Thursday, April 30, 2009

Disney Is So Original (Part Two)

Remember this? Well, here's more proof:

this dog from 101 dalmatians totally looks like jaque from lady and the tramp
see more Celeb Look-A-Likes

Making hit cartoons is hard work.

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Whack-A-Mouse (Cat-Style)

This is pretty funny:


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If FoxNews Knows Anything

Some People Just Don't Like Jury Duty

Going For Broke

Two to go.

Chrysler, one of the three pillars of the American auto industry, will file for bankruptcy today after last-minute negotiations between the government and the automaker's creditors broke down last night, an Obama administration official said.

U.S. officials had offered Chrysler's secured lenders $2.25 billion in cash if they would agree to writedown the $6.9 billion in secured debt that the company owed. But a small group of hedge funds refused the 11th-hour deal, forcing an imminent bankruptcy.

An administration official this morning expressed disappointment, saying the holdouts had failed to "do the right thing," but that "their failure to act in either their own economic interest or the national interest does not diminish the accomplishments made by Chrysler, Fiat and its stakeholders, nor will it impede the new opportunity Chrysler now has to restructure and emerge stronger going forward."

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Republicans Are Poor In The Foresight Department

Being a political party over saturated by religious dogma and fundamentalism, as well as a aversion to science and higher education, has it's downside.

Remember after Americans wanted answers to 9/11 and Condi Rice gave us the "I don't think anybody could have predicted that they would try to use an airplane as a missile, a hijacked airplane as a missile."

How about after Hurricane Katrina, when President Bush gave us the "I don't think anybody anticipated the breach of the levees. They did anticipate a serious storm." (Of course, Bush is a special case).

No we have Michael Steele doing the same thing.



Interesting that while trying to cover up for the fact that he's shortsighted, Steele admits that the bills was about creating jobs. Creating jobs.

Sigh. Should I even be surprised at the group who had no exit strategy for Iraq? I guess not.

Oh, and Rush Limbaugh thinks kicking out the 2008 Republican Candidate for President is supercool.

Foresight: they have none.

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LOST: Stop Or My Mom Will Shoot!


While most people were focused on some other event related to number 100, I was prepping for LOST's 100 episode. It wasn't exactly "One For the Ages," but definitely better than average.

Revelations
  1. Eloise is Daniel's mom (duh) and Widmore is Daniel's pop (wah?).
  2. Sawyer isn't exactly over Kate (dude, never call your ex by her pet name within earshot of your current GF).
  3. Desmond survived Ben's ambush.
  4. Widmore decided to sacrifice having a relationship with his daughter to...get the Island back?
  5. Charlotte wasn't going crazy when she was dying of the time jumps; her mind was "leaping" through her own personal timeline.


Observations

  1. Dharma Initiative folks are more trigger-happy than the Others, but not better shots!
  2. Apparently, Charlotte didn't have many friends while she was on the Island.
  3. For a guy with a long life-span, Alpert sure has a short memory. How can you possibly forget a guy who told you to bury a Hydrogen Bomb?
  4. The Smoke Monster wasn't really that active in the 70's, was he?

Theories

  1. Kate went with Jack because (1) Sawyer's spoken for, and (2) she hasn't had the chance to run away from something/someone in a while.
  2. Miles and Hurley will totally save Sawyer and Juliet.
  3. The falling out between Eloise and Widmore was either due to Ben's meddling, or the revelation that Widmore had fathered Penny.

Questions

  1. Why did Daniel think that 1977 Eloise would know about time travel?
  2. When did Eloise leave the Island?
  3. What exactly was Daniel doing when he left the Island?
  4. Why did Daniel believe that he was a variable and not a constant?
  5. When did Eloise learn about "course correction?" She obviously wasn't trying to prevent Daniel's path to the Island, so it had to be sometime before his birth, right?

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No Main Topic

  1. “I was a child and just thought I was helping my dad. I didn’t know.”
  2. "Anyway you cut it, the union is going to be a major presence at the company."
  3. “I don’t know how hurt he is. If he is out there, I know he’s going to play. My concern is not his back. My concern is if he is playing.”
  4. "Hints he took steroids as early as high school days."
  5. "Containment is no longer a feasible option. The world should focus on mitigation. We recommend not closing borders or restricting travel.”

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A Little More Insight

On Hardball last night, Chris Matthews had this interesting exchange with Rick Hertzberg (senior editor and staff writer for the “New Yorker"):

MATTHEWS: What do you make of Tom Ridge‘s statement that he‘s going to be looking into this. Quote—here‘s what Tom Ridge said today in a late statement. “So let‘s begin the discussion of ideas, with a respectful contest, as Pennsylvania and the nation continue to work collectively through these challenging times.”

The very popular two-term governor of this state—Rick Hertzberg, get in on this. This guy‘s pro-choice. He‘s been tough on things like the MX, military waste. He‘s been very independent with people like Dick Cheney. Can he bring back the Rockefeller Republican party?

HERTZBERG: Somebody is going to have to eventually. I mean, the Club for Growth is not universally popular in the Republican party. I mean, do you know what Huckabee said about the Club for Growth? This is a year ago December. I interviewed him. He called it the Club for Greed. He called it a despicable political hit organization that has no integrity and is cowardly, has a disregard for the realities of how you actually govern.

He said governing would be very simple under their formula. It wouldn‘t require an IQ of a broccoli to do it, because you just go and you say, we‘re going to eliminate all taxes. That‘s the Club for Growth. That‘s what the Republican party—that‘s one of the corners they‘ve painted themselves into.



Hertzberg is referring to this Mike Huckabee. That tells me all I need to know about Club for Growth. Despite the mumblings, they are not the right-wing version of MoveOn.org; MoveOn.org did not oust any moderate Democrat or force a moderate Democrat into the GOP.

You can see the exchange at about the 5:00 mark:

Bottom line: the GOP's continuous drive to the right (complete with endorsements of crazy fringe groups) is pushing one-time conservatives and moderates out. That's not a recipe for winning elections.

Oh and here's Colbert's take:



The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Arlen Specter Contracts Donkey Flu
colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full EpisodesPolitical HumorFirst 100 Days

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Like A Timeline, But With No Dates

OK; let me see if I have this straight (if anyone can provide dates and such, cool):


  1. On 9/11/2001, America experiences its worst terrorist attack ever. The Bush Administration (specifically Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld) want to link this horrible event to Saddam Hussein for financial and ideological reasons.
  2. The US start capturing suspected terrorists and people who may have ties to terrorists. They began to interrogate them.
  3. The interrogations either yield nothing or nothing giving the pro-war-with-Iraq faction of the White House the information it needs. Without crucial "links" to Iraq, Bush Administration settles for real evidence linking to Afghanistan.
  4. Under the influence of key Bush White House officials, the Executive Branch redefines interrogation, adopting techniques that some lawyers and most lay people define as torture.
  5. The United States of America begins to apply these "techniques" in order to make the people that were captured "admit" that al-Qaida and Saddam Hussein were best friends.
  6. President Bush makes a SOTU speech and says things like "yellow cake," while also saying phrases like "terrorists," "al-Qaida" and "Saddam Hussein" together often enough to give American people the impression that Saddam Hussein was the main factor/cause/reason behind 9/11.
  7. GOP-led Media claims that Iraq is begging America to evade and "free them" from Saddam, also claims that war will be cheap. Bush White House continues to give the American public the impression that Saddam Hussein masterminded 9/11.
  8. America attacks Iraq; goes to war.
  9. Some guy writes an op ed saying that President Bush's claim is at best mistaken and at worse a blatant lie. Soon after, some political columnist mentions that the aforementioned guy has a wife who's a CIA agent.
  10. Regular Media jumps on "outed CIA Agent" story; GOP-led Media and White House denounce importance of CIA agent.
  11. It's revealed that CIA agent dealt with anti-terrorism, GOP-led media and White House claim CIA agent was biased or unprofessional or whatever.
  12. British story about President/Prime Minister meeting with quote "facts were fixed" is published, GOP-led media claims that because Saddam Hussein killed people war is justified.
  13. America destroys Saddam Hussein-controlled Iraq in less than a month; soldiers are asked to become police officers while Bush White House contemplates next move.
  14. After a few weeks of nothing happening, Iraqis get mad and start revolting.
  15. Elements of Bush White House decide to re-make Iraq economy into and unregulated, ultra-capitalized Utopia. Rich Americans get richer.
  16. Iraq gets some Iraq-based officials to create new government, but they are distracted by the war going on outside and the foreign (to them) business people wanting to get rich(er) on the inside.
  17. Iraq War has ups and downs. "Ups" include ability to test new military weapons and temporary immunity from criticism for President Bush. "Downs" include displaced Iraqi citizens, lack of equipment for troops, dead troops, and missing cash.
  18. White House officials use phrases like "bring 'em on," "last throes" and "stay the course."
  19. A Democratic Senator who wants to be President suggests that going to Iraq was a bad idea, and that focusing on Afghanistan is a better military strategy. GOP-led media labels him as cowardly soldier; Regular Media labels him as wishy-washy mumbler.
  20. America has an election. They choose President Bush again.
  21. Bush White House, GOP-led Media and Regular Media come up with excuse after excuse after excuse for going into Iraq.
  22. A Republican Senator suggests that there be a "surge," or escalation of troops in Iraq to stop the violence and replace dead American troops. Simple math of idea proves correct: adding more troops does temporarily decrease violence, but does little to persuade the young government to do governing.
  23. American people began to realize that the war in Iraq was not cheap, that the Iraqis still don't like them and that rich people who know Bush White House people got richer during war.
  24. Another Democratic Senator who wants to be President suggests that going to Iraq was a bad idea, and focusing on Afghanistan would be better. GOP-led Media label him as a terrorist sympathizer and socialist; Regular Media label him as a shady black man with maybe too much money. This Senator beats "surge" Senator to become the new President.
  25. New President (Obama) looks at some memos from old President (Bush) and notices that people were "enhancely interrogated" in order to make them say that Saddam Hussein wrote the outline for "How al-Qaida can attack the US on 9/11/2001."
  26. President Obama decides to let American people see memos. GOP-led media has mental breakdown; old Bush White House people (sans Bush) freak out and claim that Obama has made America less safe.

Which brings us to now, I guess (again, I know this thing isn't exactly linear). But the long=short of this is: we tortured people to get them to lie. And now that this (both the torture and the lying) has been exposed, those that were behind this mess are up in arms about national security. I would be too, if I were in a meeting that quite literally used white-out on the Webster definition of torture so I could score political points, get my guy re-elected and help some of my pals make a little more coin. Because when word reaches the families of the people who underwent "enhanced interrogation techniques" I can only guess that anything American in their house will be replaced with Osama bin Laden's image. In other words: our actions have become the perfect recruiting tool for the group we are trying to defeat.

I can also see why they want to try to shrink the argument to "let's just debate what torture is." For starters, it gives them time to get some really good lawyers. Also, as Lawrence O'Donnell said, these guys (and those who support them) make up the majority of Americas who have never been to war, much less tortured. Those people who totally squeal under pressure, so they believe everyone would. But they really underestimate the mindset of people who are willing to fly an airplane into a building.

(Personal Aside: I remember a friend in high school who was in, well, a gang. After seeing him come to English class one day with a bandaged stab wound I asked him if he was worried about dying. I might as well have asked him how he felt about being shortened a tater tot in the lunch line. To him, death was just a part of life; now he had dreams and stuff, but no real fear of not accomplishing them should he be shot.

And I'm talking about an American here; multiply that mindset tenfold and you have the guys involved in 9/11. No amount of "advanced" anything is going to get them to tell us anything of value.)

I'm sure someone in the Bush White House new this. Which means at least two possibilities:

  1. We knew people were lying to us, but because they told us what we wanted, we ran with it.
  2. We were not "interrogating" actual terrorists, but because they told us what we wanted, we ran with it.

Of course, there is always that chance that we had caught a carload of bin Laden's right-hand men, and when Tickling Feet With Feathers didn't work, we were forced to light their genitals on fire. Whatever.

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No Main Topic

  1. The Comeback Caps.
  2. Snikt!
  3. Oink!
  4. Boston gets some swag back.
  5. The Nintendo Rock?
  6. The War on Drugs + the War on Terror = Something.

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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Arlen Spector Switches Parties

And here's why. My reaction is still leaning in Poorman territory, though.

Michael Steele is having trouble reconciling, kinda like this guy:

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No Main Topic

Monday, April 27, 2009

Maybe He Should Post An Ad...

I Didn't Want To Be The One To Say It...

...which is why God invented quotes and links:

Washington: Offensive line. The Redskins didn't add any draft picks to their current group of greybeards. Guard Pete Kendall, a two-year Redskins starter who turns 36 in July, could now be re-signed.

But the off-season is still young.

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Memo to Tea Party People

BLOG-E-OH! (The Remembering)

Gavin M from Sadly, No! received an email that apparently said,







==============
The Water Cooler
to [comedy pseudonym]

10:58 AM (1 hour ago)

The Water Cooler has sent you a message on Team Sarah

I have been inundated with emails from people both inside and outside of Team Sarah raising the issue of the swine flu “crisis” in relation to the pending confirmation of Kathleen Sebelius.

As we all know, one of Emanuel’s trademark tactics is to take an opportunistic approach to any situation that may be deemed a “crisis” of some sort, whether real or orchestrated. Is it me, or is this latest rhetoric regarding the swine flu starting to ring the suspicion bell? Is the Obama administration weighed down by the heat on Sebelius and pulling out all the stops to push her confirmation through. I have to wonder…..

Call your Senators NOW.

Your Buddy,
The Water Cooler






Far be it for me to question "Team Sarah" (see? told you!) but I have to wonder what the reaction would have been had there been a health scare under the previous Administration. Oh, wait; what? Ya don't say. Well in that case, I'm going to have to go to my deck. Usually, I save this card for when political-minded people try to re-write history, but I guess it can work on those who fail to recall the past eight years. Let's try:






OK; (whew!)...let's see what effect this had on that email:





==============
The Water Cooler (Oh-So Revised)
to [comedy pseudonym]

September 2001 (over seven years ago)

The Water Cooler has sent you a message on Team Gore

I have been inundated with emails from people both inside and outside of Team Gore raising the issue of the anthrax “crisis” in relation to the intense demands of Attorney General John Ashcroft.

As we all know, one of Karl’s trademark tactics is to take an opportunistic approach to any situation that may be deemed a “crisis” of some sort, whether real or orchestrated. Is it me, or is this latest rhetoric regarding the anthrax starting to ring the suspicion bell? Is the Bush administration concerned about losing support for the concept of Executive Authority and pulling out all the stops to push the Patriot Act through. I have to wonder…..

Call your Senators NOW.

Your Buddy,
The Water Cooler






There; fixed.

UPDATE: Looks like they're blasting off again. And Glenn Beck chimes in:



UBER-UPDATE: Back to the drawing board.

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Quote Of The Day

So let me get this straight... if we torture prisoners, we're living in a shining city on a hill.But if we investigate and prosecute those responsible for torture, we're living in a banana republic.No wonder people have stopped taking Republicans seriously.

-- DU's EarlG, referring to #s 1 and 2 of the "Top Ten Conservative Idiots."

IMHO, calling them "conservatives" or even "Republicans" at this point insults what both those words/labels meant. But "idiots" still stand, and "crazy" probably should be added.

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No Main Topic

  1. Oink, oink!
  2. The kid who got Brittney Spear's little sister pregnant was in a car crash.
  3. Old people are cool.
  4. Well now we know the answer to, "Can two cops subdue a soldier?"
  5. Fortunately for Orlando, Hedo Turkoglu is not Peja Stojakovic.
  6. R.I.P., Pontiac.
  7. We're low on doctors? How'd that happen?

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Sunday, April 26, 2009

We Need A Rule

Governors who support secession from the United States of America should not be allowed federal aid, even for swine flu.

After all, if you want to separate, shouldn't your "new" nation be able to handle things like this own you on?

Now, if he comes to his senses, and admit on national TV that he was stupid for even suggesting that Texas should leave the United States of America, then we'll talk.

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Around the Internets

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Weekend Edition: No Main Topic

Friday, April 24, 2009

But That Was About 50 Memes Ago

Media Matters has a report that says President Obama has received more process/political questions than substantive ones, while the exact opposite happened under President Bush.

Very interesting, especially considering that the knock on Sen./presidential-candidate Obama was that he lacked substance. One would think, given the constant cries for him to come out with a plan and stop talking about "hope," that reporters would be more inclined to ask President Obama about the meat and potatoes of his initiatives.

But that was about 50 memes ago.

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Lawrence O'Donnell Does It Again

What. The. Hell.

Back in my day (can't believe I just said that) we used farts and a cigarette lighter. But today:

CLARE, Mich. – Two brothers in Michigan accused of burning a 6-year-old boy's buttocks with a blowtorch have been charged with first-degree child abuse.

The Morning Sun says 36-year-old Gerald Hall and 43-year-old Glen Hall were charged

Wednesday in the incident involving Gerald Hall's son.State police investigators say the boy was burned at least once. Sgt. Del Putnam says the child is in protective custody.

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No Main Topic

  1. All that Jazz.
  2. Can't say this surprises me.
  3. Oh yeah; Iraq.
  4. First time in more than a decade, right?
  5. Spurs get trampled.
  6. Like 'X-Men,' but with cows.
  7. Credit Card companies? You're next.
  8. Celtics remember that they are defending NBA champs.

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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Talkin' Torture

  1. Karl Rove goes Coo-Coo for Coco Puffs over the released memos.
  2. Ari Fleischer needs to reboot after learning that Americans punished WWII Japanese military for water-boarding US soldiers.
  3. Joe Scarborough compares torture to boot camp..or something.

Can't even imagine the reaction if an investigation actually happens. I wonder if Obama had a conversation like this before he made the decision to release the memos.

UPDATE: Ruh-Roh! And the hits just keep on coming...

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Another Reason To Like Rachel Maddow

No Main Topic

  1. Well, he won't be getting any bailout money.
  2. Guess they couldn't know if it was torture until they actually did it.
  3. The NBA's greatest mountain gives way.
  4. I've been waiting for a lawyer to use the term "ick factor" in a Supreme Court hearing. Next on the list: "No-Noes."
  5. The way they're describing this guy, he may have a future with FoxNews (if he can avoid the death penalty).
  6. If you're relying on Brian Scalabrine to save your playoff hopes, you have no playoff hopes.
  7. This mom has stones. Crazy as all get out, but she has stones.
  8. Memo to Dan Snyder: do not sign this man. Please.

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

News Flash

Not every terrorist is foreign-born.

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Tough Choices

It ain't easy being a transitional president:

WASHINGTON — Pressure mounted on President Obama on Monday for more thorough investigation into harsh interrogations of terrorism suspects under the Bush administration, even as he tried to reassure the Central Intelligence Agency that it would not be blamed for following legal advice.

Mr. Obama said it was time to admit “mistakes” and “move forward.” But there were signs that he might not be able to avoid a protracted inquiry into the use of interrogation techniques that the president’s top aides and many critics say crossed the line into torture.

And while Mr. Obama vowed not to prosecute C.I.A. officers for acting on legal advice, on Monday aides did not rule out legal sanctions for the Bush lawyers who developed the legal basis for the use of the techniques.

The president’s decision last week to release secret memorandums detailing the harsh tactics employed by the C.I.A. under his predecessor provoked a furor that continued to grow on Monday as critics on various fronts assailed his position. Among other things, the memos revealed that two captured Qaeda operatives were subjected to a form of near-drowning known as waterboarding a total of 266 times.



While I don't agree with Obama's choice to not prosecute (it echoes Clinton's decision not to investigate Iran-Contra; an act that Republicans thanked him for by impeaching him) that fact that he decided to release the memos is still slick in that it exposed all of these yahoos in the last Administration for liars. I know it's not much to the liberals who want G.W. Bush to go to jail, but the outright discrediting of these guys has its advantages.

Oh, and it seems to have taken people's mind off of the crappy economy and the two wars we're still fighting.

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Can't We All Just Get Along?








PARIS, April 20 -- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad argued before a U.N. anti-racism conference Monday that Israel is a "paragon of racism" founded on "the pretext of Jewish sufferings" during World War II.

The comments, a hard-edged version of Ahmadinejad's often-repeated anti-Zionist views, prompted several dozen European diplomats to walk out of the opening session of the week-long Geneva meeting, which the Obama administration and eight other Western nations already were boycotting. In addition, a handful of pro-Israel demonstrators shouting "shame, shame" and "racist, racist" threw red clown noses at the podium and prevented Ahmadinejad from entering a room where he was to hold a news conference.




Israel's deputy prime minister has compared Iran to Nazi Germany, in response to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's criticism of the Jewish state at a United Nations conference.

Silvan Shalom's comments on Tuesday come after Ahmadinejad called Israel a "racist" state during a United Nations conference in Switzerland.

"What Iran is trying to do right now is not far away at all from what Hitler did to the Jewish people just 65 years ago," Shalom said at the site of the Auschwitz-Birkenau Nazi death camp, hours before a Holocaust memorial ceremony.

Iran "is trying to do everything they can in order to wipe Israel off the map and at the same time to undermine the moderate Arab Muslim regimes in the Middle East."

And the saga continues...

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No Main Topic

  1. Impressive...most impressive.
  2. Stephen Hawking is recovering.
  3. What's in your bank's wallet?
  4. I have to say: if you're "dancing" at 52, getting attacked with a shoe is the least of your problems.
  5. Time for another new Coke.
  6. Gigiddy-gigiddy-goo.

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Monday, April 20, 2009

Quote of the Day

Let’s see now, [Saul] Anuzis is the former GOP head of a state that has two Democratic senators, a Democratic governor, a Democratic majority in the house, and a state house that has 67 Democratic representatives out of 110 seats. Plus he’s a failed candidate for the national party chairman.

Are there any Republicans out there offering advice who aren’t losers?


-- Gunner, replying to a Sadly, No! post about a former GOP everything who thinks that with "liberal" and "socialist" not having the sting it used to, maybe referring to President Obama as "fascist" will get the Republicans some sympathy/votes/credibility.

May I add: at this rate, we're probably one year away from someone "accidentally" calling our President the "N-word" on live TV.

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Who Is Charlie Brooker?

Someone who understands American TV Media very well, apparently.

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Right On The Money

Jamison Foser hits it:

Today, more than 200 years after the Boston Tea Party, United States citizens who live in their nation's capital are subject to taxation without representation.

Actual taxation without representation. Not the "my elected officials aren't doing what I want" kind; the "I don't have elected officials" kind. The kind that led colonists in Massachusetts to flavor the Boston Harbor.

Now, here's the amazing part: Every major news organization in the country covered Wednesday's tea parties. And, in doing so, they all ignored the fact that residents of Washington, D.C., are subject to the very conditions that led to the Boston Tea Party.


Damn right. I don't recall anyone on FoxNews calling for revolution when President Bush had the "No Taxation Without Representation" licenses removed from his limos (Clinton had them added to show support for D.C. residents). But because President Obama asked, asked, for some accountability from the banks (and not enough compared to the Big 3 Automakers, IMHO), America witnessed the combined temper tantrums of three disenfranchised groups: the business cable shows (who were complicit in the recession by playing footsie with the very companies they're supposed to report on), FoxNews (who is staunchly pro-GOP and has little use for a Democratic President and a Democratically-controlled Congress) and the anti-Obama crowd (Bush/Cheney-lovers, bigots, anti-liberals and those who wanted McCain/Palin in the White House).

Well, they had their tea party. Good for them. I wonder if D.C. will ever get theirs.

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Sports Guy Makes A Case For Newspapers

It's crazy how Bill Simmons, a guy who writes about sports for a living, can be so on point about non-sport issues. At least much more so than other guys. Anyway, while talking about Kevin Garnett's injury, he gets into the newspaper issue:

There's a hidden sub-story lurking here: It involves the fall of newspapers, lack of access and the future of reporting, not just with sports but with everything. I grew up reading Bob Ryan, who covered the Celtics for the Boston Globe and remains the best basketball writer alive to this day. Back in the 1970s and early '80s, he was overqualified to cover the team. In 1980, he would have sniffed out the B.S. signs of this KG story, kept pursuing it, kept writing about it, kept working connections and eventually broken it. True, today's reporters don't get the same access Ryan had, but let's face it: If 1980 Bob Ryan was covering the Celtics right now, ESPN or someone else would lure him away. And that goes for the editors, too. The last two sports editors during the glory years of the Globe's sports section were Vince Doria and Don Skwar ... both of whom currently work for ESPN.

For the past few years, as newspapers got slowly crushed by myriad factors, a phalanx of top writers and editors fled for the greener pastures of the Internet. The quality of nearly every paper suffered, as did morale. Just two weeks ago, reports surfaced that the New York Times Company (which owns the Globe) was demanding $20 million in union concessions or it'd shut down the Globe completely. I grew up dreaming of writing a sports column for the Globe; now the paper might be gone before I turn 40. It's inconceivable. But this Garnett story, and how it was (and wasn't) covered, reminds me of "The Wire," which laid out a blueprint in Season 5 for the death of newspapers without us fully realizing it. The season revolved around the Baltimore Sun and its inability (because of budget cuts and an inexperienced staff) to cover the city's decaying infrastructure. The lesson was inherent: We need to start caring about the decline of newspapers, because, really, all hell is going to break loose if we don't have reporters breaking stories, sniffing out corruption, seeing through smoke and mirrors and everything else. That was how Season 5 played out, and that's why "Wire" creator David Simon is a genius. He saw everything coming before anyone else did.


Much like the time when the NBA was sucking away talent from college basketball by drafting (and scouting) teens (remember when ESPN actually televised LeBron James' high school game?) the Internet is taking some of best and brightest away from local newspaper. What's left? The stupid newspeople Oliver Willis deplores.

While there are decent sites like TPM, the truth is most blogs react to newspaper stories as opposed to doing their own investigations. Your average blogger just doesn't have the time or resources; and if they did, their blogs wouldn't be half as diverse as they are now.

Sure, there are some cases for letting the newspapers die, but until we have a viable alternative we should consider saving those who aren't being run by the stupid and t

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(Almost) Egg On His Face.

This never happened to Al Gore.

The money quote:

"Perhaps the anger will subside. I hope it does. But there really should be kind of a zone for families to not get caught up in this.”


Yeah; too bad there's not a Senator in D.C. representing Minnesota who could address issues such as this.

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Flying The Friendly Skies

Oh my:

A North Carolina-based US Marine was arrested at Logan Airport yesterday after federal transportation screeners discovered an undeclared semiautomatic weapon, ammunition, and bomb-making materials in his checked baggage, authorities said.

Marine Corporal Justin W. Reed was in Boston on a layover from Las Vegas and was bound for Charlotte, officials said. The materials in his bags apparently eluded detection at the Las Vegas airport and were discovered in Boston only because baggage handlers inadvertently routed his arriving luggage to baggage claim rather than onto his connecting flight, Transportation Security Administration spokeswoman Ann Davis said.

"They put it on the baggage carousel as if he was staying in Boston," Davis said. "Because it was placed on the carousel, which introduced it into a public area, that required TSA to screen it before it was allowed back on a flight."

Davis said the TSA was "actively investigating" why the illicit materials, including fuel and explosives, were not discovered during screening in Las Vegas and loaded onto the cross-country flight.

TSA screeners in Terminal B at Logan called State Police at 7:10 a.m. after they said they discovered the following items in Reed's luggage: a locked gun box containing a semiautomatic handgun; a fully loaded gun magazine; several boxes of 9 mm and 7.62 mm ammunition; three model rocket engines containing an explosive mixture; military fuses; electronics kit boxes with various components; and a hand grenade fuse assembly with detonator.

None of the discovered items, aside from the gun, can legally be checked onto a flight, Davis said, because they could cause an explosion in flight.

Ya don't say. While I don't think this guy falls into "right-wing extremist" category, I'm really curious as to why this guy felt the need to bring Rambo's gear on a plane, and how an airline could be so sloppy in spotting guns but has not missed an opportunity to stop me from bringing a bottled soda on a plane.

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No Main Topic

  1. The one guy who thinks that Barack Obama and George W. Bush are the same.
  2. See what happens when you only have one Senator representing your state?
  3. Miss America was due for a blond rush; just hope there's no compromising pictures.
  4. A look back at Columbine.
  5. I won't doubt this 76ers team ever again.
  6. I'd say this is ironic considering our past treatment regarding "enemy combatants," but I don't think anyone would get it.

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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Around the Internets

  1. There are two kinds of people...
  2. 10 Secrets of the effortlessly thin.
  3. Not everybody knows about late night cable.
  4. Ah, love.
  5. The "Big Prankster" gets a taste of his own medicine.
  6. Personally, I'd be happy to date a rich, successful woman.
  7. Damn you, Matthew McConaughey; damn you.
  8. Good thing I never really liked ThunderCats.
  9. Fred Kaplan on the best way to tackle pirates.

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Friday, April 17, 2009

If Texas *Did* Secede From the US

That's 34 electorial votes the GOP will never be able to garnish in future presidential elections.

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How Bad Is The Economy?

Even Batman is taking a hit.


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I Don't Remember This In "Shawshank Redemption"

Apparently prisons aren't the urine-filled hellholes the movies make them out to be:

Eric Brown wanted lobster, and as a gang leader in a Maryland state prison, he seemed to think he was entitled to it. After all, with the help of prison employees, the inmate already had access to champagne and Grey Goose, federal prosecutors said yesterday.

In a phone call this month to his wife, as investigators secretly listened in, Brown complained that his smuggling operation had come up short -- that he had to settle for salmon with shrimp and crab imperial. And, prosecutors said, he asked her for a "good cigar" to go with his top-shelf vodka.

Brown is among two dozen defendants, four of them current or former state prison employees, charged with drug conspiracy and other offenses in indictments unsealed yesterday. U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein called the investigation the biggest federal probe of prison corruption in Maryland in recent memory.

Prosecutors said the gang known as Black Guerilla Family recruited prison employees and used hidden compartments in shoes to smuggle heroin, ecstasy, tobacco, cellphones and other contraband into prisons in Maryland and elsewhere.


I guess the saying should be, "Crime doesn't pay, but being in prison can have its perks."

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A Matter Of Perspective, I Guess

Michelle Malkin's version of the Tea Party Timeline.

Jane Hamsher's version of the Tea Party Timeline.

Can you spot the differences?

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Eugene Robinson's Bottom Line

When businesses start hiring again and putting people back to work, the tea bagging protesters will calm down. Until then, President Obama would do well to keep them on his radar.

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No Main Topic

  1. This and this could mean curtains for Boston's championship hopes.
  2. YouTube vs. Hulu (why?).
  3. Good news for the big banks (I guess) but what about the smaller, local ones?
  4. Um, "yay?"
  5. Talk about a world of grey: we're in this country fighting terrorists, but when an earthquake hits, our troops switch to rescue mode. It's just funny how complex this world really is.

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

What They Don't Want To Say On TV

You can't say that the animosity toward Barack Obama does not contain an element of race. And while the TV talking heads won't admit it, it's that element that makes this variation of animosity different than those directed at past presidents.

Or, as Turkana puts it:

They Hate Him Because He’s Black

I deliberately use the word black rather than the words African American. The latter lacks the proper emotional value. It is cultural and geographical. The former is visceral. Bigotry is not subtle. It is primal. It is not about ideas. It is irrational.


He is smarter and more educated and more articulate than they. A self-made man, he represents everything they would claim to value. But he looks different, to them. They hate him because he looks different. They hate him because he is dark. In “Western” “Culture,” the very words black and dark have powerfully negative value. They often are used as synonyms for the sinister.

They hated President Clinton, and tried to destroy him. But one of their elected governors didn’t talk secession. They didn’t talk revolution. They didn’t attempt (and miserably fail) to launch nationwide protests against him. Bill Clinton was a lot of things. He was not black.


Again, race isn't the entire reason, but it's a big one. And considering that we're dealing with the first black President, it's an aspect that the media better get used to addressing.

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Yep; These Are My Wizards

From Michael Lee:

Arenas walked in and noticed that Antawn Jamison's clothes were placed in the prime, extra large, solo locker room spot near the door. Arenas stopped and looked at Jamison and said, "No."

"You're not sitting there, Gilbert," Jamison said. "My stuff is already there."

"We can move it," Arenas said.

"You better not touch my stuff," Jamison said as he grabbed a roll of tape from the training table.

"Gilbert," Jamison said, while Arenas grabbed a seat in Jamison's locker room stall.

Jamison did his best Randy Johnson and fired the tape at Arenas, but was a bit off target.

Arenas grabbed Jamison's Louis Vuitton duffle bag, placed it in front of his chest and said, "Go ahead, hit the Louis."

"That was too light," Jamison said of the tape, as he rubbed his shoulder. "I almost threw my arm out. I need something heavier."

Jamison then told McGee to give him one of the oranges, because the tape wasn't going to get Arenas to move. Arenas eventually relented without Jamison having to resort to pelting him with oranges.


Yep; these are my Wizards.

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Meanwhile, In Reality...

As yesterday's protesters come to realize that the noise they made probably didn't change a damn thing, it's worth noting that President Obama did bring up the issue of taxes yesterday:

Obama used Tax Day, a national ritual of public frustration due to the confusing tax code, to underscore his drive to cut taxes for many Americans while increasing spending to jolt the United States out of its worst recession in decades...

[snip]

...Obama is pushing a $3.5 trillion federal budget plan that Republicans and some Democrats say carries too much deficit spending and too few tax cuts.

"My administration has taken far-reaching action to give tax cuts to the Americans who need them, while jump-starting growth and job creation in the process," Obama said at a White House event with a group of workers and business owners.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Obama had already cut taxes for 95 percent of Americans and would stick to his pledge of no higher taxes for anyone earning less than $250,000 a year.

But if it makes the sparse, virtually all-white, FoxNews-backed protesters happy, let's just tell them that they had something to do with it.

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LOST: Walk Miles In His Shoes

Even in this shortened season format, there were bound to be LOST episodes that were less-than-stellar. Although some thought differently, I felt the writers failed in giving us a great story about a fascinating character. I mean, you have a guy who can communicate with the dead; how can possibly make that boring?

Well, for starters, introduce yet another character with Daddy Issues. Then portray him as suddenly interested in seeing his father in one flashback, even though in the previous one it didn't seem that he could care less. Also, put his powers into question by having him (1) con a guy who grieving for his lost son and (2) compare his abilities with that of a crazy rich guy. Top it off with him being asked to deliver a dead body that he has little interest in even talking to, and you've got the Most Boring Episode About a Quirky Power Ever.

It doesn't help that the episode involves Kate running her mouth, Jack embracing his inner janitor, Juliet apparently on medication and Sawyer having to give up his fantasy life as a Dharma's answer to Worf. Really, it doesn't.

OBSERVATIONS
  1. Is it me, or has all of the male characters changed roles? Jack is in the background occasionally giving out tidbits of info like Sayid used to do. Sawyer is the leader Jack was. Miles has become the self-involved, snarky nickname machine (see: Sawyer, Seasons 1-3). Sayid has become a guy who believes in destiny. It's like some twisted psychological version of Musical Chairs.
  2. On the other side of the gender wall, the female characters are proving to be as useful as lollipop made of earwax. Kate has essentially wrecked everything, Juliet offers next to nothing in terms of advice, Sun's "stuck" in the present and Claire's still missing.
  3. Roger Linus is the real douche.

THEORIES

  1. I would say that Roger Linus' jerk-induced paranoia causes the Purge, but we all know that (1) like most Dharma people, he didn't see it coming and (2) Ben isn't old enough yet. so maybe what's coming up will be the precursor to that event.
  2. I think the reason Miles wasn't trying to gang out at the Dharma Bar with his father was because he preferred to observe him from afar. That, and he's probably thinking that seeing himself as a kid is kinda weird.

QUESTIONS

  1. What's the story behind the dead body Miles and Hurley delivered?
  2. How, as Miles puts it, "does it work?"
  3. Is the Dharma Initiative looking for Sayid?
  4. Why are the Others just letting the DI build hatches everywhere?
  5. Where has Daniel been? How did he recover from his, um, mental breakdown?
  6. How long before someone notices that Phil is missing?

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Oh, The Irony

Using the Boston Tea Party as a cover for anti-Obama protests is one thing. But middle-class folk fighting on the behalf of the rich is something else entirely, which is why it's entertaining that Billionaries for Bush was around to participate in yesterday's circus.

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Cashing In

I really can't blame Nadya Suleman for trying to profit from the "Octomom" name. Really, who else uses it? And who else do you think about when you hear that name?

And do I think she had eight (more) children just so she could cash in on the name. Hardly. So let her have it; it's either this or more (gasp!) government assistance.

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No Main Topic

  1. A hotel killer? Jesus.
  2. Another celebrity reality show, but this one made actually entertain.
  3. We were all witnesses.
  4. Gov. Palin learns that you can't quite go back home.
  5. Keep It Moving: Obama focuses on his trip to Mexico.
  6. Put the scalpel down; your services are no longer required.
  7. What the hell, Caps?
  8. Not as much bling as in years past (the economy is hurting everyone).

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Buying Them Over Here So They Can Fight Over There

I suppose one reason we should at least enforce the gun laws we already have is to prevent them from being used in non-American-related activities:

HOUSTON — John Phillip Hernandez, a 24-year-old unemployed machinist who lived with his parents, walked into a giant sporting goods store here in July 2006, and plunked $2,600 in cash on a glass display counter. A few minutes later, Mr. Hernandez walked out with three military-style rifles.

One of those rifles was recovered seven months later in Acapulco, Mexico, where it had been used by drug cartel gunmen to attack the offices of the Guerrero State attorney general, court documents say. Four police officers and three secretaries were killed.

Although Mr. Hernandez was arrested last year as part of a gun-smuggling ring, most of the 22 others in the ring are still at large. Before their operation was discovered, the smugglers had transported what court documents described as at least 339 high-powered weapons to Mexico over a year and a half, federal agents said.

“There is no telling how long that group was operating before we caught on to them,” said J. Dewey Webb, the agent in charge of the Houston division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Noting there are about 1,500 licensed gun dealers in the Houston area, Mr. Webb added, “You can come to Houston and go to a different gun store every day for several months and never alert any one.”


It's one thing to want to make sure that there isn't a law that prevents a responsible person from using a firearm to protect their property. But seriously, it's another thing entirely when guns laws are so loose that someone can buy enough weapons to keep their foreign drug war going.

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No Main Topic

  1. There's apparently a link between diabetes and dementia.
  2. Oh crap.
  3. With their children being born in the US, the immigration issue isn't that easy to address.
  4. Whither the minority-owned banks?
  5. From creator of the "Magic Bullet" to prominent Republican to "moderate" to target.

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Bewitching Hour

In a sense, this is a bewitching hour of sorts; the time between raising hell over the Department of Homeland Security's latest report (I mean: damn!)and simultaneously promoting and scaring people over the "Tea Parties." The time when those who oppose "Big Government" (read: either President Obama, the Democratic Party, liberals/progressives, a combination of the three or all of the above) are preparing for what they promise to be an event bigger than the Million Man March, the 2006 LA protests, the anti-war movement and the current protests against the banks combined.

The biggest link between the two events is the sense that "right wing extremism" and "conservatism" has somehow come to mean the same thing (at least, judging by the various reactions) despite President Obama's statements to the contrary. Obama has been careful not to accuse his critics of being anti-American (unlike his predecessor), but at the same time he's questioned their alternatives (assuming they had any). The DHS report has little to do with Rush Limbaugh or Michelle Malkin; if anything it's about the people who listen to them/read them and think that the best way they can "help" is through violent means.

As far as the Tea Parties go: you have FoxNews hyping this event; which is crossing the line between peaceful protesting and aggressive rioting. They may deny this, but they can't deny the fervor of those last few days in the November 2008 election: Gov. Palin and Sen. McCain going to rallies, trying to ignore the cries of "He's [Obama] a terrorist!" or "Traitor!" as they themselves threw out phrases like "his associations" and "spread the wealth around." Clearly the goal was to paint then-Sen. Obama as a terrorist-sympathizing socialist (a meme that hasn't stopped, BTW). History is repeating itself with the Tea Parties, and only those who haven't paid attention fail to see it.

The reality is this:
  1. America voiced her opinion on November 4th, 2008. People protested the results of the 2000 Election, but I don't remember that activism making President Bush rush to sign resignation papers. That's because when all was said and done the election (with a little help from the Supreme Court) was the final indicator. And to show the how much those "Bush wasn't legitimate" uprising mattered, the guy won re-election. Bottom line: if you want real change, vote (in local, state and federal elections). Or even better: participate by running your own campaign.
  2. Financially and Economically-speaking, the protests are ass-backwards. Middle-class folk are supposedly angry because Obama wants to roll back the Bush tax cuts that affected the upper class (or should I say the upper class of the upper class). Assuming Obama sticks to his campaign promise, the middle class will receive a tax credit. Adding to this crazy salad: rich people actually voted for Obama in the 2008 Election. So really: where is the outrage coming from? What exactly has Obama "done" to "generate" such "ire?"
  3. Politically-speaking, the protesters are a day late and a dollar short. The economic climate originated under the Bush Administration; how they are framing this as something Obama is responsible for is extremely dubious. For example, here's a quote from one of the young protesters: "I'm tired of playing party politics and I want people to start caring about the issues. I would to see some real debate and dialogue." Again, were people like him asleep last summer? Doesn't anyone remember the numerous Democratic Debates on top of the Obama vs McCain standoffs? Taxes were debated repeatedly and Obama won the battle. But I seriously can't point to the event where our current President "galvanized" people against "big government spending."

By contrast, there were plenty of last straws during the Bush Administration: "Mission Accomplished;" Terri Schiavo; "saving" Social Security; response to Hurricane Katrina; "Bring 'em on" and the Let's-Put-In-A-Constitutional-Amendment-Banning-Gay-Marriage. But the common thread here was that none of these things occurred during his first 100 days. What's going on now is the equivalent of protesting George W. Bush over his stance on stem cell research (which was the topic of his first public statement).

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Quote Of The Day

It's pretty amazing what propaganda can do for a players cause, one way or the other. Gilbert Arenas, for all intensive purposes, hasn't played a meaningful game for what seems to be two seasons. He's not a team cancer, he's not going to screw up the chemistry of the locker room -- he's simply a player who loves to play the game of basketball. He's not your average player. He likes the spotlight, and he's random. But I've never gotten the impression that he's uncoachable. With this team "hopefully" being healthy, playoffs have to be considered pretty likely. That being said, Flip's greatest challenge will be getting this team past the first round of the playoffs. All of this getting along with Arenas stuff isn't relevant. If this team is playing well, none of it will be an issue. If the team doesn't get out of the first round, then it's just a new face same result. If thats the case, then the spotlight should shine nice and bright on Ernie Grunfield, not Gilbert or Flip.

-- wizfan305, responding to the Wizard's Insider post on (probable) coach Saunder's biggest challenge.

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No Main Topic

  1. "We have decided to call off the rally today because many brothers and sisters have been hurt and killed. We don't want everybody to suffer the same. And we will not allow more deaths."
  2. "I have never returned and I'm not going back. I am not giving one cent to Castro."
  3. They’ll do better now in terms of what it costs to raise money than they can for the rest of the year. I don’t think the rest of this year will be good.”
  4. "Our data suggest that depression is an important and emerging risk factor for heart failure among patients with coronary heart disease."
  5. "It does not explain why writers, like myself, were told by Amazon reps that our books were being classified as 'adult products.'"
  6. "I am honored and humbled by this close victory, and I'm looking forward to getting to work as soon as possible."
  7. "Talking to the ball is something I started to do when I turned pro."
  8. "We lost our voice today."
  9. "I was intrigued by the story. I really liked the fantasy involved. And I figured it might be my last chance at something really big."
  10. "The first trial meeting on Roxana Saberi was held yesterday ... I think the verdict will be announced soon, perhaps in the next two or three weeks."
  11. "The labor movement will work together to make sure that the White House as well as Congress understand that we speak about immigration reform with one voice."

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Monday, April 13, 2009

"All According To Plan..."

Whatever the Wizards are doing, BF's Pradamaster has some (very good) suggestions.

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Quote Of The Day

I’m still having trouble grasping how the right can view liberals as weak, tottering, appeasers of Socialism, yet still fear their foreboding presence at a political rally. It parallels their thoroughly illogical perception of President Obama as lacking the courage or strength to be an effective leader, yet he is also a tyrannical despot plotting to enslave America and bend the world to his will.

-- Mark from Newscorpse.

And as a bonus, from DU's Top Ten:

For what it's worth, Cavuto defended Fox News's blatant promotion of the teabagging events, claiming last week that, "We are are going to be in the middle of these protests because at Fox, we do not pick and choose these rallies and protests. We were there for the Million Man March, even though, as I pointed out, it turned out to
be well shy of a million men."


Which is pretty impressive given that the Million Man March happened in 1995 and Fox News didn't go on the air until 1996.

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Quote Jackin'

Dave is right: this is a good quote.

Oh, and BLOG-E-OH!

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Glenn Beck's a Real Joker

All I can say is the guy is milking the attention he's getting for all it's worth:

NEW YORK (AP) -- Fox News Channel's latest sensation is taking a comedy act on the road.

Glenn Beck says he will do a live comedy show over six nights, starting June 1 in Denver.

He calls himself a "poor man's Seinfeld." Beck will mix stand-up comedy with observations from a modern-day reimagining of Thomas Paine's 1776 pamphlet "Common Sense."


Why So Serious?

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No Main Topic

  1. Not exactly a cure, but still good news on the AIDS front.
  2. I'm pretty sure most of the time they're thinking, "Feed me," "This looks chewable," and "I think your leg is flirting with me."
  3. America's Instant Way to Get Military Cred: order the killing three pirates. Did people really think Obama was going to start freaking out, and curl up into a little ball while whispering, "Let Joe handle it?"
  4. Another shooting, another parent unaware of what the hell their kid was doing.
  5. Say what you want: Phil and Tiger are the reason people watch golf.
  6. China plays catch-up.

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Sunday, April 12, 2009

Around the Internets

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Lawrence O'Donnell Beats Pat Buchanan Down Like He Owed Him Money

Friday, April 10, 2009

Rachel Maddow Has Some Fun With The "Teabaggers"

With an assist from Ana Marie Cox. (via)

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How Bad Is The Economy?

White faculty are suing black colleges for (allegedly) not hiring them.

A historically black college in South Carolina has been sued after three white faculty members say they were passed over for jobs or let go for because of their race, federal officials announced Wednesday.

Alleging that Benedict College “engaged in unlawful practices,” the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission also said that the Columbia school had agreed to pay $55,000 to each of the three former instructors.

Under a settlement reached between Benedict and the EEOC, the school also agreed to remind staff about its employment policy prohibiting discrimination, provide administrators, faculty and staff with training and make periodic reports to the EEOC.

In its complaint, the EEOC says art instructor Argiri Aggelopoulou in December 2004 applied for but did not receive a position as assistant art history professor, adding she was instead passed over in favor of a black instructor.

In March 2005, Benedict did not renew teaching contracts for Aggelopoulou and two other instructors - assistant art professor Michael Hale and Katherine Mille, an associate English professor -because of their race, the complaint says.


As someone familiar with the employment side of college, I can say that the reason these faculty members were let go was pretty standard (not qualified, failed to gain tenure, not enough money to pay two people to do the same job). So I'm siding with the College on this one.

I will say that the one group Affirmative action seems to hurt the most is 2nd and 3rd-generation Americans of European descent (who are mistaken to be culturally the same as White American whose family could be traced back to early 1900's). One reason the "quota" aspect of AA needs to be revisited.

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