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« November 2007 | Main | January 2008 »

December 21, 2007

Made it!

Made it though another mind-numbing year of work to our winter break! No posts for about two weeks!


By fnord12 | December 21, 2007, 2:49 PM | My stupid life | Comments (0) | Link



So what can we do?

We are all outraged and upset about what's going on with politics in this country and we always feel like there's nothing we can do. What we should be doing is supporting primary challenges to the fake Democrats currently in office.

Kos:

We don't have much power. In fact, we have very little.

As we've learned this year, Democrats in DC are more afraid of David Broder, Joe Klein, and Mr. 24%, than they are of their constituents. They are more concerned with Beltway opinion than they are with the national consensus. They are happier dealing with lobbyists than they are dealing with real people. They are more concerned with avoiding criticism than they are of delivering campaign promises.

So what can we do about it?

We've bitched and moan and pleaded and begged and threatened and cried -- and none of that mattered.

We really can't hold up money, since quite frankly we don't have that much, and the lobbyists will always have more.

Votes? We're an important part of the party's ground game, but the most entrenched of our ineffective Democrats have been in office 250 years and in safe districts, and have little to fear from you and me staying home, too disillusioned to participate.

And they know damn well we'd rather hold our nose and vote for them than risk an even viler Republican slip in their stead.

So what does that leave us? Well, we have one tool at our disposal, our only way to influence the behavior of our elected officials:

We can primary them.

Defeating Joe Lieberman sent a shockwave through the political world. If he could go down in a primary, none of them were safe. And after years of taking the party's base for granted, and as ill equipped as they were (and still are) to listen to us, they had to learn -- or else.

Rep. Jane Harman, having faced a spirited primary in 2006, became 100 percent better overnight. She learned her lesson, and it made her a better person and legislator. Ellen Tauscher, threatened with "facing a Lieberman", headed off a potential primary challenge by suddenly voting her Democratic district, something she had seldom deemed necessary beforehand.

Other Democrats haven't been so quick to reform, and they face spirited primaries. Key among them are, of course, the incumbents facing spirited challenges by Donna Edwards in MD-04 and Mark Pera in IL-03.

Let me say this is no uncertain terms -- our ONLY ability to influence the Democratic caucus in Washington D.C. rests in our ability to defeat them in their primaries next year. No other elections are more important for purposes of our movement (as opposed to the nation as a whole) than these two. If Dan Lipinski and Al Wynn hold on, it will tell other Democrats that they have little to fear from us. If we defeat them, it will put the entire caucus on notice that we can and will target them if they lose touch with who they serve (i.e. the people, not themselves and their lobbyist cocktail party hosts).

If you live in Maryland or Illinois near either of these districts, please join these candidates' ground armies and help them fight the establishment forces arrayed against them. If you don't or can't, please consider giving to these races.

You want better Democrats? Then get involved. You want leverage against the other Democrats? Then get involved. The alternative is more of the hell we've suffered this year -- timid but safe congressmen and senators who'd rather capitulate rather than fulfill campaign promises.

This is all we've got, guys. I know it's the holidays and everyone is looking ahead to presents and Iowa, but how about you drop at least $10 into both or at least one of them? Let's give them a numbers boost before the fourth quarter ends and better equip them to fight next year's important battles.

We can worry about electing more Democrats later. Right now, let's focus on getting better ones.

If we fail in these races, we'll have many more years like this disastrous one that is mercifully coming to an end.



By fnord12 | December 21, 2007, 2:41 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0) | Link



Nice response

I'm not a Ron Paul supporter, but this was a great response from him.

Also take a look at part two and look at the insane word game they try to play with him around 2:00.

(H/T to Kaminal)


By fnord12 | December 21, 2007, 1:10 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0) | Link



You're no leader.

I missed this from back in October, from Nancy Pelosi:

But her spirits soured instantly when somebody asked about the anger of the Democratic "base" over her failure to end the war in Iraq.

"Look," she said, the chicken breast on her plate untouched. "I had, for five months, people sitting outside my home, going into my garden in San Francisco, angering neighbors, hanging their clothes from trees, building all kinds of things -- Buddhas? I don't know what they were -- couches, sofas, chairs, permanent living facilities on my front sidewalk."

Unsmilingly, she continued: "If they were poor and they were sleeping on my sidewalk, they would be arrested for loitering, but because they have 'Impeach Bush' across their chest, it's the First Amendment."

Though opposed to the war herself, Pelosi has for months been a target of an antiwar movement that believes she hasn't done enough. Cindy Sheehan has announced a symbolic challenge to Pelosi in California's 8th Congressional District. And the speaker is seething.

"We have to make responsible decisions in the Congress that are not driven by the dissatisfaction of anybody who wants the war to end tomorrow," Pelosi told the gathering at the Sofitel, arranged by the Christian Science Monitor. Though crediting activists for their "passion," Pelosi called it "a waste of time" for them to target Democrats. "They are advocates," she said. "We are leaders."

Oh, you're a leader, are you? A leader of what, exactly?

What contempt these politicians have for ordinary citizens ("advocates") who actually care about real life issues. Disgusting.


By fnord12 | December 21, 2007, 12:59 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0) | Link



Good News and Bad News

Good:
Comedy Central is forcing Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert back on the air even though the writers are still striking.

Bad:
Comedy Central is forcing Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert back on the air even though the writers are still striking.

Link

We have been lamenting the hole not having episodes of the Daily Show and the Colbert Report to watch has left in our souls, but i support the writers strike so it sucks that shows are going back on the air while the issue is unresolved.

In a joint statement, Stewart and Colbert had this to say:

"We would like to return to work with our writers. If we cannot, we would like to express our ambivalence, but without our writers we are unable to express something as nuanced as ambivalence."

By min | December 21, 2007, 10:45 AM | TeeVee | Comments (0) | Link



December 20, 2007

How to rig an election

Talking Points Memo:

To set the scene: Raymond got a call in 2000* from two former colleagues in New Jersey who ran a consulting shop called Jamestown Associates. They were working for Dick Zimmer, who was running against Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ), the incumbent, and they were pulling out all the stops...

They'd already succeeded in getting a Green Party candidate on the ballot to drain liberal votes from Holt (a favorite GOP trick). And they had already put Raymond's firm to work calling Green-oriented households and urging them to support the Green candidate.

But what came next was "even better":

[Tom Blakely from Jamestown Associates] called me up and asked, "How do you guys find voice talent?" "Well, I've got a whole catalog of different voices on CDs. I've got 'single Northeastern female,' I've got 'Southern belle' -- what are you looking for?"

"We're targeting Democrats of Eastern European descent using a surname select and geopolitical filter."

"Oh," I said, quickly doing the polarizing-voter math in my head. "How about 'angry black man'?"

"Yeah, that sounds good. What's his voice sound like?"

So I cued up one particular actor's CD on my computer and put the phone to the speaker. The track I played was one in which the actor was deliberately playing up a street gang character.

After listening for a few seconds, Blakely said, "That's the guy!"

So we had the actor record a spot over the telephone saying, "I'm calling as a Democrat, asking you to vote for the Democratic nominee. We need your vote for Holt."

I'm not saying that all Eastern European whites are racists, but, no matter where or when an election is held, there is a always a cultural divide that you can rely on. The message was "I'm ghetto black calling you, racist Ukrainian guy, and scaring the crap out of you because you probably think that if you don't vote for the Democrat I'm going to come to your house and take care of some business."

The calls were extremely highly targeted, household by household, no message ever left on an answering machine. We wanted the message heard only by people whose reaction would be "I'm not voting for Holt because he uses scary black men to call my house."

We made calls to Democratic union households supporting Zimmer, taped by actors putting on thick Spanish accents, figuring union workers were the voters who felt most threatened by immigration. The objective was to get them to throw up their hands and stay home on Election Day. We were just forcing those people to make a decision that was true to who they really were. If you want to question someone's character, look to the people who stayed home because of those calls.



By fnord12 | December 20, 2007, 5:00 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0) | Link



Reality's Liberal Bias again

Glenn Greenwald:

The new CAF study [detailing the recordbreaking Republican obstructionism going on in Congress this session] led to this exchange during the chat of Washington Post congressional reporter Paul Kane today -- a perfect museum exhibit for the journalistic fetish for "balance" at the expense of truth:
Prescott, Ariz.: I saw at the Center for American Progress website that yesterday the Republicans in the Senate broke all previous records for obstructing legislation (the metric was cloture votes)...

How can you guys not mention this obstruction rate in every single story about the Senate?...

Paul Kane: This is a running theme among liberals who are defenders of Harry Reid and Senate Democrats, blaming Republicans and filibusters for everything that's gone wrong with the Democratic agenda. Yes, the Senate has essentially set a record for the number of votes to cut off filibusters in 1 year, already breaking the record for a 2-year Congress. In almost every story we write in the Post, we talk about the need for 60 votes to break GOP filibusters. Do we need to cite this statistical record in every single story we write? I think not.

Whereas filibusters were previously used as an extraordinary tool to preserve minority rights in the Senate, and were routinely depicted as "obstructionist" by the press when wielded by Democrats, they have now become the standard course for Republicans. Yet Kane, and most other Congressional reporters, simply refuse to point that objective fact out -- that Republicans are using this obstructionist tool on virtually every issue at a record rate -- because to point that out would be to violate the Sacred Law of Balance, even though it is true.

Indeed, Kane, amazingly, goes so far as to describe the objective facts as nothing more than the "running theme among liberals who are defenders of Harry Reid and Senate Democrats." Thus, because it is "liberals" who point these facts out, Kane can't report them that way, lest he be accused of being unbalanced and "biased." Here we have the perfect expression of the mockery Stephen Colbert delivered to the White House press corps: "reality has a well-known liberal bias."

Worse still, Kane defends himself and this fact-free reporting by noting that "we talk about the need for 60 votes to break GOP filibusters." But that's not a defense of the reporting; it's an indictment of it.

...
Because of that, the public is largely unaware of just how obstructionist the Republicans have been because most Beltway journalists haven't reported it. And they haven't reported it because the rule they follow most religiously is that they never will describe the facts as they are if those facts reflect poorly on Republicans, because to do that means that they are "unbalanced" and "biased" and will be attacked as such. In Beltway journalism circles, misleading though balanced accounts are always preferred to factually truthful, "unbalanced" ones. Republicans always have a valid point, their version is always reasonable and worthy of respect, even when false.

Also don't miss the new definition of the word "rumor". (And the Krugman twist.)


By fnord12 | December 20, 2007, 4:36 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0) | Link



They don't get it.

Krugman:

I've been alerted to an interesting Boston Globe article about Barack Obama's role, when he was in the Illinois legislature, in the attempt to get the state committed to universal health care. It turns out that the story very much prefigures the debates we're having right now.
Obama later watered down the bill after hearing from insurers and after a legal precedent surfaced during the debate indicating that it would be unconstitutional for one legislative assembly to pass a law requiring a future legislative assembly to craft a healthcare plan. During debate on the bill on May 19, 2004, Obama portrayed himself as a conciliatory figure. He acknowledged that he had "worked diligently with the insurance industry," as well as Republicans, to limit the legislation's reach and noted that the bill had undergone a "complete restructuring" after industry representatives "legitimately" raised fears that it would result in a single-payer system. "The original presentation of the bill was the House version that we radically changed - we radically changed - and we changed in response to concerns that were raised by the insurance industry," Obama said, according to the session transcript.

To be fair, the piece also says this:

During debate over the Health Care Justice Act, Obama also attacked the insurers, accusing the industry of "fear-mongering" by claiming, even after he made changes they wanted, that the bill would lead to a government takeover.

This story gives a lot of context to the debate over health reform now. Obama clearly sees himself playing the same role as president that he did as a state legislator - as a broker among groups, including the insurance industry, as someone who can find a compromise solution that's acceptable to a wide range of opinion.

My thoughts: being president isn't at all like being a state legislator, Illinois Republicans aren't like the national Republican party, 2009 won't be 2003, and the insurance industry's opposition to national health reform - which must, if it is to mean anything, strike deep at the industry's fundamental business - will be much harsher than its opposition to a basically quite mild state-level reform effort.

The point is that if national health reform is going to happen, it will be as the result of a no-holds-barred fight of an entirely different order from what Obama saw in Illinois. The president's role will have to be far more confrontational, involve far more twisting of arms and rallying of the public against the special interests, than Obama's role as a state legislator in the Illinois case. And it will take place against a backdrop of fierce attacks not just from the industry but from Republicans who fear, rightly, that any kind of reform will move the country in a more liberal direction.

My worries about Obama are that he doesn't seem to understand this - that he thinks that in 2009, as president, he can broker a national health care reform the same way that as a state legislator, in 2003, he brokered a deal that mollified the insurance industry. That's a recipe for getting nowhere.

This "broker" approach is exactly what the Clintons tried in the 90s. It failed too. Why can't we have a candidate that will actually fight?


By fnord12 | December 20, 2007, 3:58 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (5) | Link



Another Entry to the List of Things You Shouldn't Do

The tattoo on strip club owner Sean Dubowik's penis reads: "Hot Rod."
...
Dubowik said he got the tattoo on a bet and that "it was the most horrible thing I ever went though in my life."

Link


By min | December 20, 2007, 2:35 PM | Ummm... Other? | Comments (0) | Link



Is that a personal phone call?

MoveOn is running a drive to buy calling cards for US troops so they can call their families during the holidays (and if you want to contribute, click here) but whenever i see these efforts, not just from MoveOn, it makes me wonder something that i've never seen anyone else wonder online:

WHY THE @#*$! DO OUR TROOPS HAVE TO FOOT THE BILL FOR A @#$^!! CALL HOME WHEN THEY ARE ON DUTY?

We have the largest military budget in the world, in absolute and per capita terms, and we can't spare enough money to give each soldier a $15 calling card during the holidays? Does that seem insane to anyone else?


By fnord12 | December 20, 2007, 2:07 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0) | Link



Stan Lee Circa 1964


By fnord12 | December 20, 2007, 11:15 AM | Comics | Comments (0) | Link



Santa Never Gets a Break

Drug traffickers in a Rio slum opened fire on a helicopter carrying a Santa to a children's party, apparently mistaking it for a police helicopter, police said Tuesday.

Link


By min | December 20, 2007, 11:01 AM | Ummm... Other? | Comments (1) | Link



Random Lyrics Thursday

Last Dance by The Cure

i'm so glad you came i'm so glad
you remembered to see how we're ending our last
dance together expectant too puctual but
prettier than ever i really believe that this time
it's forever

but older than me now more constant more real
and the fur and the mouth and the innocence
turned to hair and contentment that hangs in
abasement a woman now standing where once
there was only a girl

i'm so glad you came i'm so glad you
remembered the walking through walls in the
heart of december the blindness of happiness
of falling down laughing and i really believed
that this time was forever

but christmas falls late now flatter and colder
and never as bright as when we used to fall all
this in an instant before i can kiss you a woman
now standing were once there was only a girl

i'm so glad that you came i'm so glad you
remembered to see how we're ending our last
dance together reluctantly cautiously but
prettier than ever i really believed that this time
it's forever

but christman falls late now flatter and colder
and never as bright as when we used to fall and
even if we drink i don't think we would kiss in
the way that we did when the woman was only a
girl


By fnord12 | December 20, 2007, 8:51 AM | Music | Comments (0) | Link



December 19, 2007

Eagle Eyes

What a crappy toy that must have been. Yay, his eyes move.


By fnord12 | December 19, 2007, 11:24 AM | Comics | Comments (0) | Link



Vatican Declares The Golden Compass Godless

They also said it was the "most anti-Christmas film possible."

And that's after the director stripped out all the religious references.

I guess the movie's pretty damned good, then. We should see it. As soon as it's on dvd. I continue to vow never to go the the movie theatre again.

The Vatican newspaper said "honest" viewers would find it "devoid of any particular emotion apart from a great chill."

That's how i feel when i think about our government.

I wish they hadn't started calling the first book Northern Lights instead of The Golden Compass, though. What's with that?


By min | December 19, 2007, 11:00 AM | Boooooks & Movies | Comments (15) | Link



Hobbit Movie Out of Limbo

Between lawsuits involving Peter Jackson and New Line over profits the director felt he'd been shorted and disputes over which studio controlled the rights, the prequel has been held up for a while. Apparently, that's all settled now.

They plan on making 2 Hobbit movies, though, and i don't see why. 3 LOTR books, 3 movies. 1 Hobbit book, 1 movie. I have to wait for the second movie before they fight Smaug? That's crap. Half of the book is singing. Oh god. I hope they're not going to sing in this movie. Have you seen the cartoon version? I fell asleep trying to watch it. Twice.

At the moment, Jackson is going to be executive producer, not the director. And "will be the creative font for the two films that he pitched to MGM." That's not necessarily a bad thing. Like how Joss Whedon didn't write the majority of the episodes in Buffy, but set up the direction the series should move in and it was good and there was continuity and character development. Except half of season 7 sucked. And i'm still bitter about what he did in Serenity. We should find him and punch him in the balls repeatedly. I hope Peter Jackson doesn't make the same mistake. Do you hear me Peter Jackson? I've got my eye on you!

So, yeah. The Hobbit. Live action. I hope they get Ian McKellen to play Gandalf. I like that Ian McKellen.


By min | December 19, 2007, 9:01 AM | Boooooks & Movies | Comments (0) | Link



Santa Molested

A woman on crutches was a little too free with her Christmas spirit.

"The security officer at the mall said Santa Claus has been sexually assaulted," police Detective Lt. Thomas Michael said of the complaint.

Sandrama Lamy, 33, of Danbury, was charged with sexual assault and breach of peace in the weekend incident. She was released on a promise to appear in court on Jan. 3.

...

Police did not give the name of the disconcerted Santa, but they said he is 65 and felt badly because children were waiting to see him. "He was apparently shocked and embarrassed by the whole incident," Myles said.

Link

She must have practiced or something. Perched on the guy's lap, holding your crutches, and still managing to find just the right spot to covertly cop a feel? That's talent.


By min | December 19, 2007, 8:46 AM | Ummm... Other? | Comments (2) | Link



December 18, 2007

Whoodwin?
Winter Warlock vs.Goblin King
Winter Warlock Goblin King

By fnord12 | December 18, 2007, 2:40 PM | Whoodwin | Comments (3) | Link



December 17, 2007

Yay.


By fnord12 | December 17, 2007, 9:45 AM | My stupid life | Comments (0) | Link



December 15, 2007

SuperMegaSpeed Reviews

Back by popular demand...

Daredevil #102 - Mr. Fear seems to be living the good life so i don't see why he's bothering with any kind of grandiose scheme that's just going to attract the attention of some super-hero. Ego or psychosis, i guess. Anyway, everyone knows i love the Wrecking Crew and i hate it when they're used as "big dumb villains" for any random super-heroes to mop up in a few panels. They seem to be getting some respect again, first in New Avengers, then in Omega Flight, and now here where Daredevil gets thrashed and then says "Wrecker is out of my league. I should've known that. I do know that." Damn right! I love the Hood/Masters of Evil plot spilling into Daredevil, and i have to love any comic that features villains from Spider-Man, Daredevil, Thor, Avengers, and Masters of Kung Fu all in one comic. The fact that the comic is superbly written by Brubaker is just gravy.

Annihilation: Conquest #2 - Good stuff. I thought Abnett & Lanning did a fine job with Starlord's crew, and overall they are handling all the moving pieces in this story very well.

World War Hulk: After Smash #1 - Well, whatever. This was fine. Nothing great. A little sappy. Overall, i wasn't as thrilled by World War Hulk as i wanted to be but it was good.

Avengers: The Initiative annual #1 - I can't say this was great but it was a good introduction to these characters for me now that Gage is co-writing and i'll be picking it up. I'd like to see more of a focus on 50 State teams and not just the new recruits, almost like a - dare i say it? - Secret Defenders format. Keep the main plot focused on the recruits but let's stop in and see what all the different teams of established characters are up to in this post Civil War world.

Sensational Spider-Man #41 - It's almost impossible to comment on this since just about nothing happened. Which would be fine if i wasn't paying money for it. They better come up with a twist ending for One More Day or else this is just watching a very slow train wreck.

Nova #9 - Ok, so no Groot & Rocket Racoon mini-series? How about a Cosmo the talking Russian Dog mini-series? I assumed Cosmo was launched from earth in the 1960s but he understood Nova's Exorcist reference, so i guess not. Oh, right, the main plot: they stole my idea to use the Technarchy but i'm happy for them to use it. Now write a story explaining that Doom 2099 is the real Doom who got sent to the future in that awful Tom Defalco FF story. Oh, right, the plot again: Hey is that Count Abyss, from the Infinity Watch comic? That's a pretty cool and obscure character to use here.

Punisher War Journal #14 - Naw! Naaaaaaw! They didn't kill Aragorn!?!? Did they? Is he really dead? I'm less upset about Death Adder since he's already dead, killed by the Scourge back in 1986 or so. Hey, this is Kraven's other son, right? I'm pretty sure he had two, and one bascially followed in his father's footsteps but is more insane, and the other decided to be a movie star? I hope so (and i'm pretty sure it is) because otherwise i have a hard time reconciling this character with the one in Beyond. By the way, this is what i was expecting from Punisher War Journal: the Punisher fighting mainstream Marvel super-villains. But hopefully this won't be another 6+ issue arc. Two issues would have been enough, three is the limit.

Fantastic Four #552 - As far as time travel stories go, the ones where it's characters from other time periods coming into the present day are far better than those where the main characters go into the past or the future. But this is mainly a character study of Reed anyway, mainly sort of addressing fan complaints about what a dick Reed has been lately. Frankly, i think Reed is a dick and i like him that way, so i probably read this comic differently than McDuffie intended. In my version, the other members of the FF defending Reed from Doom's criticisms are actually suffering from Stockholm Syndrome and don't realize or can't accept that the things Doom is saying are essentially true, even if Doom has his own reasons for saying them. Anyway, McDuffie is a great writer and they should try to keep him doing something at Marvel after he leaves FF so he's not stuck writing those bland DC characters.

Spider-Man / Red Sonja #5 - Well, it's over, anyway. Kulan Venom was a cool idea, but that was pretty much the only idea in this whole series.

Bonus DC coverage: McDuffie's JLA/Injustice League story - It's not McDuffie or DC's fault but it seems like whenever i look over the fence at DC it seems like Injustice League has formed again. And there's so damned many of them that no one really gets to do anything. McDuffie delivered a fine action story here but there's nothing in the way of character development or anything, and nothing really clever in the plot either (basically the good guys won because the insanely powerful Firestorm woke up and freed Batman, who freed everyone else). Batman and Superman are treated way too gingerly, too; they are super-super awesome and all the other characters acknowledge it every 30 seconds. And my god, how many shots of the Black Canary's butt do we need?

P.S. - a lot of my comics come to me with pages ripped at the staple and half hanging out. Are they being read by gorillas before they are given to me? I don't want to anger any gorillas, but please try and be a little more careful.

P.P.S. - i love all these new features in the backs of the Marvel comics. Fury Files, the interviews, the previews, the questions they ask all the creators. Keep it up!


By fnord12 | December 15, 2007, 4:00 PM | Comics | Comments (2) | Link



December 13, 2007

Bonus Random Lyrics

Translation of the Kikkoman song (found on an old post on Tom Tomorrow's blog while searching for something else):

It came from the star of a soybean.
He is the messenger of justice.
Food will become very delicious if soy sauce is poured instantly.
Fly in dining out! It is mortal work Kikko-panch!
"fried egg ... soy sauce is best."
Show me Show you Kikkoman...

It came from the star of a soybean.
Funky that guy is Kikkoman.
Soy sauce is good for the body.
There is also a sterilization action.
It does not become a comparison in sauce and catsup.
It is mortal work Kikko beam!
"Therefore, it must also have been told to egg baking that soy sauce
was the best!"
Show me Show you Kikkoman...

...is it possible some of you haven't seen the video?


By fnord12 | December 13, 2007, 11:07 AM | Ummm... Other? | Comments (4) | Link



What the---? *Sputter*

Oh, the Democrats. If you like being disappointed in them, click here (you may have to sit through a few seconds of Salon's entry ad. Just wait for the continue to Salon link to appear).


By fnord12 | December 13, 2007, 10:51 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0) | Link



Random Lyrics Thursday

Go Back by Public Image Ltd.

Left.
Right.
Left.
Right.
Don't look back
Take second best
Number one protect
Self interest
Here every day is a Monday, mundane
Left, right
Left, right
Left, right, left, right
Get it up, get the right armour
Don't look back
Look after your health
Good days ahead
Don't listen to the red refugees
Aliens
Go back, go back
Go back, go back
Extreme right
The face is white
Left foot, right foot, keep the shoulders up
Column eighty eight
The master plan
Uber alles
The Klu Klux Klan
Improvements on the domestic front
Have a cup of tea
Good days ahead
Don't ever look back, good days ahead
Don't ever look back, good days ahead
Don't ever look back, good days ahead
Don't ever look back, good days ahead
Don't look back, good days ahead
Don't look back, good days ahead
Don't ever look back
Improvements on the domestic front
Good days ahead
Don't ever look back, good days ahead


By fnord12 | December 13, 2007, 9:23 AM | Music | Comments (0) | Link



December 12, 2007

All i wanted was auto-completion for Tags

Sorry if you got any 500 errors while trying to leave comments. I was trying to upgrade to Movable Type 4.01 but i failed and i backed out. Everything should be working fine now.

Reminded me of this xkcd comic, phase II.

(Actually i was just trying to stifle debate on the Thanos/Darkseid issue.)

Update: All done.


By fnord12 | December 12, 2007, 5:12 PM | My stupid life | Comments (0) | Link



Removing Fear of a Natural Predator

Here's a video of a mouse that's been genetically modified not to become panicked in the presence of a cat.

Why are we trying to modify animals to not fear their natural predators? Is this a "Help the Predators" campaign? Are they having trouble hunting and trapping their prey? Have they become so weak and sickened that we need to bring the wonders of modern science in to rectify this terrible tragedy?

Crazy scientists. Why don't you invent something i can use!! Damn you!!!


By min | December 12, 2007, 2:17 PM | Science | Comments (1) | Link



Still Evolving

Not only are we still evolving. According to this article, we've been evolving faster in the last 5,000 years since we split with chimps 6 million years ago.

It's all well and good that they've detected partial resistance to malaria in some African populations, but where the hell is my Northeast U.S. seasonal allergy resistance? Will all of us cubicle dwellers evolve lighter skin (and dairy tolerance for Chinese and Africans cube dwellers) because our decreased exposure to sunlight will require us to get vitamin D elsewhere?

The downside? I have a feeling we're quickly evolving towards Mike Judge's Idiocracy more than anything else.


By min | December 12, 2007, 1:40 PM | Science | Comments (0) | Link



Thanos/Darkseid

I'm up to the first appearance of Thanos in my Marvel reading project, and i was doing some googling to see if there's anything behind the "Thanos is a rip-off of Darkseid" claims that you often hear when i found this cool group shot of Marvel & DC's villains - apparently fan art. As for the claims... i don't know. There's no doubt that they look very similar today, but Jim Starlin says he created Thanos, along with Drax the Destroyer, while sitting in a psychology class, and he crammed them into an early Marvel assignment (Iron Man #55, Feb 73) when he got the chance. Darkseid appeared a few years earlier, (in Superman's Pal, Jimmy Olson #134, Nov 70), but Starlin never cited him as an influence for Thanos, even in later years. In his first appearances, Thanos was much skinnier, and Starlin said it was at editor Roy Thomas' suggestion that he bulk him up. Was Thomas secretly trying to push Thanos into something closer to Darkseid? It's possible, but Thomas usually wears his influences on his sleeve, and it's known that in the mid-70s Kirby's art was out of favor with Marvel editorial. I think, like the Man-Thing/Swamp Thing incident, this was just a coincidence that was probably taken advantage of in later years on both sides. Not that it really matters all that much.


By fnord12 | December 12, 2007, 1:27 PM | Comics | Comments (3) | Link



Parkway Decorator

Anybody seen this while on the Parkway? Anyone with pictures?

Someone is hanging Christmas ornaments with care, not by the chimney but on trees along the Garden State Parkway.

It started before Thanksgiving with two glass ornaments -- a shiny red ball about the size of a cantaloupe and a smaller red oblong with gold glitter swirls -- tied to branches of two large pines.

They were easily visible to motorists blasting down the southbound lanes on a stretch of highway in the Pinelands where there are no nearby houses.

Then more decorations popped up. One week it was a glitter-enhanced green ball the same size as the original red one. Next came a smaller gourd-shaped ornament with red and gold glitter.

After that, a smaller red ball with white glitter snowflakes appeared.

This Monday, a large silver bell appeared on a tree on the other side of the road. On Tuesday, it was a burgundy apple-shaped ornament about the size of a medium pumpkin.

"Somebody has a lot of holiday spirit, which is great, but a lot of spare time at night, which is not so great," said Joseph Orlando, a spokesman for the New Jersey Turnpike Authority, which operates the parkway.

There are no notes or any other indications of who is responsible for the roadside ornaments.

"It's a mystery to us," said State Police Capt. Al Della Fave.

Orlando wondered if the phantom decorator could be some frustrated husband whose wife won't let him cover the house with any more lights or ornaments.

"This is probably some guy whose wife finally said 'Enough!'" he said.


By min | December 12, 2007, 10:54 AM | Ummm... Other? | Comments (6) | Link



Obama attacks Krugman? What is he, an idiot?

Or is this a calculated move?

Digby:

Krugman has mildly criticized Obama for two things. First he took issue with the idea that his health care plan can work without mandates. He mentioned it early on when the plan was first announced, but didn't make a big thing of it until Obama started running explicitly against the idea of mandates, which means at the very least he was preemptively taking a negotiating point off the table --- and handing the Republicans a weapon to tank all the Democratic health care proposals. That was, in Krugman's view, a bad political move as well as a wrongheaded policy position. That had followed Obama's decision to put social security on the menu this cycle, when it wasn't necessary or desirable. I agree with Krugman that that was a mistake.

Running to the right on health care and social security combined with the anti-gay gospel singer, taking Robert Novak smears at face value, repeating Jeff Gerth lies and now going after Paul Krugman, leads me to the niggling awareness that this is a conscious, if subtle, strategy. Any one of those things could be an accident, and perhaps some of them are. But taken as a whole, conscious or not, liberal fighters in the partisan wars are being sistah soljahed. Unlike the big issue of Iraq where being on the right side is being on the left side, these little digs and policy positioning are all sweet spots for the Village --- and sore spots for the base.

Perhaps that's the smart move. It has long been known by just about everyone who matters that the rank and file activists of the Democratic party are a huge liability. And anyway, where are we going to go? Mike Huckabee? Ron Paul? We have no choice. So, no harm no foul. Running to the right of even Hillary Clinton on health care and social security and using GOP talking points and symbolism is probably all upside. It may be the best way to insure a win in the fall. But I can't say that it looks like either a transformative inspirational politics or a willingness to fight the conservatives and win on the merits.

And here i was hoping Obama would beat Clinton in the primaries so i could vote for a Democrat in 2008. Maybe Nader will run again... ;-)

More...


By fnord12 | December 12, 2007, 10:24 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (5) | Link



Terry Pratchett News

From Discworld News:

AN EMBUGGERANCE

Folks,

I would have liked to keep this one quiet for a little while, but because of upcoming conventions and of course the need to keep my publishers informed, it seems to me unfair to withhold the news. I have been diagnosed with a very rare form of early
onset Alzheimer's, which lay behind this year's phantom "stroke".

We are taking it fairly philosophically down here and possibly with a mild optimism. For now work is continuing on the completion of Nation and the basic notes are already being laid down for Unseen Academicals. All other things being equal, I
expect to meet most current and, as far as possible, future commitments but will discuss things with the various organisers. Frankly, I would prefer it if people kept things cheerful, because I think there's time for at least a few more books yet :o)

Terry Pratchett

PS I would just like to draw attention to everyone reading the above that this should
be interpreted as 'I am not dead'. I will, of course, be dead at some future point, as
will everybody else. For me, this maybe further off than you think - it's too soon to tell.
I know it's a very human thing to say "Is there anything I can do", but in this case I
would only entertain offers from very high-end experts in brain chemistry.

Like a commenter said on one of the blogs, we need to find God and punch him repeatedly in the balls. I'm sure the drunk bastard's around somewhere.


By min | December 12, 2007, 9:48 AM | Boooooks | Comments (0) | Link



I guess that Watchmen movie is actually coming out, then?

Progressive Ruin:

Longtime readers of this site know my experience with this...movie-related comics tend to peak in sales just before the movie's release, before dropping down to pre-movie hype sales (or even lower) upon or shortly after the film's debut. It happened with V for Vendetta, the first Spider-Man movie, From Hell, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and so on. And, judging by customer demand, trade sales could have been bumped upwards by the Sin City and Hellboy movies, but since Dark Horse was incapable of supplying those books to the direct market during peak demand, that's all theoretical.

The Watchmen movie is the real test, however. The Watchmen graphic novel has been a consistent, constant seller for years. I don't have the numbers right in front of me, but I imagine it probably outsells several new graphic novels from Marvel and DC in any given month. It has a legendary status within the hobby, and at least some minor amount of recognition outside the hobby. I'm still reordering copies every week...and just when I think that there's no possibly way everyone hasn't read this book by now, I sell more copies.

Now, at this point there's little chance that this movie is going to sink without a trace. It's a big-budget superhero movie, and it's gonna get noticed by the general public. Sometime late next year, and especially early '09, we're gonna be sick of seeing that smiley-face-with-blood-splash symbol all over everything advertising this flick. So, this movie will almost certainly enter the public consciousness.

If the movie's good, the comic will become superfluous. "I've seen the movie...I don't need to read the comic." If the movie's bad, it'll be people in the store pointing at the book on the shelf and saying "Oh, yeah, Watchmen...that was a crap movie. Look, there's a comic based on it!" And then they'll laugh. (This is also known as the "League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Effect.")

I exaggerate slightly, but not much. V for Vendetta still sells, for example, but not nearly at the numbers it used to. I expect something similar to happen to Watchmen. Hopefully the movie will be at least watchable, so I don't have the additional burden of trying to convince customers that, yes, this comic is good, no really, it's not like the movie. (This is known as the "Howard the Duck Effect.")


By fnord12 | December 12, 2007, 9:29 AM | Comics & Movies | Comments (0) | Link



December 11, 2007

Socially Acceptable

A formidable appearance is your passport to social acceptance

Here's the back:

Here comes the Incredible Hulk and there goes the Incredible Hulk with his not ordinary rabbit toy.

By fnord12 | December 11, 2007, 2:43 PM | Comics | Comments (2) | Link



Clandestine

Here's an article on the CIA getting written approval from CIA lawyers to destroy the interrogation tapes. What i want to point out is that the lawyers used to be known as the "Directorate of Operations" which apparently wasn't kewl enough because

In mid-2005, the name of the Directorate of Operations was changed to the National Clandestine Service.

Yeah. Where's my branch of clandestine services?


By min | December 11, 2007, 2:05 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0) | Link



Fed Lowers Rate Again

Wall Street turned mixed Tuesday as investors awaited the Federal Reserve's interest rate decision and absorbed more fallout from the mortgage and credit crisis.

Investors are expecting policymakers to cut rates Tuesday afternoon for a third straight time, and perhaps indicate that more might be forthcoming. Most economists are expecting a quarter-point cut in the federal funds rate to 4.25 percent -- though there are some hoping for a half-point cut in the Fed's last meeting this year.

...

Oil prices rose in anticipation of a rate cut, a move that could bolster energy demand from world's biggest oil consumer. Light, sweet crude for January delivery rose $1.73 to $89.59 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

Link

What happens when we get to zero?


By min | December 11, 2007, 1:57 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0) | Link



December 10, 2007

The Chinese Will Eat Anything

The "upbeat" part of this story is this:

Chinese miners trapped for nearly a week after a tunnel collapsed told today how they survived by eating a leather belt and pieces of paper.
...
"Later, we got really hungry and it was lucky I had a leather belt. I boiled it but it wouldn't cook, so I divided the half-cooked belt and gave it to everyone to eat," Wu was quoted as saying.

The disturbing part of it is:

The mine owner apparently delayed reporting the accident to local authorities for three days. Mine owners in China routinely attempt to hide accidents from authorities to avoid being fined or shut down.

A similar delay is being blamed for the high death toll at a mine in northern China last week, which killed 105 miners. The mine operators waited more than five hours before calling in outside rescuers.

It's just disgusting and sad that this happens routinely. Just part of everyday business. *sigh*

I'm surprised the government allowed the media to report it. Perhaps they plan on making an example of the mine owners to show that trying to avoid the fines is worse than just paying up. But with China's huge need for fuel, i doubt much will come of it. Safety gets tossed to the wayside in the face of "progress". There are a billion Chinese people, afterall. So what if they lose a few?


By min | December 10, 2007, 3:49 PM | Ummm... Other? | Comments (0) | Link



On average, out of four issues that are published, how many issues of MARVEL comics do you read or look into?

  • 4 out of 4 issues
  • 3 out of 4 issues
  • 2 out of 4 issues
  • 1 out of 4 issues
  • None out of 4 issues
  • Recent buyer, have not yet purchased 4 issues

Apparently a randomly selected group of Marvel comics included a survey. Mine was in Daredevil #101. Most of the questions are geared towards getting information for advertisers, but this one stumped me. I know i'm a little slow, but i just don't understand what they're asking. Am i supposed to know how many comics Marvel publishes and figure out what percentage of them i buy? But the last choice is talking about purchasing 4 issues, which is different than "out of four issues that are published"?

Wait, wait, i think i just figured it out. Here's the problem, i think. I think this is a generic survey used for all periodicals, and they're not taking into account the fact that Marvel publishes multiple periodicals. This question makes sense:

"On average, out of four issues that are published, how many issues of TIME magazine do you read or look into?"

Of any given comic book, i read all issues that i receive. I'm answering 4/4.



By fnord12 | December 10, 2007, 9:21 AM | Comics | Comments (0) | Link



December 8, 2007

It Happened Just Like This

Picture fnord12 and myself sitting on the couch. Me on my laptop, alternately checking my email and glancing at the latest headlines. Fnord12 reading a Shanna the She-Devil comic (possibly issue #5, first appearance of Nekra).

"Hey," i say in feigned excitement, "they've found a cure for sickle cell anemia in mice!"
Fnord12 murmurs over his comic, not even glancing up, "Good. Those mice deserve a break."

Life is good.


By min | December 8, 2007, 12:07 AM | My stupid life | Comments (0) | Link



December 7, 2007

No, you nitwits!

The Beat:

Supernerd Nicolas Cage is itching for some crossover action!
"I would love to have Ghost Rider drive onto a 'Spider-Man' set; that would be fun," Nicolas Cage told us over the weekend, insisting that he's eager to contribute to the cross-pollination of movie superheroes that has become all the rage. "A Marvel team-up? That could happen."

While a GHOST RIDER sequel is seemingly in the works, there's news of other Marvel movies guest stars - Samuel L. Jackson will appear in the Iron Man movie as Nick Fury and there's reportedly an onscreen crossover between IRON MAN and HULK 2. What's next? A Civil War movie?

A Secret Wars movie. Secret Wars!

...

... ...

...ok, i'll take a Civil War movie.


By fnord12 | December 7, 2007, 2:25 PM | Comics | Comments (0) | Link



December 6, 2007

Yeah, i have a complaint about the quantity of your product.


By fnord12 | December 6, 2007, 5:08 PM | Ummm... Other? | Comments (1) | Link



Cameras in the Supreme Court?

I thought this was a no-brainer, but here's an interesting argument against allowing Supreme Court oral proceedings to be filmed and broadcast.


By fnord12 | December 6, 2007, 2:35 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0) | Link



No one qualifies

Atrios on the mortgage rate freeze program:

People who qualify:
  • have an income and live in their homes
  • are currently making their payments on time
  • would default if their interest went up

Also:

  • ARM mortgage has to have been taken between 1/05 and 7/7
  • Has a rate reset between 1/8-1/10

And you don't qualify if:


  • have missed payment
  • can afford mortgage rate increase
  • don't have an income
  • own homes which are worth less than their mortgage

The last one is the kicker, as it kicks out the class of people who might actually be able to refinance on their own.

I became increasingly skeptical that such a broad-based bailout would be workable for various reasons, but as is usually the case with anything the Bush administration gets involved in, they aren't even really trying.


By fnord12 | December 6, 2007, 2:32 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0) | Link



Joe Klein

Joe Klein is what passes for a "liberal" pundit on the cable news shows. He's also a columnist for Time magazine. When the liberal pundit is such an embarassing flack for the president that Joe Scarborough has to step in and correct him, you know something is seriously wrong with our media.


By fnord12 | December 6, 2007, 2:27 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (1) | Link



Jesus: "First!"


By fnord12 | December 6, 2007, 2:24 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (1) | Link



The Less Than Magnificent Seven

Recap #13

This time with a photo included so that you, too, can feel like you're a part of the adventure!


By min | December 6, 2007, 11:48 AM | D&D | Comments (2) | Link



Hey you kids, get off our lawn!

Here is our back yard:

You will note that there is a fine sprinkling of snow on the grass, what one might call a 'dusting'. I can also tell you that we had some slight flurries over night as well, so there was more snow on the lawn this morning when i took the picture than there was last night around 9:00pm.

Nonetheless, you will see sled marks in the "snow".

Mind you, the scale of this picture is such that the top of that hill is about 30 ft away, and the very bottom of the picture is basically where our back door is.

Again, nonetheless, for over an hour last night, we had kids sledding down that hill. On less than an inch of snow. On, essentially, the grass.

And these weren't little kids. These kids were 15, 16 easy. And they were whooping and squealing like 6 year olds in their first big snowstorm. Right outside our door, about 2 feet from where min and i were sitting, watching them, horrified.

I don't mind kids ("kids") playing in our backyard. But this was just... weird.


By fnord12 | December 6, 2007, 8:57 AM | My stupid life | Comments (5) | Link



Random Lyrics Thursday

No Quarter by Led Zeppelin

Close the doors, put out the light
You know they won't be home tonight
The snow falls hard and don't you know
The winds of Thor are blowing cold
They're wearing steel that's bright and true
They carry news that must get through

They choose the path where no-one goes
They hold no quarter,
They hold no quarter.
Oh...

Walking side by side with death
The devil mocks their every step
The snow drives back the foot that's slow
The dogs of doom are howling more
They carry news that must get through
To build a dream for me and you
They choose the path that no one goes
They hold no quarter,
They ask no quarter,
They hold no quarter,
They ask no quarter...they think about no quarter...with no quarter.
Oh No...

Lyrics found here, where you can also find a bunch of comments from people talking about how great this song is when you're high.


By fnord12 | December 6, 2007, 8:51 AM | Music | Comments (0) | Link



December 5, 2007

The Day Bill Told Off His Boss


By fnord12 | December 5, 2007, 9:42 PM | Comics | Comments (0) | Link



Good news!

Stocks Rally on Strong Economic Data:

In other economic news, the Labor Department reported that worker productivity roared ahead at an annual rate of 6.3 percent this summer while wage pressures dropped sharply.

That means you worked harder and got paid less. That makes investors happy, so stock prices rose. Keep up the good work!


By fnord12 | December 5, 2007, 7:51 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0) | Link



JMS asked for his name to be taken off of One More Day

Link (JMS's response is at the bottom of the page):

In the current storyline, there's a lot that I don't agree with, and I made this very clear to everybody within shouting distance at Marvel, especially Joe. I'll be honest: there was a point where I made the decision, and told Joe, that I was going to take my name off the last two issues of the OMD arc. Eventually Joe talked me out of that decision because at the end of the day, I don't want to sabotage Joe or Marvel, and I have a lot of respect for both of those.

I shouldn't even be reading this since i haven't read part III yet, but i kinda knew what was gonna happen from months of internet rumor build-up. I still think there's a good chance that there's a suprise twist at the end, though.


By fnord12 | December 5, 2007, 4:25 PM | Comics | Comments (1) | Link



Giuliani Foreign Policy Advisor calls CIA traitors

Norman Podhoretz:

But I entertain an even darker suspicion. It is that the intelligence community, which has for some years now been leaking material calculated to undermine George W. Bush, is doing it again. This time the purpose is to head off the possibility that the President may order air strikes on the Iranian nuclear installations. As the intelligence community must know, if he were to do so, it would be as a last resort, only after it had become undeniable that neither negotiations nor sanctions could prevent Iran from getting the bomb, and only after being convinced that it was very close to succeeding. How better, then, to stop Bush in his tracks than by telling him and the world that such pressures have already been effective and that keeping them up could well bring about "a halt to Iran’s entire nuclear weapons program" - especially if the negotiations and sanctions were combined with a goodly dose of appeasement or, in the NIE's own euphemistic formulation, "with opportunities for Iran to achieve its security, prestige, and goals for regional influence in other ways."

By fnord12 | December 5, 2007, 3:51 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0) | Link



NASA Porn

Is sex possible in space? NASA's been wondering the same thing.

[Pierre Kohler, a respected French scientific writer] cites a confidential Nasa report on a space shuttle mission in 1996. A project codenamed STS-XX was to explore sexual positions possible in a weightless atmosphere.

Twenty positions were tested by computer simulation to obtain the best 10, he says. "Two guinea pigs then tested them in real zero-gravity conditions. The results were videotaped but are considered so sensitive that even Nasa was only given a censored version."

Only four positions were found possible without "mechanical assistance". The other six needed a special elastic belt and inflatable tunnel, like an open-ended sleeping bag.

Mr Kohler says: "One of the principal findings was that the classic so-called missionary position, which is so easy on earth when gravity pushes one downwards, is simply not possible."

[emphasis mine]

Two "guinea pigs," that is, cause i don't see them being able to direct actual rodents as to what positions they should be executing.

Inflatable tunnel. *snicker*


By min | December 5, 2007, 1:38 PM | Science | Comments (0) | Link



Matt Taibbi on Why Everything Sucks

Link to full interview.

There's a whole long history of College Republicans suddenly rising to unpleasant prominence in American politics. Look back at the Watergate scandal. Half the guys who ended up being indicted or dragged before Congress got their start in University of Southern California student politics. That whole notion of "ratfucking," that stuff was all born on the USC campus when these guys were rigging student elections back in the day.

Abramoff was the same kind of creature. He and Grover Norquist and Ralph Reed were all these very ardent College Republican intellectuals who had a lot of crazy dreams about how they were going to foster this right-wing revolution. And they were extraordinarily successful very early on in their careers. Abramoff is a wet-behind-the-ears college student in the early '80s. Then immediately in 1983 he's off - where it looks like he was working as a bagman for this neo-Nazi organization in South Africa. He ends up going to South Africa and hanging out with people like Russell Crystal, a South African crypto-fascist, and they're funneling money for the South African army. Not your everyday 23- or 24-year-old kid goes off and does this stuff.

They took this student politics thing really seriously. You have to give them credit, it wasn't just a popularity contest. With lefty-liberal political activists in college, the stereotype is a bunch of kids who go canvassing for PIRG or for Greenpeace or something like that and get baked afterwards. These guys are obviously sociopathic and have a lot more serious character flaws, but they were much more focused on the real power aspect of politics early on. They brought that to bear in their real go-around with politics when they finally did get power.

...
Again, if you look at these guys - Abramoff and Norquist and Reed - they weren't out to use politics to get girls or to hang out and trade stories over the keg. They were using their networking skills in college to find real opportunities for themselves in the world and to really learn lessons about how power politics works very early on. They were way too serious -far more serious than people should be at that age, but it was productive for them personally. Whereas with lefty politics, unfortunately, there's no pipeline that takes committed ideological young progressives and puts them in positions of power. That's probably because there is no progressive power structure in this country that is really seeking those people.
...
People in politics and in the media, they're extremely vain and they're very, very sensitive to criticism. If you level some intellectual criticism of somebody like Thomas Friedman and say, "Well, this is a rich guy who is advocating for the rich under the guise of economic populism" or whatever, he's going to shrug that off, he's not going to worry about it. But if you say that he's a buffoon who can't speak the English language and has a porn star mustache, it's going to bother him for sure, you know what I mean?
...
You said somewhere that the perfect symbol for the press corps of the 2004 presidential campaign was Candy Crowley from CNN sitting on the bus with cookie crumbs spilling out of her mouth, talking about how ugly Dennis Kucinich was. Is there any reason to hope for a better media performance this cycle round?

No, it's all the same. And, you know, it's not that a lot of these people are bad people. It's a mistake to go into it saying that these people are all elitist snobs like David Brooks really is. A lot of them are Ivy Leaguers, they all come from a certain class. And you can't be on the campaign trail unless you work for a massively funded organization. It costs like 3,000 or 4,000 bucks a day to cover the presidential election, just to be on the plane. Some big money has to be behind you. The group of people who end up being on the bus are a group of upper-class people who are all from the same general background, and they're familiar and comfortable with each other and they're comfortable with the candidates culturally. They're living the high life when they're on the trail, they're mostly staying in five-star hotels. They get these delicious catered meals served to them four or five times a day. You get chocolates on your pillow, you get the best musicians in the city coming out to play for you everywhere you go. It's like a big summer camp, like a big field trip.

For these people, with the proximity to power, being able to
sit in an airplane with Hillary Clinton or with John Kerry or John Edwards or Barack Obama - that's like the sexiest thing they're ever going to be involved with. And it's a lot of fun for these people. It's intoxicating. You can't take some 25- or 26-year-old kid who is just out of college, put him in that environment, and expect him to be totally objective about it. If you break with the pack on the campaign trail and you're shunned, it's a very powerful thing. Nobody wants to do it, because to be friendless in that environment is very, very hard. There's no way out, they're the only people you ever see - you're literally roped off from the rest of the world. There's a real Stockholm syndrome that goes on. As a result of that, you get this collective worldview that develops where the campaign makes sense and everything that the candidates do is taken at face value. And they judge the candidates according to the internal logic of the campaign process, which, to an outsider or to someone looking at it objectively, is completely perverse and fucked up and wrong. But to them, it all makes perfect sense because you never ever are exposed to anything that shines a negative light on it. They never see any other thing.

...
What happened with Cindy Sheehan - it started out as this movement that had a really clear and unambiguous and simple, emotionally powerful message that was connected to this woman who had really lost a son overseas. And it morphed into something that was different. I hate to criticize antiwar protestors or people who showed up and gave their time to this whole thing - but one of the things that happens there is that you have Cindy Sheehan alone to start with, and then within like three days you have the Cuban Five and the Free Mumia people and every circus act of the protest crowd that came to plant their flag.
...
It's not that I'm taking issue with anything that the American left stands for or how it behaves. It's really a class issue more than anything else. The people who are the public face of the American left tend to be people like me. They're upper class, liberal arts-educated white people, for the most part, who come from a certain background where the things that are important to them are these mostly intellectual issues - like the environment, or social issues like abortion, feminism, that sort of thing. The historical basis for the American left, if you go back to Roosevelt, is sort of a patrician structure where you had these upper-class people advocating on behalf of a wider working class base. What's happened now is that it's kind of splintered and the upper-class portion is overemphasizing the things that are important to them and deemphasizing the things that are important to their base. That's why the party orthodoxies right now aren't things like free trade and credit policy, for instance - like the bankruptcy bill. You would never find a celebrated lefty politician who is pro-life but voted against NAFTA, for instance. It's always the other way around. What's happened because of that - because the orthodoxies are all backwards - is that the American left has alienated its natural constituency, which is this vast, middle-to-working class underclass that has been fucked over by modern global capitalism.

Instead of standing up and fighting for those people, the left has gotten bogged down in political correctness and the environment and stuff like that. They've lost touch with those people, who are now flocking en masse to the Rush Limbaughs of the world, who are talking directly to them and who are actively courting their support. That's all I was saying. It's just a question of emphasis; it's not that the stuff they stand for is bad.


By fnord12 | December 5, 2007, 1:27 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0) | Link



December 3, 2007

New Giuliani campaign ad

Not sure if this is all that funny or if i'm just suffering from Daily Show withdrawal, but the last second definitely makes it worth it.


By fnord12 | December 3, 2007, 2:19 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (0) | Link



Marvel Sales

October

DC overtakes Marvel in sales for the first time since May 06 due to shipping delays.


By fnord12 | December 3, 2007, 11:41 AM | Comics | Comments (0) | Link



I come back to work for this?

http://www.elfyourself.com/?id=1147564924


By fnord12 | December 3, 2007, 10:28 AM | My stupid life | Comments (3) | Link



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