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February 29, 2008

Shocking double standard!

William Donahue, the head of the Catholic League, is a sick bastard. He sees bigotry and oppression against Catholics everywhere. Every comedian's joke, every movie that questions religion, is as bad as the Nazis. He led the attacks against Dogma and the Golden Compass. He's the one that got two of Edward's campaign bloggers fired for using strong language to complain about anti-abortion Catholics. He's the one that said:

Who really cares what Hollywood thinks? All these hacks come out there. Hollywood is controlled by secular Jews who hate Christianity in general and Catholicism in particular. It's not a secret, okay? And I'm not afraid to say it. ... Hollywood likes anal sex.

And he's always been given a prominent position to talk on cable news. He's constantly a guest on Fox and MSNBC. On Phil Donahue's short lived show, the producers forced him onto the show despite Phil's protests.

But now he's complaining about the fact that another sick religious wacko has endorsed McCain - John Hagee. Donahue says that Hagee

has waged an unrelenting war against the Catholic Church. For example, he likes calling it "The Great Whore," an "apostate church," the "anti-Christ," and a "false cult system."

He's saying that McCain should denounce and reject Hagee the way Obama was forced to denounce and reject Farrakhan, and if anything he's got a stronger case for it since McCain actually sought out this guy's endorsement, unlike Obama.

But, amazingly...

Donohue, who typically receives massive media attention when he launches such campaigns against Democratic politicians and the entertainment industry, hasn't yet received that level of press interest.

I wonder if he's beginning to figure out that he was being used.

By fnord12 | February 29, 2008, 1:24 PM | Liberal Outrage| Link

McCain's birth in Panama a potential roadblock to the presidency?

This is ridiculous. The phrase is "natural born citizen". Americans born abroad are natural born citizens. Everyone they ask in the article basically says there's no problem (with hedging typical to legal scholars, ofc).

Full disclosure: I was born in Ireland to American parents, and i will be running for president as soon as i'm old enough.

By fnord12 | February 29, 2008, 1:06 PM | Liberal Outrage| Link

February 28, 2008

As if we didn't have enough problems in this country

Lock your doors!

By fnord12 | February 28, 2008, 3:08 PM | Ummm... Other? | Comments (3) | Link

This picture makes me very nostalgic

I'm not even sure that i've ever seen this owl before, but it sure feels like i did. And that little guy with the W on his head, definitely.

Also, (riffing on something min said), it's important to note the Scribbler's contribution to crayon technology. Before the Scribbler, kids had to contend with a set of crayons that came only in shades of grey.

By fnord12 | February 28, 2008, 11:40 AM | My stupid life| Link

Yeah, but gimmie a real solution

Washington Post:

Exxon Mobil, the giant oil corporation appearing before the Supreme Court yesterday, had earned a profit of nearly $40 billion in 2006, the largest ever reported by a U.S. company -- but that's not what bothered Roberts. What bothered the chief justice was that Exxon was being ordered to pay $2.5 billion -- roughly three weeks' worth of profits -- for destroying a long swath of the Alaska coastline in the largest oil spill in American history.

"So what can a corporation do to protect itself against punitive-damages awards such as this?" Roberts asked in court.

The lawyer arguing for the Alaska fishermen affected by the spill, Jeffrey Fisher, had an idea. "Well," he said, "it can hire fit and competent people."

The rare sound of laughter rippled through the august chamber. The chief justice did not look amused.

Can you believe this is still going on? This happened in 1989.

More importantly, can you believe we have a Supreme Court more sympathetic to a massive corporation having to pay out 3 weeks of profit than a group of 32,000 fishermen who have lost their livelihood?

By fnord12 | February 28, 2008, 10:57 AM | Liberal Outrage| Link

Review: The May 2008 issue of Maxim is bloated with advertisements, filled with mindless articles describing fake trends, and relies heavily on the same old soft-core celebrity porn.

Ten years ago (holy crap!) I wrote to Allmusic Guide because it was very clear that their review of the Corey Glover (singer from Living Colour) solo album Hymns was written without actually listening to it. The review says:

...his solo debut could have provided on opportunity to develop his musical identity, but he decides to pick up where Living Colour left off, turning out a set of hard rock that merges Van Halen with Rush.

This is, in fact, nonsense. The album was essentially a gritty R&B album, closer to a garage band version of Prince than Van Halen or Rush. I didn't like it, but it may have had an appeal to people interested in that type of music. (Allmusic never wrote back or updated the review.)

Today, Maxim is in trouble for something similar, but they got caught by someone bigger than 'ol fnord. They've been putting out reviews for albums that haven't been released yet (and no advanced copies were issued). Maxim's apology focuses on the fact that they gave the album 2.5 stars. They say that what they were actually doing was giving 'previews' for upcoming releases, not 'reviews', and that they accidentally put in stars, which isn't their normal policy for previews. But does this sound like a 'preview' to you:

"They sound pretty much like they always have: boozy, competent, and in slavish debt to the Stones, the Allmans, and the Faces."

That sounds to me like someone who has a preconceived notion of what the Black Crowes are going to sound like (and hell, it's probably accurate) and just decided to crank out a review. My guess is that this is a standard procedure and their only 'mistake' was putting out the review too soon.

Maxim also responded with this:

"Of course, we always prefer to (sic) hearing music, but sometimes there are big albums that we don't want to ignore that aren't available to hear, which is what happened with the Crowes. It's either an educated guess preview or no coverage at all, so in this case we chose the former."

Oh.... Ok. Makes sense. Now that my head has exploded.

By fnord12 | February 28, 2008, 9:46 AM | Music| Link

Random Lyrics Thursday

What's Next To The Moon by AC/DC

Well I tied my baby to the railroad track
Cannonball down the line
Givin' that woman just one more chance
Give it to me one more time

Engineer wishin' he was home in bed
Dreamin' 'bout Casey Jones
Wide eyed woman half a mile ahead
Thinkin' 'bout broken bones

It's your love that I want
It's your love that I need
It's your love got to have
It's your love

Heavenly body flyin' across the sky
Superman was outta town
Come on honey gotta change your tune
Cause it's a long way down

Clark Kent lookin' for a free ride
Thinkin' about Lois Lane
It's a bird, it's a plane, it's suicide
And that'd be a shame

It's your love that I want
It's your love that I need
It's your love got to have
It's your loooooove
But what's next to the moon?

Long arm lookin' for a finger print
Tryin' to find a mystery clue
Hittin' me with the third degree
Working on a thumb screw

Alright officer I confess
Everything's coming back
I didn't mean to hurt that woman of mine
It was a heart attack

It's your love that I want
It's your love that I need
It's your love got to have
It's your love - guaranteed

The love that I want
It's your love that I need
It's your love got to have
It's your loooooove
What's next to the moon

Puttin' out the stars!
Oh can say bye bye
Oh next to the moon
I'm on the moon
Up and down on the moon

By fnord12 | February 28, 2008, 8:49 AM | Music | Comments (1) | Link

February 27, 2008

Hostile to real progressives

At this point i've come to expect the hostility towards Nader, even at the center-left blogs that i read. But the argument i've always heard is along the lines of "Nader may be right on the issues but he has no chance of winning. If he wants to run to raise issues, that's fine, but why doesn't he do it in the Democratic primary instead of as a 3rd party candidate." I'm not debating the merits of that in this post (although min might if she opts to publish her Nader post after her self-imposed 'cooling off' period), but this "approved" method is essentially the way thet Dennis Kucinich went. Recently, after dropping out of the current primary, Kucinich found himself under attack in his House of Representatives re-election, by a combination of right wingers who don't like his politics and DLC Democrats (ok, that's a redundancy) who don't like his politics. And look what Kos has to say:

Bowers is relieved that Kucinich looks safe. I'm not. I'd love to see him booted for someone who actually was happy to represent the district without delusions of grandeur. But maybe Kucinich will have learned his lesson and be happy with his job.

"Learned his lesson", huh? What's the lesson, STFU?

By fnord12 | February 27, 2008, 4:42 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (1) | Link

Comcast pays people to artificially fill up an FCC hearing; nitwits defend it

While this is outrageous enough...

Consider this: One side in the debate actually went to the trouble of hiring people off the street to pack a Federal Communications Commission meeting yesterday - and effectively keep some of its opponents out of the room. Broadband giant Comcast - the subject of the F.C.C. hearing on network neutrality at the Harvard Law School, in Cambridge, Massachusetts - acknowledged that it did exactly that.

Comcast spokeswoman Jennifer Khoury said that the company paid some people to arrive early and hold places in the queue for local Comcast employees who wanted to attend the hearing.

Some of those placeholders, however, did more than wait in line: They filled many of the seats at the meeting, according to eyewitnesses. As a result, scores of Comcast critics and other members of the public were denied entry because the room filled up well before the beginning of the hearing.

...the first couple of comments on that post are even worse:

So what!?

If this was the Democrats rounding up the homeless to get on a bus and go vote, paying them with booze and cigarettes, you'd be calling it "voter enfranchisement" or some other nonsense.

Oh, I get it... big business bad, Republicans bad... must link them together in a back-room curly mustache stroking conspiracy...

No mention of Hillary's "ward leader tactics" against Obama, just digging up some obscure nonsense nobody cares about because there is a weak stretch link to a Republican (sort of)...


So what's the problem Bunch re. some guys getting paid to fill a hearing at the FCC? This was open to all, which is the American way with no one getting reserved and special seating. The so-called "hundreds of advocates for NET neutrality (who) were anxious to attend the hearing but couldn't get into the room" you whine about could have come earlier and could have had that seating. If these "hundreds of advocates" you speak of really wanted to take part in the FCC hearings, they shouldn't have waited until the last minute to attend. First come, first served. "F" your advocates! Probably a bunch of looney lefties anyway trying to disrupt another meeting with nothing to say or contribute and only there to get their 15 minutes of fame.

What a country we live in.

By fnord12 | February 27, 2008, 10:34 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (1) | Link

Wights or Modrons - Which to Choose?

For your reading pleasure, Recap #15.

By min | February 27, 2008, 9:44 AM | D&D| Link

February 26, 2008

The Most Trusted Name in News

CNN's John King:

KING: To most Americans out there, and to a guy like me who's spent most of his time, in the past several months, out covering a presidential campaign, this is highly detailed stuff that's pretty hard to follow.

Glenn Greenwald:

Still, it's pretty extraordinary that CNN -- the most trusted name in news -- would invite a high government official onto its news program to invoke his authority and claimed expertise to scare Americans into believing that we're all going to be killed by Terrorists unless President Bush gets what he wants, and have the "journalist" conducting the interview admit upfront that he knows nothing about the topics. What's the point of the exercise? Why allow a government official to come onto your show and make statements that the interviewer -- due to total ignorance about the subject -- has no ability to analyze, scrutinize, or subject to critical inquiry? Providing a platform to government officials to make controversial claims with no scrutiny is (by definition) called "propaganda," not journalism.
It's so revealing that King's excuse for knowing nothing about the FISA debate is that he's "spent most of his time, in the past several months, out covering a presidential campaign." Just as King suggests (unintentionally), "covering a presidential campaign" is mutually exclusive with knowing about any actual substantive issues, precisely because the media's coverage of our campaigns (and, thus, to a large extent, the campaign itself) is bereft of any actual substance

By fnord12 | February 26, 2008, 2:55 PM | Liberal Outrage| Link

Nothing really matters

For those of you who aren't obsessively following the Democratic primaries, here's a little recap. Clinton basically banked everything on winning early due to her name recognition on Super Tuesday. Obama actually did very well on Super Tuesday, basically tying Clinton, and since then it's become increasingly clear that Clinton's campaign had no plans past Super Tuesday. They apparently blew through a lot of their money early on, they didn't build up get-out-the-vote organizations in subsequent states, they misunderstand the rules of the Texas primary delegate allocation, they missed the deadline to get their delegates on the ballot in Pennsylvania, etc., etc.. Now after they've lost each subsequent primary, they've poo-poo'd the loss, saying that state didn't matter - it had too many black people, it had too many latte liberals and not enough real working class americans, it was a red state that democrats will never win in the general, etc., etc.. It's become something of a joke, waiting to hear why the most recent state Clinton lost "didn't matter". Now we're seeing the poll numbers flip in Texas (Obama had been polling behind Clinton but now he is polling ahead). Texas was formerly one of the states that "mattered" because Clinton expected to win big there due to her support in Hispanic communities. Now they're saying... but before i get to that, here's another part of the recap.

No one likes that Iowa and New Hampshire get to vote so early in the primary season because it essentially makes these two states kingmakers, knocking out a lot of potential candidates if they don't win early and get the momentum. However, no one wants to publically come out against Iowa and NH's positions because then they'll get rejected by the voters in those states. So what Dean (head of the DNC) did this year as a compromise was move up the primaries for two additional states, Nevada and South Carolina, thinking to give the West and South representation up front. However, Michigan and Florida also tried to move up their primaries, and to penalize them for breaking the rules, the DNC has stripped them of their delegates (the states still have the ability to hold legitimate primaries any time up until June). Candidates were told not to campaign in those states. In Michigan, all the candidates except Clinton actually took their names off the ballots. When those primaries were held, Clinton won them (certainly no surprise in Michigan). Now Clinton has been pushing very hard to have those primaries included.

So back to Texas. Here's the latest spin:

I'd love to carry Texas, but it's usually not in the electoral calculation for the Democratic nominee. Florida and Michigan are.

Now aside from the obvious sour grapes, there's some real strategic problems with talking about how all these states don't matter, and saying that certain states aren't 'in the electoral calculation'. The first point is that you're pissing off everyone in those states.

For the second point we have to look at the difference in general election strategies that Clinton and Obama will have. Clinton will follow the strategy that worked for her husband, and that Gore and Kerry attempted. That is, rely on the states that are solid "blue" (i.e., always vote for Democrats), ignore states that are solid red, and campaign heavily in the "swing states" that could go either way. A strategy like this makes sense in the short term, but it has diminishing returns - in each subsequent attempt, you are letting support for your party in all but the swing states atrophy and die. South Carolina, for example, will most certainly go to the Republicans, in this election, but in this primary we saw a huge turnout and a lot of enthusiasm. If you ignore that groundswell, it will have nowhere to go, but if you cultivate it, maybe in 3 or 4 election cycles, it can make South Carolina contestable. Furthermore, you lose the benefit of letting downticket elections ride on the presidential coattails. If all those people are encouraged to turn out for the general election, even if they don't win the state for the president, they will also be voting for senators and representatives and state legislators and dog catchers with a D next to their name, ensuring that your party has more power overall. Even if you're only in it for the power grab and not the advancement of your party's ideals, this makes sense because it means you have more supporters in the legislative branch to pursue your agenda.

Howard Dean's solution to this is his "50 state initiative" (and no, it doesn't entail setting up a super hero team in each state, unfortunately), which contests every election in every state. The downside of this is that you are spreading your resources more thinly. This has angered some strategists (like the loser James Carville), because it potentially takes money away from candidates who seemingly have a better shot of winning than candidates that seem hopeless. Dean proved them wrong in 2006 when we saw a number of "hopeless" candidates win - something that would have never happened if they hadn't gotten support from the DNC. But even aside from short term victories, the 50 state initiative is really about a long term approach - building movements and organized party structures in every state that can be mobilized for each election. It takes advantage of the Dem's grassroots advantage over Republicans, who, aside from their (waning) support from the Christian right, generally defeat the Dem's popular support with corporate power. And it forces the Republicans to spend money in areas that they originally thought were 'safe'.

Obama will be taking the 50 state approach in this election, and with his massive grassroots appeal, it should work wonders for the Democratic party as a whole. And this is another reason i'm becoming very hopeful about him winning the primary.

By fnord12 | February 26, 2008, 9:15 AM | Liberal Outrage| Link

February 25, 2008

The "Good" War

Today, there are few left-of-center defenders of the Iraq War as it actually exists, but there continues to be considerable concern about an "Iraq Syndrome" overreaction to the chaos that has followed the invasion. Kosovo, in this scheme, is supposed to be the "good war" that serves as a reminder of the positive potential of military force. Thus, even as center-left figures agree that the unilateralism of the Bush era must come to an end, there's a desperate search to find some new mechanism -- perhaps a Global NATO or perhaps a Concert of Democracies -- that could authorize a war that, like Kosovo, is fought neither in self-defense nor in defense of an ally nor with the approval of the U.N. Security Council.

In that light, it's worth taking full measure of how modest our accomplishments in Kosovo have been.

By fnord12 | February 25, 2008, 12:59 PM | Liberal Outrage| Link

Worst Marvel Civilian Names

Silver Surfer - Norrin Radd
Ghost Rider - Johnny Blaze
Ringmaster - Maynard Tiboldt
Fixer - Norbert Ebersol
Firelord - Pyreus Kril
Werewolf By Night - Jack Russell
Black Bolt - Blackagar Boltagon

Honarable Mention: The Black Widow's real name is Natasha Romanova. That's not bad in itself, but in her first appearance she was teamed up with the Crimson Dynamo whose real name is Boris Turgenov. Boris and Natasha? C'mon, guys.

By fnord12 | February 25, 2008, 11:52 AM | Comics | Comments (2) | Link

Ooooh, scandal!


Last week, the New York Sun reported that as an Illinois state senator in 2001, Obama accepted a $200 contribution from William Ayers, a founder of the group [Weather Underground] who was not convicted for the bombings and now works as a professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

By fnord12 | February 25, 2008, 9:33 AM | Liberal Outrage| Link

February 22, 2008

Lead Singer Syndrome Picture Slideshow

Since we had a bunch of sequential shots i thought it would be cool to put them all together and turn it into a stop-animation movie.

If this gives you epilepsy, we also have some static photos on our myspace site (if you're a member, click on Pics. If not, we've got two on the main page so scroll down).

By fnord12 | February 22, 2008, 1:50 PM | Music| Link

On the topic of pot bellies

By fnord12 | February 22, 2008, 12:50 PM | Comics & Ummm... Other? | Comments (1) | Link

Nothing wrong with a little pork

We hear a lot about government waste, pork barrel projects, etc., and we are led to believe that this is the reason for our budget deficits and economic troubles.

Does anyone see anything wrong with the government spending money on anything on this list?

These initiatives add up to $300 million dollars. That translates to about .003% of the Federal Budget, or 30 cents per taxpayer per year. Even taking into account that Obama is only one of a hundred senators, that's an insignificant amount of money, for items that look to me to be worth the cost.

Another way of looking at it is that Obama's earmarks would fund the "war on terror" for about 5 hours. (All of my "spending in persepective" figures come from Dean Baker.)

By fnord12 | February 22, 2008, 8:28 AM | Liberal Outrage| Link

Oh, the uniform!

Sexy Stormtrooper Makes Me Rethink Hatred of the Empire

By fnord12 | February 22, 2008, 8:24 AM | Star Wars | Comments (1) | Link

Man, i could go for some Orangina

By fnord12 | February 22, 2008, 8:12 AM | Ummm... Other? | Comments (1) | Link

Mr. Answer Man


Although it might be out of context if you haven't seen this yet.

Adding: This might be our only opportunity to elect a muslim, black, irish, half-jew, half-communist president, so we'd better not blow it.

By fnord12 | February 22, 2008, 8:01 AM | Liberal Outrage| Link

February 21, 2008

New definitions, please.

Or more clarity.

New York Times:

Ever since Mr. Clinton's election as president in 1992, the Democratic Party has been divided over how to balance economic policy between initiatives intended to promote economic growth and those intended to help workers.

Here's what ought to be an obvious question: If economic growth doesn't help workers, what good is it?

By fnord12 | February 21, 2008, 5:12 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (1) | Link

Be Prepared

Always carry a box of instant noodle soup with you in case of emergencies.

Passengers ask for water for their instant noodles inside a train stranded at a railway station due to snowfall in Nanjing, in Jiangsu province, January 28, 2008. REUTERS/Sean Yong

By min | February 21, 2008, 2:06 PM | Ummm... Other?| Link

It begins...

Note: I haven't had a chance to re-read my screed below, and i also see that i'm going to have to do some quote fart surgery on the blockquotes, but actual work has rudely intruded on my morning so i'm putting this up as-is for now. K, it's as good as it's gonna get. Have at it.

You know, just when you think someone's your friend, they turn around and send you the latest mouthful of stupid from David "McBobo" Brooks. I was going to work on my comic chronology project this morning, but nooooo, now i have to go through this brain numbing editorial.

Let's start with who this bozo is: David Brooks is one of several right wing editorialists that the New York Times has felt the need to hire in order to deflect the right's constant criticism that it is a left wing paper. When your editorialists currently include Thomas Friedman and Maureen Dowd, and they are adding people more right-wing than them to "balance" their editorial staff, you know you're in trouble. To see some of Brook's previous disasters, see here, here, here, and here. The cartoon along the right, by Tom Tomorrow, is a reaction to Brooks' book, which supposedly detailed the author's travels through the heartland of America, so that he could compare 'real americans' to the latte-sipping liberals on the coasts, but it fact it contained no actual research and a lot of pithy stereotypes.

Now let's look at the most recent stupid. (Disclaimer: I am a half-hearted Obama supporter)

At first it seemed like a few random cases of lassitude among Mary Chapin Carpenter devotees in Berkeley, Cambridge and Chapel Hill.

Mary Chapin Carpenter? Berkeley? Already we see that Brooks is still fighting the culture wars of the 60s. Brooks, it is 2008. Folk music has come and gone. The rock and roll hasn't corrupted our children's souls and we've decided that it's OK for black people to vote. Get over it.

But then psychotherapists began to realize patients across the country were complaining of the same distress. They were experiencing the first hints of what's bound to be a national phenomenon: Obama Comedown Syndrome.

The afflicted had already been through the phases of Obama-mania - fainting at rallies, weeping over their touch screens while watching Obama videos, spending hours making folk crafts featuring Michelle Obama's face. These patients had experienced intense surges of hope-amine, the brain chemical that fuels euphoric sensations of historic change and personal salvation.

But they found that as the weeks went on, they needed more and purer hope-injections just to preserve the rush. They wound up craving more hope than even the Hope Pope could provide, and they began experiencing brooding moments of suboptimal hopefulness. Anxious posts began to appear on the Yes We Can! Facebook pages. A sense of ennui began to creep through the nation's Ian McEwan-centered book clubs.

In the real world, just this Tuesday Obama had a blow-out primary win in Wisconsin. Wisconsin is a swing state, which Gore and Kerry barely won in the last two presidential elections. Obama received more votes in the Wisconsin primary than McCain, Huckabee, and Ron Paul combined. He made further increases in all demographics, including those that have traditionally gone for Clinton. Obama beat Clinton by 17%, in a state that a few weeks ago he was expected to lose handily. Polling shows him now neck and neck with Clinton in Texas and Ohio, states that Clinton expected to be no contest (and again, states that don't have large amounts of what was originally considered Obama's core base of support). He's even getting significant support from independents and moderate Republicans. Polls focused on the general election show Obama beating McCain both nationally and in nearly every important swing state.

In other words, Obama's support is currently huge and increasing.

But Brooks is writing about a 'syndrome' that suggests Obama's popularity is waning. Ignoring the fact that he produces no evidence (anxious posts on Facebook?), why would he do this? Well, as of Tuesday's primaries, the right wing is shifting its focus of attack from Clinton to Obama. While conventional wisdom had it that Clinton's nomination was inevitable, it is now becoming increasingly clear that Obama is going to win, so it is time to shift targets. Brooks is happy to oblige. So what Brooks is describing is not what is actually happening, but what he and his cohorts would like to happen, what they will attempt to make happen.

Now let's look how they plan to attack him:

Barack Obama vowed to abide by the public finance campaign-spending rules in the general election if his opponent did. But now he's waffling on his promise. Why does he need to check with his campaign staff members when deciding whether to keep his word?

Obama said he would enter a discussion with the Republican nominee about agreeing to take public funding. The discussion would likely have entailed also promising to disavow fake third party 527 groups that act as loopholes to public financing laws. Once the primaries are over, he will still have that discussion, but it is unlikely that McCain will agree to curtailing 527s since that is a primary way for Repubicans to use their corporate money advantage. Furthermore, McCain's abuse of the public financing system this season is already legendary, so it is very unlikely that Obama could enter an agreement with McCain that he could have faith in.

Obama says he is practicing a new kind of politics, but why has his PAC sloshed $698,000 to the campaigns of the superdelegates, according to the Center for Responsive Politics? Is giving Robert Byrd's campaign $10,000 the kind of change we can believe in?

Aside from being a non-issue (what does this have to do with "a new kind of politics"?), this is a very disingenuous argument. Nearly every elected official is a superdelegate. During a presidential election, a lot of down-ticket elections ride on its coat tails. It is smart tactics to support those elections in order to build your party and ensure that you have support in Congress to enact your policies. Specifically, Robert Byrd would be a very dependable ally. His fiery outspoken speeches in opposition to the Iraq invasion at a time when literally no one else in the Senate was opposing it has already distinguished him from the average politician (there's your new kind of politics).

If he values independent thinking, why is his the most predictable liberal vote in the Senate? A People for the American Way computer program would cast the same votes for cheaper.

In 2004 we were told that John Kerry was the most liberal senator. It was then pointed out that the methodology used to determine that was... flawed. Robert Byrd, Russ Feingold, Chris Dodd, and Ted Kennedy (among others) were all more liberal than Kerry. All of these people are still senators, so how can Obama suddenly now be the most liberal? Obama co-sponsored a bill with Republican Richard Lugar (the goal of which was to track down and ensure that the former Soviet Union's nuclear arms were not falling into the hands of terrorists, something the Bush Administration dropped the ball on). Would the Senate's 'most liberal' senator be expected to co-sponser a bill with a Republican like Lugar? Furthermore, after 8 years of Clinton's centrism and another 8 years of Bush's hard shift to the right, isn't it proof of independent thought to continue to pursue liberal policies when your colleagues are becoming more conservative?

And should we be worried about Obama's mountainous self-confidence?

Brooks has never once complained about Bush's mountainous self-confidence, which has lead him to pursue disastrous policies long after it is clear they are not working.

These doubts lead O.C.S. sufferers down the path to the question that is the Unholy of the Unholies for Obama-maniacs: How exactly would all this unity he talks about come to pass?

How is a 47-year-old novice going to unify highly polarized 70-something committee chairs? What will happen if the nation's 261,000 lobbyists don't see the light, even after the laying on of hands? Does The Changemaker have the guts to take on the special interests in his own party - the trial lawyers, the teachers' unions, the AARP?

This is an interesting shift. If Obama can't bring lobbyists to "see the light", does he have the guts to take on trial lawyers, teachers unions, and the AARP? Does anyone thing the problems of the past 8 years have been the fault of lawyers, teachers, and old people?

The Gang of 14 created bipartisan unity on judges, but Obama sat it out.

"Bipartisan unity" meant ensuring that Bush's far right judicial nominations would be seated.

Kennedy and McCain created a bipartisan deal on immigration. Obama opted out of the parts that displeased the unions.

The immigration bill was a disaster whether you were pro- or anti-immigration. And god forbid Obama try to represent the interests of the working class.

Sixty-eight senators supported a bipartisan deal on FISA. Obama voted no.

Good. That's the deal that gave telecoms immunity from prosecution for helping the government spy on people.

It's important to realize that whenever a Republican holds office, the message is "Democrats lost the election, the Republicans have a mandate, and they should be able to pursue their agenda unopposed", but when Democrats hold office, the message is "bipartisanship is extremely important." Centrism is not by default a positive thing. If the Republicans pull to the right and the Democrats agree to meet in the middle, and then the Republicans pull to the right again and the Democrats agree to meet in the middle again, what we have is a rightward shift.

And if he were president now, how would the High Deacon of Unity heal the breach that split the House last week?

I'm not even sure what he's talking about but it's possible he means when the Democrats voted to hold Bolton and Miers in contempt for refusing to respond to subpoenas, and the Republicans stomped out of the building in protest. THEY'VE BEEN IGNORNING SUBPOENAS, and we're supposed to "heal the breach"? Awww, poor babies, you don't like the rule of law? It's ok, we'll meet in the middle.

The victims of O.C.S. struggle against Obama-myopia, or the inability to see beyond Election Day. But here's the fascinating thing: They still like him. They know that most of his hope-mongering is vaporous. They know that he knows it's vaporous.

The idea that Obama is all talk and no substance was a common complaint of the Clinton campaign. It didn't work very well for her because in truth Obama does have a lot of experience and examples of leadership, and furthermore people have watched politicians with "experience" betray them for these past 8 years.

But the fact that they can share this dream still means something. After the magic fades and reality sets in, they still know something about his soul, and he knows something about theirs. They figure that any new president is going to face gigantic obstacles. At least this candidate seems likely to want to head in the right direction. Obama's hype comes from exaggerating his powers and his virtues, not faking them.

Those afflicted with O.C.S. are no longer as moved by his perorations. The fever passes. But some invisible connection seems to persist.

These last paragraphs are Brooks' backdoor so that when people call him on his bullshit he can claim that it wasn't a pure attack piece. Expect stuff like this to disappear as the general election heats up.

The fact that the New York Times sees fit to print stuff like this should tell you something about the state of our media.

By fnord12 | February 21, 2008, 10:38 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (2) | Link

Random Lyrics Thursday

Everything Counts by Depeche Mode

The handshake
Seals the contract
From the contract
Theres no turning back
The turning point
Of a career
In Korea, being insincere
The holiday
Was fun packed
The contract
Still intact

The grabbing hands
Grab all they can
All for themselves
After all

Its a competitive world
Everything counts in large amounts

The graph
On the wall
Tells the story
Of it all
Picture it now
See just how
The lies and deceit
Gained a little more power
Taken in
By a sun tan
And a grin

By fnord12 | February 21, 2008, 8:53 AM | Music| Link

February 20, 2008

Irish Pride

I'm more in line with a Kucinich or a Gravel when it comes to politics. I liked Dodd for his willingness to fight on telecom immunity. I liked Edward's focus on class inequality. But they're all out of the race now (except Gravel... i guess?). Of the two remaining, i'm certainly no fan of Clinton. She totally failed to distinguish herself by standing up to Bush in the Senate, she voted for the war and his tax cuts, and i think her experience/'ready on day one' line is bogus. So i've been glad to see Obama take the wind out of Clinton's sails. He's too centrist for my taste, but he's not bad (and the idea that he's all talk and that he's taken no positions is nonsense). Plus i have to admit his race is a factor for me.

Anyway, if you want to effect real change, the way to do it is through primary challenges to complacent, centrist Democrats. Right now a number of groups are supporting Ed Fallon in his bid to knock out the Bush-supporting Democrat Leondard Boswell, and you can help by contributing to his campaign.

By fnord12 | February 20, 2008, 10:22 AM | Liberal Outrage| Link

Trying to think if there's anywhere he could apply that lesson...

I've stopped paying attention to Bush because it's obvious the Democrats in congress don't plan to do anything about him; they're just sort of waiting for him to go home. But this was too hard to ignore:

GOLER: The president says it's better that African nations deal with African problems. White soldiers in Darfur, he believes, would be targets for all sides.

BUSH: A clear lesson I learned in the museum was that outside forces tend to divide people up inside their country and are unbelievably counterproductive.


A) I wish Bush's parents had taken him to more museums when he was a kid.
B) I guess 'productivity' has a different weighting when it comes to helping Africans deal with imminent genocide versus hunting down imaginary weapons of mass destruction.

By fnord12 | February 20, 2008, 9:47 AM | Liberal Outrage| Link

February 18, 2008

First Show!

Lead Singer Syndrome had its first show this weekend and it was a lot of fun. We had a really great turnout, too, so thanks to everyone who came. The Proghouse people are very cool and made it really easy for us, and it was an awesome place to play. Fun Machine is a very interesting band, so if you haven't already, you should check them out (although their recordings don't do their live show justice).

We should have more pictures in a few days, but right now there are a couple in the comments on our myspace site, and someone apparently put some pictures of us on Fickr. Also on our myspace site is one of the videos we played at the show.

Umm, rock on or something!

By fnord12 | February 18, 2008, 11:17 AM | Music| Link

February 14, 2008

So It's Thursday

Or at least, i think it's thursday. I've been thinking it was thursday for the last 2 days, so you can understand if i'm a little confused about the veracity of my statement today.

Anyway, there haven't been any posts this week cause i'm sick, fnord's sick, and you can all go to hell.

I now also know where the "you don't win friends with salad" bit comes from.

Thank you.

By min | February 14, 2008, 8:25 AM | My stupid life| Link

February 8, 2008

Which conspiracy theory do *you* like?

Someone left me a ranting paranoid message on my answering machine suggesting that the right wing pundit tantrum against McCain (I got to experience some of it first hand since my rental car was tuned to Rush's show. He is ranting and raving about McCain and talking about how conservatives want to destroy liberals because they are the enemy, not reach across the aisle to them) is actually a ruse wherein they are trying to trick the average voter into thinking "If the far right is against McCain, he must be a moderate".

It's a theory that i've thought about too. There's also the alternate theory (quoting Digby):

They know they are going to lose. They will blame the loss on the fact that McCain wasn't a real conservative (just like Bush.) They know when to fall back and regroup. They're already playing for the next election.

Everybody sing: Conservatism can never fail, it can only be failed.

While either option is possible, i think we may be giving them too much credit. Yes, the Right has a lot of money and has been very good about broadcasting their message, but they have never been subtle. Their propaganda machine is more of a hammer than a surgical knife, belting out obnoxious and clearly untrue things as loudly as possible, and they've had amazing success with it. It's not usually about saying one thing so that people believe another. The exception is when they give "advice" to Democrats, saying things like "My goodness, we'd sure love to run against Howard Dean in the general election. Yep, it's John Kerry that we really fear. Please don't throw me into the briar patch." But I've never seen this type of outrage against their own candidates before, and if you listen to Rush's regular listeners, they surely don't know it's a ruse. They are as outraged as Rush (feigns to be?) and a lot of conservatives will not be voting for McCain in this general. I think it's really possible that we're really looking at a meltdown in the Republican party.

Of course, four years of Clinton or Obama, during a recession (or worse), increased oil prices (or worse), the continued debacle of Iraq (one way or another), and possibly another terrorist attack, will work wonders to reunite the party, just in time for General Petraeus to sweep in and be the flagbearer in the 2012 election.

By fnord12 | February 8, 2008, 9:39 AM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (3) | Link

Ah Want Hair

If the thought of hair not attached to a body doesn't make you gag,

Matter of Trust has collaborated with thousands of salons throughout the US and abroad to donate their hair clippings which are made into mats that soak up oil spills.
Pet hair is ok too - but not as efficient.

By min | February 8, 2008, 9:11 AM | Ummm... Other? | Comments (1) | Link

February 7, 2008

5 More Candidates for Cannon Fodder

So, now that Romney's dropped out of the race, his five sons are free to enlist in the military so they can go over to Iraq and fight the terrorists there so that we don't have to fight them here. Right?

"One of the ways my sons are showing support for our nation is helping me get elected because they think I'd be a great president."

By min | February 7, 2008, 2:40 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (1) | Link

Hi! I'm Joe Lieberman! I'm a Very Important Person!


Thanks to Zell Miller, there is a rule to deal with Joe Lieberman.

Lieberman's endorsement of Republican John McCain disqualifies him as a super-delegate to the Democratic National Convention under what is informally known as the Zell Miller rule, according to Democratic State Chairwoman Nancy DiNardo.

Miller, then a Democratic senator from Georgia, not only endorsed Republican George Bush four years ago, but he delivered a vitriolic attack on Democrat John Kerry at the Republican National Convention.

The Democrats responded with a rule disqualifying any Democrat who crosses the aisle from being a super delegate. Lieberman will not be replaced, DiNardo said.

Hello? I'm Joe Lieberman......I'm very important.....Please, won't somebody ask me to be their running mate?

By min | February 7, 2008, 2:20 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (1) | Link

Random Lyrics Thursday

Bird Flu by M.I.A.

Big on the underground
What's the point of knocking me down?
Everybody knows
I'm already good on the ground

Most of us stay strong
Shit don't really bound us
Then I go on my own
Making bombs with rubber bands

I have my hard down
So I need a man for romance
Streets are making em hard
So they selfish little roamers
Jumpin' girl to girl
Make us meat like burgers
When I get fat
I'll pop me out some leaders

A protocol to be a Rocawear model?
It didn't really drop that way
My legs hit the hurdle

A protocol to be a rocker on a label?
It didn't really drop that way
Our beats were too evil

But I put away paper for later so I'm stable
A better something better come
So I could get cable
Ghetto pops, food drops
I store them in my stable
I cook em up , pop em down
Eat me it off ya a table

The village got on the phone
Said the street is comin' to town
They wanna check my papers
See what I carry around
Credentials are boring
I burnt them at the burial ground
Don't order me about
I'm an outlaw from the badland

Put away shots for later
So I'm stable
Live in trees chew on feet
Watch lost on cable
Bird flu gonna get you
Made it in my stable
From the crap you drop
On my crop when they pay you.

By fnord12 | February 7, 2008, 9:23 AM | Music| Link

February 5, 2008

Super Tuesday

It's Super Tuesday and dammit, i'm actually going to have to declare a party affiliation so i can vote in the primary. I don't even really love that guy. I would just rather it be Obama than Hillary and the polls show the race getting tighter, so my vote might actually make a difference. So here i go. Ugh.

  1. She voted for invading Iraq

  2. She voted to let Bush into Iran

  3. Her reasoning for voting this way was completely lame - she said by voting to allow him to invade Iran, she was in fact preventing him from going into Iran. Silly me. I would have thought a vote against him going in would, you know, not let him go in.

  4. I think it would be very bad to perpetuate the Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton dynasty. They are grooming Jeb Bush for 2012 as we speak

And those are just the things off the top of my head. I know. Hillary says she's for universal healthcare and Obama's only committing to getting kids insured. Well, first off, no way she's going to get universal healthcare (not that she shouldn't try for it) because that would be too "socialist" for the average person to handle - unless they are personally facing a challenge with health care costs. Rules always change when it's you who's affected. Second, mebbe i'm being too cynical, but i really don't believe that Hillary Clinton is going to be out there fighting the pharmaceuticals and insurance companies for us. They represent too much money.

So is it fair to judge her based on my gut feeling with no concrete argument to back it up? Nope. I have no way of knowing that Obama's going to be any better. But that doesn't change those 4 things i've listed at the top, the Iraq thing being a huge issue for me.

And let's face it. The sad truth is we are at the point where we vote for the person we hate the least. We don't expect to get a chance to vote for the candidate we actually like and support. It's down to the lesser of the two evils.

Who loves politics now?

Btw, I'm totally avoiding Kos because he's ALWAYS wrong and i really can't handle the emotional rollercoaster. If you have a stronger constitution, go for it. Give me a summary of the bullet points.

By min | February 5, 2008, 11:47 AM | Liberal Outrage| Link

February 1, 2008

Marvel Sales


By fnord12 | February 1, 2008, 3:42 PM | Comics| Link

I Think More Than a Few of You Can Get on Board With This

Everything Should Taste Like Bacon

**thanks to jazmine for the link

By min | February 1, 2008, 3:33 PM | Ummm... Other?| Link

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