July 31, 2008

Everything is on the Internet

Including a guild of how to do your own Dr Horrible costume. The secreat is the goggles. Turns out they are wielding goggles. They even have the model number.


Karl Rove cited for contempt. Step by step, and in the end he goes to jail.

July 30, 2008

Political gymnastics

Read King Kaufman's take on China, Olympics, and the dread "Politics." Nothing is above politics. Certainly not the Olympics.

July 29, 2008

This is Your Brain on Hope

Burned Bridges, Plugged Tubes

Ted Stevens of Alaska, the man behind the "Bridge to Nowhere" and the "Internet is a series of Tubes" is done. He has just been Indicted on seven counts by a Federal grand jury. The old corrupt bastard is done, and with him goes so much ignorance, bad policy and power that Congress can't help but be better without him.

Geek Identity Politics

What do you know, this worked. Big. It turns out that geeks are becoming their own political constituency, with their own language, symbols and code. Literally, a code. C++ or Java or something. Speak geek and even small-time Kansas leg districts can see tons of money.

What would it mean for our politics if geeks become a powerful constituency of their own, like gun owners or environmentalists? What do they want, besides XKCD style appeals? What laws do they want passed? Where do they want money to be spent?

July 28, 2008

Freeze Ray, Stops Time, Tell Your Friends

I do, I do.

All three acts of Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog are up for free at Hulu. This is the last time I'm going to pitch this, so act now. Here is the entire opus:

I'm thinking of going as Dr. Horrible for Halloween. Does anybody know where I could get the goggles?

Oh and while I'm pitching off-beat superheros and villains, check out The Middle Man.

Wacky Fun.


Not too long ago, Bush would brag in speeches, in a manner that indicated that he expected applause, that he was going to "cut the deficit in half before his term in office was up." Now this was an extremely modest goal, especially considering that he had entered office with a large budget surpluses and that deficit he was cutting in half was of his own creation. But that thudding sound you hear is the Bush Administration was tripping over that very low bar. The White House is now predicting a $482 billion deficit with more on the way. A new record! Good job kids, good job.

Man of Steel

Ether we are having trouble converting to metric, or Obama has the strength of a 250 lbs bodybuilder.

July 26, 2008

July 25, 2008

The Musician Threat

Cops killed by musicians, now in convenient graph form.

Make Fascistic Lemonade

The conservative peanut gallery has a hell of task before them this year. Obama is running a dynamic, exciting campaign will giants crowds, lot of media buzz, and general popularity. The McCain camp, on the other hand, is a lemon. But you have to work with what you got, so conservative have to argue that popular is bad and unpopular is good. How? By saying popular is fascist. Yes fascist. D-Day spells out the effort. We are going to end up in some pretty weird places before this election is over.

July 23, 2008


McCain caught in a whopper, giving credit to the surge for things that happened before the surge began. I know the surge is magic, but come on...

July 22, 2008

Wait, what? She dies?

Ok, I’m going to wax philosophical for a bit about pop culture. The following contains massive spoilers for both Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog and The Dark Knight, so don’t read if you don’t want to know.

Both of this last weekend’s entertainments revolve around the death of the love interest. Rachel is killed in The Dark Knight and Penny is killed in Dr. Horrible. Some of the people I recommended Dr. Horrible to have been complaining about that whole kill Penny thing. Christopher Orr in fact, complains about Joss Whedon’s tendency to kill the cutie in all his work. I’ve bitched a bit myself about TV’s tendency to kill the well-liked for the sake of drama. Prison Break is dead to me after Sara Tancredi’s death, for example. But I’m going to defend both deaths this weekend as needed for the sake of arc, character, and story. Rachel’s death in The Dark Knight is a key step in the transformation of the noble Harvey Dent into the evil Two-Face. Dent is shown as a paragon of virtue, or as close as we get in the cynical world of Dark Knight (Batman is an Anti-Hero, and gets more Anti- each time) Such a man is not going to brought into darkness with small tragedies or little autocracies. Major tragedy is the only way to go, and the death of love is the tragedy we get. Notice how while Dent falls into darkness and madness, Batman, who also loves Rachel, does not. He even holds to his code and spares the Joker. That’s because Batman is already half in shadow and madness. It’s where he lives.

I think the bad reaction people are having to the end of Dr. Horrible is that they think they are being served up a romantic-comedy when in fact; Joss and company have cooked up a tragedy. I was thrown off too, what with the singing, “My hammer is my penis” and “Bad Horse.” The rom-com/ tragedy split goes as follows: Dr. Horrible can either end up with the girl, or in the Evil League of Evil, but not both. Penny is literally too good for him, with her homeless shelter and her frozen yogurt. In the rom-com ending, Penny steps out from under cover to stop Dr. Horrible from zapping Captain Hammer and Dr. Horrible stops, because he realizes that he loves Penny more than he loves his Super-Villainy. It ends with a big kiss with a line of dancing extras behind them. Of course, in the tragic ending we actually get, Dr. Horrible still realizes that he loves Penny more than Super-Villainy. Just too late.

That’s how tragedies go.

But in the tragic ending we get to see Bad Horse. And guess what, Bad Horse turned out to be a real horse! How great is that?

Oh and the title line come from the TV Without Pity recap and is about the most perfect reaction line I ever read over there.

Now in Comic Form

For those who find the New York Times boring, may I present profiles of both Presidential Candidates, now in Comic book Form. Heroic Comic book Form.

Dark Knight

The movie really is worth the hype. This is the kind of movie that just calls out for commentary. Its deep, dark, and very challenging. I'm working on a post of my own on it, but in the meantime, here is Ackerman on The Dark Knight and the Cheney foreigner policy, The RBC on morality and game theory, and Obsidian Wings on the individual as final arbiter of their own power.

July 21, 2008


Who would you pick in a Leopard verses Crocodile match-up?

Go find out.


Well, Well

Pretty amazing development over the weekend as the Prime Minister of Iraq endorsed, by name, the withdrawal plan of Obama. As in, Withdrawing US forces from Iraq is a good idea and one I, the Prime Minister of Iraq support. Maliki is being a very bad puppet, and is leaving both the Bush Administration and the McCain campaing hanging. The attempts to walk this back are pretty pathetic. The stay in Iraq comittee is in a real bind here. They can't disparage Maliki, that paragon of democratic virtue that we have spent so much blood and treasure on. So what do they say? We need to stay in Iraq to preserve democracy despite the democraticly elected government of Iraq wanting us to leave? Serrously, what do they say?

July 19, 2008


This one goes out to Ezra & Jenny, at whose wedding I should be getting drunk at later today.

July 18, 2008


Will I see The Dark Knight or Mama Mia?

One is apparently the greatest superhero movie ever. The other is a musical based on the music of ABBA.

This could be hard.

July 17, 2008

The 3000

This is easily the greatest pitch for money in American campaign history. It had me reaching for my credit card to give money for a Kansas State Rep race. It's that good.



More Millions:

Barack Obama's campaign raised $52 million last month, more than twice the amount of funds brought in by his rival, John McCain

July 16, 2008

Cosmic Justice

Lou Pearlman, the man responsible for inflicting both the Backstreet Boys and 'N Sync has been fined 300 million dollars and sentenced to 25 years in prison. Now, the office story might be that this punishment is due to running an elaborate Ponzi scheme where he swindled both banks and little old ladies of millions. But this is cosmic justice. Put that much suck into the universe, and the universe will strike back.

The Worlds a Mess, and I Just Need to Rule it.

Behold the sublime awesome that is Dr. Horrible's Sing Along Blog.


Glenn Greenwald gives Tom Friedman a good education on why America has become so unpopular in the world. Keep in mind this unpopularity has real negative consequences to American interests. It hurts our efforts to do things like help Zimbabwe or get NATO help in Afghanistan. This isn't like high school popularity, where the unpopular nerds go on to great fame and fortune. This unpopularity hurts for real.

July 15, 2008

How to Become Batman

Totally fascinating Scientific American article on the possibility of becoming Batman for real. The man who did the research is both a professor of neuroscience and kinesiology and a black belt, so I'm totally buying this. One of the great things about Batman is he always seems more possible than any other superhero. No radioactive spiders or alien parents needed. What would it take?

How many of us do you think could become a Batman?
If you found the percentage of billionaires and multiply that by the percentage of people who become Olympic decathletes, you could probably get a close estimate.

Now admittedly, that's not many, but all you need is one.



The Senate race in Minnesota just missed an opportunity to get truly weird, with Former Minnesota Gov. Jesse "The Body" Ventura taking a pass on an independent run. Which leaves the field to Al Franken (Yeah!) and what's-his-name. Polls are mixed, but Franken has a small lead in the latest, so go team!

July 14, 2008

Teaching Moment

I get to learn more and more about how the modern US econmony works each day, when a new part of it goes wiggy. Today we learn about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, what they do, what they've done wrong and how much we are on the hook to save them. Also, where did they get those funny names.

July 13, 2008

No Channels

In honor of my cable being down, It Bruce Springsteen's 57 Channels

July 12, 2008

Calm Center

Ok, we just had our first Bank Failure. California's IndyMac Bancorp, which used to be worth about 32 billion, is no more. There was a run on the bank, which screams Great Depression to me. So I'm posting this video in an effort to make the world better.

July 10, 2008

Burn Notice Tonight

Smart. Sexy. Fun. Teaches you how to be a spy. What more do you want?

Old Folks

In recent polls, the only age group that McCain beats Obama are folks over the age of 65. Which keeps things competitive, cause old folks vote a lot. The solution: have John McCain say lots of bad things about Social Security.


July 9, 2008

Poor GOP

Where are they going to hide Bush?

Maybe someone could pull the fire alarm during his convention speech. Any other suggestions?

July 8, 2008

A Rule of Funny

I'm going to devise a rule of funny. The funniness of a joke about going to war with a Country lies in inverse to the probability of going to war with that County. We can joke about invading Canada, but not Mexico. We can joke about going to war with India. People in Pakistan do not make jokes about going to war with India. So when John McCain makes jokes about going to war with Iran and the official policy of John McCain is to go to war with Iran, it is the very essence of unfunny.

Jesse Helms

Kicked the bucket on July 4th. Lots to be said about the man and his meaning. Let me say this:

America got better when he lost a fight. The end.

July 2, 2008


Another McCain campaign shake-up. That's two so far this season, for those of you keeping score at home. By the way, you can get in on the pool as to how long this leadership lasts, or just bet on how many shake-ups will go down total this election season. The over/under is four. Why do they fire the staff? Because as Paul Begala says, when you are doing bad, you can't fire the candidate.


From NPR, the naked baby on Nirvana's Nevermind album is now 17 years old. And is nastolgic for the 1990's, which he is too young to remember.

I feel rather old.

How To

Today's revelation is that U.S. interrogators at Guantánamo Bay used techniques drawn from a study of "Chinese Communist techniques used during the Korean War to obtain confessions, many of them false, from American prisoners."

Yes, you heard that right. In the Korean War, the Chinese would torture prisoners to elicit false confessions. "I am a war criminal" stuff like that. After the war, the US studied these techniques so US troops could be better prepared for them in the future. We turned that study into a "how-to" manual.

We are torturing prisoners at Guantánamo Bay in the same way the Chinese tortured our prisoners in the Korea War.

We have become the bad guys.

UPDATE: Don't give me that, its not torture crap. Its torture.

July 1, 2008

Not for Soldiers

Reading about the Wes Clark/McCain flap got me thinking. In recent Presidential politics the guy with the lesser military record always won. Noted draft dodger Bill Clinton beat two WW2 combat veterans in Bush I and Bob Dole. Al Gore went to Vietnam, Bush II did not. Carter served on submarines. Reagan served in the movies. I think baby boomer voters just aren't impressed with military service. This isn't like back in the day, where military service was absolutely vital for most seeking the Presidency.