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February 27, 2009

Eh, why not?

A letter received by Tom Brevoort:


Just wanted to throw you an ideal that could make Marvel some more money on the side. This idea might sound a little gross but it's an idea I'm dead (pun intended) serious about. How about charging fellow Marvel Zombies to be part of a Marvel comics by pre-paying for a spot in the rotation by adding their cremated remains to the ink in your comic books. I read a recent issue of Backissue & one of their interviews mentions how mighty Marvel added a big scoop of the late, great Mark Gruenwald remains in the ink at his request. As a Marvel zombie for the last 27 years & one of many supporting the empire that's Marvel, that I could be allowed to be a part of something that's been one of the few constants in my life. I'm sure many Marvel-ites would follow my lead. Since your core audience is at the age where they should be considering writing wills & what to do when their time comes. The powers that be should consider this option. With the higher costs, lower readerships, the economy (yadda-yadda) & need to diversify. It could be a great way to get some extra cash to keep the cash-strapped comic industry (according to comic magazines, internet & comic insiders) afloat a while longer after my ilk & I are dead & gone. What do you say? Marvel should implement this ideal & lead the way for the rest of your competition like they've been doing for the last few decades. Make Mine Marvel. Dead or alive.

Older readers should do their part to keep costs down for the next generation.

By fnord12 | February 27, 2009, 2:37 PM | Comics| Link

A message from the webmaster

We regret that Random Lyrics Thursday, one of our most popular features*, was not published yesterday. We recognize that our readership has come to expect a high level of quality from us, and we will strive to maintain that level of quality in the future. The individuals responsible for this kerfuffle have been sacked.

*based on a random survey of the objects on my desk.

By fnord12 | February 27, 2009, 2:26 PM | Music | Comments (1) | Link

February 25, 2009

No Free Lunch

So, some school in New Mexico is implementing a new policy where kids (who aren't on the free lunch program) whose parents have not paid for more than 10 lunches get a cheese sandwich instead of the hot lunch of the day. Apparently, it's caused some parents to complain about the "singling out" of their children and about how awful it is to make them eat a cheese sandwich.

I'm no fan of cheese sandwiches. The concept sounds disgusting to me. But when i was in school, there was no 10 lunch limit. If you forgot your lunch money, you got a PB&J sandwich. Or nothing. At the time, PB&J sounded pretty much as disgusting as a cheese sandwich, so i think so far, it's equal.

Now, some people are saying it's not good because it's punishing the kids whose parents can't afford the lunch money. They even quote one kid who had to eat the cheese sandwiches while waiting for her free lunch paperwork to go through and now the idea of cheese sandwiches makes her gag. I don't know how long it takes for the paperwork to go through. 10 days is 2 school weeks. So, either the process of getting approved for free lunches is completely inefficient (wouldn't be surprising) or this girl's parent only bothered to file the paperwork because of the cheese sandwiches. Otherwise, she would have been more than happy to continue sending her kid to school with no money, banking on the school feeding her kid for free.

I get that mebbe they don't want to admit they can't afford the $1 lunch for their kid and that's why they don't rush out to apply for the free lunch program. But, you know, it's your kid. You need to swallow your pride and take advantage of anything that's there to help your kid. And the school providing anything at all is something i think the parents should appreciate rather than expect as a default.

That said, why can't they offer at least a choice of cheese or PB&J, just to give a little variety. I mean, eating cheese sandwiches 5 days a week can get pretty old pretty quick. Even if it's government cheese, rather than your Kraft singles variety. I love that government cheese. It's so much better than sliced.

Also, that 7-yr old is a whiner. She's lucky she's getting any food at all and doesn't work in some factory in South America making sweatshirts for Russell Athletics.

By min | February 25, 2009, 11:39 AM | Ummm... Other? | Comments (4) | Link

Now Roubini's Saying It

I mean, Dean Baker they can dismiss as some far leftist loon, but Nouriel Roubini gets airtime. They've got to listen now, right?

Nationalizing insolvent US banks is the best solution to avoid a Japan-like scenario in which 'zombie' financial institutions would eat up public resources while the US economy would teeter on the brink of depression, Nouriel Roubini, economics professor NYU and chairman at RGE Monitor told CNBC Tuesday.

Bank shares have fallen on news of abysmal losses and on fears that governments across the world would step in and wipe shareholders out, dragging global stock markets down, but temporary takeover by the state of the sick institutions will insure the survival of the system, Roubini said.

"The market friendly solution is temporary nationalization," Roubini told "Worldwide Exchange".

"Doing something surgical and radical actually may improve the market sentiment," he said. "If we don't do it, we risk ending up like Japan, that had zombie banks for a decade," he added.

Furious banking consolidation that took place in the years preceding the crisis has made matters worse, as it had created banks that were too big to fail but also too big to save, according to Roubini.

The US government has already provided between $7 trillion and $9 trillion in explicit or implicit support for banks, and taxpayers would actually benefit from nationalization, as they wouldn't have to bail out shareholders as well, he said.

"If you don't nationalize them on a temporary basis the fiscal commitments will be bigger," Roubini said. "The alternative is actually a dangerous debt spiral. We risk ending up in a near depression for the US and the global economy if we don't take this radical action as necessary."

Taxpayers could even make a small profit when the nationalized banks will be privatized again, he said.

And they'd better hurry the hell up with the nationalization because i'm getting a little tired of reading about banks that showed up to get a handout and then went and spent money on some lavish event.

A bank that received $1.6 billion dollars of the government's bailout money sponsored what reports are calling a lavish series of events in Los Angeles, California, last weekend.

Northern Trust, based in Chicago, Illinois, spent an undisclosed amount of money sponsoring a Professional Golf Association tournament and associated client events, including concerts, dinners and parties, according to celebrity Web site TMZ.com.

The bank spent millions of dollars on the event, which included -- on top of the sponsorship costs of the Northern Trust Open tournament -- concerts by Sheryl Crow and Earth Wind & Fire, a private party at music venue House of Blues and gift bags from Tiffany & Co., the Web site said.

According to TMZ.com's report, employees and clients attending the tournament dined on seared salmon and petite Angus filet and stayed at some of Los Angeles' most elegant and expensive hotels.

Doug Holt, senior vice president of communication for Northern Trust, confirmed to CNN that his bank sponsored the tournament and its events but, he said, not at taxpayer expense.

Holt told CNN that as a "healthy" bank, Northern Trust did not seek the $1.6 billion it received from the government as part of the U.S. Treasury's Capital Purchase Program, but that it "agreed to the government's goal of gaining the participation of all major banks in the United States."

"This is the second year Northern Trust is sponsoring the Open as part of a five-year contract," Holt said. The contract was signed in 2007, before the government's Capital Purchase Program to aid banks came into existence.

Holt also said that the sponsorship is an "integral part of Northern Trust's global marketing activities," and as with all marketing, advertising, corporate sponsorship or charitable activities, no taxpayer money was used to fund the weekend events.


Northern Trust announced it was laying off 450 employees in December of last year, with the bank saying the move was part of a number of actions "to better position the company for improved profitability and continued global growth during these difficult economic conditions."

So there are a few things wrong here.

  1. "We didn't need the money. The government just insisted on us taking it, and we didn't want to make them feel bad.

  2. "We always do stuff like this. It's how we do business."

  3. "None of that bailout money was used."

  4. "Business is bad so we are going to have to layoff some people to save some money."

As Dean Baker tells us (that loon), money is fungible. Their statement that the money they spent on a party came from a different account is ridiculous. Also, if you're laying people off, you shouldn't be having parties. Hey, jackass, i know where you could have saved some money!

I really hope the government does force the bank to do what Barney Frank threatened (but i'm not holding my breath).

Rep. Barney Frank, D-Massachusetts, the House Financial Services Committee chairman, is writing a letter to Northern Trust asking the bank to pay back the money it spent, according to Frank's spokesman.

"We are asking Northern Trust to repay the government the equivalent of the funds they spent on the tournament and related events," Steve Adamske of Frank's staff told CNN.

By min | February 25, 2009, 11:09 AM | Liberal Outrage| Link

February 24, 2009

Like a dog chasing a car

Quoted on Hullabloo:

NBC White House Correspondent Chuck Todd has a theory on why MSNBC's Hardball host Chris Matthews begged off from running for the Pennsylvania Senate seat held by Republican Arlen Specter. "Because [Chris] had a really good friend of his say to him, 'What are you going to do when you get there?' and he couldn't answer the question and he realized that, and that's why he didn't run," says Todd. "It was a childhood dream to be a senator, but he didn't know what he was going to do if he got there."

By fnord12 | February 24, 2009, 5:20 PM | Liberal Outrage| Link

Bipartisanship we can believe in

From a NYT poll discussed on Glenn Greenwald:

Which do you think should be a higher priority right now for Barack Obama -- working in a bipartisan way with the Republicans in Congress or sticking to the policies he promised he would during the campaign?

Working bipartisan way -- 39%; Sticking to policies - 56%

Which do you think should be a higher priority for Republicans in Congress right now -- working in a bipartisan way with Barack Obama or sticking to Republican policies?

Working bipartisan way - 79%; Sticking to policies: 17%

By fnord12 | February 24, 2009, 3:49 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (1) | Link

February 23, 2009


Not on turning over the Bush administration's emails.

Not on rights for "enemy combatants."

Not on using "state secrets" to avoid legal challenges on extraordinary rendition.

By fnord12 | February 23, 2009, 8:55 PM | Liberal Outrage| Link

Dean Baker saves Social Security


The New York Times reports this morning that the White House had abandoned plans to unveil a Social Security "task force" at today's fiscal summit, raising the question of whether the Obama administration is ready to conduct separate debate over the long-term health of Social Security and Medicare -- or whether the tired canard of "dangerous entitlement spending" will continue to rule the political roost.

One liberal activist who weighed in against the proposed task force told me that some within the administration are ready to attempt "one more fix" for Social Security, thinking of the 70-year-old benefits program "as an equation to be solved" and the Obama team as the mathematicians on the case.

"We just think the timing is terrible" to formally open such a Social Security task force now, this activist added. "At a time when the economy is terrible and people are losing their 401(k)s, you want people to feel more comfortable about their retirement."

Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research (and a TPMCafe contributor), was another influential voice on the left urging Obama aides to use the White House bully pulpit on other issues and leave aside Social Security.

"I certainly let them know that I thought it would be a really bad idea" to create any task force, Baker told me. "Most of us took the position that we were trying to use whatever contacts we had [to raise concerns], working from the position that we were expecting to be working with the Obama administration."

The message sent to the White House by progressives, as Baker put it, was: "We're going to have to oppose you on this. It's a waste of political capital - why would you do it?"

In the end, of course, the task force was put on the back burner and the mantra of "health reform is entitlement reform" became the order of the day, thanks in large part to the work of White House budget chief Peter Orszag.

By fnord12 | February 23, 2009, 3:15 PM | Liberal Outrage| Link

Lead Singer Syndrome at All Call In

So we were at Frankensound Rehearsal studios last night, and i look at the bulletin board on the way out and i see this flyer. (This is the picture i wanted to get off my phone in the previous post.)

We subsequently found the flyer on Diffy Productions' myspace site. Unknown if another band printed it out and hung it at Frankensound or if Diffy Productions goes around hanging flyers. Either way, pretty cool to see someone else promoting our show.

Speaking of which, come see our show on Saturday! It'll be almost a reunion tour type of show, with Control Room (actually now renamed and reformed as the Deadbeats, with a cool sound that reminds me of NoMeansNo) being a band that we played with at the Blue Room and Celestial Void being a psychedelic/classic rock cover band that we played with at Band Fest. And Celestial Void's drummer is in the Puking Shrews. But we'd also like our friends there!

Also potentially a special surprise, with the Syndrome possibly being cured, at least temporarily. What does THAT mean? Come find out!

By fnord12 | February 23, 2009, 9:57 AM | Music | Comments (9) | Link

Little help?

Apparently the 'service' that allows me to get pictures off my camera phone has expired. Don't know why i need to pay money in order to get pictures off of my phone, but apparently i do. I'm sure when i'm done being outraged about that i will pay for the service, but in the short term is there anyone i can try to send a picture to so they can send it back to me via regular email?

Update: Never mind - see the above post.

By fnord12 | February 23, 2009, 12:16 AM | My stupid life| Link

February 20, 2009

Do they *really* regret the error?

John Gibson Did Not Compare Eric Holder To Monkey With Bright Blue Scrotum:

UPDATE: The Huffington Post has learned that the below video has been doctored. We regret the error and apologize to Mr. Gibson. John Gibson never compared Eric Holder to a monkey with a bright blue scrotum.

By fnord12 | February 20, 2009, 1:36 PM | Ummm... Other?| Link

This is NOT a Mnemonic

The elements of the first column are simply the components of the first transformed basis vector |1'> = Ω|1> in the given basis. Likewise, the elements of the jth column represent the image of the jth basis vector after Ω acts on it.

By min | February 20, 2009, 9:11 AM | My stupid life| Link

Lucky Only You

A MIDI to USB cable goes for about $30 on MusiciansFriend.com. I found one for $6 at an Amazon Marketplace store. I figured with that much of a price difference, it was worth trying even if it turned out to be a dud.

It arrived yesterday. I haven't tried it yet but i can say that i am quite pleased with the packaging. It makes me feel very special.

By fnord12 | February 20, 2009, 9:08 AM | Music| Link

February 19, 2009

Random Lyrics Thursday

We Love Dancing by Arling & Cameron

We love dancing!

By fnord12 | February 19, 2009, 8:27 AM | Music | Comments (1) | Link

February 17, 2009

Recap #24

Tomb de Vasquez

By min | February 17, 2009, 3:45 PM | D&D| Link

February 16, 2009

Scantily Clad Women = Tools

A study found that looking at sexy images of women really does cause men's brains to shut down.

Researchers used brain scans to show that when straight men looked at pictures of women in bikinis, areas of the brain that normally light up in anticipation of using tools, like spanners and screwdrivers, were activated.

Scans of some of the men found that a part of the brain associated with empathy for other peoples' emotions and wishes shut down after looking at the pictures.


Speaking at the American Association for the Advancement of Science meeting in Chicago yesterday, Fiske said the findings called into question the impact of sexualised images of women that might be pinned on workplace walls or sent around offices where there was a strong locker-room culture.

"I'm not saying there should be censorship, but people need to be aware of the associations people will have in their minds," Fiske said.

Did it have to be tools? Couldn't it have been something a little more flattering?

By min | February 16, 2009, 12:40 PM | Science | Comments (1) | Link


In a follow-up from last week's post about the sattelites that collided:

You only need to watch the first few seconds of the video. It's mainly the same scene either shown repeatedly or from different angles.

From Dallas to Austin and beyond, sightings were reported of a red and orange fireball with a small black centre speeding toward Earth before burning out in a trail of lingering white smoke.

Roland Herwig, spokesman for the US federal aviation administration's south-west division, confirmed the fireball was probably superheated debris from a broken satellite falling to Earth.

The FAA could not directly link the debris to the reported collision last week of Russian and US communications satellites, however.

"It's yet to be proved it's those satellites," Herwig said.

It's also unclear exactly how many pieces of debris tumbled toward Texas, or whether any more are on the way.


He's right. It might not be "those satellites". It might very well be some bits of other satellites or refuse we left up there.

By min | February 16, 2009, 12:33 PM | Science | Comments (5) | Link

Submarines Collide While Carrying Nuclear Missiles

A potentially catastrophic incident involving two nuclear submarines, one French and the other British, was narrowly averted earlier this month when the two boats collided in mid-Atlantic, reports in the British and French news media said on Monday, quoting sources in the two defense ministries.

Both submarines were damaged extensively but have returned to their home ports since the collision on the night of Feb. 3, the reports said.


Defense experts said that one possible explanation for the collision was that the two submarines were involved in an exercise that involved the craft tracking each other at close quarters in the kind of war games that have played out in the Atlantic for decades between western and Soviet submarines, especially in the northern Atlantic between Scotland and Iceland.


My question is, if it was exercises and war games, wtf were they doing loaded with actual missiles? If the exercise was not to test the missiles but to test maneuvering and avoidance techniques, there was no reason to risk having fully armed missiles on board in case just such an accident did occur during the exercise. It's either not a very good guess at the reasons, or people managing war games aren't very bright.

By min | February 16, 2009, 10:49 AM | Ummm... Other?| Link

February 13, 2009

Yeah, and you should hear the things T.G. Cid tells me late at night.

Stupid people.

Found via Penny Arcade.

By fnord12 | February 13, 2009, 10:59 AM | Ummm... Other?| Link

February 12, 2009

Space Trash

So, the garbage we left out in space is now getting in the way of future space garbage we plan on leaving in space. An old Russian satellite collided with an operationa American satellite, and they destroyed each other. Now there's several dozen, if not hundreds, of fragments floating around out there. This poses the possibilty of fragments flying into other satellites or the manned space station.

That's all well and good, and they should be concerned about tracking these fragments so they don't fly into the space station or destroy another satellite, but what happens when the fragments lose velocity? I don't think they're so far away from the earth that they are free and clear of its gravitational pull. If gravity is acting on them, they would lose momentum, slow down, and possibly plummet to the earth. I suppose the hope is that whatever it is will get burned up in the atmosphere, but if there are pieces that are large enough to maintain some mass even after re-entry, that could fall on someone and kill them. Or hit a plane. Or anything, really. Are they monitoring that possibility, too? Cause, i've read about their progress with shooting down moving things, and it's not so good.

Watch out. The sky is falling.

By min | February 12, 2009, 12:48 PM | Science | Comments (1) | Link

Random Lyrics Thursday

Deus by the Sugarcubes

Deus does not exit.
But if he does, he lives in
the sky above me,
In the fattest largest
cloud up there.
He's whiter than white and
cleaner then clean.
He wants to reach me.

Deus does not exist.
But if he does I always notice him.
Getting ready in his airy room.
He's picking his
gloves so gently off.
He wants to touch me.

I'm walking humbly
down a tiny street
Pulling my collar it
gets bigger, woooh

I once met him,
It really surprised me,
He put me in a bath tub,
Made me squeeky clean,
Really clean.

To create a universe
You must taste
The forbidden fruit.

He said hi. I said hi,
I was still clean.

Deus does not exist,
But if he does he'd want
to get down from that
First marzipan fingers
then marble hands,
More silent than silence
and slower than slow,
Diving towards me.

My collar is huge room
for two hands,
They start at the chest and
move slowly down.

I thought I had seen everything,
He wasn't white and fluffy,
He just had side burns,
He just had side burns,
And a quiff,
He said hi.
I said hi. I was still clean,
I was squeeky clean.
I was surprised.
Just as you would be.

Einar & Bjork:
Deus, Deus, Deus, Deus

He does not exist

By fnord12 | February 12, 2009, 11:50 AM | Music| Link

Like Money

fungible   [fuhn-juh-buhl]


  1. Returnable or negotiable in kind or by substitution, as a quantity of grain for an equal amount of the same kind of grain.

  2. Interchangeable.

Something that is exchangeable or substitutable. Often used in the plural.

Regarding the bonuses Morgan Stanley gave out to its advisors while taking their share of the bailout money:

James Wiggins, a Morgan Stanley spokesman, said that such payments were necessary and would come out of operating revenue, not government bailout funds.

Dean Baker from the Center for Economic and Policy Research responds:
Since money is fungible, this comment doesn't make any sense.

By min | February 12, 2009, 11:32 AM | Liberal Outrage & Ummm... Other? | Comments (1) | Link

February 11, 2009

Are Children's Toys Coming to Life at Night?

I can't read the ticker at the bottom and watch the main story at the same time. It's one or the other. So then i end up watching it twice.

Sony Releases New Stupid Piece Of Shit That Doesn't Fucking Work

By min | February 11, 2009, 4:11 PM | Ummm... Other?| Link

Air Yakiniku

Click. Watch. Knowledge of the language not necessary.

By min | February 11, 2009, 4:05 PM | Ummm... Other? | Comments (1) | Link

Marvel Sales


By fnord12 | February 11, 2009, 2:31 PM | Comics| Link

Improve your listening experience with... wood.


By fnord12 | February 11, 2009, 1:17 PM | Music | Comments (1) | Link

Magellan vs.Machiavelli
Magellan Machiavelli(an)

By fnord12 | February 11, 2009, 10:28 AM | Whoodwin| Link

February 10, 2009

SuperMegaSpeed Reviews

And don't think that just cause there's only two books that you're getting longer reviews...

Secret Warriors #1 - First of all, let's acknowledge that the title of this comic is almost Secret Wars. Then you add the "Nick Fury: Agent of nothing" tagline and you've got a winner without even starting. Now, every few years a story comes along and tries to revamp Hydra. They reveal that every previous public appearance of Hydra was really just a front and the real Hydra is even more deadly and secretive than what we thought, and every public loss was really to cover a more sinister win and all that. And i always fall for it. And i'm falling for it this time. I liked the line about how the Secret Empire, Them, and AIM are "used to deflect unwanted interest from the global law enforcement community". I like the charts and the text pieces and the whole conspiracy set-up. It reminded me in some ways of the early Lee/Kirby and Steranko Fury stories in Strange Tales. So i have high hopes for the series, and i'm potentially interested in Bendis' co-writer Hickman as well. But we'll have to see where this goes. The main theme of this issue, with Maria Hill Quake coming to grips with leading a team, didn't interest me as much, and i'm not in love with the new characters yet, but it was still all pretty good.

Agents of Atlas #1 - Killing off poor Man Mountain Marko, huh? That's going to put a damper on his music career.

I realized as i was reading this that, from a certain point of view, Agents of Atlas can't be as fun as they were in the original series because they've got all the trappings of the Atlas corporation now, which kind of takes out the idea of them exploring the weird corners of the world, and Woo is basically a Machiavellian leader now and not an action hero (or he's a guy with a heart of gold who's deceptively pretending to be a Machiavellian leader, which may be even more Machiavellian). So i'm not sure if i like the new set-up. But the writing is good and it's very likely Parker will create an equally good new set of stories out of the new scenarios. But if they are going to make Jimmy Woo the son of the Yellow Claw, and they're bringing in Temugin, son of the Mandarin, they have to bring in Shang Chi, son of Fu Manchu, as well, right? And then they can all fight over whose father was the worst Asian stereotype.

The back-up story i had some problems with. First, i hate that everyone runs into Wolverine in the past. Second, i don't like that Wolverine had run into the Brood before he encountered them with the X-Men, even if he had lost those memories. I don't even like that the Brood had already been on the Earth already. Those were Brood, right? Third, i don't like the implication that Fidel Castro and Che Guevara were pawns of the Yellow Claw. You may not like Castro, but he wasn't a mind-controlled stooge.

By fnord12 | February 10, 2009, 11:14 PM | Comics | Comments (4) | Link

Death of an industry


Newsweek also plans to lean even more heavily on the appeal of big-name writers like Christopher Hitchens, Fareed Zakaria and George Will.

Starting in May, articles will be reorganized under four broad, new sections -- one each for short takes, columnists and commentary, long reporting pieces like the cover articles, and culture -- each with less compulsion to touch on the week's biggest events. A new graphic feature on the last page, "The Bluffer's Guide," will tell readers how to sound as if they are knowledgeable on a current topic, whether they are or not.

By fnord12 | February 10, 2009, 11:46 AM | Liberal Outrage| Link

February 9, 2009

Oh Dear

We love M.I.A. here in the SuperMegaMonkey household, but, as the voice of your conscience, we've just got to ask - honey, what's got into you? Ahhhhhh, hmmmmmmm?

I'm going to attribute the decision to purchase and subsequently wear this outfit to an advanced form of "baby brain".

I was, however, quite impressed with her ability to dance around during her performance at the Grammys while her baby's birth was imminent. Quite frankly, i'm surprised her baby didn't fall right out during the number.

By min | February 9, 2009, 3:44 PM | Music| Link

February 5, 2009

Random Lyrics Thursday

In Shreds by the Chameleons (UK)

I grasp at life's fading light
I need you tonight
I need to be heard
Your actions speak louder than words
Ignored by you all
I stumble and fall
I suddenly knew
My life meant nothing at all

In shreds, I stare down at the street
Yearning for sleep
That blissful escape
But when it comes it's always too late
The whore in my bed
The noise in my head
A hole in my pride
It's coming and there's nowhere to hide

It seems to me to be self-contradictory
It seems to me you count your victories while they're there

Ignored by you all
I stumble and fall
I suddenly knew
My life meant nothing at all
The whore in my bed
The noise in my head
The hole in my pride
It's coming and there's nowhere to hide

It seems to me to be self-contradictory
It seems to me you count your blessings while they're there
You count your blessings while they're there
Count your victories while they're there

It seems, it seems, it seems
It seems to me
To be
To be self-contradictory
It seems to me you've become part of the machinery
Part of the machinery
Part of the machinery
Become part of the machinery

By fnord12 | February 5, 2009, 9:41 AM | Music| Link

February 4, 2009

What have we learned?

1. Republicans aren't going to vote for the stimulus package, so you might as well not try to compromise with them in advance by cutting out good stimulus programs and replacing them with tax cuts. Republicans are going on TV sayings "this isn't a stimulus package, it's a government spending program" not realizing that the way one stimulates the economy is by creating demand by... spending.

2. Republicans are going to call your Pentagon budget increase that isn't as much of an increase as the Joint Chiefs wanted a budget cut anyway, so you might as well actually cut the budget and save some money. For those who don't follow the links, here's a chart showing the US's military budget vs. the rest of the world's.

3. I too easily believed the center-left blogs into thinking that Daschle was a good choice for HHS, but Glenn Greenwald makes it clear that we basically dodged a bullet with this guy. I'd like to see Howard Dean take his place. Rahm Emmanuel doesn't like Dean, in part because of the whole 50 State Initiative thing, and he's also been described as too partisan. He's got the background, has been an advocate for universal health care, and has some experience improving health care coverage as a governor. However, Republicans are going to attack whoever leads the charge for universal healthcare as a socialist, so does it really matter if the guy is "too partisan"? Have we learned anything yet?

By fnord12 | February 4, 2009, 10:58 PM | Liberal Outrage| Link

SuperMegaSpeed Reviews

Fantastic Four #563 - Only momentum keeps it coming to me every month.

Avengers: The Initiative #21 - Chris Sims is right that it needed more crossover tie ins. Inside the covers, Ramos delivers terrible art and i don't think we should have brought back the cloned Thor. But i like the part where Ultra Girl gets a cease and desist order on wearing Ms. Marvel's costume since Moonstone is wearing it in the Avengers.

X-Force #11 - I like my villains to be fleshed out, but they don't need to be this fleshed out. Still, if my complaint for last issue was that the story jumped around too much, they sure addressed it here, with a focus on nothing but Eli Bard. Hrimhari fans will just have to hang in there.

Daredevil #115 - The art was a little unclear at times, and i see there were three artists on this issue, although that includes the inker, if indeed people do ink anymore. In any event, i guess things were a little rushed, and the fight scenes suffered for it. Still, pretty good.

Nova #21 - I'm still liking this, but i'm hoping for more of a twist than the basic out-of-control computer that needs to take over humanity to protect it plotline. I also think the governments and heroes of Earth would be a lot less accepting of an army amassing right in its solar system, no matter how much Reed Richards vouched for them. I laughed out loud when Nova looked at the camera and said it would be stupid to initiate a planet into the Corps.

New Avengers #49 - Luke Cage's willingness to work with Norman Osborn and company is a sensitive topic in the SuperMegaHousehold, so i'll stay away from that, and stick to things like "Isn't it cool to see Luke Cage walking around with the Wrecker's crowbar?!" and "Oh boy i hope they really do have a big fight in store for us between these guys and the Thunderbolt-Avengers for the 50th issue!"

Captain America #48 - Epting is back on art and Brubaker writes an awesome Namor, so this was an awesome issue. I think this storyline could move along a little faster, but it's such a great series that it can shrug off my minor complaints without even noticing them.

Hercules #125 - I'm a little disappointed to see Delphyne become queen of the Amazons, only because i thought she could be a cool new super-hero or member of the Hercules cast. Also, this alternate reality stuff was fun, but i'm looking forward to getting back to the regular set-up because it's the interactions between Hercules and Cho that make the series.

By fnord12 | February 4, 2009, 10:35 PM | Comics| Link

February 3, 2009

They Can Explode??

You assholes never told me there was a danger of these things exploding!

A man has died after his mobile phone exploded, severing a major artery in his neck, according to reports.

The man, thought to be a shop assistant in his twenties at a computer shop in Guangzhou, China, died after he put a new battery in his phone. It was believed that he may have just finished charging the battery and had put the phone in his breast pocket when it exploded.

Christ! And the best advice they can offer is "keep it in a bag instead of your pocket"?

By min | February 3, 2009, 11:54 AM | Ummm... Other? | Comments (3) | Link

Focusing on the Positives or Deluding Oneself

While speaking at Cambridge yesterday, China's Prime Minister Wen Jiabao had to exercise some quick reflexes ala George W. Bush when a protester threw a shoe at him.

One commenter's take on the situation, from a Chinese-language site:

The protest proved that China's power had been recognized by the British...People wouldn't protest against a little country.

Not to mention the level of assholery you have to achieve to get people interested in protesting. Cereally. Don't mention it. It undermines the whole manufactured image thing the Chinese government and media's got going.

I bet all those other leaders of countries are feeling pretty shabby right now, never having had to duck shoes themselves.

My one complaint is the protester's lack of originality. Shoe throwing is so two months ago.

By min | February 3, 2009, 11:24 AM | Liberal Outrage| Link

I Miss the Dennys

By min | February 3, 2009, 10:16 AM | Ummm... Other?| Link

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