Thursday, December 31, 2009

That's No Way To Start A New Decade

Ugh. Michelle Malkkkin will be a guest for three hours on Book TV on 3 January 2010.

Hey C-SPAN standards: Your slip is showing.

Complain here.

Krebs Leaving WaPo

Brian Krebs has announced he is leaving the Washington Post. He does not say why, although he says he will remain on the computer security beat. Let's hope so -- he's one of my first stops.

His final Security Fix post is here and his new personal site is here.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas Pun of the Day

Paul Krugman on the new bosses in the Republican Party:

No, Virginia, at this point there is no sanity clause.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Yes, Yes, Yes!

Here is a suggestion from Garry Emmons I heartily second: corporate leaders should stop reading Ayn Rand and start reading John D. MacDonald.

Everyone else, too, I'd say.

... even Travis McGee dismisses her writing as "portentous gruntings."

(h/t: NYT's Idea of the Day)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Party of No


The political scientist Barbara Sinclair has done the math. In the 1960s, she finds, “extended-debate-related problems” — threatened or actual filibusters — affected only 8 percent of major legislation. By the 1980s, that had risen to 27 percent. But after Democrats retook control of Congress in 2006 and Republicans found themselves in the minority, it soared to 70 percent.

Saturday, December 19, 2009


Here is a song from last millennium that I just heard for the first time last night. The video may strike you as either comical or warmed-over Clockwork Orange, depending on your mood, but it's the music we're after here. Play loud.


2022-08-25 Video no longer available. Sorry.

Kind of an interesting history to this song.

(h/t: Space Station Soma)

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


That John Hodgman is pretty funny:

(orig. pic. loc.)


The first one was my favorite:

(alt. video link)

Great tagline at the end, too.

(h/t: twishtoo)

The Real Question Is: How Much of the Package Will They Show?

Lede from the NYT:

Stephen Colbert has joined the legions of athletes and swimsuit models to grace the cover of Sports Illustrated.

The host of Comedy Central's ''The Colbert Report'' appears on the front of the magazine's latest issue wearing an Olympic speedskating uniform.

Levi Johnston, eat your heart out.


Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Your Moment of Eye Candy


The above is a Chondrocladia lampadiglobus -- a Ping-Pong tree sponge, to us non-Latins -- and believe it or not, it is a carnivorous creature, according to Olivia Judson. Next time you're 20,000 leagues 1300 fathoms under the sea, look around.

Oh, and to her main point: next year (2010) will be the International Year of Biodiversity, and you should read her post for many reasons, but especially for the toast at the end.

(Above picture originally published in “The Deep: The Extraordinary Creatures of the Abyss” by Claire Nouvian/Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute. It and several more equally amazing can be viewed in a slideshow.)

Why Doesn't Obamacare Cover These???1?


(pic. source, via mostly harmless, via Three-Toed Sloth, via claymisher)

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Deep Thought

How come no one ever talks about seeing the last robin of fall?


James Fallows has an instructive post up that looks at the difference between the reporting of the NYT and the WaPo on the issue the denialists would like to call "Climategate."

(h/t: graz)

Saturday, December 05, 2009

The Risk of Excessive Self-Referentiality


(h/t: KK, via email)

Deep Thought

Here's a thirty second clip from a fascinating diavlog between Razib Khan and David Sloan Wilson that bears frequent repetition:

(alt. video link)

If you'd like to watch the whole thing -- and I strongly recommend it if you'd like to learn something about group selection -- visit the show page. There are also video and audio download links there, if you'd rather not stream.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Every once in a while ...

... it's worth clicking on a banner ad. Here is one of a couple of dozen hilarious designs available from Teach the Controversy: "Intelligently designed t-shirts."

Friday, November 27, 2009

Here is a fun listicle ...

... with no tiresome multipage layout, to boot: "Top 30 Failed Technology Predictions."

What's nice is that most of them concerned what we wouldn't be able to do. (In fairness, "Dude, where's my flying car?" did not make the list.}

(h/t: @kriswager)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

How pumpkin pies are made

(h/t: Twin | orig. pic. loc.)

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

When Harry Met Spine

Oh, snap:

Reid then (accurately) described Broder as “a man who has been retired for many years and writes a column once in a while.”

First time I've had a warm fuzzy about our so-called Senate Majority Leader since that time back in ought-seven.

The new line passed along by DougJ, whose short post is worth reading in full. (Hilarious title, too, if you're up on your Ericksonisms.)


Afterthought: I wonder how many of the Furious Fighting Keyboardists will forget that they've spent the last forty years calling the WaPo the LIEbrul lamestream state-run media, and start howling about OBAMA-REID CENSORSHIP!!!1!

Even if you already have your own and you swear by it ...

... you must read Ken Layne's recipe: "Wonkette’s Actual Awesome Real Cranberry Business."

Line of the Day: 2009-11-25

TBogg catches a detail about the wingnut who thinks quitting's so nice, he did it twice:

So it is entirely possible that Hoffman didn’t receive any contributions to pay for a recount proving that money is about the only thing a teabagger won’t put where their mouth is.

Oh, okay. That's fine, then.

The news from one of Rupert Murdoch's organs:

"Whatever you have thought of me in the past, I can tell you right now that I am one of your greatest friends and I mean for us to work together," he said in a live interview with Telemundo's Maria Celeste. "I hope that will begin with Maria and me and Telemundo and other media organizations and others in this national debate that we should turn into a solution rather than a continuing debate and factional contest."

Yes, that is Lou Dobbs, your new Republican candidate for president (he thinks), who also said his image as "the No. 1 enemy of Latinos" is nothing but "the efforts of the far left to characterize me in their propaganda as such."

The only remaining question: a bigger liar than Sarah Palin or a bigger flip-flopper than Mitt Romney?

I'm with Ken Layne on this one.

(pic. source)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Deep Thought

Has anything other than tones ever been dulcet?

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Double Dip of Word Salad

MoDo provides the first helping:

“And I think more of a concern has been not within the campaign the mistakes that were made, not being able to react to the circumstances that those mistakes created in a real positive and professional and helpful way for John McCain,” she told Bill O’Reilly.

For the second course, Betty Cracker has posted a video clip, which I have transcribed for your head-scratching pleasure:

Q: Let me be very bold and fresh again. Do you believe that you are smart enough, incisive enough, intellectual enough to handle the most powerful job in the world?

A: I believe that I am because I have common sense and I have I believe the values that are reflective of so many other American values and I believe that what Americans are seeking is not the elitism, the um, the uh, kinda a spineless, a spinelessness that perhaps is made up for that with some kind of elite Ivy League education and a fat resumé that's based on anything but hard work and private sector free enterprise principles. Americans could be seeking something like that in positive change in their leadership. I'm not saying that that has to be me.

It's worth watching it, just to see the glazed look in BillO's eyes. But why does he practice this gotcha journalism?


That Talking Point Is No Longer Operative, I Guess

Steve M. dissects "L. Ron Beck" and his latest pay-attention-to-me stunt. I couldn't make it past this part of Beck's "100 year plan," though:

These will be full-day experiences where you will be immersed in learning about topics ranging from self-reliance, community organizing, the economy and how to be a political force in your own neighborhood and country.

As I commented over there:

I, for one, welcome our new community organizer overlords.

Oh, wait ...


The book’s most frequently dropped names, predictably enough, are the Lord and Ronald Reagan (though not necessarily in that order).

Frank Rich reviews Going Rogue.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Let The Sputtering Begin!

Your headline of delight:

Texas' gay marriage ban may have banned all marriages

Gotta love when bigotry backfires.

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

Friday, November 20, 2009

Smart Bomb

Quick and devastating post from Jim Henley: "Pinpoint Inaccuracy."


(Too bad the blog post tag "The Odd Confluence of Military History and Poor Marksmanship" is already taken.)

Sarah on Oprah

Distilled down to its essential 35 seconds:

(alt. video link)

(h/t: Instaputz)

Someone Please Explain the Concept of Double Entendre to This Poor Wingnut

Above: Utah State Senator Chris Buttars (R)
confronts the homosexual agenda

Think Progress, via Jim Newell (video here):

BUTTARS: I meet with the gays here and there. They were in my house two weeks ago. I don’t mind gays. But I don’t want ‘em stuffing it down my throat all the time. Certainly not in my kid’s face.


In the past, Buttars has said that gay men and women are “the greatest threat to America going down.”

Above: Utah State Senator Chris Buttars (R)
"meets with the gays here and there"

(pic. sources: 1 | 2)

So Much For the Christian Spirit of Forgiveness

So, what's the latest from the president of the National Center For Homophobia?

Oh, look, here's a screen shot!

That's the bottom line, all right. Looks like John Tomasic (via, via) got it right (except for the actual "scrubbed" part):

Carrie Prejean, the decrowned Miss California USA and darling of the Christian right, appears to have been scrubbed from the National Organization for Marriage website. The move comes in the wake of a TMZ interview with the man whom Prejean reportedly met through MySpace and had a four-day hotel fling with in 2007. He alleges Prejean sent a series of sex tapes to him over the next couple of years. It’s the latest chapter in the story of Prejean’s partygirl past, which keeps leaking into the public sphere, ruining what had been her budding career as a Christian-values conservative politics spokesperson.

Any bets on whether she'll take Shauna Sand's advice?

Hey, Maybe They Really Are Fair and Balanced!

Or maybe their earlier pleas of incompetence should be taken at face value.


Fox News just apologized for showing the wrong book cover during a segment about Sarah Palin's new memoir, Going Rogue.

Instead, they twice showed the cover of Going Rouge, a collection of essays mocking the former governor that came out the same day as Palin's memoir.

Yeah, that Going Rouge.

(h/t: Hunger Tallest Palin)

Only Because There Is No Orly Taitz News

Apparently, the phrase "I Am Kenneth Gladney" is no longer operative.

Does anyone besides Andrew "EPIC FLAIL" Breitbart even know who he is anymore?


What? You don't remember August? When the SEIUTHUGS!!!1! invaded Pearl Harbor?

It's Hard Out There For a Book Pimp

Kevin K. at Rumproast headlines:

Video of Angry Wingnuts Booing Sarah Palin, Calling Her a “Quitter” & Chanting “Sign Our Books”

The Rumproast crew has gathered up more video clips and quoted much Facebook howling, for all of your mainlining schadenfreude needs.

(h/t: TavernWench | title: cf. | x-posted)

Further Chronicles of Congressional Action

Sheesh. And after that last? I gotta stop reading political news or I'm gonna turn into a secessionist teabagger myself.

Does this sentence not encapsulate everything that's wrong with Congress?

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) is resting his hopes on Kerry and Graham, who have also teamed up with Lieberman, for getting climate change legislation through the Senate.

Oh, goody! Bipartisanship! With a Republican who has already been branded an apostate for this and will either lurch back to his right or get primaried into retirement by the wingnut base. And once again, Senate Majority Leader Charlie Brown will hand the "He's With Us On Everything But The War" football to Lucy from Connecticut.

I think we can pretty much count on nothing being done for a good long while, since, as we all know, Holy Joe's time is filled with more important matters, like going on Fox News to talk about his big plans to investigate the Army for being too nice to the Muslins.

(pic. source)


P.S.  Yes, Harry Reid actually said that. More than once. And with any luck, we can make into a full-fledged Internet meme.

[Update] This'll shock you, but the above mess turns out to be Excellent News For John McCain. You can ask any Villager.

Well, almost all good news. We will return to 100% good news for John McCain after Lisa Lerer is fired.

You Know Who's Stupid?

Congress, that's who.

Yeah, yeah. Hard to top that one for lead story on News of the Obvious, I know. But man, the sheer stupidity in continuing to resist President Obama's desire to lift the Cuba travel ban -- the only country in the world the US government prohibits its citizens from visiting -- just drives me bananas. No pun intended.

Never mind the Republicans -- we know they're stuck in their rosy memories of Reagan singlehandedly winning the Cold War. Reading about (via) nitwits like Eliot Engel (NY), Shelley Berkley (NV), Mike McMahon (NY), and especially David Scott (GA) and Gerry Connolly (VA) -- ostensibly Democrats, all -- makes me wonder if there is any lower bound on the maturity requirements for being a member of the United States Congress. The attitude of "we should try to get something out of Castro for this" reminds me of the decay in this country overall, where it seems like every suit you meet thinks the way to get ahead is not to create anything himself, but to look for ways to be a parasite on someone else.

Just declare the past the past, end the stupid travel restrictions, and let Americans who want to visit Cuba visit. It'll be like spreading democracy or something. Sorry it's not as sexy to certain members of Congress because it won't be done at gunpoint, but so what. Not every day can be Christmas for the Get Tough™ crowd, and besides, there are a thousand other things that, much as it pains me to admit, need Congress's attention.

Fox News Busted For Using Fake Crowd Footage Again

With a Little Help From Her Friends Department …

Last week, as you probably remember, The Daily Show busted Fox "News" for splicing in crowd footage from another event to make it look like the one they were currently reporting on fluffing was more of an event than it was. Looks like they got caught doing it again, this time by Think Progress.

This afternoon, Fox News host Gregg Jarrett proudly announced that Sarah Palin is “continuing to draw huge crowds while she’s promoting her brand new book. Take a look at — these are some of the pictures just coming into us.” But the pictures that the network chose to display on-air appeared to be old file footage of Palin rallies from the 2008 presidential campaign. Individuals in the crowd are seen holding McCain/Palin signs, and others are holding pom-poms and cheering wildly. “There’s a crowd of folks,” an enthused Jarrett observed, referring to the old footage.

After the TP report was published, Fox apologized.

Media Matters found more proof, and then called attention to their ongoing watchdog project, which documents Fox's "history of deceptively using video to advance dubious storylines."

(h/t: Andrew Sullivan)


[Added] Heh. David Zurawik has taken to calling this the "Shill, Baby, Shill" book tour.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Hardworking People From The Heartland

When they come out with the new dictionaries, you can get one and look up leadership. And when you do, you will see a picture of Senator Claire McCaskill. And under that picture will be a caption reading, "NOT HER."

Wonking Out With The Geeks. Or Is It The Other Way Around?

And since nothing says Saturday night like Senate cloture votes on procedural motions, we'll bring you all the action live.
    -- Brian Beutler

And Jim Newell is threatening some OTT, too.

Go Harry Reid! Go!


Over-Time Typing. But you knew that.

And now here it is, your moment of Awwww

The President takes time out for a quick game of Scare The White Children "peek-a-boo." Click it to big it.

(h/t: Ken Layne)


Ugh. Her Again?

Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), whose classiness we have noted before, has reached to the bottom of the barrel and pulled up the stalest of wingnut chestnuts: THE REPUBLICAN PARTY IS RESPONSIBLE FOR CIVIL RIGHTS!!!1!.

Yes, Virgina, once upon a time, the Republican Party had some moderate -- dare we even say -- liberal members, and yes, way back when, the Democratic Party still had its Strom Thurmonds and Orval Faubuses, a contingent of white Southerners who would have liked nothing finer than for the darkies to keep knowing their place. That was then, this is now. That sort all switched over to your side, pretty much right after President Lyndon Johnson -- a Democrat -- signed the 1964 Civil Rights Act. You could look it up.

This is the sort of nonsense I'd like think only pseudonymous morans posting on Internet forums would assert. But … well, say hello to today's GOP, I guess. (AND THEY'RE NOT RAAAACIST!!!1!)

(h/t: Jim Newell)

Signs of the Apocalypse: The Johnston Johnson Edition

While the magazine recently folded its print edition and went online only, the rep said interest in Sarah Palin's ex-almost-son-in-law has prompted Playgirl to publish a special newsstand issue in January. Levi, savior of print media!

(WaPo's Reliable Source, via Riley Waggaman)

The Democratic Party: Building a Permanent Majority Through Superior Freehand Cartography

Here is Al Franken's sketch of his home state, swiped from NatGeo:

And here is Saxby Chambliss's sketch of his home state:

Does this mean that Saxby Chambliss is a carpetbagger??? It would be irresponsible NOT to speculate.

Or maybe there is another explanation …



Probably you already heard about it ...

... but how could I not pass this along? Yes …

Xenophon v. Xenu

… is Teh Awesome, whether it's a court case or a monster movie.


[Added] One More And We're Calling It A Trend Department: …

TBogg, FTW: Noron vs. the Morans.

(The titling thing, I mean, not the subject.)


[Update] In the Comments, precedence is claimed.

From out of the blue, into my Inbox ...

... now, this is stalking I can believe in!

I'm sure you all already know about Balloon Juice (but if not, cf.). Now there is another feed for you to follow: John Cole is on the Twitter!

(Maybe next time he'll remember that being a Luddite means eventually getting dragged into the new new thing anyway, and then having to use a middle initial that no one's familiar with.)

One word: brand identity.



More Making Sense

Following up on this morning's Andrew Bacevich post and a topic he touched on all too briefly, Robert Farley's post on the downsides of worst-case reasoning is well worth a read.

Word Matters

Truly, if you love wordplay, you must read SEK's "Truly, academics lead enviable lives." And follow all links within, especially the first one and the earthquake one.

Also, learn how, commas, are like, Star Trek.

Deep Thought

I wonder how many of those who long to remodel the dime, the ten-dollar bill, and Mt. Rushmore are happy about the Wasilla Quitta continuing to compare herself to Reagan.

(h/t: John Cole)

Message to the Bedwetters

Here is your Attorney General Eric Holder saying what shouldn't need to be said. It's about a minute and forty seconds long. (Sorry for the 15-second commercial that may roll first.)

(alt. video link and related story)

If you're just seeing a blank rectangle, try hovering your mouse above it, and then you should see a play button.

(h/t: Juli Weiner)

The Best Honorary Degree Ever

Go see what your president just won!

Making Sense

Here is something well worth your time if you're interested in hearing a perspective on US policy in Afghanistan, and the general problem of global terrorism, that's well outside the conventional wisdom range of "35 or 40 thousand troops, and now or next week?" Yes, you have to put up with David Frum, but it's worth it, to hear what Andrew Bacevich has to say.

If I could be granted a wish, it would be that Andrew would be able to sit down alone with President Obama for a few hours.

(alt. video link)

(If you'd rather not sit here and stream this, visit the "alt. video link" to download an audio or video file of the above.)

You may also wish to listen to Andrew's last diavlog, posted this past January, in which he discusses his latest book. That one has the extra attraction of his being paired with Heather Hurlburt.

[Added] Follow-up.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Shorter of the Week

That Roy Edroso:

SHORTER S. ROBERT LICHTER. My old employees at Fox News are both the most anti-Obama network and the most fair and balanced network. How can this be? Simple. As a study by my own right wing front group explains, all the other networks are liberal media liars who love the fraud Obama. For purposes of this argument, the figures also show that the liberal media liars are now attacking the fraud Obama (whom they love) just as much as Fox is. Now, having said that, how can we go on insisting that the liberal media liars love the fraud Obama, whom they are attacking? Simple. (throws sand, runs out of room)

Bed-wetter Wrap-up

Thank the KSM FSM for The Daily Show.

(alt. video link)

(h/t: Attaturk)

Why am I not surprised?

We don't call it The rePubOLITICO for nothing, ya know.

Sure, I'm Always Up For a Little Paglia Bashing

Makes for a nice change of pace from the Palin bashing, don't you agree?


Go read Part The Fifth from the World's Greatest Emailer.

(h/t: Scott Lemieux)

News from the Island of Misfit Boys

The lede from TPM:

Residents of the C Street Christian fellowship house will no longer benefit from a loophole that had allowed the house's owners to avoid paying property taxes.

Previously, the house -- despite being home to numerous lawmakers -- had been tax exempt, because it was classified as a church.

In other good news of religious crackpots going down, the Washington Times train wreck continues. TPM reports in one post that "contributions to employee 401(k) accounts [have] been suspended," and in another that (erstwhile?) editorial page editor Richard Miniter is suing the WaTi for discrimination because he was forced to attend one of the Moonie mass weddings. TPM's complete coverage is gathered up here.

(h/t: Instaputz) ← worth visiting for backstory

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

One Question Answered, Finally

I've been reading Balloon Juice for years now, and I've always wondered what it was that made John Cole change from being a staunch Republican to a vehement anti-Republican. Thanks to this fine interview of John by E.D. Kain, I now know.

[Added] And, having read to the end, I see E.D. did another interview with another prominent blogger, also well-known for his fairly recent disillusion with Real Conservatism™: Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs.

[2013-04-01] Links updated.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Hitchens On Palin 2.0

Here's an excerpt from "Palin's Base Appeal," in the latest Newsweek:

The Palin problem, then, might be that she cynically incites a crowd that she has no real intention of pleasing. If she were ever to get herself to the nation's capital, the teabaggers would be just as much on the outside as they are now, and would simply have been the instruments that helped get her elected. In my own not-all-that-humble opinion, duping the hicks is a degree or two worse than condescending to them. It's also much more dangerous, because it meanwhile involves giving a sort of respectability to ideas that were discredited when William Jennings Bryan was last on the stump. The Weekly Standard (itself not exactly a prairie-based publication) might want to think twice before flirting with popular delusions and resentments that are as impossible to satisfy as the demand for a silver standard or a ban on the teaching of Darwin, and are for that very reason hard to tamp down. Many of Palin's admirers seem to expect that, on receipt of the Republican Party nomination, she would immediately embark on a crusade against Wall Street and the banks. This notion is stupid to much the same degree that it is irresponsible.

Then there's the question of character and personality. Decades ago, Walter Dean Burnham pointed out that right-wing populists tended to fail because they projected anger and therefore also attracted it. (He was one of the few on the left to predict that the genial Ronald Reagan would win for this very reason.) Let's admit that Sarah Palin is more attractive—some might even want to say more appealing—than much of her enraged core constituency. But then all we are considering is a point of packaging and marketing, where charm is supposed to make up for what education and experience have failed thus far to supply. We are further obliged to consider the question: exactly how charming is the Joan of Arc of the New Right, who also hears voices speaking to her of "spiritual warfare"?

I admit that I have winced at some of the lurid speculations about Governor Palin's family life, and thought them unkind and tasteless even as I lapped them up. She now claims that Levi Johnston is a fabricator when he describes a wildly dysfunctional Palin household. So then: what if she's right about him? It wasn't the liberal elite media who dug up this scapegrace and nudity artist. It was the Republican nominee for the vice presidency who hauled the lad before the cameras and forced us to look at him: a fit husband for her beloved daughter and an example to errant youth in general. Once again, one is compelled to ask which would be worse: a Sarah Palin who really meant what she merely seemed to say, or a Sarah Palin who would say anything at all for a cheap burst of applause.

This is not a small matter for the Republican Party. (And again: it was senior Republican operatives, and not jeering liberals, who told my Vanity Fair colleague Todd Purdum about the hectic atmosphere, of hysteria and collapsing scenery, that accompanied their lame attempt to present Sarah Palin as plausible during the last campaign.) The United States has to stand or fall by being the preeminent nation of science, modernity, technology, and higher education. Some of these needful phenomena, for historical reasons, will just happen to concentrate in big cities and in secular institutions and even—yes—on the dreaded East Coast. Modernity can be wrenching, as indeed can capitalism, and there will always be "out" groups who feel themselves disrespected or left behind. The task and duty of a serious politician, as Edmund Burke emphasized so well, is to reason with such people and not to act as their megaphone or ventriloquist. Sarah Palin appears to have no testable core conviction except the belief (which none of her defenders denies that she holds, or at least has held and not yet repudiated) that the end of days and the Second Coming will occur in her lifetime. This completes the already strong case for allowing her to pass the rest of her natural life span as a private citizen.

(h/t: Rogue Blogue | x-posted)

Can you say ... "Spinning in his grave?"

It appears that the National Review Online has started a new blog called "Rogue," dedicated to ... you guessed it. If you have the bitters about the liberal media and their unfair "fact" checking of She Who Must Not Be Spoken Ill Of, In Part Because Her Book Is As Unimpeachable As The Bible, send in an email. Looks like they will print almost anything!

The person in charge of this new standard in journamalism is named Robert Costa. I don't know anything about him, except that the tagline at the bottom of other of his NRO efforts reads:

Robert Costa is the William F. Buckley Jr. Fellow at the National Review Institute.


[Added] A typical entry on this most important of blogs is this blockquote beginning …

Meanwhile, Facebook allows Palin to burnish her policy credentials …

Can you guess which Young Matthew Continetti said that?


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Republican Jesus

(swiped from watertiger)

Oh, Snap

Obama has met with his generals and national security team eight times in the past few weeks to understand the situation. Mitt Romney’s access to information has been limited to reading Sarah Palin’s facebook scribblings.
    -- John Cole

"Igon Value"

Steven Pinker's review of Malcolm Gladwell's new book is quite good. (You don't actually need a background in linear algebra to appreciate it.)

Also, "hurled it across the room" may have a replacement: it looks like Pinker has coined a resonant phrase: "had me gnawing on my Kindle."

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Don't Stop Him. He's On A Roll.

I guess our kicking Japan's butt at Pearl Harbor was all for naught, huh?

[Added] Also, Ike was never a Real Republican. Ask anyone.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Line of the Day: 2009-11-13

On the bright side for the wingnuts, at least it wasn’t Joe the Plumber filming himself.
    -- John Cole

Yes, yes, I admit it. This is really just an excuse to snicker about THE NEW NEKKID PICTURES OF CARRIE PREJEAN. THIRTY PICTURES. EIGHT TAPES. "Carrie can be heard moaning on a few of the tapes," sez RadarOnline. GOOGLE MAY POSSIBLY EXPLODE IN TWO HOURS.

Start with Jim Newell, who simply does not see what all the fuss is about.

Also, "biggest mistake of my life" is now officially "funny," but will be a banned phrase by this time next Tuesday. Says me.

Your Moment of Teabaggery

Elmer 'Betsy Ross' WoodardSome guy named Elmer typed this into his all-American computer (made in China):

Obamacare is therefore unconstitutional, and support of it is treason agaisnt [sic] the people of the United States.

He and his fellow bitters will be setting members of Congress on fire this weekend, for reasons including the above, apparently. But only in effigy, they say. (This time.)

(h/t: Jim Newell)


[Update 2009-11-16 15:00] They may be backing down from this great plan of theirs.

The Lies of Sarah, Part 1 (of what is likely to be an infinite series)

Well, excerpts from the book "written by" Sarah Palin (not pictured left) are starting to leak. And seriously, how does someone, even with as giant an ego as she has, expect anyone to believe this?

She writes that she sat down with Katie Couric in part because she felt sorry for her, after Nicolle Wallace, a McCain aide, said Ms. Couric suffered from low self-esteem.

"All of them." Also.


Expanded self-esteem from Jim Newell, and Greg Sargent has more, also, too.

But remember, he's with us on every issue besides the war

(h/t: Comics Curmudgeon)


To call this hyperbole may be an overstatement:

It's not yet perfect, but boy, what a great idea. Try Readability.

[Update 2011-11-15] The above link now redirects. Apparently, they've done a lot of work and have implemented a full browser add-on, a subscription service, etc. All of which seem interesting, but if you (still) just want the bookmarklet, now go here.

Erick Erickson Is Wetting His Pants Again

I realize that this is not unexpected news.

Wow. The most powerful nation on the face of the Earth ever in history is going to be conducting a criminal trial. You'd think someone who claimed to be proud to be an American would take pride in this. Not the GHEMRotRSTF, though.

(h/t: Adam Serwer)


(previously in wingnut incontinence)

Splish, Splash, I'll Be Takin' a Bath

This is great news (and not just for John McCain):

There is water on the Moon, scientists stated unequivocally on Friday, and considerable amounts of it.

(h/t: AemJeff, posting in the forum)


Stand by for Don to comment about how this totally doesn't support my enthusiasm for humans in space in 5..., 4..., 3...



Also, LOL @ pourmecoffee.

As long as you remember it's NOT pronounced "Boner"

Ezra Klein (via):

But the country is in a bad way when public incoherence is matched by political cowardice. One test to know when that's happening? The minority leader is holding tea parties. It's one thing for politicians to worry about facing the mob. It's a whole other for them to become the mob.

And speaking of the tea-baggers: SCHISM!!!

You Know What I Say?

If the Washington Times has lost Lanny Davis, they've lost America.

Following is a list of people who will agree with this statement.

Terrorism!!!1! Really?

If you spend as little time watching the teevee as I do, particularly what passes for news, the following clip may be instructive.

(alt. video link)

It really is nothing short of appalling how many people have nothing better to do than to put on a suit and makeup and go into some studio so they can yell about how the tragic consequences of one disturbed individual breaking down is ZOMG TEH TERRORISM!!!1! It is further appalling that there is evidently an audience for this sort of drivel.

I guess I don't have anything more profound to say about this than the old stoner line: Dude, that shit is fucked up.

Obviously, a lot of these loudmouths are doing this because, as Rachel notes around 2:30, they would like to create a meme that this is "Obama's 9/11!!!1! Terrorism on his watch!!!1!" I would like to think that most people aren't stupid enough to miss the larger point, that if this is all the right-wing media have to talk about, then clearly, the "movement conservatives" have absolutely nothing constructive to contribute to discussions about the real problems we face.

But who knows. Cynical as I am, I may be overestimating the good sense of the American people. Maybe I'd be better off buying some more Depends stock. Sure does look like bed-wetting among the fans of Fox is even more prevalent than usual.

(h/t: Twin)

Thursday, November 12, 2009

I almost hate to say this, but "Click to Enlarge"

I stole this from The Bloggess …

Furry+little kid???

… who is back from Japan and threatening to blog massively about her trip. See above link for more additional comical pix, and then you can read "Japan. Part 1 of I-don’t-even-know-how-long-this-will-be," for, like, a hundred times more laughs. She is seriously twisted. Or gifted. (Probably both.)

Bottom Feeding

Saw the following in my Inbox this morning …

Subject: LOL

I like this Erica Hill:

Don't know much about her, though.

… decided to Reply All, as it were. [Update: and changed the YouTube link -- looks like the original got pulled.]


LOL is right. Wow. For the first time I can remember, I actually had a moment of longing to see an episode of Larry King Live.

What a piece of work that Carrie Prejean is. I felt quite a bit of sympathy for her in the way back when -- a ditz in over her head, someone too sheltered to realize that it was probably not the best idea to spout to a national audience lessons from her fundie upbringing, who then got snapped up by the wingnuts as the latest symbolic hero in their never-ending grievance wars. I figured back then she was just smart enough to realize that she'd stumbled into a chance of capitalizing on her proverbial fifteen minutes.

But then, as a little more time went on, and she kept doubling down on her victimhood, I started thinking less charitably. Yeah, she's young, dumb, and has lived a life where she never heard anything except how great she was, but at some point, everyone has to come to the realization that an attitude of "it's all about me and how MY feelings get hurt" won't cut it. The emails between her and the pageant people were revealing, and if any one thing tipped me over, that was probably it.

I watched a few minutes of her attempt on Hannity to spin the SEX TAPE!!! revelation (I blame TBogg) and I couldn't bear it. She sounded like she had sat down with him an hour before the show, gotten half a dozen talking points from him, and when the camera came on, just blurted them all out as though worried she'd forget one. The nine repetitions of the "worst mistake of my life" bit was understandable from the perspective of someone who knows the only place she has left to hold a mike is the wingnut talk circuit, but the "people have to remember how young I still am" just clanked. There's only so much insincerity I can take, even when I'm cynically approving someone conning the Christianists for cash.

And now, that bit from Larry King -- I mean, seriously. I don't care how stupid you are, trying to claim you were assured you wouldn't have to take phone calls when going on This Day in Trainwrecks is about as plausible as that Republican clown out in Colorado claiming he didn't mean to suggest Flight 93. And then to just sit there with that persecuted look on her face -- classic. Spoiled brat morphs into Christ On The Cross. A week's worth of wanking material for the rubes.

Palin/Prejean 2012!


P.S. Oh, yeah. Erica Hill. First I've ever heard of her, but boy, she sure came off well, especially by contrast, huh? Must be getting old -- I'm finding maturity in women a turn-on.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009


I've seen a few posts today calling for a return to the original premise of Armistice Day. Mr. Riley's is the best.

14:57 ... 14:58 ... 14:59 ...

I think the Queen of the Birthers has about run out of clock. If this is the best she can do …

In case you haven't been keeping up on all things Orly, her latest attempt to hang onto fame was to organize this protest against Bill O'Reilly (!) for being part of the cover-up.

(h/t: Jim Newell | title: cf.)


[Added] Uh-oh. In other news, it looks like she might be in real trouble -- for suborning perjury.

[Added2] Looks like her crowd, such as it was, got a boost by attracting another sad conspiracy theorist and his five friends flock: Rev. James David Manning.

This is just wonderful

An entry from How To Write Badly Well (via):

Learn about syllepsis, then refuse to stop employing it

Joe Stockley was in an expensive sports car and deep trouble. This time, he had really let his mouth and his exotic foreign lover run away with him and it was getting beyond a joke and his immediate circle of friends in the form of rumours and speculation.

As he ran a red light, the conversation back in his mind and away from his troubles, he couldn’t help but feel a sense of rising panic and the soft matte finish of his hand-stitched leather steering wheel. Angelica had been absolutely right and his wife for fifteen years, so why was he running scared, these kind of risks and this deadly gauntlet of illicit entanglements?

[Added] See also "Write thinly-veiled, self-aggrandising autobiographical fiction."

Moonie ("Washington") Times Hysteria!

Jim Newell says:

We assume that the Times IS going out of business, even though that’s not even a rumor… until now? Tell everyone you know!

So okay!

Several top execs already fired! Control handed over to one or three of the Rev. Sun's sons! Closed-down parking lot! Elevators disabled! Third floor now off-limits to all staff! Executive Editor nowhere to be seen! (They don't want to hear from a guy named Solomon at this time of crisis???) Sources reporting cash flow worries! Armed guards now on duty! It would be irresponsible NOT to speculate!

Start with the Wonkette post, and then see here and here on TPM for more!

[Added] And now TPM has a whole category!

Even Better Than Depends!

Not that most of the bed-wetters will listen to this or believe it. However, for the rest of us, this diavlog is an absolute delight.

Here, Robert Farley, a professor at the University of Kentucky and the one who puts the Guns in Lawyers, Guns & Money, interviews John Mueller, a professor at Ohio State, about his new book, Atomic Obsession: Nuclear Alarmism from Hiroshima to Al-Qaeda.

Mueller's argument is that we really don't need to be worrying about nuclear weapons nearly as much as most people think we do, whether we're considering China, Iran, Teh Turrurists, or working with Russia to further reduce our own arsenals. He's got some amazingly fresh ways of looking at a number of the usual talking points, and his counterintuitive take comes across as highly plausible.

(I have long been of the view that having nuclear weapons tends in many ways to decrease one's national security, so it's fair to say that Mueller is preaching to my choir a bit.)

Anyway, enough out of me. On with the show. It's about forty minutes long. And as always with diavlogs, if you'd rather not sit here and stream it, click the "alt. video link" below for audio or video download options.

(alt. video link)


On a related note, did you see this delightful article in the NYT?

Here's the lede and an excerpt from further down:

What’s powering your home appliances?

For about 10 percent of electricity in the United States, it’s fuel from dismantled nuclear bombs, including Russian ones.


Utilities have been loath to publicize the Russian bomb supply line for fear of spooking consumers: the fuel from missiles that may have once been aimed at your home may now be lighting it.

But at times, recycled Soviet bomb cores have made up the majority of the American market for low-enriched uranium fuel. Today, former bomb material from Russia accounts for 45 percent of the fuel in American nuclear reactors, while another 5 percent comes from American bombs, according to the Nuclear Energy Institute, an industry trade association in Washington.

The article goes on to say that there is increasing pressure on arms negotiators to hurry up already, because utility companies need more bomb cores for fuel.

Admit it. This was the feel-good blog post of the week.


[Added] More happiness: I posted some of the above in the forum, whereupon claymisher replied, "We could reuse the missiles too," and pointed to this fascinating thing from Cringely.

Stock Market Jumps! Who Could Be Sad About That?

Fox Business "News," that's who!

James Wolcott has a hilarious wrap-up of Cavuto and crowd's Monday unhappiness about the market's failure to tank in response to all that Obamasocialism that the House approved over the weekend.

President Obama at Fort Hood

Here is something that is obviously not light entertainment. It is a video recorded at a memorial service at Fort Hood, Texas, on 10 November 2009.

The video begins with a playing of the national anthem, a benediction (beginning at 2:20), and two short addresses from senior military personnel (beginning at about 3:40). The President begins speaking at about 15:00, and he is quite moving.

(One minor glitch: The video goes blank for about thirty seconds, starting at about 16:40. The audio, however, remains.)

(alt. video link)

Full transcript available, for example, at Ambinder's place.

(h/t: Thers)

Can You Prove That White-Bearded Guy Doesn't Exist?

Here is an eight-minute excerpt from a lecture James Randi gave at Caltech in 1992, which I swiped from Jesse Galef at Friendly Atheist, via oldcola at Coffee and Sci.

We are concerned in this segment with the aerodynamics of reindeer. Sorry, I could not wait another month and a half to post it.

(alt. video link)

Idle Thought

It says something about how good a blog Pharyngula is that to find it, all you have to do is Google the first two initials of the blog's author.

Sometimes I despair about how far I have to go before I get to that same measure of renown. On the other hand, you could say I'm up against considerably stiffer competition.

Media Watchdogging of the Week

But Fox's news and opinion divisions are separate!!!1!

Nice job, Daily Show crew:

(alt. video link)

Minor note on top of that bust, but I did have to laugh, first, when Crazy Eyes Bachmann lied about this rally being "completely word of mouth" (at about 00:22) and then harder, about thirty seconds later, when Fox's own footage showed a big banner saying "THANK YOU FOX NEWS & TALK RADIO."

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Line of the Day: 2009-11-10

What wakes liberal writers up at night -- I mean that eye-snap of soul-gnawing, nauseating dread -- is not social injustice, is not the fear of creeping fascism, is not rage against corporate greed ...

It is the haunting certainty that Jonah Goldberg will die happily in his sleep without ever comprehending that he's an idiot.
     -- John Rogers, via Instaputz

Great follow-up from JR, too, in response to one of his whining commenters.

I guess another fax got sent from Wingnut Central


So far, without even looking for it, I've happened across five of the usual suspects howling some variation on the theme of OBAMA IS THE WURSTIST PREZNIT EVAR BECUZ HE IS NOT GOING TO BERLIN TO TALK ABOUT HOW GRATE RONALD REAGAN IS: Douthat (via TBogg), Gingrich (via maru), Starbursts Lowry, Spineless Peretz (via kezboard), and now, waddling to catch up, Althouse (via Instaputz).

Doesn't it seem like just yesterday that Obama going to Berlin was the worst thing anyone ever did?

What was that you said about the state of our discourse, Mr. Krugman?


[Added] Media Matters gathered up some more examples for your reading "pleasure."

The Most Important News Evarrrrr!!!1!

flashing light      flashing light      flashing light      flashing light

The Quitta From Wasilla has announced on her Facebook page that she will (soon) start Twittering again.

OR HAS SHE? Still no tweets, as of this moment!

OH NOES!!!1!   OH NOES!!!1!   OH NOES!!!1!   OH NOES!!!1!

(h/t: watertiger | pic. source)

Monday, November 09, 2009

"How to Teach Physics to Your Dog"

There's a whole lot of fun stuff to read on Chad Orzel's new book-pimping site, How good is he at demystifying physics and such? Here is John Scalzi's blurb for the book:

My dog Kodi tells me that Chad Orzel explains physics with far more clarity and humor than I ever did, and that now she's just keeping me around for my opposable thumbs. Thanks a lot, Chad.

And in case you miss the link, his blog, Uncertain Principles, is always worth checking in on. Here, for example, is a poll post on basketball that provides a "nearly infallible test of a person's character," and here is a post on new space elevator news!

(h/t: SkepticDoc)

Smells Like ... Freakonomics!

Elizabeth Kolbert:

To be skeptical of climate models and credulous about things like carbon-eating trees and cloudmaking machinery and hoses that shoot sulfur into the sky is to replace a faith in science with a belief in science fiction. This is the turn that “SuperFreakonomics” takes, even as its authors repeatedly extoll their hard-headedness. All of which goes to show that, while some forms of horseshit are no longer a problem, others will always be with us.

EK's whole article is well worth a read.

(h/t: DougJ | x-posted)

[Added] See also.

Stupak Watch

Be advised that Bart Stupak, nominally a Democrat, lives in the infamous C Street House. Despite this, he denies being a member of The Family.

In related news, why, yes, I am interested in buying that bridge.

(Previously, and see also.)

(h/t: Jim Newell)

Full Metal Wingnut

If you're looking for pedal to the metal winguttery, look no further than this piece by JR Dunn in American "Thinker." The torrents of bed-wetting, the hysteria about Teh Left, and the self-congratulations about how conservatives are always perfect cannot be described (although virtually actual takes a good crack over at Whiskey Fire). They must be read in their entirety.


Moonbattery Not Enough For You, Huh?

Apparently not satisfied with giving space to anti-vaxxers and woo-woo merchants, the HuffPo has now further soiled its reputation by publishing Dinesh D'Souza.

Can't beat what gil mann says.

Except to note the bio line at the bottom of D'Souza's piece of glop says his latest book is published by Regnery.

I was gonna say "proudly proclaims" his latest book is published by Regnery, but I don't think even the wingnuts can say that with a straight face any longer.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

If You Liked The Picture, You'll Love the Book

Following up on the Venn Diagram posted earlier, be advised that there is a hilarious comment thread over at PZ's place where waaaaay more than a thousand words are spent on analysis and critique.

(h/t: uncle ebeneezer)

John Ensign Bites ...

... the pillow. Or the dust. Or something.

Remember, Senator, the C Street House is only for moralizing Republican hypocrites who don't get caught.

See also.

(pic. source)

Sunday Venn Diagram Stealing Blogging

Swiped from ShortsandPants:

Jesus Venn Diagram

[Update] Follow-up here.

[Added] Also, I see from The Science Pundit in the comments that the original artist is Mattias Mackler.