Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Trying Google's video search gadget

So far: meh.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Talking Richard Cohen Blues # 199,323

I just heard that peurile dolt, Richard Cohen, on Hardball. The discussion was about McCain saying that payroll taxes "are on the table," despite McCain often having said he will not raise taxes.

Cohen said that it shows that occasionally McCain will tell the truth.

By that token, then the .001 per cent of the time that McCain says he may raise taxes is the truth. The 99.999 percent of the time he says the exact opposite, he's telling untruths.

It's a binary choice: raise taxes or don't raise taxes. There's no fudging it. Cohen thinks that McCain us almost always telling falsehoods: and he admires him for very occasoinally not outright lying like he does the almost all the time he talks about taxes.

If Cohen loves McCain's maverickyness so much, shouldn't the Washington Post get a liberal to replace him?

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Compare and Contrast

Introduction to an Obama interview in the Jerusalem Post:
Two months ago in the Oval Office, President George W. Bush, coming to the end of a two-term presidency and presumably as expert on Israeli-Palestinian policy as he is ever going to be, was accompanied by a team of no fewer than five advisers and spokespeople during a 40-minute interview with this writer and three other Israeli journalists.

In March, on his whirlwind visit to Israel, Republican presidential nominee John McCain, one of whose primary strengths is said to be his intimate grasp of foreign affairs, chose to bring along Sen. Joe Lieberman to the interview our diplomatic correspondent Herb Keinon and I conducted with him, looked to Lieberman several times for reassurance on his answers and seemed a little flummoxed by a question relating to the nuances of settlement construction.

On Wednesday evening, toward the end of his packed one-day visit here, Barack Obama, the Democratic senator who is leading the race for the White House and who lacks long years of foreign policy involvement, spoke to The Jerusalem Post with only a single aide in his King David Hotel room, and that aide's sole contribution to the conversation was to suggest that the candidate and I switch seats so that our photographer would get better lighting for his pictures.

Several of Obama's Middle East advisers - including former Clinton special envoy Dennis Ross and ex-ambassador to Israel Daniel Kurtzer - were hovering in the vicinity. But Obama, who was making only his second visit to Israel, knew precisely what he wanted to say about the most intricate issues confronting and concerning Israel, and expressed himself clearly, even stridently on key subjects.

Of course, McCain's aides actually get quite pissy about interview lighting and stage management.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Good/Bad News

Good news: BBC America is airing Spaced, a spectacularly funny and inventive comedy that introduced me to Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright (creators of the great movies Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz), as well as Jessica Hynes (nee Stevenson), Nick Frost, and fine character actors Julia Deakin and Mark Heap.

Spaced is essentially a buddy sitcom (with the main buddies being a young man and woman -- Platonic roomates -- played by Pegg and Stevenson/Hynes), but it doesn't look like any other sitcom, though Arrested Development swiped some of the antic filming style. The writing is both strongly character-based and joke-laden (smartly so) and the filmic style is packed with clever direction and endless cinematic allusions and parodies. It definitely repays attention.

Bad news: generally it's airing late night/early morning on BBC America. DVR it!

Good news: The DVDs are soon to be available in the US. Ideal gifts for the astute cinephile, or great rentals from Netflix.

Spaced is just the sort of tv show that would have a kickass fan site.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Adamn Nagourney: Pompous Dickhead

"I've never had an experience like this, with this campaign or others. I thought they crossed the line. If you have a problem with a story I write, call me first. I'm a big boy. I can handle it. But they never called. They attacked me like I'm a political opponent."

Adam Nagourney of the NY Times

Nagourney, you wrote a piece called "Poll Finds Obama Isn't Closing Divide on Race" for the public at large. It's in the NYT and gets picked up by dozens of smaller outlets around the country. Millions of people could read it or part of it.

It was a really hackish piece, and had to be rebutted to the public at large to whom it was addressed. If instead the Obama campaign contacted you to talk about it sotto voce, would you write a piece the next day saying "My piece yesterday was totally wrongheaded and awful. I take it all back." Of course you wouldn't have--and even if you had, your initial turd would still be in the punchbowl.

Unfortunately, your idiocy had to be addressed after it had gotten out into the mediastream. If you were writing in your diary, then they could correct you personally. But instead they had to correct the broad and idiotic misimpression you created.

I don't understand this foolishness. Does he expect to make mistakes via a huge megaphone and only have those mistakes corrected to him personally behind closed doors, so the lies just sit out there?

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

There Will Be Blood

Shorter Washington Post Editorial Page:
It's not a war for oil, hippy. It's a war for oil company profits, and we'll lie about self-evident facts to continue it.

This is from one of the nation's formerly great newspapers. Man, this country is so fucked.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Matrix vs. Metamucil

From Ben Smith's Blog: The day in images -

Thanks to a commenter there for the headline.


uggabugga points to a horribly slanted (anti-Obama) report from ABC News.

The only two Iraqis they showed were not only supporting the Bush-McCain line, but did it in the PR-gobbledy speak currently popular with Bush and McCain.

One of them said "...taking into consideration what's going on on the ground," which is a focus group tested line from the Republicans. Funny how those things make their way to the Baghdad Green Zone.

With the anti-Clinton 9/11 docudrama, that ridiculous Hannity-driven anti-Obama "debate" which consisted of about 45-minutes of policy-free ad hominem questioning, and the importance of Mark "I Love Rush Limbaugh" Halperin as their political director, ABC has become Fox Light.


Sunday, July 20, 2008

Zombie Disraeli

Zombie Disraeli sets off John Holbo at Crooked Timber:
"What Brooks is arguing for is for Rockefeller Republicanism. The idea that you are ok with the New Deal, but you want a mean and flinty old man from New England to guard the money to pay for the largesse. But the Republicans just spend the last 40 years hunting that lot to extinction, starting with Goldwater in ‘64. But there is really no way to advocate Rockefeller Republicanism without admitting that ‘mistakes have been made’ – just as there is no way the Republicans can be the party of civil rights without admitting that ‘mistakes have been made’. Admitting you have a problem is obviously not enough. But it is a necessary first step."

It's well worth reading the whole of that long post, but I particularly enjoyed that section.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Fournier Analysis

Why has AP coverage of Obama been more than usually anti-Democrat this season? Here's a hint.

I've long been under the impression thatFournier is French for Prostitute.

Too bad the AP is taken over by right-wing sycophants this election season.

Friday, July 11, 2008

McCain: Adulterer and Bigamist

The LA Times reports thatMcCain got his marriage license to Cindy before he divorced his first wife. Funny, he told it differently in his biography.

Two wives at once: maybe he'll be more comfortable with Mormon Romney that I suspected.

Also, he committed adultery, which is breaking one of the Ten Commandments. Maybe when he said he would follow Osama to the gates of Hell that's because McCain knew that the old flyboy was going to end up there anyway.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

McCain: A Pensioner Against Pensions!

McCain thinks the way Social Security is funded is a "disgrace," since current workers pay for retirees.

He's been taking Navy retirement / disability checks for decades: those are paid by taxing current workers. He's not even taxed on them. Does he think that's a disgrace too?

I don't begrudge him disability at all--but he apparently begrudges Social Security for everyone else.

And more McCain economic absurdity from Kevin Drum and from the irreplacable Hilzoy.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

McCain Wishes He Had Bush's Silver Tongue

McCain isn't Bush: he's worse in many ways. Here, however, we'll only focus on how his brain fails his vocal cords.

Remember, the speaker is Mark Salter, who is on McCain's payroll and a true believer:
“[He] doesn’t ever want to be something that he is not,” Mr. Salter said, including trying to pass himself off as a larger-than-life figure on stage. “There’s nothing in there about him that wants to be rarefied.”

"Mr. Salter bemoans the current environment, in which, he said, “the press creates the expectation that you better not stumble on a word, or tell a joke that Mr. Rogers wouldn’t tell, or you’re going to be in trouble.”"
To the contrary, Mr. Salter: McCain's only chance is the current media environment, which overlooks his gaffes, befuddlement, and failure to grasp issues in favor of restating "HE'S A HERO!" as often and as unquestioningly as possible.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Florida Prenup

Florida bachelor-governor Charlie Crist, engaged at age 51 to Carole Rome. Rome owns a Halloween costume company.

I'm sure it specializes in beards.

[Hat tip to uggabugga]

Thursday, July 03, 2008

McCain and Craps: Elite and Old

Private high-stakes Vegas craps tables for McCain? That shows that McCain really is out of touch and from a different America than anyone I know.

It's not only that I don't even know the rules for craps while I play occasional friendly low-stakes games of poker.

But I associate craps with really old guys, and old movies. Practically the only times I see people playing craps is from movies or photos made before I was born.

Except when I see pictures of McCain at the craps table.

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