white man.

The question flummoxes most Americans, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds, which is among the reasons for the party's sagging state and uncertain direction.

A 52% majority of those surveyed couldn't come up with a name when asked to specify "the main person" who speaks for Republicans today. Of those who could, the top response was radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh (13%), followed in order by former vice president Dick Cheney, Arizona Sen. John McCain and former House speaker Newt Gingrich. Former president George W. Bush ranked fifth, at 3%.

...Only McCain holds elective office, and his age and status as the loser of last year's presidential election make him an unlikely standard bearer for the party's future.

"It's a problem," says Douglas Holtz-Eakin, an adviser to McCain's 2008 presidential campaign who this month is filing the papers to create a think tank aimed at generating new ideas for conservatives. "We need the perceived leadership of the party to be those who are the future."
New ideas for conservatives? Good luck with that one, Dougie.

Normally George W. Bush would have been the goto choice for a thing like this, but, you know.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

PBS Is A Little Weirder in Colorado

I haven't heard him bring it up, but if WAMK takes a dim view of PBS, here's a possible reason why. I swear it's not like this everywhere else dude!

Netbook Update

I have given up on Windows 7 and reinstalled Linux. The SSD ("hard drive" though it's just basically RAM) is only 8 gigabytes in my Dell Mini 9. Windows 7, eye candy that it is, takes up about 7.5 gigs of that, while Linux almost takes up 4. I might shell out an extra $100 for a bigger SSD if I can find one that fits the tiny device but it's not my top priority. Plus a year from now I'd have to pay for a final copy of W7 anyway.

I can't help but miss W7 though. It's not a better OS, but the world is optimized for it. Plug and Play for Linux is less a slogan and more a cruel joke. Aw, what the hell. It's a netbook. As long as the browser works, I'm covered.

I Need Help Here

Over at WHERE ARE MY KEYS there is a post about how people are essentially giving up on Obama, based on a Gallup poll. To illustrate, they're using this graph:


When I pointed out that Obama comes out looking pretty good in this poll (more people approve of his performance than disapprove) they said "but approval for his policies is lower than approval for HIM." I'm paraphrasing. Furthermore, they point out, approval for his policies has dropped significantly.

And admittedly it has dropped, that's true. Whether its significant is subject to debate. Still, to point at that graph and crow about it seems pretty wingnutty to me. And of course, there is the overarching, always hanging in the air, question: If they media is so lefty-biased, how did a thing like this happen? Why didn't NBC stop it?

Obviously, if the media was truly fair, Bush would have never went below 60% approval and Obama would be at 15% right now. I was crazy to even ask.

Great News For Terrorists

Not just terrorists, but anyone who is frustrated by that whole "rule of law" thing.

A long, difficult chapter in the struggle over legalized abortion came to an end today, when the family of slain physician George Tiller announced this morning that it would permanently close his Wichita abortion clinic, Women's Health Care Services.

Tiller, 67, was shot to death in the vestibule of his Lutheran church on May 31, where he served as an usher.

The shuttering of his clinic means there are no abortion providers left in the Wichita area, and only two other clinics in the country that perform late-term abortions, Tiller's specialty.
Los Angeles Times 6/9

I'm predicting here that no one is going to say it was right that Dr. Tiller was shot, but it's a good thing that the clinic closed down. A fortunate coincidence, if you will. And if the other two don't close down soon, maybe we can hope for more coincidence. And while we're at it, should we really just stand by and allow people to perform gay marriages?

Friday, June 05, 2009

Greetings From Next Year

Ooooh, I was up too late last night. As often happens with me, I got a tech bug - I decided it would be fun to replace the Linux OS on my Dell Inspiron Mini 9 netbook with the modern, gorgeous, currently free Windows 7 beta. Essentially Windows 7 is Vista with all the irritating parts carved away.

So I had to buy an external DVD drive, then I had to download the W7 disk image, then I had to redownload it in the 32-bit version (I can't handle 64-bit, apparently) and there were the usual formatting problems. The upshot is I didn't get to sleep until 2, which is about 3 and a half hours later than usual.

But the OS looks gorgeous now! It had better too, because it takes up 7.5 gigabytes of my 8 gig flash hard drive. If I need to use this thing for anything other than surfing, I'd have to go back to linux. It begs the question, why NOT do that but for now, I'm enjoying the Aero eye candy.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

More Non-Racism XII

Is it my imagination, or has Wonkette somehow managed to find a little racism in the Fox viewership's response to this question: "What funny messages would YOU send to the President and how would he reply?"

“Are you white or black?”


“Do you think you would have made it into Harvard if you were white?”

“Just a small reminder BO says:
June 4, 2009 at 11:14 am
YOU’RE H A L F – W H I T E!!!!!!!

not until his failures sink in. then he’ll be known as the cracka who screwed up.”

“i would ask why they made such a big deal about what dog hes getting when hes already got one bi.tch. (miche.lle) in the whitehouse.”

“Pack yo bags B. hussein, you be movin’ to Liberia”


“when you are trown out of the white house dont dont forget to clean up the jerry curl off the oval office”

“Barak the Majic N E G R O lived in Islam”

These ex Half Hour Comedy Hour writers have way too much time on their hands.

Assuaging Lindsey Graham's Fears

Although Graham said he would not use the word racist to describe Sotomayor, he indicated that her past statements raise concerns that, as a Supreme Court justice, she may not treat white males fairly. “Being an average, everyday white guy, that doesn’t exactly make me feel good,” Graham said.

-Roll Call

Lindsey, don't worry. The other eight have got your back.

RNC Now Leaderless

Limbaugh: If I could be convinced that Sonia Sotomayor might be the biggest hope
for overturning Roe v. Wade down the line, then I might be persuaded to look at
her nomination in a different light. I’m serious. I’m dead serious. I’m dead
serious. Life, preserving life, to me, is a far more important issue — we can
deal with the racism and the bigotry, that can be canceled out by other justices
and so forth.
That's right, someone talked Rush into backing down on something. Rather than spearhead another losing fight, Rush is triangulating his way out of this battle. I like Think Progress' observation about this:

Apparently in Limbaugh’s view, when judges allow their religious backgrounds to directly influence their rulings in ways conservatives view favorably, it’s blind justice. When judges remark that being a minority can give individuals perspective on the impact of their rulings, it’s racism.

Inhofe Leaks Vital RNC Strategic Info

I knew it all along, but this confirms my suspicions: what is driving Republican strategy?

"...we can stall that until we get a new president – that shouldn’t be a problem."

He's talking about a specific thing, but obviously this is how they're running the whole show. Ask Norm Coleman!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

A Problem with the Tiller = Long Comparison

O'Reilly: here's my question. Is NBC complicit in the murder of Private Long? After all, that network has relentlessly branded America a torture nation. A nation run by human rights's violators. Didn't NBC news incite Mr. Muhammad to kill the soldier?

Well, here's the thing. Nobody had singled out Private Long as a target and someone who must be stopped. Even if you argue that NBC demonized the military (which is a pretty hard claim to support) you can't say they had a guy on every couple of days saying that Private Long was the worst of the worst of recruiters, and to not stop him meant that you had the blood of Iraqis on your own hands.

And don't get me wrong, obviously the real killers here are the individuals who did the killing. But to suggest that if you consistantly hint on national television that this guy, John Smith who lives at a certain address in New Jersey is worthy of execution, but you're in NO WAY RESPONSIBLE for it when someone waits for John Smith to come home and puts a bullet through his head, that's just disingenuous.

I'm Not Convinced Yet That America Hates Obama

Via Daily Variety:

The Peacock also fared well with its “Inside the Obama White House” special hosted by Brian Williams, where viewers got a look at the day in the life of the new president and the staff who work with him. ...“Inside the Obama White House” (2.6/7, 9.1m), which airs its second hour at 9 p.m. tonight, won the hour Tuesday over “The Mentalist” (2.3/7, 10.8m).
Though hey, it's a free country. Despise whom you want.

An Open Memo To Will Farrell

Whatever they're paying you for the remakes of goofy TV shows, it's not enough.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Top Scientists Dispute Global Warming!

h/t Memphis Flyer via Think Progress. And here is added investigative journalism!

Me: Hi, I'm calling from the Flyer about your sign. Does Burger King really think global warming is baloney?
BK: [Hangup]
Me:(calling back): Your sign out front says global warming is baloney.
BK: I don't see that sir.
Me: Well it does.
BK: I don't see that sir... I change the signs and that sign's been up for a week.
Me: Well, I have pictures that I took this afternoon [cross conversation ensuring I'm calling the correct BK. I am]
Me: So there's no question that your sign said it and so did one in Midtown. I want to know if it was on purpose or if it was a prank someone pulled on you.
BK: Let me get the manager. [several minutes of dead air then the same or very similar voice picks up.]
BK: Who were you holding for?
Me: A manager, about the sign. I have pictures of the sign and people have called me upset. I just want to know if it's a mistake or not so I can report it. [rehash of previous conversation]
BK: Let me go outside and look at the sign and I'll call you right back. [exchange of contact info]
[phone rings, I answer]
BK: The sign was put up yesterday.
Me: And it's not a mistake?
BK: No.
Me: It reflects the opinion of BK international?
BK: Yes. Would you like to talk to the home office? I can give you a number.
Me: I've got the number, I've already contacted them. Thanks.

In the followup, the reporter learns that no, BK International in no way endorses that opinion, and it was the work of a franchising company. And this news from the reader comments:

Not sure if this is an improvement, but the sign at the BK on Union near Cooper now reads: "$1 FR CH TOATS $1"

O'Reilly Weighs In

"I'm not saying he should have killed her, but I understand."

- Chris Rock, re: O.J. Simpson

Monday, June 01, 2009

For the Record

I will admit now that I'm ambivalent about abortion. Is it murder? Can't say. I can say that I'm glad it remains a legal option for those who are sure it isn't. I can also say that it's going to be very hard to argue that this isn't murder.

I'd also break with Sarah Palin and state that bombing an abortion clinic is not just murder, but pretty obvious terrorism.