Archive for June, 2009

Obama doubles down on his campaign promises to gays.

Jun 30, 2009 in Barack Obama, Politics, teh gay

I think it’s more than fair to say he bought himself some time and good-will with this speech. How far have we come from the wasteland of history to have an American president able to speak so highly of the gay community?

Full speech here. Money quote:

And I know that many in this room don’t believe that progress has come fast enough, and I understand that. It’s not for me to tell you to be patient, any more than it was for others to counsel patience to African Americans who were petitioning for equal rights a half century ago.

But I say this: We have made progress and we will make more. And I want you to know that I expect and hope to be judged not by words, not by promises I’ve made, but by the promises that my administration keeps. And by the time you receive — (applause.) We’ve been in office six months now. I suspect that by the time this administration is over, I think you guys will have pretty good feelings about the Obama administration. (Applause.)

Not an easy thing to say, but he puts some more meat on the bone:

I’ve signed a memorandum requiring all agencies to extend as many federal benefits as possible to LGBT families as current law allows. And these are benefits that will make a real difference for federal employees and Foreign Service Officers, who are so often treated as if their families don’t exist. And I’d like to note that one of the key voices in helping us develop this policy is John Berry, our director of the Office of Personnel Management, who is here today. And I want to thank John Berry.

I’ve called on Congress to repeal the so-called Defense of Marriage Act to help end discrimination — to help end discrimination against same-sex couples in this country. Now, I want to add we have a duty to uphold existing law, but I believe we must do so in a way that does not exacerbate old divides. And fulfilling this duty in upholding the law in no way lessens my commitment to reversing this law. I’ve made that clear.

I’m also urging Congress to pass the Domestic Partners Benefits and Obligations Act, which will guarantee the full range of benefits, including health care, to LGBT couples and their children. My administration is also working hard to pass an employee non-discrimination bill and hate crimes bill, and we’re making progress on both fronts. Judy and Dennis Shepard, as well as their son Logan, are here today. I met with Judy in the Oval Office in May– and I assured her and I assured all of you that we are going to pass an inclusive hate crimes bill into law, a bill named for their son Matthew.

In addition, my administration is committed to rescinding the discriminatory ban on entry to the United States based on HIV status. The Office of Management and Budget just concluded a review of a proposal to repeal this entry ban, which is a first and very big step towards ending this policy. And we all know that HIV/AIDS continues to be a public health threat in many communities, including right here in the District of Columbia. And that’s why this past Saturday, on National HIV Testing Day, I was proud once again to encourage all Americans to know their status and get tested the way Michelle and I know our status and got tested.

And finally, I want to say a word about “don’t ask, don’t tell.” As I said before — I’ll say it again — I believe “don’t ask, don’t tell” doesn’t contribute to our national security. In fact, I believe preventing patriotic Americans from serving their country weakens our national security.

Now, my administration is already working with the Pentagon and members of the House and the Senate on how we’ll go about ending this policy, which will require an act of Congress.

Alright, but on that last point Obama is still being a bit dodgy. He could neuter DADT instantly. Obviously he likes being slow and methodical, but losing one more gay translator is unacceptable.

Then again, if he makes good on this steroid-enhanced promise, spelled out explicitly in the blood of his firstborn, I suspect all will be forgiven.

-jb

Iraq withdrawal begins.

Jun 29, 2009 in Iraq

U.S. forces pull out of Baghdad and other major cities.

I cautiously type those words. Is this real?

-jb

Teh socialism alert!

Jun 29, 2009 in Clueless Conservatives

Europe forces cell phone manufacturers to adopt a common charger standard to stop the endless accumulation of obsolete cell phone chargers.

First they came for the cell phone chargers…

-jb

Government = BAD!

Jun 29, 2009 in Uncategorized

John Taylor starts with an assumption and works his way backwards:

A point is brought up that I made earlier on another comment thread. When an insurance company turns you down for treatment it’s not realistic to expect a person to go shopping for insurance that will considering that they now have a documented previous condition. So, unless you’re filthy rich, you’re stuck with the coverage that you have. If you have no coverage at all then I guess it’s time to pull yourself up by the bootstraps, ignore that compound fracture and go get another job!

-mg

Dana Milbank is in a tizzy.

Jun 28, 2009 in Uncategorized

Nico calls out Dana Milbank for his “serious journalism“; asking Obama how he looks in swimming trunks:

When this piece of meta news came up I couldn’t help but think about the Serious Media’s reaction to Jeff Gannon. That is to say *crickets*.

-mg

Here’s the very serious Dana Milbank. Cue “Yakety Sax”:

Finally, political commentary for my generation.

-mg

New boss: Same as the old boss.

Jun 26, 2009 in Uncategorized

Indefinite detention.

What a pussy.

-mg

Dare we consider rationing health care?

Jun 26, 2009 in Health Care

As if HMOs don’t already ration health care. All those people who don’t have coverage, or who have it but are denied treatments because they are too expensive? That’s rationing.

So what the hell is Michael Kinsley talking about?

Near the end, he finds the real point:

It may seem absurd to worry about whether wealthy or well-insured people get every last test and exotic or speculative treatment when millions of Americans have no health insurance and millions more have gaping holes in their coverage. But the well-insured happen to include virtually all the people making the key decisions about health-care reform — members of Congress and their staffs, the White House staff, Washington journalists, and so on. These people’s fears that they would lose the right to “choose my own doctor” (code for getting treatment with all the bells and whistles) helped kill Hillary Clinton’s attempt to reform health care in the early 1990s. Fear of rationing could kill Obamacare for the same reason.

Fear of rationing by politicians and the wealthy…who in practice will have nothing to worry about. If you’re wealthy, you’ll be able to buy more health care, period. You’ll be living in your same wonderful world. It’s just that the rest of us might be able to live in a tolerable one, instead of staying sick or going into inescapable medical debt.

-jb

A little bit off the wall

Jun 25, 2009 in Culture, In Memorium, Music, We'll post whatever we goddamned want to

I was going to write about the current situation in Iran, when I was stunned by the shocking news of Michael Jackson’s death.

Anyone born between the years 1970-1990, knew him as the king of pop, and can name and/or sing 5-10 of his songs.  I would be bold to say that of these people, before the age of 10 would have told you that he was their favorite singer.

There was no other artist, that is as well known in as many countries as Michael Jackson.  Religion, culture, and political beliefs aside, many people all over the world were touched by his music.

Music is one of those things that transcends all these things and can be a universal unifier.  Which is why in the mountains of Tora Bora, Afghanistan, in the remotest village in Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, anywhere you go someone has heard of Michael Jackson and can tell you what their favorite Michael Jackson song is.  Yes, even Osama Bin Laden probably has a favorite Michael Jackson tune, and tried to moonwalk when he was a young fanatic.  Hell, white Christian fanatics like Bill O’Reilly and Rush Limbaugh probably have a favorite Michael Jackson song.

He was the first real megastar in music.  He was a whole lotta crazy well before Britney Spears and Amy Winehouse.  Before boy bands, there was the Jackson 5.  You may say Beatles, but the Jackson 5 were younger, the first true boy band.  Justin Timberlake wouldn’t have any dance moves or falsetto without Michael.  Before U2, Michael Jackson pushed the boundaries of the largest overblown, multimedia, multi-million dollar rock shows.  Yes I say rock, because he employed the best backing rock session musicians in his albums and tours.

Before Michael Jackson, Bollywood movies actually had plots, and the only music was the backing soundtrack, and the only dancing was two lovers running through forests and around trees in the beautiful mountains of Kashmir.  From the 80’s onwards, choreographed dance sequences are now the central part of the movie, and all copy the moves from Thriller, Beat It, Smooth Criminal, and such.

The list goes on, but he was truly extraordinary, and his departure will be mourned all over the world and in also the least likeliest of places.

–Ali

P.S. I know mg and jb will crucify me for posting this 😛

This is an exorcism?

Jun 25, 2009 in Uncategorized

Just looks like a bunch of people shouting at a guy passed out on the floor. If that’s what it is then I guess I’ve been exorcised several times in the Deadwood bathroom in Iowa City. I think the music was probably a little better.

I probably shouldn’t be so flip about the video considering that if the “possessed” is under age then this “exorcism” constitutes child abuse.

-mg

Michael Jackson dead.

Jun 25, 2009 in Journamalism

Sullivan beat me to it:

So cable coverage of Iran is now over.

-jb

UPDATE: We’re not joking, by the way. We’re talking about serious implications for the fate of Iran.

Foley, Craig, Vitter, Ensign, Sanford, Gibbons, Fossella…

Jun 25, 2009 in Uncategorized

Republican Party leader Rush Limbaugh defends Sanford’s infidelity by saying that he was fed up with Obama.

“This is almost like, ‘I don’t give a damn, the country’s going to Hell in a handbasket, I just want out of here,'” said Limbaugh. “He had just tried to fight the stimulus money coming to South Carolina. He didn’t want any part of it. He lost the battle. He said, ‘What the Hell. I mean, I’m — the federal government’s taking over — what the Hell, I want to enjoy life.

So naturally Sanford would want to take off to a country that has a public health care option and has normal, friendly relations with Hugo Chavez who paid off a third of their debt to the IMF.

-mg

We talk, you listen!

Jun 24, 2009 in Clueless Conservatives

Dana Rohrabacher has always been a reliable idiot.

[youtube RAGYQQMxoR8]

If only Obama had said what Khamenei and Ahmedinejad wanted him to say, they wouldn’t have inflicted such violence on Iranian protesters? Only in the mind of a Republican, folks.

-jb

A video for the missus.

Jun 24, 2009 in Music

[youtube tjecYugTbIQ]

Video gets better as the song progresses…

-jb

They Do This Every Time

Jun 24, 2009 in Uncategorized

Go ahead: find me one example of the “liberal media” doing this. You can’t; it doesn’t happen. Fox lacks the intestinal fortitude to run all the “R”s they’d have to run if they were actually a news channel instead of an editorial page with a volume knob.
-TT

The Party of Family Values Strikes Again

Jun 24, 2009 in Uncategorized

Just another liberal media unfair hypocritical takedown, I guess. Yep, you heard right – when the people who stomp ‘n’ spit about “undermining the sanctity of the institution of marriage” prove once again that they only mean that as it applies to others, not themselves. It’s hypocritical to point out that they almost never walk it like they talk it. And it’s mean-spirited and inconsiderate to get laughs out of the 24 hours of new-explanations-on-the-fours-and-eights pumped out by their offices.

Ah, Republicans. It’s not their hypocrisy that matters; just yours!
-TT

Nate Silver, genius.

Jun 24, 2009 in Health Care

Nate Silver breaks down the complete bankruptcy of the Republican critique of public options, and, by extension, the idiocy of Democrats caving to them:

What (George) Will’s position reflects instead is ideology: who cares that the federal government could build a better mousetrap? They’re the government and that’s bad.

This spells out why the “free market” isn’t working for health care:

Now, what’s supposed to happen in the free market is that another company will come in and offer Frederick a better deal: they’ll offer him the same coverage for $350 a month, accepting a smaller profit, and Frederick will happily take the deal. There are at least a couple of reasons, however, why this may not be happening in the insurance industry. The first is that Frederick might not realize he’s paying $400 every month for insurance. That’s because if he’s like the majority of Americans, he’s getting his insurance through his work, and except when the HR lady gave him a shiny brochure on his first day at the office, he’s probably never thought very much about what this insurance is costing him in terms of foregone salary. This is particularly so because health insurance benefits, unlike other types of income, aren’t taxed, and so Fredrick is less cognizant of them if show up on his paycheck at all. Not only, then, is the free market maxim of perfect information violated, but it’s violated in such a way that creates artificial profits for the insurance industry: the government is effectively subsidizing every dollar that Frederick’s company is willing to spend on his insurance benefit.

The profits the insurance industry is making, of course — profits artificially boosted by an enormous backdoor tax subsidy — don’t seem to be buying the customer much of anything in terms of improved service or cost savings. On the contrary, health care costs are rising by as much as 9-10 percent per year, without any concomitant increase in the level of service. If JetBlue were raising the cost of its fares by 10 percent per year, they’d be out of business.

The reason the insurers are staying in business, though, is because barriers to entry in the health insurance industry are in practice quite high. Insurers benefit from pooling risk. The larger the pool, the better in terms of the insurer’s ability to hedge its risk and build negotiating leverage with its providers. That makes it very difficult for a Five Guys or a JetBlue type of start-up to compete: they’ll have trouble getting together enough customers to pool their risk adequately, and even if they do, they won’t have as much negotiating leverage as the big guys. Health care providers may demand a better deal or refuse to accept them. As such, they’ll never get off the ground.

Now, if you aren’t some addled fool who thinks everything the government funds puts us one step closer to being Soviet Russia, you’ll understand the position that the free market works really well for some things, but that the government can do some things better. Not everything. Some things. One of those things is health care, and we can see other systems at work in the world that do better than ours for less money. Also, they do it without bankrupting people who get sick, or denying them health care altogether.

We have won the argument. The public is ready. Our opponent’s argument is that public health care may work…TOO WELL!!! Ah, teh horror!

Democrats in the House…you may be our only hope. We need you to be our representatives right now, because we’re lacking them in the Senate and, the one in the White House is going to err on the side of fear if you aren’t speaking up and leading on the issue.

You will reap the rewards. Fight.

-jb

Fail Fail Fail!

Jun 24, 2009 in Disappointing Dems, Health Care

Obama signaling he’s open to dropping the public option?

WRONG GODDAMN MOVE, Mr. Chess Player!

I have been patient with Obama’s sense of strategy, which at its best sees him rope-a-doping his opponents and then decimating them. But this goes beyond confidence games. Right now what we need to do is get those “centrist” Democrats who act like fucking Republicans to actually act like Democrats and support an idea that is already popular with the public. THERE IS NO REAL OPPOSITION. You have lobbyists, and you have the defunct Republican Party which is lost, depraved, and at its weakest state in modern history.

This is the time for the push, for the charge, for the knockout blow. What, are we waiting for Al Franken to extricate himself from Norm Coleman’s string of senseless lawsuits (remember when that was a Republican issue)? Are we waiting for 2010 when we have 60+ Senators? Is Obama so sure he can still achieve a bill that will actually be describable as reform? Is he so sure he can recover his blessed reputation after fucking up one of the pillars of his campaign?

I have been very hesitant to join the ranks of those who started bitching the first month that Obama hadn’t saved the world yet. But this time is ripe. He has momentum. He has popularity. He has useless opponents with no ideas. He has some chickenshit Democrats who can be corralled and cowed like any gang of cowards can.

By Jove, Obama, you better be the craftiest bastard on the planet, because now you’ve even got me wondering. You say your style is to organize the public and get them ahead of you on the issues, but we’re seeing repeatedly that the public is ahead of you on certain issues, and you’re still lagging. The Republicans do not matter. All they will sense is weakness and attack. When you clobber them, they sputter and spurt and say stupid things continuously, driving up your popularity. When you concede territory to them, they do not care! They will keep hating you no matter what you do, so listen to America for once, dad-blame-it!

That said, let me give Obama a chance here:

“We have not drawn lines in the sand other than that reform has to control costs and that it has to provide relief to people who don’t have health insurance or are underinsured,” Mr. Obama said. “Those are the broad parameters that we’ve discussed.”

FACT: Private insurers will never be able to do this. Public plans can. Obama may be setting a standard by which he can eventually reject any private plan. MAY be. Sounds like chickenshit. MAY be otherwise, but President Obama is messing with my emotions too much today.

-jb

Republican opposition…Take two!

Jun 23, 2009 in Uncategorized

The Republicans are going to hold a press conference to talk about how a public health care option is going to encourage teens to engage in heavy-petting and smoking “reefers”. Gee, I wonder how this one is going to turn out.

-mg

Who Says Democrats Aren’t Friendly to Business?

Jun 23, 2009 in Barack Obama, Disappointing Dems

Astonishing. Or not, I guess. But the question still nags: how long are we going to put up with this garbage?

“Filling the doughnut hole should help seniors stay on their branded therapies and lessen the tendency for seniors to switch from brands to generics once they hit the donut hole,” Anderson said. “This is critical because once patients convert to generics, they seldom revert back to the brand and are essentially lost to cheaper generics forever.”

How exactly is it anybody’s concern if patients are “lost to cheaper generics”? I know what Big Pharma’s answer to this is: if they can’t make unimaginable and permanently renewable sums of money, they “might stop innovating,” so therefore U.S. law must protect their profits in order to insure that they continue developing new & needed medications.

That’s the argument, ridiculous as it is. In point of fact, if the pie decreased in size and Merck or Bristol-Myers Squibb no longer felt inspired to develop new medications, smaller companies would spring up to say: “If you don’t want this money, I do.” That’s how capitalism works. Big Pharma has hated capitalism forever, because capitalism doesn’t protect its profits. Republicans, who secretly aren’t that fond of capitalism either, have long sided with the biggest of the big in their bid to have profits secured & guaranteed by U.S. law. Democrats, too. And now our President. Good show, everybody.

The price for 90 tablets of a 10-milligram dose of Merck & Co.’s cholesterol-lowering pill Zocor is $240.98 at the online pharmacy drugstore.com, while the same pills in a generic, called simvastatin, cost $49.97

Geez, we can’t have that, can we? That’d be awful, all those sick people saving money. Maybe the music business should have asked for some profit-protecting bill back in ’99. Hindsight’s 20/20 I guess!
-TT

On Point

Jun 21, 2009 in Uncategorized

Austin Cline nails it. When will this subject be over – when will those of us who’re making a big deal out of it just get over it, accept reality & focus on something else? I’m saying 2012, maybe, for me personally. Bush’s my-government-will-do-as-it-likes policies were an outrage for all eight years, and the same policies under a different president & a (presumptively) different party aren’t even a whit better.

The right time to be silent about an outrage comes when it’s been redressed, and not a moment before.

-TT

Horror.

Jun 21, 2009 in Iran

Those who cannot stomach reality should not watch.

[youtube 8JlZnvs1tl0]

UPDATE: More on Neda (whose name means “voice” in Farsi) and how she has become a rallying cry in Iran here.

-jb

The unrelenting cynicism and sickness of neocons.

Jun 21, 2009 in Uncategorized

Dan Froomkin got booted from the Washington Post for not playing ball with the neocons running the editorial page (he called torture “torture”), and like clockwork, a winger, the intolerably stupid Michael Goldfarb, yells at Andrew Sullivan, “Anti-Semites! Neocon is a synonym for Jew!”

He forgets, however,

Froomkin is Jewish as is his most eloquent defender, Glenn Greenwald.

The problem isn’t Jewish people, it’s rightwingers, just like anywhere else on the planet. Neocon AIPAC bastards continually employ the strategy, much like rightwinger Christians, that if you’re not with them, you’re against the entire population of Jews/Christians. They consider themselves the embodiment of Jewishness, the only ones among their kind who matter…and thus Jewish people like Froomkin and Greenwald become the ones whose Jewish identity is insulted.

People don’t attack neocons because they’re Jewish. They attack them because they’re wrong. Outrageously, repeatedly, mendaciously wrong. Not on every issue, because neocons tend to be uncontroversial on most other subjects that aren’t “How awesome America/Israel is, and why that means we need to attack or intervene in other countries.” Right now the problem with neocons and those who agree with them on foreign policy, which includes far more Gentile than Jew, is that they started this Iranian revolution wanting to legitimize Ahmedinejad, mourning the possibility that he might lose because they’d lose a good propaganda target. As Sullivan pointed out in another post, when they realized that wouldn’t work, they turned to goading Obama to do exactly what Khamenei wants him to do, inject the U.S. into the argument and provide the rulers of Iran their own propaganda target.

And the Washington Post is their vehicle for legitimizing such foolishness. These ideas would be stupid no matter who said it, and who exactly has forgotten that it was Bush and Cheney, neither Jewish, who became living cautionary tales against neocon madness?

-jb

The Iranian perspective.

Jun 20, 2009 in Clueless Conservatives, Iran

They don’t need neocon advice. They’ve been listening plenty.

We believe that there is indeed an Obama effect in play here.

Bush/Cheney/Limbaugh/insert-neocon-here can never inspire them, because for all the pontificating, there is no masking the contempt for Middle East Islamic culture. Between friends, little more is needed than a brief nod of the head and a wink.

-jb

Liberal media update.

Jun 19, 2009 in Clueless Conservatives, Politics

Have you heard a rightwinger describe The Washington Post as a liberal newspaper? I sure have. Then again, that was Brian Pickrell, who also described Scientific American as a liberal magazine.

Anyway, in case there were any illusions, Glenn Greenwald gives us an instructive snapshot of WaPo’s op-ed page, pointing out what many of us have known for a long time: WaPo is a neocon paper (slathered in Beltway Butter). E.J. Dionne and Eugene Robinson provide occasional glimpses of light, but it’s important to remember that the WaPo was one of Bush’s biggest cheerleaders, behind him at every step, offering more rationale for neocon policy than any think tank could have generated. And now, after some nimbleness around election time, they’ve shifted into chastising Obama for not being Cheney-rific enough.

Question: Why is it so hard for everybody to acknowledge the bleeding obvious, and just call the WaPo what it is, and note that they’ve so rarely been right about much of anything? Answer: As an instrument of power neatly honed to look respectable and intellectual, the WaPo has a formula that is desperately needed by much larger institutions, including the military industrial complex. In the end, they follow the same formula Rush Limbaugh discovered twenty years ago: there’s a lot of scratch to be made working for the establishment.

-jb

UPDATE: ROFLOLZ from Krauthammer, who is constitutionally unable to stop making things up:

The demonstrators are fighting on their own, but they await just a word that America is on their side.

Ah, yes, Charles! The fate of Iran hangs in the balance, and the people of Iran are looking to America, helpless without us injecting ourselves into the debate! Yes, if only the American government would speak up loudly and say, “We are on the side of the protestors, so back down evil Iranian government!” the battle would be won!

I don’t know if Krauthammer read some isolated quote that prompted him to decide this is what all Iranian protesters are thinking, but for people who aren’t neocons, who actually pay attention to Iranian culture, the absolute worst thing we could do is slap an American flag on the faces of the protesters.

Remove that linchpin from Krauthammer’s argument, the thing he made up out of thin air, and the whole piece falls apart. As usual.

Like a distant melody.

Jun 18, 2009 in Uncategorized

“There are people at Gitmo that will kill American people at a drop of a hat and I don’t believe that persuasion isn’t going to work,” Bush said. “Therapy isn’t going to cause terrorists to change their mind.”

Because…ya see…heh…that’s what the librulz wanna do! Persuade the terrists!

And, as usual, when the GOP kicks the ball the media goes chasing after it.

-mg

Harkin open to co-ops?

Jun 18, 2009 in Uncategorized

Harkin has changed his tune on a public health care option.

Call Harkin today and let him know that we can’t compromise on this issue again.

UPDATE> The cool kids at Bleeding Heartland have a better write-up.

UPDATE> Broder’s behind Daschle which means that we’re fuckin’ doomed. Where was all of this concern for bi-partisanship when Republicans had the wheel for six years?

-mg

Tom Daschle can go to hell.

Jun 18, 2009 in Disappointing Dems

Gee, people thought he might be in the pocket of the health care industry! And now he opposes the public plan.

Us grassroots liberals (i.e. dirty fucking hippies) just don’t know anything, do we?

-jb

Remember when…

Jun 17, 2009 in Uncategorized

…voting against a war funding bill was putting the troops in danger, treasonous, hideously partisan? Those were days.

-mg

Get Ready to Drink

Jun 17, 2009 in Uncategorized

Every time a right-wing blogger whines “if this were a liberal, they wouldn’t be covering the story at all,” take a shot. Those are the rules.

Before we’re all too drunk to stand, though, let the record reflect that Thomas Tallis does not care if every politician in the world has one or several extramarital affairs, with or without a Sony Handicam recording the proceedings and/or some friends from work joining in. “Sexual immorality” consists of any act where one party to it has not given consent (this includes child abuse, since, under the law and correctly so, a minor cannot give consent). Any sexual acts between consenting adults for the mutual pleasure of the consenting parties are 1) their business alone and 2) their birthright.

That said, if this dude has done any sanctity-of-marriage routines from the stump, it’s fair enough to have loads of fun at his & his supporters’ expense; if you’re pointing the finger of one hand at somebody for their “immorality” while your other hand is letting its fingers do the walking up a married woman’s leg, then you sort of lose the right to do much but stand still while the eggs start flying from all directions.
-TT

The ultimate proof Obama is going to institute the Fairness Doctrine.

Jun 17, 2009 in Clueless Conservatives

His FCC chairman candidate is against the Fairness Doctrine.

There you go, Limbaugh and Hannity…could Obama’s subterfuge be any more obvious!?!?

-jb

More rightwing hysteria.

Jun 17, 2009 in Clueless Conservatives, Culture

The hilarious sickness on the right persists:

How do grown adults behave like this? “He’s a verbal pedophile!” Really? Are you sure, lady, that you aren’t just a Palin fanatic who’s springing on Letterman mistaking Willow for Bristol (the one who did get knocked up) in order to play victim? Really, consider the disservice being done to real concern about pedophilia.

Bonus racist points to the guy doing the neck thing at the black woman.

In all honesty, this protest was a bust, with only 15 people able to muster this degree of insanity, but there’s been plenty of bustle over this stupidity, egged on by Sarah Palin herself. It said nothing about David Letterman, and everything about her and the cult of personality that has sprung up around this know-nothing fool from Alaska who seeks infamy with slightly less vigor that Janice Dickinson.

-jb

More GOP bigotry. Tennessee Edition.

Jun 16, 2009 in Uncategorized

Clever!

-mg

I was amped about DJ Hero…

Jun 16, 2009 in Uncategorized

…until I saw the size of the controller.

They couldn’t make the platter at least close to twelve inches? Yeah, sure, a CDJ-800 has about the same sized control surface but come on! If you’re going to make it look like a classic 1200 then you might as well make the effort and give the game controller that extra feel of authenticity. Needless to say, I’ll be buying one.

-mg

Stop apologizing.

Jun 15, 2009 in Uncategorized

Knock it off, Dave. You’ll never be able to satisfy the right-wing PC Cops. Self-righteous indignation is the glue that holds them together.

More GOP bigotry.

Jun 15, 2009 in Uncategorized

I can’t believe black people don’t vote Republican more.

-mg

Bigotry continued
.

Vinyl is a thing of beauty.

Jun 15, 2009 in Music

Kanye West digs the PSB “Yes” boxed set.

Power to the people.

Jun 14, 2009 in Iran

Amazing.

[youtube 9WU-cxEEJ-E]

If they refuse to stop, they can’t be stopped.

-jb

Why didn’t they just say Ahmedinejad got 99%?

Jun 14, 2009 in Iran

It’s rather amazing that Iran went through with the election at all. Now it’s either crush the people or get tossed out…

Unofficial news – reports leaked results from Interior Ministry:
Eligible voters: 49,322,412
Votes cast: 42,026,078
Spoilt votes: 38,716
Mir Hossein Mousavi: 19,075,623
Mehdi Karoubi: 13,387,104
Mahmoud Ahmadi-nejad (incumbent): 5,698,417
Mohsen Rezaei (conservative candidate): 3,754,218

39% Mousavi, 27% Karoubi, 11% Ahmedinejad. The only thing that would lead to doubting the credibility of these numbers is the question of whether the government in Iran would bother to count the votes in the first place.

Unfortunately, right now the people are getting their asses kicked, and the Revolutionary Guard has taken over the press. Biden has expressed doubt, but let’s hope Obama and the rest of the world states openly what everybody knows to be true: Mousavi won the election, and Ahmedinejad/Khamenei tossed out the results. Get the truth out there and keep saying it.

BTW, Daniel Pipes, a major Islam-hatin’ neocon who passes for an intellectual and Middle East expert in rightwing circles openly rooted for Ahmedinejad to win, because Pipes would have better cause to push for war on Iran. Actual reform in the Middle East doesn’t matter. Our far-right lizard-brains need far-right lizard brains in other countries to fight.

-jb

UPDATE: The case for not giving Ahmedinejad rhetorical fuel by inserting ourselves into the middle of this and providing quieter support…

In honour of tonight, which shall shortly feature me sipping on Absolut.

Jun 12, 2009 in Booze & or Drugs, Culture

[youtube 5p0QtJMKt1s]

Believe it or not, commissioned by Absolut and featured on their website, along with two more installments (here and here).

Zach Galifianakis is starting to get some love for The Hangover, and I’m feeling it, but mad props go out to Tim and Eric.

-jb

Iowa woman discovers new cloud type.

Jun 12, 2009 in Uncategorized

I honestly don’t care but I noticed that the photo in the article is of the Quaker Oats plant just north of downtown Cedar Rapids.

I drive by it everyday and shudder at how dreadful it looks. Yes, I know Quaker Oats is an important part of industrial CR but for God’s sake you’d think they could spruce the place up a bit so it didn’t look quite so dungy. Say what you will about Southern California, at least they know the value of a fresh coat of paint or a well-placed tree.

-mg

Four Yorkshiremen.

Jun 12, 2009 in Uncategorized

If you know my family this requires no explanation or further commentary.

-mg

Verschaerftene Vernehmung.

Jun 11, 2009 in Journamalism, Politics, Torture, War Crimes

Andrew Sullivan offers a priceless piece of research demonstrating how the New York Times always used to know what torture was, until Dick Cheney decided he wanted to do it.

The classic techniques used by Cheney – sleep deprivation, cold cells, hypothermia, stress positions, forced nudity and “walling” – were described by the NYT in the past very plainly, using the term “mental torture,” or in the recent obit (obviously written before Cheney p.c. came in) of an American airman, captured by the Communist Chinese, simply “torture.” In reporting on the similar techniques used Agabuse by the British in Northern Ireland in 1972, the NYT called them “torture and brainwashing”, which is exactly what the Cheney techniques are designed to accomplish. In 1996, the NYT ran a story on reports of “torture” in Brazil, which included “being kept naked in a cold cell,” the Gestapo specialty that Cheney made standard procedure for the US. In 1997, in reporting on the CIA’s record in training torturers in Latin America in the early 1980s, the NYT used the terms “psychological torture” and “mental torture” to describe long-time standing, stress positions, “deep exhaustion”, and solitary confinement.

In 1998, the NYT reported on the CIA’s training of Palestinian security forces. The Times reported that the CIA had dropped all last-resort use of physical torture in 1985, but also what they called “mental torture.” In discussing allegations of torture by the Palestinian security services, the NYT noted a relevant fact as support for the claim: 18 prisoners had died in custody during interrogation. Even after a hundred deaths have now been recorded under the Cheney torture regime, the NYT refuses to call it torture. In 1999, in contrast, the NYT reported on “allegations of torture” in China that amounted to “beatings and solitary confinement”.

The right has no explanation how “teh librul media” can behave this way, because their media theories are entirely self-serving and incomplete.

-jb

Taking the extra step and getting the gun out.

Jun 10, 2009 in Uncategorized

The pearl-clutching professionals at Hot Air weigh in:

The bonus nuance here is that this vid was cut by TPM, which is suddenly shocked, shocked to find incendiary rhetoric online notwithstanding the notoriety their fellow travelers have for trafficking in it. Doubtless the point is to prove how unhinged Fox viewers are, but surf around on CNN or MSNBC or any other news website and compare the comments there. Jake Tapper’s mentioned more than once on Twitter how even his scrupulously balanced posts at ABC attract nutjobs by the dozen from both sides. Trolls are an Internet fact of life, alas. It’s time to stop being surprised.

Yes, doubtless. Or perhaps, as he stated, he was commenting on the mail that he personally receives as an employee at Fox. I don’t know why Smith should feel compelled to add a qualifier to his statements on right-wing extremism just so that Allahpundit doesn’t have to feel put upon but apparently Jake Tapper needs to come on to assure the viewers that he too receives email from crazies. And considering that Smith’s commentary was in regards to a recent shooting involving yet another right-wing fanatic I hardly see how doing so would be relevant or appropriate.

In light of today’s events I think the above is one of the worst “but the librulz do it too!!!” screeds I’ve ever read.

-mg

More right-wing terrorism.

Jun 10, 2009 in Uncategorized

I don’t know exactly what the plan was considering it was one gunman but unfortunately, like most driven by fanaticism, he took an innocent life with him. On James von Brunn:

He claims to be a member of Mensa, “the high-IQ society,” and in 1981 was convicted in D.C. Superior Court for an offense that is not made clear. He was “convicted by a Negro jury, Jew/Negro attorneys, and sentenced to prison for eleven years by a Jew judge. A Jew/Negro/White Court of Appeals denied his appeal. He served 6.5 years in federal prison.”

He says he is now an artist and author living on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.
He refers on his website to “Marxist/Liberal/Jews bankers,” and provides this information in a poisonous biographical entry.

-mg

Right-wing outrage in 3… 2… 1…

Jun 10, 2009 in Uncategorized

We’re all hypocrites…again.

Why? Because we don’t get upset at the same trivialities that keep the fringe dead-enders up at night. Apparently, we’re supposed to spend our days denouncing each other for not living up to the ideological standards these loonies have decided are “liberal”.

-mg

Another nail in the DLC coffin.

Jun 09, 2009 in Disappointing Dems, Politics

Terry McAuliffe, who has for years represented everything wrong about the Democratic party and greedily hastened its path towards Republicanism while actual Republicans were cleaning up at election time, gets ousted in the Virginia primary for governor.

Case in point why soulless, tuneless bastards like him fundamentally don’t get it and should be kept far away from power:

[youtube mKdyEPGiM7o]

I don’t give a rat’s ass about the candidate who ran the ad. McAuliffe shot himself in the foot with this idiotic waste of money. The ad enjoys the luxury of requiring nothing more than a video camera to survey the carnage.

-jb

*gasp* Is single payer actually entering the conversation?

Jun 09, 2009 in Health Care, Journamalism

It is hard to underestimate the strength of the forces working against single payer health care even being mentioned in the health care reform plan, both from lobbyists and the corporate media. Yet when people speak out

Meanwhile, the drones in Congress and the media are moving to try killing public health care even as an option, because it’s just not fair that it would be cheaper than private health care. Without a doubt, the debate is thoroughly skewed. After all, if there isn’t a public option, what the hell is being reformed? Americans are growing convinced that the entire system is broken, and want a new one. Incrementalism will kill us.

While the voices of people like Noam Chomsky, who outlined the propaganda model and how it works in the corporate media, are the ones the public needs to hear to help combat the assault against their needs being carried out, we are given silence. On the other hand, every stupid bleating from discredited hacks like Dick Cheney, Rush Limbaugh or Newt Gingrich gets covered.

And while Democrats are busy shooting themselves in the foot, an outlet like the Huffington Post jumps in covering these idiots too instead of delivering the reporting needed to jumpstart indentured reporters and force them to cover what their bosses don’t like being covered. Somebody let me know when the liberal media arrives.

-jb

Boycott GM?

Jun 09, 2009 in Uncategorized

This weeks meme du jour amongst the online crazies is a boycott of GM. Delaware Liberal correctly points out that the dittoheads aren’t interested in a boycott of AIG, B of A, Shitibank, etc. I’d also like to note the absence of picket lines outside of the Rockwell Collins headquarters here in Cedar Rapids nor have I heard of any similar bursts of outrage directed towards Lockheed Martin, Boeing or Cargill. To be fair, this does fit within the typical wingnut understanding of capitalism -private profits, public losses- but with an added twist. The government giving money away to corporations is dandy but if the tax payers expect any accountability or anything in return, well, that’s socialism.

-mg

MIDI is a lawless swamp.

Jun 09, 2009 in Ableton, Torq, Uncategorized

My dearth in posting can be blamed on two things. I’m back in school (more about that later) and my current creative obsession is trying to get this program to talk to this program via this program. The goal is to enable an external analog source to send variable MIDI data (in this case, a turntablist working with a traditional pair of Technics SL-12xx’s) to command the tempo of Ableton thereby allowing quantized tracks in the later to be played simultaneously with the master variable output in perfect synchronization. If done correctly it would break down a minor barrier that has long obstructed live, phrase/sample based performance; that being the lack of improvisational control in a “jam” environment between a turtablist and other musicians.

Imagine what that would be like if this guy was setting the tempo.

Especially considering the needle dropping at around 3:50 onward.

-mg

Real Talk

Jun 08, 2009 in Uncategorized

In the opinion of this author, and not this blog, Presidents who support garbage like this aren’t really worth reelecting. Probably vote for him anyway like the pathetic “anything’s better than those crazy fundie types” person I am, but with the Detainee Photographic Records Protection Act, the Obama administration has sided with the Orwellian strategies of the Bush government and against, well, pretty much all the stuff that democracy’s really all about.

Depressing.

-TT