Friday, July 31, 2009

Victory Is Ours In Bloomington!

And as part of our JACKBOOTED TACTICS in celebration of our crushing triumph, Christians WILL NOW BE COMPELLED … uh, maybe to look at an occasional ad on a bus? Or just look the other way, I guess.

Behold the horror:

You can be good without God

In situ (almost) pics here.

(h/t: Jerry Coyne via thprop | pic. source)

Remember, LA Times ...

... when they finally shut you down for good, you will have to admit that a big chunk of the last of your money went into paying Jonah Goldberg to write for you ("119 articles since 2000," and that's what you're willing to admit to).

This Jonah Goldberg:

SHORTER JONAH GOLDBERG: Liberal scientists want us to die, so they're wasting time on this global warming baloney when meteors are the real menace. Here, intern, put in some P.J. O'Rourke-type similes and send it to TownHall. But don't make them too good -- we don't want anyone to catch on.

(The worst part for me is knowing the hee-haws it's going to get from the dimmer half of denialist set (yeah, there are dumbers and dumberers); e.g., when the killer meteor is compared to the size of John Edwards's house. And, oh yeah, the only reason he didn't use the house belonging to the person you'd think he would have was because he wanted to name-check him thus: "… no time to defrost Al Gore's frozen head …")

This Jonah Goldberg:

… the spectacle of Jonah Goldberg citing "science writer Gregg Easterbrook" (I wish I were dead) …

(And if you don't know from Easterbrook, see here and especially here.)

This Jonah Goldberg:

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, JONAH GOLDBERG:
Unmockable. Just read it. Holy shit. Holy shit.

That Doughy Pantload.



[Added] Doghouse Riley also weighs in.

[Added2] And follows up.

Line of the Day: 2009-07-31

The consensus is clear. Democrats are headed toward modest pickups in both chambers in 2010. But the geniuses at the Politico stand above common sense and reality …
      --Markos Moulitsas

As Kos notes, the rePubOLITICO story smells of a desperate bid to attract a Drudge link, in light of the reality that their traffic is down by over a million readers per month since February.

Win the morning! Win the afternoon!

(h/t: Twin, via PM)

Reminder: Flash Update

I posted about a critical security update for Flash a short while ago, and then got to blogging about all manner of nonsense, which pushed the Flash post way down the page, so I am putting this nag notice friendly reminder up here at the top, because it's very important that you do this upgrade. And not just Windows users -- everybody. Won't take you more than a minute or two. Go.

[Added] Oh, and as long as I'm here: For Windows users only, did you do the emergency Microsoft patching that I mentioned on Wednesday? Ah, good. Good for you.

A Defense by PZ

(Some news from last week. Apologies if you've already been there, read that.)

Some people are not happy about Bill Maher winning the Atheist Alliance International's 2009 Richard Dawkins Award. PZ Myers defends the selection. Here's an excerpt:

Let's be clear about something else. This is atheism: we have no dogma, we have no infallible leaders, everyone is naturally flawed, and we recognize that within our ranks there is a huge diversity of opinion. Our strategy for dealing with these ideas is the same as the scientific approach — constant, relentless criticism. There is no Atheist Supreme Leader. There is no Atheist Pope. There is no Godless Ruling Council, no Atheist Inquisition, no Freethought Dogma.

PZ Myers is, of course, my personal Jesus.

Jason Rosenhouse also defends the selection. Orac is one of the unhappy ones.

"On This Day"

Here's what the front page of the NYT looked like, forty-five years ago today (click image to enlarge):

The lead article (way cool -- among other things, the images were captured by a Polaroid camera taking a picture of a painfully slowly built up television transmission) and more "On This Day" notes are available.

(Of course we know this is just the wall of a Hollywood studio, hidden in Roswell, New Mexico. But play along, for fun.)

Come the Revolution ...

... first one up against the wall is Bill Finley:

Nihei (pronounced NEE-hay) was not the first person to show up at the track and decide it was the life for them …

Argh. Get the fire ants and grape jelly. A bullet is too good.

Why not ...

Nihei (pronounced NEE-hay) was not the first person to show up at the track and decide, "This is the life for me!"

... hmmmmmm???

Yeah, yeah, I know. Some supposedly famous dude used them as a singular pronoun back in the sixteenth century or whatever. Spare me. Finley's on The List.

Oh, but go look at the picture article. Great arms on that woman Really interesting story.

Getting Rid of the Media Filter

Fixt:

Senator Lamar Alexander of Tennessee on Thursday became the sixth Republican "WISE LATINA"-LOVING RINO!!!1! to announce his support for Judge Sonia Sotomayor, President Obama’s nominee for the Supreme Court desire to be torn limb from limb by the base of his party as soon as he returns home.

Kidding aside, a salute to Sen. Alexander for his decency and courage on this one.

Move over, "Bible Spice," "Wasilla Windbag," and "Caribou Barbie"

KK, via email:

Some said that Sarah Palin would be a great candidate. But I think she turned out to be an optical Aleutian....

Critical Flash Security Update

Brian Krebs reports:

Adobe Systems Inc. today issued a security update to its Flash player to plug at least a dozen security holes in the software, including some that hackers have been using in to break into vulnerable systems.

Some of these holes have been getting lots of discussion in the past few days, which means they're by now being widely exploited, which means you should do the upgrade as soon as possible. (It's easy.)

The latest version number, for Windows, Mac, and Linux, is 10.0.32.18. To check which version of Flash you currently have installed, visit:

http://www.adobe.com/software/flash/about/

Assuming you need an update, visit the link labeled Player Download Center, right on that same page (or by clicking my link).

Important: You'll have to do the upgrade separately if you use different browsers, once for Firefox/Opera/Safari and once for Internet Explorer. After I did these two, my version of Chrome showed that it was updated to the latest version -- I expect that happened during the Firefox installation. In any case, to be safe, you should revisit the above "About" link with each browser that you use.

Also note: the Internet Explorer update is done in place, and you'll be offered the chance to install the Google Toolbar at the same time. Uncheck that box before proceeding if you don't want the toolbar. The update for Firefox, et al, is done by downloading an installer file, closing your browser, and double-clicking the downloaded file.

In both cases, for me, the update was painless and only took about a minute per browser.

Krebs also says to upgrade your version of Adobe Air, if you have that installed. I don't, so I can't comment on that, but he's got a link if you want it.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

"So You Think You Can Douche"

Need a shot of antidote? As always, Jon Stewart works wonders.

(alt. video link)

(h/t: Gawker)

WooPo

There's a valuable article on Salon and a related post on ScienceBlogs, both of which take the HuffPo to task for the large amounts of woo posing as "alternative medicine," etc., that regularly get published on that site.

I like and respect Arianna Huffington a lot, but she does have some blind spots, and this is a big one. Shoutouts to Rahul K. Parikh and Mike the Mad Biologist for making the efforts, and thanks to Gawker for calling them to my attention.

(previously)

Too Frickin' Funny

From Joe. My. God., via Wonkette and The Awl:

TheObamaFile.com, one of the most widely-read anti-Obama and birther movement sites, has posted a "closed for lack of support" notice.

[...]

[Site owner Parker] Shannon says he spent 60 to 70 hours a week on his efforts and received only $240 in the entire two years despite displaying prominent donation buttons.

But yes, Lou Dobbs: Please continue to huff about this "controversy," because clearly, SO MANY PEOPLE CARE ABOUT IT.

__________

It gets better. About that "$240" figure? Here's an update from Mr. Whiny Pants himself (emph. added):

You all deserve an explanation. No, Obama, nor the Obots shut me down. You guys did.

[...]

But, I've had a PayPal "Contribute" button on my site for over a year. Every day, I get 200 to 300 emails. 50 Of them from folks that tell me I'm a patriot, or they're praying for me, or the site is invaluable, blah, blah, blah. None of those emailers ever clicked the PayPal button.

I've been reading those emails for months, and instead of making me feel good, they disappointed me. I spend 8 to 10 hours a day at this -- 7 days a week, and with the exception of a local guy who sent me two $100 hits a year ago, I have received from my loyal readership $40 in contributions in the last 16 months …

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Sure, the state's initials are OK. But it depends how you pronounce them.

Sen. James Inhofe (R-Oklahoma), believer in the Stealth Return of the Fairness Doctrine and a well-known global warming denialist, has now identified himself as a Birther, too.

OOOOO-kaaaay.

Birfer-cations

Roy Edroso takes a look at the growing schism between establishment conservatives and the lunatic fringe called the Birthers base of the Republican Party (noted yesterday), and most amusingly catches a bunch of conservative bloggers trying to have it both ways.

__________

[Added] And speaking of wingnuts who like to pose as intelleckshoowuls, but can't stop trying to keep hope alive with this birfer business, Instaputz gives us Hugh Hewitt.

Oh, and Howard Kurtz is a spineless tool. But you knew that already.

Emergency Patches Available From Microsoft

Attention Windows users: According to Brian Krebs, Microsoft has made available some security patches that they have deemed critical enough to release now, rather than waiting for next month's regularly scheduled Patch Tuesday. If you don't have Automatic Updates turned on, fire up Internet Explorer and visit update.microsoft.com, ASAP. And don't use IE for any other purpose until you do.

Jeez, Whaddya Know? A Congressional Dem With Balls!

Sam Stein reports at HuffPo:

Rep. Neil Abercrombie, (D-Hawaii), has introduced a resolution "Recognizing and celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the entry of Hawaii into the Union as the 50th State." It's one of the typical non-controversial obligatory matters that so often show up on the congressional agenda.

Only in this case, the implications of the resolution are much further reaching. That's because, as part of the 456-word resolution, Abercrombie is including the following line: "Whereas the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama, was born in Hawaii..."

In no short order, H.R. 593 has become what one Democratic operative described as the "counter-birther" bill.

Forces those Congressional Republicans to put up or shut up, doesn't it?

Greg Sargent at The Plum Line:

“In the language of the resolution, there is a statement that Hawaii is the birthplace of the 44th President of the United States,” Abercrombie spokesman Dave Helfert confirms.

That confronts House GOPers with a choice: They can vote for the measure, and endorse the idea that Obama was born in Hawaii, which could earn the wrath of birthers. Or they can vote against commemorating the 50th state’s joining of our blessed Union. Or GOPers can skip the vote, but that could look nutty.

“Far be it from us to try to stir things up,” Helfert said puckishly. “The president was born there, so what are you gonna do? Not mention it?”

Heh.

In updates to Stein's post, it turns out that Michelle Bachmann blocked a vote on the resolution, but then the full House met later and the resolution passed unanimously (including a "Yea" vote from Bachmann), thus proving once and for all that "President" Barack Obama is an illegal alien and the conspiracy to cover this up now extends to every member of the House GOP (including Michelle Bachmann). Sounds like those ACORN-Census Bureau-FEMA death "reeducation" camp threats are really working!

(h/t: Jim Newell/Wonkette)

Two Bests (Updated 3x)

Some more on the Final Lap of the Iquitarod …

Best short review (Alex Pareene via Ken Layne):

It's like Peggy Noonan, Jack London, and William Faulkner wandered into the woods with three buttons of peyote and one typewriter, and only this speech emerged.

And she wrote this speech! In advance, on paper! What does any of it mean? It is amazing. Twenty years ago she could competently descibe a dog race, three years ago she could articulate a position on the abortion issue, and this weekend she composed a resignation speech by throwing culture war stock phrases into a hat and dumping it upside down on a copy of The Paranoid Style in American Politics.

Best performance art interpretation: William Shatner treats it as poetry (bastards at Hulu won't offer an embed option, sorry).

[UPDATE] Found an embeddable version over at HuffPo:

[UPDATE2] Which doesn't seem to be playing at the moment. Oh, well. Try the Hulu link above if it's still broken when you're reading this. Sorry.


[UPDATE3] Another try at an embeddable version:

(alt. video link)

Think I got it -- if this one doesn't work for you, right-click in the video window, click "Settings," and uncheck "Enable hardware acceleration." Could just be my ancient machine.

(previously)

Fight, Fight!

Big-time conservative website National Review Online has posted a big-time distancing of itself from the Birthers, and the Freepers are none too happy about this big-time sellout! See your Wonkette for details and links.

__________

Also, I see that "TOTUS" (Teleprompter Of The United States -- big laffs!) has lost its power to tickle the basement-dwellers of Greater Wingnuttia, and "POSOTUS" is the new acronym of choice. I haven't seen it spelled out anywhere, but from occasional renderings as "POS  OTUS," I think it's a safe bet that the first three letters stand for Piece Of Shit. Classy as ever, our frustrated, impotent, and hate-filled wingnuts!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Senator Al Franken On Judge Sotomayor

Oh, and speaking of the good guys, here is your newest, favoritest Senator speaking before he cast his vote. It's about five minutes long.

(alt. video link)

Not too shabby, coming from "a clown," huh?

(h/t: Twin, via PM)

Welp, I Guess We Can Start Calling Lindsey Graham "A Wise Latina" Now

Snark aside, a salute to your courage, Senator. I can't promise any more than that, but maybe down the road, if a Full Metal Wingnut tries to unseat you in your next primary on the strength of this vote of yours, I might send your campaign a few bucks, if it looks like it's getting close.

Headline and lede from the NYT:

Senate Panel Endorses Sotomayor in 13-6 Vote

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted, 13 to 6, on Tuesday to endorse the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor, easing her path to likely confirmation as the first Hispanic member of the tribunal.

As expected, all 12 Democrats on the judiciary panel voted for Judge Sotomayor, after praising her intellect, character and inspiring personal history. But among the seven Republicans on the committee, only Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina voted in favor.

The committee action sends the nomination to the full Senate, where her confirmation by a comfortable margin seems to be assured.

Oh, Yeah. Her.

Gotta figure that the Wasilla Windbag was none too happy about that cop and Prof. Gates getting all the ink and spotlight the past few days. Anyway, she gave her farewell address, I guess we'd call it, and really, the only way to watch it is over at Wonkette, while reading the comments, because they are Teh Awesome.

(Earlier, I noted some of my favorites elsewhere, if you just want a taste.)

[Added] Coupla funny pix from the good people at Mudflats, embedded in this post and this post. Oh, and the second-to-last at the bottom of this post makes all the scrolling worthwhile. (Or just go there and search for "snazzy backpack!")

Reminder (to self): Read TFN Insider (more often)

I've mentioned TFN Insider, the blog of the Texas Freedom Network, before -- it's a valuable resource if you're interested in things like the ongoing attempts by creationists and other Christianists to take over all matters of education down in Texas. And you should be -- as Texas goes, so goes the nation, in things like textbooks for grades K-12.

Anyway, I had occasion to refer to them in the middle of a screed on the Bh.tv forums answering questions like, "So, what's so bad about debating creationists again?" This led me to check my link (because I'm obsessive like that), and I have to say, the latest post is especially well worth reading. It's an update on the previously-noted social studies kerfuffle going on down there (yeah, it's not just all creationism all the time -- the fundies would like more Jeebus served with everything these days), and among other things, it features Tucker Carlson lying and being a dick.

All together now, class ... No one could have predicted.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Codeword Watch: Fellowship is Now a Verb, Apparently

At least, according to member of The Family Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Obvs.).

An Op-Ed For All Thinking People

Sam Harris has some thoughts on the appointment of Francis Collins, an unarguably stellar scientist and administrator, but also an evangelical Christian, to head the NIH.

(h/t: Me&theboys)

Friday, July 24, 2009

Jon Stewart on the Birthers

America's Most Trusted News Source, y'all:

(alt. video link)

New Slansky!

The latest edition of "This Preposterous Week! Paul Slansky's News Index" is now available for your clicking and snickering pleasure.

(h/t: Riley Waggaman, which is a name that should probably be spelled in all caps if it's going to be underlined. Oh well, next time.)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Slip Slidin' Away ...

... and not a work of friction.

RIP, John S. Barry.

Another Reminder ...

... of why, despite quibbles about details of domestic policy and differences in priorities, I am still very glad that we elected Barack Obama to be President of the United States.

Mr. Obama, according to the survey by the Pew Global Attitudes Project, enjoys greater confidence among Germans than does Chancellor Angela Merkel, and among the French than President Nicolas Sarkozy. His election in itself, pollsters found, helped restore the United States’ image abroad to levels unseen since the Clinton years.

Improved attitudes toward the United States were most marked in Western Europe, but also evident in Asia, Africa and Latin America, as well as some predominantly Muslim countries.

[...]

Europeans, in particular, seemed to be responding positively to Mr. Obama. The number of Britons saying that they trusted the American president to do the “right thing” in world affairs soared to 86 percent this year, under Mr. Obama, compared with just 16 percent last year, under President George W. Bush. The increase was slightly larger in both Germany and France.

[...]

For the first time since Pew began making the comparison, people in Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Nigeria and Indonesia — all predominantly Muslim nations — expressed greater confidence in the American president than in Osama bin Laden.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

U. S. History, Texas-Style

I've noted (most recently here) the never-ending battles that have to be fought down in Texas to keep creationism out of the science classroom. Not only are we not winning those; now, I find out, it doesn't end there. Apparently, the fundies are none too happy at the idea that when it comes to our nation's history, we ought to teach something besides "Jesus wrote the Constitution so that white men could do good works."

Stephanie Simon reports in the WSJ on "a brewing debate over how much faith belongs in American history classrooms." Here are some excerpts.

Three reviewers [out of a total of six --bjk], appointed by social conservatives, have recommended revamping the K-12 curriculum to emphasize the roles of the Bible, the Christian faith and the civic virtue of religion in the study of American history. Two of them want to remove or de-emphasize references to several historical figures who have become liberal icons, such as César Chávez and Thurgood Marshall.

"We're in an all-out moral and spiritual civil war for the soul of America, and the record of American history is right at the heart of it," said Rev. Peter Marshall, a Christian minister and one of the reviewers appointed by the conservative camp.

[...]

The reviewers appointed by conservatives include two who run conservative Christian organizations: David Barton, founder of WallBuilders, a group that promotes America's Christian heritage; and Rev. Marshall, who preaches that Watergate, the Vietnam War and Hurricane Katrina were God's judgments on the nation's sexual immorality. [...]

The conservative reviewers say they believe that children must learn that America's founding principles are biblical. [...]

The curriculum, they say, should clearly present Christianity as an overall force for good -- and a key reason for American exceptionalism, the notion that the country stands above and apart.

A reminder: As Texas education standards go, so go Texas schoolbooks. And as Texas schoolbooks go, so, often, do the textbooks for the rest of the country's kids.

(h/t: eric/Edge of the American West)



[Added] See the blog of the Texas Freedom Network for more; e.g., here, here, here, and here.

What Could Be Stupider Than a Sarah Palin Comic Book?

Would you believe ... a critical review of said comic book?

No, I have no idea why newspapers are dying, either.

In Her Defense, She Has Yet To Blame Canada

Shannyn Moore has a new post up on HuffPo documenting why nothing is ever Sarah Palin's fault, so shut up, that's why.

Pretty entertaining read.

(Unless, of course, you're one of the Fighting 13%.)



(title: cf.)

"In what sense, Charlie?" v2.0

Your chairman of the Republican National Committee, ladies and gentleman.

The Party of No Clue.

(h/t: OW | title: cf.)



On a related note: observe that there are only a couple of letters' worth of difference between the birthers and the bitters.



[Added] Regarding the first item: Gawker's headline, FTW. (via)

Great Moments in Mindless Truncation

Clicked on a link in OW's feed because I couldn't remember who Chris Brown was. Note the title on the tab to the right. (Click it to big it.)

I guess I've been reading too much TBogg. The actual story, of course, is not so funny.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Abstinence-Only Works! Proof!

Headline:

Teen pregnancy and disease rates rose sharply
during Bush years, agency finds

Uh, erm, ... well, of course the CDC under OBAMA would say that, wouldn't they?

(h/t: Wonkette) ← and do not miss the real meaning of Purity Rings

Shorter Ross Douthat

This affirmative action stuff has got to stop …

Wait. Why is everyone laughing? This has nothing to do with me being a conservative -- I got this plush New York Times op-ed gig on MERIT ALONE, dammit.

(h/t: LK, via KK, via email)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Payless Palin

A low-rent version of the soon to be ex-governor captures every dumb denialist argument in one five minute video. I was going to say she epitomizes "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing," but when I heard her assert that because carbon "dee-oxide" is invisible it is therefore harmless, I figured she didn't even deserve that.

The smugness of ignorance displayed by her and her audience is nothing short of despair-inducing, although if you're in the proper cynical mood, it may strike you as hilarious.

(h/t: Thers | title: cf.)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Last Post From hilzoy

Hoping against hope that this is not goodbye forever, but just au revoir.

(h/t: Robert Farley/LGM)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Firefox Security Update: Latest Version Now 3.5.1

(Update below)

Mozilla has released a patch that (1) closes a security hole rated "critical," (2) addresses "several stability issues," and (3) fixes "an issue that was making Firefox take a long time to load on some Windows systems," according to the release notes. This brings the latest version number to 3.5.1.

If you don't have automatic updates or notifications enabled, do Help → Check for Updates. The whole process went off without a hitch for me, and took less than a minute.

Deep geek: If you heard about the JIT vulnerability and went into about:config to toggle javascript.options.jit.content to False, you can toggle it back to its default setting of True after you apply the update. If this means nothing to you, don't worry about it. (But if you want to read a little about it, see this post on the Mozilla Security blog.)



[Update 2009-07-18 15:02] TC reports via email that if you have an earlier version of Firefox than v3.5 because you didn't do the last major upgrade (cf.) and you do the Help → Check for Updates routine, you will be upgraded to v3.5, not v3.5.1. I have seen this happen on another computer, too.

No big deal -- just accept/perform the upgrade to v3.5 and after the browser restarts, do Help → Check for Updates a second time. This should get you the latest version.

SCLM Watch: The AP Carries Republican Water. Again.

What's an error of half a trillion dollars between friends, really? And as long as you don't correct it, it's good enough for Newt Gingrich! Thanks, Liberal Media!

(h/t: Yglesias via Wonkette)

Shorter Tom Coburn

Sen. Coburn (R-Obvs.) to Judge Sotomayor (via):

It is perfectly appropriate for ME to have different views on the law based on my upbringing and culture. Particularly when we're talking about my love for guns.

I'll Give That a Big Ole "Heh, Indeed"

Brad proposes a new neocon slogan.

I'd say, "Going Out With A Bang," ...

... except that she's always been this good.

Anyway, as we near what I would like to call the beginning of hilzoy's Sabbatical Of Indeterminate Length (except for the unfortunate acronym), she is leaving us with at least a couple of posts of pure delight, here and here, that document what wingnuts are all about once twice again.

(h/t: Scott Lemieux)

War Story

If the pen is truly mightier than the sword, then the recollections of a presidential speechwriter justify that title, I'd say.

In any case, Gordon Stewart's op-ed is worth a read, as is the referring blog post from Will Bunch, "The speech that could have saved America."

__________


Bonus fun fact, Small World Dept.: One of my favorite bloggers, Hendrik Hertzberg, was another of the speechwriters. I did not know that.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Consensus On Lipstick-Wearing Pitbulls Nearing Unanimity

It's not just libtards like me saying it anymore. It's also people like Daniel Finkelstein, former "adviser to both Prime Minister John Major and Conservative leader William Hague," and now writing editorials for the Murdoch-owned Times:

... Mrs Palin now symbolises her party, that it is what she is, that it stands for what she stands for.

There is no more eloquent statement of modern Republicanism than resigning office with time still on the clock. Mrs Palin has chosen to talk about power, rather than exercise it. She would rather write a book and give lectures about being a governor than actually be a governor. And her party has made the same choice.

[...]

[...] But for a party that seeks to govern to speak so openly of its dislike of governing, of the people who govern and of the place from which they govern, isn’t entirely serious.

Mrs Palin need not worry too much about this, because she has worked out that she can have an entire career, a public voice and a good income entirely by pleasing the Republican base. More broadly, her party has concluded that it can have a fine life just pleasing itself.

The maths of politics aren’t very complicated. If you want to win and you don’t have enough votes from people who agree with you, you have to win support from people who don’t by accommodating their views. You cannot win elections by getting the same people to vote for you by pulling the lever harder. This, however, is the strategy the Republicans seem to be embarking upon.

And even more to the point: the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal:

Poor, Persecuted Sarah Palin

The GOP embraces the culture of victimhood.

[...]

The culture's fantastically unfair treatment of middle Americans is the main lesson that many will no doubt take away from Ms. Palin's time in the national spotlight. In fact, it may be the only lesson. We don't really know where the former vice presidential candidate stands on most issues. We know only that she is constantly being maligned, that when we turn on the TV and see her fair face beaming, we are about to hear that some liberal someone has slurred this noble lady yet again.

Indeed, if political figures stand for ideas, victimization is what Ms. Palin is all about. It is her brand, her myth. Ronald Reagan stood tall. John McCain was about service. Barack Obama has hope. Sarah Palin is a collector of grievances. She runs for high office by griping.

This is no small thing, mind you. The piling-up of petty complaints is an important aspect of conservative movement culture.

The WSJ piece closes with a great bit rebuking Kristol and Continetti, but I don't want to step on their lines. Same goes for Finkelstein's piece: great ending, which deserves reading what comes before it.

(h/t: Wolcott and Wonkette)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Patch Tuesday

Reminder for Windows users: today is Patch Tuesday. If you don't have Windows Updates set to run automatically, you know what to do.

This was another big month for updates, including, as Brian Krebs says, "… fixes for two very serious flaws that are actively being exploited by attackers to break into vulnerable PCs."

So, don't delay.

Remember When ...

... Boy Genius, aka Turd Blossom, aka Karl Rove envisioned the "permanent Republican majority" being strengthen by attracting large numbers of Latino base?

Here's one measure of how that's working out:

(alt. video link)

Visit here, the "alt. video link," or DenunciaRush.com if you would like to donate to help air this ad.

(h/t: DougJ/Balloon Juice)

Making Sense, Once Again

Barney Frank is dope. But you already knew that.

And I have to say, if you have Barney Frank, Ron Paul, and Dana Rohrabacher agreeing upon something, the time for debate is over.

The news, the interview (recommended), the hat tip.

How Long Before Children Refuse To Eat Their Spinach, Because Barack Obama Was Actually Born In North Korea?

Yet another example of Birther nonsense: Professional lawyer person Orly "PAY ATTENTION TO ME" Taitz has taken on a new client, an Army reservist who wants to get out being deployed to Afghanistan because of his "belief that Obama is not a natural-born citizen of the United States and is therefore ineligible to serve as commander-in-chief of the U.S. Armed Forces," and that therefore, he would be "subjecting himself to possible prosecution as a war criminal" by following orders from this obvious impostor who is not a Real American also.

Somewhere, Max Klinger is thinking, Damn, why didn't I try that? I mean, what do we REALLY know about Harry S Truman? Only a communist sleeper agent wouldn't use a period after his middle initial, amirite? AND WHERE ARE HIS COLLEGE RECORDS???

I'm thinking, hell yeah, there's no reason to give this clown a gun, much less a position of command. Assign him to an internship at Atlas Shrugs, for life.

(h/t: Ken Layne/Wonkette)

The Web Will Be A Little Dumber, Starting Next Week

Sad news for readers: hilzoy has announced that she is retiring from blogging, come this Friday.

Online discourse will be a little less civil, reasoning a little less sharp, and principles a bit less well-articulated, but I can only thank her and wish her the best.

(h/t: Sara K. Smith/Wonkette)

EXPOSED: The Columbia Connection

If you are a student of anti-Obama hysteria, you might remember that among the many variations on the BUT WHAT DO WE REALLY KNOW ABOUT HIM??? theme was this: all the elements of his sinister past at Columbia University (Connections to Ayres! Birth of his radicalism!) that were SUPPRESSED which THE MSM WON'T REPORT ON.

If you are such a student, you're probably also familiar with the now-fading echoes of a battle cry that was turned up to 11 after Rathergate -- how the MSM was about to be steamrollered by these hard-working investigative citizen-journalists of the Right.

To those ends, SEK over at The Edge of the American West offers up a couple dozens eggs, all of which certain prominent right-pundits will soon be wiping off their faces.

Killer ending. And a great missile defense cartoon, too.

(pic. source: one of the Web's great collections of lookalikes)

Monday, July 13, 2009

Clearly, the hardest part for Judge Sotomayor ...

... will be staying awake and not bursting into hysterical laughter.

You think the Founders had this in mind when they said "Advice and Consent of the Senate?"

Where is Abner Doubleday's birth certificate?

(h/t: Jim Newell/Wonkette)

And Now Back to Sanity

Here is a Bloggingheads.tv diavlog between Evgeny Morozov and Ethan Zuckerman on "cyberwar" (and why they hate that term). Also of interest: some of the smartest observations I've heard regarding trying to use social media to understand a situation in a far-off place. About an hour long.

Topics:

  • Did North Korea launch a cyber attack on the US? (05:40)
  • Evgeny’s brief deployment as a Russian cyber warrior (03:06)
  • Is “cyber war” really war? (06:54)
  • Debating a solution: engineering vs. education (05:32)
  • Why Iran dominated Twitter and the Uighurs didn’t (04:34)
  • Are social media inherently liberating? (11:56)

(alt. video link)

Visit the "alt. video link" if you'd prefer to download an audio or video file rather than watching the stream. Also see that page for links to the two men's home pages and some other interesting reading.

A Ten-Minute Look Inside The Fringe

Here, via Wonkette, is a clip of the Alex Jones show, featuring Heidi and Joel Spencer (who have just started Waking Up, apparently), that must be seen to be believed.

Fluoride worries, birth control pills cause sterilization, Obama this, Obama that, oh yeah, he's the anti-Christ, doing "research" by watching flaky DVDs (mostly produced by Alex Jones), chips to be installed in every human being, "FEMA has federalized the churches," a commercial for solar generators "because the government doesn't control the sun" (YET) and the Russians have already infiltrated the U.S. electric grid and are going to crash it this summner ("some say"), and much much more.

YOU NEED TO KNOW WHAT'S GOING ON.

(alt. video link)

[Added] Apparently, this clip is only part one of five. Part 2, 3, 4, 5, if you must. I must not.

[Added2] Oh, and Google is now showing ads on the page I see after clicking "Publish." Look what just came up:

It IS all connected.

Oh, Hey! Big Laffs!

Another conservative loudmouth on the teevee, advocating killing a named individual, while the rest of the not-quite-as conservatives in studio yuk it up.

Try to imagine a liberal saying the same thing about, say, Bristol Palin. Well, try to imagine anyone as far to the left as Buchanan is to the right being on teevee in the first place.

(h/t: Sara K. Smith/Wonkette)



[Added] DougJ comes up with a good example:

... but remind me again why Wanda Sykes’ jokes about Rush Limbaugh offended everyone so much.

[Added2] Also (context).

[Added3] Buchanan repeats the "joke," gets laughs again. (via)

Car Toon

This appeals to me on at least two levels.

(enlarge image)

Some funny captions on the Flickr page.

Swiped from Eric Michael Johnson, via PZ Myers. Both posts are worth reading if you care about the appointment of Francis Collins to be the head of the NIH.

Palate Cleanser

TPM has a new slide show up, called "Hot Fun in The Summertime -- At The White House.

Here's #2 of 23, a nice father/daughter moment (click it to big it):

If you don't feel like going through them all, number 9 is pretty funny, as is number 19, number 11 is a great shot, number 6 is pretty cool, and number 12 is undoubtedly a priceless souvenir for this young woman and her family.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Prediction: Kabuki Theater Performance to Cause Collateral Damage

Looks like the Republicans are going to try to make the upcoming confirmation hearings for Sonia Sotomayor revolve around Frank Ricci. Dahlia Lithwick reports that the GOP has announced he'll be testifying. (Because of his vast knowledge of Constitutional law? Uh …)

I'm sure I'm far from the first to think "Joe" the "Plumber," v2.0.

I expect the GOP and all of their trained seals on the teevee and in the wingnutosphere will alternate between barking his praises and howling about THE LEFT'S VICIOUS ATTEMPTS TO VICIOUSLY DESTROY HIM. And it does look like Ricci is not exactly the poster boy you want up there, if you're all about hating on affirmative action and those Democratic trial lawyer types: In 1995, he sued, claiming discrimination prevented him from being hired (because of dyslexia); in 1998, he threatened to sue over being fired, eventually settling before the case went to court; and of course, most recently, he was part of the now-famous lawsuit that bears his name.

Ah, well. I guess I don't feel bad for Ricci. He'll undoubtedly get a book deal, at least.

I had already planned not to follow the hearings, after the agony caused by the last few I've sat through out of some weird belief that it was the duty of an informed citizen. This just adds to it.

Hat tip to Phil Nugent at No More Mister Nice Blog, who observes:

Certainly there is nothing novel, at this late date, about white Republican males nominating someone for the John Wayne Heroic Self-Reliance Medal on the basis of how loudly he can whine.

David Weigel has the full list of GOP witnesses for the hearings. Will there be gun nuts? Oh, yes, there will be gun nuts, too.

Shorter "Honest" John McCain

I sneer at your "hard-hitting" questions, David Gregory. You'll never get ME to admit what a huge mistake I made picking Sarah Palin to be my running mate.

He actually says at one point, "I don’t think she quit."

Maverick! Let's have him on TV more often!

(h/t: Attaturk)

Whales!

Pretty fascinating article by Charles Siebert in this week's NYT Magazine.

Don't be discouraged by the way it starts off -- it gets happier.

"... all different"

Here's something I never knew before: maze and labyrinth are not, strictly speaking, synonyms.

According to Wikipedia, the difference is that the maze has branch points (leading to dead ends, typically) while no matter how twisty the path, a labyrinth does not -- there is only one possible route to follow.

(h/t: bwn | title: cf., and by the way, look who's #2!)

YR = Young Racists. Again.

The Young Republicans -- a proving ground for the most amoral, base-baiting operatives.

(h/t: pampl)



[Added] claymisher also recommends Franklin Foer's piece on the College Republicans, "Swimming With Sharks," which ran in TNR in 2005.

Althouse, Self-Distilled

AND: Yes, I have seen the video, and I stand by my analysis of the still photograph.

Just try to imagine what that might mean, before you click for context.

Oh, and of course her commenters show their usual amount of class.

If you liked "Iquitarod," ...

... you'll love "The Alaskan Quitbull."

I feel your pain, Brad.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Had About Enough MJ?

Doghouse Riley supplies a welcome tonic.

James Hansen: Not Happy

James Hansen, the NASA climate scientist, has a post up on HuffPo that deplores the "counterfeit climate bill known as Waxman-Markey," and basically says we're done for unless we get a lot more aggressive starting now.

Excerpt:

With a workable climate bill in his pocket, President Obama might have been able to begin building that global consensus in Italy. Instead, it looks as if the delegates from other nations may have done what 219 U.S. House members who voted up Waxman-Markey last month did not: critically read the 1,400-page American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 and deduce that it's no more fit to rescue our climate than a V-2 rocket was to land a man on the moon.

I share that conclusion, and have explained why to members of Congress before and will again at a Capitol Hill briefing on July 13. Science has exposed the climate threat and revealed this inconvenient truth: If we burn even half of Earth's remaining fossil fuels we will destroy the planet as humanity knows it. The added emissions of heat-trapping carbon dioxide will set our Earth irreversibly onto a course toward an ice-free state, a course that will initiate a chain reaction of irreversible and catastrophic climate changes.

The concentration of CO2 in our atmosphere now stands at 387 parts per million, the highest level in 600,000 years and more than 100 ppm higher than the amount at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution. Burning just the oil and gas sitting in known fields will drive atmospheric CO2 well over 400 ppm and ignite a devil's cauldron of melted icecaps, bubbling permafrost, and combustible forests from which there will be no turning back. But if we cut off the largest source of carbon dioxide, coal, we have a chance to bring CO2 back to 350 ppm and still lower through agricultural and forestry practices that increase carbon storage in trees and soil.

Among other things, he goes on to detail specific complaints he has with the bill, argues against cap and trade and proposes a "carbon fee-and-dividend" plan instead.

Hansen has a rep as being among the most worried about climate change, as half the people reading this will likely feel compelled to point out. Still, worth a read, I think.

Hat tip: Tim F./Balloon Juice, who observes:

Dr. Hansen proposes a series of initiatives that sound doable but dire. Needless to say, as long as acceptable opinion in America ranges from New Republic to the National Review, we might as well stock up on aloha shirts and deodorant.

(x-posted)

Friday, July 10, 2009

Okay, Now I'm a Little Peeved at Obama

Because of this:

Obama Extends Cheney's Secret Service Protection

There appears no end in sight for when Dick Cheney, a rare former vice president with Secret Service protection, will lose his security detail. Whispers has learned that the political battler's Secret Service protection has been extended, though there were no details on the length. We don't know why President Obama OK'd the extension, which must be approved by the commander in chief because former veeps typically don't get any Secret Service security after leaving office.

This creep made a fortune from war-profiteering, and he's going to make another bunch of millions bulk-selling a self-serving "memoir" through a wingnut publisher. Let the guy who said "So?" in response to the American people pay for his own security detail.

(h/t: Jim Newell/Wonkette)

Will Conservatives Be OUTRAGED?

Because the First Lady donned a head covering to meet with a controversial foreign religious leader?

(for example, for example)



[Added] John Cole makes an astute observation about this meeting that has nothing to do with headwear.

Joseph Galloway ...

... still not done with Robert McNamara. This is righteous.

I had never heard of Project 100,000 before. It is hard to imagine anything more distasteful. Even if you're disinclined to kick the corpse of McNamara around, read Galloway's piece for what it says about the chickenhawk mentality writ large.

(h/t: Attaturk)

(previously)

Thursday, July 09, 2009

In Palin's Defense ...

... when looking at that list of titles, I'm sure she read … uh, all of them.

(h/t: Riley Waggaman/Wonkette)

(previously)

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Grownups in Charge (State Edition)

New York has had no Lieutenant Governor since March 2008, when Eliot Spitzer resigned because that's how point guards who are so blessed to lead in THIS life when there are too many dead fish going WITH the flow as they are not wired to operate under the same old "politics as usual," which harms the Troops also.

The guy who was then LG, David Paterson, became Governor. There was no immediate news about who would become the next LG, and it pretty much wasn't treated as a big deal until the recent coup in the State Senate, which, when the dust cleared, left the Senate deadlocked, needing a tie-breaking vote from … you guessed it, the Lieutenant Governor. So David Paterson named somebody. Today. Better late than never, right? Or not.

I didn't know this:

… the governor’s move is sure to be highly debated. Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo, the state’s top legal officer, said this week that such a step would be unconstitutional and would entangle “the governor in a political ploy that would wind through the courts for many months.”

There is no provision in the New York State Constitution that provides for filling the office in the event of a vacancy …

Double you tee eff.

How is such a thing even possible? Hasn't New York been a state since, like, even longer than John McCain has been alive? No one ever thought, say, after that car guy wowed 'em back in '73, "I got an idea, fellas, let's do what the feds just did -- governor nominates a lieutenant, legislature approves or not, shouldn't need to add more than three sentences to the constitution, what's next?"

Sorry, Doghouse, I'm gonna have to violate your trademark.

Another day, another lying theocratic racist Republican

Shorter Steve King (R-Iowa):

As part getting The Truth™ out about America's "Judeo-Christian heritage," we must deny that we ever had slaves.

(h/t: Jim Newell/Wonkette)

[Added] Follow-up.

Takes One to Know One, I Guess

From his home state paper, no less:

One week after calling him "the clown from Minnesota," Sen. Jim Inhofe shared a hug Tuesday with Al Franken, the newly minted senator from the North Star State.

That didn't stop Inhofe from saying Franken "kind of looked like a clown."

Below, the Senator best known for asserting that people concerned about global warming are Nazis:

Sen. James Inhofe, (R-Clown)

Image from Hebiclens / WMxdesign, whom you may remember from a previous post.

(h/t: Sara K. Smith/Wonkette)

P.S. And speaking of clowns, let it never be said that Bill O'Reilly has reached the ultimate limit in self-pity. He will always find a new low. Having to have a shill on to comfort him about Barney Frank's mean ol' body language? Kee-rist.

Precision

From Daniel Holz's post describing the Laser Interferometer Gravitational Wave Observatory, a tool built to detect gravity waves:

There is lots to say about LIGO, but I’d like to focus on one point: the scale on the y-axis of the plot above (which represents strain, the fractional change in the length of the LIGO arms). LIGO is sensitive, over a wide range of frequency, to a strain of better than 1 part in 1022. In other words, it measures changes in the relative length of its 4km arms to better than a thousandth of the size of a proton. This plot should absolutely blow your mind. If not, perhaps I’m being too abstract? This is the equivalent of monitoring changes in the distance between New York and San Francisco to better than one ten billionth the width of a human hair.

Yeah, I'd say that blows my mind.

Here is a picture of one of LIGO's arms, or legs, as the case may be, from its entry page on Wikipedia, and you can see an aerial shot on the LIGO home page. And there's a similar set-up in Europe, called Virgo.

The World's President

From WorldPublicOpinion.org, reporting on their survey involving "19,224 respondents in nations that comprise 62 percent of the world's population:"

Obama Rockets to Top of Poll on Global Leaders

US President Barack Obama has the confidence of many publics around the world - inspiring far more confidence than any other world political leader according to a new poll of 20 nations by WorldPublicOpinion.org. A year ago, President Bush was one of the least trusted leaders in the world.

[...]

An average of 61 percent express a lot or some confidence in Obama to do the right thing in world affairs, across the nineteen nations polled (excluding the US). Thirty-one percent say they have not too much or no confidence at all. In 13 nations, a majority or plurality has confidence in Obama; in five nations they do not; one nation is divided. A majority of the American public (70%) also expresses confidence in Obama in world affairs.

No other leader has the confidence of more than an average of 40 percent across the publics polled. For most leaders, more express a lack of confidence than express confidence.

[...]

Obama's ratings are far higher than the 2008 ratings of President Bush: France (+77 percentage points), Britain (+ 75 points), South Korea (+ 58 points), Mexico (+45 points), Turkey (+38 points), India (+35 points), Egypt (+31 points), and the Palestinian territories (+30 points). The publics in every nation polled in both 2008 and 2009 showed an increase in confidence in Obama compared to Bush--on average 37 points.

The dramatic increase in confidence occurs both among the publics of traditional allies who had been alienated by the policies and manner of the Bush administration such as Britain, France, and South Korea as well as nations where the standing of the US remains quite low such as those in the Middle East. Even in nations where a majority of the public does not express confidence in Obama, there has nonetheless been an increase in confidence with the new President, such as Turkey (rising from 7% to 45%) and Russia (rising from 14% to 23%).

(h/t: Roy Edroso, covering people at the NRO who are nonetheless convinced that everyone in Britain hates Obama)

While You Were Letting The State-Run Media Fill Your Brain With Noise ...

... about dead celebrities and Republican governors gone wild, I've learned about two new dangers that are could destroy America forever. These are EVEN WORSE than chemtrails.

First: Have you heard about the NAFTA Superhighway conspiracy? Ask Jerome Corsi! You know you can trust him, plus he is the top link on Google! IT MUST BE TRUE. Pay no attention to this leftist liberal who is clearly being paid by the NWO to cover it up.

And even scarier, by which I mean certain death for almost everybody: What about the looming threat of the EMP?   E.  M.  P.  Heard about that?

No???

WAKE UP, SHEEPLE.

__________


[Update] Follow-up.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Another Good Question

Jed Lewison tweets:

So Sarah Palin resigns to protect her family...and then invites every national media outlet to join her family vacation? #2012fail

(previously)

A Simple Non-Desultory Philippic

"I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure." —Clarence Darrow (1857–1938)

And so begins Joseph L. Galloway's reflections on the death of Robert S. McNamara. Understated, yet brilliantly harsh.

(h/t: John Cole | title: cf.)

Good Question, Good Answer

Andrew Sullivan:

A reader writes:

If Palin is still Governor through the end of the month, what is she doing spending a few days fishing? Shouldn't she be working for the people of Alaska?

She's Palin. Do you think it was a work day when she did all those Runners World photo-shoots? She doesn't work. And she revealingly explained why she doesn't. She doesn't think she even has an office, she has a "title". Like a Beauty Queen whose duties require only publicity. And boy, she knows how to get that.

Also, he has done some us a service to save us some Googling: "The Odd Lies Of Sarah Palin: A Round-Up."

Music Video Better Than American TV News

Sully's emailer says:

My wife, who is a Middle Eastern scholar, told me about this group, Abjeez - two Iranian sisters based in London who do world pop. This piece DemoKracy, is brilliant, in the way it used the media metaphor to comment on the "democracy" that America has brought to the Middle East and Iraq in particular. It used images that are seldom, if ever seen on US TV, but are frequently seen in the rest of the world. And best of all, their music is great!

Truly, this is a work of art:

(alt. video link)

Abjeez's YouTube channel.

Starbursts No More

Wow. He used to sit up straighter, but now Rich Lowry, the editor of National Review, has fully detumesced:

In all the speculation about why Sarah Palin quit the Alaska governorship, no one — right or left, supportive or critical, rational or conspiratorial — has credited her stated reason that she had to do it for the sake of Alaska.

It’s just too absurd. Palin mentioned Alaska or Alaskans 34 times in a 17-minute statement that must be a new record in the history of protesting too much. Palin says she hates politics as usual, and true to her word, on July 3 she staged a spectacle in politics as unusual. But she still proved adept at the traditional political art of extreme disingenuousness.

[...]

Sarah Palin’s words served only to throw a tissue of rationalization over a calculated choice made in her personal self-interest. [...]

[...]

[...] Conservatives loved her for the same reason. She had a true magnetism. The more she repelled one side, the more she attracted the other.

This push-pull dynamic will hold Palin up for a long time, but it can’t propel her into the presidency. For that she needs substance, not the hackneyed sound bites she clings to for dear life. For that she needs a positive program, not just the hatred of conservatism’s favorite enemies. On this score, her premature exit from the governorship makes her task all the more arduous. As the soon-to-be-former half-term governor of a small state, she makes that other prominent populist social conservative, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, look formidably credentialed in comparison.

(h/t: Sara K. Smith/Wonkette | x-posted)

Fairly Unbalanced

And speaking of Paul Slansky, here's just one of the items he passes along.

(alt. video link)

Do these people on Fox ever listen to their panting hysteria over Senator Franken and say to themselves, "Hmmm. I wonder how many of these claims of unfitness for office might have applied to Sarah Palin? Oh, and speaking of close elections, what about that other thing?"

Hey, I can dream, can't I?

Been Off The Grid For A Week?

Somehow or another, I gotta remember to check Paul Slansky's News Index on a regular basis. Good round-up, great snark.

(h/t: Ken Layne/Wonkette) ← bonus: click that link for a cool pic and a funny headline

P.S. When will big news sites realize that they'd do better to offer narrower RSS feeds? They'd get more clicks from me if I could just (for now) subscribe to Slansky's feed, instead of trying to jam a whole "news" feed down my throat, because there is no way I am subscribing to that.

Oh, Yeah. The Teabaggers.

Even for political junkies, the latest round of supposed nationwide rallies to protest all things Obama, imaginary or not, appears to have passed without much notice. Amazing what happens to a "grassroots movement" when Fox News doesn't hype it, wall-to-wall, for weeks beforehand.

Anyway, if you'd like a quick round-up, Crooks and Liars (via Wonkette) and David Weigel (via C&L) are good places to start. It looks like the fringe elements, even more so than on April 15th, swarmed to many of these gatherings like moths to flame. No, wait. Better metaphor: Like flies to carrion.

Froomkin Joins Up With The HuffPo

Don't know any details about his getting paid yet, but this is interesting nonetheless and potentially a Good Thing.

(h/t: Ken Layne/Wonkette)

(previously)

A Great Moment in U.S. History

Been a long time coming ...

(alt. video link)

(h/t: Jim Newell/Wonkette)

Monday, July 06, 2009

The Long View

Pretty good column on Obama by Andrew Sullivan.

Blogging About People Blogging About People Blogging About The Politico

Yeah, I kind of hated myself for following the links, but it was worth it to end up at Gabriel Sherman's TNR post, for this nugget (emph. added):

Last month, Politico’s chief foreign policy writer David Cloud resigned after only six months on the job. “It wasn't a good fit for me,” Cloud told me by phone this afternoon. Cloud joined Politico in January. In making the announcement, Politico’s top editors John Harris and Jim VandeHei stressed that Cloud’s hiring represented Politico’s commitment to broadening its coverage outside the horse race of Beltway politics. “David's hiring is part of our ongoing effort to expand coverage of Washington governance, the new administration and national defense,” they wrote in a staff memo on January 14.

But Cloud didn’t take to Politico’s model of obsessive, politics-only reporting, and its freewheeling newsroom where staffers are expected to file news, often on multiple beats simultaneously. “Partly what I found, having come from the New York Times, there weren't [enough] resources,” Cloud explained. “They needed someone to cover the waterfront: foreign policy, defense, Obama's position in the world, which are all important things. I didn't want to be the sole person opining or reporting on these matters. It was too much of a burden at that point in my career.”

“One of my frustrations about the place,” Cloud continued, “I’m used to covering those things straight, by straight I didn’t mean they were pressuring me to inject some point of view into a story. It’s all done through the lens, ‘what does this mean for Obama?’ It’s an important lens to view things through, but it’s not the only lens I wanted to view those events through.”

I'd say a more honest way to put the part that I bolded is, "How can this be spun as a problem for Obama?" But I'll take this bit of confirmation nonetheless.

(h/t: Andrew Sullivan)

Another Good Step

From the NYT:

The United States and Russia, seeking to move forward on one of the most significant arms control treaties since the end of the cold war, announced Monday that they had reached a preliminary agreement on cutting each country’s stockpiles of strategic nuclear weapons by as much as one-third.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Boz

Back when he was at the height of his popularity, I did not care much for Boz Scaggs, to the extent that I knew him from the radio. It wasn't until I discovered "Loan Me A Dime" on The Duane Allman Anthology that I realized that there was a lot of soul there, and what had put me off earlier had more to do with the cheesy production of his hits.

So thanks, John Cole, for the reminder. Here is "Breakdown Dead Ahead."

(alt. video link)

Here is "Look What You've Done to Me." Don't miss the awesome ending.

(alt. video link)

Here is "Lido Shuffle," the song of his that used to bug me most, but which I like much better now, especially hearing it stripped down, with guitars and drums turned up in the mix. (And yes, I say "stripped down" while aware that there are two keyboard players, background singers, and a horn section. Tells you something about how the original version came across to me.)

(alt. video link)

And here is a recent performance of "Loan Me A Dime," where Boz joined an incarnation of The Allman Brothers Band, featuring a guitar player whom I don't know,* but who seems to have spent some time listening to Duane's records. Low volume, and in two parts, but worth it. Turn it up.

(alt. video link)

(alt. video link)

Okay, don't forget to turn your volume back down, lest you get new mail, and a heart attack.



* [Added] That's Derek Trucks, as it turns out, and yes, he's related. Butch is his uncle.

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