Monday, November 30, 2009


Visited my mom for Thanksgiving (and bought her a Roomba! That's how much I love my mom.) On the drive back from Sacramento I eschewed the 5 freeway and took... hell, I have no idea which freeway it's on. My GPS does the thinking for me. Oh wait, it was the 99. Thanks Google!

About halfway down I chose for my gasoline stop the tiny town of Pixley. I liked the name, and I have a vague memory of it being thrown around as a gag on Green Acres. They suggested it was smaller than Hooterville. And wow, is THAT true.

My experience with Pixley is as follows: A freeway exit which becomes a single road. Halfway down the road, a convenience store/gas station sharing parking spaces with a burger restaurant. Across the street, a place to wash your truck. The road terminates in a freeway entrance. Now leaving Pixley!

Therefore, it's easy to assume the town has a population of 2; the guy running the gas station and the guy running the burger joint. Maybe there is a third guy who works the swing shift. Turns out, I'm close.

Pixley is a census-designated place (CDP) in Tulare County, California, United States. The population was 2,586 at the 2000 census.
I can't imagine the place (I'd call it a city, but the census calls it a place) has had a surge of population since 2000.

I also assumed Pixley is only a mile along the road, but I'm way outta line there. It's 3.1 square miles. That must be where they're keeping the other 2,584 citizens.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


Who knew - the entire science community takes its marching orders from UCAR. They'd have to, otherwise the talking point I'm about to document doesn't make a whole lot of sense.

I've been getting a lot of flack from WAMK about failing to address a recent incident in which The University Corporation for Atmospheric Research's emails were hacked, and were full of damming evidence PROVING that GLOBAL WARMING is a HOAX! My first response was to ignore the whole thing, because they used to have PROOF that there IS NO GLOBAL WARMING! Then there was some, but it OBVIOUSLY WASN'T MAN MADE! Then even IF IT WAS, the EARTH would REGULATE ITSELF! So you know, why bother? Then I found that the proof linked too was from a British newspaper columnist at the Telegraph, under the following weasel word intro (WWs in boldface):
These alleged emails – supposedly exchanged by some of the most prominent scientists pushing AGW theory – suggest: Conspiracy, collusion in exaggerating warming data, possibly illegal destruction of embarrassing information, organised resistance to disclosure, manipulation of data, private admissions of flaws in their public claims and much more.
So you can see why I was a little skeptical. However, I clicked around a little and Phil Jones, the head of the CRU division that was hacked, confirms the emails are probably authentic. This is more than my skeptic friend WAMK seems to have done. Apparently if the columnist says the blogger says the hacker says they're authentic, well, that's all the proof he needs! By the way, the link to the emails? From a UCAR press release.

The most damming phrase to be plucked out of context from the emails is "hide the decline". Why would scientists want to hide the decline? To protect their jobs? To advance the liberal agenda? Nope. I seriously believe there is an anomaly in the data that looks like a decline and they were afraid morons would get on YouTube and ridicule the science like... oh, look!

Anyway the point I'm making here is no matter what the emails say, the majority of climatologists who believe in Anthropogenic Global Climate Change do not work for UCAR and rely on their own conclusions and raw data. This email dump simply doesn't prove anything. It doesn't even prove that UCAR's conclusions and data are wrong. It does cast a tiny shred of doubt, but it's really, REALLY tiny. And the globe? Pretty big.

By the way, I won't accept any counter-arguments about the first ice age having no man-made components - most climate change deniers think the world is only 4000 years old and the devil put dinosaur bones in the ground to fool us. To them there WAS no ice age!

I'm Really Enjoying the Comments Section This Week

There is so much to learn!

Science is corrupt. ACORN is one of the few things that doesn't have a liberal bias.

People are best convinced with the phrase "you're a fool!" Accusations of racism are best countered by global warming theory.

The WORDS used by spokespeople aren't important, what's important is what you think they meant.

Hillary Clinton is running for president in 2012.

A Big Misunderstanding

I've often wondered how Republicans seem so enamored of Bush's foreign policy. Maybe some if it stems from this perception:

PERINO: They want to do all of their investigations. I don’t know. All of the thinking that goes into it. But we did not have a terrorist attack on our country during President Bush’s term. I hope they’re not looking at this politically. I do think we ought it (the Fort Hood shootings) to the American people to call it what it is.
Here's a way to solve this. Instead of urging people to "remember 9/11" let's urge them to remember 9/11/2001. Perhaps we can also urge people to remember the anthrax mailings that happened the following weeks too?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

More Non-Racism: The Story Behind the Story

I was going to shrug this one off, a local story about inexpensive billboard space being used instead of for speech. It's racist in the broad sense that the whole talking point is racist (why isn't there a John McCain Is Panamanian talking point) but the illustration could just be infelicitous, not a racial caricature.

Anti-Obama Billboard

But then I read this.
The sign belongs to a car dealership. "Since Fort Hood, I've had it," owner Phil West told FOX 31 News Friday. "You can't suggest things. You can't profile. You gotta call a spade a spade."
Good grief! West can't possibly not be aware of the connotations of "spade." He's doing it on purpose, I say!

To be fair, Obama brought it on himself by shooting all those soldiers at Fort Hood. Well not him, his people. You know, they have a secret underground network. And they control the banks and the media.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Democrats Are Doomed In 2012

Look at the graphic - even if 100% of Democrats turn out for Obama, how will they beat the Republican numbers?

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Over/Under on President Palin has been applying its rigorous logic to the prospect of Republicans putting Sarah Palin forth as the presidential candidate in 2012. This is murky water for statisticians because there are no hard numbers available, but they take a stab anyway. First off, the question of rather Sarah will run at all. Nate Silver thinks she will:

2012 is a year when an incumbent, Barack Obama, will almost certainly be running for re-election, and incumbents seats are much tougher to pick up than open ones...Palin's polling has gone somewhat sour against her potential GOP rivals, which might deter her from entering.

...(however) was quitting the Alaska governorship -- particularly in the sudden and disorganized way that Palin did it -- a decision characteristic of someone who carefully ponders all the facts and circumstances before jumping to a conclusion? Not hardly. Palin is impulsive, impatient, ambitious, thrill-seeking: not the type of politician to prudently wait for a better moment.
Spoken like a guy who values logic above all else. And then Nate goes on to list ten reasons why the GOP might nominate such a controversial candidate. Then Tom Schaller, who has a cash bet with Nate about this, lists ten reasons why they might not.

Obviously I like the idea of candidate Palin because I believe she's a polarizing figure who would most easily ensure a second Obama term. Chances are good that the GOP candidate is someone we're not aware of yet though.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Hey, Jesus is Just Sayin'

Pray for Obama: Psalm 109:8

Yeah, it's a bible-verse-based slogan circulating around right-wing circles. Psst! It's code! They think we'll never figure it out because no one outside the big tent prays, and the only time we ever see a bible is when we're in our motel rooms, shooting up and havin' gay sex. As it happens though, The Christian Science Monitor is a fly in the ointment of that strategy.

The psalm reads, “Let his days be few; and let another take his office.”

Presidential criticism through witty slogans is nothing new. Bumper stickers, t-shirts, and hats with “1/20/09” commemorated President Bush’s last day in office.

But the verse immediately following the psalm referenced is a bit more ominous: “Let his children be fatherless, and his wife a widow.”
OMG! This is awful! The people who are quoting this (and putting it on teddy bears and t-shirts and bumper stickers) surely have no idea what 109:9 says! They'll be appalled when they find out!

I just wonder what kind of person is so racist that they'd prefer President Biden over Obama? I mean, ewwwwww.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Retract! Retract!

Further proof that the left at least EVENTUALLY gets jokes:

Yesterday, ThinkProgress reported that syndicated columnist Mark Shields said this weekend on Inside Washington, referring to Obama’s Afghanistan war decision, that he is “nostalgic” for the days when the U.S. “had a manly man in the White House who could say, ‘Let’s kick some tail and ask questions afterwards.’” Shields contacted ThinkProgress this morning and kindly informed us that his comments were intended to be sarcastic. We regret our error in misinterpreting his comments and for questioning his motives.
I thought there was something odd about this story, because Mark Shields is the nuanced liberal opposite of nuanced conservative David Brooks on The News Hour. But let's face it, he's still in OUR big tent. Brooks would be a victim of the echo chamber and kicked out of the Republican one. If he hadn't already been kicked out long ago for things he actually meant.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Elephant Backs Wrong Horse Again

The Democrats are, we all know, a feckless bunch. The only reason they ever win any elections is if they are perceived as an alternative to something even worse. To look like heroes they need a villain. And we all know that Democrats are awful at vilifying, being so sensitive and all.

Fortunately the people who are great at creating villains are doing it to themselves. One of their favorite demons, Al Franken, recently sponsored an amendment that would "prohibit the Department of Defense from contracting with companies that require employees to resolve workplace complaints — including complaints of sexual assault — through private arbitration rather than the courts. " As it happened, Tell us more, Politico!

Franken says the amendment was inspired by the story of Jamie Leigh Jones, who worked for defense contractor KBR and alleges she was gang raped at the age of 19 when stationed in Iraq — only to find that her contract required that her dispute go through the arbitration process. (My note - gang raped and then imprisoned for several days in an empty tank, denied food and water, and so on.)

...Thirty Senate Republicans voted against the amendment, and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, liberal commentators and state Democratic Party chairs have been merciless.

Angry letters denouncing Republican senators have appeared in newspapers from Tennessee to Idaho. Unflattering videos of senators trying to explain their votes have gone viral on the Internet, including one of Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) swatting away a hand-held video camera held by a liberal blogger questioning his vote against the amendment.

And Democratic strategists are salivating at the prospects of using the vote against the eight GOP senators who voted against the amendment and are up for reelection in 2010.

“I think anyone who voted against that has some tough explaining to do,” New Jersey Sen. Robert Menendez, chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, told POLITICO. “And I think particularly some incumbents already in a challenged position — it can be very detrimental to them because women voters are going to look at that and wonder, ‘Does this senator stand on my side?’”

...Privately, GOP sources acknowledge that they failed to anticipate the political consequences of a “no” vote on the amendment. And several aides said that Republicans are engaged in an internal blame game about why they agreed to a roll-call vote on the measure, rather than a simple voice vote that would have allowed the opposing senators to duck criticism. "
My guess is the roll call was an attempt to satisfy that rabid base, who are for anything that Franken is against. Unfortunately beyond that, most people see this as a pro-rape/anti-rapeissue. Or if not, siding with corrupt defense contractors doesn't look swell either. See, this is what happens when you feel like you can't moderate! Pro-business is okay as a position, unless the business is Enron or Haliburton.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Fuel For the Fire

Oh great, this is JUST what the wingnuts need:

BEIJING – The Chinese have learned English from his speeches and celebrated the way he rolls up his sleeves. Now President Barack Obama is finally coming, and he's being greeted with "Oba Mao" T-shirts and a statue of him that bursts into flames.

Sunday's arrival of a U.S. president admired for his charisma is already a source of profit and brief fame for some Chinese.

Strangest is the burning Obama, tucked away in a Beijing warehouse. Artist Liu Bolin hopes Obama can take time from his visit to drop by.

"He's so hot right now, so I wanted to translate that through my work," said Liu, who was inspired by the idea of the first black U.S. president.
Look, the Chinese are really fond of Nixon too. Back off, Hannity.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A Good Reason To Not Send More Troops

If you're planning on withdrawing troops! My favorite leak of the month:

President Barack Obama does not plan to accept any of the Afghanistan war options presented by his national security team, pushing instead for revisions to clarify how and when U.S. troops would turn over responsibility to the Afghan government, a senior administration official said Wednesday.

That stance comes in the midst of forceful reservations about a possible troop buildup from the U.S. ambassador in Afghanistan, Karl Eikenberry, according to a second top administration official.
Assuming we can't win there, and the Afghans are too destroyed after 20 years of continuous bombing to be a threat, this makes plenty of sense. In addition to freeing up troops for more useful work, this would also plug up a considerable hole in that budget the Freepers and Tenthers and Teabaggers keep screaming about.

And don't believe that nonsense about Afghanistan being the "central front in the war on terror". Even is Afghanistan is made into a smoking hole (wait, it already IS a smoking hole) there are terrorists everywhere. We ain't gonna stop 'em by destroying the countries they live in.

If this is a trial balloon sent up by Obama, tell him I approve.

The Free Market Speaks

Lou Dobbs resigned from CNN last night. Though I didn't see it happen, I understand he didn't allude to the well-known root cause: his show had simply become unprofitable. Dobbs couldn't attract sponsors.

Okay, admittedly the sponsors were pressured by special interest groups who objected to a few things that Dobbs had said. Okay more specifically, he is a crazy closeted white supremecist who was operating outside of his natural habitat. Since he wasn't on Fox News he stood out like a sore thumb. I'm prettty sure CNN got a lot of email from the non-white supremecist citizens of Aztlan as well. Damn, America! I meant America! I gotta remember to not slip up like that again or we'll be found out.

Incidentally, it's ironic about the white power thing since his own complexion is closer to orange. He and John Boehner are two members of the same weird race.

Well, now that Dobbs' career is completely over, for good, I'll miss him. Adios Lou!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veteran's Day

Saluting all those who have served. Saluting those Americans who protected America, those who protected the world, those who died in battle and those who survived. Sincere gratitude to you.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

I Bet Rupe Doesn't Follow It Up

This really has nothin' to do with politics, though it does have to do with Rupert Murdoch.

The billionaire tyrant (his words, not mine) expressed a desire to keep Google from indexing his news sites.

"If they're just search people... They don't suddenly become loyal readers." They get 15-20 headlines and just click on the most interesting. There's no loyalty built from Ask, Google or Microsoft. "

Earlier in the interview, he says he has to charge for his sites because there are "no news websites or blog websites anywhere in the world making serious money." In his opinion, "there's not enough advertising in the world."
The idea is that Murdoch will charge for access to the websites, forcing people to bypass Google et. al. It's a sensible idea except that so far, it hasn't worked. Content providers have attempted it again and again only to find that they simply limit their audience to the point that it's more profitable to open it up with web ads. And while there's practically no money in that, it's more no money than option one.

Google, for its part, is okay with Murdoch's folly.

Google said it was up to individual news organisations to decide whether they wanted their stories listed on Google News, and there were "simple technical standards" that would remove them if they wished.

"News organisations are in complete control over whether and how much of their content appears in search results," it said said in a statement issued in London.

"Publishers put their content on the web because they want it to be found, so very few choose not to include their material in Google News and web search. But if they tell us not to include it, we don't."

It added: "If publishers want their content to be removed from Google News specifically all they need to do it tell us."
So in the great chess game, it's Rupert's move. Like usual.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Not Bothering With Sarah Palin Today

My quick survey of political topics this morning reveals two: Sarah Palin gave another laughable speech over the weekend and Congress sucessfully passed an version of the healthcare bill, with a public option but without government funding of any kind for abortions. The latter amendment was sponsored by a Democrat.

I have no more new to offer than Sarah does about Sarah, but the bill pleases me. Mostly because it completely belies the overheated rhetoric thrown at it by Republicans. “This bill is a wrecking ball to the entire economy,” from Rep Jack Kingston, (R, Georgia) is a typical example. If there is no government funding of a controversial medical procedure, I'm fine with that. As long as it's still legal. So hopefully, fingers crossed, the bill will go on its merry way, pass, and drive pundits to increasingly out-of-sync statements that will keep the party out of power until it calms down and starts governing again.

Friday, November 06, 2009

This is What A Million People Looks Like

Here's a picture from yesterday's Teabagger rally in Washington. G. Gordon Liddy's radio producer, Franklin Raff, says it looks like a million people to him. Virginia Republican Eric Cantor estimates the number only in "the tens of thousands."
The liberally-biased hatemongers on the DC Police force say attendence was between 3000-4000 people. It's an easy mistake to make. Most people don't know that teabaggers are an elfin bunch, some of them no taller than Dick Morris. You can fit many more of them in a square foot than full-size human beings. This is why so many of them carry signs on sticks - to avoid being hit by cars. Or bicycles. Or kids on skateboards.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Speaking of Demonization

I mean for pete's sake! Let's just dial it down a notch!

Quoting Myself

The idea that everyone who voted for Obama is a terrorist, or hypnotized (or whatever other dehumanizing characteristic you want to apply to people who disagree with you) is ... crazy.

Politics boils down to this - both sides want to make the country better and disagree about the best ways to do it. People who hate America don't do politics.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Happy Election Day

Snarky as I am being in the comments section of yesterday's post, I have to admit that conservatives have many reasons to be encouraged by the results of yesterday's election. Congratulations, y'all! Democrats will probably lose some seats in 2010 - certainly any chance of a supermajority.

Still, I wonder if they'll take away any lessons from NY-23 where they forced out the Republican Candidate and supported a far-right independent? He lost to a democrat. Here's the analysis of Erick Erickson at

Posted by Erick Erickson (Profile)
Wednesday, November 4th at 12:04AM EST 145 Comments

The race has now been called for Democrat Bill Owens.
This is a huge win for conservatives.

“Whaaaa. . . ?” you say.

First, the GOP now must recognize it will either lose without conservatives or will win with conservatives. In 2008, many conservatives sat home instead of voting for John McCain. Now, in NY-23, conservatives rallied and destroyed the Republican candidate the establishment chose.

I have said all along that the goal of activists must be to defeat Scozzafava. Doug Hoffman winning would just be gravy. A Hoffman win is not in the cards, but we did exactly what we set out to do — crush the establishment backed GOP candidate.

I'm thinking maybe I was a little hasty with that supermajority talk.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Why I Concern Troll

I spend a lot of my time (less than before the election, but still plenty) concern-trolling rightwing websites, pointing out what I consider obvious logical flaws and strategic missteps. And sure part of my motivation is revenge for the Clinton years and the Bush years, but there's more to it. The other part: I really am concerned.

Santa Cruz, the loin of my birth, was home to the most extreme hippy socialists I've ever seen. The kind of extremists who scared off the Miss America Pageant by throwing meat at the contestants. The far left, the REAL far left, is bad news. They're unpleasant, strident and annoying, and they'd bring down the American way of life in a hot minute if they ever got into power.

Similarly though the far right, the REAL far right, would accomplish the same thing from another angle. America, like it or not, is optimized to work best as a compromise. The whole constitution is constructed to keep too much power out of the hands of one man or group of men. Negotiation forces a path toward the center of the road.

The Right as it operates today is hell-bent towards extremism. They're actively trying to force out the moderates. This would be great for schematic if there was a comparable strong crazy left but the truth is there is a broad wishy-washy left, a broad moderate vote and an increasingly tiny group of solid conservatives struggling to become more solid and more tiny. Ideologically pure perhaps but useless as a voting bloc. The useful right is making itself less so. So it will become a country where policy ranges from center to far left, with a handful of impotent screamers whining on the sidelines. Once in a while they'll be correct but I'd rather have them actually preventing the excesses of my side.

Plus, I have to say it'd be nice to have conservatives who act like adults again.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Quote of The Day

I believe we have more to fear from the potential of that (health care reform) bill passing than we do from any terrorist right now in any country.
Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC)

This kind of thinking is why we never caught Bin Laden.