April 30, 2009

100 Days of Fox

Chief Craigorian Chant Media Analysis Roy sends in this review of the first 100 days through the eyes of Fox News.

There's no better way to understand what Fox News is and what they do when you see it this way. The amazing thing is, this is just the beginning. Obama has a lot more to do. Where is Fox going to go with its rhetoric in the months, ney years to come?

April 28, 2009

The GOP Get's Smaller

The big news of the day is Arlen Specter switching parties. With him goes the slightest claim of the GOP to power, as the Dems now stand ready to take their 60th vote in the Senate (Fee Al Franken!)

It really should be noted that Specter does not do this out of any great prinipal or ideology, but fairly naked ambition. Specter is due to lose in the GOP primary, really likes being Senator, and this is what he has to do to stay Senator. Its not like he has to throw his mother under a bus, just his party.

We'll take the vote, but really, the man is still a hack.

There Will Be More

My favorite little Jerry Seinfeld stand-up bit was him talking about how his mother always told him not to snack, because his would "ruin his appetite" But when he grew up he realized that he could ruin his appetite, but a new appetite would always replace it. Jerry's ruined hundreds of appetites, but it always comes back.

That's what I though of when I read the rash of Obama's first hundred days. Yep, the first hundred days is done. But there's another hundred after that. And another after that. In fact, Obama has 14 or so hundred days, and if he's good and we all do our part, 14 more after that.

Which is to say, I'm not making a big deal out of this hundred days. There are a lot more coming.

April 27, 2009

Step One

This is how it starts. Some poor slob on the factory floor gets attacked, then the next thing you know the world is like this:

If you can read this, then you are the resistance.

Be Prepared

This is so ironic it just might kill us all. Sen. Susan Collins (R) of Maine made a great big deal of cutting preparedness for a pandemic flu from the stimulus package. Because we would never to be prepared for a pandemic flue outbreak, would we?

April 26, 2009

What Fresh Hell Is This?

Something new to worry about.

My advice: stay way from any pig with a cough.

April 23, 2009


I read somewhere that the best swordsman in the world doesn't fear the second-best. What he fears is the worse swordsman in the world, cause you just don't know what that idiot will do.

I was thinking of that when I took a look at Rep. Joe Barton (R, of course - Texas) "stumping" Energy Secretary and Nobel frackin Prize winner Steven Chu with incredibly stupid questions. A gifted grad student or a even a fellow top scientist isn't going to stump the Nobel Prize winner. But a really stupid Congressman, asking really stupid questions, could, for a moment, give the man pause.

Legacy of Ashes

This struck me from TPM:

Yes, Republicans have tried to distance themselves from President Bush's fiscal profligacy. But on the core value issues of militarism and human rights violations and keeping faith with the war criminals of the previous regime they really couldn't be more unified or on message. If you were plopped down on earth today in front of a TV set in the United States, on the testimony of the party members themselves, you might easily get the idea that state-sanctioned torture was the main policy legacy of the outgoing administration. Sort of like Democrats looked back on late 90s budget surpluses with a proud defiance in the aftermath of the Clinton years.

Of all the issues that conservatives could defend Bush on, they chose to die on hill torture. He's a amazingly unpopular figure, who led his party to election disaster. There are lots of places to break with him on. But why chose spending and not torture? Spending is debaitable. Torture isn't. A hundred years from now, we will still be fighting over how much the government should spend and on what. But in a hundred years, the only fight over torture will be who can denounce it more.

April 22, 2009

Some Good News for Earth Day

The bald eagle is off the endangered species list:

Good job, everyone.

Notes on the Pagent

Strangely, I find myself having opinions on the Miss California gay marriage question row. A few notes:

1. Perez Hilton is just a gross human being, the worse kind of star-fucker in a world that has a lot. We do not want him to be the leading advocate for gay marriage.

2. Since when do real political questions get asked at these things? I always though it was "How do we bring about world peace?" and "Puppies, pro or con"

3. No seriously, when did the content of the answers start to matter? I always thought the question portion of the competition was a test of pose and being able to think on your feet. There's a forum for asking political questions and judging people on their answers. Its called candidates night.

4. Why are we still having beauty pageants? Does anybody actually watch these any more?

5. Maybe that's why they had political questions and freak show judges: to gin up some attention. Mission accomplished!

April 21, 2009

Bring Me My Pitchfork!

Read this story on bankers feeling oppressed and you will feel the overwhelming urge to start burning something down.

April 20, 2009


Intrigue extreme:

Rep. Jane Harman , the California Democrat with a longtime involvement in intelligence issues, was overheard on an NSA wiretap telling a suspected Israeli agent that she would lobby the Justice Department to reduce espionage-related charges against two officials of the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee, the most powerful pro-Israel organization in Washington.

Harman was recorded saying she would “waddle into” the AIPAC case “if you think it’ll make a difference,” according to two former senior national security officials familiar with the NSA transcript.

In exchange for Harman’s help, the sources said, the suspected Israeli agent pledged to help lobby Nancy Pelosi , D-Calif., then-House minority leader, to appoint Harman chair of the Intelligence Committee after the 2006 elections, which the Democrats were heavily favored to win.


And that, contrary to reports that the Harman investigation was dropped for “lack of evidence,” it was Alberto R. Gonzales, President Bush’s top counsel and then attorney general, who intervened to stop the Harman probe.

Why? Because, according to three top former national security officials, Gonzales wanted Harman to be able to help defend the administration’s warrantless wiretapping program, which was about break in The New York Times and engulf the White House.

Forget the movies, this is the real deal.

April 17, 2009

Work Around

The real horror is that this Country, for a time was run by people who treated the Geneva Convention like Enron treated accounting rules. Not as a law to be followed, but as guidelines to be evaded. To read the laws against torture and try and think of ways to lawyer your way around is particularly banality of evil.

April 16, 2009

April 15, 2009

Words Fail

Blago to appear on a reality show called I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here.


Civil Rights Edition

Conservatives everywhere are suddenly realising that they could be the focus of the surveillance state they spent the last eight years cheering.

April 14, 2009

Meet the New First Dog

His name is Bo, he's a Portuguese water dog and is going to be a star.

April 13, 2009

How Many Wins Does it Take?

How many times does Al Franken have to win before they let him start to cast votes?

Free Al Franken!


The SEALs sort things out, Captain is now free. Not so good outcome for the pirates, but them's the breaks when you fly under the black flag.

SEAL's: Ninjas of the seas.

April 10, 2009

Evolution of Fear

Giraffes get longer necks. The giraffe with the longer neck can eat the really nice leaves on the top of the tree, becomes healthier and sexier and scores more. Thus we have more giraffes with longer necks. That's evolution. Evolution for right wing talk show hosts means hosts get more and more insane over time. The crazier they are, the more you can't stop watching. Madness is the comparative advantage of right wing talk.

The natural outcome of this evolutionary process is Glenn Beck. Case in point:

This is insane. And completely expected. Glenn Beck is the walking personification of fear winning out over reason:

Fear of what? Take your pick. Fear that the U.S. is on a long march to fascism. (As evidence, Beck cited — on April Fools' Day but apparently seriously — the inclusion of fasces on the Mercury dime in 1916.) That fat cats and bureaucratic "bloodsuckers" are plundering your future. That Mexico will collapse and chaos will pour over the border. That America believes too little in God and too much in global warming. That "they" — Big Government, Big Business, Big Media — are against you. Above all, that you, small-town, small-business America — Palinville — have been forgotten. Dismissed. Laughed at. Just like him.

Glenn Beck: good for ratings, bad for the species.

April 9, 2009

Then By-God We Take it Back

As if the Somali pirates and the hunt for Somali pirates couldn't get any more interesting, we have the following incident:

The pirates boarded and seized the unarmed container ship, Maersk Alabama, taking 20 American sailors hostage on Wednesday. Although the crew managed to retake the ship within hours, the pirates were still holding the ship’s captain as they fled the ship in an unpowered lifeboat.

So honey, how was work today? Well, we got boarded by pirates, but don't worry, it was a only for a few hours. We took the ship back.

I want the full story on this.

Kumar Goes to the White House

Actor Kal Penn is trading in acting, including a regular gig on House for a job with the White House - associate director of the Office of Public Liaison. Just the pay cut alone is staggering.

April 8, 2009

Not the Way to Get Around

I hate the Segway. I believe it to be a vast conspiracy to get Americans to stop what little walking and biking they already do now and render us all even fatter. Why o why would you have an "eureka" moment in the bathtub that goes "lets spend millions of dollars to replace walking"

And the new, bigger, two-person P.U.M.A. is even worse. It's way too big for sidewalks, poses a real hazard for both pedestrians and bike riders, but isn't fast enough or safe enough to hang out on the road with cars. And there's no way that cities can set aside space for a dedicated Segway/P.U.M.A lane. A built-up, walkable urban core just doesn't have any more right-of-way to set aside - after the sidewalk, the bike lane and the road there's no room left. We would wreak our densest and most walkable cities trying to make way for these beasts. And don't lecture me on the wonders of being zero emission electrical powered. These things are too slow and fragile to replace cars. They replace walking and biking, two modes of transportation that are already zero emission and have the added benefit of keeping you from dropping dead of a heart attack at age 39.

I'm a futurist. I love the future, I can't wait to see what comes next. But these little chunk of the future you can keep.

April 7, 2009

Free Al Franken

So after a lengthy court challange, Norm Coleman has gotten the court ruling that he has long been seeking. And with those new votes in hand, Norm has...

fallen behind by 87 more votes.

Al "Landslide" Franken is now up by 317 votes.

Free Al Franken!

Old Tricks

Obama is not a completely clean break from the Bush administration. The President just ran a play from the Bush playbook:

The surprise trip to Baghdad.

April 6, 2009

The War Within

Forget al Qaeda, the Taliban or aliens from space. Defense Secretary Robert Gates just declared war on the toughest foe he will ever face: the American Military-Industrial Complex.

Take the F-22. Please. It is easily the sexiest thing ever to fly over this earth, but its price tag is enough to make you weep and it is very little use to fight an enemy who lives in a cave. The F-22 is just a sexy waste of money for the world we face.

But building F-22's makes a lot of people a lot of money. That's who Gates has to take on. Killing the F-22 program will be the fight of his life. Afganistan will just be a mop-up operation after that.

My Project

Being someone who will often talk about writing a movie screenplay but never actually do it, I've signed up for Script Frenzy, an online challenge to write a 100-page screenplay in the month of April. I need the prodding. It's not so much I work best when facing a deadline, it's that I only work when facing a deadline. Now screenwriting has proven kind of tricky, despite the hints I can glean from Kung Fu Monkey, John August, and Jane Epenson. The format for a screenplay isn't like anything I've done before, and has proven much harder to do than blog posts, for example. To stay on schedule, I should have written 18 pages by now. I've done 8. But now I've shared my efforts with you all, so, in order to now avoid shame in front of you - my family, friends and lovers, plus the random good-hearted who read me, I must renew my efforts.

Not so Big or Bad

Before we get too worked up or get truly crazy (Lasers! Fricken Lasers!) about the North Korean missile launch, let us please note that the Launch Was a Failure.

April 3, 2009

The Last "IV Push"

So the last episode of ER was on last night, which I didn't watch, cause I don't watch ER anymore. But there was a time when that show was very important to me, so I feel I should note it's passing. ER came out right when I first began thinking about what I wanted to do with my life (a phase which continues till this very day) and firmly convinced me that med school was not an option, no matter how much I desired to be George Clooney.

So here's to you ER, thanks to you I don't work at a job that makes me puke and/or pass out on a regular basis.

April 2, 2009

April 1, 2009


Have a fun and safe April Fool's day.


Moral Tie

The Democrat picked up a 65 vote "win" last night in the special election to determine who replace the lady who replaced Hillary in the Senate. Wait for the recount. But, considering the district is overwhelmingly Republican and the Dems only picked up the seat last cycle with the aid of a well-time domestic abuse accusation, I think we can safely say the public still hates Republicans.

Recount! Recount!