Archive for October, 2008

Starcraft 2: No release date in sight.

Oct 31, 2008 in Uncategorized

I’m not usually into video games but Starcraft really put the zap on me. It is by far the greatest RTS game of all time. In fact, I think that it completely destroyed my sophomore year at Iowa State. I’ve been anxiously awaiting a release date but today I stumbled across more bad news.

-mg

Another case study in rightwinger madness.

Oct 31, 2008 in Barack Obama, Clueless Conservatives, Politics

Gotta admire their work ethic, but drowning people in misinformation is merely a technique, and if you can make a scrap of sense out of this fevered opus on Atlas Shrugged, you need to go to a psychiatrist. As far as I can tell, it boils down to a constructed timeline based on requests of Barack Obama’s mother’s school records that leads us to:

…how was Ann having Barack in Honolulu in Aug 1961 AND enrolled at the U of Washington the same month?

Call me nuts, but I’m pretty sure they had airplanes back then.

BTW, the rightwing genius answer is, “Malcolm X might be Barack Obama’s daddy.”

Take your pick.

-jb

Vote for Rob Hubler in the 5th District.

Oct 31, 2008 in Uncategorized

With all of the media attention so focused on the presidential race it’s easy to forget that Iowans have a chance to send radical ideologue Steve King packing by electing Rob Hubler. The race has been featured on DailyKos several times.

Steve King is an embarrassment to Iowa and on Tuesday the fifth district has a chance to find real representation in Rob Hubler.

-mg

Look! Journalism! Real journalism!

Oct 31, 2008 in Clueless Conservatives

Shepard Smith refuses to don the tin foil hat and instead confronts liar propagandist Joe Wurzelbacher:

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9eSJuWgZGYo]

-mg

Sarah Palin: Confidence built upon ignorance.

Oct 31, 2008 in Clueless Conservatives, Sarah Palin

Oh, I know, apparently she’s not actually stupid, she just doesn’t know anything, including how to make sense. Via Balloon Juice:

Palin told WMAL-AM that her criticism of Obama’s associations, like those with 1960s radical Bill Ayers and the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, should not be considered negative attacks. Rather, for reporters or columnists to suggest that it is going negative may constitute an attack that threatens a candidate’s free speech rights under the Constitution, Palin said.
“If [the media] convince enough voters that that is negative campaigning, for me to call Barack Obama out on his associations,” Palin told host Chris Plante, “then I don’t know what the future of our country would be in terms of First Amendment rights and our ability to ask questions without fear of attacks by the mainstream media.”

This is the champion of today’s GOP. She would like to say negative things without being afraid that the media will call them negative, of course, but turning that into a First Amendment issue? Is there anything she picked up from the Constitution besides the 2nd amendment?

-jb

P.S. I will concede, however, that she could just be lying with extreme cynicism…

Activist judges!!

Oct 31, 2008 in Uncategorized

TPM has a semi-comprehensive list of failed GOP efforts to suppress votes in key swing states around the country. Some local happenings:

In Indiana, for instance, a Superior Court judge declined to support a GOP bid to shut down early voting centers in Democratic-leaning cities in Lake County, and the state Supreme Court chose not to immediately intervene.

In Wisconsin, a suit brought by Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen — which he later admitted had been requested by the Republican Party — seeking to force the state election board to re-confirm all newly registered voters was thrown out by a county court.

The list goes on. What this means is that the wingers will be dusting off that old 90’s chestnut about “activist judges” forcing their will upon the honest and decent people of America. The line was most recently trotted out to describe U.S. District Court Judge John E. Jones who ruled that so called “intelligent design” could not be taught in public schools. He had to be protected by federal marshals after he issued the decision. So did Judge James Whittemore when he refused to intervene to prevent the removal of Terry Schiavo’s feeding tube. I’d like to think that those days are behind us but with the modern GOP backed into a corner they’re bound to try anything and everything.

-mg

Principles vs. Posturing

Oct 31, 2008 in Uncategorized

Let’s get down to brass tacks here. If you actually care about creating a culture of life, your candidate is Barack Obama. Of course, many present and former Catholics who deplore abortion are incapable of looking past the gore-porn of dismembered fetuses, dumpsters full of body parts, etc., and actually asking themselves “what do I care about more? the letter of the law, or the work of God?”

Because the fact is, abortion will remain legal forever. Strictures will be placed on it at the state level many times, and these strictures will be overturned every time. There are many reasons for this; the dirty little secret of the right wing is that their highest-ups would sooner die than criminalize abortion, because it would cost them a precious wedge issue. They bait-and-switch their base on this issue election after election, and it’s been working like a charm for thirty years. Any voting Republican who actually believes his party intends to take the measures necessary to reverse Roe v. Wade is tragically self-deluded. They need your donations. Your righteous indignation fills their reelection coffers.

This being the case, the committed opponent of abortion must again ask himself the question posed above. Would we like to see a world with fewer abortions in it? “Fewer” is our only option; “none” isn’t on the table. If you have the courage of your convictions and not just the intoxicating ether of your indignation, then you must then look at how best to accomplish this. It isn’t by voting in candidates who will lie to you outright about how they actually feel about the issue – like Senator McCain, a pro-choice Republican all his life until he thought he needed the votes of the evangelical base. If you actually care, you choose the effective path, not the self-righteous one. Because “there is none righteous, no, not one” (Romans 3:10), and of those who place their righteousness above the ends they purport to seek, Christ said: “Truly I say to you, they have their reward” (Matthew 6:5) – by which, reader, He means “their self-righteousness is its own, and its only, reward.”

It’s popular among many neo-conservatives to deride the social aspect of Christ’s ministry – to minimize His love of the poor and his compassion for the suffering. But let them all note the following. Christ didn’t do anything through the Sanhedrin except throw their own words back at them. He did not attempt to overturn unjust laws. He took his case to the sick and the downtrodden, and they recognized in Him their hope and their salvation. If His cause is yours, your candidate is the one whose presidency will reduce the perceived need for abortion by those who are faced with the decision. That candidate is Barack Obama. The Republicans will never, so long as you live, give up the bone they have to throw you on this question. Remove the log from your eyes, the better to help your neighbor get the splinter out of his, for Christ’s sake.

-TT

Just a friendly reminder…

Oct 31, 2008 in Clueless Conservatives, Sarah Palin

Sarah Palin is a socialist. She only calls Obama one because she doesn’t know what the word means.

“And Alaska we’re set up, unlike other states in the union, where it’s collectively Alaskans own the resources. So we share in the wealth when the development of these resources occurs.”

Personally I think it’s the best thing about her record. Too bad she turned out to be an idiot liar who makes Bush II look like he has gravitas.

-jb

More reasons why Texans blow.

Oct 30, 2008 in Clueless Conservatives

23% still think Obama is a Muslim. Only 45% could correctly identify him as Protestant. They know whut they know, and don’t you suggest they’re dummies fer not gettin’ facts straight!

-jb

Science bad.

Oct 30, 2008 in Racism, Science

Test your biases. Be honest with yourself, and lie to anybody who asks you how you scored.

Via Kristoff.

-jb

p.s. If you’re a rightwinger, avoid the instinct to skip the tests and pronounce yourself completely unbiased.

Science good.

Oct 30, 2008 in Politics, Science, Uncategorized

Science is a way of governing, not just something to be governed. Science offers a methodology and philosophy rooted in evidence, kept in check by persistent inquiry, and bounded by the constraints of a self-critical and rigorous method. Science is a lens through which we can and should visualize and solve complex problems, organize government and multilateral bodies, establish international alliances, inspire national pride, restore positive feelings about America around the globe, embolden democracy, and ultimately, lead the world. More than anything, what this lens offers the next administration is a limitless capacity to handle all that comes its way, no matter how complex or unanticipated.

Sen. Obama’s embrace of transparency and evidence-based decision-making, his intelligence and curiosity echo this new way of looking at the world. And that is what we should be weighing in the voting booth. For his positions and, even more, for his way of coming to them, we endorse Barack Obama for President of the United States.

Nerds for the win.

-jb

The Beltway can’t help itself.

Oct 30, 2008 in Beltway-itis, Politics

One party is always the mirror image of the other!

That’s harder to imagine, though, as each party’s moderate wing shrinks.

Really?

Next sentence:

A Democratic sweep might bring to Washington some relatively centrist freshmen who would provide a check on the most liberal wing of the party.

Guess not. They just have to say things like that to be “balanced,” even though the Republican Party is collapsing into a gang of religious nut Sarah Palin ignoramuses. The Democrats are bringing in centrists, who hold positions reflecting the majority of Americans, but somehow their moderate wing is shrinking. How do we know? Because the Republican moderate wing is shrinking!

Next sentence:

But it might claim as victims some of the few remaining Republican moderates, such as Sen. Gordon Smith of Oregon and Rep. Christopher Shays of Connecticut, and some of the real workhorses who are more interested in legislating than grandstanding — the capable New Hampshire senator John E. Sununu, for example.

Never mind that these moderate Republicans generate no support or enthusiasm from the Republican base, it is sad that Democrats will replace them with centrists.

Republicans have decided their last, best argument is “Avoid one-party rule!” Because they voted Democrat in 2004 and 2006, right? Obviously they don’t believe it for a second. Most people are fine with one-party rule, as long as its their party. We can’t always have a divided government, and there’s a purpose to elections: politicians get to actually be in power for a little bit before people get a chance to toss them out. Republicans would have us reject Democratic control of the White House and Congress before such a thing dare be allowed to take place.

What are they most afraid of, however?

Democratic success.

If Barack Obama has a successful four years with a Democratic Congress, Republicans would feel lost and helpless, forced to readjust their extreme positions or die out for good. It’s the threat of a good example, the threat of Americans realizing, “Omigod, we have Democrats in office and things are going well!” Democrats will be able to point to how shitty things were when the GOP was in charge, and Republicans will be unable to keep screaming “Its teh JJimi Carter!” to keep Democrats out of office. And that’s the scariest thing they can imagine.

And with a Democrat President unlikely to do more than keep the Supreme Court in balance, this argument finally falls flat on its face. The pendulum must swing.

-jb

Random rightwinger comment of the day.

Oct 30, 2008 in Clueless Conservatives

Just watching a preview of 24 season 7 (I f’ing love that show, btw), and saw the comment thread degenerate into madness, so I thought I’d take a representative sample. I’d say John McCain and Sarah Palin got their message out really well. Except you sound like this then you take it seriously:

On a serious note; Obama refuses to hand in his birth certificate. Nobody knows where he was born(I bet it wasn’t America). People, we can’t get a job without a birth certificate, let alone join the senate, and you want to vote for this scam artist? Wake up people, Nobama is fooling you.
By the way, he said that he’ll give a tax cut to 95% of americans(This if fact). Well, did you know that about only 45% of americans pay taxes? Gee, I feel jealous of those imaginary 50% of people who will live wonderfully under him. And one last thing, did he misplace his middle name or did he think we forget he has the same name as a terrorist??
Thank you.

I’m glad he was being serious with us and not spouting a pile of bullshit.

-jb

The dying confessions of a rightwing hitman.

Oct 30, 2008 in Politics

Roger Ebert reviewed Boogie Man: The Lee Atwater Story, a documentary about Karl Rove’s spiritual daddy, the architect of modern GOP scumbag election tactics now being put down like a rabid dog via Obama’s impending victory (I SEDZ HOLD YA BRETH!) over John McCain’s hate-fest of idiocy and illogic. Atwater died at 40, having lived long enough to infect American politics, and was supposedly consumed with guilt in his last days.

Atwater’s death by brain tumor at age 40 was preceded by deathbed regrets. The film has heartbreaking footage of this boyishly handsome man turned by chemo and radiation into a feeble, bloated caricature of himself. On his deathbed, he called for a Bible, and sent telegrams of apology to those he had offended, even Willie Horton. “He said what he had done was bad and wrong,” Rollins remembers. “He was scared to death of the afterlife.”

Mary Matalin, who never trusted or approved of Atwater, says: “After he died, they found the Bible still wrapped in its cellophane.” She thinks he might have been spinning right to the end.

Not that much of anything Mary Matalin says can be believed…she needs to deny that Atwater politics, whatever she thought of the man, lacks validity since she made a career of trafficking in it since. But if it’s true, it suggests the complete corruption that consumes those who practice the dark arts. In the end, the Bible was of no use to him if he couldn’t throw it at somebody. Presumably said telegrams exist, so perhaps mortality did shock his conscience somewhat.

Can one really imagine the nightmares Karl Rove would suffer on his deathbed? Would you want to be that guy when the tidal wave of realization hit? “What did I do with my life?” would kill him where he stands right now if he honestly asked the question. My guess is, he never will. Atwater died early, while Rove has been stewing in his juices too long. He has to keep hating to breathe. He is likely to be financially independent the rest of his life, and thus the black spectre hovering above his head will be his only payment. Certainly the media has already forgiven him, and the Gangrenous Ossified Party will keep him warm with good will in trade for fealty. Indeed, the base of Limbaugh and Palin will spend the rest of their lives describing Karl Rove as a hero, and they will believe it until their consciences are shocked as well. I suspect a generation of Democrat dominance will only make them angrier, but by then their generation will be dying out. May the next one find a vision of conservatism that is pragmatic and concerned with balance for the sake of the country, not party.

-jb

Why do videos of racist McCain/Palin supporters keep getting yanked off Youtube?

Oct 29, 2008 in Uncategorized

[youtube vL20TdHjX2s]

Is this doctored? False? No? Then fucking leave it up you free speech hatin’ arseholes.

-jb

If they’re so honorable and decent, why do they keep acting like scumbags?

Oct 29, 2008 in Politics, Religion

And I’m not even talking about the latest convicted Republican felon, Ted Stevens.

Nope, Liddy Dole literally inserts audio into her opponent’s mouth saying, “There is no God!!!”

Her opponent, Kay Hagan, teaches Sunday School.

I’m an elder in this church, where the Hagan family has attended for over 100 years. I go on mission trips. I was raised going to Sunday school and church every week. And I raised my children that way.
* On Christmas Eve, we attend the 11:00 evening service, then early on Christmas mornings, my children and husband and I go to the Bell House and cook breakfast for the residents there. My family, my community and my church are the anchors of my life.
* If Senator Dole wants to pass judgment on my faith, that’s her right – but it’s not what my faith teaches.
* This is a fabricated, pathetic ad.

Good Golly, why would Liddy Dole do that?

Congress just had to bailout Wall Street, workers’ retirement savings are out the window, people are genuinely concerned about keeping their job in this tough economic climate, and Elizabeth Dole is trying to talk about ANYTHING but the issues.
* This attack speaks volumes about her personally and politically, but more importantly, it speaks to the lack of leadership she’s shown on behalf of North Carolinians. At this critical point in American history, why isn’t Elizabeth Dole talking about what she’s done for North Carolinians and what she’s planning to do if re-elected?

This is the Republican plight. Trapped in the corner due to bad policies and bad ideas, they have no choice but to resort to their vile selves, and hope that there are enough ugly (and amazingly gullible) people out there to fall for it. Every day the GOP shrinks and grows more pathological, shedding all but the Sarah Palin fan base, the closer it gets to complete implosion, which I will welcome with glee. Couldn’t happen to a more rotten bunch.

-jb

Just a friendly reminder…

Oct 29, 2008 in Journamalism, Old Man McCain

John McCain wouldn’t even have had the opportunity to lose the election (KEEPIN’ MAHH FINGAZ CRAWSST) if the press hadn’t been his base for the past decade. The origin of the tire swing for McCain metaphor was something I actually hadn’t heard before today, I just thought it was colorful. And let’s not forget McCain knew this himself

-jb

For some, the end is always nigh.

Oct 29, 2008 in Uncategorized

Arm yourselves and baracade the doors and windows! The librulz are coming to take your guns away!

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vg8B7fSlJeY]

-mg

The one thing that scares me the most about Palin.

Oct 28, 2008 in Uncategorized

Christopher Hitchen’s has an article in Slate making a very good case against voting religious fanatics into high office.

With Palin, however, the contempt for science may be something a little more sinister than the bluff, empty-headed plain-man’s philistinism of McCain. We never get a chance to ask her in detail about these things, but she is known to favor the teaching of creationism in schools (smuggling this crazy idea through customs in the innocent disguise of “teaching the argument,” as if there was an argument), and so it is at least probable that she believes all creatures from humans to fruit flies were created just as they are now. This would make DNA or any other kind of research pointless, whether conducted in Paris or not. Projects such as sequencing the DNA of the flu virus, the better to inoculate against it, would not need to be funded. We could all expire happily in the name of God. Gov. Palin also says that she doesn’t think humans are responsible for global warming; again, one would like to ask her whether, like some of her co-religionists, she is a “premillenial dispensationalist”—in other words, someone who believes that there is no point in protecting and preserving the natural world, since the end of days will soon be upon us.

I personally don’t think that a politicians personal religious views are above scrutiny. Especially if their theology is preoccupied with Armageddon. Is it rational to believe that the Earth is a disposable, transient phenomenon? Should a leader predisposed to thinking of the world in these terms be given the capability to hasten our demise?

Hitchens delivers the blow:

This is what the Republican Party has done to us this year: It has placed within reach of the Oval Office a woman who is a religious fanatic and a proud, boastful ignoramus. Those who despise science and learning are not anti-elitist. They are morally and intellectually slothful people who are secretly envious of the educated and the cultured. And those who prate of spiritual warfare and demons are not just “people of faith” but theocratic bullies. On Nov. 4, anyone who cares for the Constitution has a clear duty to repudiate this wickedness and stupidity.

-mg

Obama’s would be “assassin”.

Oct 28, 2008 in Uncategorized

You lost a war one hundred and fifty years ago. Get over it, Jethro.

-mg

Domo arigato, Missus Robocall

Oct 27, 2008 in Election crap

AKA “Stop me, oh stop me…Stop me if you think that you’ve heard this one before…”

To get the full effect, you need to speak the following in a monotonous suburban Minnesota accent (only slightly more subtle than the infamous Fargo accent), removing all nuance and punctuation, except to raise the pitch of your voice at the end of the third paragraph to make it sound like a question.

Hello. I’m calling for John McCain and the RNC, because you need to know that Barack Obama used his position as a state Senator to give $14 million of our tax dollars to his long-time political donor, convicted felon Tony Rezko.

And Democrats’ solution to the financial crisis is to raise our taxes and give it to those who don’t pay a single penny in federal income tax.
[Ed.: She either said “And Democrats’…”, or really slurred “And, the Democrat…”]

Barack Obama and his Democrat allies lack the judgment to lead our country.

This call has been paid for by the Republican National Committee and McCain-Palin 2008 at 866-558-5591.

This aural gem landed in my cell phone’s voice mail over the lunch hour today. John McCain, thank you for obliging me to pay to hear your lies.

-JJB Mpls

The better Obama’s numbers, the more I wanna party.

Oct 25, 2008 in We'll post whatever we goddamned want to

Sorry for a second night of silly videos…but Lil’ Miss Samari insisted:)

[youtube wzyT9-9lUyE]

The facial-mapping technology is getting pretty good nowadays.

-jb

Palin’s make-up artist highest paid McCain staffer.

Oct 24, 2008 in Uncategorized

Guess what The Daily Show is going to be talking about tonight.

-mg

PS> $11K a week? These, my friends, are priorities we can believe in.

John McCain repudiates all that his party stood for.

Oct 24, 2008 in Uncategorized

In an interview with the Moonie Times, John McCain lays into the Bush Years:

“We just let things get completely out of hand,” he said of his own party’s rule in the past eight years.

In an interview with The Washington Times, Mr. McCain lashed out at a litany of Bush policies and issues that he said he would have handled differently as president, days after a poll showed that he began making up ground on Sen. Barack Obama since he emphatically sought to distance himself from Mr. Bush in the final debate.

“Spending, the conduct of the war in Iraq for years, growth in the size of government, larger than any time since the Great Society, laying a $10 trillion debt on future generations of America, owing $500 billion to China, obviously, failure to both enforce and modernize the [financial] regulatory agencies that were designed for the 1930s and certainly not for the 21st century, failure to address the issue of climate change seriously,” Mr. McCain said in an interview with The Washington Times aboard his campaign plane en route from New Hampshire to Ohio.

“Those are just some of them,” he said with a laugh, chomping into a peanut butter sandwich as a few campaign aides in his midair office joined in the laughter.

In the interview, Mr. McCain rejected the notion that he could win on the strength of voters who won’t vote for a black president.

“I reject categorically the concept that people would, any number of people would vote on the basis of race,” he said.

-mg

The initial, irrational exuberance of the Palin selection.

Oct 24, 2008 in Sarah Palin, WTF?

How quickly we forget…when Sarah Palin was going to be the deathblow to the Democratic ticket.

[youtube lVgBNfGzvWE]

Seems so silly now, doesn’t it? So very, very silly…

-jb

Teh Internetz: How it affected election coverage.

Oct 23, 2008 in The Internets

Arianna Huffington notes how the increasing dominance of the internet over our electoral dialogue affects the dirty damned lies of the right:

Back in the Dark Ages of 2004, when YouTube (and HuffPost, for that matter) didn’t exist, a campaign could tell a brazen lie, and the media might call them on it. But if they kept repeating the lie again and again and again, the media would eventually let it go (see the Swiftboating of John Kerry). Traditional media like moving on to the next shiny thing. But bloggers love revisiting a story. So when Palin kept repeating her bridge to nowhere lie, bloggers kept calling her on it. Andrew Sullivan, for one, has made a cottage industry of calling Palin on her lies. And eventually, the truth filtered up and cost McCain credibility with his true base: journalists.

The Internet may make it easier to disseminate character smears, but it also makes it much less likely that these smears will stick.

As a result, the McCain campaign’s insinuation-laden “Who is Barack Obama?” was rendered more comical than spooky. Who is Barack Obama? The guy we’ve been watching over and over and over during the last two years. We’ve seen him. We know him. And we can remind ourselves about him with a quick Google search and a mouse click.

Obama “has shown the same untroubled self-confidence day after day,” and “over the past two years, Obama has clearly worn well with voters.” Those are the words of David Brooks, who has gotten to know Obama just like the rest of us.

Four years ago, McCain’s Rovian race-based appeals to our darker demons might have worked. This year, they are blowing up in McCain’s face. And in the face of the entire GOP.

The truth will out! The Hannity/Limbaugh right desperately hoped they could win “if only people knew about AYERSACORNREZKOWRIGHT!” but people did know, and they deemed it insufficient. Rightwingers loved those things because they thought they could make them work in their favor as Republicans. But Republican victory isn’t really on America’s priority list right now, it’s solving problems and fixing the country. Those things had nothing to do with that. Even worse, they were flimsy charges lacking substance, having little to do with who Barack Obama really was. The right, still in their own bubble, has rightfully earned their defeat. May justice be served on Nov. 4th.

-jb

Obama will do his job.

Oct 23, 2008 in Barack Obama

George W. Bush, being unable to actually think beyond simple maxims and truisms, delegated most of his jobs to other, more qualified people. Were they able to return to him and say, “We’re doing well,” he thought he had “this President thing” figured out.

Barack Obama will signal the return to the White House of an executive willing to actually do the hard work instead of complaining about it, and embrace responsibility instead of devoting his resources to avoiding it. In this conversation with Joe Klein, he describes how he will take the commander-in-chief reins back from the generals, using his conversation with General Petraeus as a model.

Q] Let me ask you about a situation like that. I have been collecting accounts of your meeting with David Petraeus in Baghdad. And you had [inaudible] after he had made a really strong pitch [inaudible] for maximum flexibility. A lot of politicians at that moment would have said [inaudible] but from what I hear, you pushed back.

[BO] I did. I remember the conversation, pretty precisely. He made the case for maximum flexibility and I said you know what if I were in your shoes I would be making the exact same argument because your job right now is to succeed in Iraq on as favorable terms as we can get. My job as a potential commander in chief is to view your counsel and your interests through the prism of our overall national security which includes what is happening in Afghanistan, which includes the costs to our image in the middle east, to the continued occupation, which includes the financial costs of our occupation, which includes what it is doing to our military. So I said look, I described in my mind at list an analogous situation where I am sure he has to deal with situations where the commanding officer in [inaudible] says I need more troops here now because I really think I can make progress doing x y and z. That commanding officer is doing his job in Ramadi, but Petraeus’s job is to step back and see how does it impact Iraq as a whole. My argument was I have got to do the same thing here. And based on my strong assessment particularly having just come from Afghanistan were going to have to make a different decision. But the point is that hopefully I communicated to the press my complete respect and gratitude to him and Proder who was in the meeting for their outstanding work. Our differences don’t necessarily derive from differences in sort of, or my differences with him don’t derive from tactical objections to his approach. But rather from a strategic framework that is trying to take into account the challenges to our national security and the fact that we’ve got finite resources.

The whole interview is worth reading. I’m simply ecstatic at the prospect of having a president this intelligent and capable back in the Oval Office. It feels like Obama has been spending his time wrapping his brain around the scope of the presidency, and the results have paid off. He is as ready as any president has ever been, and more ready than many have been. I simply can’t envision a more perfect match for the crazy shitstorm we’re going through. There isn’t the slightest hint of trepidation on Obama’s part at the thought of dealing with so many blooming clusterfucks at once. But it’s not like Sarah Palin’s “Sure I’m ready to be in charge of Congress!” idiot blindness. He knows what lies ahead. He knows how we got there. He knows what he, as president, will be able to do. He is fully aware of what we need to do to fundamentally repair our nation and put it back on the right track. Contrary to lazy assumptions that Obama will be thwarted by librulz in the Congress run wild, I think he will have Congress looking to his lead and eagerly doing their best to complement it. Unless he does some chickenshit stuff like compromise on FISA again. That’s when he’ll get a fight, not when he’s supporting renewable energy or fixing the health care system.

On that note, I am proud to have already cast my vote for Barack Obama. He will not give me everything I want, but I feel America will be steered best through these tumultuous times with Obama as our leader, and I feel that we will be better off in four years than we are today. He is the best choice to stop this downward spiral and create once again an America ascendant.
This hope is impossible with John McCain, especially with the looming threat of a Palin derail.
Rewarding the GOP for 8 years of Bush and a campaign of hatred would be devastating to Americans, and the prospect of our country resembling McCain’s schizophrenic train-wreck campaign is truly threatening to our well-being. We must be prudent, and we must put the Limbaugh/Rove/Hannity era behind us.

Be a good steward, voters. Help this country. Vote Obama.

-jb

Updated Presidential poll numbers.

Oct 23, 2008 in Uncategorized

Winning the culture wars!

Oct 23, 2008 in Culture

Completely unnecessary title, but check out 11 Life Lessons in The Big Lebowski, loljokerz, and The Philosophy of Batman: The Schopenhauer edition.
I got something out of Is Watchmen filmable? as well. Don’t know if today’s a special day, or if I’m lucky to have discovered www.overthinkingit.com this morning…but my best advice is to go to imdb.com every day and look at the recommended articles at the bottom of the page.

-jb

Saved by zero! Saved by zero!

Oct 23, 2008 in Uncategorized

I truly hate that Toyota commercial.

-mg

Conservatives speak: Why they are voting Obama.

Oct 22, 2008 in Barack Obama, Politics

[youtube GBLnwMbYmUw]

Eric Hershberg on his project:

This is what democracy is supposed to be. These people actually listened, considered and were open to the possibility of change. They didn’t support a candidate. They actually chose one. And while I’m happy this year they are voting for “my team,” they also inspired me to be more open in my own political life.

-jb

They’re finally going after the crooks at Moody’s.

Oct 22, 2008 in Uncategorized

Lost in all of the Limbaugh induced hysteria over CRA rules is the role the credit default market and rating agencies played in the current financial debacle. The mouth-breathers are reluctant to say anything that hasn’t been given the EIB seal of approval because they’re absolutely ignorant of how corporate finance works. Driven by their Republican theology they can only process lines of rationale that allow them to blame every perceived injustice on librulz. It’s nice to see that their leaders have some common sense:

Mark E. Souder, a Republican from Indiana, described their conduct as “gross incompetence.” Another lawmaker read from a series of instant messages, sent by employees of S&P, in which one analyst said they would rate a deal even if it were “structured by cows.”

In many cases, these ratings agencies assigned super-safe, triple-A ratings to structured products that later turned out to be extremely risky, and in some case, worthless.

I think we all know who is responsible for this. That’s right….BILL CLINTON!!

-mg

Real Americans shop at Sak’s!

Oct 22, 2008 in Uncategorized

The RNC bought Palin and Co. $150K worth of duds.

-mg

The McCain Plan: Win Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, North Carolina and Virginia in thirteen days!

Oct 22, 2008 in Uncategorized

Alcohol wholesaling: Government control of the market and how it made the McCains wealthier.

Oct 21, 2008 in Booze & or Drugs, Politics

Via Sully, Reason’s article on anti-capitalist alcohol wholesalers:

For decades wholesalers have quietly added 18-25 percent to every bottle of beer, glass of wine, and shot of liquor you pour down your gullet. And there’s been little resistance to them, for a few reasons. First, wholesalers don’t interact with consumers. They take their markup between producer and retailer, out of the sight of the people whose money they’re ultimately taking. Second, they’re rather powerful. Alcohol wholesaling is a lucrative, concentrated industry that reaps enormous benefits from policies whose costs are spread out across the general public. Which brings up the third reason distribution laws aren’t frequently challenged: They haven’t had many obvious opponents. Until recently, the only people hurt by the three-tiered system were consumers, and again, the cost per consumer was too negligible, hidden, and entrenched for anyone to notice.

That’s changing. Bulk retailers like Costco and Wal-Mart have waged lawsuits against some of these laws, with mixed success. The popularity of microbrews, niche wineries, and the ability of both to reach consumers over the Internet has also put a dent in the distributors’ empire; wholesalers are among the leading advocates for banning alcohol sales over the web.

The article notes that Arizona features some of the most market-restrictive measures, and that the Anheuser-Busch empire (to which Cindy McCain belongs) owes millions upon millions to this.

The Hensley company provides a good example of how these laws can hurt consumers. Hensley is the fourth largest beer distributor in the country, one of the largest privately-held companies in Arizona, and holds a 60 percent market share in the parts of Arizona it serves. It also distributes Anheuser-Busch products exclusively. Beer-producing giant Busch began an incentive campaign in the late 1990s aimed at getting distributors to drop the products produced by its competitors. In those parts of the country where a given distributor has a huge, government-abetted market share, such arrangements put the squeeze on the variety of options available to consumers (Anheuser-Bush’s national market share rose five percent during the campaign, to 50 percent nationally).

Socialism!

But let’s get back to John McCain. What does the candidate lecturing Wall Street about greed think about the alcohol wholesaling industry? Is it fair? Should government be subsidizing (if not outright creating) an industry by forcing consumers to pay more for alcohol—for which they get little to no added value in return? And who’s greedier, the family who exploits that system to amass a small fortune, or the brokers and traders McCain derides for pursuing profits in a free market?

Oh, let the guy retire in Arizona in peace, wouldja?

-jb

End the war against (non-wealthy) Americans.

Oct 20, 2008 in Barack Obama, Booze & or Drugs, Drugs, Politics

Joe Conasan looks to the history of drug use shared by Barack Obama and Cindy McCain as parables to underline the case against jailing people and ruining their lives over drug use. Obama’s history is vague but widely known. Cindy’s story less so, though a recently canned (ghost-written) autobiography was planned:

But it is hard to imagine why she or husband John would want to excavate any unhappy memories of her Percocet period. Her battle with addiction included a series of major felony offenses in the early ’90s, which included falsifying prescriptions, stealing drugs from a medical charity she founded and underwrote with her family fortune, and inducing doctors and other employees of that charity to help her obtain Percocet and other Schedule III narcotics illegally. The Drug Enforcement Administration opened an investigation of her after a former employee, whose name she had used to obtain drugs, reported her criminal misuse of her charity. At the time, seasoned defense attorneys in Arizona believed that she could face up to 20 years in prison if convicted on half a dozen counts (and that if her name had been José Lopez, she surely would have).

But Cindy McCain avoided prosecution by federal authorities. Instead, like so many other wealthy and high-profile drug offenders — and unlike so many of the young offenders Obama knew, whose crimes were no worse than hers — she was allowed into what is known as a “diversion” program. Rather than being sent to jail, she went into rehab. Now it’s as if none of those terrible things had ever happened to her — and why would anyone bring them up?

The only reason to talk about past drug abuse by Barack Obama or Cindy McCain is to point out the waste and injustice of the ongoing drug war. Both of them broke the law, repeatedly, by their own admission, but neither deserved to go to prison and no useful purpose would have been served by punishing them.

Today we spend well over $50 billion annually at the federal, state and local levels on a domestic war that has never achieved any of its objectives and never will. If either of the presidential candidates still believes that this is a worthwhile investment of our money, despite his own experience, it would be fascinating to hear him explain why.

Like Rush Limbaugh, Cindy McCain exemplifies what the Drug War means to the wealthy: unless they’re drug dealers themselves, nothing. With the rich and the famous, we understand.

Obama has expressed interest in lightening sentences and promoting rehab…probably as much as he could get away with at this point, but unfortunate nonetheless (obviously McCain is a throw-em’-all-in-jail type, except for people like his wife). Armed with a Democratic Congress, Obama would be a fool to not go further. He is practical, not so much ideological, and well aware that drug abuse requires real solutions, not totalitarian measures and submission to fear, especially when such measures are refrained from when dealing with the upper class.

-jb

Let the blaming begin!

Oct 20, 2008 in Uncategorized

Paul Begala and Snakehead (James Carville) have an entertaining article up on Huffington Post giving the Republicans a few pointers on how and who to blame for the implosion of their party. They recommend starting early and shying away from blaming the Librul Media ™ and minorities.

NOT GONNA HAPPEN.

-mg

The Midwest needs to stop electing people like this.

Oct 20, 2008 in Politics

Minnesota GOP Congresswoman Michelle Bachmann joins Iowa’s Steve King in a love of rationalism and fairness:

I mean, just don’t elect people who are batshit crazy. Is that difficult? Midwesterners have this odd reputation for being sensible, practical people. We can’t coast on the reputation if people like Bachmann and King are representing us.

-jb

Great.

Oct 20, 2008 in Uncategorized

Now they can scan the electromagnetic emanations from your keyboard from 65 ft away to keylog you. Message to keyboard engineers: FIX IT NOW. Can’t have people scooping my Barack Obama love poetry.

O, ‘Bama, my ‘Bama! Our fearful trip is done;
The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is (near) won;
The port is near, the bells I hear, the people all exulting,
While follow eyes the steady keel, the vessel grim and daring…
John McCain blows!

-jb

Rightwing radio racism update.

Oct 20, 2008 in Barack Obama, Clueless Conservatives, Racism

On the way to work this morning, within five minutes on two rightwing talk radio stations I heard that support for Obama from Powell is all about race. “What else could it be?” asked Mike Gallagher.

It seems like Powell did plenty of explaining, but never you mind, folks. Let it be known that the surest way to get elected President in the U.S. is to be black!

We knew they’d let their true colors shine if it got close. With Obama in the lead with $500 million in the bank, expect two weeks of full-blown White Panic from the right. It’s what has kept them in power for 40 years…what do you expect? This is what they sell. This is what they do.

-jb

UPDATE: I forgot to mention listening to Mike Gallagher a few weeks ago as he talked with a caller about Obama’s conspiracy to go get a tan in Hawaii so as to appear darker, because that would appeal more to the black constituency. I’ve written a stack of bizarre fiction six inches high, but I could never write that.

UPDATE II: Matt Corley at ThinkProgress was listening to Gallagher too

$150 million. 3.1 million donors. $86 average donation.

Oct 20, 2008 in Uncategorized

Back in 2004 when Joe Trippi revolutionized campaign solicitation by utilizing the web it was laughed at as a disorganized bunch of internet loons looking to waste their money on a long-shot, Far Left candidate. Today it is the most effective means of campaign finance. The most important metric is the average donation. It shows that unlike John McCain the Obama campaign is financed by normal, working Americans and not special interests or PACs. These people are voting with their wallets and they are choosing Barack Obama by a resounding margin.

-mg

A conservative for Obama.

Oct 19, 2008 in Politics

The Republican party is losing the intellectual conservatives. Sarah Palin wouldn’t have it any other way.

“Every great cause,” Eric Hoffer wrote, “begins as a movement, becomes a business, and eventually degenerates into a racket.” As a cause, conservatism may be dead. But as a stance, as a way of making judgments in a complex and difficult world, I believe it is very much alive in the instincts and predispositions of a liberal named Barack Obama.

-jb

FOX report: Colin Powell is only supporting Obama because he’s black.

Oct 19, 2008 in Barack Obama, Racism

An article which can best be summarized as, “Niggers Stick Together.”

You knew this was coming. FOX did too, and was laying the groundwork on Wednesday.

-jb

Systemic behavior in the GOP.

Oct 18, 2008 in Politics, Racism, Where's the outrage?!?!

I was somewhat depressed by some of the racism I saw from some voters during the Democratic primary. I felt disillusioned and disheartened that it could have happened among Democrats.

I realize now, I hadn’t seen anything yet.

[youtube lPg0VCg4AEQ]

[youtube zRqcfqiXCX0]

There is a sickness.

-jb

“Barack is actually Swahili for ‘That One'”

Oct 18, 2008 in Uncategorized

Obama yuks it up at the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation dinner. McCain loves every minute of it. It’s billed on YouTube as “Obama Roasts McCain”, but I think his best lines are directed at Giuliani, Rupert Murdoch, and himself.

I can’t believe David Brooks wrote the greatest column on Barack Obama everrrrrrr.

Oct 17, 2008 in Barack Obama, Politics

Well, the best one I can remember. Is it me, or is Brooks having a really hard time wearing his rightwinger hat lately? He tried massaging Sarah Palin after the debate…and apparently went home, looked in the mirror, and hated what he saw. I really have no idea, but I will say that the man, while having peddled some of the stupidest shit in the world over the years, is capable of defying expectations. The scales fall from the eyes:

Some candidates are motivated by something they lack. For L.B.J., it was respect. For Bill Clinton, it was adoration. These politicians are motivated to fill that void. Their challenge once in office is self-regulation. How will they control the demons, insecurities and longings that fired their ambitions?

But other candidates are propelled by what some psychologists call self-efficacy, the placid assumption that they can handle whatever the future throws at them. Candidates in this mold, most heroically F.D.R. and Ronald Reagan, are driven upward by a desire to realize some capacity in their nature. They rise with an unshakable serenity that is inexplicable to their critics and infuriating to their foes.

Obama has the biography of the first group but the personality of the second. He grew up with an absent father and a peripatetic mother. “I learned long ago to distrust my childhood,” he wrote in “Dreams From My Father.” This is supposed to produce a politician with gaping personal needs and hidden wounds.

But over the past two years, Obama has never shown evidence of that. Instead, he has shown the same untroubled self-confidence day after day.

There has never been a moment when, at least in public, he seems gripped by inner turmoil. It’s not willpower or self-discipline he shows as much as an organized unconscious. Through some deep, bottom-up process, he has developed strategies for equanimity, and now he’s become a homeostasis machine.

Not exactly a soundbite there, but voters know what it is and they like it.

He doesn’t have F.D.R.’s joyful nature or Reagan’s happy outlook, but he is analytical. That’s why this William Ayers business doesn’t stick. He may be liberal, but he is never wild. His family is bourgeois. His instinct is to flee the revolutionary gesture in favor of the six-point plan.

This was not evident back in the “fierce urgency of now” days, but it is now. And it is easy to sketch out a scenario in which he could be a great president. He would be untroubled by self-destructive demons or indiscipline. With that cool manner, he would see reality unfiltered. He could gather — already has gathered — some of the smartest minds in public policy, and, untroubled by intellectual insecurity, he could give them free rein. Though he is young, it is easy to imagine him at the cabinet table, leading a subtle discussion of some long-term problem.

Brooks does pause to imagine how an Obama presidency could fizzle…basically by Obama turning into somebody he isn’t, but concludes as Obama intends him to feel:

We can each guess how the story ends. But over the past two years, Obama has clearly worn well with voters. Far from a celebrity fad, he is self-contained, self-controlled and maybe even a little dull.

This is the sound we have been hearing for a long time from conservatives…real, intellectual conservatives, who appreciate the fact that while Obama is liberal on policy, he is conservative in temperament and intellect. Thus he stands poised to rewrite the narrative on how liberal positions are reached, and who holds them. This is Obama’s power, the power to turn the tide of thinking in America, to allow people who have been conditioned to think they must vote Republican to reconsider what it is they really believe in. He gives conservatives reason to stop hating the man, and truly debate the ideas.

McCain hasn’t gotten that memo yet. Hopefully (DON’TCOUNTYOURGODDAMNCHICKENSYET), he will on Nov. 4th.

-jb

Another friendly reminder…

Oct 17, 2008 in Economy, Old Man McCain, Politics

McCain doesn’t believe anything he’s saying about taxes anyway.

“There’s one big difference between me and the others – I won’t take every last
dime of the surplus and spend it on tax cuts that mostly benefit the wealthy.”
[McCain campaign commercial, January 2000]

“I am disappointed that the Senate Finance Committee preferred instead to cut
the top tax rate of 39.6% to 36%, thereby granting generous tax relief to the
wealthiest individuals of our country at the expense of lower- and
middle-income American taxpayers.” [McCain Senate floor statement, May 21,
2001]

“But when you look at the percentage of the tax cuts that – as the previous tax
cuts – that go to the wealthiest Americans, you will find that the bulk of it,
again, goes to wealthiest Americans.” [NBC’s “Today,” Jan. 7, 2003]

Stolen from somebody on ISCA…

-jb

Joe the Plumber makes $40K/yr., his business $100K/yr.

Oct 17, 2008 in Barack Obama, Politics, The senility of John McCain

Like Atrios, I don’t think “Joe the Plumber” needs to have his life investigated. I don’t care about his name, or his license…the relevant information is his income and how he’d fare under Obama’s tax rates. The answer? Says “Joe”:

“I would, if you believe him, I would be receiving his tax cuts,” Wurzelbacher said.

Now Joe is a registered Republican and McCain supporter, so I expect the reluctant response, but this renders everything McCain said about “Joe the Plumber” to be complete horseshit.

This is not a surprise.

-jb

Youtubin’ McCain’s Ayers attack on Obama.

Oct 17, 2008 in Election crap, Politics

Notice how calmly and logically he responds, if soporifically.

[youtube l63SRpGXBHE]

-jb

Two bits of advice.

Oct 16, 2008 in We'll post whatever we goddamned want to, WTF?

1. Never put off making love to your wife for video games. Or any other reason.

2. Never put your cell phone in a microwave. Especially don’t turn it on if you do. Or the microwave.

[youtube c_JZnNgltvQ]

-jb