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September 30, 2009

Naughty Newt

Lightning strikes twice.

By fnord12 | September 30, 2009, 11:19 PM | Liberal Outrage & Ummm... Other?| Link


Rush Holt (from newsletter):

Energy Efficiency for Electronics

Not too long ago, appliances - refrigerators, air conditioners - consumed the most energy in our homes. In 1990, the United States established efficiency standards for appliances, resulting in significant energy savings. Setting standards is an especially effective way for government to achieve results. New refrigerators on average use 45 percent less energy than they did in 1990, while new washers use 70 percent less energy than a new washer in 1990. Additionally, the creation of the Energy Star program gives consumers the information to purchase appliances with even more efficiency than current standards.

Yet, in contrast to greater energy efficiency for home appliances, home electronics - televisions, video games - are taking up more and more energy. The International Energy Agency recently found that consumer electronics represent 15 percent of household power demand, a level that could triple in 20 years. This increase means greater energy costs, increased greenhouse gas emissions, and a greater burden on the electrical grid. To combat rising electronic energy use, many energy experts have proposed new efficiency requirements that determine how much power consumer electronics may use. There is no legislation in Congress to establish such rules, however states like California and Massachusetts are considering new standards for television efficiency.

I often ask students to do a so-called back-of-the-envelope calculation. Estimate the number of homes in the U.S. (say, 100 million). Estimate the number of remote control appliances in an average home (say, five, including a couple of TVs, a stereo, a garage door opener, etc.). Estimate the number of watts for each appliance as it sits waiting for the user to push the remote (say, 2 watts, less than a night light's amount of power as its circuits stay warm all the time). How much power does the U.S. use to have the convenience of instant-on-appliances? As much power as a small city uses (100 million x 5 x 2, which is 1 billion watts, not counting the power the appliances use when they are on). So an entire city-sized power plant is running to meet that usage. (Of course, this exercise is intended not to get a precise answer, but to develop in the students a sense of scale and an ability to estimate).

By fnord12 | September 30, 2009, 5:27 PM | Liberal Outrage| Link


By fnord12 | September 30, 2009, 3:23 PM | Science| Link

I guess i'm glad someone's happy

Some asshole:

Yes, being unemployed is bad.

But...there's a bigger and better supply of talent available, right? And this was made possible by the lousy economy. There are unemployed certified engineers. Trained sales people. Experienced administrators. Skilled managers.

There are good, bright, educated people available today that a small business owner could have never afforded a few years ago. And they're willing--no, let's admit it--grateful to work for less money and longer hours. Some of these people would never have considered working for a company the size of mine a few years ago. Now they appreciate the benefits of working for smaller companies, the challenges they could never get elsewhere, and the job security they can create for themselves by helping their bosses create value in their organizations.
And what about the people who still have their jobs? They're not laughing. Most of them are nervous. Anxious. Scared. And you know what? That's good.
The upside to the high unemployment rate is that it has helped us control our payroll costs. No one's asking for raises. No one's demanding more benefits.
...it's now easier and more politically correct to hire part-timers, subcontractors, and other outsourced help to fill the gaps. That's because when people are out of work, they'll do whatever they've got to do to bring in cash.

Some reactions to this:

Here's a prediction. In a year or two, if wages stay low, we will be reading about the lack of incentive by employees to work hard. With hotel cleaning staff being paid minimum wage (without benefits) and similar treatment up to, but below, the executive level, who is going to want to bust their ass at their place of work?


I understand that Gene Marks is not targeting his commentary at me. He is a small business owner (he sells customer relationship management tools), who is attempting to speak to other small business owners, all of whom, presumably, are also delighted that the potential hiring pool is so chock full of talent desperate to be exploited right now.

But one wonders who exactly is supposed to purchase all those products and services from the small businesses of the world, if unemployment creeps up to the 10 percent mark or higher? High unemployment means low consumer demand. Which usually means small businesses end up going out of business, or at the very least, laying off more employees, who push the unemployment rate even higher. And so on. Low employment might mean it would be harder to find qualified employees, but it also means more customers with money burning a hole in their pockets. Which scenario, do you think, is better for society in general?

And mine: Go fuck yourself.

By fnord12 | September 30, 2009, 1:55 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (1) | Link

September 29, 2009

Public Options in the Finance Committee

Two Public Options were up for vote as amendments to the Senate Finance Committee's version of the Health Care reform bill today (All of the other Committees - 1 in the Senate and 3 in the House - have a public option).

Senator Rockefeller had a version of the Public Option that was tied to the (new and improved) Medicare rates.

Senator Schumer had a version that forced the government to negotiate rates.

Each failed. In a committee with 13 Democrats and 10 Republicans, Rockefeller's amendment failed 15-8 (five dems against). Schumer's failed 13-10 (three dems agains).

In each case, the committee chair, Senator Baucus, a Democrat, voted against his Democratic colleague's amendments. The other consistent nays were Senator Conrad and Senator Lincoln. Baucus and Conrad both voted against it using the twisted logic that there weren't enough votes for the Public Option on the floor. (Lincoln didn't even bother to show up for the second vote; she voted by proxy.)

The next logical step for these two is to vote against the final bill using the reasoning that they don't think it has the votes.

By fnord12 | September 29, 2009, 4:46 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (2) | Link

Torture defense continues under Obama


US District Judge Colleen Kottar-Kelly just ordered the release (don't get excited, it's not going to happen unless the Justice Department decides not to appeal) of Fouad al-Rubiah, one of the prisoners at Guantanamo. Read the opinion -- there are a lot of redactions, so you can't get the details, but we took a middleaged aircraft engineer who flew to Afghanistan for charitable purposes a short while before 9/11, cobbled together some insane story out of interrogations from unreliable informants, and tortured him into confessing to it. If I follow the course of events correctly through all the redactions, we then continued to torture him because the story we told him to confess to didn't make any sense. And now we've asked a judge to keep him imprisoned on the basis of the confessions that the US interrogators found unbelievable.

Particularly grotesque was this quote from al-Rubiah, explaining one of the arguments interrogators used to convince him to confess:

In about August 2004, shortly before my CSRT hearing [an administrative review of Al Rabiah's detention], my interrogators told me the CSRT was just a show that would allow the United States to 'save face.' My interrogators told me no one leaves Guantanamo innocent, and told me I would be sent home to Kuwait if I 'admitted' some of the false things I had said in my interrogations. The interrogators also told me that I would never go home if I denied these things, because the United States government would never admit I had been wrongly held.

In case anyone was wondering, the hearing that Judge Kottar-Kelly is referring to in the opinion, in which the Justice Department took those irresponsible and indefensible positions, took place in August '09. On Obama's watch. This has to change somehow.

Afterthought: Remember, the fact that this case made it to a habeas hearing means that it's one of the US Government's strongest cases - they've let some people go, and are dragging their feet even harder on other cases. This evidentiary pile of garbage was pretty close to the best we've got against any of the detainees. Who've been imprisoned and tortured for better than seven years now.

By fnord12 | September 29, 2009, 3:15 PM | Liberal Outrage| Link

Housing boom started in 1977

After the crash, your Texas inch would only be worth 25 cents.

Immediate Update: I'm wrong. It's worth $9.95 today.

By fnord12 | September 29, 2009, 9:22 AM | Comics & Ummm... Other?| Link

September 28, 2009

SuperMegaSpeed Reviews

Models Inc. #1 - Not what i wanted but better than i was expecting. Yeah, the art is lousy. But we'll see where it goes for now.

Deadpool: Merc with a Mouth #3 - Better than last issue. Still not great. I don't mind a giant zombie dinosaur, in any event. We'll stick with it until Deadpool Team-Up, i think.

Fantastic Four #571 - Like Wanyas said, it's a good story, just maybe not good for the Marvel Universe. I actually enjoyed this issue. But i notice that for the most part it's just Reed Richardses interacting with each other. Very little with the rest of the team. And last issue it was the inter-team dialogue that put me off as much as the Big Concept. Although i did enjoy the Thing's little "when you don't keep the wife happy... it's the whole team that suffers." A big turnaround in my opinion from last issue, overall, which just means i had to give it a chance.

Spider-Woman #1 - Ugh, anyone but Maleev and this might have been good. As it it, it was ok.

Dark Reign - the List: X-Men #1 Nice art (other than the woman on the cover that we can't identify). Nice last use of Marrina. I enjoyed White Queen explaining to Namor that he has a support team now and he needs to rely on them... This whole issue was rather good actually, and it has me doubting my decision to avoid the Unity crossover and Fraction's X-Men. But without Davis' art it's probably not as good. One thing that i don't really buy is that Namor didn't just go in and rip Norman Osborn's head off at the end of the issue. He dumps Mariana's body and then just says "If i would do that to her just imagine what i would do to you" and then walks away? Naw. Similarly i don't see Osborn just letting Namor walk away. The whole thing would have escalated into a big fight considering the personalities involved.

Dark Reign - the List: Daredevil #1 - Same thing here, really. It seems a little too calm. Daredevil's final response to Osborn and Bullseye burning down a building full of people in Hell's Kitchen is "We send a message?", not "We take Osborn out?" And from Osborn's point of view, this whole List thing isn't working out so well. So far everyone he's tried to take out, he's taken one shot at it and then given up. Overall i liked this and i'm glad we decided to keep going with the Daredevil series. But i'm hoping that, at least for a while, Daredevil really does embrace the fact that he's taken over an Assassin's Guild, and we don't wind up with a 'trying to make a bad organization good from the inside' type of story.

Captain America Reborn #3 - Fine for what it is, but move it along already. I'm definitely enjoying the modern day stuff.

Dark Avengers #9 - Not what the cover and ads promised me, but i actually liked this better than a big fight. Very well done. Good characterization.

New Avengers #57 - Who knew Dr. Jonas Harrow, whose original claim to fame was having created the Kangaroo, would wind up being such a major player? Good story. And I also very much like the retro... classic... or just plain good penciling and coloring. Clear lines. Bright colors. Suddenly, comics don't have to be 18 shades of brown anymore.

Hercules #135 - Not bad, but i'm just not that interested in Amadeus as a lead character.

Nova #29 - Sure, make me buy Marvel Premiere #32. Actually Monark Starstalker didn't seem all that interesting, but you know, for completeness sake. Now, the Neutron Slave Gang that's really a group of Mindless Ones? That's interesting.... but at the same time i'd hate to find out that Mindless Ones could actually decide on their own to become a drug gang.

Agents of Atlas #11 - This was great. I'm glad Marvel is trying to keep this series alive in some form. Could we possibly get Jeff Parker on another book as well? Maybe combine him with some property that ought to be selling well, but isn't? Like an X-Men title?

Guardians of the Galaxy #18 - I saved this for last, which, considering that i got just about every comic i collect in this batch, might mean that i consider it my favorite book right now. But in retrospect i would have swapped this with Nova, just because this issue is entirely alternate future stuff. Still good.

By fnord12 | September 28, 2009, 10:32 PM | Comics| Link

September 27, 2009

Where it all started going wrong...

From Guns, Germs, and Steel, which i highly recommend:

With the rise of chiefdoms around 7,500 years ago, people had to learn, for the first time in history, how to encounter strangers regularly without attempting to kill them.

By fnord12 | September 27, 2009, 11:23 AM | Boooooks | Comments (1) | Link

This looks much better than Ultimate Alliance 2

By fnord12 | September 27, 2009, 11:21 AM | Comics & Video Games | Comments (1) | Link

September 25, 2009

Min complains about "fat free" pretzels

I guess this is the next step.

By fnord12 | September 25, 2009, 5:13 PM | Comics| Link

Think we might win this one

Congress Daily:

In a bid to wrangle concessions from the Blue Dog Coalition on healthcare reform, House leaders Thursday released CBO estimates for liberals' preferred version of the public option that show $85 billion more in savings than for the version the Blue Dogs prefer.

Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, D-S.D., a Blue Dog co-chair, said any possible new momentum toward a public option tethered to Medicare rates is, in part, "because of the cost issue" and the updated CBO score.

The original House bill required the public plan to pay providers 5 percent more than Medicare reimbursement rates. But as part of a package of concessions to Blue Dogs, the House Energy and Commerce Committee accepted an amendment that requires the HHS Secretary to negotiate rates with providers. That version of the plan will save only $25 billion.

In total, a public plan based on Medicare rates would save $110 billion over 10 years. That is $20 billion more than earlier estimates, a spokesman for House Speaker Pelosi said.

Ezra Klein:

Moreover, the CBO is estimating savings to the government. That is to say, the $85 billion reflects reduced federal spending on subsidies because premiums in the public plan will be lower. Savings to individuals and businesses paying lower premiums will be much larger than $85 billion, and politically, much more important.

Daily Kos:

Those who oppose the public option -- Republicans and a diminishing group of Democrats -- really are on the wrong side of this debate. The public option isn't about creating an expensive new government program that would give Ronald Reagan nightmares -- it's about making health care insurance cheaper and better for more people.

The public option is a simple idea, it's a good idea, and it's popular. There is no reason it shouldn't happen.

By fnord12 | September 25, 2009, 4:06 PM | Liberal Outrage| Link

Paid ~$75 to see the backs of U2's tiny heads

By fnord12 | September 25, 2009, 1:52 PM | Music | Comments (2) | Link

September 24, 2009


maladroit   [mal-uh-droit]

unskillful; awkward; bungling; tactless: to handle a diplomatic crisis in a very maladroit way.

By min | September 24, 2009, 10:51 AM | Good Words| Link

Random Lyrics Thursday

I Wanna Destroy You by the Soft Boys

I wanna destroy you

I feel it coming on again
Just like it did before
They feed your pride with boredom
And they lead you on to war

The way you treat each other
Really makes me feel ill
Cause if you want to fight
Then you're just
dying to get killed

I wanna destroy you

A pox upon the media
And everything you read
They tell you your opinions
And they're very good indeed

I wanna destroy you

And when I have destroyed you
I'll come picking at your bone
And you won't have a
single atom left
To call your own

By fnord12 | September 24, 2009, 8:42 AM | Music| Link

September 22, 2009

This solution isn't working contributing...

I get propaganda from my company:

Below are some strategies to minimize the stress you feel before, during, and after your work day and to tap into the great creativity resource we call passion.

1. REPLACE THE IDEA OF WORK WITH CONTRIBUTION -- Instead of getting up in the morning at 8:45 a.m. and lamenting to anyone who will listen, "Why do I have to go to work?," simply replace it with "Why do I have to go contribute?" You will be better able to focus on the day ahead and see that it really does have a larger purpose. Ask yourself: What can I do to contribute to the team/company today and reach the NEXT level of profitability and impact?

By fnord12 | September 22, 2009, 5:18 PM | My stupid life | Comments (2) | Link

Guess they listened

When i saw that Lautenberg and Menendez were among the Senators who voted to defund ACORN due to the stupid actions of a couple of low-level employees, i wrote them and asked if they were also going to cancel the contracts of all the other companies that have broken the law... which would be like all of them.

Going after ACORN may be like shooting fish in a barrel lately -- but jumpy lawmakers used a bazooka to do it last week and may have blown up some of their longtime allies in the process.

The congressional legislation intended to defund ACORN, passed with broad bipartisan support, is written so broadly that it applies to "any organization" that has been charged with breaking federal or state election laws, lobbying disclosure laws, campaign finance laws or filing fraudulent paperwork with any federal or state agency. It also applies to any of the employees, contractors or other folks affiliated with a group charged with any of those things.

In other words, the bill could plausibly defund the entire military-industrial complex. Whoops.

By fnord12 | September 22, 2009, 4:07 PM | Liberal Outrage | Comments (1) | Link

Nailing the elevator speech

In the super-hero world, you run into a lot of strange people with strange powers. Social networking is key to getting yourself on a premiere super-hero team. If you want to get noticed, you'll want to be able to quickly sum up your origin and abilities in 25 words or less.

Gargoyle has that down pat.

By fnord12 | September 22, 2009, 1:50 PM | Comics| Link


If you are a progressive heavy metal band, and you write an instrumental song called Shadowfax that has a galloping beat, are you:

A) Awesome
B) Big geeks

By fnord12 | September 22, 2009, 10:11 AM | Music| Link

September 18, 2009

Marvel Sales


By fnord12 | September 18, 2009, 1:44 PM | Comics| Link

September 17, 2009

More T-rex Pour Toi

Paleontologists said Thursday that they had discovered what amounted to a miniature prototype of Tyrannosaurus rex, complete with the oversize head, powerful jaws, long legs -- and, as every schoolchild knows, puny arms -- that were hallmarks of the king of the dinosaurs. [Ed. note: "I have a big head...and little arms." Bwahahahaha!!!!!! i love that scene!]
So the discovery calls into question theories about the evolution of T. rex, which was about five times longer and almost 100 times heavier.

"The thought was these signature Tyrannosaur features evolved as a consequence of large body size," Stephen L. Brusatte of the American Museum of National History, an author of a paper describing the dinosaur published online by the journal Science, said at a news conference.


Dr. Holtz, who cautioned that the findings needed to be independently confirmed, noted that there had been a gap in the family tree between earlier, more primitive Tyrannosaurs that had relatively short legs and long arms and the later giants with opposite features. "This clarifies the sequence," he said.


By min | September 17, 2009, 9:35 PM | Science| Link

This Wouldn't Have Happened on CBS

I don't understand any of that exchange. Take this, for instance:

"It takes a tough man to make a tender forecast, Nick."

Wha??? To which, the logical closing is then "Keep fucking that chicken"? Forget about the profanity, what the hell secret code is Anastos speaking in?

By min | September 17, 2009, 9:30 PM | TeeVee| Link

Creepiest Children's Toy

At least the STD plushies were cute.

By min | September 17, 2009, 9:25 PM | Ummm... Other? | Comments (3) | Link

Maybe i'm wrong about people's IQs getting higher with each generation

Although looking at some of the responses, you have to imagine some of the respondents weren't being serious (5% thought George W. Bush was our first president?).

By fnord12 | September 17, 2009, 3:27 PM | Ummm... Other? | Comments (2) | Link


infelicitous   [in-fuh-lis-i-tuhs]


  1. inapt, inappropriate, or awkward; malapropos: an infelicitous remark.

  2. not felicitous, happy, or fortunate; unhappy.

By min | September 17, 2009, 3:18 PM | Good Words| Link

Random Lyrics Thursday

Punk Lolita by the Heads

She was a punk lolita
C.b.g.b. era
Holes in her stocking
Nothing is shocking
Down at the heels
Had what it takes to feel
She could rock the world
She was a punk girl, ooooh

You don't care that I'm just a punk girl doin' it funky
You don't care that I'm just a punk girl doin' it.

Get offa your pedestal
It's a freakin' free world
Get offa your pedestal
It's a freakin'!

She was a punk lolita
Anya and lydia
La petite damita
Could easily eat ya
Holes in her stocking
Nothing is shocking
Down at the heels
Keepin' it real, ooooh

You don't care that I'm just a punk girl doin' it funky
You don't care that I'm just a punk girl doin' it.
You don't care that I'm just a punk girl doin' it funky
You don't care that I'm just a punk girl doin' it.

She was a punk lolita
C.b.g.b. era
Connie and roxie
And sweet roberta
Who manned the door
So if you were poor
You'd get in for free
C.b.g.b. la! ooooh

You don't care that I'm just a punk girl doin' it funky
You don't care that I'm just a punk girl doin' it.

Get offa your pedestal
It's a freakin' free world
Get offa your pedestal
It's a freakin'!

You don't care that I'm just a punk girl doin' it funky
You don't care that I'm just a punk girl doin' it.
You don't care that I'm just a punk girl doin' it funky
You don't care that I'm just a punk girl doin' it.

By fnord12 | September 17, 2009, 12:50 PM | Music| Link

September 16, 2009

SuperMegaSpeed Reviews

Nomad #1 - I'm using the forbidden word: "Meh." This wasn't great. I don't need any more of it.

Dark Reign: The List - Avengers #1 I enjoyed it. I mean, it's just like any issue of the Avengers, so it was good. I liked seeing an acknowledgment of the Hawkeye/Moonstone relationship; i was just thinking that this was something that should be getting more attention. Am i interested in getting more of these in the List series? You know what? Yeah. Let's get 'em all. Go ahead, get 'em all. Even Spider-Man? Sure. Even Spider-Man.

War of Kings: Who Will Rule? #1 - I once had a David Lee Roth t-shirt that said Roth Rules! on the back. I wasn't even that into David Lee Roth (although you can't say anything bad to me about Eat 'Em And Smile, with Steve Vai and Billy Sheehan). And one day my art teacher Mr. Sharkey asked me what it was, exactly, that Roth ruled. So i kicked him in the shins and stole his dentures.

Oh, this was a good comic.

Marvels Project #2 - Good, but needs to move a little faster if we're going to get a unified theory of everything out of this. It has kind of an Astro City feel, which is good and bad. More good than bad. And i'm sure it'll build up and get better.

Agents of Atlas #10 - I'm going to have to go with Chris Sims on this one:

For sheer ridiculous 1950s super-science, you can't beat that.

Hercules #134 - I approve of this comic.

By fnord12 | September 16, 2009, 7:44 PM | Comics | Comments (1) | Link

Is it something about me or something about the comic?

Why does no one believe me when i say i want to read Models, Inc.?

By fnord12 | September 16, 2009, 7:43 PM | Comics| Link

Open letter to whoever has the full Dr. Strange torrent

C'mon d00dz!!!! There's like 15 of us all stuck at 83.9%! Pleeeez seed!!!!111

By fnord12 | September 16, 2009, 7:41 PM | Comics| Link

September 15, 2009

It's kind of like an O. Henry story


By fnord12 | September 15, 2009, 9:43 AM | Ummm... Other?| Link

September 14, 2009

Did you do your part?

I'm guessing that you didn't, since 1981 turned out to be anything but the year of the Tyrannasaurus (sic) Rex T-Shirt.

By fnord12 | September 14, 2009, 6:58 PM | Comics | Comments (1) | Link

September 12, 2009

Iron Man & Dr. Doom: Monty Python fans

It's only a model!

By fnord12 | September 12, 2009, 5:43 PM | Comics | Comments (3) | Link

September 10, 2009

It's raining dinosaurs


Manning now believes that the claws were better suited to climbing trees than ripping open prey, with the Velociraptor waiting for prey to appear below them and then leaping down, hooking its claws into a hapless animal and delivering a killing blow with its powerful teeth.

If only i had known that before the Isle of Dread adventure.

By fnord12 | September 10, 2009, 4:55 PM | D&D & Science| Link

This is America, and our only lanaguage is English

Respect are country!

By fnord12 | September 10, 2009, 4:53 PM | Liberal Outrage & Ummm... Other?| Link

I like that reasoning!

Despite (or maybe because of) the insane and dishonest reaction to Judge Sotomayor during her nomination process, i really wasn't really able to get a sense of how she would be as a Supreme Court Justice. I don't mean her competence; she was clearly qualified. But what kind of Justice would she be?

This statement, part of a question on the case that the Court is currently hearing, gives me a lot of hope:


Because what you are suggesting is that the courts who created corporations as persons, gave birth to corporations as persons, and there could be an argument made that that was the Court's error to start with, not Austin or McConnell, but the fact that the Court imbued a creature of State law with human characteristics.

The idea that corporations are 'persons' under the law and have all the protections that people have is just ridiculous, and there's no real basis for it. To hear a Supreme Court Justice come out and say that is really heartening.

But before you get too excited, it's expected that on this particular case, the right-wing Justices will be ruling in favor of allowing corporations to spend as much money as people in elections. Sotomayor replaced another liberal, so we still don't have enough power in the Court to act on Sotomayor's comment.

By fnord12 | September 10, 2009, 12:22 PM | Liberal Outrage| Link

Random Lyrics Thursday

You Haven't Done Nothin' by Stevie Wonder

We are amazed but not amused
By all the things you say that you'll do
Though much concerned but not involved
With decisions that are made by you

But we are sick and tired of hearing your song
Telling how you are gonna change right from wrong
'Cause if you really want to hear our views
You haven't done nothin'

It's not too cool to be ridiculed
But you brought this upon yourself
The world is tired of pacifiers
We want the truth and nothing else

And we are sick and tired of hearing your song
Telling how you are gonna change right from wrong
'Cause if you really want to hear our views
You haven't done nothing'

Jackson 5 join along with me say:
Do da walk- hey hey hey
Do da walk- wow wow wow
Do da walk- co co co
Do da walk- naw naw naw
Do da walk- bum bum bum
Do da walk

We would not care to wake up to the nightmare
That's becoming real life
But when you mislead who knows a person's mind
Can turn as cold as ice un hum

Why do you keep on making us hear your song
Telling us how you are changing right from wrong
'Cause if you really want to hear our views
You haven't done nothin'

Jackson 5 sing one more time say
Do da walk
Do da walk- oh
Do da walk- co co co
Do da walk- sing it Jackie!
Do da walk- bum bum bum
Do da walk- um
Sing it loud for your people say
Do da walk- um um um

Do da walk- stand up be counted, say
Do da walk- co co co
Do da walk- ow
Do da walk- bum bum bum
Do da walk- ah hum

By fnord12 | September 10, 2009, 8:53 AM | Music| Link

September 8, 2009

Not saying it's indicative of how good a Senator he is or anything...

...but that's pretty cool.

By fnord12 | September 8, 2009, 4:30 PM | Liberal Outrage & Ummm... Other? | Comments (1) | Link

Night Flyer...

...would like you to stop badgering him so he can hang up his gigantic cellphone and fly his super-awesome hang-glider.

By fnord12 | September 8, 2009, 11:34 AM | Comics| Link

September 4, 2009

SuperMegaSpeed Reviews

Daredevil #500 - Well, i really liked the new development of Daredevil taking over the Hand when i first read it. To the point where i thought i might want to keep on reading after the creative switch. Then i started wondering how different it is from when Daredevil declared himself the Kingpin. Or from when Elektra recently turned out to be the leader of the Hand (except that was a Skrull). But in any event, i enjoyed this. An interesting ending to Brubaker's run. The second story, by Ann Nocenti, i did not love. I thought it was stiff, awkward, and pointless. Then i read this guy's review of it. And i dunno, maybe i'm just an idiot. Either that, or that guy could review a dishwasher instruction manual and find hidden significance in it.

Fantastic Four #570 - Hrmmm. Some interesting things, and some decent writing but i'm not thrilled with this League of Alternate Reeds. I mean, i don't see how this could go anywhere good. And god how i hate Valeria. Not loving the art, either. The faces don't look right, the sleeveless costumes look terrible. Eh, i just wasn't thrilled with this, and i'm not sure i want to muddle through with another mediocre run of FF. I have to say, it seems that no one has really had a good handle on the FF since Walt Simonson. And that's really a shame. Actually, i take that back. Bring back Dwayne McDuffie.

Secret Warriors #7 - Huh. I just read Elektra: Assassin as part of my Marvel Timeline project, and i was wondering whatever happened to John Garrett. And here he is. Also some cool stuff going on with the Thunderbolts, and i'm looking forward to the Ares/Phobos crossover with Dark Avengers. Good stuff, good stuff. Hickman obviously can write, so why didn't i like his FF issue?

X-Force #18 - I have to admit that this book flows better when there's drawn art, like in this issue, versus the computer generated stuff. But i'm still feeling like the pacing is off and we never stop long enough to really focus on the plots.... Like this Asgardian sub-plot. I hope that goes somewhere and involves the whole team. And i guess this exploding mutant stuff is over? That's all wrapped up now? What was it about, exactly? Oddly, i still enjoy the book.

Hood #4 - This is great. Looking forward to next issue to see where the hell it could possibly fit into the Hood's Avengers appearances, though. It pretty much has to end with the cloak completely possessing Parker, so it can fit into New Avengers right before he attacks Dr. Strange. But that'd be an odd resolution to this mini.

New Avengers #56 - Love the art. Especially from a story-telling point of view. Immonen is very good. And the story's great too. Someone might point out that what we've got here is a struggle between the Dark Avengers and the remnants of the Hood's gang in what's nominally an issue of New Avengers, but that's fine. A little bit of Mockingbird kicking some ass in the beginning helps.

Hercules #133 - This 'All Cho" issue is somewhat less interesting than last issue's 'All Hercules' focus, but it's probably because about 75% of this issue is a cleverly disguised recap. Still good, still good.

Nova #28 - As i hoped, they're clearing out all the generic Novas but keeping the interesting bunch introduced earlier. It's all very well done. I do miss the original Worldmind, though.

Guardians of the Galaxy #17 - I AM GROOT! I AM GROOT! I AM GROOT! (This is a very insightful and witty review. You just have to listen to the subtle sigh of breeze beneath the words to appreciate it.)

By fnord12 | September 4, 2009, 11:08 PM | Comics| Link

Oh gee, look what now sells for $115

Thanks, Bob.

By fnord12 | September 4, 2009, 3:10 PM | Comics & My stupid life | Comments (2) | Link

Preparing for a zombie attack

Canadians lead the way.

By fnord12 | September 4, 2009, 2:13 PM | Ummm... Other?| Link

Christ, Christie!

OK, so former US attorney and GOP NJ governor candidate Chris Christie weirdly gave a $46,000 loan to one of his attractive female subordinates. And then failed to report the loan on his tax returns.

Then we find out that he is suspected of being one of the US attorneys that succumbed to the political pressure that Rove and his ilk were putting on attorneys to bring politically charged cases to trial prior to election - in Christie's case, it was releasing info on an investigation of Senator Menendez prior to his 2006 election (the charges were later determined to be unfounded). Other attorneys were fired for not acting on Rove's demands, but Christie seems to have complied.

Then we find out that Christie got pulled over in his car for speeding and it turned out he had no insurance or registration (and, weirdly, his subordinate was in the car with him along with his family). He got off virtually scott free, even though the police officer issuing the ticket wrote NO DEAL on it, which is what cops do when a person is particularly belligerent or was doing something particularly egregious.

Now we hear that he also hit a motorcyclist while driving the wrong way down a one way street. And that time, he didn't even get a ticket.

When asked if he wasn't charged because he flouted his position, Elizabeth Police Director James Cosgrove said:

"I don't think I want to make that kind of deduction, but I think the facts speak for themselves."

This is a guy running on an anti-corruption platform.

By fnord12 | September 4, 2009, 10:30 AM | Liberal Outrage| Link

Time to research Future Tech I

When you're done reeling from the severity of the current recession, take a look at the possible trend you can see for the current and past few recessions. Earlier recessions seemed to reach a point and then employment would shoot back up. Later recessions stagger on for a while before slowly recovering (More "U" shaped than "V" shaped). It's like we're a boxer that takes longer and longer to get back up after every knock down.

It's worth noting (and this is correlation, not causation!) that beginning in the late 70s and accelerating in the 80s and even more so after NAFTA, we've been losing the manufacturing base that provided the bulk of our good paying but accessible jobs (and you can correlate that to the strength of unions in this country). So after a recession, who is there to begin hiring enough to reduce the unemployment rate? Remember that the US needs to add about 127,000 jobs every month just to keep up with population growth. In the 90s we had a tech/.com boom, but those jobs are now going overseas too. In the 2000s we had the construction boom but that turned out to be a bubble that isn't likely to return.

If we get out of this, it's going to be either because of another bubble or a new innovation that leads to a sustainable industry that can't go overseas. A bubble will be faster but it just delays the problem. And we don't seem to have the willpower to invest in new industries. There was a lot of talk during the 2008 campaign about creating green jobs. But because of the compromises in the stimulus bill (with Republicans who ended up not voting for the bill anyway), and a weak and stalled Cap & Trade bill, we're not really devoting enough to that for it to go anywhere. A re-shuffling of the health & insurance industries might also help.

Without innovations, we will eventually recover, but it'll be via jobs in the Service industry, which are low paying and insecure. That's not where we want to go.

By fnord12 | September 4, 2009, 9:43 AM | Liberal Outrage| Link

September 3, 2009

Credit where credit is due

I've complained about our failure to cut off funding to Honduras, and i've even suggested that it might have something to do with the Lanny Davis/Hillary Clinton connection. So now i need to eat crow:

The United States said on Thursday it was formally cutting more than $30 million in aid to Honduras but sidestepped the question of whether the Central American country's de facto leaders took power in a military coup.

The State Department also suggested it would not regard Honduras' November elections as legitimate unless ousted President Manuel Zelaya, arrested by the military on June 28 and flown into exile in his pajamas, was first restored.

State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said more than $30 million in aid was being cut to increase pressure on the de facto government of Roberto Micheletti to restore Zelaya before the scheduled elections.

The State Department also moved to revoke the visas of some of Micheletti's supporters but declined to give their names.

The one thing i'm not pleased about is the splitting of hairs over whether it can officially be called a coup:

However, the State Department was silent on whether it believed Zelaya was ousted by the military and said the circumstances around his ouster were "complicated" despite the fact that he was flown out of the country in a military plane.

"The Department of State recognizes the complicated nature of the actions which led to June 28 coup d'etat in which Honduras' democratically elected leader, President Zelaya, was removed from office," it said.

"These events involve complex factual and legal questions and the participation of both the legislative and judicial branches of government as well as the military," it added.

Asked why Clinton decided against formally declaring Zelaya's ouster a military coup, Crowley said: "Let's focus on what we're trying to do here. We are trying to see democratic constitutional rule restored in Honduras. That is our purpose."

He noted President Barack Obama had declared it a coup and Clinton had declared it a coup, but it was "not your garden variety military coup" because of the involvement of other branches of government.

If Republicans controlled congress and told the military to escort Obama out of the country and they complied, i don't think we'd have a problem calling that unconstitutional (unless they first impeached him and he refused to step down). But we're treating it like a coup, and i suppose that's what matters. A huge step beyond where we were on June 30th.

By fnord12 | September 3, 2009, 11:16 PM | Liberal Outrage| Link

Recap #29

Two Beds, Bad Ale, and Saburses Tut

By min | September 3, 2009, 9:13 PM | D&D| Link

Random Lyrics Thursday

Oh Where, Oh Where? by the Crucifucks

I don't have any idea where it went.
I left it in my pocket with my rent.
It isn't just because I'll never see it again,
But that it wasn't where it should have been back then.

I can't find my piece of paper.
I should have been more careful with my piece of paper.
It isn't very often that this happens to me.
This is very important, fellas, can't you see?

It's hard to get people to understand.
It's not the kind of thing that's in demand.
I can't find my piece of paper.
I should have been more careful with my piece of paper...

By fnord12 | September 3, 2009, 9:17 AM | Music| Link

Yes! Kill them, eat them, and take their land

He punched me hard, straight in the face, so I bit his finger off.


And in a crowning bit of poetic justice (moral victory?) for the reformers, the anti- guy had his finger reattached under Medicare.

By fnord12 | September 3, 2009, 9:10 AM | Ummm... Other?| Link

September 2, 2009

Ridge recants


On Rachel Maddow's MSNBC show last night, Ridge continued to contradict himself. "At no time, at no time, at no time did politics enter, in my judgment, anybody's equation," Ridge said.

Ridge went on to say that "politics was not involved" and that "I was not pressured."

Maddow then read to Ridge directly from his book's jacket: "'He recounts episodes such as the pressure that the DHS received to raise the security alert on the eve of of the '04 presidential election.' That's wrong?"

"Those aren't my words," Ridge said. "Read the book." But not the book's jacket. That stuff just can't be trusted.

Someone must have a gun pointed at his pet goldfish or something.

By fnord12 | September 2, 2009, 11:01 AM | Liberal Outrage| Link

September 1, 2009

Reconciliation forces a better Public Option

Interesting post by TPM: In order for health care reform to be sufficiently related to budgetary matters to qualify to be passed via reconciliation, it will have to be more 'liberal', i.e., it will need to contain a much stronger Public Option than has been considered so far, because a strong Public Option is what saves the government money. But the more 'liberal' the bill is, the more likely you'll have conservative Dems defect (for reasons that are incoherent). The good news is that the bar is much lower: you'll only need 50 votes instead of 60.

By fnord12 | September 1, 2009, 1:45 PM | Liberal Outrage| Link

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