June 30, 2009

Al Franke is Free

The last war of 2008 is won.

Last victory dance.

Wooo.

Holy Crap Al Franken is a United States Senator.

White Guys Catch a Break

Finally, they stop being oppressed.

June 29, 2009

Madoff Sentence

If I went into a bank with a gun and walked out with ten grand, I would get what? Ten years? Twenty? What is the right sentence for a guy who walked off with billions? Do we even have a scale for this sort of thing?

June 28, 2009

Rock On

No more Michael, time for something that better suits my mood:

June 24, 2009

Just an Affair

So the whole missing Governor affair turned out to be just that - an affair. Kinda boring, once you think about. I was hoping for secret plastic surgery or some kind of amnesia And lucky us we get to see the mother of all mid-life crisis's play out in news conference form. At least the man had the decency of not bringing his wife along for the soul-bearing. No more lectures on family values from anybody. Ever.

Argentina

So it turns out that the mysteriously missing Governor was not, in fact, "hiking the Appalachian Trail" but rather took a seven-day trip to Buenos Aires, Argentina that no one, not his staff, not his security detail, and not even his wife knew about. this is really kind of weird. Do you know anyone who just takes off for a foreign country for a week and not tell anyone? Do you know anyone who is the boss of something not making arrangements for when they leave? I mean the man is Governor of South Carolina. He didn't tell his staff? The Lt. Governor? Somebody?

I demand an investigation. Maybe a hearing.

June 22, 2009

Case of the Missing Governor

Have you ever just wanted to take off, leave it all behind, and not tell anybody where you're gong?

Well, the Governor of South Carolina just did.

Basiji Hunting

There are certain people in this world who just cry out for a beating. The Basiji are at the top of my list. These are the irregular Iranian paramilitary force. They do the things too thuggist for the regular Iranian security services. They beat unarmed protesters. They beat women and children. They shoot and kill women on the street. There are everything you hate about a street gang and the secret police, rolled up into one.

Behold: Basiji Hunting.

Good hunting, kids, good hunting.

June 21, 2009

Rock The Casbah

The Clash wrote this when the Ayatollah baned rock music in Iran back in the early 80's. True story.

June 19, 2009

Good Point

The fact that we stole the election by such a large and unbelievable margine is proof that we didn't steal the election:

Khamenei said the 11 million votes that separated Ahmadinejad from his top opponent, Mousavi, were proof that fraud did not occur. Ahmadinejad watched the sermon from the front row. State television did not show Mousavi in attendance.

"If the difference was 100,000 or 500,000 or 1 million, well, one may say fraud could have happened. But how can one rig 11 million votes?" Khamenei asked during Friday prayers at Tehran University.


At least Florida was close.

June 18, 2009

Soccer Protest

Even the jocks get in on the action:

It was a simple gesture — green tape wrapped around a wrist — but its symbolism resonated half a world away.

Several players on Iran’s national soccer team wore the green tape on their wrists during a World Cup qualifying match against South Korea on Wednesday, an apparent sign of solidarity with opposition leader Mir Hossain Mousavi.

Protesters at home who accuse the government of rigging Iran’s June 12 election in favor of hard-line President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have been wearing green — the color of Mousavi’s campaign — in a show of support for the opposition candidate.


The best part is that Iran State TV, which has been avoiding showing any protests, had to show this, cause soccer is too big a deal in Iran to censor. Soccer Explains the World had a great chapter on soccer in Iran.

June 17, 2009

Big Talker

North Korea is a small, isolated, starving country. The biggest military threat it poses is that it would lose any conflict with the west and implode in a mass of refugees and chaos. So naturally, it talks big:

North Korea warned Wednesday of a "thousand-fold" military retaliation against the U.S. and its allies if provoked, the latest threat in a drumbeat of rhetoric in defense of its rogue nuclear program.

North Korea would enviably lose any war, but war is bloody mess that all rational non-North Korean countries will avoid at all costs. North Korea needs the threat of war and an escalating crisis cause that's all they got. Lucky for us, we have an Administration that is the essence of calm and thoughtful. Just think about a President McCain, and how he wouldn't be able to resist getting into a dick-measuring contest with Kim Jong-Il. North Korea needs a crisis. Obama shouldn't give him one.

June 16, 2009

InfoWar

This is the world now. From Wired's Danger Room - denial of service attacks are now part of the fighting:

Pro-democracy activists on the web are asking supporters to use relatively simple hacking tools to flood the regime’s propaganda sites with junk traffic. “NOTE to HACKERS - attack www.farhang.gov.ir - pls try to hack all iran gov wesites [sic]. very difficult for us,” Tweets one activist. The impact of these distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks isn’t clear. But official online outlets like leader.ir, ahmadinejad.ir, and iribnews.ir are currently inaccessible. “There are calls to use an even more sophisticated tool called BWraep, which seems to exhaust the target website out of bandwidth by creating bogus requests for serving images,” notes Open Society Institute fellow Evgeny Morozov.

This is about the information. Information is key, not bombs. And the side of freedom always has better nerds than the fascists.

June 15, 2009

Would You Buy This Show?

The original show pitch for the Muppet Show:

Recount!

It will be like Florida 2000, only with real riots:

Iran's supreme leader ordered Monday an investigation into allegations of election fraud, marking a stunning turnaround by the country's most powerful figure and offering hope to opposition forces who have waged street clashes to protest the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Now is this a real reversal or is the supreme leader just trying to take some pressure off?

I would just like to note that, whatever the outcome of any event in Iran, the usual suspects always have the same answer - no diplomacy and more bombs.

June 13, 2009

There Something Happening Here

So the Iranian election has gone haywire. What was shaping us as a down-to-wire race between everyone's favorite Anti-Semitic nutball, Ahmadinejad and a reformer challenger has instead been announced to be a landslide Ahmadinejad victory. The opposition is crying foul, and there are riots in streets.

Which means only one thing - it's time to deploy the Buffalo Springfield:

June 12, 2009

Good Question

I know that we should all make fun of FoxNews for asking the question, but I'm actually interested to know if Obama's quiting smoking will survive the stress of the office. A reformed smoker President, sneaking cigarettes under the stress of the job, is something that pops up a lot in fiction. The West Wing did it, as did Tom Clancy in Executive Orders. Usually the fictional Presidents bum a light off of Secret Service agents or generals in the situation room, always outside the watchful eye of the First Lady.

I can't imagine a tougher job. For some reason, I'm comforted by the though of a sneaky smoke to relieve the stress.

June 11, 2009

What Do They Know We Don't

Venezuelan bans Coke Zero citing mysterious "dangers to health." I'll admit fizzy sugar water doesn't strike me as being healthy, and fizzy sugar water that contains no calories is both unnatural and weird. I'll admit to never letting Coke Zero pass though my lips, but if Hugo Chavez knows something, I'd like him to share.

Highly Priced Soccer Update

US Government sponsored had an excellent run this year, winning the English Premier League, but coming up short in the Champions League final against Barcelona (Barca! Barca!) Alas, our sponsorship of Man U is coming to an end, as insurance company Aon has signed to be the new kit (uniform) sponsor to replaced the bailed out AIG.

But Man U will not be hurting for money, cause they just sold Cristiano Ronaldo. One of the more interesting aspects of soccer in the rest of the world is transfer fees. Instead of the American sports system, where players are always traded for other players, in soccer teams pay cash money. Man U is getting $131 million, a new record, for Ronaldo, which they will take and spend on other players. And you though the Yankees were bad.

June 10, 2009

Pirates in Parliament

Pirates continue to spread.

Sweden has a Pirate Party - based on issues of copyright, patent law and file sharing - the party has just won a seat in the European Parliament.

June 9, 2009

A Gift

Look what the internet brought me for my birthday:

A video of Obama ordering General Odierno, commander of forces in Iraq, to shave Stephen Colbert's Head.

June 8, 2009

Life is Hard for Pawns



You do not want to be a pawn, no matter what the game. Not dealing drugs and not in power games between countries.

June 5, 2009

Italian Picnic


I'm off to do my duty for Societa Di Unione E Beneficenza Italiana, which means helping run the bocce courts. Everybody have a good weekend.

June 3, 2009

I'm Interested



Not to be totally taken in by a frickin ad campaign, but I've been totally taken in by Dos Equis' Most Interesting Man in the World. See above. Even better are the 15-second spots where He dispenses wisdom. The Most Interesting Man in the World on the two party system: "The after-party is the one you want to go to." On careers: "find the thing in life that you don't do well, and then don't do that thing."

Slate's ad report card has a good write-up. This is not just the simple frathouse beer=sex and guys getting hit in the junk that sells most beer. This is a high level fantasy, a vision of manliness so cool and over-the-top and yes, interesting my normal ad defenses are stripped bare. I want to hang out with this guy. I want to hear the story of the boat and the beauty queens. I want to be this guy. And I'm feeling the urge to go buy a six-pack of Dos Equis.

June 2, 2009

I'm an Underachiever

Thirty-one years old and running the auto industry.

1. Don't tell my mom.
2. I really do need to step up my game.

June 1, 2009

So Confused

Cheney supports gay marriage.

If only every conservative jerk was issued a gay daughter, this debate would be so over.

Mindless Violence

Imagine going through life if every single slight, bother or insult resulted in you punching someone in the mouth. Coffee guy got your order wrong - punch him in the mouth! Boss give you a hard time - punch her in the mouth! Now you have a pretty good idea of Bill Kristol's foreign policy.

Violent Retoric = Violence

Targets.