Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Oh, hey. Look who just joined the blogosphere!

Tom Toles, that's who. One of my favorite political cartoonists.

Yep, it turns out he is able to write down more than four or five words at a time, and is eager to do so! (To keep his job.) (I kid, I kid.)

Also, his blog will feature sketches that didn't make the cut for what he publishes daily in the WaPo.

These beans, and others, were spilled in a diavlog he did with Bob Wright. I can't in all honesty say it was a great conversation -- I probably had unrealistically high hopes -- but it was pretty good.

Mike Allen Provokes Moment of Honest Reporting

The disambiguation page for Michael Allen on Wikipedia currently looks like this (note last line) …


… and the latest revision for that page currently looks like this:


Click images to enlarge, and enjoy this brief moment of truth before the terrible "impartiality" demons swoop down again.

(previously)

Did you know ...

... that if you type Bachmann somewhere on a web page, Firefox will give it the red underline, and suggest that the correct spelling is Eichmann?

Make of that what you will.

(Besides that Firefox is liberally biased!!!1!, I mean.)


(pic. source)

Monday, March 29, 2010

Yes We Can 2!

John "It's Not Pronounced That Way!!!1!" Boehner, House Minority Leader, epitome of The Party of No, versus America:

(alt. video link)

Trike Force 2!

The new recruiting poster, created by Tintin:

The GHEMRotRSTF, v2.0

(previously)

(h/t: Twin)

Heh, Indeed

John Cole:

I started blogging because of the Instapundit. I remember when it was a big deal to get linked by him. I remember defending him, and I remember when he at least tried to maintain some level of pretense about being a libertarian. It has been really weird watching him rapidly descend into total teabagging madness.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Why We Like Rachel Maddow, Part Eleventy-Four-Thousand

Did you get one of those fund-raising letters from Republican President Senator Scott Brown, asking you for your munnies because he was terrified of Rachel Maddow? Because of something someone said on the Twitter?


She got irritated enough about his trash-mouth that she felt compelled to take out an ad in the Boston Globe, part of which reads:

I'm running this ad not because I'm running against Scott Brown -- I'm not, he made that up -- but because he's the Senator for all of us, and maybe this will make him think twice the next time he wants to smear one of his constituents to raise money out-of-state.

For a story like this, only Jim Newell can provide the proper analysis.

(pic. source | x-posted)

P.S. Brown is not up for reelection until 2012.

The State of the Republican Party, In One Headline

Despite Claiming That She Never Called Obama ‘Anti-American,’ Bachmann Now Brags About How She Did

Matt Corley has the gory story.

(h/t: Riley Waggaman | x-posted)

Love the Paramilitary Look, Sarah

Palin's paramilitary look

It goes sooooo well with your rhetoric of violence.

Which, I see, remain posted.

Have you no sense of decency, madam? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?

(pic. source: screen grab from video here)

Friday, March 26, 2010

"Michele Bachmann, Quantum Physicist"

Hey, if you'll believe the census is a plot to register you for Obama's Death Camps, why wouldn't you believe this?

(previously)

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Victory Is Ours At Washington

Screen grab from the current front page of TPM. Click it to big it.


As I said elsewhere, that is as beautiful a depiction of Tired But Happy as I've ever seen, at least apart from the field of sport and mothers with newborns.


Added: and here is another nice one from the headline article:

The Horror. The Horror.

Look what National Review Online is trying to ram down your throat:

Those emails contain a virus which will leave your hard drive intact, but within fifteen seconds of opening, will crash your brain.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Now That's A T-shirt I Can Believe In



More here.

(h/t: Jon Chait via DougJ)

Another Reason Not To Donate To NPR

Tim F.:

NPR now hits up Erick Erickson as a go-to opinion guy for Republican thinking.

And to confirm, here is a screen shot from the NPR search results. Click it to big it.

The GHEMRotRSTF on NPR

Of course, if you know anything about the GHEMRotRSTF, you'd have to say the possibility cannot be ruled out that this is a plot by the LIEbrul media to make the teabaggers look even worse. (And that I am secretly giving them $1000 to finance the purchase of Cheez Doodles, to keep the Fat Kid happy in the green room.)

Still Celebrating

Here is an exquisitely rare find: a political cartoon that works just as well in a different year:

(h/t: claymisher)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Face of Obamacare!

At least, if you're a bed-wetting wingnut! Here's a screen shot TBogg took yesterday, at the exciting new Tucker Carlson "news" web site! Click it to big it, and make yourself even more scared!

How Tucker Carlson reports the news

One of the ways I kept the glow alive ...

... a few more hours after our happy Sunday night was by choosing NOT to read the "analysis" pieces in the NYT from the likes of David Sanger. For that, we have Mr. Riley, praise be.

Monday, March 22, 2010

No Drama Obama

Your President, after the vote was cast (h/t: listener):

Look at the people all around him. He remains cool, calm, and collected. No matter what.

Bigger versions here.

[Added] The President made some remarks shortly after this picture was taken, beginning as follows.

Good evening, everybody. Tonight, after nearly 100 years of talk and frustration, after decades of trying, and a year of sustained effort and debate, the United States Congress finally declared that America's workers and America's families and America's small businesses deserve the security of knowing that here, in this country, neither illness nor accident should endanger the dreams they've worked a lifetime to achieve.

Tonight, at a time when the pundits said it was no longer possible, we rose above the weight of our politics. We pushed back on the undue influence of special interests. We didn't give in to mistrust or to cynicism or to fear. Instead, we proved that we are still a people capable of doing big things and tackling our biggest challenges. We proved that this government -- a government of the people and by the people -- still works for the people.

This Really Is A Great Night, Isn't It?


(embiggen)


Thank you, Mr. President. Thank you, Madame Speaker. Thank you, Representative of My Fair District. And thank you, two hundred or so other Democratic members of the House who committed to vote YEA back when times were darkest, without being drama queens, camera hogs, or bribe suckers. You are all truly great Americans.

[Added] See also.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Oh, look! Sean Carroll has discovered Xtra Normal, too!

Sarah Palin reveals to Larry King that she is giving up politics to become a theoretical physicist.

(alt. video link)

This might work if the biased liberal gotcha media fails to meet her salary demands for her new reality teevee show. No, really.

(previously)

LHC war story

Daniel Holz of Cosmic Variance passes along this tale from Lyn Evans, project leader of the Large Hadron Collider:*

They use superfluid helium to cool the superconducting magnets. One of the many weird properties of this stuff is that it has zero viscosity. Which means that, if there’s any sort of hairline fracture anywhere in the 27 kilometer long tunnel, the stuff comes spewing out, and very, very bad things happen. Every component, every joint, every one of the tens of thousands of tiny connections has to be perfect. It is this sort of failure which brought the machine to its knees shortly after commissioning, over a year ago.

The magnets are kept very, very cold; the superfluid helium is at 1.9 Kelvin (-271 Celsius), or a couple of degrees above absolute zero. We’re not talking a little vial in a laboratory being kept at this temperature. We’re talking many thousands of tonnes of magnets, kept just above absolute zero (using 96 tonnes of liquid helium). As things cool down, they naturally contract. The decks on bridges do the same thing, hence those serrated grills at the ends of bridges to absorb the expansion and contraction due to weather (if you’ve ever motorcycled across a bridge, you know exactly what I’m talking about). There are equivalent serrated joints in the LHC beam pipe to ensure that it doesn’t contract and rip open upon cooling (which, needless to say, would be bad). But upon reheating a section of the LHC, it turned out some of these devices left little fibers in the beam tube. Not good. How to find them, without ripping open the entire collider (costing millions of dollars and setting the project back precious months)? They ended up blowing a ping pong ball (with electronics embedded) down the tube, and tracking where it would get stuck. A simple, elegant, cheap solution to fix a multi-billion dollar enterprise.

__________


* Initializations may be preferable in this case.

(x-posted)

Friday, March 19, 2010

Know Thine Enemies

Matt Duss has an article in The Nation, "Attack of the Cheneys," that you really ought to read, especially if you haven't been paying attention to cable news, CPAC, the blogs, etc. Besides her father, Liz Cheney is someone else to watch out for.

Glad someone besides me is saying things like this:

No question about it: Liz and Dick Cheney are on a mission, but just what is that mission? Some of it is clearly personal: in Dick's case, it's about burnishing his legacy; for Liz, there's the possibility of a run for Congress or the Senate. But in order to reposition themselves to retake the reins of power, the Cheneys must rescue the "global war on terror" from the ash heap of history, and they're doing this by playing the one card they've got: fear.

And this:

It turns out, however, that being disastrously wrong on the most significant foreign policy questions of the era is no barrier to continued influence in American politics. Even though their bong-hit theories about transforming the Middle East at the point of an American gun retain about as much popular appeal as E. coli, the neocons continue to impact US foreign policy debates through an entrenched network of think tanks (the American Enterprise Institute, the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, the Hudson Institute), publications (The Weekly Standard, Commentary, National Review), supportive editorial boards (the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal) and, of course, Fox News.

And this:

Crucially, Kagan and Kristol's views were not offered primarily as an analysis of foreign policy or international affairs but as a formula for conservative political success. Finding monsters abroad was, in their view, necessary for maintaining conservative power at home. September 11 provided the perfect monsters to match neoconservatives' ambitions, and they made the most of the opportunity. They won't give up the monsters without a struggle.

Interesting point here, too:

"The problem for knowledgeable Republican foreign policy realists like Colin Powell, Dick Lugar and Chuck Hagel is that the neocons are able to dismiss their concerns and policy recommendation as 'me-tooism' of the 'liberal' foreign policies of the Democratic Party," says Tom Shachtman, co-author of The Forty Years War: The Rise and Fall of the Neocons From Nixon to Obama. Shachtman suggests that the neocons greatly benefit from the news media's tendency toward sensationalism. "Their far-out, deliberately argumentative and provocative stances are, they know, much more attractive to media outlets than the stances of the realists," Shachtman says. "The media's current mantra is, 'Let's you and him fight,' and so if a foreign policy moderate is reluctant to utter fighting words, any media outlet that is scrambling for ratings will find a neocon to do so."

One more point to highlight:

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Barton Gellman, author of the book Angler: The Cheney Vice Presidency, says that Liz has been the driving force behind her father's reappearance on the national scene. "He really doesn't care what anyone thinks of him," Gellman says. "She's much more interested in responding to his critics and getting him to respond. It's because of her more than anyone that he's writing his memoirs. She's encouraging him to get out there."

Of course, she is regularly said to have office-holding ambitions, so this legacy-burnishing on her father's behalf is something less than family loyalty. Here's the good news, though:

As for Liz's own views, Gellman says, "From everything I can tell, she's a little bit to the right of her father.

There's quite a bit more about her, as well as the organization she founded with Bill "Always Wrong" Kristol, but I think I've blockquoted enough. Well worth a look.

(x-posted | h/t: Robert Farley ← do click, for a laugh)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

I'll Be Honest -- The Only Reason I Haven't Tried It Yet Is Because My Junk Won't Fit On A Webcam

Kieran Healy has a funny post up over on Crooked Timber about his brief experiment with Chatroulette. He also passed along a link to the Daily Show's look at it, and I've embedded the clip below, because it is hilarious. Among other things, I liked KO's willingness to mock himself.

This is a good one to use the full screen button (lower right corner, below the vid).

(alt. video link)

Deep Thought ...

... from DougJ, concerning the opinion section of a once pretty good newspaper:

Assuming the existence of an infinitely idiotic Fred Hiatt, can a Hiatt-hired columnist write a column so inane that Hiatt himself cannot read it?

New Record For ... (I don't even know a word that bad)

Here is a headline about some "Democrat" who's been in the news lately, whining about people writing him angry letters:

Stupak dismisses nuns’ letter: I don’t listen to them, I listen to ‘leading bishops’ and Focus on the Family.

Think about that. A "Democrat" who takes his marching orders from a bunch of guys who cover up child molestation, and worse, James Dobson.

Yeah, he lives on C Street. Or (wink, wink) used to.

(h/t for the first link: John Cole)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Wall Wingnut Street Journal Watch

So, I'm reading this post over at Sadly, No! where they're ridiculing some clown for his latest contribution to the right-wing noise machine's efforts to scare Americans into not wanting health insurance reform, and I can't quite place the name, so I Google it. Top result:

Hysteria about EUGENICS!!!1! aside, right about now, I'm hoping the bill has a provision for euthanizing WSJ opinionators.

Oh, look! Roy Edroso has discovered Xtra Normal!

Let the libtard humor roll!

(alt. video link)


[Added] See also.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Hot Lesbian Pix!!!

Okay, that was just to get you to click this link to a fine post by the newest Balloon Juicer, mistermix.

There are in fact pix available from that post, but they're more in the realm of "adorable" than "hot."

Monday, March 15, 2010

Good luck ...

... with the move, Roy.

And do something about those people down there, would you?

Friday, March 12, 2010

Self-Damning With Faint Praise?

I dunno, but this bit from the bio of my latest Twitter "follower" seems … not a field swamped with competition, maybe?

I produce the highest quality apple cider vinegar based health solution bottled in Napa.

I mean, throw in a hyphen or two, and we're pretty nearly talking party of one.

But hey, Beverly helped push me over the magic 80 threshold, at least for the moment, so … thanks, Bev!

And Ashton, watch yer ass!

Just because ...

... he's one of my very few heroes, and this clip makes me realize how much I owe him to the extent that I have any joie de vivre at all, and how sorely I wish he were still around.

(alt. video link)

(h/t: Ezra Klein, via uncle ebeneezer)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Update Your Blogroll, Bookmarks, Etc.

The nice people at LGM have a new website.

Magically, the new posts on the new site seem to be feeding properly into the old entry in my feed reader, so maybe you don't have to change that part.

I for one applaud the new, proper use of the serial comma, the NYT and other muddlehead devotees of the AP style book be damned. We are all Chicagoans now!

LGM logos

However, if I'm not mistaken, you're not supposed to use the serial comma when you use an ampersand, so I'm sticking with the explicit and in my blogroll. Use of ampersands is frowned upon in any case, due to ugliness, problems with HTML parsers, &c.

(?)

As If I Needed Another Reason To Hate Golf

Look, I get that the target demographic for that "sport" is rich amoral middle-aged white guys, but this just goes too far.

Tiger Woods has summoned someone even more significant than swing coach Hank Haney to help facilitate his wildly anticipated comeback.

Two sources in the golf community have told The Post that Ari Fleischer, the former presidential advisor to George W. Bush … has been huddling with Woods, plotting a strategy for his return to golf …

I didn't care a whit about Tiger's earlier dalliances, but I have to say, this time he has truly gotten into bed with a skank.

(h/t: Jim Newell)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Sounds Like Butthurt Roberts Could Learn a Thing or Two From Judge Carter

Here is your moment of Birther news, stolen from The House of Substance:

The courtroom proceedings at the Ronald Reagan Federal Building in Santa Ana for Orly Taitz's Barnett v. Obama lawsuit were memorable, partly, because they featured so much bickering between Taitz and her co-counsel Gary Kreep. Kreep and Taitz, who originally joined forces to file the lawsuit on behalf of Alan Keyes and Wiley Drake, accused one another of lying, and begged judge David O. Carter to allow them to proceed in separate lawsuits.

Carter's response was to ask the two to move their chairs closer together.

Priceless.

Whole story from Spencer Kornhaber at the OC Weekly.

(x-posted)

On the matter of Liz Cheney and tut-tutting Conservatives ...

... ah, the hell with it. As he so often does, Mr. Riley says what I think, far better than I ever could.

Let me just amplify one part: when will our so-called liberal media realize that they're being played by the right-wing noise machine? When will they have the guts not to give oxygen, not to mention credibility, to the never-ending effort by the wingnuts to move the boundaries of what constitutes reasonable discussion? Why is Overton Window a phrase that's being called stale in the leftosphere, but is still apparently unknown to highly-paid political analysts at the Paper of Record?

[Added] Related/Amplification 2, from Instaputz.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Phew. For A Second There, I Thought We Were All Going Manic.



Always read past the headline.

(Story here.)

Good Bust

Alex Pareene catches HuffPo in blatant hypocrisy.

(h/t: Dave Weigel)

(previously)

Does This Picture Make You "Want To Throw Up?"


Two men kissing

If not, then you are not "normal."

At least, according to one Washington Post reader who had nothing better to do than join the horde of wingnuts typing and dialing furiously to the WaPo's ombudsman. Been going on for close to a week now, apparently, ever since the WaPo ran the above on its front page, after the good news that we noted.

Here's an anecdotal measure of what's wrong with our country:

Post circulation vice president Gregg Fernandes said that late last week 27 subscribers canceled, specifically citing the photo. In contrast, The Post reported only two cancellations immediately after last July’s ethics uproar over its ill-advised plan to sell sponsorships to off-the-record “salon” dinners at the publisher’s residence.

Good on ombudsman Andrew Alexander, though, for essentially telling those people to go DIAF:

Did the Post go too far? Of course not. The photo deserved to be in newspaper and on its Web site, and it warranted front-page display.

News photos capture reality. And the prominent display reflects the historic significance of what was occurring. The recent D.C. Council decision to approve same-sex marriage was the culmination of a decades-long gay rights fight for equality. Same-sex marriage is now legal in the District. The photo of Ames and Ariga kissing simply showed joy that would be exhibited by any couple planning to wed – especially a couple who previously had been denied the legal right to marry.

There was a time, after court-ordered integration, when readers complained about front-page photos of blacks mixing with whites. Today, photo images of same-sex couples capture the same reality of societal change.

(h/t: Jim Newell)

Deep Thought

I wonder who's backpedaling faster: those who initially leaped to castigate Eric Massa or those who leaped to defend him?

Monday, March 08, 2010

Blog Post Title of the Day

John Patrick Bedell -- Let's Not Politicize Him, Say Rightbloggers; Just Admit He's a Liberal

This coming from Roy Edroso makes it a safe bet the whole thing is great.

(x-posted)

Torture First, Ask Questions Later

Regarding an American citizen captured in Pakistan, bedwetters Bill Burck and Dana Perino soil the already sopping wet Corner:

It’s time to put intelligence gathering ahead of the “rights” of those who wage war on us.

Yeah! Who cares if we don't even yet know who we've got? Let's just start beating on him! USA! USA! USA!

And yes, those quote marks are in the original -- “rights” -- which pretty well sums up the Bushies, don't you think?

Land of the free! Home of the brave!

(h/t: Betty Cracker)

The Real Meaning of "Hurt Locker"

Wolcott's liveblog of the Oscars is a must-read.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Alice in Flatland?

There's an interesting piece in today's NYT in which an English lit student looks at Lewis Carroll's seminal work as a satire on the mathematical ideas that were new in his day, and argues that this is what made Alice in Wonderland not only his best effort, but something that would last.

(x-posted)

(?)

"Breaking With Scientology"

The NYT has a solid article, with some associated pictures and video, centered on a couple who left the Scientology organization after spending their whole lives up till then working their asses off for it. (Their parents were members, too, so that's how that were brought up.)

Hard to say where we should draw the line between respecting religious freedom and investigating what increasingly looks like a scam and an abusive, hyper-controlling cult. I mean, I know which way I lean viscerally, and I'm sure you know, too.

I guess I'll just leave it there, and let you read the article.

(h/t: Peter Daou, rt by @Johngcole)

(previously)

__________


[Added] If you're wondering why my post title is in quotes, it's because that was the NYT's headline when I started composing this post. It is now "Defectors Say Church of Scientology Hides Abuse."

[Added2] Long-time Scientology watcher Tony Ortega has a good blog post on this NYT article.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Line of the Day: 2010-03-06

Suppose someone sits down where you are sitting right now and announces to me that he is Napoleon Bonaparte. The last thing I want to do with him is to get involved in a technical discussion of cavalry tactics at the Battle of Austerlitz. If I do that, I’m getting tacitly drawn into the game that he is Napoleon Bonaparte.
    -- Robert Solow (attributed)

Remember this, the next time some wingnut starts whining about "ad hominem!!!1!" and "Alinsky!!!1!" and "your not engaging on the merits!!!1!" (Yeah, that's how they usually spell it.)

(h/t: Matt Yglesias)

Yes! 1027 Times Yes!

I think the first time I heard this word was while watching a rerun of South Park, where the rest of the kids were yelling at Cartman because he wouldn't stop saying it. This means it was already out by the time I heard it, as far as the real in-crowd goes, right? But as the next official SI prefix? That'd be hella cool!

Become a fan on Facebook, read the blog, snicker at T-shirts!

(h/t: John Conway/Cosmic Variance)

__________


Oh, and hey, look at what else is on the Internet!

(alt. video link)

Same Shit, Different Sunday

Atrios tweets ...

anyoen know why president harold ford is going to be on my teevee tomorrow? or tom delay? or evan bayh?

... the irritation evidently causing an outbreak of dyslexia. I know the feeling.

Steve Benen has a more comprehensive rant which helped me at least feel a little less alone in despairing about the state of our media.

Access

You've probably heard me gripe a time or two about the clout of the religious right over the Bush Administration. I just happened across some specific data on this point, published last fall, so I figured I'd pass it along.

From Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington:

4 Sep 2009 // Washington, D.C. - Newly disclosed Bush-era White House visitor records suggest leading conservative Christian leaders may have had a significant voice in President Bush’s administration, and many seem to have had the ear of the president himself. The White House produced these records in response to CREW’s request for the visitor records of nine individuals beginning in January 1, 2001. Only one record indicates a visit after October 4, 2006, the date of CREW’s request. The data is summarized below.

  • For the period April 2001 through June 2006, Focus on the Family Founder and Chairman Emeritus James Dobson visited the White House 24 times; 10 of those visits were to President Bush.

  • Andrea Lafferty, Executive Director of the Traditional Values Coalition, made an astonishing 50 visits to the White House starting on February 1, 2001, and continuing through March 16, 2008. Six of those visits were to President Bush.

  • Wendy Wright, President of Concerned Women for America, made 43 visits to the White House between May 2001 and August 2006. Four of those visits were to President Bush.

  • Gary Bauer, President of American Values, made 10 visits to the White House, starting with a January 6, 2003 visit to Vice President Cheney and ending with a July 20, 2006 visit to President Bush.

  • The late Jerry Falwell, of Jerry Falwell Ministries, made eight visits to the White House between May 2001 and September 2004. Three of those visits were to President Bush.

  • Tony Perkins, President of Family Research Council, visited the White House 14 times between February 2001 and June 2006, including two visits to President Bush.

  • Louis Sheldon, Chairman of the Traditional Values Coalition, made 19 visits to the White House between March 2001 and September 2006, including two visits to President Bush.

  • The late Paul Weyrich, the Founder of Free Congress foundation, made 17 visits to the White House between May 2001 and July 2005, including six visits to President Bush and one to Karl Rove.

  • Donald Wildmon, Founder of the American Family Association, made three visits to the White House between July 2001 and March 2003, including one visit to President Bush.

The reason I happened across this post is that, as you may or may not have heard, recently …

… the Secular Coalition of America – an advocacy group made up of atheists, agnostics and humanists – had a chance to meet with members of the Obama Administration.

The meeting on Friday reportedly marked the first time American non-believers have ever met with White House officials, and it really struck a nerve with the Religious Right.

… which amused Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and prompted them to remind people of the CREW study.

(h/t: Steve Benen)

__________


[Added] Here is a picture of that godless meeting:


Oh, no, wait. That was some other outrage.

(x-posted)

Just in case you haven't already seen this ...

... here is Stephen Colbert bringing the same level of authenticity to his interview of Sean Hannity as James O'Keefe, Andrew Breitbart, and Fox News brought to the ACORN "investigation."

(alt. video link)

(h/t: LGF)

Aw, Give Them A Break. When You Think About It, Any Picture Would Have Been Funny.

If you're inherently 14 years old, like me, I mean. Here is a screen shot from The Guardian, which will gladden your atheist soul:


(rub click to enlarge)

(h/t: Vanessa/Feministing)

Friday, March 05, 2010

Taking Down Thiessen

Courting Disaster is nothing more than the defense's opening statement in a war crimes trial.

The above is from a review of Marc Thiessen's recent book published on Slate by "Matthew Alexander," "... a former senior military interrogator who publishes under a pseudonym for security reasons." Anyone who has any doubts along the lines that Thiessen and other former Bushies continue to try to push is strongly encouraged to read it. Those already on firm enough moral ground to know how fundamentally wrong torture is, and, in particular, who already know that waterboarding is in fact torture, may enjoy reading it for the devastation.

(h/t: Adam Serwer | x-posted, with slight mods)

Bart Stupak Examined

If you watch only fifteen minutes of video today, let it be this fifteen minutes:

(alt. video link)

(h/t: John Cole)

Oh, Look. Some Talking Hairdo Has A New Book Out. Yay.

Just so we're all clear on where he comes from:

Willard 'Mitt' Romney

Willard and his stupid book



(pic. sources: top | bot)

Awww, or AweSOME?

(alt. video link)

(h/t: Attaturk)

[Added] Emily Stoneking says this is a ripoff of another video. I don't know if I'd go that far -- the other has the same camera technique for sure, but doesn't do nearly as good a job capturing the doggie cuteness -- but I figured I'd note the objection.

No Wingnut Wardrobe Is Complete Without One

So, I'm reading this post by Thers over at Whiskey Fire, and he's describing erstwhile Bush undercover hack and full-time religious scold Maggie Gallagher's hysterical reaction to what we call the recent good news out of Washington, DC, and I can't really believe that even someone as crazy and homophobic as she is would be trying to make the argument that gays getting civil rights in DC means Jews (!) in Massachusetts (!!) will have laws passed against them (!!!), so I click over to Clownhall to see, and sure enough, Thers has it exactly right.

And I also see this T-shirt ad:

The website where you can buy these tasteful items, ThoseShirts.com, feels compelled to state that this is "conservative humor."

Uh huh.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

CNN and Wolf Blitzer: Keeping the "So-Called" in "So-Called Liberal Media"

This is a disgrace:

WOLF BLITZER FAIL

Y'know, Wolfie, just adding the question mark doesn't mean you're doing anything different from regurgitating the wingnut media's talking points.

Is Wolf Blitzer looking for a job with Fox? Because he's been caught diddling children? People are asking!

(pic. source: TPM | h/t: John Cole)

[Added] More from Glenn Greenwald.

Somehow, "Better Late Than Never" ...

... just won't cut it this time:

Diane Ravitch, the education historian who built her intellectual reputation battling progressive educators and served in the first Bush administration’s Education Department, is in the final stages of an astonishing, slow-motion about-face on almost every stand she once took on American schooling.

Once outspoken about the power of standardized testing, charter schools and free markets to improve schools, Dr. Ravitch is now caustically critical. She underwent an intellectual crisis, she says, discovering that these strategies, which she now calls faddish trends, were undermining public education. [...]

[...]

Among the topics on which Dr. Ravitch has reversed her views is the main federal law on public schools, No Child Left Behind, which is up for a rewrite in coming weeks in Congress. She once supported it, but now says its requirements for testing in math and reading have squeezed vital subjects like history and art out of classrooms.

[...]

She remembers another date, Nov. 30, 2006, when at a Washington conference she heard a dozen experts conclude that the No Child law was not raising student achievement. These and other experiences left her increasingly disaffected from the choice and accountability movements. Charter schools, she concluded, were proving to be no better on average than regular schools, but in many cities were bleeding resources from the public system. Testing had become not just a way to measure student learning, but an end in itself.

“Accountability, as written into federal law, was not raising standards but dumbing down the schools,” she writes. [...]

[...]

[...] She told school superintendents at a convention in Phoenix last month that the United States’ educational policies were ill-conceived, compared with those in nations with the best-performing schools.

“Nations like Finland and Japan seek out the best college graduates for teaching positions, prepare them well, pay them well and treat them with respect,” she said. “They make sure that all their students study the arts, history, literature, geography, civics, foreign languages, the sciences and other subjects. They do this because this is the way to ensure good education. We’re on the wrong track.”

If I had a nickel for every actual public school teacher who said these things two decades ago …

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

As Has Been Said, The Most Creative People In Hollywood Are The Accountants

They are threatening to make Gilligan's Island: The Movie.

The only possible good that can come of this, apart from fantasizing about the suggestion watertiger makes that they'll never follow, is that it (or the preview, at least) will raise wingnut dudgeon high enough for Roy to poop on.

Ninety-nine Ninety-eight Bottles of Beer on the Wall

There's a long way to go yet, but this, via PZ, is another bit of good news: Don McLeroy loses reelection to Texas State Board of Education.

(previously)

Beautiful Pictures, Plus One of Child Abuse

Following up on this morning's good news, Matt Dunn of City Desk has posted some nice shots. And then there is one of a small child being compelled to do something unnatural by the Fred Phelps cult.

(h/t: Dave Weigel)

But where was Sarah Tina Palin Fey?

I don't know enough about what's being advocated here to be for or against, but with this many past SNL presidents, it would be irresponsible NOT to show it.

(alt. video link)

(h/t: Foster Kamer/Runnin' Scared)

"Nothing is over until we decide it is"

That delightful moment of Bluto-channeling from claymisher, who adds:

If HCR is really dead this guy don't know it yet.

And this video posted by Jed Lewison is what he links to:

(alt. video link)

It's about twenty minutes long. I encourage you to watch it, but if you're in a rush, Jed has the transcript posted, too, at the "alt. video link." (Bigger version of the vid, too, if you want.)

Oh, This Hurts

If you've known me for a while, you know how much I loved the blogger pseudonymously known as Jon Swift. Yes, past tense, sadly, it appears. Via Kevin K. and Tom Watson, here is a comment posted under the last entry on his blog:

mlfcyw said...

I don't know how else to tell you all who love this blog. I am Jon Swift's Mom and I guess I'm going to OUT him. He was Al Weisel, my beloved son. Al was on his way to his father's funeral in VA when he suffered 2 aortic aneurysms, a leaky aortic valve and an aortic artery dissection from his heart to his pelvis. He had 3 major surgeries within 24 hours and sometime during those surgeries also suffered a severe stroke. We, his 2 sisters, his brother, his partner and his best friend since he was 9 years old were with him as he took his last breath. We have all lost a shining start who warmed our hearts, tormented us and made us laugh as he giggled at our pulling something over on us. He passed away on February 27, 2010. My beloved child will live on in so many hearts. I miss him more than I can say. If you are on Facebook, go to organizations and join "Friends of Al Weisel, Unite!" It will give you just a taste of how special he was. Farewell, Jon (Al)

3/02/2010 8:14 AM

That Facebook page is here.

Al Weisel, or as I knew him, Jon Swift


I have the oddest feeling that this is a hoax, in part since Jon Swift has been dormant for about a year -- maybe Al (or whoever it is) just wants to bring that part of his life to a close? Or a friend of Al's is playing a weird joke?

But that's probably because I don't want this news to be true.

Kevin K. has links to some of Jon's classics. I'll add another, and propose that this phrase be enshrined in his honor: "I have not actually read this book."

__________


[Added] John Cole has another favorite moment.

For some reason ...

... Matt Yglesias seems to think this headline indicates something is wrong with our Senate:

Judge Confirmed 99-0 After 124 Day Delay

Why does Matt hate our Founders? The anonymous hold was dictated to … uh … George Washington!!!1! by Jesus, everyone knows that.

Line of the Day: 2010-03-03

Tim F. on the MSM:

Compared with the agony of reporting health care minutiae compounded with Senate rules that even most Senators can’t reliably explain, this Rahm crap is a delicious chocolate sundae that makes you skinnier and whitens your teeth.

(If you don't know what "this Rahm crap" means, consider yourself an elevated being.)

Washington, DC, Leading The Nation For Once!

Okay, sixth isn't exactly first, but by that town's standards, it's practically a new world record.

Golf claps to our Chief Justice for basically doing nothing, which I'm sure will soon cause him to be labeled an ACTIVIST JUDGE!!!1! by some denizens of Wingnuttia.

And speaking of leadership, we must salute the Catholic Church -- specifically, its Washington Archdiocese -- for being at the head of the pack, too. In the race to the bottom, I mean. No pun intended.

Ah, never mind any of them for the moment. It's a good day. Congratulations to all the happy couples in our nation's capital.

Should I Worry About The Overlap?

Nah. I know it's too small.

However, if you like some of the same famous-on-the-Internet people as I do, and you have a similar sense of humor, you might also find this pretty great.

One for the collection

Yeah, it's a little eccentricity I have: collecting pictures of the GHEMRotRSTF.

This one is by Tintin of Teh Sadlys. (Funny post, too, but that's probably not telling you anything you wouldn't have guessed.)

The GHEMRotRSTF, avec l'oeuf

__________


[Added] See also.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Hard-to-Parse Headline of the Day


First I thought Wild Sign must be the name of a company -- the last word word suggesting they were having trouble dealing with a problem employee.

Okay, so sue me for not having the name of all hundred and eighty-seven teams currently in the NHL on the tip of my tongue. Sports team names should be plural, anyway.

YKGOML.

(Story here, if you care.)

The State of Our Politics and MSM, in One Half of One Sentence

Eventhelibrulnewyorktimes:

While trying to blame Democrats for mishandling the entire matter, other Republicans distanced themselves from Mr. Bunning, …

And believe me, it gets worse from there.

In other headlines: Shape of Earth: Views Differ.

The facts.

Juxtaposition of the Day

The winner is Brad Cran, Vancouver's Poet Laureate:

(embiggen)


And did you know those fragile made-of-sugar-and-spice-and-everything-nice creatures also smoked cigars???


(h/t: watertiger)

Monday, March 01, 2010

"The Bunning Effect"

Here is what one Republican Senator's little snit looks like:

Image from McClatchy. Detailed article at the link.

(h/t: Atrios)

Cartoon of the Day (Updated)

Two-minute animated short: "Politico's editorial meeting."



[Updated from deleted earlier version of this post: saw how to embed it.]

(h/t: @DaveWeigel)

[Update2] Interview with the creator. Also, backup YouTube version here.

Now, that's ...

... how to respond to the thumbsuckers. Nicely done, Henry Farrell.

Just when you thought it couldn't get any stupider

New NYC rule: No more fresh-baked goods at school bake sales.

Clearly, the city council is in the pocket of Big Corn Chip.

(x-posted)

Line of the Day: 2010-03-01

Josh Marshall might already have won the month:

It's been pretty much shark hopscotch for McCain going back to late 2007.

It is pretty rich to hear McSame saying that he was misled by Bush. I hope he has prepared his two envelopes.

(h/t: Attaturk)

They're Just The Same!!!1!

[Newsweek's Lisa] Miller, naturally sees an equivalence between left and right anger-mongers -- ignoring, as all conventional-wisdom purveyors do, the fact that the thirteen highest-rated cable news shows are all on Fox and the fact that the nine most influential radio talkers are right-wing.

From a great post by Steve M. on No More Mister Nice Blog about that most tiresome of false equivalences, how eager the Villagers are to state it as gospel, and why, therefore, we DFHs are expected to just STFU.

[Added] See also Henry Farrell on Clive Crook (via himself).

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