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 SkarsgÄrd'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.