December 31, 2009

What's Coming in 2010

In an effort to improve the prediction technology used here at Craigorian Chant, I was reviewing previous predictions posts, all of which can be accessed with this handy label. I think this one from last year holds up very well:

The Obama administration will do four things to annoy the crap out of me, and will do 15 things that just tickle me pink.

Too bad this one didn't:

I will miss the comic stylings of Sarah Palin, especial in these hard economic times.

How can I miss her if she never leaves!

I was strangely certain at the start of 2006 that Phil Angelides was going to become Governor of California in 2006, but otherwise my 2006 election prediction remains my best to date.

So what's next?

Avatar wins every special effect, sound, and technical Oscar available. They will even create new awards to give it. Screenplay? Not so much.

I will get a new job. Or become homeless. Could go either way at this point.

The Obama Administration will continue to tickle and annoy in the same ratio as in 2009.

Frozen Concentrated Orange Juice Futures. Invest now. You heard it here first.

The 2010 mid-terms elections are going to be largely a wash. Hundreds of millions spent, millions of words written, and the Congress is going to look pretty much the same, before and after.

Jerry Brown is going to become Governor. Again. Oh boy.

David Simon is going to have a new show. I'm going to be looking forward to it.

Very good public policy will continue to die a slow death in the Senate.

I will continue to get conservative bullshit e-mails forwarded to me, and I will try to not respond. I won't be able to help myself.

We will leave Iraq. It will be so anti-climatic you won't even believe it happened.

My apartment is getting clean. Today. It will not stay that way.

We will stay in Afghanistan. That's going to get dramatic.

Finally pushed to far, an aroused and heavily armed citizenry will finally fight back against the tyranny of the SociNaziTerrBama Administration. Hopefully the FBI arrests all three before they hurt anybody.

All Craigorian Chant readers will have a safe and happy New Year.

What do you think is going to happen?

Decade in Review

Economically speaking, it sucked.

December 30, 2009

Things that Make You Go Hmmmmm

I don't mean to alarm anybody but in a poll on the most admired man by Americans, Glenn Beck is tied with THE POPE

Hillary and Barack remains comfortably at the top, but sill, boy, Americans, I just don't know.

Russia to Deflect Asteroid

Sure, the odds of this particulate asteroid hitting the earth so this is kinda a waste of time and money, but this how awesome Russia is going to feel when they do this. They totally kicked that asteroid's ass. So much better than say, invading a neighboring Country, which is something that Russia is always a threat to do.

I'm a big advocate of space exploration. The benefits are many, but one is that it gives you all the excitement and hard-ons of war, without all the death.

December 29, 2009

Good Long Talk

Vice Magazine has a epic interview with David Simon, creator of the The Wire.

Geing Old Doesn't Mean Slowing Down

The 86-year-old governor of a southern Indian state has resigned, after a tape came to light showing him in bed with 3 women.


I mean, sorry about losing your job and all, grandfather, but still...

Well done sir, well done.

December 28, 2009

West Wing Gossip

Your red hot West Wing gossip of the day:

Resident Obama Administration nerd and Director of the Office of Management and Budget Peter Orszag is now engaged to ABC newsbabe Bianna Golodryga.

We now return to our regualy scedualed policy program, "Balacing the Federal Budget in 124 Easy Steps

The Fight Goes On

Fresh wave of protests and crackdowns in Iran. Stay safe people

December 27, 2009

The Science of Avatar

A professor of astrophysics gives his take. Except for the floating mountains, pretty good marks.

December 26, 2009

More Restrictions

It comes like clockwork. Attempt gets foiled and more restrictions get put in place. How long before flying just becomes impossible. At what point do we kill that which we are trying to protect?

December 21, 2009

Avatar Reviewed

First off, lets make this clear Avatar is the best looking thing you will in theaters this decade. Absolutely amazing. From broad scenery porn to the tiniest detail, every single bit of this movie is staggeringly good-looking.

As for plot, what you've heard is true. Dances with Wolves IN SPACE. The aliens are the clearest Native American stand-in you've ever seen in Sci-Fi.

I do have some nit-picks. The alien mineral at the root of the movies conflict is called Unobtanium. For real. Dozens of amazing creatures and war machines created down to last detail and they couldn't spend another 10 minuets to come up with a better name that Unobtanium. Its not unobtainable! Obtaining this material is triggering an interstellar war! Get a better name name.

One last point. If, in the future we ever find a race of noble alien savages living atop an incalculably valuable resource, we are going to let them be. You know why? Because we will all have grown up seeing the movie classic Avatar, and we will know better.


We got sixty votes on health care. Sure it was messy, Lieberman made it worse, Nelson made it worse, and the whole proccess make you want to vomite, we are getting close to the end.

December 20, 2009

Time for Holiday Special

The story of Prep & Landing, the elite group of elves who make Christmas possible:

December 19, 2009

How the Wire has Affected my Brain

Posting those best quotes of The Wire has triggered a full blown marathon rewatching. I've made it through seasons 1-3. I'm debating season 4, cause that one always makes me cry. Carver, when he can't help Randy pounding the steering wheel. Gets me every time. But this massive download has started to affect my brain. In particular:

1. I find myself whistling "Farmer in the Dell" whenever I walk down a dark city street at night. I find myself walking down dark city streets a lot more.

2. I catch myself about to say stuff a 32-year old white guy just shouldn't say. Prop Joe's "I'm living with some burdensome niggers" is a personal favorite.

3. When hitting on women, I find myself asking "what would Jimmy McNulty do?" in business situations, I find myself asking "What would Prop Joe do?" Asking yourself "What would Stringer Bell do?" works well for both situations.

4. I now know that a man must have a code. I'm working on my code.

5. When I start my massive criminal empire, I will be known simply as "The German." Of course, I'm not even German.

6. I no longer get dressed. I "make myself correct."

7. The Gods will not save me. I am coming to terms with this.

8. I am not cut out for this gangster bullshit. That, I have come to terms with it.

9. I'm drawing out the i when I say shit. I've attempted to hold entire conversations using only the word fuck. Sadly, I have yet to be in a situation where calling someone a gaping asshole would be appropriate, but I hope to soon.

10. More and more, I'm starting to think that the war on drug is a horrible farce.

December 18, 2009

Your Cathartic Moment

Franken denies Lieberman more speaking time:

Maybe a little petty, but at this point, Lieberman deserves all the petty we can heap on him.

December 17, 2009

Making Lists

and naming "of the year" is a good way to spend the waning days of 2009. Plus, we are closing out the decade so you can also write up "of the decade"

For my money, Salon's Crazy of the Year is well worth reviewing. For my money, the rise of Glenn is the most fascinating and/or scary development of the year, hands down.

December 16, 2009

William F Buckley Really is Dead

They are letting the John Birch Society back into the conservative movement.

More here.

Procedure Sucks

Well done:

To make matters more complicated, the Senate stumbled into health care gridlock after a Republican senator forced the clerk to read aloud a 767-page amendment.

Parliamentary procedures of all kinds, including my own nemesis, Robert's Rules of Order, are intended to allow meeting and decision to be orderly, rational, and fair. When we all have to live with the laws and policy being created, be they by your local school board or the US Senate, there has to be rules for making those laws. Anything else is dictatorship. Maybe a small and petty dictatorship (HOA's!) but still "Got to. This America, man."

But every parliamentary procedure system I've seen runs into the same fatal flaws to one degree or another. Too complex, to easy to manipulate, too dependent on the whims of the officials. Done right, procedure means decisions are timely, democratic, and open. But in the hands of the dumb or the venal you get the reading aloud of a 767 page amendment.

I Take It All Back

Fight Health Care Reform, get a free trip to Hooters!

There are huge amounts of money at stake in the health care debate, and lots of money being made by bad, bad people. People who are willing to spend a lot of money and say just about anything to kill reform and keep their money. A free trip to Hooters is just funny, but is just the edge of the massive resources being brought to bear to kill HCR.

This is hard

December 15, 2009

I Love Italy

So a crazy-man hit Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi in the face with a statuettes of Milan's cathedral.

The statuette is now a best seller.

Keys to the Kingdom

Well, it may not be the missing time on the Nixon White House Tapes, but there could be something real there:

The White House has announced a settlement in a lawsuit filed by two good-government groups concerning emails that went missing over a two-and-a-half year period during the Bush administration.

Under the terms of the deal, 94 days of emails -- which could shed light on controversial topics that the Bush administration sought to obscure from public view, such as the Valerie Plame scandal and the run-up to the war in Iraq -- will be transferred to the National Archives, and eventually made public.

Now, the Bush Administration fought long and hard to keep these e-mails from the light of day, including lying about whether the e-mail even existed, so I'm assuming that they contain a bit more than Karl Rove's lunch order. Normally, this stuff would only be useful for the historians, but with Cheney and daughter-of-Cheney running around telling us how to run the Country, know the inside scoop on how they messed it up is pretty usfull.

December 14, 2009

Never a Cop Around

So today I tried to get a fix-it ticket signed off. Seeing as I can't get a cop to come straight to my door unless my neighbor shoots me, I have to go to them. I had to try three different police stations before I actually found one with somebody home. Two stations, the two closest to Craigorian Chant World Headquarters, now have no office hours. None. Clearly this is a budget thing, and hopefully no cops at the station means more cops on the street, but I have to admit, walking up to police stations with no police in them doesn't make one feel very safe.


Would you look at that, Lieberman is doing his best to stop health care reform. Keep in mind that this is a guy who want John McCain to be President, so in the end it's not surprising that in the end, he tries to screw Obama. The sad fact is that in a Senate that needs 60 votes to pass something, Lieberman is the 60th vote. That gives the man tremendous leverage, leverage which he has been using to both make the legislation worse and to block it outright. It really is an unfair world where the health of millions lies in the hands of one old disgruntled Senator, but this is world we have.

December 10, 2009


The United State's first game of the World Cup next year is agaist England. Epic! Here's the story of the last time these teams got it on in the Cup.

Also it looks like Landon Donovan is heading to Everton on loan. This is very exciting news. Everton, official English Premier League Team of Craigorian Chant, has just been wrecked with injuries. Donovan needs top-flight experience, and Everton needs goals. Everton already has the best American Goalie in the world in Tim Howard, so why not add the best American striker.

And just to prove that I am no johnny-come-lately Everton fan, here's a shot of my authentic supporter's scarf, airmailed to me straight from England:

Surreal Moment of the Day

Obama accepting the Nobel Peace Prize, talking of wars.

December 9, 2009

More Greatness from The Wire

All the great lines from The Wire cannot be contained in just one 10-minute YouTube clip. Here's some more:

Not even close to safe for work. You get a lot of things out of The Wire, not the least of which, it will elevate your swearing game.

Just Go Right to the Rebutal

Don't bother to read Sarah Palin piece of crap Op-Ed on climate science today. It's just lies. Not even worth the time it takes to let it load up on your browser.

Just go to this version, which comes with all the lies already refuted. Much more efficient.

December 7, 2009

One Hit

Congratulations to Daniel Powter, whose "Bad Day" has been named One Hit Wonder of the Decade by Billboard Magazine. I always liked this song, despite the overplaying, and the video is just too cute for words.

Things I Never Understood

Why nice, trying-to-be reporter neutral Mara Liasson allows herself to be set up as the "liberal" on FoxNews panels. She sucks at presenting the liberal case, because she thinks of herself as a reporter who doesn't take sides but being on Fox News and being on those panels hurts her credibility as a reporter

So why does she do it?

Making Sausage

When the United States Senate starts making policy, it's hard to watch.

December 4, 2009

Not Brazil, Not Brazil, Not Brazil.

World Cup final draw today. Very important that team USA draw countries that we can beat, and stays out of groups with world powerhouses.

Here's hoping for nice, doable countries, like Denmark or Uruguay. No whammies. Germany or Spain is a whammy.

UPDATE: England! Our old friend. Plus Slovenia and Algeria. England's always tough, but those two we can take.

December 3, 2009

Invest in Piracy!

Other forms of investment may be fraud, so why just invest in outright robbery instead.

A more honest form of crime

December 2, 2009

Conversation of the Day

"Oh great!"


"Now we are going to get weeks and weeks on Tiger Wood's penis and what it's done."

"Really isn't any of our business, is it?"

"Well, he keeps trying to sell me a Buick. I think I should know what his penis has been up to."

Ban Divorce

A real California Prop. Proposed anyway. This state always surprises me. It's time for the "Defense of Marriage" folks to put up. Letting gay folks get married doesn't hurt marriage. In fact, that leads to more marriages! Divorce is what hurts marriage. Without divorce, marriage would be perfectly safe. Make divorce illegal, and everyone stays married.

And happy.

November 30, 2009

Great Predictions

One of the best books ever.


The Somali pirates are still at it. They just took a tanker from Saudi Arabia hauling 20 million in oil to the United States. Hey, that our oil! My price for gas is going to go up now.

While the whole pirate situation has given the navies of the world something to do, they haven't solved the problem. The pirates just avoid the areas being patrolled and are now striking further out to sea.

Maybe we should just build the Somali's an economy. It might be cheaper that all this fuss. If the Somali's could make their own stuff, they wouldn't have to steal our oil, get shot by SEALs, and generally avoid this ruckus.

November 27, 2009

There's Debt and then there Debt

Feeling bad about running up some credit card debt this black Friday? Don't worry so much. It seems the whole nation of Dubai is on the edge of default. How exactly do you foreclose on a country? Repo its navy? Maybe Dubai could end up a wholly owned subsidiary of a big bank or another Country. The first financial conquest in history.

November 24, 2009

November 23, 2009

Scenes I Love: The Ronin Car Chase

There are a lot of things to love about Ronin. Great cast, smooth script, one of the purest uses of McGuffin I have ever seen. But at the heart of this movie is the single best car chase I've ever seen.

No slow motion, no computer tricks, just brilliant stunt and camera work done at top speed. My favorite little touch - Stellan Skarsgård's icy cool ex-KGB agent, 2/3's of the way through the chase, when his car in now going the wrong way down a Paris highway tunnel, decides that it's time to put on his seat belt.

If you liked this taste, the full movie can be seen here.

The Challange of Sarah

The real challenge of Sarah Palin isn't figuring out what she means to the larger state of American society or predicting her next political move. The challenge with Sarah Palin is coming up with new ways to call her dumb. Matt Taibbi makes a strong entry with "with the IQ of a celery stalk" in his latest take on the Palin circus.

Visualizing History

The decline of empires, done up so you can see. History you can see.

Via William Gibson's twitter fee.

November 20, 2009

Making Choices

You know California didn't actually decide to become just a houser of prisoners. What happened was whole series of ballot measures went before the people of California and they voted for short term feel good stuff. Cap taxes? Of course, who doesn't want low taxes? Lock up convicts forever for three offenses? Sure, it works in baseball, why not the penal system? Not once was there a ballot measure saying "lets house a bunch of prisoners in exchange for massive increases in tuition costs"

I wonder what the vote on that would have been

November 19, 2009

Time for Everyone to Hate France Again



Doug Hoffman, the conservative in the special election drama of upstate New York, is un-conceding the loss, two week after election day. Now the vote margin did tighten from the election night count, but Hoffman is still going to lose. Remember, its not like concession are legally binding. The vote count is what it is. Whining about imaginary ACORN plots will not change that.

November 18, 2009

Great Achievements in Old.

Congratulations to Senator Robert Byrd, who has just set the record for longest-serving member of Congress in American history. He has served in Congress for 56 years and 320 days. He first joined congress in 1953.

Robert Byrd has been in Congress longer than the current President has been alive.

November 17, 2009

Scene From a Different World

Via the Monkey who knows Kung Fu, the coolest thing I've read all month:

Scenes From An Alternate Universe Where The Beatles Accepted Lorne Michaels’ Generous Offer

Wow. Just Wow.

An Illustrated Point

This guy:

is not this guy:

Ezra Klein explains.

Who Killed Craig?

It was Rahm Emanuel, with the anonymous leak, in the Oval Office.

The story of the intrigue behind the resignation of Greg Craig.

He didn't jump. He was pushed!

Good lord! Who knew that Washington D.C. was a place of such intrigue and backstabbing? That city isn't just dangerous for Craigs, it's dangerous for everybody.

November 16, 2009


100 greatest quotes from The Wire.

Traffic Drive!

So I've been blogging more recently, what with the extra free time and all. I figure more people should be reading all this hard work. So this week I'll be doing my best to spread the word about Craigorian Chant and all its wonders. Mustering what slender social media resources I have, and using some very questionable traffic generation sites. For you regular readers who keep coming back, feel free to help the cause. Tell your friends. In fact, here's what I ask of you, the reader:

1. Visit. Once a day is all I ask. I promise there will always be something new every day.
2. Leave a comment. Comments make me happy. Even if it's to call bull. Especially then.
3. Click the ads. I know there's nothing there you want to buy. Don't do it for the stuff. Do it for me.
4. Tell people about it. Work it naturally into the conversation. Cite me as an authority on a subject "As I was reading on Craigorian Chant at lunch today, clearly the implication is..."

Today's Moment of Zen

Remember soccer as kid? Bunch-ball! Remember when you could screw up this bad and it be cute?

Via Deadspin.

Always with the Palin

Brace yourselves for a whole week of Palin. The book she "wrote" is coming out Tuesday, so this is the week of the media storm. Cover of Newsweek (which rips her), Oprah today and so on. She's going to be everywhere.

Palin really does show how far you can go in this Country on looks and attitude alone. She's served part of a term as Governor of Alaska, been the Vice-Presidential candidate on a losing national ticket and...that's it. She doesn't have the slightest knowledge about public policy. Her public pronouncements are so ill-informed as to be actually dangerous to health and safety. Yet she is the most prominent Republican in the nation right now.

For me, Palin represents the answer to Voltair's classic prayer: "Oh Lord, make my enemies ridiculous." Despite the media blitz, she remains very unpopular. Should she pull off the world's greatest punking and actually get the Republican nomination in 2012 the GOP would be burned down to the bedrock. They really might go the way of the Wigs. David Brooks knows the deadly danger Palin represents for Republicans. He claims that "Republican primary voters are not going to elect a talk show host." But deep down, he knows that the party of Reagan the actor could easily go with Palin the celebrity. And that would spell the end of the conservative project in America.

November 15, 2009

Mad World

In honor of the fact that

"the two big new attacks on the President are that he (a) bows at formal meetings with Japanese people and (b) wants to see terrorists tried for their crimes."

here's Mad World:

November 13, 2009

Spoils of War

Remember when we went to war with the moon last month? Turns out we found water with that little bombardment stunt. Lots of water.

A Sad Day for Craigs Everywhere

Terrible news today in the world of Craigs. The magnificently named Greg B. Craig is stepping down as White House counsel. Some guy with the clearly inferior name of Robert Bauer will now be the President's top lawyer. Craig had a rocky tenure, having to deal with the ungodly legal mess of torture and the Guantanamo prison left behind by the previous Administration.

George Stephanopoulos once said "Presidents use up advisers like bullets."

Truly the worldwide community of Craigs is lessened by this turn of events.

November 12, 2009

Well Not All Fun

Today's fun fact. There is an Islamic militant group in the Philippines called Moro Islamic Liberation Front or MILF.

Via TPM.

Why the Apology?

What so interesting about this episode isn't that The Daily Show nailed Sean Hannity. That's what they do. What's interesting is that Hannity backed down and appologized, even if it was a half-ass effort. Hannity is just a dick in everything he says, isn't he?

I figure, FoxNew's mission is to be an inflitrator in the fourth estate. It has to look like a real news organization, otherwise it can't function. So if its cautgh doing something so blatant, like using protest fotage from the another day, that completely destroys that thin illution of a real new org, it has to walk it back. Only enough to keep its cover intact.

November 11, 2009

Bye Lou

Dobbs leaves CNN. A powerful voice for beating up on illegals is gone. Good thing we have many damn others.

This Could Work

Hire these guys, get their recommendation, do the exact opposite.

Call it anti-stratigery. This could revolutionise the statigery field.

The Only Reply You Need

Hanging out on the Internet as I do, you come across this sentiment a lot. Variations include both parties are equally bad! and Everything Sucks! The people making these claims always think that they are very brave for doing so. But this is the coward's way out. Yes, the system sucks. I've got a political system reform list as long as my...arm (Abolishing the Senate is at the top). Yes, corporate money plays too big a role. Yes, Obama is going to disappoint you.

So what?

If these problems were easy, they would have been solved already. You think a single thing ever got changed by people saying "it all sucks" Suck it up and get in the game already.

November 10, 2009

Todays Moment of Zen

Sure we got bills to pass and a Country to make better, but there's always time for a reporter getting hit in the junk:

One eye on the speaker, one eye on the road ahead buddy.

Treat Islam like Communists

Some folks just crave a witch hunt.

November 9, 2009

What Does Alternative Me Watch?

Right now in a parallel universe in which Nazi Germany won World War II, alternative me (who I hope is secretly working to overthrow the regime) is really looking forward to a new Sci-Fi channel series about an alternative universe where Nazi Germany lost the war. I know this, because whatever versions of me exist out there in the metaverse, I know they are all nerds.

Who wonder about alternative versions of themselves.


So today is day that the wall came down, plus twenty. I remember at the time thinking I had just started to learn how the world was set up and then they went and changed it on me. Change for the better, but still.


Today's recommended reading is Krugman on the takeover of the GOP by the crazy right. Used to be, the crazies were kept locked up, voting and sometimes yelling at you at the bar, but never actually running things. But when the Republicans got decimated in 2006 and 2008, the non-crazies were the one who got beat. Beck, Limbaugh and Palin now that she quit as Governor never stand for election and thus never get canned by voters. Which means they are the only ones left to run the party.

November 8, 2009

That was Easy

Health care reform passes the House with 220 votes, a whole two more than it needed. Like I said, easy. Plus, one whole Republican voted for it, so it's bipartisan. Woo! Go team.

Now for the Senate. Senate is the hard part.

November 7, 2009

Rock On

Oh, there ain't no rest for the wicked,
Money don't grow on trees,
I got bills to pay,
I got mouths to feed,
There ain't nothing in this world for free.

November 6, 2009

Daily Show for the Win

This could be the definitive mocking of Glenn Beck we've all been looking for:

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
The 11/3 Project
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorHealth Care Crisis

At this point, I would say we can stop making fun of Beck, it's now been done to perfection. But this guy runs the GOP now. We can't stop.

The Big Feet Make Footprints

AARP just came out big for health care reform. The AARP is pretty pure in its purpose: more benefits for seniors! The pursue this agenda pretty relentlessly, disregarding all other things, like the budget deficit, the next generation, and the rest of the Federal budget. So if the AARP says that health care reform is cool for seniors, you can take that recommendation to the bank. Something to keep in mind the next time the GOP bleats about "unplugging grandma."

November 5, 2009

Nowhere is Safe

Tragedy of the day. I know the NRA, after a school shooting, always says we should arm teachers. So what do we do about a shooting on an army base?

Consider The Alternative

Remember, the Republican's main idea on health care is that we have too much health care and you should get less of it.

And despite the fact they have no chance of passing it and thus don't have to be realistic in the least, the GOP health care reform plan covers less people and costs more than the Democratic version.

November 4, 2009

Top Ten

Ten jokes about Joe Lieberman & his threat to filibuster any health care bill which includes a public option.

Results Show

Big Republican wins in the two Governor races last night, but let's be honest, is losing New Jersey really a loss? Gay marriage lost in Main, close. The electorate just isn't there yet. Closer every day, but not yet. Bloomberg stayed mayor of New York.

In a local note, the good people of Davis just will not allow any development. Ever.

The drama in upstate New York played out to the end, with the Democrats picking up a seat that they haven't held since the Civil War. Together with John Garamendi winning his special election, there are two more vote for health care reform today then there were yesterday. Keep that in mind when watching the GOP victory dance.

Actually, best possible outcome of these odd odd-year elections would be for conservatives to take the NY-23 "model" nationwide. Nutty Glenn Beck/Sarah Palin conservative knock off electable moderate Republicans in party destroying fights, then lose to Democrats in the general. That's something I could get used to.

November 3, 2009

I Surrender!

If they are led by Morena Baccarin then I really do welcome our new alien overlords.

Take me! Take Me!

Election Day!

Well, kind of. For a lucky few. If you live in New Jersey or Virginia. New York Mayor. Upstate New York has a little soap going. John Garamendi is going to get himself a seat in Congress today. Just a little action to get the political junkies their fix. While I am grateful that fix, I have to say that odd-year governor and mayoral races are a bad idea. They kill turnout and cut a huge part of the electorate out of local government. The Presidency being what it is, you are just always going to get the best turnout for that election. But governor and mayor are really important jobs! Everybody should put their 2 cents on smaller races. I say put as many gigs on the ballot as possible and then get everyone out.

The Dolphins are Getting Smarter

Ok, not so much getting smarter, but the more we learn about them, the smarter they turn out to be. They use tools, they adopt to new situations, they learn. They are excited when they learn something. You know where this leads, right?

November 2, 2009

A Girl and Her Wolf

Meet Riese:


Never Get to Purge

Sometimes its just more fun to be a conservative. They are going to get to have themselves a nationwide purge, while we can't even throw out one little heretic.


So I did not get into the finals of WashPost's pundit contest. Here are the top ten. The list includes a Noble Prize winner, a fellow with the Council on Foreign Relations, and an assistant secretary of commerce with the Bush Administration. So apparently, they were checking resumes. Until someone tells me different, I'm just going to assume that I placed 11th out of the 5,000 or so entries.

UPDATE: Fistfights in the Post's newsroom! I'm so sad I'm not going to part of this.

November 1, 2009


Two very notable exits, with San Fransisco Mayor Gavin Newson dropping out of the California Governor's race, and the moderate GOP candidate in the NY-23 also giving up the ghost.

Newson I'm pretty disappointed in. The other leading Democratic governor candidate is Jerry Brown, and I was looking forward to a good old verses new, great hair verses no hair primary match-up. I've got real doubts about Brown, and now it looks like we are stuck with him.

Republican Dede Scozzafava's exit is the latest chapter in the GOP morality play I've been keeping an eye on lately.

The lesson of this play is pretty simple: Do not be even the slightest bit moderate in today's GOP. Scozzafava was mostly conservative with just a few heresies, like gay rights and card check, but that was enough for a full blown right-wing mobilization. And in a conservative district, the right can win. But the Country is not a conservative district in up-state New York. The tea party wackos will not beat Obama and will not stop health care reform, but they may just succeed in driving the few remaining moderates from the GOP. Which makes for a very united party. The GOP doesn't have to worry about moderates going rogue and fouling up legislation. But it also makes for a very small party.

UPDATE: Wow. Scozzafava just endorsed the Democrat in the race. To be clear, the official GOP nominee just endorsed the official Democratic nominee in a House special election three day before election day. That's insane.

October 29, 2009

A Question

How much do we need to pay Mrs. Lieberman and Mrs. Bayh in order to get their husbands to support health care reform?

Oh Economic Growth, How I've Missed You So.

It's back! Growth is back! Been gone so long!

Why Pink?

October is breast cancer awarness month. Which means I'm being bombarded with pink. Why pink? People keep trying to sell me pink stuff for breast cancer research. Buy a pink ribbon, buy a pink balloon. Heck I was looking at laptops from Dell and if you buy the pink one, they will kick in ten bucks for the cause.

Don't get me wrong, I love breasts and hate to see anything bad happen to them. But I hate pink. Pink is for baby girls right when they come home and when they go through that phase with princesses and plastic ponies. Heck most adult women I know (don't give me that look, I know a few) wouldn't be caught dead in pink. Manly man that I am, I just can do pink. So why pink?

Is there a way to support breasts and the sisterhood without gettin drapped in pink?

October 27, 2009

Why Yes, That Does Work

The thought of George W Bush having to pick up dog crap, does motivate me.

I'm ready to take on the day now.


Normally, I don't pay that much attention to up-state New York special elections, but what's happening in New York's 23rd congressional district is pretty fascinating. The incumbent Republican has joined the Obama administration as Army Secretary, and a free-for-all has broken out to replace him. Normally this district would be a easy win for the GOP, but in this case a three-way race has developed. There's a wishy-washy Dem, a wishy-washy GOPer and a hard-core conservative spoiler. All the notable right-wingers, such as Palin, Rush, and Beck, are lining up with the right-winger. With the right side of electorate split, the Dems could pull out a win in a place they should have no right to.

Who says you can't find a good election in an off year? Here comes November!

October 26, 2009

You Can Escape McDonald's

If your economy goes far enough out of wack, it is possible.

It takes a pretty nasty crash, so this is not recomended. Think of it as "at least your waistline will go down."

The Messy Act of Creation

There's a pretty good reason why the most common metaphor for the legislative process is "making sausage." Good grief this is a messy, ugly process. Public option, no public option, half a public option, 60 votes in the Senate, 218 in the House, this committee and that. Not much to done but keep an eye on the process (read Johnathan Cohn and Ezra Klien)call your Senator from time to time, and wait.

Oh ick, I just got a raw piece of legislation on my shirt.

October 25, 2009

He Never Stops Teasing Me

When, oh when, will this torment stop.

Too Much Good Stuff

Ok, forget the safe-for-work, safe-for-network television, film institute of whatever top 100 movie quotes list. Check out the Pajiba other 100 best. But don't just read them. Watch them all and let the greatness wash over you:

Not to be played with your boss and/or mother in earshot.

October 22, 2009

My Entry

The Washington Post is holding a contest called America's Next Great Pundit. The grand prize of which is a dozen columns in the paper. Here's my entry, delivered about an hour before last night's deadline:

I may be new to the pundit game, but some parts I already know. First, I’m expected to be an expert about all topics, and two, I’m not an expert on all topics, despite Wikipedia. So I need to cheat. The gap between the pundit’s need to know everything and the size of the human brain can only be filled by cheating. Yelling is an easy cheat. Just make up for low knowledge with high volume. Sadly, this is really only a viable tactic for television punditry and arguments at the local bar. There’s no viable way to yell in a print piece, and ALL CAPS DO NOT WORK. I need some other way to cheat or, put another way, take a shortcut to the heart of the issue. My favorite move is to cite an expert with whom I agree or, even better, an idiot with whom I do not agree.
Take the debate over Net neutrality. Net neutrality is an effort to ensure that the providers of Internet access treat all content equally. There are rules to make sure that everyone’s Web page loads equally fast and everyone’s e-mail shows up at the same time. That no one gets a raw deal due to the content of their site or the company they work for. Of course, that’s just the quick and dirty version. I’m sure when the FCC takes action it will be much more complicated than that, with pages and pages of technical regulations and legal findings and charts and graphs and an easel. At that point it will be beyond my ability to be an expert on the subject. Now one way to cheat, er, take a shortcut to expertise on this matter, would be to cite an expert like the technologist quoted in this Post article, Vint Cerf, one of the builders of the Internet, who urged the FCC to adopt a "pro-innovation policy agenda" by adopting Net neutrality. But even more effective would be to see where the lunatics are, and then run the other way. On his show yesterday, Glenn Beck said that Net neutrality is a plot to get everyone free Internet and for the Obama administration to take over all media.
The fact that Beck believes Net neutrality to be an evil plot that needs to be stopped is the strongest argument I can mount in favor of adopting it.

Thanks to Krissi for the late editing assist, and everybody -fingers crossed. I could call Charles Krauthammer my honored colleague.

October 21, 2009


Maybe this will help you understand:


Al Franken, Senatoring the hell out of it.

Senatoring -act of being or acting as a senator. Your Craigorian Chant made-up word of the day.

October 20, 2009


Science marches on. These day we discover new extra-solar planets all the time. 32 new ones announced today. Woo!

We need something fresh to liven these discoveries up. We need a earth sized planet! With green stuff on it!

Need a better telescope.

Making Money Off the Nuts

Mike Madden shows you how.

The lesson here is no matter how dumb the investment move, if you can get enough morons to make the investment, it makes money. It could be comic books, it could be triple-compounded derivatives. Whatever the thing, if enough people buy it, it goes up in price. The intrinsic value doesn't matter, inflation doesn't matter, the price to earning ratio doesn't matter. All you need are enough dopes with money and you get a price increase.

In this case it's gold, but this trick could work with anything. Just put you ad up on Glenn Beck, tell people X is a great investment and will protect you from the Obama administration.

And then count your money.

October 19, 2009

Good One

What other major roadblocks to action can we change as a joke?

NRA fine with ban on machine guns.

Comcast in favor of net neutrality.

The BCS now supports a playoff system.

You heard it here first.


You are, in fact, famous.

Famous as a d-bag and a fraud, but now a very well-know d-bag and fraud.

Well done sir.

October 16, 2009

The Right to 100 megabits per Second

The Finns have a legal right to broadband access. So cool.

Via Oliver, who thinks its silly. Oliver is wrong!

I Protest!

Getting pretty hard to mock right-wing protesters these days, but this is noble effort:

October 15, 2009

Today Moment of Zen

The apple makes it high class.

Batman Appears

Today on scenes I love, an occasional and ongoing series here at the Craigorian Chant School of Film Study, we look at Batman Begins. Specifically, the first time we actually see Batman:

Where are you!


I could watch that all day. But we are not just about entertainment here at CCSFS, we seek a deeper understanding of art. So I give you a complete, shot-by-shot breakdown of the scene:

Batman as A Monster in a Classic Horror Movie

We take you deeper


We are getting pretty close to "Have you now or ever been a Muslim" territory here. Of course, intelligence standards have fallen among the McCarthy Right over the years. At least McCarthy was hunting Soviet spies. Imaginary Soviet spies, but still. Interns. They are hunting Muslim interns.

October 14, 2009

Within this Square Lies all Wisdom

So lately my web surfing has been regularly taking me to the world of web comics. Given that the medium is basically guys doodling on the Internet, this is high-class nerdism. My favorites are the brilliant xkcd, and the highly meta Darths and Droids and Order of the Stick.

xkcd will surprise you over and over again with what can be done with stick figures and is a must read for any nerd involved with or contemplating love and sex. Which I do.

Order of the Stick is little less accessible, it requires that you have spent some time role-playing, D&D 3rd edition in particular. It depicts a slapstick world governed by the rules of D&D, where you call out "sneak attack!" when you sneak attack and you can miss the goblin standing right next to you if you roll you dice wrong.

Darths and Droids is even more meta. The graphic panels of the comic are screen captures from the Star Wars movies. But dialogue is based on the premise that the story is the result of a role-playing game session. Sounds crazy, but in a lot of places, this comic makes more sense than the original movies.

So what do you guys read?

Murder and Cover-Up

The State of Texas killed an innocent man and is now trying to cover-up that fact.

Of course it would be Texas.

October 13, 2009

Space Exploration Porn

50 years of space exploration on one map.


Explaining Berlusconi

Anne Applebaum takes a crack.

What is it with this guy?

Silvio Berlusconi has been accused of bribery, tax evasion, corruption, and subversion of the press. His wife has left him on the grounds that he consorts with prostitutes and holds orgies at his villa in Sardinia. He makes embarrassing jokes (and then repeats them, as he did with the one about President Barack Obama's "suntan") and periodically disappears to undergo more plastic surgery. He is at war with the Italian legal establishment, with almost all the journalists who don't work for him, and with the Catholic Church.

October 12, 2009

May Its Ok After All

The Insurance industry is taking shots at the health reform bill, so maybe the legislative sausage factory hasn't completely made a mess of it.

Where Have You Gone William F. Buckley?

When the story of William F. Buckley, patron saint of conservatism gets told, one part that always gets highlighted is the great casting out of the John Birch Society. The John Birch Society, and its leader Robert Welch, were the Glenn Becks of the 1960's, wacky right-wingers who thought that Dwight Eisenhower was a communist mole. Buckley, famously, worked it so that the Goldwater '64 campaign, and the conservative movement in general, threw the nutters out.

This action, the story goes, kept the conservative movement respectable and mainstream, which lead to Ronnie, Newt and the current state of things. Which brings us to the John Birch Society of today: Glenn Beck and his merry band of teabaggers. Glenn Beck represents that same brand of ultra-nutty conservatism, the paranoid, delusional, and just downright scary strain of right-winger that has been back around from the 1950's on. So who will cast Glenn Beck out of the movement? Who will make conservatism safe for America again?

No one will. Buckley is gone, and he hasn't been replaced. The center of the conservative universe isn't the National Review any more, now all roads lead to Fox News. Where Glenn Beck has set up shop and now rules the ratings. Beck now has a platform to inject his madness straight into the GOP. Have a look at this piece in Salon, documenting how Beck's obsessions become the obsessions of GOP Congressmen and Senators, sometimes in a matter of hours. Beck isn't just an influence, he's setting the agenda for the Republicans in Congress. We also are seeing signs that "Tea Party" activists are now taking aim at the GOP, in an attempt to drive the party even further to right. No one is casting the nutters out of the movement. They are the movement.

This is bad, both for Republican Party and for America. Republicans are never going to get it together with a paranoid delusional calling the shots and America can't move forward if half of the political system is lost to madness.

October 11, 2009


Instead of church on Sunday, here's some U2 singing about stuff:

Jesus never let me down
You know Jesus used to show me the score
Then they put Jesus in show business
Now it's hard to get in the door

October 10, 2009

A Movie for Your Day

Blues Brothers 2000.

Nowhere near the original, but it does have:

1. Heartbreaking opening, where Elwood waits for Jake.
2. The largest car pile-up ever filmed.
3. Killer all-star line-up, including the world's most epic all-star band at the end.

October 9, 2009

NASA Verse The Moon

Last time we went to collect rocks and play golf, but this time


The Prize

American is such a powerful nation that all it takes is us to elect a President who is against torture and random acts of war against Countries that haven't attacked us and the cause of peace in the world is hugely increased.

So yeah.

I would prefer that he get it later in his Presidency, after we are out of Iraq and have avoided war with Iran, but lets face it, replacing Bush with Obama has led to a more peaceful world.

October 8, 2009

October 7, 2009

Social Trends worth Following.

The return of happy hour.

Killing 30% of His Material

Seeing as a huge chunk of late night comedy consists of mocking dudes (always dudes, somehow cheating ladies are just not funny) caught with their pants down, has Letterman lost 30% of his act?

October 4, 2009

Live Your Life

Don't know why this is by T.I. featuring Rihanna. It's Rihanna's part that makes you want to hear to it again.

October 1, 2009


After 9/11 they wouldn't let you take anything sharp onto an airline. Sure.

After the shoe bomber got caught you had to take your shoes off for inspection. Ok.

Some terrorist in Britain came up with a fairly half-baked plan to smuggle explosives hidden as household liquids. Now we restrict the size of liquids that you can take on a flight. Ummm, Really?

And now this. Which means the obvious countermeasure is...oh boy.

What Could Go Wrong?

Like most adults I've had very little in way of fights and violence in my life. No, Muay Thai class does not count. But every close call I've had, every heated moment and "wow, dude, i though we were going to have to throw down for a minute" event in my life has come in a bar.

So naturally, such a conflict-filled place is the ideal environment to introduce guns!

Way to go Arizona! Other States just start bar fights. Arizona finishes them. With gunfire.

No More Saturn

Saturn is coming to an end, part of the larger carpocalypse sweeping the nation. I'm getting a bit nostalgic. My 95 Saturn LS2 wasn't my first car, but it was the first car I bought and paid for. The first car I drove that I liked. It was green. It sat four comfortably. At least a few times I slept in it. I don't think it ever attracted the girls, but it didn't scare them off either.

Now its gone, replaced by a Toyota. Which is pretty much the whole world of cars summed up nicely.

September 30, 2009

Oh Now You Want a Coup

Now we got a right-wing columnist speculating about a military coup to overthrow Obama. Nice.

The piece contains the following classic lines:

America isn't the Third World. If a military coup does occur here it will be civilized.


Imagine a bloodless coup to restore and defend the Constitution...

So how does overthrowing the duly elected President "restore" the Constitution? Is there a hidden clause in Article 2 that says no black guys?

Oh and how is your coup going to be bloodless when the 99.9% of the military that actually take the Constitution seriously arrest or shoot the crazy-people who try and overthrow the President of United States?

We are only eight months in.

September 29, 2009

Let's All Go to the Mall

to avoid the zombie hoard.

Ever since reading World War Z, I been putting far to much time into my zombie escape and evasion plans. Some nights, it was the only way to get to sleep. That book really freaked me out.

One of the key issues of any effort to escape a zombie uprising is where to go. Do you hold up in your house? Head towards the countryside? Just sit there thinking about it, till you get eaten?

But thanks to SCIENCE, we now know the answer. According to a physics from Università di Parma, a very complex building, such as a mall or school, offers the best bet to evade the zombie threat.

And now you know.

Going Rogue

is the name of Sarah Palin's memoir.

Sarah Palin is publishing a memoir.

Of her life.

Called Going Rogue.

That is all.

Dude, Still not Funny

Prime Minister of Italy Silvio Berlusconi is still making jokes about the Obamas being tanned. It is as if your crazy, vaguely racist Uncle ran a country.

September 28, 2009

The Right Words for a Wake

Normally, when a conservative of great note or high profile dies, I find myself very strained to come up with anything nice to say at all. Hell, Jerry Falwell has been dead for over two years and I still can't come up with a single nice thing to say.

But I have nice things to say about William Safire.

He was a Nixon guy and the house conservative of the NY Times for decades.

That is not what I liked about him.

What I liked about him was his love of language, words and writing. Alongside the political columns, he had one on words and language. The man could just turn a phrase. Spiro Agnew's "nattering nabobs of negativism" come straight from him. He was, first and foremost, good with words. He gave all of us who strive to be clever with words something to aim at.

So here are Safire's “rules for writers”:

Remember to never split an infinitive. Take the bull by the hand and avoid mixing metaphors. Proofread carefully to see if you words out. Avoid clichés like the plague. And don’t overuse exclamation marks!!

More Time to Blog

Looks like your humble blogger is going to be without a day job. Good news for you readers: more time for posts! I might do three a day now. I am now available for personal appearances as well.

But hey, if any of you out there in blog land have something available or a hot tip, I'm not too proud to beg you for it.

September 25, 2009


You know those old guys you see wandering around with metal detectors, looking for "treasure?"

Well, one of them just had the best day in the history of old guys with metal detectors and possibly in the history of metal detectors or old guys.

September 24, 2009


So now its ok to drag the Flag through crap. "Stain it with tea" I thought these were the anti-flag desecration types. So its now ok to soil the flag, as long as the right-wingers do it?

Good News

Progress on an HIV vaccine.


September 23, 2009

World Leading Wackness

Muammar Qaddafi, staking his claim for craziest world leader, with a very strong hour and a half UN rant.

Your move Kim Jong. Your move.

Protect Insurance Companies


The Constitution is a really great document in a lot of ways. One thing it does well is coral idiotic congressional moves. Its not constitutional to pass a law targeting just one person or entity. So when congress tries to say, target ACORN with a measure, it has to write the law broadly. The law they passed applies to "any organization" that has been charged with breaking federal or state election laws, lobbying disclosure laws, campaign finance laws or filing fraudulent paperwork with any federal or state agency.

Which, as it turns out, stings a whole bunch of defense contractors. In fact, if this thing actually becomes law, it could end the entire defense-industrial complex as we know it. Wouldn't that be something?

September 22, 2009

Can't Watch

Here's a link to video of Tom Delay on Dancing the Cha-Cha on Dancing with the Stars. I can't actually bear to watch it myself, but feel free to follow the link if you are braver than I.

September 17, 2009

How the Maddness Spreads

I am always fascinated by the concept of memes and looking at how ideas are spread and evolve. So this look by Alexander Zaitchik of Salon at the intellectual origins of Beckism.

Turns out, it can be traced back to one W. Cleon Skousen, a man who was many things, but first a foremost a radical right nutball of the first order. As in declare Dwight Eisenhower to be a communist brand of nutball.

This is where the teabaggers are coming from.

September 16, 2009

Just Think

At this point in the Bush Administration, 3,000 Americans had been killed by terrorists.

Bring On the Race War

A "wedge issue" was famously described as "dividing the country, and we get the bigger half." Well, there are currently more white people in this Country than other shades of people, so conservatives figure if they can divide the Country on race, and get the white part, they win.


and thus.

September 15, 2009

"Nobody ever wins a fight"

Patrick Swayze RIP.

You can keep the dance and the ghost movie. For me Swayze shall always be remembered for the immortal classic Road House, where he played James Dalton, king of all bouncers. Featuring such immortal lines as the one above, as well as "Pain don't hurt" and "I used to fuck guys like you in prison."

September 14, 2009

Come Together

In these troubled times of partisanship and strife, at least we can all come together to agree on something:

Kanye West is a dick