Friday, December 28, 2007

Gimme a Reason

There's a reason to even mention Jonass Goldberg's so-called book Liberal Fascism here.

More here and here

Please join in! It's way cheaper than buying the book and it makes a serious argument with even more care than Goldberg does, especially in his so-called book Liberal Fascism .*

* For those needing a variant spelling, the second word of the title is often misspelled, like this: Liberal Facism

Monday, December 24, 2007

The Lesson

Here's the lesson, Republican candidates:

You can say your favorite political philosopher is Jesus Christ, provided it's a lie and you really revere Ayn Rand or the part of Hayek that urges you to lie to what Peggy Noonan calls the "idiotic voters" whose religious votes you seek.

Instead, support the thrice-married, unrepetantly adulterous, gay-approving, abortion-supporting man who really represents your sole ideals: authoritarianism and supply-side bullshit. The money-men demand that.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Rosenberg On Feith

How did people like Feith manage to sell this country on a disastrously foolish war that had no real positives for the United States? I have a feeling M.J. Rosenberg at TPM Cafe may be onto something here. It's pretty blistering:
I'm a Washingtonian and have known about Feith for some 25 years. Until this administration and this war came along, I had no idea that he had any interests in life other than promoting West Bank settlements. He was (and is) the most outspoken Likudnik in the Washington Jewish community, basically a very fringy character (viciously anti-Rabin, anti-Oslo, anti-peace). I would not have guessed that he could find the United States on a map, so utterly and completely involved is he with the Israeli far right.
All Neocons aren't Jewish. But almost all of them, Christian, Jewish and otherwise, seem to be dedicated to Likudnik view of the Middle East. I don't think such a hardline view is in the best interests of the U.S. I think the folly of the Iraq adventure supports that view.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Mickey Kaus: Separated at Birth?

One of the above is Mickey Kaus. One of the above is Mickey Kaus as Secretary of Education played by an actor in Idiocracy. *

See the scene that captures Kaus' intellect and intellectual integrity!

* That's Mike Judge's movie, Idiocracy.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Monumental News

Just learned that Count Arthur Strong will be presenting a third series of Count Arthur Strong's Radio Show! on BBC4 commencing in late December. Regular readers will know how important Count Arthur Strong is to any decent person's ethos.

Quoting from the invaluable promotional email:
On BBC Radio 4

First things first! In case you missed the first two episodes, the highly acclaimed second series of Count Arthur Strong's Radio Show! is being repeated on BBC Radio 4. You can hear Count Arthur Strong every Tuesday at 6.30pm. Tune in this evening!

This is the perfect opportunity to reacquaint yourself with the Count in preparation for the Third Series of Count Arthur Strong's Radio Show! This will air on BBC Radio 4 at 11.30am every Friday from December 28th.

So, over the festive period you'll have the chance to hear the grand finale of Series 2 at 6.30pmon Christmas Day, followed by the much anticipated first episode of Series 3 at 11.30amon December 28th. And that's not all! Count Arthur Strong will be making a special guest appearance on BBC Radio 4's You and Yours on Christmas Eve at 12pm.
This is the news the world has been waiting for. There are few things better than Count Arthur Strong.

Other news from the Count's email bulletin:
  • the Series 2 box set of Count Arthur Strong's Radio Show! will be available to pre-order through the Count's website
  • The 2007 tour of Count Arthur Strong - The Musical?has been extended into 2008
  • The Komedia Brighton performance of Count Arthur Strong - The Musical?on January 27th is to be filmed for later DVD release. Tickets are now sold out, but keep an eye on the website for news of the DVD release!
Here's Count Arthur Strong's Infanet Web Site

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

No Shit, Sherlock

Isaac Chotiner quotes Bumiller's article on Condi Rice:
“I said, ‘What happened in the Palestinian elections?’” Ms. Rice recalled. “And they said, ‘Oh, Hamas won.’ And I thought, ‘Oh my goodness, Hamas won?’”

Our head foreign policy "thinker" found it surprising that Hamas won that election?

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Vital Info

Surfacing briefly to report that there are three of the funniest things in history are on BBC radio nowadays.
  • Count Athur Strong's Radio Show is playing at that link (currently the first episode of six that will appear there, one each week). Raconteur, author, logician, Egyptologist, and time-honored entertainer, the Count is back with a repeat of Series 2 of his inspired BBC Radio 4 series.
  • Ed Reardon's Week has just begun its fourth series, and it's as funny as ever. Previous series are being repeated on BBC 7. An endlessly inspired depiction of a hapless misanthropic not-so-great writer and his cat, Elgar.
  • Vic Reeves' House Arrest. New radio series from Vic, joined sometimes by his partner Bob Mortimer. Puns, surreal humor (the funny kind of surreal), and general idiocy that makes me laugh.
Two more very funny things: Flight of the Conchords in their seminal UK radio incarnation, and That Was Then, This Is Now, Richard Herring's history-focused show featuring the mawkish harridan TV's Emma Kennedy. Previous incarnations of TWTTIN were inspired idiocy, and I expect the same from this new series.

Hard to believe that the BBC can put out such incredibly funny radio--though admittedly this is a jam-packed time, with great repeats and hilarious new series. If you don't like those things, there iss still more comedy at their Comedy/quizzes "Listen Again" page.

If something from the above doesn't make you laugh, you are tired of life.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

People Like Us

I started listening to the radio version of the BBC comedy People Like Us again recently and have to say that, for me, this is probably the funniest series that's been on radio in the past decade or so.

It's written extraordinarily well (thanks, John Morton!) so that the hapless documentarian Roy Mallard (played perfectly by Chris Langham) leaps to life as someone we all recognize. The humor doesn't come from standard tropes (for instance, there is little reliance on "set-up/ punch line" jokes and few if any traditional puns). Many of the laughs come from a nervous and scatterbrained narrator who constantly creates logical and syntactical quicksand for himself.

The series relies in part on our familiarity with the BBC (and for US listeners, NPR/PBS) "serious" documentary feature stories. The presenter's interactions with the "real people" ring true and truly funny. These characters, while generally just an inch from total realism, are hilarious as are their situations.

While, as faux documentaries, there is necessarily similarity between episodes, Morton manages to set up an array of social situations and psychological landscapes that take us along different paths in each episode.

And of course, the running jokes (everyone is surprised that Mallard is married; he never gets coffee, tea or snacks) pay off wonderfully, too.

It's one of the few series that works nearly as well for me in TV as the radio version, though I think the audio holds up better.

I don't know if John Morton is a genius generally, but he exhibited genius when he wrote this at least. That is far better than most writers pull off.

Chris Langham has had serious criminal problems recently. Too bad, because he's one of the funniest performers in UK comedy.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Candidate of the First Person Pronoun

Watching the Fox Republican debate, it's utterly amazing how many times Giuliani uses the first person pronouns: "I changed New York." I did this, it was me... Mine...

Monday, August 27, 2007

Another Republican with Sexual Issues

Roll Call's server is getting hammered (wonder why?), so I'll put this up here. The original story is at this link

Craig Arrested, Pleads Guilty Following Incident in Airport Restroom

By John McArdle
Roll Call Staff

Monday, Aug. 27, 2007; 4:48 pm

Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) was arrested in June at a Minnesota airport by a plainclothes police officer investigating lewd conduct complaints in a men’s public restroom, according to an arrest report obtained by Roll Call Monday afternoon.

Craig’s arrest occurred just after noon on June 11 at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. On Aug. 8, he pleaded guilty to misdemeanor disorderly conduct in the Hennepin County District Court. He paid more than $500 in fines and fees, and a 10-day jail sentence was stayed. He also was given one year of probation with the court that began on Aug. 8.

A spokesman for Craig described the incident as a “he said/he said misunderstanding,” and said the office would release a fuller statement later Monday afternoon.

After he was arrested, Craig, who is married, was taken to the Airport Police Operations Center to be interviewed about the lewd conduct incident, according to the police report. At one point during the interview, Craig handed the plainclothes sergeant who arrested him a business card that identified him as a U.S. Senator and said, “What do you think about that?” the report states.

Craig was detained for approximately 45 minutes, interviewed, photographed, fingerprinted and released, and police prepared a formal complaint for interference with privacy and disorderly conduct.

According to the incident report, Sgt. Dave Karsnia was working as a plainclothes officer on June 11 investigating civilian complaints regarding sexual activity in the men’s public restroom in which Craig was arrested.

Airport police previously had made numerous arrests in the men’s restroom of the Northstar Crossing in the Lindbergh Terminal in connection with sexual activity.

Karsnia entered the bathroom at noon that day and about 13 minutes after taking a seat in a stall, he stated he could see “an older white male with grey hair standing outside my stall.”

The man, who lingered in front of the stall for two minutes, was later identified as Craig.

“I could see Craig look through the crack in the door from his position. Craig would look down at his hands, ‘fidget’ with his fingers, and then look through the crack into my stall again. Craig would repeat this cycle for about two minutes,” the report states.

Craig then entered the stall next to Karsnia’s and placed his roller bag against the front of the stall door.

“My experience has shown that individuals engaging in lewd conduct use their bags to block the view from the front of their stall,” Karsnia stated in his report. “From my seated position, I could observe the shoes and ankles of Craig seated to the left of me.”

Craig was wearing dress pants with black dress shoes.

“At 1216 hours, Craig tapped his right foot. I recognized this as a signal used by persons wishing to engage in lewd conduct. Craig tapped his toes several times and moves his foot closer to my foot. I moved my foot up and down slowly. While this was occurring, the male in the stall to my right was still present. I could hear several unknown persons in the restroom that appeared to use the restroom for its intended use. The presence of others did not seem to deter Craig as he moved his right foot so that it touched the side of my left foot which was within my stall area,” the report states.

Craig then proceeded to swipe his hand under the stall divider several times, and Karsnia noted in his report that “I could ... see Craig had a gold ring on his ring finger as his hand was on my side of the stall divider.”

Karsnia then held his police identification down by the floor so that Craig could see it.

“With my left hand near the floor, I pointed towards the exit. Craig responded, ‘No!’ I again pointed towards the exit. Craig exited the stall with his roller bags without flushing the toilet. ... Craig said he would not go. I told Craig that he was under arrest, he had to go, and that I didn’t want to make a scene. Craig then left the restroom.”

In a recorded interview after his arrest, Craig “either disagreed with me or ‘didn’t recall’ the events as they happened,” the report states.

Craig stated “that he has a wide stance when going to the bathroom and that his foot may have touched mine,” the report states. Craig also told the arresting officer that he reached down with his right hand to pick up a piece of paper that was on the floor.

“It should be noted that there was not a piece of paper on the bathroom floor, nor did Craig pick up a piece of paper,” the arresting officer said in the report.

On Aug. 8, the day he pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct in the Minnesota court, Craig appeared via satellite at a ceremony that took place in Idaho in which former Idaho federal Judge Randy Smith was invested into his new position as a judge on the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

In October 2006, Craig’s office publicly denied allegations that he was a homosexual made on a gay activist Web site — Craig’s office told the Spokane Spokesman-Review that the charge was “completely ridiculous,” saying that the allegations had “no basis in fact.”

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Very Cogent Point

  1. Adam C Says:

    Did the same guy who designed the banana also do the fucking pomegranate?

Wednesday, July 18, 2007


Hubridity: A combination of hubris and stupidity. Stupidly wrong while arrogantly certain about being right.

I coined this term a while back in conversation and wanted it here because I feel it's a useful term, especially in describing Bush.

He's convinced he's right, but he can't even think through, much less communicate, his thinking on a particular subject.

I've often wondered if Bush could explain anything --anything from to world affairs to internal combustion -- in a way that someone who didn't already understand it would know what he is talking about. He just asserts and asserts, with absolute conviction but no way of connecting his assertions.

Of course, he's certain he's right. Because he's filled with hubridity.

I should note that I don't think Bush is of especially low intelligence -- he's probably well within average or normal. He's just so lazy in his thinking (and in a hurry to get on his bike) that he hasn't really thought about anything non-political in many years.

Monday, July 09, 2007


More wonderful symbolism:

New embassy in Iraq : "the size of Vatican City"

Perhaps it's shaped like a crucifix, too?

Let's make it official and call it "The New-and-improved Crusades."

Monday, June 25, 2007

Chris Matthews, Auteur

Chris Matthews talks about women in politics:
MATTHEWS: But isn't that a challenge, because when it comes down to that final decision to vote for president, a woman president, a woman commander in chief, will be an historic decision for people. Not just men, but women as well. Elisabeth, you're always thinking about these things.

BUMILLER: It's Golda Meir, it's Margaret Thatcher. I mean, we all remember these women. I, you know, I think we can get there.

MATTHEWS: But we've got Patton and John Wayne on our side.

In opposition to two real historical female leaders, Matthews puts up two movie characters (I have no doubt movie-fanboy Matthews was picturing George C. Scott in the movie Patton, not the real Gen. Patton). Then he says "our side" is that of the male movie figures and not the real-world elected leaders.

This is how Matthews covers political campaigns: He invents a movie (always with tough, great-smelling, and authentic Republicans and weak, inauthentic Democrats), then describes the movie in his head instead of policy or the actual campaign.

It's even worse than horse-race coverage. It's Matthews, every day, pitching his lame-ass movie to viewers. And in Matthews dream-movie, Republicans are "our side" and women are draining our precious bodily fluids.

Chris Matthews: Producer, director and writer of his own movie-delusion, maker of dreams. Or in some cases, nightmares.

The guy is sick.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Ed Reardon's Week

Now, a side-trip for Ed Reardon's Week, a comedic tour de force from BBC 4, written by Chris Douglas and Andrew Nickolds and starring Chris Douglas as Ed Reardon.

Ed, a once barely successful writer, now pathetically past his prime, is prone to fevered rants. While the one below isn't his most spectacular, it is one of my favorites due to the multifaceted arrogance and the undertones of Ed's weaknesses (penury, pedantry, and bitterness). I've transcribed it from the beginning of "The Libel Action," the last episode (aired 19 January 2007)of the third and most recent season of the program. We begin with Ed telephoning his local council, interrupted by a brief voicover where he relates what he's typing in his journal, and then we return for the denoument of the call.
Ed speaking on the phone
Hello? Can I speak to someone connected with the Council's "Towards a Brighter Berkhamsted campaign?" [Pause] Well, yes it could be either of those departments because it could be an environmental issue but it's also as you may have deduced from the tone of my voice a complaint.

Ed's voiceover interrupts while he types his diary entry:
"Monday. What was it exactly that made local councils the length and breadth of the country decide that all street furniture should sanctify the Victorian era? It seems no town centre is complete without gold and black painted bollards, cast iron signs pointing gothically to the disabled toilets in the short stay car park, and perpetually dripping hanging baskets, making a trip to a news agents' for the innocent pipe smoker an unwarranted hazard. And whereas 150 years ago small boys used to be sent up chimneys or down the mines, now the 12-year olds are given six figure salaries to come up with slogans such as "It's time to big up Berko!" -- the inspirational text which shouts at me from my morning mail.

Ed, continuing the phone call to his local council:
Yes, I'm looking at the letter concerning the renovations to the parade of shops above which I live. Yes, it seems I'm being asked to contribute 900 pounds towards the carving of the words "Parade Emporiums" on the pediment above my flat.


Well I'll tell you exactly what the problem is. It could hardly be a less appropriate heading for a nail bar, a chip shop, and a hairdresser's stroke tattoo parlor, even if the correct usage "emporia" were to be applied, which I don't suppose is at all likely.


Well, look, I have no desire to be accused of child abuse this early in the day, but if you think for a moment that I'm prepared to fork out for a piece of [ Yelling angrily ] BOGUS VICTORIANA WHICH I NEITHER WANT NOR RECOGNIZE AS A CORRECT PLURAL FORM THEN.... hello? Hello? No. Gone.

All three seasons are hilarious. Recommended.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Robert Cox: Playing Possum

Robert Cox of the slimy Olbermannwatch blog, has supposedly closed the site and moved on. However, look at the image he uses to shutter his site:


That, ladies and gentlemen, is an oppossum, or possum -- as in the phrase "playing possum."

Playing Possum

Playing possum is a phrase that, taken literally, means to pretend to be dead.
[ ..... ]

"Playing possum" can also mean simply pretending to be injured, unconscious, or otherwise vulnerable, often to lure an opponent into a vulnerable position himself.

Robert Cox isn't gone. He's just playing possum. Maybe he's just going to do more idiocy like this.
[As is obvious from this post, all props to the blog Watching OlbermannWatch.]]

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Thursday, February 01, 2007


Brendan Bernhard New York Sun: "....ironist — someone who says things she doesn't mean and (through moreor-less subtle contextual winks) expects us to intuit an unstated, smarter message underneath"

I'll think about that a bit.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Sacrificial Lame

Bush's :
The BBC has been told by a senior administration source that the speech setting out changes in Mr Bush's Iraq policy is likely to come in the middle of next week.

Its central theme will be sacrifice.

Yeah, sacrifice your intelligence to the genius of George W. Bush.

Sounds like a winner.
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