"WHEN FASCISM COMES TO AMERICA IT WILL BE WRAPPED IN THE FLAG
AND CARRYING A CROSS." -SINCLAIR LEWIS

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Political Blinders

I wasn't planning to make today's posts exclusively about Republican women but that seems to be the case regardless. Some of you may remember Donald Douglas, my right-wing colleague over at American Power; he was nice enough to drop by to wish me a happy Thanksgiving holiday this morning so I ventured over to his domain to do the same, where I read the following in a post about Sarah Palin and her apparent enduring popularity:

The reason is obvious: Sarah Palin is now recognized as the face of the conservative future, and as a threat to long-term Democratic dominance.

The is why the nihilist left demonizes her so aggressively, and why
conservatives are mobilizing around her as the standard bearer for 2012.
Actually, the reason didn't seem quite as obvious to me so of course I had to expound in the comment section at considerably longer length than I had originally planned:
Hey Don, I just came over after reading your happy Thanksgiving comment on my site to wish the same to you but after reading your post I also had to leave a comment.

While not an officially elected representative of the left, let me speak for my fellow communists and traitors on this issue: the reason Sarah Palin won't go away from the news is because she's the political equivalent of a deadly train wreck; whether fascinated or horrified by what they see, people can not help but stop and take a look and every media outlet in this country instinctively covers stories like this because it ultimately makes them more money than covering more important but less entertaining ones.

Couple this with the very obvious fact that your side is desperate to not just retool the Republican party's image and message for those outside your base but also to do so using someone who isn't an old white male as your public face and yes, I can see why you and other neocons would think that she's good for your side. You're hemmoraging younger voters badly and that does not bode well as the Boomers start to die off and the values of the country move further away from the far right.

And incidentally, we on the left are not afraid of Palin, in point of fact we love her; the absurdity of her VP nomination made clear to the rest of the nation that actually thinks for themselves and pays attention to politics just how desperate the right has become in trying to hold on to some semblance of electoral power, and she is the culmination of that desperation: a pretty, winking face coupled with an incurious brain and a mouth unfettered by political acumen or savvy. She's the personification of marketing over competence, of political maneuvering over responsible governing. She was your hail Mary pass of the last election, a low-percentage play that only works once in a great while; adding it to your regular offensive line up would seem to be an ill-informed strategy.

If we do fear her it would only be in the face of her actual election to higher office, and even then my fear would be more akin to that I would feel in the presence of a two-year-old swinging a loaded handgun around a crowded room: way too much power being wielded by someone who is dangerously unable to use it correctly or responsibly, putting the safety of everyone in the immediate vicinity in jeopardy unnecessarily. I refer you to the oval office's current occupant as a real life example of this metaphor.

So please run her in 2012, I beg of you! Choosing from amongst some of the more moderate and intelligent rising young stars in your party (Pawlenty, Crist, Jindal, etc.) would just give your side an actual chance of unseating Barack Obama after his first term in office, and Allah knows we free-loading socialists certainly can't afford to have that happen.

Just the same, a belated happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.
I know that I said I was tired of sparring with these guys and I stand by that but sometimes I just can't help myself; the idiocy of Sarah Palin has made for such great blog fodder in the past and apparently I go through withdrawals if I don't get my regular winking fix from time to time. There, I feel better now.

How Did You Know, Santa?

I know I've bitched before about the encroachment of Christmas into the purview of the preceding holidays but now that Thanksgiving is over I'm quite alright with Christmas coming early just this once:

Page Six is reporting that right-wing agitator and controversy-seeker Ann Coulter's jaw is wired tightly shut.

I know, I know. If the report is true, It's almost as if our prayers have been answered.

Apparently it was broken, but by whom, no one seems to be sure. We could hazard a guess, but why throw roses yet.

The blogosphere is already aquiver over the idea of a forced Coulter Moment of Silence.

...But here’s the best part about the Coulter broken jaw news. No really, this is really good: Seems she has a brand new book titled "GUILTY” due out in early January and, of course, was all booked on TV and radio talk shows to discuss the “much-needed reality check on a Left gone wild," declares the book's jacket.

Her latest work reportedly exposes and mocks the media's love affair with all things Democrat and all things President-elect Barack Obama.

Too bad Ann won’t be able to say a word about her new book.

Now before any of you tell me what a bastard I am for enjoying this (if it's even true; most of the stories are linking to each other and I haven't found real confirmation yet) I have to ask: have you ever heard this woman speak? Here's a brilliant quote about how we need to all band together as Americans against a common enemy:
Whether they are defending the Soviet Union or bleating for Saddam Hussein, liberals are always against America. They are either traitors or idiots, and on the matter of America's self-preservation, the difference is irrelevant.
Oh wait, that's her calling me and every other American who disagrees with her enemies of our own country. OK, how about this classic on the Middle East after we were attacked on 9/11:
We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity. We weren't punctilious about locating and punishing only Hitler and his top officers. We carpet-bombed German cities; we killed civilians. That's war. And this is war.
Yeah, why practice wisdom and intelligence by gathering information and going after the actual bastards who attacked us when you can just declare that all "ragheads" should die for the bloody transgressions of an insane few?

It may surprise you to learn this but I don't think that she actually believes most of these crazy/stupid things she spits out; it all just seems too much like an act or performance art intended to help hock her myriad best-selling books. I've come to this conclusion by observing that she seems too intelligent in her rhetoric to be that stupid, everyone who knows her insists that she isn't like this when the cameras aren't around and Bill Maher defends her as a personal friend (although knowing him, it's probably just because he used to fuck her).

So does this alter my dislike of the woman and everything she says? Nary a wit. The success of her aforementioned best-sellers is a testament to the existence of the millions of right-wing idiots that populate this country and even if she herself is only acting in her role as their repugnant leader these people are obviously serious about slurping up the bullshit she feeds them, which in my mind makes them dangerous and unnecessary to the well-being of this country.

My only complaint about her rumored injuries is that drinking her meals through a straw will only emaciate her all-too-skinny ass even more than it already is; I mean, if I have to listen to a woman spouting stupid and despicable things I disagree with she should at least be someone I enjoy looking at (see: Palin, Sarah), right?

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Home Again, Home Again

I'm back safe in California from my Washington Thanksgiving; it was an uneventful flight and the American Indian in airport security with the rubber glove was...surprisingly gentle. Hope you all had a good one full of family, friends, food and football. I'll unpack tomorrow: I'm going to bed.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Fairness Doctrine Paranoia

There has been non-stop noise all over right wing talk radio and the conservative blogosphere since the election about how the evil, socialistic Democrats are going to re-institute the Fairness Doctrine through congressional legislation now that Barack Obama will be our next president; the only problem is: they seem to be the only ones talking about it:

Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, and other friends have spent the past year screaming about the horrors of Barack Obama. And, while it's true that they talked ad nauseam about socialism and the Weathermen and Jeremiah Wright, careful listeners would have noticed a recurring theme of anxiety: that Obama was going to use the newly acquired levers of government to destroy them. Specifically, conservative paranoia over the possible reinstatement of the "fairness doctrine," a defunct policy requiring that broadcasters allow opposing points of view to be heard over the airwaves, has reached a fevered pitch. In September, George Will was warning his readers that, "[u]nless McCain is president, the government will reinstate the ... 'fairness doctrine.'" In October, The Wall Street Journal's editorial page chimed in, predicting that under the spooky-sounding "liberal supermajority," the fairness doctrine was "likely to be reimposed," with the goal being "to shut down talk radio and other voices of political opposition." And, two weeks before the election, the New York Post blasted: "Dems Get Set to Muzzle the Right."

On Election Day, conservatives found a new bogeyman in Senator Chuck Schumer, after Fox News host Bill Hemmer cornered him about the issue on the air. Schumer just smirked: "I think we should all try to be fair and balanced, don't you?" Rush Limbaugh seized on Schumer's comments as evidence that the Democrats would "do everything they can" to bring the doctrine back. Two days after the election, National Review's Peter Kirsanow tried to rally the troops to preempt the return of the policy. "Waiting until Inauguration Day to get geared up is too late. By that time the Fairness Doctrine Express will be at full steam--wavering Democrats will be pressed to support the new Democratic president, weak-kneed Republicans will want to display comity, the mainstream media will not be saddened to see talk radio annihilated and much of the public will be too enraptured by Obama's Camelot inauguration to notice or care."

To figure out who was causing such agitation, I went searching for the proponents of the fairness doctrine. I looked at Obama's position--and it turns out that he doesn't want the policy reinstated. Then I called the array of Democratic congressmen who had been tagged by conservatives as doctrine proponents. But they all denied any intention to push for its reinstatement. As some of the world's great egotists, it's not surprising that Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly believe they would be the first political prisoners interned in an Obama administration. But, the more I searched for actual evidence of the doctrine's return, the more I had to conclude that Schumer was just messing with their heads.

It seems pretty obvious to me that Shumer was indeed just fucking with them ("fair and balanced"=duh!) and at first glance these people rightfully seem like paranoid schizophrenics with persecution complexes, until you realize how they work: they have always and will always require an enemy; more to the point, they need some kind of amorphous bogeyman that they can rail against to their equally paranoid listeners and readers in the guise of fighting for their free speech rights, as if they actually care about the moral principles involved.

They don't oppose the doctrine out of any kind of elevated conscientiousness (in fact, they're constantly misinterpreting it's intent by confusing it with the Equal-time rule), they just want to make sure that they hang on to their own little pieces of the media money pie while the Republican party attempts to regroup and realign itself. Add to this the fact that lacking any realistic policy positions while demonizing an Obama administration and praying for the return of Ronald Reagan is hardly a positive, consensus-building party platform, so they have to remind their base at all times of the need to be very afraid of everything the new administration does from here on out, constantly looking over their shoulders and searching the corners for that encroaching liberal oppression that never seems to arrive.

I personally don't think there is any more need for the Fairness Doctrine in the 21st century media environment and neither have I heard anyone of importance on the left seriously suggesting that it should be any kind of priority for the next administration; let's face it: the failures of the last eight years have left Obama and team with more than enough problems to keep them busy for the immediate future, and then some. But as always it's easier for the right wing talking heads to knock down spooky straw men than to actually use their minds and engage in meaningful debate and policy making; it's one of the reasons that Limbaugh, O'Reilly and Hannity are the fantastically wealthy and successful scare merchants they are today. Bray on, assholes.

Every Mortal Combat vs DC Fatality

Again, just a holiday time waster to watch during the half times. I never really played these fighting games that much as a kid but I've loved watching how gorgeous the graphics have become as computing power and programming ability have increased significantly over the course of my lifetime; I still remember getting really excited when my old man brought home Space Invaders with an Atari 2600, so you can see what kind of technological improvement I'm talking about.

My favorite part about this MC vs DC game is that the superheroes don't commit "fatalities", only "heroic brutalities": that's cause superheroes don't kill, yo! They just leap 60 feet into the air before spiking your rag doll body into a concrete slab, but the kicking at the end means that you're still amongst the living (either that or it's an autonomic nerve response but hey, who has time to check pulses these days?):

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Bush Pardons Libby In Turkey Costume

If you haven't heard, George W. Bush recently issued several pardons as his time in office is winding down but this is definitely the most interesting scenario out of the lot:

Libby was obviously guilty of his crimes so this pardon merely frees an unethical bastard but seeing him have to endure this indignity does soothe my sense of justice just a bit.

Happy Thanksgiving

Hope everyone has a good one today; I'm spending the holiday with my friends the Davis clan up here in soggy Seattle, WA. Save me one of the legs and cheer for my beloved Texas Aggies as they face the Texas Longhorn juggernaut in our annual Thanksgiving weekend rivalry game. Gig me!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Jon Stewart Crossfire Classic

Just some hearty political entertainment for the holidays: Jon Stewart went on the CNN political debate show Crossfire during the 2004 elections and pwned hosts Tucker Carlson and Paul Begala so badly in their own house that the show was cancelled three months later, with the president of the network stating that the interview with Stewart was a direct cause for the action. Stewart described the fracas the next day on The Daily Show thusly:

We decided to go to this place, Crossfire, which is a nuanced public policy analysis show... named after the stray bullets that hit innocent bystanders in a gang fight. So I go to Crossfire and, let's face it, I was dehydrated, it's the Martin Lawrence defense... and I had always in the past mentioned to friends and people that I meet on the street that I think that show... um... blows. So I thought it was only the right thing to do to go say it to them personally on their program, but here's the thing about confronting someone with that on their show: They're there! Uncomfortable! And they were very mad, because apparently, when you invite someone on a show called Crossfire and you express an opinion, they don't care for that... I told them that I felt their show was hurting America and they came back at me pretty good, they said that I wasn't being funny. And I said to them, "I know that, but tomorrow I will go back to being funny, and your show will still blow.
If you're a fan of Jon Stewart and are at all interested in politics I implore you to watch the entire clip; it's over fourteen minutes long but I swear, Stewart calling Tucker Carlson a "dick" to his face makes it well worth your time if nothing else. Enjoy:

Have Turkey - Will Travel

I'm winging my way to Seattle, WA today to visit my friends Brent and Joanne and their daughter Anna (previously featured here) for the Thanksgiving weekend. I'm going to try to post a few times over the holidays but don't expect too much action on that front; I'm leaving my laptop at home since it doesn't travel well and I still need to focus on reading "Killing Pablo" for my book club meeting on Sunday. I'm out, bitches.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Picture Of The Day II

A two-faced kitten born last week in Perth, Australia which apparently meows out of both mouths; very cute but sorta creepy as well. Isn't nature cool?

Coolest Watch Ever

My inner nerd just asked me what time it is:

A new watch made from moon dust and original fragments of Apollo 11, is set to cost an astronomical £300,000 when goes on sale next summer.

The exclusive Moon Dust DNA timepiece has been built by Swiss watchmakers to mark the 40th anniversary of the 1969 moon landings.

The steel casing has been made from tiny components of Apollo 11 - the first manned space mission to land on the moon. And the face has been coated in dust from rocks taken from the surface of the moon.

Little indentations have also been made on the dial to mimic moon craters.

A limited number of 1,969 of the concept watches have been made to commemorate the year Neil Armstrong first stepped on to the moon.

Pieces of Apollo 11 and moon dust? This timepiece blows the Mars rock wedding bands out of the water; unfortunately, even if I could afford it my thin dancer's wrists prevent me from looking cool wearing a watch, irregardless of it's innate awesomeness.

Base Jumping The Burj Dubai

In keeping with the theme of my obsession with this tiny emerate and it's capital city, the video below documents a Brit and a Frenchman setting a world record by becoming the first people to base jump from the Burj Dubai, soon to be the tallest free-standing man-made structure ever built; these boys have balls of solid rock:

Picture Of The Day

Nerds rule, man.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Something Someone Else Said

"The season of good will approacheth. Last night's Colbert Special was pure, nihilist (well, almost nihilist) heaven. But I'm sitting in Starbucks and they're already playing Christmas fucking carols. I have one simple request: the nightmare of Christmas is bad enough. So could we wait till after Thanksgiving before we have it force-fed down our throats and ears? I feel better now." -Andrew Sullivan, The Daily Dish


Amen, dude.

Alberta Meteor Footage

A security camera captures the flash and crash; pretty cool:

Obamatopia Classic

Do you remember that flush you felt whenever you thought about Barack Obama 6 months ago? Actually, neither do I, but I have to say: the world looks pretty good after 2 terms:

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Boba Fett Wins

You know who your heroes were as a kid; this guy cracks me up:

Friday, November 21, 2008

They're Coming To Your Town

They're coming! We're all gonna get the gay on us! I wasn't planning on being so gay-centric today but this is just too funny:

Residents of the small Arkansas town of Eureka Springs noticed the homosexual community was growing. But they felt no threat. They went about their business as usual. Then, one day, they woke up to discover that their beloved Eureka Springs, a community which was known far and wide as a center for Christian entertainment--had changed. The City Council had been taken over by a small group of homosexual activists.

The Eureka Springs they knew is gone. It is now a national hub for homosexuals. Eureka Springs is becoming the San Francisco of Arkansas. The story of how this happened is told in the new AFA DVD “They’re Coming To Your Town.”

One of the first actions of the homosexual controlled City Council was to offer a “registry” where homosexuals could register their unofficial “marriage.” City Council member Joyce Zeller said the city will now be promoted, not as a Christian resort, but a city “selling peace, relaxation, history and sex.”
As with so many things I find funny, anti-gay propaganda like this is potentially quite dangerous simply because it plays right into the religious paranoia of so many Americans, and if I were gay I probably wouldn't be laughing so hard at hate and ignorance but I'm not so I am. Here's the trailer for the video:
video

Palin's Turkey Pardon

Despite Tina Fey's reluctance to play Sarah Palin for the next 4-8 years had she and John McCain won the election I don't think anyone can argue that it wouldn't have been great for the comedy industry; Barack Obama is just so hard to make fun of effectively and as I've said before, I'm really going to miss George W. Bush on some level.

In the video below Palin has just finished pardoning a Thanksgiving turkey in Wasilla, Alaska in her role as governor; it's a traditional, feel good, media fluff photo-op that presidents and governors have participated in for many decades but here's where her's differs from most: she chooses to give a post pardon interview on live television in front of a guy killing and exsanguinating other turkeys. Check it out:

Now I don't have a problem with the killing and eating of animals; in fact, my own personal motto has always been: "If it had parents, I'll eat it". And from what I've heard she knew full well what was going on behind her and didn't have a problem with it. I think that it's actions like this that caused the American public to be simultaneously enamored of her and terrified at the prospect of her gaining higher office.

Again, I don't have a problem with the slaughter of turkeys for food as long as it's done quickly and humanely and I actually do admire her "well, if you don't like it: fuck you!" attitude about this; too many people in this country have become willfully ignorant of the fact that their protein actually comes from animal flesh. I have a buddy who doesn't like to eat drumsticks because the tendons feel weird and freak him out, to which I always reply, "Yeah, no shit: that's because it used to be an animal's leg, dude".

The thing that causes me to once again shake my head about this woman is the utter lack of political and media savvy she is constantly displaying as a high level elected official; yes, we kill animals for their meat and yes, it's not something that should be hidden or covered up (MSNBC won't show the video without blurring out the thrashing, dying fowls) but if the main crux of the event is your ceremonial, symbolic saving of a turkey's life don't do an interview for it in front of other turkeys being executed.

The American Humane Society estimates that we euthanize about 4 million dogs and cats in shelters every year; it's reality, it's a big problem and obviously we need to do more to prevent this from happening but when Barack Obama takes his daughters to a shelter soon to pick up their new puppy, does anyone really expect that he'd be stupid enough to talk to reporters about it while standing in front of a row of dogs being given lethal injections? As I've said before, I really think we dodged a huge bullet by not electing this woman to federal office.

The Consequences Of Gay Marriage

This pretty much sums up my feelings on the subject.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

If All Movies Had Cell Phones

Your favorite films just got a lot shorter:

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Doing Obama

If you've ever seen Fred Armisen's Barack Obama impression on Saturday Night Live you know that he has the cadence and speaking style down pretty good and he does look a lot like him despite not being black himself, but his voice is almost an octave too high to reproduce Obama's smooth, dulcet baritone; enter Alphacat and this depiction of Obama preparing for a debate:

Monday, November 17, 2008

The Rents Are Coming To Town

The posts may be a little light for the next few days as my parents are coming to town tomorrow to stay with me for a few days before they embark on their South American cruise out of the port of San Francisco; I'll let you all know what they get for me in Machu Picchu.

Great White Shark Attack

Just a couple of minutes from the Discovery Channel's Planet Earth series; the goblin shark was just creepy but these guys are simply ravenous killing machines:

Picture Of The Day

Barack Obama in a collage of over 600 headlines from around the world on November 5th, 2008 after winning the US presidential election.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Matrix Runs On Windows

Personally, I think the recent "I'm a PC" ad campaign by Microsoft is pretty fucking lame. I only use a PC because that's what I own and that's what I know; I'm hardly proud of it and I'll probably switch to a Mac with my next laptop purchase. Just remember that there is no spoon, and at the end of this video go look up Ubuntu like I had to:

Something Someone Else Said

"A word of advice... the path to knighthood is paved with strength and nobility, not LSD and sideburns." -The Black Knight, Family Guy

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Assembler

Too much free time online? Here's the cure:

Assembler is a new physics based wonder where you move some depository equipment to get your precious green crate in position. For what? No matter! Physics work perfect and the feel of grabbing and moving around things is just perfect. Don’t play too much or you’ll dream of dirty green crates flying around.
Some of my buddies and I were addicted to The Incredible Machine in college; this game is simpler but much more technically realistic, and just as dangerous a time waster.

Something Someone Else Said

“First of all, I hope Senator Stevens is successful in being re-elected. And assuming that he is, I intend to support any motion to remove him." -incumbent Republican Senator Saxby Chambliss, who is himself involved in a run-off election that might help result in a filibuster-proof Democratic majority in the United States senate

Shuttle Endeavour Night Time Launch

Another crew of intrepid explorers "slipped the surly bonds of Earth" last night to rendezvous with the International Space Station:

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - The space shuttle Endeavour and a crew of seven blasted into the night sky Friday, bound for the international space station and the most extreme home makeover project ever attempted by astronauts.

The shuttle rose off its launch pad at 7:55 p.m. ET, right on time, in a brilliant flash of light visible for miles around.

“It’s our turn to take home improvement to a new level after 10 years of international space station construction,” commander Christopher Ferguson radioed before liftoff.

...Ferguson and his crew will double as kitchen and bathroom installers once they arrive at the space station Sunday, hooking up extra cooking and sleeping equipment so the station’s crew can expand next year. They will deliver a new refrigerator as well, giving residents much-desired cold drinks for a change.
Night launches are fairly rare and a pretty spectacular sight to behold. The actual footage of last nights launch is fairly pedestrian (while still extremely cool if you're a space nerd) but this archival footage of the same shuttle from last March is pretty sweet and set to Jethro Tull, no less: after the first 2 minutes you get to see the shuttle pull away from the cameras mounted on the solid rocket boosters; truly beautiful:

Friday, November 14, 2008

Baracknophobia - Post-Election Edition

You haven't forgotten that you're still supposed to be afraid of this guy, have you? Don't worry, FOX News won't let you:

Lord Vader Starts To Pack

From Oliver Willis; how many children's drained, bloodless bodies do you think they'll find in Cheney's crawlspaces?

Obama's Presidential Bid Just A Big Con

The picture above is of Barack Obama as he appeared to millions of Americans along with four of his former disguises; that sneaky motherfucker:

CHICAGO—In a devastating blow to millions of unsuspecting Americans, newly elected president and international con man Barack Obama fled the country Wednesday with nearly $85 million in campaign funds.

According to FBI investigators, Obama's sudden disappearance was discovered at 6:15 p.m. when the former Illinois senator failed to arrive at a gala event in Lincoln Square, prompting several aides to rush back to his campaign headquarters. At 6:23 p.m., flight logs at O'Hare International Airport confirmed that two passengers, a male carrying two silver briefcases and dressed in a perfectly tailored Brioni tuxedo, and an African-American female wearing a fur coat and speaking in a thick Russian accent, were seen boarding a private plane.

Obama's campaign office, sources said, was completely vacant aside from a discarded Abraham Lincoln portrait, behind which was an emptied safe that his aides claimed never to have seen before.

In addition, three unconscious Secret Service agents were discovered at the scene, along with two lit cigarettes still burning in an ashtray, and Obama's daughters, who authorities now believe were taken from an Alabama foster home six years ago.

Click the link and read the rest, it's hilarious. Actually what's really funny is how many right-wingers really do believe that we were all conned and are hopping mad about it, but to be fair most of them are pretty stupid anyway.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Something Someone Else Said II

"The campaign is over." -Sarah Palin, when asked at the Republican Governors Association convention in Miami, Florida why she had waited until now to hold a formal press conference

Of course, why give the media and the American people a chance to get to know you and your policy positions better before an election? As we've seen, it's much easier to just hide from the microphones while you run solely on your folksy personality and partisan smears; next time I converse with someone who voices the opinion that this woman was qualified to run for federal office I'm either going to laugh my ass off or punch them in the face, but I fear that neither reaction will have the desired effect.

[Update: Sorry, but I just saw this from her interview with Wolf Blitzer and I had to post this quote as well:

Sitting here in these chairs that I’m going to be proposing but in working with these governors who again on the front lines are forced to and it’s our privileged obligation to find solutions to the challenges facing our own states every day being held accountable, not being just one of many just casting votes or voting present every once in a while, we don’t get away with that. We have to balance budgets and we’re dealing with multibillion dollar budgets and tens of thousands of employees in our organizations.
This is the perfect example of a person who lacks intelligence and knowledge trying to hide that fact by speaking way too much; it's becoming kind of sad, really.]

Stevens Losing Senate Race

Republican Senator and all around old douchebag Ted Stevens is now losing in his bid to retain his federal senate seat for Alaska; from the Anchorage Daily News:

Mark Begich made a dramatic comeback Wednesday to overtake 40-year incumbent Ted Stevens for the lead in Alaska's U.S. Senate race.

Begich, who was losing after election night, now leads Stevens by 814 votes -- 132,196 to 131,382 -- with the state still to count roughly 40,000 more ballots over the next week.

The state Division of Elections tallied about 60,000 absentee, early and questioned ballots from around the state on Wednesday. The ballots broke heavily in the Democrat's favor, erasing the 3,000-vote lead the Republican Stevens held after election night Nov. 4.

As you might remember, Stevens was convicted seven times on corruption charges a few weeks ago that stemmed from lying about free home renovations and other gifts he received from a wealthy oil contractor. A win in this race won't raise the Democrats' senate numbers to the magical, filibuster-proof 60 but it will sure put a smile on my face.

Something Someone Else Said

"The greatest risk for Democrats is not that Obama will try to do too much, but that their terror of failure will lead them to waste an historic opportunity. This is not a Clintonian moment. It is more like the moment Lyndon Johnson inherited in 1965, or the one Franklin Roosevelt faced in 1933--a chance to reshape American government. The Democrats have it in their grasp to master the great problems of public life if they can summon their collective nerve. The only thing they have to fear is fear itself." -The editors of The New Republic

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A New Day

I've posted Will.i.am's stuff in the past; here's the new one:

Darth Vader Toaster

Now I would assume that the Han Solo desk won't totally hamper your getting laid abilities because the significant cost proves that you at least bring home the bacon but just as with the Star Condoms, you had better be sure that you've definitely sealed the deal before you offer to make her breakfast with this thing:

If there's something every Sith Lord knows how to do it's make a balanced breakfast. While the Jedi have to live off of Jawa juice and fried nerfsteak, the Dark Lord of the Sith prefers to have a reminder of his fiery Mustafar defeat at his breakfast table. Every morning he burns that moment into a slice of bread with the Darth Vader Toaster. This black, ominous kitchen appliance easily leaves the mark of Vader's helmet in every yummy piece of toast. Slather some Bantha butter on top, or make two pieces for an extra-Sithy BLT. Force power not required to operate toaster.
Just speaking as a single guy who enjoys the movies while also enjoying sex with women.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Renegade Of Funk

Barack Obama receives his Secret Service code name:

(UPI) -- U.S. Secret Service agents have tagged Sen. Barack Obama with the code name "Renegade."

Obama, an Illinois Democrat and seeker of his party's 2008 presidential nomination, received the name in the time-honored tradition of giving "secret" code names to protected high-level dignitaries.

Obama's presidential rival, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., retains the code name "Evergreen" -- given to her when her husband, and former president, Bill Clinton became a protectee and was named "Eagle."

Sen. John F. Kerry of Massachusetts was named "Minuteman" after winning the 2004 Democratic nomination, while former vice president Al Gore started out as "Sawhorse" but became "Sundance," though the reason for the change was unclear, The Washington Post (NYSE:WPO) reported Sunday.

President George Bush, a protectee dating back to when his father was president, is "Tumbler" while former president Jimmy Carter is "Deacon." The president's father, former president George H.W. Bush, is "Timberwolf" and Ronald Reagan was "Rawhide."

The code names are chosen for the Secret Service by military officials, the Post reported.

Get Your War On: New World Order

Barack Obama: whatever scares you the most:

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Under Construction

Doing a bit of site maintenance today; sorry for the lack of posts. Things should be back to normal by tomorrow; for now just go watch some football or something..

Saturday, November 8, 2008

What If They Gave A War And Nobody Came?

I was asked yesterday by a buddy if I was still pursuing my newly declared blog war against my right-wing counterpart Professor Donald Douglas over at American Power; if you'll remember, I declared a temporary cease-fire in light of his deciding that he wanted to take some time off from the blogosphere to lick his electoral wounds. But apparently the utter defeat of his candidate by the forces of nihilism and socialism was not enough to keep the old boy down and he's back doing his usual neoconservative two-step; the only problem is: I'm having a hard time caring.

His newly minted, pedestrian posts about how Barack Obama's election victory wasn't a landslide (no one of any repute on the left is making this claim) or how the gay wing of the Democratic party is being racist by blaming blacks for the defeat of Prop 8 here in California (black voters did oppose the measure by a far larger percentage than any other racial demographic but the gay rights folks aren't being racist by pointing this out; they're just being analytically ignorant because studies of the statistics show that the measure would have narrowly passed without the increased black voter turnout) just aren't that interesting, as evidenced by my parenthetical refutations in lieu of entire dedicated posts.

As I said in my declaration, I don't plan to focus a great deal of energy on this endeavour and my current level of apathy toward his recent quote-laden, plebeian screeds doesn't seem to be in any danger of changing anytime soon; to be completely honest I had a much better time hectoring the wingnut commenters on his site than anything else, many of whom refused to engage me in debate on subjects they themselves brought up even after I basically called them intellectual pussies and moral cowards in a public forum but I guess that just proves that one's balls can only get so big even if it's only virtually.

But who knows, perhaps Don will surprise me by actually writing something interesting/ ignorant/ offensive enough that it will pique my intellectual curiosity to the point that it would warrant a suitable volley across his bridge. Until then we'll just see how the posts unfold but hey, if you want to start a little online shit and you feel so inclined cruise on over there and beat some rhetorical war drums; call him out by saying that Brain Rage's balls are just too heavy and pendulous for him to lick. I'm not quite sure how I would expect him to react to that particular insult but it should at least prove more entertaining than his latest round of impotent tripe. Only time will tell.

Something Someone Else Said

"Barack Obama is our next president, which is very bad because he is a naive untested wealth-spreading terrorist-befriending ultraliberal socialist communist who will suddenly reveal his secret Muslim identity by riding to his inauguration on a camel shouting ''Death to Israel!'' (I mean Obama will be shouting this, not the camel) after which he will wreck the economy by sending Joe the Plumber to Guantánamo and taxing away all the income of anybody who makes over $137.50 per year and giving it to bloated government agencies that will deliberately set it on fire." -Dave Barry, predicting the future of an Obama administration using election analysis based on weeks of reading political bogs, listening to talk radio and watching campaign ads on television; basically, the McCain campaign's message boiled down to it's essence. That right-wing echo chamber must get pretty loud after a while, judging by the tone deaf commentary emanating from it.

One Of These Guys Is Not Like The Others

From Patrick Moberg; just wondering: how long do you think it will be before we elect someone with facial hair again?

Friday, November 7, 2008

The Obama Dog

Different kind of dog than in the last video. If you haven't heard yet, during the campaign Barack Obama promised his two daughters that if he won the presidency the family would get a new dog; he mentioned it during his acceptance speech and was asked about it during his first press conference, where he stated that it was probably the most popular subject on his website. He spoke tongue-in-cheek about the importance of the decision and the problems they will face in making it: chiefly that they would like to adopt a shelter dog but because his oldest daughter is allergic it must be hypoallergenic as well, limiting their options.

Look, I know that these are real people and that their lives have had a national spotlight thrown on them and all of that but I don't plan on ever mentioning the obama family dog again because I just don't care; again, I realize that it's the kind of human interest fluff that everyday people like to hear about famous and powerful people and I don't begrudge anyone their dog ownership aside from my next door neighbor, whose dog barks nonstop the entire time she's away from home. I just do not relish having to hear about this everyday for the next few months; this guy will be president soon and he has much more important stuff to be thinking about. Just my opinion.

My President Is Black

Young Jeezy (feat. Nas); get ready for a whole lot more of these:

Roses Go Democratic After Obama's Victory

Just kidding; after years of florists dying white roses blue scientists have finally managed to grow the real things:

The creation of blue roses – long thought to be impossible – was masterminded by an Australian-based subsidiary of Suntory, a Japanese company.

The firm has invested three billion yen in the creation of blue roses, blue carnations and other blue flowers since 1990.

Its scientists successfully pioneered implanting the gene that produces Delphinidin, the primary plant pigment that produces a blue hue but is not found naturally in roses.

The world's first genetically modified blue roses were created in the laboratory four years ago, although further research was required to make them safe to grow in nature.

Other highlights included glow-in-the-dark roses showcased in an array of pastel hues in dark boxes, having been genetically modified to light up in the dark.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Something Someone Else Said

"I know at the end of the day, putting this in God's hands, the right thing for America will be done at the end of the day on Nov. 4." -Sarah Palin

So now we can look forward to the latest Republican talking point: John McCain and Palin lost the election because God was "in the bag" for Barack Obama from the beginning.

Nation Finally Shitty Enough

I thought things were fairly shitty 4 years ago but that was just me; from The Onion, of course:

WASHINGTON—After emerging victorious from one of the most pivotal elections in history, president-elect Barack Obama will assume the role of commander in chief on Jan. 20, shattering a racial barrier the United States is, at long last, shitty enough to overcome.

Although polls going into the final weeks of October showed Sen. Obama in the lead, it remained unclear whether the failing economy, dilapidated housing market, crumbling national infrastructure, health care crisis, energy crisis, and five-year-long disastrous war in Iraq had made the nation crappy enough to rise above 300 years of racial prejudice and make lasting change.

"Today the American people have made their voices heard, and they have said, 'Things are finally as terrible as we're willing to tolerate," said Obama, addressing a crowd of unemployed, uninsured, and debt-ridden supporters. "To elect a black man, in this country, and at this time—these last eight years must have really broken you."

Added Obama, "It's a great day for our nation."

Obama's Eleven

Of course; it's all starting to make sense now:

Bullet Dodged: She Thought Africa Was A Country

This is one of my favorite parts of a political campaign, especially a losing one: hearing about all of the deceptions that went on behind the scenes while they blissfully lied to the cameras and the American people. We've always suspected it but now we know: she was never vetted, and Cameron even uses the phrase "hail Mary" to describe McCain's choosing her. It was purely political, with absolutely no thought as to her level of education, competence or how she would govern; I'll say it again: they deserved to lose this one:

Note the admission by Smith (one of the only intellectually honest voices at FOX News): Obama's lead began days before the economy publicly went south; one of the main right-wing talking points since Tuesday has been that Obama only won because of the failing economy, and that's just never felt true to me. I'm not saying that it didn't help him win or even that I had data or proof to offer up to the contrary before this; just that it never quite felt like what was happening.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

President Barack Obama

That phrase has a nice ring to it, doesn't it? As I've said, last night we saw history being made: for the first time in 232 years a black man has been chosen by the American people as the next leader of this country. It's a moment that's made historic not just because of the long, embarrassing legacy of slavery we've carried with us for so many years now, but also because of the nature and the story of the man himself.

He's young, biracial, was raised internationally by a poor single mother and then by her parents after her death (the second of whom having died on the eve of his election), and he has a funny sounding name inconveniently similar to those of two of America's most reviled enemies. He beat the Clinton political machine in the primaries (no small feat in itself) and survived one of the longest, nastiest general elections in history, and he did it all with intelligence, class and aplomb.

As Bill Maher has said on numerous occasions, major league baseball wasn't ready for just any black player in the forties: it was ready for Jackie Robinson; he was the only one at that time who could have done what he did, and the same can be said of Barack Obama today. Or, as The Stranger says of The Dude in The Big Lebowski: "Sometimes, there's a man, well, he's the man for his time and place. He fits right in there." And that's Barack Obama, here in the United States of America, at the beginning of the 21st century.

The road that lies ahead for him will not be an easy one to traverse, and I don't envy him the tough situations he'll have to face or the even tougher decisions he'll have to make; the outgoing Bush administration has left us with two enduring wars, massive debt and an economy on the brink of ruin, a shredded constitution, a country deeply and bitterly divided along cultural lines, and a shattered reputation on the global stage. A President Obama will have to address all of these problems and more in his first term, and he'll have to do it all under the largest media magnifying glass in history, but that difficult road does hold some encouraging signs.

With his victory in this election Obama has been given a mandate by the people of this country; not the phony, 1% squeaker mandate Bush claimed in 2004 or even the actual mandate to end the Iraq war which a Democratically controlled congress failed to carry out in 2006: this was a loud and clear mandate from the American people for real change and actual leadership. Despite the right's false accusations of a Socialistic agenda and their recent claims that this is still a "center-right country", the electorate chose Obama over his Republican opponent by an electoral margin of over two to one, with the largest turnout for a presidential election in 100 years.

I remember sitting in a bar in New York City about three years ago with some good friends; we were discussing current events and the affairs of the day when the issue of problems in the black community came up. I made the comment (not original to myself) that one of the things the black community crucially needed was a real leader. When my friends asked me who I thought that could be I replied, "Well, there's this guy I'm kind of excited about who gave an amazing keynote address at the Democratic National Convention last year. He's the junior senator from Illinois and his name is Barack Obama..." I of course had no idea at the time that three years later he would be elected our next president, and I was wrong about the potential role he would fill: he didn't just become a leader for black Americans; he became a leader for all Americans.

For the first time in my adult life I'm genuinely proud of my president, and I would imagine that for a lot of people from my generation and most of those from subsequent ones as well this is a new sensation; we would do well for ourselves to take a moment to savor the unique feeling of such uncommon pride. With the historic turnout of the youth vote in this election the Boomer era of our parents has officially ended; this is a new day for the country and a chance for new ideas and new energy to be tried against some very old problems and challenges. I just hope that as a people we're equal to the task.

I want to thank everyone for all of the emails, phone calls and text messages I've received over the last 24 hours; the outcome of this contest was obviously very important to me and the fact that so many of you took the time to send your congratulations means a lot. Also, my sincerest thanks to any and all of you who have consistently read all of the things I've ranted and raved about during this interminable election; I realize that at times it could not have been an easy task.

I was recently asked what I would write about after it was all over and it's a decision I'm still considering. Despite the conclusion of this election politics will of course still be a major theme of this site, and I plan to hold our new president's feet to the fire for the next four years; having defended him on many different levels and issues over the past few years I now fully expect him to follow through on his promise of trying to build a better tomorrow for the citizens of this country, and to do any less would smack of the disgusting political hypocrisy I abhor. Regardless, it's been a fun and engaging race to write about and I'm glad I was here to witness it, and again I promise to come up with all manner of new people and things I hope you'll find as interesting and stimulating as I do; thanks again for reading.

Ceasefire

Yes, I've declared such a temporary action with American Power in the face of the obviously slanderous and insultingly desperate graphic displayed above; first, my lunge:

Marx brothers, huh? Up before his speech is even over; classy in defeat, Don. Actions like that have convinced me that you guys deserved to lose this one. We'll do better.
Then, Don's riposte:
He gave a good speech, as good as ever. I don't think even Lincoln was as talented, at least not for the modern media.

I'm taking a few days off. The Marx Bros are temporary, reflecting my anger at the gullibility of the people. You and yours have been given great responsibility. Don't sell out American values and security for ideological nirvanna...
The gullibility of the people aside, don't worry, Don; I don't sell out. I love my country and would never do anything to weaken or degrade her on the world stage. The Bush era will soon be over; I assume you'll be back well before that date. Trust me, the responsibility of cleaning up your mess has not been lost on "me and mine"; and American values and security are foremost on my mind every day. It's one of the many complex burdens that will need to be faced by an Obama administration; the Republican party created this mess but we're going to clean it up.

Yes. We. Can.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Acceptance Speech

We truly saw history played out tonight. I still haven't quite absorbed the win yet so I'll comment at much greater length tomorrow; for now, I'll be shaking up some celebratory dry martinis while you listen to the words of our next president. Change has come to America:

McCain Concedes

It's official:

(CNN) – John McCain admitted defeat in the race for the White House Tuesday, saying: "The American people have spoken, and they have spoken clearly."

McCain said he had called Barack Obama to offer his congratulations shortly after 11 p.m., when polls closing on the West coast gave Obama the electoral votes to become the nation's first black president.

"Sen. Obama has achieved a great thing for himself and his country," he said, calling Obama a "good man."

I just watched his speech and I have to say that I thought it was fairly classy and understatedly magnanimous, despite the ugliness and resentment of the crowd. I guess he does still possess some shreds of honor and dignity; I'm glad he proved me wrong.

[Update: Jesus, not to be snarky or anything but Cindy just looks like a total Stepford zombie, doesn't she?]

Hope Wins Out

"Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek." -President-elect Barack Obama

[Update: this letter from one of Andrew Sullivan's readers actually made me well up (more than I did during Obama's acceptance speech):

Nothing in my life has actually changed in the 30 minutes since it was announced Obama will be our next president. I have the same bills, the same amount of money in the bank, my dishwasher is still broken, and my 5 month old beagle won't stop peeing on my carpet. Everything in my life is exactly the same as it was 30 minutes ago; and yet I feel as though everything is different.

I feel so much hope. I feel so much pride. I feel like my one vote was a single drop of water in a great Tsunami of change. I feel like I was one of a million voices screaming in the night, " I love my country and I'm taking it back!" I'm so proud of the country that I love and have so much hope in my heart that we can together heal the wounds that have been such a source of pain and anger to us all.

I know Obama isn't going to fix the economy overnight, I know he won't be able to provide healthcare to all Americans by February '09. I know Obama isn't a Messiah who four years from now will have turned this country into a fabled utopia. But I also know Obama will make moral decisions. I know Obama will try to unite where others try to divide. I know Obama will help to make America the beacon of hope it once was to others. I know that at 27 years of age, I witnessed one of the most important and hopefully glorious chapters in American history.

I know hope.

I couldn't have said it better myself.]

[Update II: I just got this text from the Obama campaign: "We just made history. All of this happened because you gave your time, talent and passion to this campaign. All of this happened because of you. Thanks, Barack."

That was nice of him; you'd think with being elected the next President of the United States and all that he wouldn't have had the time to thank little old me personally. I didn't even realize that we were on a first name basis; he's sweet.]

Should We Call It Now?

FOX News has just called the state of Ohio for Barack Obama and everything I've read says that since no Republican has ever won the presidency without it this should be the fat lady singing, but several things could still happen so I'm not jumping to any conclusions yet (the dejection in Brit Hume's voice as he made this announcement with Karl Rove standing beside him has made all the hours of watching this channel worth it).

[Update: "Can we be happy yet?" -a text message I just received from a friend. My response was positive, yet tepid.

Electoral Reassurance

Good advice, just in case anybody was getting worried.

Got My Sticker

Just got back from the Catholic church around the corner from my house; there were about a dozen people there in various phases of the voting process. Since I had already filled out my absentee ballot all I had to do was seal it in an envelope, sign it and drop it in the box; the whole process took about a minute, with the majority of that time spent by the election volunteer looking for my name on the list. If only democracy was always this easy.

Et Tu, Palin?

The Reformer goes rogue on the Maverick in her bid for 2012; perhaps this is why they just couldn't ever get their shit together:

I personally think that Sarah Palin's political future will be decided by what direction the Republican party takes after this election (assuming a loss by the right today). If the originalists in the party make a move back towards traditional conservative values: responsible government, fiscal responsibility, individual civil and privacy rights, etc. then I'd say she won't be spending much more time in the Lower 48. But if the wingnut, religious wing of the party that George Bush and Karl Rove have cultivated over the last 8 years keeps control, not only will we see more loss of individual rights, unchecked spending, bloated government, unnecessary wars, torture of innocent human beings and political fear mongering but it will also lead to the inevitable rise of Palin as their neoconservative poster girl.

I can't say I won't have fun watching it play out but I just hope the right side prevails; this country can't afford to have someone like George W. Bush at the helm again.

A Different Race

Found this over at The Daily Dish; during the campaign I always heard people on both sides exclaiming, "Could you imagine if Obama had said..." or "What if McCain had used a phrase like that..." but this has to be one of the more interesting comparisons I've seen. Then I realized where I'd seen these guys before:
1989 called: they want their candidates back. Eerie, huh?

We Still Want Change

I posted this video back in March during the first week of this blog; seems like a lifetime ago politically:

Election Day: Please Vote

It's no secret that I hope Barack Obama wins the election today but regardless I encourage everyone to go out and get your sticker just like our man Homer here; let's hope you have considerably less trouble in the booth:

Monday, November 3, 2008

My '08 Election Predictions

In the first few weeks of this blog way back in February I attempted to predict the Academy Awards with partial success (I went 5 for 8 in the major categories) but I only did so publicly because I had swept every category and won some dough in a pool at work the year before; of course I had not seen a single movie I was choosing from at the time so I'm hoping that my political prognostications are a little more finely tuned.

It should come as no surprise to anyone who has visited this site lately that I think Barack Obama will be the next president of the United States but here are the numbers I'm officially putting down: I predict Obama/Biden will win the popular vote by 4-5 1/2% with 20-25 electoral votes if John McCain and Sarah Palin do well or with 100 or more electoral votes if they do poorly; I'm not going to try to predict the numbers for a McCain/Palin victory other than to say that I'd give that scenario 20-1 odds or worse of happening. I also predict that the Democrats will increase their majorities in both houses of congress but that neither will achieve a veto-proof filibuster-proof margin.

So for those who care, there they are; in about 24 hours we'll see how finely honed my political instincts are. I've stocked my house with provisions both alcoholic and non so that I can spend the entire day soaking up the last drops of electoral fever before this odyssey of an election season is over. I only plan on leaving the house once and that's to vote; yes, I'm an irresponsible bastard who didn't fill out my absentee ballot in time. However tomorrow turns out, I've had fun writing about this election and I hope you've had just as much fun reading about it, and I promise to come up with all kinds of new and interesting things to bitch and rant about if you keep reading in the future. Now go vote.