Monday, May 31, 2010

These Guys Sound Pretty Interesting

I'll have to give their videos a look.

Check out Internets Celebrities, who just got a nice write-up in the NYT.

Three good reads ...

... for those who aren't determined to remain denialists no matter what:

  1. Johann Hari: Deniers - apologise for Climategate

  2. Bradford Plummer: The National Academies Take On Global Warming

  3. (The source for the above two) The Editors at The Poor Man Institute: Also: fuckin’ magnets – how do they work?


We Appreciate Your Thoroughness

Says the Pensito Review in a post about the especially loathsome PUMA, Kevin DuJan:

… (there’s no, I checked) …

Hard to believe no one has registered that site just to put up a page that says


Still Waiting ...

... for all those firebaggers who like nothing finer than writing screeds about how Obama is JUST LIKE BUSH!!!1! to write something, anything, on how the Democrats in Congress are just like the Republicans.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

I Ain't Superstitious

... but a skinny black cat just walked through my yard.

Add to this the regular (delightful) patrols from a Very Serious black and white cat, and I have to say, if the latter was a little more zaftig and didn't have a tail, I'd be starting to wonder about visits from ghosts.

(You are not expected to understand the above, unless you know me in life AFK, but here's a sad story, if you want it.) (Thinking of you, too, eb.)


This has always been a favorite song, also, too.

(alt. video link)

[Update] New embed and alt. video link, due to closing of YouTube account that previously posted the above.

[Update2] ibid.

Something to think about

My friend cragger from the forums passed along a link to the following. I think it's hard to say for sure how much credibility we can assign to this video, due to its anonymous and one-sided nature. Also, I am hesitant to add noise to an already wildly over-politicized and highly technical problem about which the only thing I know is that I know almost nothing.

Nonetheless, ever since I watched this, I've been thinking about it, and I've come to the conclusion that it rings true to me, for however much or little that's worth. I am going to pass it along in the spirit that even if it's only simplistically true, it's righteous, and deserves some attention.

Small warning: if you have a problem hearing the word fuck used over and over, or your workplace does, this video is so characterized. I urge you, however, not to let that get in the way. As Heather Havrilesky has observed, sometimes there is no better word.

Disclaimers aside, let's roll. Here is "BP Fails Booming School 101." About eight minutes long, and worth your time, I think.

(alt. video link)

The Horror. The Horror.

I happened across this ad on the "lefty" site (according to teabaggers), …

Republican ad with an eagle(you must click this picture)

… and of course I was immediately reminded of that horrible, horrible song by the Breastphobe-General, Bush's Crisco Boy, John Ashcroft.

But did you know what the REAL meaning of that song is? Try playing it backwards.

(alt. video link)

Not like we didn't always know that he was one of the minions of the Antichrist, but now we have proof.


Old school. New school.

And don't miss the last line of the latter.

Line of the Day: 2010-05-29

Such has been the narrative of his presidency: being treated like the janitor in chief — mopping up messes made by others and being chastised for leaving streaks.
    -- Charles Blow

[Added] Follow-up.

Speaking of dead trees ...

... as I was earlier, here's another recommendation. For me, not from me, this time -- I've never heard of this trilogy before. But it sounds like something I'd like. Anyone else read the Stieg Larsson books?

We Suddenly Appreciate the Disease Metaphor, Gail

If you haven't been following Wonkette's coverage of the unintentionally comedic video stylings of various Republican office-seekers in the Yellowhammer State, Gail Collins's column, "Alabama Goes Viral," will help get you up to speed. And even if you're a dedicated Wonkette reader, it's still worth a look.

Probably another reason ...

... sonnets are on my mind is that I just finished, and immediately started over, Bill Bryson's Shakespeare.

Cover of Bill Bryon's book 'Shakespeare'

I don't care how much or how little you like or know about Shakespeare: If you haven't read it yet, you must.

(Pic swiped from daviddb, who feels the same way.)

The New Sonnets

I am occasionally asked, "Why would I want to be involved with Twitter? Why does anybody? Who wants to read about what someone is having for breakfast, or whatever?"

Granted, there is no shortage of noise on Twitter. It may even be true in this case that Sturgeon's Law applies to the remainder after applying it for the first time. (I say that, and then I mumble something about it being handy for sharing links, and that's usually about it.)

However, I came across a new feed this morning that reminded me of the great Duke Schirmer, one of my favorite teachers, who responded long ago to my sophomoric griping in Creative Writing about the "unnecessary constraints" of the sonnet form by encouraging me to think of the strict format as a challenge to work within. I am also reminded of MK's observation after watching the Seinfeld episode about "Master of Your Domain" that the censorship rules of teevee made it funnier.

Here, there can be something rather amazing about making jokes while being restricted to 140 characters. And even deeper within the bounds, the appropriation of the service's built-in tools for different purposes -- mock hashtags, for example -- just makes me marvel at the human creative spirit.

Anyway, have a look at @BPGlobalPR, even if you are a Twitter-hater. Andrew Revkin reports (the real) BP is furious about it, to the point of trying to get it taken down:

@SpillBabySpill #BP wants Twitter to shut down fake account mocking them. Twitter wants BP to shut down #oilspill ruining the ocean. [The offending, and darkly hilarious, faux Twitter account is [at] @BPGlobalPR.]

Here's one of my favorites, of @BPGlobalPR's recent tweets:

@bpTerry just asked a scientist why there are so many crows in the south. Turns out they are seagulls. It was AWKWARD. #bpcares

Three guesses about who @bpTerry (but not really) is.

And if you see what I'm saying, someday you might also look at, for example, @Atrios, @edroso, @tbogg, and @daveweigel.


P.S. I idly Googled the Duke's name, not remembering whether his last name had a C or not. Sadly, I see I now have to refer to him as "the late great." RIP, Duke. I don't write poetry anymore (to the relief of most everyone who knows me), but I've never forgotten your lessons, from that form or any other.

NeighborGeight Update 2

Dave Weigel has an interview with Joe McGinnis posted on his new blog, Right Now, in which McGinnis "talks about why he moved in next to Sarah Palin." Some nice bits of dish.



Friday, May 28, 2010

Starr (Not Starr) Follow-Up

I wanted to call your attention to an update to my earlier post about some other Kenneth Starr getting busted.

Thanks for making my small contribution to our collective media watchdogging effort feel worthwhile, IndyPosted.

Line of the Day: 2010-05-28

It’s so white trash I lost one of my teeth just from watching it.
    What Would Tyler Durden Do on the Kendra Whatshername sex tape.

The above swiped from Roy Edroso's Tumblr. (New! Visit!)

NeighborGeight Update

Palin poutingYou probably already read Roy Edroso's posts here and here about investigative reporter Joe McGinnis, who is planning to write a book about Sarah Palin, renting a house right next door to the mansion in Wasilla, right?

Hard as it may be to believe, a few people have been paying attention to this story, which, like virtually everything involving this sad clown pictured at left, just keeps unfolding. It is now being reported that (1) according to McGinnis's son, the owner of the house, mad at St. Sarah for not paying money that she says Palin owes her, sought out McGinnis, to rent it to him, and "turned down more lucrative offers" from someone else who wanted to rent it -- the National Enquirer! -- and (2) previous tenants of the house, from 2005 to 2008, "were men recently released from prison who were recovering addicts." Observes Shannyn Moore: "What? No fence to protect sexy Sarah in her tank top? Dear God! Who was lurking in that house watching her children play?"

If any of this makes you snicker, you hate America.

(pic. source)


[Added] Oh, wait. I forgot a part. Shannyn Moore also passes along the news that crybaby Glenn Beck "called for a boycott of Random House publishing," which is apparently McGinnis's publisher.

Glenn Beck's audience buys books? From someone besides Regnery Publishing and Threshold Editions?

Wingnut, please.

For a few seconds, I was thrilled!

(Updated below)

But, as a card-carrying pessimist, I knew that it was too good to be true. And it is: turns out it's a different Kenneth Starr.

Someday, though, other Kenneth. Someday.

Meanwhile, over at IndyPosted ("Quick News For Busy People"), one Dan Evon evidently thought, "Really, how many people COULD there be named Kenneth Starr, who could also get Uma Thurman to give them a million bucks, amirite?" Which led to the following bit of FAIL appearing on my Google News Search for Kenneth Starr, a few minutes ago. Click it to big it.

Bad moment for Dan Evon

Worst part about it? The link from Google (repeated here) does lead to the URL expected (, but all we see is this:

IndyPosted's 404

Jesus, Dan and/or your editor: we all make mistakes. But don't try to scrub them. Just update the post with a correction. Deleting the whole thing causes far more credibility loss.

Ordinarily, I'd not bother saying anything. But an organization (supposedly) good enough to get listed on Google News Search deserves to be called out.

(This has since been addressed. See update at the bottom of this post.)

Meanwhile, hat tip to Adrian Chen at Gawker, who got it right ("… U.S. Attorney's case against (not Bill Clinton prosecutor) Kenneth Starr …"). Ditto Nathaniel Popper at the Los Angeles Times ("Starr is not related to the former independent prosecutor of the same name.").

As an aside: Popper also has a picture of this Kenneth; while Chen has a picture of Uma (though sadly, not in a tennis dress). I'll let you assign the bonus points as you see fit.


Review question: The moral of this blog post is?

  1. Snarky libtard bloggers and the biased liberal media will lead to the death of Real America, because they never get anything right.

  2. Getting it first is far more important than getting it right.

  3. If you make a mistake, don't acknowledge it. The cover-up is never as bad as the crime.

  4. The dinosaur lamestream media is dead. Long live citizen journamalism!

  5. All of the above.


2010-05-28 13:14

I am happy to report that James Johnson from IndyPosted noticed my original post and has responded in the comments. More importantly, the link that used to return a "page not found" message now redirects to a post noting their correction. Good for IndyPosted.

Wasilla Side by Each, Part Deux

Headlines from 9/11/2008 and 5/27/2010. Which date goes with which?

Palin then

Palin now


Thursday, May 27, 2010

Good News! "They" Are Just Like Us! Therefore, World Peace Starts Tomorrow!

Hard to believe Adam Ellick could write this without dissolving into helpless laughter …

Media critics here say the problem lies with a lack of experienced reporters, and a lack of investment in investigative journalism, which has created a troubling tilt toward right-wing, highly opinionated talk shows. After all, talk shows are cheaper to produce, and easier to make.

Granted, hard-hitting journalism in this country can often be dangerous, but another problem is sourcing. The same relative handful of personalities make rounds on the talk show circuit. Same people. Different day. Different channel. Most are more opinionated than informed, and as a result, talk shows are giving prominence to incredible sources.

For example, one of the more hard-hitting hosts is questioning a politician … who is convinced that the United States staged the Times Square bombing. His political résumé centers on education and religious affairs, not security, international affairs or terrorism. At one point, he even forgets the name of the bomber. The host does not press him to back up his claims.

Why is a national television program asking a politician without credentials in international security about a closed investigation taking part in another country? In some respects, the blame can be shared among conspiratorial guests, the ratings-obsessed producers who book them, and pandering hosts who play to their audience’s worst instincts.

… the way Jim Newell, and therefore I, did.

Oh, by the way, Ellick is talking about Pakistan. Wasn't all that obvious, was it?


Here is a pair of images for you to enjoy side by side, even though one is on top of the other. (Turn your head sideways?)

Palin endorses Ward

Labrador Defeats Ward

Can we get Willard to help us sing along?

Image sources: David Weigel and some humorless wingnut "newspaper," who failed to appreciate the comedy inherent in the headline. (Yeah, I had to search and search.)

More comedy from Juli Weiner -- oh hey, nice bumper sticker! -- and a good piece from Timothy Egan, also, too. And regarding Egan's artwork, why do all loser politicians look so much like John Edwards?

But anyway, now that Vaughn Ward has apparently been soundly beaten by a friendly house pet, maybe he can go hang out with Doug Hoffman, and they can have a mooseburger and some Moosehead beer and talk about the Magic of the Palin Touch? Because this is excellent news for John McCain another huge win for conservatives.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Late to the Dance

If you've been following this blog for a while, you already know about the Texas edumacation problem. That makes the NYT's editorial of today (?!) more than a little "where were you when we needed you"-inducing.

Nonetheless, they say it pretty well, and I'm glad that they're finally paying attention. This is, in fact, a case of better late than never. They have a big platform, address a lot of people who otherwise pay no attention to matters like this, and besides, this is a long war.


P.S. If you really want to stay up to date on the wingnuts' attempts to rewrite science and history, I can still recommend no better a source than the blog of the Texas Freedom Network. Here's their latest post, on Don McLeroy and his embrace by the Republican Party, and here's how it starts:

Embracing Extremism in the Texas GOP

Don McLeroy lost his chairmanship of the State Board of Education last year because he was more interested in promoting his own narrow ideological views than facts and sound scholarship in Texas classrooms. The College Station dentist insisted that “somebody’s gotta stand up to experts” when he promoted creationist arguments in new science standards last year. He argued that science should be redefined to include the supernatural and endorsed a book that calls parents “monsters” if they teach their children about evolution. Then during the debate over social studies curriculum standards, McLeroy suggested women and minorities owe thanks to men and the “majority” for granting them their rights, argued that Joseph McCarthy has been “vindicated” and defended the appointment of absurdly unqualified political activists as social studies “experts” to help guide the revision of curriculum standards.

One might think that Republicans would be wary of embracing someone with such extreme views. But apparently not Texas Republicans.

Oh, okay. NOW I see why everyone is getting up early to watch The French Open.

Probably you already heard about this …

… but in case not, below is a picture of the gorgeous Venus Williams, in an THE outfit she designed herself.

Here is another, more action-y shot. (To her left is her opponent(?), Helen Wills Moody, who also has a reputation for scandalizing viewers, due to her frequent habit of wearing skirts "above her knees," not to mention "a sporty visor.")


Her sister Serena showed Williams a photograph from behind. Williams said she did not know that the undershorts would match her skin so well. And she is not about to change now.

“The design has nothing to do with the rear,” Williams said. “It just so happens that I have a very well-developed one.”

No argument there …

… although this time, Venus, as much as I hate to say it, I think baby sister has you beat.


(Blockquote from the NYT, pix from NYT and HuffPo slide shows, and from Yahoo's tennis blog.

(Yahoo has a tennis blog? Probably started it just for this. Never mind, though. This being Yahoo, I'm sure the link will break in a day or two, regardless.))

No One Could Have Predicted

The Republicans, long known as the Party of No Ideas, have just launched another website:

America deserves a Congress that respects the priorities of the people. Unfortunately, Washington hasn't been listening. Let's change that. America Speaking Out is your opportunity to change the way Congress works by proposing ideas for a new policy agenda. Republicans have offered solutions [sic], and we have our principles [sic], but this is a new venue for us to listen to you. So Speak Out.

What could possibly go wrong?

Never mind your Wonkette, the comedy here is so rampant that even Dana Milbank could write something funny about it.

Wingnut Hate Machine Firing On All Cylinders

As we chafe at the excruciatingly slow progress being made toward the repeal of the US military's anti-gay policy of "Don't Ask Don't Tell," we can take a moment to marvel at the connections made by Bryan Fischer: YOU KNOW WHO ELSE USED GAY SOLDIERS??? HITLER, THAT'S WHO!!!1!


But Hitler recruited around him homosexuals to make up his Stormtroopers, they were his enforcers, they were his thugs. And Hitler discovered that he could not get straight soldiers to be savage and brutal and vicious enough to carry out his orders, but that homosexual solders basically had no limits and the savagery and brutality they were willing to inflict on whomever Hitler sent them after. So he surrounded himself, virtually all of the Stormtroopers, the Brownshirts, were male homosexuals.

Evidently, this has been a fetish for Fischer for some time now. From the archives of watchdog Jody May-Chang, here is a picture of him next to his favorite book, part of a post describing Fischer's support for the death penalty for gays. (Oh, but only in Uganda. For now, at least.)

Bryan Fischer likes Pink Swastika

Who is this guy Bryan Fischer and what else does he spend his time obsessing about? Well, this won't exactly floor you, but he is "the director of Issue Analysis for Government and Public Policy at American Family Association," an outfit that believes in "promoting the centrality of God in American life" and "promoting the Christian ethic of decency." So, naturally, in addition to calling gay soldiers Nazis, Fischer thinks all Muslims should be deported.

Nothing But 'Net

In comments to the previous post, Alastair wins the Internet.

Talking Hoops

My favorite basketball announcer interviews my favorite politician. About eight minutes. A little tame, for obvious reasons, but it's got its moments. I wish it could have been longer, and of course, not subject to people scrutinizing it for things to be OUTRAGED about*, but this is way better than, say, listening to George W. Bush talking about that fish that he caught.

(alt. video link)


* Besides Charles Barkley, I mean. He might have a case. ;)

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Seen Google's Home Page?

Happy Birthday, Pacman!

And yes, you can actually play.

(If you're reading this late, try here.)

(h/t: Robert Quigley)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Out of the Loop?

I guess I didn't get the memo, but apparently, scribbling notes on your hand is out and OMG THE TELEPROMPTERZZZ is back in?

Palin with teleprompter

Then again, maybe she couldn't fit "mama grizzlies" on her palm, due to the clutter of thousand-dollar bills?

(h/t: John Cole, Ken Layne)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Really? That's A Real Word?

Just to be sure, I looked up the word superfluity. (Perhaps because I had just finished reading the Science section of the NYT, it kept looking like superfluidity to me.) I did confirm that it mean what I thought it meant -- in the context in which it appeared, an excess (to the point of being superfluous) -- but ugh, Princeton's WordNet offers overplus as a synonym.


Just So You Know What We're Up Against

Here are the latest three headlines from Kathy Shaidle:

* Leftist ‘Paradise’ Jonestown had ‘a Survival Rate Below that of Auschwitz’

* More abortion doctors have been murdered on ‘Law & Order’ than in real life

* Cronkite Advised Anti-Vietnam War Protesters

Yep. Just another wingnut blogger. Who cares what these crazy people type, right?

Just sayin'. Be aware.

(h/t: Roy Edroso)

Oh, Yeah, Mo'Rima!

And not (just) because she is so gorgeous, …

Rima Fakih

... but, as predicted, because we knew -- we knew -- that this would make the wingnuts go (even more) insane.

I was gonna say earlier that my feeble wrap-up of Wingnuttia was best ended early, because I was sure Roy would be delivering the unholiest of unholy summaries in his next Voice column. However, Mr. C. Pierce informs me that Roy could not wait.

We will remain hopeful for more comprehensive coverage from the master, though we suspect this will go down as one of those things where the master feels said fish in said barrel are not worth his ammunition even though he now lives in Texas, fercrissake.

Meantime, here are the first things he has noticed. You will laugh, you will weep. That is wingnuts.

He attempts to summarize the unsummarizable:

These people are just mad they're not old enough to have protested Jackie Robinson signing with the Dodgers.

Can I get an Uh, huh, people?

Please to go read.


[Added] Man, that first quote that Roy picked up is to die for. What I was looking for earlier. Wingnuttia Search is good, but it is not quite up there down as low as Roy knows how to go.


[Added 2] Perhaps one of the reasons Roy has decided to post a quick, rather than comprehensive, wrap-up of Wingnuttia's reactions to Rima's win is that he has been busy assessing their reaction to the cancellation of Law and Order. Yep. The end of this twenty-year (!) run is due solely to liberal bias. (Overused phrase, but! this is a must-read. Srsly.)

If you're a crazy person, like me, you might also have a look at the Memeorandum link that Roy offers. As he has said elsewhere, this is likely for connoisseurs only. I mean, it starts with a Malkkkin link, and what could be crazier than the Queen Of All Brown-Skinned Women (Who Hate Brown-Skinned People, FOR MONEY) hating on a brown-skinned woman, with a bunch of flaccid white one-handed typists weighing in at the top of their … let us say … "lungs?" (In case you're lost, we're back to beauty contests, and away from … teevee detective shows? Or some shit like that?)

Pardon me for belaboring the only point I'm almost always trying to make, but these people -- wingnuts -- are fucked up. And they want to run your country, not to mention your world. So, comedy and all aside, especially in light of the reality that I have lately lost my sense of humor in trying to report on them … you should maybe pay attention, in serious mode, every once in a while. Is that too much to ask?

Okay, end sermon.

For now.


[Added 3] Yeah, "for now." No one could have predicted that Adam Serwer would have something smart to say… 

I'm not really a fan of beauty contests, but the tone and substance of the fever swamp's reaction to an Arab-American winning a beauty contest is at least useful for pointing out how some people's political opinions aren't based so much in questions of policy as anti-Muslim animosity. The level of anger is just so plainly disproportionate to the matter at hand as to be self-implicating. These people aren't worried about terrorism -- they're offended by the idea of Muslims being integrated into the most mundane and banal aspects of American society.

… or that Steve Benen would have been smart enough to link to him.

Good Fallout

Went out to dinner at one of my favorite restaurants earlier this evening, and it will probably not surprise you to hear that I still had Rima Fakih on my … let us say "mind." Sadly for my friend Haleim, the owner, it was not an overly crowded night. Happily for me, the wise-ass, the quiet room gave me space to ask, "Tell me, are you, as a man from Egpyt, OUTRAGED that a Lebanese woman has won the Two Thousand And Ten Miss USA contest?"

(Ordinarily, of course, I would not say that "And." But this time, you know, for comedy.)

Bastard. I have never been able to throw him off stride, not even for a moment. He knew exactly what I was talking about.

(We ended up having a fairly interesting conversation, stemming from this opening sally. (I would share some of the details with you, but, eh, now I'm getting the feeling he didn't think this would be an on-the-record talk (with some pajama-clad gossip blogger, to boot), so sorry, no.))

Anyway, I WILL get to him, one of these days.

And then he will have to stop calling me "Junior."

Being that he is probably a decade or so younger than me, his calling me that is kind of like being Dwight Howard, being dunked on by Rajon Rondo. Which will happen, which I am rooting for, and no, I am not actually comparing myself to Superman.

I could make way more free throws, dude. Please. 80% minimum, and that was after running suicides.

(Yeah, so I never actually got to shoot a foul shot in a so-called actual "game." Like that's supposed to mean something.)

Monday, May 17, 2010

Storm Warning

Never mind the howling about closet criminal coddler John Roberts. I can't wait to hear the reaction from Wingnuttia to the winner of the 2010 Miss USA contest, Rima Fakih.

Pageant officials told The Associated Press that pageant records were not detailed enough to show whether Ms. Fakih was the first Arab-American, Muslim or immigrant to win the Miss USA title.

Miss USA 2010 Rima Fakih -- close-up

Oops. I see it's already started. K-Mart Coulter, aka Debbie Schlussel, calls her "Miss Hezbollah," says the contest was "Rigged for Muslima," and concludes that she is "Miss Oklahoma’s Arizona Immigration Answer." And by "concludes," I mean that's just the end of the post title. (Also, Rima Fakih is from Michigan.) She goes on, bellowing, "I was on top of this story before anyone, telling you about who Fakih is and her extremist and deadly ties."

The Jawa Report headlines: "Zionists Install Rima Fakih As Miss USA 2010." This seems even weirder than confusing Oklahoma and Michigan to me, but Howie assures us in his opening sentence, "Everything is proceeding as we have forseen." This may or may not be the same as foreseen; perhaps it's all about plausible deniability, Howie?

Pam Atlas Geller Shrugs seems happy about it, though I have to say, she seems even happier about one of her commenter's "thoughts:" "I wonder if the ink is dry on the fatwa."

Hateway Pundit is beside himself (a euphemism for fully and guiltily tumescent, I'd wager) that Rima once participated in a pole dancing contest AND HE HAS PICTURES AND LINKS TO PROVE IT. Probably mad that she was wearing clothes.

And so on.

Congratulations, Rima! And welcome to these United States!


For those not filled with outrage, there are three more pix of Rima here: the swimsuit shot, the evening gown shot, and the "glam" (gam?) shot. In fishnets! Oh yes, you're going to click.


Added: Oh, what the hell. Too beautiful not to steal:

Miss USA 2010 Rima Fakih -- glamor shot

(h/t: Ken Layne | Also: post title in tribute to an old friend, "Chester Gordon." Sup, JJ?)

Clearly, Our Supreme Court Is ALREADY Too Liberal

Lead story on the NYT's front page at the moment:

At this rate, we might become a civilized nation in, oh, another thousand years, easy.

Meantime, I look forward to the wingnuts howling about John Roberts being "soft on crime."

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Razing Arizona II

Following up from the last post, I strongly recommend Frank Rich's column.