Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Something Someone Else Said

" When Andrew Breitbart offers $100,000 for a private email list-serv archive, essentially all bets are off. Every blogger or writer who has ever offered an opinion is now on warning: your opponents will not just argue against you, they will do all they can to ransack your private life, cull your email in-tray, and use whatever material they have to unleash the moronic hounds of today's right-wing base.

Yes, the Economist was right. This is not about transparency, or hypocrisy. It's about power. And when you are Andrew Breitbart, power is all that matters. There is not a whit of thoughtfulness about this, not an iota of pretense that it might actually advance the conversation about how to deal with, say, a world still perilously close to a second Great Depression, a government that is bankrupt, two wars that have been or are being lost, an energy crisis that is also threatening our planet's ecosystem, and a media increasingly incapable of holding the powerful accountable.

Meanwhile, the GOP leaders, having done all they can to destroy a presidency by obstructing everything and anything he might do or have done to address the crippling problems bequeathed him by his predecessor, are now also waging a scorched earth battle to prevent the working poor from having any real access to affordable health insurance.

This is what the right now is: no solutions, just anger, paranoia, insecurity and partisan hatred." -Andrew Sullivan, The Daily Dish.

I find this whole Dave Weigel/Journolist kerfuffle quite disgusting. Yes, he wrote some very rude things that he has admitted he should not have but they were written in private emails (in so much as a list-serv of 400 people can be considered private). The point is that those emails were not written for public consumption and the fact that I'm reading and watching conservative journalists gleefully squealing about how they would be the first ones to sell that list-servs archives means that they are tacitly endorsing the following philosophies: that all emails and other digital correspondence should no longer carry any expectation of privacy, that it's OK to betray the trust of another journalist as long as there's enough money involved in doing so, that journalists can no longer express any type of private opinion on any issue in any forum and that if any evidence of said private opinions becomes public knowledge they should immediately be fired for holding them. No wonder the Fourth Estate has forgotten how to do its job.

Did You Know?: War On Drugs Edition

We just can't keep doing this:


Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Every Troy McClure Project List

Troy McClure has always been one of my favorite Simpsons characters. I still remember where I was when I heard that Phil Hartman's wife had killed him in a bizarre murder/suicide; such a loss to entertainment. If you're like me, you'll read each of these in Troy's voice (click to embiggen). Hilarious.


Sunday, June 27, 2010

Picture Of The Day

For the record, both of these countries have now been eliminated from the World Cup:

President Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron kept their word Saturday and fulfilled a recent bet made on the World Cup match between the United States and England.

The wager, made two weeks earlier, had the leader of the losing country owing beer to the leader of the winning country. But the two teams tied so both men brought beers to the summit and exchanged the items during their bilateral meeting.

Obama presented Cameron with Goose Island 312 beer from Chicago while Cameron gave the President 5.2 percent Hobb Goblin beer.
I think Obama got the better end of that beer swap. It's nice to see our president acting like an actual everyday person rather than some weird joyless teetotaler, isn't it?

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Disposable Single Serving Wine Glasses

Call me a wine snob if you will (and you should because I totally am) but I have a feeling that this may not be the best glass of wine I've ever tasted:

According to our old friend Matt over at Crave, the inventor of this disposable stemware actually took it on a show dedicated to finding cool new products, and it was rejected. The joke’s on them; they’re blowing up over in the UK. At £2.25 a glass (~$3.40) they’re not exactly cost effective, but neither is buying a Rainier for $4 at a bar downtown — why do I do that?

And cost aside, the real advantage is in the simple fact that it’s sealed and good to go. The foil top is like a yogurt container’s, keeping your wine fresh and your legal status legit. No need for unsightly paper bags! Just wait till the fuzz goes by, pop the top, and enjoy a nice glass of… Le Froglet?! What kind of name for a wine is that?
Now I'm all about convenience, recycling and drinking vino but I can say with almost total certainty that I'll never partake of this product. Why? Because wine already comes in a disposable single serving size: it's called a bottle. Don't open it if you're not gonna finish it.


Friday, June 25, 2010

Clint Webb For Senate (No Relation)

If you watch this fake campaign commercial and think to yourself, "Yeah, I could see voting for this guy...", you probably already have:

Sadly, an extremely accurate take on modern American politics, and we have nobody to blame for it but ourselves.


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Picture Of The Day

Yes! How many of these things do you think you've thrown out without ever opening them over the years? At this point they just go directly into my recycling bin. Can you imagine the colossal waste if news organizations permanently and inefficiently printed out their product on tree pulp in this manner? Oh wait...


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

High School Journalism 101

Mainstream media outlets could take some "holding politicians' feet to the fire" lessons from Keith Wagner:


Something Someone Else Tweeted

"Gulf disaster needs divine intervention as man's efforts have been futile. Gulf lawmakers designate today Day of Prayer for solution/miracle," -Sarah Palin.

Well, at least she's doing something constructive...


Sunday, June 20, 2010

American Power And A Wager Accepted

Yes, that's right: my conservative counterpart Don Douglas of American Power has accepted my wager (the above image has been changed to two white guys shaking hands because... I don't know, for some reason Don's really sensitive about being black or something and he hates that I know he's black I guess. You tell me; I can't figure it out) although he did attempt a bit more obfuscation first:

JBW: I thought you were done with the blog? It must be more than babes that keeps bring you back, LOL?

We have a bet, remember? I'll take a C Note if the GOP picks up at least one seat in Congress this fall. If Obambi's so great, the Dems should have no problems holding their majority, and in fact should gain seats. If they do, I'll pay you ...
Which I had to answer with some cajoling and good natured ribbing:
The entertainment value is just too good to ignore, Don. And I think I've addressed your "I bet Obama can't stop the sun from rising tomorrow" counter-bet before. This is a simple bet between two guys who disagree about politics. Nobody is going to think any less of you if you lose; losing publicly is certainly a risk I'm willing to take.

So I'm having trouble divining the reason for your slightly absurd behaviour on this count. Is it that you're just cheap? I could understand that but if it's the case just cop to it, don't make up ludicrous counter-wagers just to avoid throwing down a Benji.

You have until midnight at the end of July 4th to take the bet. Man up, man.
Admittedly this worked better than my usual tactic of taunting him and making fat jokes, although he's still having trouble letting go of his dumbass counter-offer:
JBW: We'll bet, fine, but after November. I'd be surprised by then if you still expect Obama's reelection, that is, after the Dems get slaugtered. Until, then, are you sure you don't want to shake on $100 that your party expands its majority in Congress this fall?. You seem so confident?
But no matter because the challenge has been met. I set the terms of our wager:
There's much difference between confidence and detachment from reality, Don. I'm confident that the Dems (they're not "my party" by the way, I'm an Independent and they are sadly my only alternative to Repubs in many cases) won't lose either of their majorities, not that they won't lose any seats. Midterm elections historically don't turn out like that and you know it. You're a political scientist: don't play dumb about poli-sci 101.

Of course I could be wrong about November and the Dems might get slaughtered as you predict. In fact, it was definitive predictions like that that confused me as to why you wouldn't bet on it but no matter: we now have a bet! $100 American, I'll take Obama and you'll take whomever the Republicans decide to run in 2012. With my guy destroying the country at such a fast clip all you'll need to beat him is a warm body in a suit, I'm sure.

You now have 2 years, 4 months and 18 days to convince as many people as possible to back your guy/gal. If I win I'm going to spend your hundred dollars on an incredible bottle of vino (I know a place where I can get Opus One relatively cheap). Oh, and good on ya for stepping up. You just went up a notch. See you in 2012.
And there it is. I'll be honest, I've had easier times talking women into sex than I had convincing this poli-sci prof who seems to be supremely confident that Obama and the Democrats are headed for a crushing electoral defeat to put a few bucks down on the outcome of a race but maybe I'm just losing my touch. I am confident that Obama will win reelection but as Don says it's still a long way off but as I say that's what makes it interesting. Plus I got some good advice from bad ass martial artist and tax dodger Wesley Snipes:

So wait, is Snipes a racist now or merely "obsessed with race"? I'm sure Don could tell me.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

American Power And A Presidential Wager

My good buddy and conservative counterpart Don Douglas of American Power has been somewhat uncharacteristically critical of President Obama lately (and yes, that was indeed sarcasm):

We interrupt our regularly-scheduled weekend blog-programming to bring you this hilarious update on President Barack Jimmy Carter Obama. That's right, the dude's looking to be a one-termer. See, "U.S. Voters Split on Obama Re-Election in 2012." No surprise then that Republicans are just laughing at the president, who long ago abandoned bipartisanship to ram through the most unpopular legislative agenda in decades. I mean, if his congressional program was even a percentage as good as he claims, RINOs like Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe would be helping the Dems avoid a filibuster...

Okay, now back to our more invigorating weekend blogging, LOL!
The video he posts and refers to is of Obama explaining how Republicans are holding up votes on various legislation in the Senate, which is entirely true but Don doesn't like Obama so anything negative about or aimed at him is a good thing in his eyes. I do however agree whole-heartedly with his version of weekend blogging, which consists mainly of posting pictures and videos of hot chicks amongst the constant Obama bashing, and I tell him as much before I proffer my newest wager:
Love the babes, Don. It's one aspect of blogging that I think you do very well.

Here's a thought: I'll bet you $100 that Obama... Sorry, I meant "Obambi" or "President Barack Jimmy Carter Obama" or whatever other extremely clever nicknames you're calling him lately, is reelected in 2012. Straight up: two men, a hundred bucks and a digital handshake. What do you say?

Yeah, yeah, I know that it's too early to tell either way and that you don't even know who the Republicans will run yet (Palin, please) or what the outcome of the earlier bet you refused to make with me is yet but again, that's what would make it interesting and fun and I'm willing to risk a paltry sum in that fashion if you are.

Plus if what you say about him is at all true or accurate, that he "long ago abandoned bipartisanship to ram through the most unpopular legislative agenda in decades" and that "the dude's looking to be a one-termer" then the odds should be in your favor, right? You certainly sound confident enough when you write things like that. I'll give you until midnight on America's birthday a few weeks from now to decide.

Think about it. And I'll take the liberty of writing this into a post to make it official just in case you decide to delete it. Cheers.
Based on our last interaction of this nature I fully expect him to refuse but in light of the myriad things he says about Obama and his apparent constant state of FAIL I honestly don't think that it's an outrageous proposal. I'll let you know what happens.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Chart Of The Day

High reelection rates like this for incumbents is one of the reasons I'm in favor of term limits for pretty much every elected office, at least on the federal level. A somewhat rigged primary system for both parties is partly responsible but gerrymandering is also a contributing factor, evidenced by the significantly lower reelection rates for senators who can't just change the shape of their state to ensure their perpetuity in office. Even given the large populist wave sweeping across the country right now I wouldn't expect these rates to change too significantly this November though for one simple reason: lazy, ignorant people vote.


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Kung-Fu Bear Got Himself A Lightsaber

I posted about this guy a few years back in the first week of this blog when all he had was a boring old stick to swing around, and just look at him now. The Force is strong with this one:


Something Someone Else Said

"The Bush-Cheney presidency was, in some respects, the perfect pseudo-conservative administration. They waged war based on loathing of the experts (damned knowledgeable elites!); they slashed taxes and boosted spending for their constituencies, while pretending to be fiscally responsible; they tore up the most ancient taboos - against torture - with a bravado that will one day seem obscene; and they left the country in far worse shape than they found it.

Throughout all this, the Tea Partiers supported them. So how do they manage the cognitive dissonance that two failed wars, a financial collapse and a debt crisis have brought? How do they deal with the fact that their beloved president was manifestly the most incompetent and disastrous in modern times? They blame it on the next guy.

Yes, they are doing all they can to avoid facing the fact that they did all of this ... to themselves. And sometimes, the truly, deeply humiliated can only carry on through blind rage." -Andrew Sullivan, The Daily Dish, trying to understand the Tea Party.

And make no mistake: their anger is real. Obviously hypocritical and at times incoherent, but it's real. How that anger affects the midterm elections this fall remains yet to be seen.

Happy Blogoversary, Parsley's Pics!

Just a quick shout out to my friend and one time blogging protege Leslie Parsley (commenting here as tnlib) of Parsley's Pics on her first full year of posting, pictured above using some type of antiquated low-tech blogging device. Congratulations Leslie, you have the heart of a true writer and an intellect to match (balanced out occasionally with the mouth of a sailor). Many happy returns, Ma'am.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Brain Rage, Unplugged

Sincerest apologies for the lack of posting over the past several days. I've been taking a much needed self-imposed sabbatical from the Internets and reading these weird old paper things called "books". Apparently they used to be all the rage back in the day, although I can't figure out how they became so popular without an RSS feed. So, is the BP oil well still... It is? Fuck.

Friday, June 11, 2010

TDS: Into Africa - Two Teams, One Cup

Englishman John Oliver of The Daily Show visits the US World Cup training camp as the team prepares to play its first match against the mincing crumpet nibblers of England:

And then there's this:

Leaked diplomatic correspondence between Washington and London has revealed the latest bump in the so-called “special relationship” -- a high stakes wager between ambassadors over the outcome of their teams’ World Cup clash, The Times writes in its Wednesday edition.

Louis Susman, the American Ambassador to London, approached his British counterpart in Washington through a staff intermediary to offer a bet on the outcome of Saturday’s game between England and the United States.

“We will understand if you decline, given the outcome of the last such encounter,” Philip Breeden, the American press secretary in London gibed.

Martin Longden, his counterpart in Washington, protested ignorance. “Since the history of English football is long and extensive, in contradistinction to U.S. soccer, I regret that I cannot immediately recall the encounter to which you refer.

"No doubt it is remembered fondly on these shores; we have quite forgotten it, however.”

Longden proposed the terms of the wager: dinner at a Washington DC steakhouse if England triumphs; supper at a London pub on Ambassador Nigel Sheinwald’s dime if the U.S. is the winner.

Breeden accepted, reminding Longden of the outcome of last Anglo-American encounter at the World Cup: a 1-0 victory for the U.S. in Brazil.

Longden would not be deterred. “You should know that the Ambassador takes his steak like American soccer victories — somewhat rare,” he retorted.
Damn. That's cold. Alright Britain, it's on now. USA! USA! US... Wait a minute, this is still a soccer game. I'll just watch the highlights on Sportcenter.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Something Someone Else Said

"Of all the lessons we can learn from the BP fiasco, the simplest, and the first we should apply to offshore-drilling laws, is this: Don't open any holes you can't close. If the well site is too deep for humans to reach, drill a simultaneous relief well so you can plug a blowout promptly. If a relief well is too expensive, don't drill at all. Or you can keep robots on hand to shut down leaks. But they'll have to be better robots than the ones we're now watching.

Today's laws don't come anywhere near this standard." -

Monday, June 7, 2010

Infographic Of The Day

Sometimes simple statistics can put how really great we have things in perspective:

If "compassionate conservatism" has taught me anything it's that poor people should just get more money. Worked for me.


90 Minute Review: Attack Of The Clones

I featured the prequel review of The Phantom Menace earlier this year and I have to say that this one is even better:

I know what you’re thinking—nine 10-minute long YouTube videos that dump all over the Star Wars prequels doesn’t sound like your thing. I thought that too. Until I watched the first segment of the latest 90 minute-long review of Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones. The review is, from what I’ve seen, hilarious if for no other reason than the reviewer, Mike Stoklasa, has fully embraced his geek rage towards George Lucas for whiffing it so bad with the Star Wars prequels and created a rambling but thoroughly scathing and spot-on takedown.

The best part is that Stoklasa knows all too well that he sounds like an irate and thoroughly depressed nerd and he vamps it up to the hilt as his alter-ego, “Mr. Plinkett,” an crotchety old man that may or may not be a serial killer (“Now I’m the last person in the world who you’d call an expert on love considering that most of my relationships seem to end up inside different trash bags.”).
I actually find the intermediate serial killer jokes to be a bit pedantic and labored (and that's coming from someone who is admittedly morbidly fascinated by serial killers) but speaking as a sci-fi nerd the review is pretty damn spot on. In fact, just as in his first review, I'm fairly impressed with his grasp of narrative and story telling and his explanation of how Lucas has failed on so many levels in his beautiful yet irrelevant prequel endeavours (and I love the Last Starfighter references). Here's part one (you can find the rest at YouTube):

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Ostrich Gotta Weight A Minute

At least some birds are having a good day today:


Picture Of The Day II

Everyone can relax: Mac's got this one. Sometimes all you can do is laugh. And drink.


Picture Of The Day

This is really starting to depress me. Might even drive a man to drink.


Thursday, June 3, 2010

Down With The Sickness

You'll have to excuse the glut of videos lately as I've spent the last few days in bed coughing and sneezing as if I were a NyQuil parody. Taking a few days off from work always sounds like a nice little vacation until you realize that you're going to feel like hammered shit the entire time. Hope everyone's doing well. *sniff*

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Dropping In From The Eiffel Tower

I tried to walk down a flight of stairs in a pair of Rollerblades once and almost killed myself doing it. This is pretty much what it looked like:


Something Someone Else Said

"BP wants Twitter to shut down a fake BP account that is mocking the oil company. In response, Twitter wants BP to shut down the oil leak that’s ruining the ocean." -Jimmy Fallon, Late Night.

I find the recent Republican attempts to label the Gulf oil spill "Obama's Katrina" to be both desperate and laughable. The Bush administration had an entire agency in place expressly charged with responding to Katrina-like disasters but because they decided that FEMA wasn't very important that response came all too late and was far too incompetent. That same administration decided that government regulation of private industry wasn't very important either, thus allowing companies like BP to take the risks and cut the corners that have led to this current disaster.

As far as I can tell President Obama has done everything he could have done to remedy this situation thus far, which unfortunately is realistically very little. I find it a bit ironic that the same critics who decried his partial takeover of the banking and auto industries as "socialism" are now screaming for him to take over BP, as if that company doesn't have ample incentive to fix the leak as quickly as possible themselves. One of the differences between this situation and Katrina is that the government is neither equipped to nor capable of stopping this disaster and no amount of management or "owning the spill" on Obama's part could have changed that. The federal government is not in the business of drilling for oil a mile beneath the ocean's surface or fixing any leaks caused by that drilling, and nor should it be. What it should be in the business of doing is regulating the private companies that are and that is where it failed.

The oil spill in the Gulf is BP's mess: they own it and they are going to have to clean it up. Enabling the spill should have been the Bush administration's mess but now, as with so many others, they've left it for Obama to clean up instead. I would imagine that he's getting pretty tired of this shit by now; I know I am.


Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Picture Of The Day

I was reading about this story on my iPhone yesterday and I thought that this was totally Photoshopped but it's actually real:

This sinkhole appeared yesterday, May 30, in a street intersection located in Zone 2 of Ciudad de Guatemala.

A sinkhole is a natural depression caused by the removal of underground soil by water. This process can happen slowly, but sometimes the land just cracks open. In this case, it happened suddenly. The cause: Massive underground water torrents created by tropical storm Agatha.
Some people are calling it the Gate to Hell. I think it looks more like it was carved out by a space-based laser, a la Alien vs Predator.

What Your Email Says About You

I would just like to point out to those that use it exclusively that my Hotmail address has pretty much been my digital junk drawer for years now; the Gmail is in the sidebar to your right. And if you haven't watched the Family Guy Empire Strikes Back parody Something, Something, Something Dark Side yet then you haven't seen one of my favorite email jokes in the world: