Sunday, February 28, 2010

Attn: Always Use Quotes Around "Skeptic" When It Comes to Global Warming

Other than that, Kate Sheppard's piece on professional denialist Patrick Michaels, Most Credible Climate Skeptic Not So Credible After All, is quite good.


(h/t: @kriswager)

Why We ♥ Paul, Part ∞+17

Go to this transcript page, go all the way to the bottom of the page, and let your eyes drift up until you see "KRUGMAN:" Then read, oh, say, the screenful or two preceding that.

If there was any remaining doubt about what is meant by the term Villagers …

Not to mention which I'm pretty sure everyone on that panel except for Krugman has probably said once or a thousand times, "Why hasn't Obama changed the tone in Washington???1?"

Hat tip to DougJ, who in turn picked it up from Steve Benen. Both posts are well worth a read.

When Two Tribes Go To War, A Point Is All You Can Score

In sport, however, it would appear … not even that much:

We may scoff at the idea that the Olympic Games have anything to do with the “endeavor to place sport at the service of humanity and thereby to promote peace,” as the Olympic charter enshrines as its ideal. But at least nations across the world were able to put aside differences for two weeks of friendly competition in Vancouver.

A mundane achievement, perhaps, but it’s one that’s beyond the grasp of the Islamic world. The Islamic Solidarity Games, the Olympics of the Muslim world, which were to be held in Iran in April, have been called off by the Arab states because Tehran inscribed “Persian Gulf” on the tournament’s official logo and medals.

Worldwide Caliphate FAIL.


Always did like that song …

The Kids Are All Right

Following up on my last, where I said, "… but the majority of this country really doesn't want to associate itself with racism, nihilism, and hate," here is a snippet of the latest diavlog that caught my ear:

(alt. video link)

I've just started watching "Values Added: Progressive Christianity," and I may have more to say about it after watching the whole thing. But for the moment, I thought I'd share the above encouraging note.

[Added] Later on, these two say some encouraging things about same-sex marriage, too. I mean, considering the source. Also, some good statements about rejecting the partnership with the GOP's fiscal crazies.

"The Axis of the Obsessed and Deranged"

Frank Rich's latest column bears a read.

I guess I'm not quite (yet?) where he is in seeing the Stack suicide and the notes of approval it generated in a worrisome light. It's all too easy for some anonymous or pseudonymous clown to give vent to his fantasies online, and as for the prominent Republican officials who gave it the old wink, wink, nudge, nudge, grin, grin, I am in many ways happy. The more Republicans do to align themselves with rightwing extremists, the less chance they have of reacquiring majority power.

Rich is correct to call the overall GOP "efforts to co-opt" the teabaggers "ham-handed." I think he misses another aspect of it, though: to the extent that they succeed, it's only going to backfire, just as it did with the decision to align themselves with the radical religious right. You can get a quarter, maybe a third of the country into your camp by catering to the wingnuts, and maybe even fool another chunk for a short while by preaching a non-stop message of fear, but the majority of this country really doesn't want to associate itself with racism, nihilism, and hate.

Still, eternal vigilance is the price we must pay. My confidence in the ultimate good sense of the Murrikin people could be misplaced. So, to that end, give Frank Rich's piece a look.


[Added] Steve M. has some more comments on Rich's column, and a slightly different take from mine.

Friday, February 26, 2010

A Name To Keep In Mind

Jennifer K. Hardy, formerly known as Jennifer Koester.

Just following orders, I'm sure.

Will we be learning about her countertops anytime soon, Ms. Malkin?

And while you're there, ask her if she saved her old work email messages. Her last boss claims to have "lost" his.

Unless this ape's name is Pinocchio ...

... ur doing it wrong, ABC sidebar editor:

(Seen on this page, for the record. Thirty-one pix of insanely cute baby animals, including an ACTUAL orangutan, not to mention a wee elephant, here.)

"Conservative? Bad? How About Both?"

Eric Alterman looks at what's become of the WaPo's op-ed pages. Many useful links, too.

Friday Cat-Blogging (Stealing Thereof)

Amazingly, this was not the last thing Greg du Toit ever saw.

He sat "semi-submerged" in that watering hole for a total of 270 hours, and got lots of amazing pics. Go look.

(h/t: pourmecoffee)

If you're like me and just got a chill down your spine from those lion eyes, The Bloggess will warm you up with (smaller) cats on heads and cats on cops.

I think this is the first time we can say this without irony

This is excellent news for John McCain.

Remember When Fenway Was Just A Puppy?

Look at him next to Wembley.

(Not a baseball link. A basset link.)

We had to know it wouldn't just be Gaffney

That logo thing I mentioned earlier? Other howler monkeys have started noticing.

It'd be sad, except Roy Edroso makes it funny.

Post Summit Post 3

I can't vouch for this blogger, but if what he or she is saying is even close to correct … well, let's just say there's a reason we say SO CALLED liberal media (via).

This is why we can't have nice things.

With that in mind, here are some "Democratic Health Care Summit Highlights" that you might email to your friends who only get their news from the teevee, assembled by the invaluable Jed Lewison. It's about thirteen minutes long.

Post Summit Post 2

You already read PK's column, right? Good.

Now go read Ezra Klein's fine post.

(h/t: mike kay)

Post Summit Post

If you did not watch the health care summit, start with Paul Krugman's "Afflicting the Afflicted." He knocks it out of the park. I would love to offer an excerpt, but his whole column is too good to pick just a piece.

Hat tip to DougJ, whose juxtaposition of part of the above with a Bobo quote should not be missed.

(x-posted, slightly different form)

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Oh hey, did you know there are now Michele Bachmann comic books?

Produced by the some of the good people at Dump Bachmann.

Here are the covers of issue #3 and issue #1 (the first minus the text). You can see bigger images, and order the actual comic books, at Srsly!

(h/t: Eric Kleefeld/TPM)

And speaking of imaginary Muslins and the beds they cause wingnuts to wet ...

... this revelation, featuring K-Mart Coulter as a sideshow unto herself, is just too freaking funny.


I once noted Frank Gaffney's contribution to the discourse, such as it was, a while back. Calling attention to him the few times I've noticed him since has felt a little too much like nut-picking, so I haven't bothered. Besides, he is increasingly not visible that I ever see -- he seems to have lost credibility even as measured by rightwing "news" outlets.

But sometimes, wingnuttiness this extreme must be passed along. And the fact that he can't find an outlet apart from one of Breitbart's Big Ho websites is just pure gravy.

Me, I think it looks more like a belt buckle with a reworked Rolling Stones logo than anything else. YMMV, especially if you're a bed-wetting loon like Frank Gaffney.


[Added] Think Progress (via) suggests I shouldn't be so quick to dismiss this clown out of hand. They say he still has some clout. Duly noted. But if you follow those last two links, let us hope that they're being a little hyperbolic. Jack D. Ripper doesn't even come close.

[Added2] And hey, how about those Patriots?

[Update] Gaffney tries to walk it back. But not before every other wingnut picked it up and ran with it.


Here are a couple of good articles on Anthropogenic Global Warming* that I've come across recently:

•  Eric Alterman: Think Again: A Hard Week on the Planet -- Looks at public perceptions in the US of the problem. Some surprising findings, which left me cautiously optimistic: despite the non-stop campaign of FUD from the denialists, most people, including most Republicans, think AGW is real. The problem is that it's not a high-priority problem for most people.

•  Robert H. Frank: A Small Price for a Large Benefit -- The title pretty much says it all, but I'll emphasize that it calls for starting to take small steps now, rather than thinking in terms of "solving" AGW in one fell swoop. This seems especially pertinent to me, in light of the attitudes that Alterman discusses.

Hat tip for the second to Mark Kleiman, whose diavlog with Will Wilkinson, posted today on, is well worth watching. (This is true for all Mark Kleiman diavlogs.)


* Or Anthropogenic Climate Change, if you prefer. I like the older term for most conversations, because ACC is too overloaded a TLA.

"Kidnapping for Jesus"

Imagine if a voodoo minister from Haiti had shown up in Boise after an earthquake, looking for children in poor neighborhoods and offering “opportunities for adoption” back to Haiti.

Good rant by Tim Egan in the NYT about the Christianist missionary urge.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

World's Only Nobel-Prize-Winning Cat-Blogger

CC says via email:

This week's New Yorker (3/1) has a great article on Paul Krugman.

She always gives good recommendations, so I'll pass this along right away.

Here's a link to "The Deflationist: How Paul Krugman found politics." And here's a link to a follow-up Q&A thing. I haven't read them yet -- that's gonna have to wait till tomorrow -- so this is as much a note to me as you.

Oh, about that title ... you thought I was kidding?

Line of the Day: 2010-02-24

The Senate is holding a hearing today where several current and former Blackwater employees will be testifying, but honestly the only way Congress would stop giving Blackwater money is if it started registering black people to vote.
    -- Adam Serwer (via Atrios)

Blog Post Title of the Day



When I first saw the post in my feed reader, I thought for some reason it had to do with some town in Michigan getting pissed at the car company. So much for my cred as a political junkie.

Turns out, yeah, Harold did not give good meeting.


Great Moments in Conservative Punditry

Just below a few posts alternately gushing about Tim Tebow and fuming about baby-killing liberals who kill babies, La Shawn Barber lets loose with this beginning (emph. orig.):

I rarely blog about celebrities because it seems so, you know, shallow.

I make an exception for right-leaning celebrities.

Don't anybody tell her "Johnny Ramone of The Ramones" has been dead for more than five years now, because the next biggest celebrity on her list is "Stephen Baldwin (brother of Alec)."

Q: What's Dumber Than a Sally Quinn Column?

A: Something else in the WaPo's opinion section.

(h/t: Sean Carroll)


Too Old To Keep His Lies Straight?

McCain thumbs up

Or is Honest John McStraightTalk just cynically calculating that piling on his earlier lies a new lie that "Obama did it too!!!1!" is enough for the Republican base?

(h/t: DougJ | pic. source)

Check Your Popcorn Stocks

News item: "Romney endorses McCain for re-election."

Wingnut/teabagger freakout in 5..., 4... oh, wait. It's already started. The R, I, N, and O keys are getting a lot of work, and that's from the ones who are still allowed to use scissors with pointy ends.

The Freepers post a "(BARF ALERT)," which leads to commenters calling the two of them everything from progressives to gay.

One of the Clownhallers begins with "Color me angry."

Wizbanger Alan Orfi seems most concerned with Romney's "contention" that global warming is real.

Our Lady of Perpetual Outrage tries humor, such as it is on the far right, by posting an image of "John McCain Nose Plugs."

Boss Limbaugh says the endorsement is "suicidal."

There is a bit of hesitation to go full metal, however, since St. Sarah has already made the same announcement. So, in addition to the entertainment to be had by watching them type out their fury, we can also look forward to the comedy of the scrambling they'll have to do to keep their double standards alive.

One of the Red State Trike Force does suggest a possible out: "Has he gone mad along with Palin?" Probably only be another hour or two before they realize this is yet another example of Obama's hidden hypnosis techniques.


In Fairness, He Didn't Say Anything About "The Next Six Months"*

Clickbait fail:

Never forget.


* Which I know by virtue of text search. What, you don't actually expect me to read crap like this, do you?

Their Bombers Aren't On High Alert Anymore, Right?

Good. Just checking. Because this seems a little terrifying:

Just try not to use punk'd and thermonuclear armageddon in the same sentence, okay, Ashton? kthxbai.


(If you must.)

We need a new definition for "Prager"

You know, like Santorum.

Meantime, read the great takedown by Thers of this exquisitely tiresome scold.

(h/t: Kevin K./Rumproast)

And Now For Something Completely Different ...

... but, as it happens, from the same blog as last post. From a few years back, but so what.

Feast your eyes:

That's a Shuttle launch, as seen from the International Space Station.

(Another shot at the link.)

We are a puny species, but you gotta give it up to us for spunk. That looks like a salmon climbing the falls to get back to its spawning grounds, if you ask me.


"Release the Mongolian Terror Trout!"

Best.    Architectural.    Criticism.    Ever.

(h/t: SEK/LGM)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Rarely is the question asked ...

... is Doghouse Riley have a New York Times column yet? Because I can think of someone he's way better than.

Bonus! New words! Plerophoric and miching mallecho.

Deep Thoughts

Is Dick "Five Attacks And Still Ticking!" Cheney once again "resting comfortably" due to a government-run health plan?

And: May something else prove to be as unkillable.

Dave Weigel on "Fresh Air"

Here is one of the best reporters on current American conservatism being interviewed by Terry Gross, in a segment titled "CPAC, The Tea Party And The Remaking Of The Right." It's about 32 minutes long, and I highly recommend giving it a listen.

Topics discussed, apart from what you can already glean from the title, include why Cheney is still popular, particularly with conservatives who now say they never liked Bush; Ron Paul's win in the CPAC straw poll and what it means; why Teddy Roosevelt is now considered teh sux (by more than that guy); and the return (and embrace) of the John "Glenn Beck" Birch Society.

(alt. audio link + intro article)

Dave Weigel blogs here and tweets here. He's worth your regular attention.

[Added] Great picture here.

Waiting for Romney to describe himself as "from Massachusetts" in 5..., 4..., 3...

Rachel Larris, from Reproductive Health Reality Check, reports (via):

A bill passed by the Utah House and Senate this week and waiting for the governor's signature, will make it a crime for a woman to have a miscarriage …

Brought to you by the same state that wants to celebrate the birth of John Browning. On MLK Day. (True story.)

Special Ed Morrissey Now Apparently Carrying The Banner For The Pelosi San Francisco Agenda

Remember how last week we noted Malkkkin cashing in?

Seems like Teh Really Real Conservatives are none too happy about this!

Conservatives can kiss off "Hot Air" blog

Wow. Just as soon as the "Hot Air" blog was purchased by the Christian conglomerate Salem Communications from conservative commentator Michelle Malkin, it has suddenly become an advocate for all things gay. What in the world is up with that?

(h/t: Ken Layne)

My two favorite pics ...

... before I got bored looking through the continued madness are slightly off topic. (Most are lame Photoshops of Scott Brown, obvs.) I do like an End Times Wingnut most of all.


An answer to the question, "Are the Teabaggers still mad at Scott Brown?"

Yes. With the dawn of a new day, the madness continues.


Okay, this ...

... is probably about the stupidest thing Toyota has done yet. I mean, the DFHs were your original customers, back when all the conservatives were hating on cars made by the foreigns. I know a lot has changed, but not everything, and pissing on cultural memory is not going to do Toyota any good at all. And whining about a "'more challenging regulatory' environment" when what seems at least superficially apparent is that more regulation of a certain automobile manufacturer might well have been in order …

PR fail.

Would be kinda funny to see a bunch of USA!!!1! USA!!!1! USA!!!1! bumper stickers on Corollas, not to mention Priuses, though.

Monday, February 22, 2010

I think ...

... StrangeAppar8us can hear the dog-whistles as well as any howling wingnut.

This proves ...

... Fox News is in the tank for John McCain.

JD Hayworth: Former Arizona Congresswoman, according to Fox News

Q: Can a Flip-Flopper Jump The Shark?

A: Yes, if his name is John McCain.

That's astounding, even for Honest John.


(h/t: @DaveWeigel)

Deep Thought

Stanley Fish is the NYT's David Broder.

Just what the world needs: another endless gout of gasbaggery from a self-described "Classical Liberal" (i.e., what wingnuts who don't like Sarah Palin call themselves these days) on how secularism is teh suck, so therefore we need to have more religion informing policy debates. Or something like that. Tried mining it for the lulz, but it's too killingly dull even for that.

Panic on the Right

You may have read somewhere that Ron Paul recently won the straw poll for "We Want This Person To Be The Next Preznit" at the big wingnut gathering (aka CPAC 2010).

Who is not happy about this?

(alt. video link)

Who is not happy about this?

"The Kids Are Alright -- Unless They Vote for Ron Paul at CPAC, Say Rightbloggers."

Who is not happy about this?

"Let’s take a look at a typical reaction by a typical wingnut, namely one John Hinderaker."

Add this to the treachery!!!1! of Scott Brown and the exposure of another AGW denialist, and I gotta say, there's been some happy news lately.

[Added] Not to mention wingnut hero Dick Cheney getting busted for lying again, and then harshly contradicted by Generals Colin Powell and David Petraeus on the Sunday talk shows. Oh, and hey, what's this?

[Added2] Oh, and hey. What's this Google result???

Uh, never mind. Different Cheney. I should have known better -- he only hits them in the face.

Here Is Your New Centerfold Picture, Teabaggers!

Kerry tells Brown what to do

Oh, this is just too funny.

As of this moment, wingnuts are still in a frenzy, proving how they own the Twitter!

Roy Edroso has some highlights.

[Added] loquaciousmusic calls attention to the latest post on Scott Brown's Facebook page, where the wingnut fury also flows.

Who posted this disgraceful sacrilege against the Baby Trigus?

Talking in a Negro dialect, no less!!!1! Desecration!!!1!

Trig channels Michael Steele

What? Really? Ah, oh, erm, never mind.

Probably just an attempt to provoke jokes by elitists, so that she'll have something else to complain about. To distract attention from the latest Moment of Quit, you betcha.


(h/t: Jim Newell | x-posted)

The Arizona Flip-Flop

McCain grimace

Excellent post from Jim Newell on John McCain.


Cool pic, interesting article:

Correction of the Day

Sometimes there's a reward for reading all the way to the end:

An earlier version of this post misquoted Mr. Remnick on his comparison between the book and a New Yorker article he had previously written. He said the book would not be a “pumped up” version of the article; he did not say that it would not be a “pimped out” version of the article.

Surfing (a little more) Securely

Brian Krebs has an interesting post up about a new research effort that is trying to stop drive-by downloads; i.e., malware so called because it gets jammed onto your computer merely by virtue of your having visited an infected website. This is becoming a fairly serious problem, especially for Windows users.

Brian highlights an important new wrinkle: now that browsers are pretty well secured, especially in light of the automatic updating process featured by the likes of Firefox and Chrome, the bad guys are now focusing much more on security holes in browser plugins. Three of the most common are Adobe Flash, Adobe Reader, and Sun's Java. The fourth most commonly exploited application is Internet Explorer itself.

Building on Brian's post, I thought I'd gather up a few links that may be of use. Here is a terse outline:

  1. Adobe Flash: check version | download latest
  2. Adobe Reader: download latest
  3. Sun's Java: check version | download latest
  4. Internet Explorer: Keep up with Microsoft patches
  5. And more ...

Expanding on the above:

  1. Adobe Flash: The latest version, as of this posting, is Visit this page to check what version you have installed. If you have anything lower, click the Player Download Center link (right on that same page, also) to get the latest version.

    Two things to be aware of:
    1. You must update Flash separately two times: once using Internet Explorer, and once using Firefox (or Chrome, Safari, Opera, etc.). All of the latter are covered by the same update process, but for reasons beyond my understanding, IE is not.

    2. Adobe will attempt to get you to add something along with the Flash update, such as a browser toolbar or a "McAfee Security Scan Plus." Uncheck the appropriate box before installing the new version of Flash, if you don't want the shovelware.

  2. Adobe Reader: The latest version is 9.3. Use the menu choice Help → About to check what version you have. Visit this page to get the latest version of Adobe Reader.

    Note: If your usage patterns are like mine, you might uninstall Adobe Reader completely and install the free alternative, FoxIt Reader, instead. As far as I can tell, it does a perfectly satisfactory job rendering PDF files. It also is faster to launch (as a standalone program), and as a plugin, it has gotten considerable better since I first started recommending it. There may be a security benefit here as well -- it is less of a target for exploits, since it is less heavily used.

  3. Sun's Java: The first thing to do here is to remind you that Java is not the same thing as Javascript. You pretty much can't live on the Web these days without the latter, you might well be able to without the former. (More on that starting here.)

    That aside, version 6 update 18 is the latest Java, as of this writing. Visit this page to check your version; visit here to download the latest, if necessary.

  4. Internet Explorer: As mentioned above, IE is itself a common application for the creators of drive-by downloads to exploit. The first thing to say is this: if you're still using IE version 6, don't. Second, if you're on to version 7 or 8 (and you insist on using IE over other browsers), make sure you're keeping up with the patches Microsoft pushes out. Visit to check by hand, and unless you have a very good reason not to, make sure that you have Windows Updates set to automatic. Though Microsoft generally releases fixes for security holes only monthly (on Patch Tuesday), they have released a few out-of-band fixes lately, when the problems are deemed severe enough.

    And, to repeat, unless you're compelled to use IE (on a work computer, perhaps), give Firefox, or Chrome, or one of the others a try.

  5. Mozilla plugin check: If you use Firefox, some of your plugins will be checked automatically. For a more comprehensive test, visit Mozilla's plugin check page.

  6. More Adobe: Visit here to find the latest versions and more information if you use other Adobe plugins.

If you would like me to elaborate further upon any of the above, please don't hesitate to ask.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Who's In Charge? Who's In Charge?

Too soon?

Limp Pix

How nice it'd be, just once, to see some God-approved victor parade with the Olympic flag!

Glad Mr. Riley's watching the "Games" so we don't have to. Even more glad he's writing about them.


Friday, February 19, 2010

I believe this meets the criterion

Remember Saint Sarah's latest moment of OUTRAGE concerning DESECRATION OF TRIG!!!1!?

Read it and weep:

My name is Andrea Fay Friedman. I was born with Down syndrome. I played the role of Ellen on the "Extra Large Medium" episode of Family Guy that was broadcast on Valentine's day. Although they gave me red hair on the show, I am really a blonde. I also wore a red wig for my role in " Smudge" but I was a blonde in "Life Goes On". I guess former Governor Palin does not have a sense of humor. I thought the line "I am the daughter of the former governor of Alaska" was very funny. I think the word is "sarcasm".

In my family we think laughing is good. My parents raised me to have a sense of humor and to live a normal life. My mother did not carry me around under her arm like a loaf of French bread the way former Governor Palin carries her son Trig around looking for sympathy and votes.

NYT interview of Andrea here.

(h/t: Jason Linkins, via KK | h/t for the pic: kezboard | x-posted)

Sc-eye-nce Candy

This beauty won first prize in the Illustration category in the NSF's 2009 International Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge. It's called Kuen's Surface: A Meditation on Euclid, Lobachevsky, and Quantum Fields, and it was composed by mathematician Richard Palais and digital artist Luc Benard. Click it to big it.

Sketch a line and then draw a point off it. How many lines parallel to the first line can you draw through that point? The Greek mathematician Euclid said just one, but for more than 2,000 years after his death, mathematicians struggled to prove that he was right based on his other geometric rules. Then the 19th century Russian mathematician Nikolai Lobachevsky showed that you couldn't: In some circumstances, you can sketch an infinite number of lines through that point and not violate any of Euclid's other axioms. Mathematician Dick Palais of the University of California, Irvine, and digital artist Luc Benard wanted to convey the history of Lobachevsky's solution to this mathematical puzzle with their illustration.

In this illustration, a sheet of paper shows sketches of one of these surfaces, called Kuen's surface, and the expression, called a soliton, that describes it. "We wanted to talk about these equations in a way that nonmathematicians could understand," Palais says. "So we took a symbolic approach: The surface itself stands as a symbol for that equation."

Much more goodness at the links above and below.

(h/t: NYT Science section)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Headline of the Day

And do you not love the juxtaposition with the one above it?

Apparently, there's a new billboard campaign on. Sightings reported not just in Tampa Bay, but in Baltimore, Chicago, Sacramento, and Tucson, also too.

I expect there are others. Visit the United Coalition of Reason to find out. The above picture is from their "What's New" page.

(h/t: Greta Christina, via Jen McCreight, via PZ)

Two-Minute Lesson

(alt. video link)


(h/t: that guy who made a cameo appearance in the above)

Eye Candy

This being a hermit crab, PZ talks about glass houses. Me, I say it lends a whole new depth to bottle cap.


Also from PZ:


This is from a page titled "Animals in Love." Yeah, yeah, yeah. Anthropomorphizing blah blah. Just go look. And check out "Surprising Friends," too.

Oh, okay one more, from the "Animals and Flowers" page:


If I Didn't Care About My Country ...

... I would like to see Harold Ford run against Mitt Romney. If we could figure out a way to hook a turbine to them, the amount of flip-floppery would end energy shortages forever.

(h/t: DougJ)

Don't Ever Appeal To This Authoriteh

David Frum actually said this:

(alt. video link)

History teachers wept.

Believe me, I did not rip that out of context. I just chose an eleven-second clip because I know you ADHD Internet kids can't sit still for anything longer. (But view the whole thing, if you like. (You won't like.))

I remind you that in addition to being a speechwriter for the last president (Remember "axis of evil?" Yeah. His.), he is now considered one of the smart and reasonable conservatives. And maybe he has some good ideas about political strategery. But I beg you, do not listen to him when he starts talking about what we should do about Iran.

Constructive Criticism of the Day

Obviously, I'm biased against anyone who wastes even one electron saying something good about Glenn Reynolds, but Jim Henley's finger-wagging at trying-too-hard-to-be-nice Conor Friedersdorf is just spot on.

Many Moments of Awww

Just catching up on some old posts over at Unqualified Offerings. This, of course, had to be stolen in full:

Mornings I get on the laptop first, Mrs. Offering always asks me, “What’s going on in the world that I should know about.” Most days I don’t have a good answer. But today I can say unequivocally: “A baby panda in China tried to escape from its playpen. There are pictures!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

PUAM Watch

People Uniting Against McCain.

Unlike Attaturk, I'm almost ready to move to Arizona for what's sure to be some entertaining Angry Johnny Moments.


If Drudge Were A Leftwinger

Insane Republican Congressman Steve King of Iowa stars in snuff film, Tweets about his orgasm, and then makes racist statement!!!1!

"I can’t have a crazy ’coon," King said, Roll Call reported.

Developing ...

(h/t: Jim Newell | pic. source)

Wingnut Blog Sold To Wingnut Publisher

Looks like perpetual rage machine Michelle Malkkkin has cashed in on some of that sweet, sweet fundie coin: Hot Air has been sold to Salem Communications.

Salem Communications describes itself as:

… a leading U.S. radio broadcaster, Internet content provider, and magazine and book publisher targeting audiences interested in Christian and family-themed content and conservative values. … a leading Internet provider of Christian content and online streaming … [and] … a leading publisher of Christian-themed magazines.

Among their other Web properties: Clownhall.

More on Salem Communications at SourceWatch and Wikipedia.


I agree with John Cole's laughter at James Joyner's view of Hot Air's Special Ed Morrissey. I'd add that Joyner's description of Malkkkin as "a sweet lady" and Mediaite's characterization of Hot Air as a "center-right web site" are even more comical.

Ah, these inside-the-Beltway-Bubble types.



[Added] TBogg reminds us that the practically indistinguishable RedState has had a wingnut corporate sugar daddy for more than three years now.

If you would like to hear 45 seconds of the wit and wisdom of the GHEMRotRSTF himself, follow TBogg's link (or just click here).


[Added2] Update here.

No Suede

As we had hoped, Our Man In Indiana has come not to praise Evan Bayh, but to bury him.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Oh, Yeah. This'll Make Me Sign Up.

From the Not Quite Clear On The Concept Department:

A Web site called HBO GO, subtitled “It’s HBO on your computer,” appeared online weeks ago, promising access to scores of TV episodes and films. There’s one catch: you must already be an HBO subscriber through your cable or satellite company.

This is about like Microsoft releasing a free alternative spreadsheet program that only works if you have a licensed copy of Excel installed on the same machine.

Deep Thought

If Romney won't stand up to one crazy on a plane, how will he stand up to the terrorists?


___ of the Day

Tweet of the Day:

PressSec wow - in a less than 30 hours almost 17K of you are following - amazing - watch out Kim Kardashian!

Stat-oid of the Day:

During the first year of [Obama's] tenure as president Americans bought a record 14 million+ guns.

That’s more than 21 of the world’s standing armies – combined.

No doubt this will be bandied about by us libtards, but the story goes a little deeper:

Does any of this really mean anything? The chart shows that the number of background checks holds in a steady range of 8.5 to 9 million per year from 1998 through 2005. Then an 11% jump in ‘06, a 12% jump in 2007, followed by a 13% jump in 2008. So the 10% increase in ‘09 sales is not terribly dramatic, until you realize that it represents a 56% increase over the number of guns sold in 2005.

(h/t: Riley Waggaman)

Just Sayin'

Look what Amazon's auto-suggest offers up when you put "liberal" into its book search window:


On a related note, you might have a look at a longish article* in today's NYT, "Tea Party Movement Lights Fuse for Rebellion on Right."

The price of freedom, and so forth ...


* [Added] I didn't notice the byline at original posting, but Gavin M. points out that the article was written by David Barstow. Yeah, that guy.

Should add some credibility to the reporting.

Far Be It From Me To Endorse Violence, ...

... BUT!

I have a feeling there's a lot more truth in the snark version than there is in the Fox or MSM versions. I mean, like way more than usual, even.

Headline of the Day

Yglesias, FTW:

More Failure for Obama’s Law Enforcement Approach to Terrorism

(h/t: AemJeff)

Monday, February 15, 2010

WE ARE OUTRA ... what? Oop ... uh, never mind.

Someone started spreading the story that black guy Bryant "Black" Gumbel (who's black) got all blackety-black on the teevee, saying that the "paucity of blacks makes the Winter Olympics look like the GOP Convention."

Which he did ...


... in 2006.

Cue mad updating of blogposts in the wingnutosphere ("Hurry up, c'mon … fuck, is flashback one word or two?"), including Dan Riehl, "The blogprof," and The King of InstaPost Now, Think Later Maybe: Glenn Harlan Reynolds. None of whom are racists. Just ask any of them.

Start here.


The only way this could have been more entertaining would have been if Ann Althouse had been awake when the video starting buzzing around. It could have been The Revenge of I Stand By My Analysis.


Draft Harold!

Oh, this is too funny. And don't miss the Update at the bottom.

(h/t: Steve Benen)

Bayh Bayh

Evan BayhIt looks like Doghouse Riley's favorite politician (I kid, I kid -- DR is actually in the tank for Mitch Daniels) has announced at about the last possible minute that he won't be running for reelection.

My immediate reaction was along the lines of "I should be upset about the extinction of another DINOsaur, why?" But Steve Benen raises a troubling point:

It appears that the signatures for a prospective candidate are due tomorrow, and it's extremely unlikely any Dem could pull this off in time. What's more likely, then, is that the Indiana Democratic Party will be responsible for selecting a candidate -- there would be no primary.

Way to go there, Evan. Nothing like making your final official act one that is about as undemocratic as one could imagine. I'm sure your father is proud of you. Not.

Indiana's own Quitta from Wasilla was well ahead in the polls and campaign cash on hand, so the timing and circumstances of this big ol' FU to his ostensible party lead me to think a conservative lobbying group came to him a short while ago and said, "If you retire when we want you to and how we want you to, you could be making $5 million/year for life, 'working' for us." Until we hear anything different, I think that would be the only responsible speculation.

(pic. source)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Dick Francis Dead at 89

Dick Francis

He had a good long run, but it still hurts that one of my favorite authors has taken his last turn around the track. This, via MK, captures well how I always felt about him:

I once wrote a review of a Dick Francis thriller without reading it. I wasn’t going to waste a new Dick Francis on a bloody review when I had a transatlantic flight coming up, was I? So I wrote a piece saying that I knew the book was going to be good. I trusted it, and that’s why I was saving it for later. Three bloody Marys and a new Dick Francis and you’re in New York before you know you’ve taken off.

(pic. source)

[Added] From a brief piece about him in the Times's "50 Greatest Crime Writers" series, assembled in 2008:

You simply have to turn the next page. It really is as simple as that. I once met him: he told me that the thing he hates most is when people tell him they loved his last books so much that they read it straight through in three hours. “Bloody hell - it took me a year to write that.”

YouTube Wreckommendation

Usually I can see -- or at least imagine -- the connection, but here?

Not even a bluff answer.

FWIW, that …

Because you watched
Emotional IL Lt. ...

… bit points to "Emotional IL Lt. Gov Nominee Scott Lee Cohen Drops Out of Race," which may strike you as familiar.

We have a long way to go before we actually have to worry about computers figuring us out from tracking our online habits, is the point.


P.S. Don't be {s|m}ad that I didn't give you a link to the "Hooters Girls" video. Trust me, there is nothing to see there. It's just that still image with stupid music, or at least it was for the six hours I spent studying it.

This Bodes Well

There might be something I care less about than the Winter Olympics™, but hanged if I can think of it at the moment.

At any rate, to the extent I know about him, I like Mr. Miller. Aside from the seconding of that sentiment, I won't keep you any longer from reading the latest from Doghouse Riley: "Sudden Stop."

Mullet This One Over

Likely Republican candidate for president, and current governor of Minnesota, Tim Pawlenty: lying or stupid?



More from Steve M.

Friday, February 12, 2010

You Know That Broder Thing?

The one everybody's been laughing at?

The King of Slacker Friday weighs in:

I'm begging all you people at the Washington Post, take the car keys away from Grandpa before he runs into a busload of nuns. I think he was writing this column and mistook the accelerator for the brake.

Still Not Interested In Renewing My Membership, Thanks

Nice Polite Republicans, caught out by Eric Alterman: "Zinn-ophobia at NPR."

A Sign of Hope

Report the good people at

During the last week and a half, Glenn Beck lost his 100th, 101st and 102nd sponsors. A full list of all 102 sponsors that dropped Mr. Beck (or Fox News as a whole) can be found here. Please note that this total includes sponsors that have dropped him both United States and/or in the United Kingdom.

It seems like our efforts are having an effect…

(h/t: Attaturk)

Does not include antipasto, because we're not against spaghetti

Sign just seen in a restaurant:

Ask about our 3 course pre-fix meal.

Hard to believe, but yep, he's still that dumb

Remember back when email was invented by Al Gore, so that we could send each other things that Dan Quayle said? (Kids, true story: Dan Quayle used to be the other George Bush's Vice President, and we thought that was scary.)

Well! He's back and badder than ever! Did you know Thomas Jackson, uh, George Lincoln, er, all of them, simply did not care for that "majority rule" stuff? (Because Math Is Hard.)

So, therefore, you have 51 votes in the House and 51 votes in the Senate. That is not what our Founding Fathers had in mind.

Bonus: his demon seed has spread. (This is most likely why he was actually on your teevee in the first place.)

Further Down The Spiral

Oh, goody. The WaPo has hired Bush speechwriter and torture porn enthusiast Marc Thiessen to write a weekly column.

Evidently, he will be there to provide balance to leftist appeasers Hiatt, Kristol, Cohen, Will, Applebaum, Gerson, Parker, Mukasey, Broder, Wolfowitz, and Krauthammer.

Bonus: he dedicates his first column to Richie Starbursts!


Twitter-watcher watertiger makes a nice catch.

I have a dream ...

... that someday soon, making jokes like this will be considered by everyone to be as indicative of ignorance as racist "humor."

I don't much believe in dreams anymore, though.

[Added] Shoutout to Tintin over at S,N! for fighting the good fight, though.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

A report from the Teabaggers' Ball

Says Jonathan Kay (via):

I consider myself a conservative and arrived at this conference as a paid-up, rank-and-file attendee, not one of the bemused New York Times types with a media pass.

However ...

After I spent the weekend at the Tea Party National Convention in Nashville, Tenn., it has become clear to me that the movement is dominated by people whose vision of the government is conspiratorial and dangerously detached from reality. It's more John Birch than John Adams.

"Black Helicopters Over Nashville" is a worthwhile read, if you haven't already figured these people out.


The Sick Sense

Shorter David Broder:

I see starbursts.


How a guy who for the last ninety-eight years has written nothing but columns fetishizing bipartisanship can listen to the nonstop stream of hate spewing from those lips, and think there's something good about it, is nothing short of nauseating.

(h/t: Curse you, Twin! | pic. source)



[Added] From attaturk (whence the pic), we also have a link to a WaPo article reporting its latest poll findings. Among them:

Although Palin is a tea party favorite, her potential as a presidential hopeful takes a severe hit in the survey. Fifty-five percent of Americans have unfavorable views of her, while the percentage holding favorable views has dipped to 37, a new low in Post-ABC polling.

There is a growing sense that the former Alaska governor is not qualified to serve as president, with more than seven in 10 Americans now saying she is unqualified, up from 60 percent in a November survey. Even among Republicans, a majority now say Palin lacks the qualifications necessary for the White House.

Palin has lost ground among conservative Republicans, who would be crucial to her hopes if she seeks the party's presidential nomination in 2012. Forty-five percent of conservatives now consider her as qualified for the presidency, down sharply from 66 percent who said so last fall.

Among all Republicans polled, 37 percent now hold a "strongly favorable" opinion of Palin, about half the level recorded when she burst onto the national stage in 2008 as Sen. John McCain's running mate.

Bubble? sez Dean Broder. What bubble?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Google Buzz (Updated 3x)

It looks like Google has decided that this social networking thing is for reals, and hence, has launched something called Google Buzz. (Their previous effort apparently only being popular in Brazil, he added snarkily. (Not that there's anything wrong with Brazil, he hastened to add.))

I've just started playing around with it. Here are a few first gripes.

  1. Google tries a little too hard to entice you into sharing perhaps more personal information than you might otherwise be inclined to, by badgering you to add more information to your Google Profile in order to make it "eligible" to be added to Google's search listings. Personally, I think I'm easy enough to find on Google (although curse that TV reporter!) already, so I don't much care that my lack of desire to tell you where I was born, where I live, what my superpowers are, etc., make me "ineligible." I do think, however, that many people might be nudged into oversharing. (Also noted on Buzz.)

  2. Another minor privacy concern: Google Buzz suggests people for me to follow, based on, among other things, my Gmail contacts. People who send me email from a Gmail account might not like the world to know, especially via their real names, that I'm connected with them. FWIW, I decided not to take Google's suggestions except for those who have started following me and/or who have created their own Google Profiles, but I suspect not everyone will be this circumspect. (Also noted on Buzz.)

    [Update: I just tried looking at my Profile page after logging out of all things Google, and this time, it does not display my followers or followees. Therefore, I am not sure how much merit there is to my concern. Could someone who has a Google account (Gmail, Blogger, etc.) please visit my Profile page and let me know what you see? Thanks.]

  3. Conversation fragmentation. This is nothing to do with privacy, but more of blogger's peeve. It's nice that I can pipe my posts to Google Buzz, as it is nice to be able to pipe them to Facebook, but one problem is that people who are moved to comment on something I post are likely to comment in place. This means that while I get feedback, other readers aren't likely to see everything everyone else might have said. Not that I'm one of the world's great conversation starters, but occasionally, I do slip up and say something that others find worthy of reaction, and sometimes, this leads to good discussions between the commenters themselves, whether or not I am part of what develops. It would be the killer app if someone could figure out how to make comments on a blog post automatically cross-post to all places where the post itself appears.

That's about it for now, as far as negativity goes. Minor gripes aside, it looks like a fun thing, and I like the way it integrates with Gmail. Check it out, if you like.

Finally, here's a link to my Google Profile, and it's also over there in the sidebar, if you're interested. If you'd like to follow me on Google Buzz, I'd be flattered. As I said, I won't follow you unless you ask me to, explicitly or implicitly as described above.

[Added] Here are three short articles on Buzz from the NYT.

[Update 2] Google has posted some relevant information, and slightly changed how they handle some aspects of Buzz. (Thanks, A.)

[Update 3] Here is a strong complaint passed along by Charli Carpenter on LGM, here is another NYT piece (h/t: A), on the backlash more generally, and here is the latest post on Google's Gmail blog -- a response of sorts. Importantly for some, it describes a new option to turn off Buzz completely.

Chart of the Day

From the WaPo's "Behind the Numbers" blog, via Andrew Sullivan:

Both posts are worth a look, but in case you don't have the inclination to click over, here's another nugget from the WaPo one:

Nearly six in 10 in the new poll say the Republicans aren't doing enough to forge compromise with President Obama on important issues …

In conclusion, even after a year's worth of high-octane FUD from the right-wing noise machine, two out of three Americans still want this to be done:  Pass The Damn Bill.

(h/t: Twin, via PM)

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

It's not the No Fun League anymore!

(embiggen | enhugen)

(h/t: @daveweigel)

This Ought To Be Good Enough To Win Some Scholer ...

... a full schoolarship.

To any university not accepting morans or muslins, I mean.

We can also be confident that this home-abused child's parents support making English America's Offical Language, because they respect are-country, and don't want to let the terriosts win.

Your smart enough to know what's going on, right? Speak up!
Remember descent the highest form of patriotic.


Click 'em to big 'em. Pic sources at the text links.