s skippy the bush kangaroo: August 2006

skippy the bush kangaroo



Thursday, August 31, 2006

hey, weekly standard, premature ejaculation called, they want their timing back

readers of this space may remember may. may was when dean barnett wrote an op-ed in the weekly standard opining that the left side of blogtopia (yes! we coined that phrase!) had peaked in its influence. the proof dan offered was the sitemeter traffic for dkos and atrios, pointing out that numbers had be dwindling steadily for several months.

we acknowledged that, yes, traffic was down at those two blogs, as others:

we concede that both dkos and atrios are not getting as many hits as they were 8 months ago. neither is instapundit. neither is booman, or the left coaster, or the next hurrah, or (sadly) skippy the bush kangaroo. all of those sites, and we bet many others, saw a huge and abnormal spike in traffic during the months of september/october 2005. it's almost as if some levees broke somewhere, flooding the internets with readers desperate for news about some important national event.
we continued on, demonstrating that traffic for other blogs, such as firedoglake and myleftwing, had indeed increased in the past months.

but we digress, which is our second favorite thing to do. our first favorite thing to do is talk about ourselves, so, here we go.

we are quite happy to report that, as of april (the low point in our decline), our humble site has steadily increased its monthly traffic numbers, with no downturns! this is the first time in our blog's history that every month has seen more numbers for an entire third of a year.

we're not sure about dkos or atrios, but who cares? nobody goes to dkos anymore, it's too crowded, as yogi berra once blogged. and duncan doesn't return our emails.

we'd like to thank you all for making this histrionic moment possible. now our numbers are...well, they're higher than in april. that's something!

[ed. note: another something to relish, is the fact that dan's assertion that "depending on how you count, the progressive blogosphere's won/loss record in competitive races between the parties hovers somewhere around 0-20," which was false even back then when he made it, has been totally blown out of the meme-water. nobody's smirking about how our candidates don't win any more.]
posted by skippy at 8:43 PM | 3 comments

you scream, i scream, we all scream for "the scream"

Example
the most famous represenation of modern day angst this side of a kevin federline dance number was recovered by the police in norway. asspress:

years after the brazen daylight theft of national artistic treasures from an oslo museum, police announced thursday they recovered the edvard munch masterpieces "the scream" and "madonna”…

"i saw the paintings myself today, and there was far from the damage that could have been feared," said iver stensrud, the police inspector who headed the investigation since the paintings were taken by masked gunmen who raided the munch museum on aug. 22, 2004.

experts from the munch museum confirmed late thursday that the paintings, still shielded from the public and the news media, were the real thing.

"the scream" is probably the best known work in munch's emotionally charged style, which was a major influence in the birth of the expressionist movement. its waif-like figure, apparently screaming or hearing a scream, has become a modern icon of human anxiety.
mr. and mrs. skippy had the privilege of seeing "the scream" when it toured the orange county museum of art in newport beach back in the 90's. the skippy's are both happy to know that it is resting back in its home.
maybe now that little guy on the bridge can drink some camomille and relax or something.
posted by skippy at 6:56 PM | 0 comments

dumpster diving for fun and profit

our friend allison of hartsongs sends us this seattle postintelligencer piece about northwest airlines trying to ease the pain of the layoffs of their soon-to-be ex-employees. apparently the company thought it was a good idea to tell folks that would be facing hard times (thanks to the company's poor management of its assets) that it's all right to pull stuff out of the garbage:

to help prepare employees for possible job losses or transitions, northwest sent out a 165-page handbook titled "ground operations restructuring q&a and employee support”…

what happened next should forever be included in a management case study in every mba program in the country.

northwest rattled some employees because of one section in the handbook. in that section -- "coping with job loss" -- was a list of "101 ways to save money," which was not reviewed by northwest management, according to blahoski.

now, remember this was given to employees, some of whom might be losing their jobs by no fault of their own. here's some of what they were told:

  • buy spare parts for your car at the junkyard.
  • get hand-me-down clothes and toys for your kids from family and friends…
  • hang clothes out to dry.
  • borrow a dress for a big night out, or go to a consignment shop.
  • ask your doctor for samples of prescriptions.
  • don't be shy about pulling something you like out of the trash.
it's not that any of these tips are unreasonable -- except for the one recommending dumpster diving -- it's the gall of a company under bankruptcy protection telling its employees how to better handle their money -- and in a frivolous, humiliating manner.

once employees objected to the advice, airline officials quickly apologized.
sure. "we're sorry you're out of work and we're not. hey, check it out, is that half a sandwich in that trash can?"
posted by skippy at 6:24 PM | 0 comments

poor senator allen (r-dude ranch)...

he can't seem to find steady ground to stand on these days:

...first, allen's campaign manager referred "to the 'macaca' story with a barnyard epithet and insist that the senator had nothing to apologize for." then, as criticism mounted, allen apologized.

but yesterday on fox, allen said that virginians don't "actually care" that he made the remark and it's "only the media" who thinks it's an issue.

...

actually, according to a poll taken after allen finally apologized, 67% of virginians found allen's remarks "inappropriate" and a majority believe "he needs to say more about the incident. {think progress}


either that, or allen should avoid the issue altogether. that 19-point lead he had in june is all gone...

(big hop for kos...)
posted by Jim Yeager at 1:43 PM | 0 comments

say hello

to george w. bush is shameless.
posted by skippy at 11:01 AM | 0 comments

well, we knew they drove badly, but still...

yes, you heard it correctly. a sitting us senator accused cab drivers of being hacks by day, terrorists by night. cookie jill sends us to cnn.com:

republican sen. conrad burns, whose recent comments have stirred controversy, says the united states is up against a faceless enemy of terrorists who "drive taxi cabs in the daytime and kill at night."

during a fundraiser wednesday with first lady laura bush, the three-term montana senator talked about terrorism, tax cuts and the money he has brought to his state. burns is one of the more vulnerable senate incumbents, facing a tough challenge from democrat jon tester.

he has drawn criticism in recent weeks for calling his house painter a "nice little guatemalan man" during a june speech. burns, whose re-election campaign is pressing for tighter immigration controls, also suggested that the man might be an illegal immigrant. the campaign later said the worker is legal…

at the campaign event with bush, burns talked about the war on terrorism, saying a "faceless enemy" of terrorists "drive taxi cabs in the daytime and kill at night."

bush described burns as a strong advocate for montana farmers and families.
because there's so many foreign cab drivers in montana.

"hey, habib, can you take me to butte? but swing around the north entrance to yellowstone, first, i gotta pick up a bison."
posted by skippy at 9:45 AM | 0 comments

edward r. murrow lives

he lives on in the guise of keith olbermann. c&l has the video of keith's bitch-slapping of donald "my troops" rumsfeld, and it's a joy to behold.

addendum: media bloodhounds gives us his views on olbermann's rant.
posted by skippy at 12:07 AM | 0 comments

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

joe-nertia: apply directly to your forehead!

helen ubinas in the hartford courant found out that joe-nertia's campaign manager was pretty agitated about the commercial that was supposed to have a calming effect on everybody:

gerstein was downright chafed when i called him about the new age-y lieberman ad that urges folks to step away from the negativity of the campaign and think of all the "good stuff ... like sen. lieberman saving jobs, improving health care and keeping us safe. eighteen years of honest leadership. there's nothing negative about that."

there's still no beating the lamont ads; the bad coffee one is my favorite. but cheesy as lieberman's new ad was, at least the sun-over-water video had a nice late-summery feel. then the lamont folks realized the "sunrise" was actually a sunset, and called it a metaphor for the senator's career.

and things got ... well, negative.

this is just more negativity coming from the lamont camp, gerstein fumed. "they're so blind in their hatred of joe lieberman that they have to make even the most trivial, silly things an issue."

breathe, buddy, breathe ...

"i've already gotten three calls about this. it just shows how tone deaf people are. why aren't they calling about lamont's flip-flop on earmarks? why isn't that an issue?"

ok, now he was making me tense.

"this is a camp that mocks joseph lieberman's wife and kids and we make one honest mistake that we own up to and they jump all over it. i can send you documents that show how much more negative they are than us, how they continue to resort to these kinds of tactics. ... it's not even a close call."

i thought we were all going to relax and get away from the negativity here.
helen goes on to make a really good point: this obsession with "liebermont," as she calls it, is getting as boring as tomkat/brangelina headlines. after a while, who cares anymore?

apparently, dan gerstein does:

"it's actually a sunrise," gerstein initially insisted. "it's very much a sunrise."

actually, it's very much a sunset, as pro-lamont bloggers gleefully pointed out. they even tracked down the video used in the ad on the getty images web page. clip 843-2: "wide shot sun setting over ocean/ birds walking along water's edge/ santa barbara."

"wow," said gazeena, the helpful customer rep at getty images. "that's too bad."

there is a 30-day return policy, she offered. but it's only good for half the purchase price, somewhere around $1,000, she said. "and if it's already been used, i'm not sure that applies."

apparently that's not going to be an issue; gerstein said they were going to continue to use the ad.

"of course we will," he said. "why in god's name wouldn't we, just because ned lamont's people reflectively attack us? that's just insane."

good stuff, dan, remember? think about the good stuff ...
note to dan gerstein: take your own commercial's advice.
posted by skippy at 11:33 PM | 0 comments

we're fonda peter too

we just wanted to see if it was on youtube...



and yup! it was! with special guests hugh hefner and bill cosby!
posted by skippy at 9:06 PM | 0 comments

beam me up, homer



some kid in his room does the simpsons vs. star trek
posted by skippy at 9:02 PM | 0 comments

not that we needed any proof

pam at the dem daily demonstrates very clearly why the economy sucks in spite of the rah-rah cheerleading by the multi-millioinaire media.
posted by skippy at 8:54 PM | 0 comments

happy labor of love day

the freeway blogger wants us to remind you that this weekend you should take some time to participate in the impeachment project.

just paint a big sign that says "impeach" and hang it somewhere visible. it's that easy! and fun, too!

and then after hanging it, be sure to take a picture of it and send it to the freeway blogger! he'll post it on the website!

Labels: ,

posted by skippy at 8:46 PM | 0 comments

you don't mind picking up the check, do you?

cookie jill sends us this tasty tidbit: awol is traveling on your dime. asspress:

bankrolled almost entirely by taxpayers, president bush is roaming far and wide on air force one to help republicans retain control of congress and capture statehouse contests in high-stakes midterm elections.

in in 15 months, including back-to-back fundraisers wednesday in little rock, ark., and nashville, tenn., bush has collected $166 million for the campaign accounts of 27 republican candidates, the national gop and its state counterparts across the country, according to the republican national committee.

high-dollar washington galas headlined by the fundraiser-in-chief brought in a big share of the total. the president also has scooped up campaign cash in 36 cities, travels that have taken him as near as mclean, va., in the washington suburbs and as far as medina, wash., 2,800 miles to the west. on thursday, bush adds yet another locale to the list: salt lake city.

all this to-and-fro presidential politicking is only expected to increase as november draws closer. and it is the taxpayers, not the campaigns or political parties, who foot most of the travel bill.
posted by skippy at 8:35 PM | 0 comments

if he's lost the mormons, he's lost america

the salt lake tribune:

some 4,000 protesters streamed into washington square surrounding the salt lake city/county building downtown to protest the war in iraq and president george w. bush, who was scheduled to arrive this evening for an appearance before the national convention of the american legion...
Example
[salt lake city mayor rocky] anderson -- who has taken heat from republicans for his support of the anti-war demonstration -- was greeted with a huge cheer and the crowd at washington square began chanting, "rocky, rocky, rocky."

placards waved with slogans like: "impeach bush," "regime change begins at home" and "dissent is the highest form of patriotism."

big-headed papier mache likenesses of bush, secretary of defense donald rumsfeld and secretary of state condoleezza rice added to the carnival atmosphere.

but the gathering turned serious when anderson called the bush administration to task for inserting the united states in what he called "an unnecessary war based on false justifications."

"blind faith in bad leaders is not patriotism," he said. "we are here today to insist that those who were elected to be our leaders tell us the truth. if we had the truth, we wouldn’t be in iraq today"…

the mayor said it was "chilling" that bush and his administration could continue to lie to the american people with impunity.

"these imperious, arrogant, dishonest people think we should just fall in line with them and continue to take them at their word."

anderson said coming generations will pay the price for the bush administration's "lies, violence, cruelty, incompetence and inhumanity."

the mayor called for "a new day," saying citizens "must be cognizant of our moral responsibility to speak up in the face of wrongdoing."

"we must pursue peace as vigorously as the bush administration has pursued war," he said.
more pics here.
posted by skippy at 8:20 PM | 0 comments

google, like life, is entirely random

don't ask us how we came up fourth on the results for the search "visit a country that has changed its name within the past 50 where are kangaroos."
posted by skippy at 8:00 PM | 0 comments

katrina links

here's a whole webpage of links to katrina stories.
posted by skippy at 6:53 PM | 0 comments

"not again"...

the most revealing moment of awol's presidency -- the so-called defining moment -- may have taken place in new orleans, not one year ago, but yesterday:

...mr. bush had at least one exchange with a local resident that made reference to the flawed responses last year, and his role in it.

as mr. bush squeezed through tables at a pancake house where he ate breakfast, a waitress asked, "mr. president, are you going to turn your back on me?"

"no, ma'am," he replied, with a laugh and a pause. "not again."


that says it all.
posted by Jim Yeager at 4:42 PM | 0 comments

joke of the week...

gordon of alternate brain e-mailed it to me:

a man and his wife were working in their garden one day, and the man looks over at his wife and says, "your butt is getting really big, I mean really big. I bet your butt is bigger than the barbecue."

with that, he proceeded to get a measuring tape and measured the grill, and then went over to where his wife was working and measured his wife's bottom.

"yes, i was right, your butt is two inches wider than the barbecue!"

the woman chose to ignore her husband.

later than night in bed, the husband is feeling a little frisky. he makes some advances toward his wife, who completely brushes him off.

"what's wrong?" he asks.

she answers, "do you really think i'm going to fire up this big-ass grill for one little weenie?"
posted by Jim Yeager at 11:28 AM | 0 comments

mmm adhd

we stil can't really understand what usatoady (proud member of the mmm: the multi-millionaire media) is trying to do with this piece:

on aug. 8, connecticut businessman ned lamont defeated u.s. sen. joe lieberman in the democratic primary, a triumph widely credited to the rah-rah racket produced by pro-lamont armies stationed along the internet.

indeed, the bloggers had scored big. they had helped vault a local politician to national prominence and cemented the iraq war as issue no. 1 in the congressional elections. not a bad day.

but their victory was short-lived. even before the primary, lieberman announced that, should he lose, he'd still run in november as an independent. this electoral chutzpah effectively rope-a-doped the bloggers and recharged the senator's fabled joe-mentum. lieberman's still the man to beat in the general election.

if this wasn't enough to drain the effervescence from the blogger bubbly, america's noisy web wags were dealt an even more sobering blow 10 days later when snakes on a plane opened nationwide to a decidedly flat $15.3 million box office.
that's right. apparently because 'snakes on a plane' under-performed (in the eyes of the people who, for no logical reason, assumed it would be a smash box office blockbuster; none of those people were bloggers), that alone proves that ned lamont is running a fool's errand.

somehow author bruce kluger contorts logic and adult standards of thought into such pretzled positions that the box office receipts for an admittedly-bad b movie is reflective of what citizens want from their politicians. and the people that listen to what other people write about same on their blogs are nuts to do so.

we don't even want to get into the specific logic oxymorons within bruce's piece. such as this opening sentence to one of his paragraphs:

lieberman's boomerang reminds us that voters represent a meager percentage of the total populace — and that bloggers are an even tinier subset of that group.
uh, bruce, in an election, voters are the only ones who count. the larger set of "people, including those who don't vote," doesn't really factor into whether lieberman or lamont get elected.

does it?

we're not sure.

bruce may have a point, but he mangles it badly. to be sure, anyone who thought they could predict the future by reading the blogs is an idiot. just as anyone who thought they could predict the future by reading gop talking points is an idiot.

the problem, bruce, is that "journalists" today like to read things and predict the future, insted of getting off their butts and investigating and analyzing and comparing and presenting their findings to the ameircan public. it's so much easier to read someone else's opinions and then make fun of them when those opinions don't match the over-hyped imagined results you ascribed to them.

in a nutshell, which is where this article belongs, to liken lamont's run against lieberman to the opening of a purposefully-bad summer flick (#1 for the week, may we remind you) would be like saying "hey, david brooks really liked 'cinderella man,' which was kind of bad, so why should we listen to what he has to say about iraq?" granted, brooks has no taste or logic, but only someone with an advanced case of adhd would assume a causal relationship between his foreign policy expertise and his taste in movies.

but, towards the end of bruce's piece, we actually get a glimpse of what really underlies the whole screed. once again, the green-eyed monster raises its ugly head:

ever since the first smarty-pants posted his first unsolicited opinion on the internet, americans have become captivated by blog-o-mania — for good reason. for once, we own and operate our own public medium. power to the people. vox populi. yadda-yadda.
yes, bruce wishes that even one tenth of the people who read dkos and fdl (and even skippy) on a daily basis would read him and hold his words in high regard.

you may want to write bruce and remind him that the "people" to whom the power is going are the same folks who read his rag, so he may want to avoid insulting them in the future.

yada yada.

addendum: for further yada yada, check out ntodd and kieran healy.

double addendum: and the real ugly american puts in his two ugly cents, as does outside james joyner on outside the beltway.
posted by skippy at 10:06 AM | 0 comments

say hello

to swatch it.
posted by skippy at 9:46 AM | 0 comments

the hurricane that hit oregon

cookie jill sends us this page of oregonlive that tells how even that northwest state is reeling from the effects of katrina:

the oregon national guard says it's in bad financial shape because the federal government and louisiana have not paid the $2.7 million they owe the guard for relief and law enforcement work last year after hurricane katrina.

if the guard doesn't receive the money soon, it will have to appeal to the legislature's emergency board for more cash or be forced to close its 41 armories located throughout the state and possibly even two air bases, capt. mike braibish, an oregon national guard spokesman, said monday.

the oregon guard would still have federal money to pay for training and activities. but it would run out of state money budgeted for maintenance and operations by december, braibish said.
w
posted by skippy at 9:41 AM | 0 comments

bushtemberfest!
(do I have to wear lederhosen? )

victor hugo said, "there is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come," and my pal steve has such an idea: bushtemberfest!
bushtemberfest, or the festival of fatal fuckups, will give gop-weary americans a chance to celebrate the non-accomplishments of george w. bush, the first president to let one major american city be devastated by terrorists and allow another one to drown, all within the space of a few years. the observance will start with the anniversary of the flooding of new orleans and climax with the anniversary of the destruction of the world trade center, during which time we will pray — loudly and publicly — that no other disasters befall us while we await the blessed day that king george and his menagerie of religious hucksters, corporate bandits and ideological grifters get their eviction notice.
i strongly recommend you read the entire posting and learn more about this new holiday.

the bushtemberfest is on, people!
posted by DBK at 8:28 AM | 0 comments

ritalin needed in the oval office

the assimilated press discusses the epidemic of feral children in america:

childhood psychologists such as dr. boyden t. benton of the harvard institute of adolescent bad behavior are concerned, "these children have no grounding. they are uncivilized. all they do is scream and eat sugar. this is having very serious consequences. we are seeing children as young as five years old who are completely deaf and suffering from diabetes. furthermore, test scores for american children are plummeting to the lowest levels ever recorded undermining the nation's lead in science and technology." dr. benton then said "many of these problems stem from a lack of good role models."

when informed of this issue and the substantial negative impact to the country, president george w. bush screamed, cried, rolled on the floor and threatened to hold his breath until america regained its dominance in the world.
posted by skippy at 12:09 AM | 0 comments

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

we'd hate to be at the phillips house next thanksgiving

whoops! cnn anchor kyra phillips inadvertantly left her mic on when she went to the little girls room. no, get your minds out of the gutter, that's not what america heard under awol's droning on about what he's gonna do for katrina reconstruction. rather, kyra was dishing the dirt on her in-laws, particularly her sister-in-law, who is, apparently, a "control freak."



reuters:

live from" anchor kyra phillips had apparently left the set around 12:48 p.m. edt tuesday for a bathroom break while the news channel carried bush's speech marking the one-year anniversary of hurricane katrina. phillips' wireless microphone was turned on and picked up about a minute and a half of a muffled conversation she had with an unidentified woman where she apparently talked about her husband, laughed and talked about her brother.

"i've got to be protective of him," she said without being aware that the mike was on. "he's married, three kids, and his wife is just a control freak." cnn anchor daryn kagan broke into the telecast immediately afterward updating viewers on what bush had been saying.
we suggest you listen for the zipper, right after "brothers have to be protective."
posted by skippy at 10:58 PM | 0 comments

us too

best political commerical ever

posted by skippy at 5:31 PM | 0 comments

but you gotta admit, moses was there, too!

max blumenthal, writing in the nation, points out that sen. george allen's "macaca" mis-step was only one in a pattern of calculated behavior. the pr event that has even more potential to harm allen's run for prez, blumenthal muses, was commemorated in a 1996 photograph showing allen with then-nra president charlton heston, and a few officers of the council of conservative citizens, or ccc:

Example

in 1996, when governor allen entered the washington hilton hotel to attend the conservative political action conference, an annual gathering of conservative movement organizations, he strode to a booth at the entrance of the exhibition hall festooned with two large confederate flags--a booth operated by the council of conservative citizens (ccc), at the time a co-sponsor of cpac. after speaking with ccc founder and former white citizens council organizer gordon lee baum and two of his cohorts, allen suggested that they pose for a photograph with then-national rifle association spokesman and actor charlton heston. the photo appeared in the summer 1996 issue of the ccc's newsletter, the citizens informer.

according to baum, allen had not naively stumbled into a chance meeting with unfamiliar people. he knew exactly who and what the ccc was about and, from baum's point of view, was engaged in a straightforward political transaction. "it helped us as much as it helped him," baum told me. "we got our bona fides." and so did allen.

descended from the white citizens' councils that battled segregation in the jim crow south, the ccc is designated a "hate group" by the southern poverty law center. in its "statement of principles," the ccc declares, "we also oppose all efforts to mix the races of mankind, to promote non-white races over the european-american people through so-called "affirmative action" and similar measures, to destroy or denigrate the european-american heritage, including the heritage of the southern people, and to force the integration of the races."
where's your macaca now, moses?

and watch the fun as the senator tries to back-peddle his way out of this one:

asked whether allen supports or deplores the ccc, john reid, his communications director pleaded ignorance. "i am unaware of the group you mention or their agenda and because we have no record of the senator having involvement with them i cannot offer you any opinion on them," reid told me in an e-mail response.
pretty interesting, considering that when he was governor, allen appointed a member of the ccc to his state government:

in 1995, he appointed a ccc sympathizer, virginia lawyer r. jackson garnett, to head the virginia council on day care and serve on the governor's advisory council on self-determination and federalism. according to the ccc's citizens informer, garnett delivered a speech before a ccc gathering saying that the federalism commission was "created to study abuses by the federal government of constitutional powers that rightfully belong to the states."

later that year, garnett closed the virginia council on day care after accusing it, as he wrote in a letter to governor allen, of attempting to "form the minds of our young children with a radical ideology before they enter public schools." the virginia council had aroused garnett's ire, according to the virginian-pilot newspaper, for preparing an "anti-bias" curriculum for day care teachers. allen approved the shut-down.
blumenthal makes a pretty good case that allen is hedging his confederate bets in his race for re-election, and perhaps as a future gop presidential candidate. using code words and dog-whistle language to satisfy his neo-confederate constituency while trying to maintain his innocence of such ("i meant that the kid wears a mohawk! yeah, that's the ticket!"), allen hopes to garner as much support with the bigots and the anti-bigots as possible.
posted by skippy at 4:33 PM | 0 comments

say hello

to rabble.
posted by skippy at 1:34 PM | 0 comments

really big gun to campaign for joe-nertia

yet, predictably, the really big gun is a...wait for it...repubbblican! the stamford advocate:

sen. joe lieberman, running for re-election as an independent after losing the democratic primary and being abandoned by top-ranking democrats earlier this month, will campaign with former republican vice presidential candidate jack kemp, lieberman said tuesday.

kemp, a former congressman and secretary of housing and urban development, telephoned lieberman to offer support to the three-term senator's campaign against greenwich businessman ned lamont, lieberman said. no date for the visit has been set.
well, in case somebody still held onto the fantasy that lieberman was anything close to a democrat, this should finally, and soundly, burst that bubble.

meanwhile, the new zogby poll has joe-nertia ahead by about 10 points.
posted by skippy at 1:11 PM | 0 comments

journamalism is hard*

mike stark, who asked sen. george allen at a press event if he ever used the word 'nigger' before, takes issue with how that meeting was characterized in the local press. but not being happy with just taking issue, he took steps, engaging the reporter in an email exchange (politely; we can all learn from mike how to keep a conversation with strangers on a civil level).

surprisingly, the reporter stood by the majority of his story, even when mike produced actual hard evidence to the contrary. who would have thunk?



*yes! atrios coined that phrase!
posted by skippy at 10:18 AM | 0 comments

plutons of the solar system, unite!

it may be that, more than anything else in this universe, pluto represented the fact that we are all, ultimately, alone. it may be the fortuitous coincidence that walt disney named mickey mouse's pet after the roman god of the underworld (and they say walt had no sense of irony). it may be that people just got tired of uranus getting all the jokes.

whatever it is, the announcement last week that pluto is no longer a planet by the international association of astronomers with big space bugs up their asses has burrowed itself into our collective psyche deeper than the galileo penetrated jupiter's atmosphere.

jeff foust writes in the space review:

regardless of whether people agreed or disagreed with the iau’s decision, there was a level of passion rarely found among the general public when it comes to space matters.

what drives that passion? what’s remarkable about pluto is that, even before this latest development, many people had ascribed to it human feelings, calling it a “lonely” world in the outer solar system and considering it something like the little planet that could. (the ultimate in this is a baltimore sun column “written” by pluto itself in response to the iau decision.) now, anthropomorphizing inanimate objects is nothing new for humans: we do it all the time from items ranging from cars to computers, but less often to celestial objects. how often do people talk about neptune’s feelings?

however, perhaps the biggest reason why the iau’s decision got so much attention was that it changed one of the fundamental facts that everyone knows. the vast majority of people alive today have only known a solar system with nine planets, even if they were hard-pressed to name those nine. yet suddenly, with little more than a stroke of a pen, that basic fact was suddenly changed. it would be like waking up to find out there were only 49 states in the union, or that snow white cavorted with only six dwarfs.
it does seem, even to those of us who respect and enjoy science, that a group of elitist know-it-alls decided to arbitrarily change our entire perception of the universe, or, at least, of our solar system.

and, in response to that very perception, a group of school children in bakersfield overwhelmingly voted to keep pluto a planet. bakersfield.com (registration required!):

third- through sixth-graders voted 258 to 64, defying the international astronomical union's thursday decision that pluto is a dwarf planet.

teacher nick dokolas invited other teachers to discuss the change with their classes and have them vote on whether the scientists made the right decision.

posters around columbia urged students to vote: "pluto makes the world go round!" or "boo pluto!" …

dokolas took an in-class vote wednesday and his students were divided, 17-10 in favor of pluto's planetary status.

"i felt like there was sort of an emotional connection to pluto," dokolas said.

one student in dokolas' class said textbooks would have to change, which he thought was silly.

"they have to rewrite everything they know about pluto," said lenny gonzalez.

perhaps the first thing to change will be the mnemonic used for the solar system. dokolas said one of his fourth-graders, sydney lewis, suggested changing it from: "my very excellent mother just made us nine pizzas," to "my very excellent mother just made us noodles."
leave it to kids to see the important things in such matters.

the baltimore sun piece that foust referred to wraps it up pretty well, in first person pluton:

there i was, midning my own business, orbiting the sun just like all the others. i got my little bit of atmosphere going, got a lot of ice. i was cool. i stayed out of everybody's way, sometimes way out.

then some eggheds on that uppity third rock -- they think they're so hot becuase they have "life" -- went and decided i'm not a planet anymore. what's up with that? my life is hard enough as it is.

first of all, it takes forever for me to do a lap around the sun, and it gets really lonely out here. they tell me that part of the reason i'm not a planet anymore is that some of the time i sneak inside my buddy neptune's orbit. what do they expect? i need somebody to talk to out here sometimes. and don't get me started about that mass of junk they call charon that is supposedly my partner in non-planethood; charon is dead to me.
that, in a nutshell, is why people are taking pluto's side in this terrible injustice. so many of us feel that, even if we keep our heads down and stay out of trouble, the powers that be at anytime at all could make a decree that totally destroys our way of life, or at least our status in the universe.

pluto is, in more ways than one, the ultimate underdog. or, is it? dr. joan bushwell's chimpanzee refuge asks: is pluto really a dog?

  1. all dogs must have at least four toes on each paw (not including the dewclaw).
  2. all dogs must have at least two distinct eyes.
  3. all male dogs must possess external genitalia (or, if neutered, visible remnants thereof).
  4. if its tail resembles a flagellum, it ain't a dog.
poor pluto!Example
posted by skippy at 9:37 AM | 0 comments

Monday, August 28, 2006

say hello

to ole blue the heretic's almost daily gazette.
posted by skippy at 9:13 PM | 0 comments

(e) all of the above

lambert at correntewire has a poll asking what the mmm (multi-millionaire media) will cover next now that the jonbenet ramsey story has fizzled out.
posted by skippy at 9:11 PM | 0 comments

one year later

the repubbbs are trying like mad to rehabilitate awol's image vis a vis his inaction on katrina for the upcoming anniversary of the terrible death and destruction. luckily for us, various bloggers are hard at work to make sure the truth is remembered.

Example

as usual, prime scout at first draft is the main go-to gal for what's really happening in n'awlins, and today she gives us video of the unbreakable spirit of new orleans in the guise of the arabi wrecking krewe volunteers helping to gut the destroyed homes of nola musicians.

americablog points out that, even with another hurricane on its way, awol is still on vacation, while the left coaster wonders why he's shaking hands with soldiers in mississippi instead of walking the streets of n'awlins on this anniversary.

christy at fdl does a good job of rounding up the mmm (multi-millionaire media)'s take on the anniversary

our own mimus pauly, who lived thru hurricane isabel in virginia 3 years ago, quotes the richmond times-dispatch as it wonders if the big easy can take another hit.

shakespeare's sister analyzes the data and comes up with the result: the katrina disaster was the inevitable disaster in the wake of awol's conservatism success.

and, speaking of data, digby has katrina by the numbers.

tchris at talkleft points out that only half of the big easy's courts are up and running, and there's a huge backlog of cases pending.

zuzu at feministe points out that katrina undercut awol's image as the "get things done" president, while the heretik compares the bad taste of conan o'brien's emmy's skit to the bad taste of awol's presidency. and, maha apparently linked to all these bloggers hours before we did.

and booman puts it all rather succinctly:

anyone that expects compassion from george w. bush has paid no attention to his curriculum vitae. he started out blowing up frogs with firecrackers and he hasn't let up or changed his ways for anyone. with over 40,000 innocent lives already on his hands, he has nothing left to lose. if there is a hell, his place in it is secured.
posted by skippy at 6:30 PM | 0 comments

apparently rupert murdock insisted

the satirical political report tells us terrorist pay ransom to be rid of fox news journalists.
posted by skippy at 6:23 PM | 0 comments

catch two early worms and call us in the morning

our buddy from across the aisle chuck simmins does battle with his town supervisor in his home town paper's article on the bird flu.
posted by skippy at 12:58 PM | 0 comments

proof positive

mediabloodhound lists the numbers, folks, and asks what is more impeachable than this?
posted by skippy at 12:57 PM | 0 comments

have you had enough?

reader rose sends us to the enigmatic paradox who sings us a great song "have you had enough?"
posted by skippy at 12:53 PM | 0 comments

the bristol stomp

joe-nertia gets absolutely zero support from the local politicos in bristol, conn. the bristol press:

of the five political leaders reached friday, including two long-time lieberman backers, none said they'd support the incumbent in his effort to push aside democratic contender ned lamont or republican alan schlesinger in the nov. 7 general election.

only one, state rep. roger michele, a bristol democrat from the 77th district, failed to offer support for his party's choice. michele refused to endorse anyone in the race.

"let's see how it plays out," michele said.

the city's republican chairman, art mocabee, said he backs the gop hopeful, alan schlesinger of derby, despite the reluctance of some of the party's most powerful politicians to stand by him.

perhaps the most striking defection from the lieberman camp is state sen. tom colapietro, a bristol democrat who has represented the 31st district since 1992.

colapietro and lieberman have had a cozy relationship for years. colapietro said their friendship goes back four decades.

but times have changed.

"i am still a democrat so i am going to support the democratic nominee," colapietro said. "i'm still a team player."

two democratic city councilors - ellen zoppo and craig minor - said friday they're also backing lamont.
posted by skippy at 9:49 AM | 0 comments

they get letters

pennlive.com gets a letter about the repubbbs' use of the fatwah metaphor applied to americans against the war:

in his aug. 11 column, cal thomas, using the term "taliban democrats" six times and the words "fatwah" and "jihad," bemoans sen. joe lieberman's defeat in the connecticut primary.

his intent is to describe democrats who oppose president bush and his misbegotten iraq adventure as akin to terrorists who willingly sacrifice good men for their antiwar aims. i believe most democrats would describe themselves as against the war in iraq, not against a war on terrorism.

thomas claims that lieberman supported the war in iraq because american failure would have catastrophic consequences. how ironic. if we had not made the unnecessary incursion into iraq, we would not face the possibility of failure and catastrophe.

as it is, consider the consequences now: the deaths of 2,600 service people, the wounding and maiming of thousands of others, the cost of billions of dollars, the slaughter of thousands of iraqi civilians. terrorism activities have been greatly exacerbated and we stand a distinct chance of being caught in the middle of an iraqi civil war.

it's obvious that thomas was alarmed by the results of the democratic primary in connecticut, not because he cares about the fate of sen. lieberman, but because he can see that the opposition to the iraq war is real and growing and could result in many gop losses in november.

-- g. william cromer, mechanicsburg
posted by skippy at 9:24 AM | 0 comments

Sunday, August 27, 2006

dan you ignorant jerk

texas jaye at blondesense does a cute little point/counterpoint with michael noer's forbes article how do women, careers and marriage mix? not well, say social scientists:

guys: a word of advice. marry pretty women or ugly ones. short ones or tall ones. blondes or brunettes. just, whatever you do, don't marry a woman with a career.
gals: a word of advice. marry handsome men or ugly ones. short ones or tall ones. blonds or brunettes. just, whatever you do, don't marry a man with no sense of shared responsibilities.
why? because if many social scientists are to be believed, you run a higher risk of having a rocky marriage. while everyone knows that marriage can be stressful, recent studies have found professional women are more likely to get divorced, more likely to cheat, less likely to have children, and, if they do have kids, they are more likely to be unhappy about it. a recent study in social forces, a research journal, found that women--even those with a "feminist" outlook--are happier when their husband is the primary breadwinner.
why? because he just doesn't get it. if he doesn't get it and get to counseling, then get the hell out. you didn't marry him so you would have to clean up after him, you didn't marry him to compete about who has the higher salary. you didn't marry him because you needed to marry him. you married him for the same reasons you stay married to him, because you found someone who is your partner and who wants you to excel at being yourself. why be married to someone who isn't willing to cook, clean, and raise the kids? why is his job more important?
posted by skippy at 8:35 PM | 0 comments

around the world via blogtopia

yes, we coined that phrase, but bob harris coined the phrase "trebekistan."

Example

bob's new book prisoner of trebekistan, in which he recounts his trevails as a champion on jeopardy will be in bookstores sept. 5, so pre-order yours now.

but that's not why we write this. no, we wanted to share with you bob's impressive photo-journalistic display of his world-wide travels, including istanbul, the cape of good hope, tasmania and indonesia.

bob's not only a world-class writer, he's a photographer good enough for the travel channel!
posted by skippy at 8:07 PM | 0 comments

those tax cuts for paris assist in acts that could be construed to be terrorism

our country's infrastructure needs more financial help than paris' makeovers.

a pipeline is shut down in alaska.

equipment failures disrupt air travel in los angeles.

electricity runs short at a spy agency in Maryland

in pennsylvania, the condition of roads and bridges reaches a crisis point.

none of these has resulted from a natural disaster or terrorist attack, but they might as well have, some homeland security experts say.

they worry that too little attention is being paid to how fast the country's basic operating systems are deteriorating. - pennlive.com
what do these....events have in common? they all involve outcomes that a terrorist group would aspire to achieve. if a terrorist group were able to knock the nsa off-line, or disrupt one of the nation’s busiest airports, or shut down the most important oil pipeline in the nation, the impact would be perceived as devastating. and yet, we’ve essentially let these things happen (or almost happen) to ourselves. the same thing could be said of the destruction of the city of new orleans from hurricane katrina. the damage from the hurricane could have been mitigated if the city’s levees had been managed effectively over the last several decades. - hlswatch.com
posted by Cookie Jill at 6:22 PM | 0 comments

remembering the big easy

the one year anniversary of the destructive force of katrina is fast approaching. the death of a great american city should be commemorated in someway. I feel that to celebrate the life that was new orleans, put some gumbo on the stove like any self respecting louisiana home has done for decades....bbq up some shrimp ala manale's....slather on the bourbon sauce to a sublime Bread Pudding ala commander's palace. eat. drink. laissez les bon temp roulez.
it's no secret that new orleanians live to eat, or that their distinctive creole cooking is an international symbol of the city's gumbo-pot history and tradition. but in practical terms, the restaurant scene is a life force for the community, pumping about $2 billion into the local economy and employing one in 10 new orleanians before the storm.

the industry took a major hit, according to the Louisiana Restaurant Association, with 54 percent of the metro area's 3,414 restaurants still closed. among those still missing in action are neighborhood favorites such as mandina's, mandich, gabrielle, and gautreau's, some of which are being rebuilt.

most famous restaurants in the french quarter and uptown, however, were spared serious damage from the hurricane. the toll of weeks without electricity in the summer swelter, though, proved to be costly enough. emeril lagasse's three restaurants lost $1.4 million worth of wine alone. and then there was the pervasive reek of spoiled walk-in refrigerators.

"who knew that steak would turn to liquid and seep through the floors and walls?" said ti martin, whose family owns the 126-year-old commander's palace, which was stripped down to the studs for a $6 million-plus renovation. "we saved the molding, and that's about it." - philly.com

one organization that has been doing some amazing work supplying morale, operating soup kitchens, organizing school cafeterias and providing support and good warm creole/cajun meals to those left destitute and abandoned in the gulf region is share our strength. they are sponsoring a restaurants for relief night this tuesday. please see if there is a participating restaurant near you.

also, please check out chefs in exile -
every new orleanian has a katrina story... but some come with recipes.:
chefs in exile will document the personal stories of these chefs: how they survived Katrina and fought heroically to reopen their damaged restaurants-understaffed, with no potable water, and often homeless themselves. in the darkest days following the hurricane, these chefs provided solace through their cooking to family and friends, stranded hotel guests, and relief workers throughout the city and beyond.
posted by Cookie Jill at 6:08 PM | 1 comments

all right, i surrender...

i wrote, "okay, one more..." -- and i was prepared to leave it at that -- no matter who complained. but i had forgotten one little thing: many moons ago, i gave my little sister access to my blog. the reason i did that was, should something happen to me (say, getting hit by a bus, shot by a brainless wonder bread bigot, overdosing on pizza, or dying of the sort of heartbreak known as persistent frustration), she could let the precious few readers of my own blog know what happened.

well, she must have decided that my sudden attack of neo-puritanism was ridiculous, because she went and posted four of the toons i refused to post either here or at the medley. now that i'm thinking about it, i guess my reluctance here is a bit silly. however, this is the first time she's bothered to post anything on my blog -- this is what it takes to get her to speak up?!

lil' sis, come on. you're reading the blog run by skippy the bush kangaroo -- speak up! it's okay!

and another thing -- you and i are gonna have a spirited discussion when i return home for the holidays...
posted by Jim Yeager at 8:03 AM | 0 comments

it's hard to reid lieberman

bob geiger has an excellent take on why sen. reid is so coy about whether or not the senate dems will take away lieberman's ranking committee appointments if lieberman manages to win the november election.

based on the way the senate works procedurally, this is simply not something that reid even has the authority to do.

let me break down why that is.

the membership in senate committees is decided at the start of every congress with a haggled-out thing called an "organizing resolution." the entire senate votes on it and it usually passes by unanimous consent. organizing resolutions can also happen when party shake-ups occur in the middle of a congress, like when vermont's jim jeffords bolted from the gop in 2001.

to give joe his well-deserved comeuppance by taking him off committees and effectively making him the most junior member of the senate, reid would have to formally propose an amendment to the current organizing resolution, manage to get it to a vote and then get every democrat and a handful of republicans to vote for a new committee organization sans lieberman. if majority leader bill frist decided to filibuster reid's action, 60 votes would be required to keep it alive.

based on that procedural construct, harry reid can't just unilaterally, or even by a closed vote of the democratic caucus, strip lieberman of his committee assignments.
it's an instructive post, we recommend everyone reads it.
posted by skippy at 12:04 AM | 0 comments

Saturday, August 26, 2006

isn't 'macaca' the yiddish word for 'foot in mouth'?

contrapositive blog makes the case that sen. george allen deliberately down plays his jewish roots (via his mother, which makes him, according to judaic tradition, a full-fledged jewish man! oy, zelda, get the moyle, the sen. from virginia needs his foreskin removed!).
posted by skippy at 11:16 PM | 0 comments

another blow to veterans from the repubbbs

cookie jill sends us this piece from mcclatchy newspapers about the federal appellate courts rejecting claims of veterans who were exposed to radiation.

in a quiet ruling that nonetheless resonates nationwide, a federal appellate court rejected efforts by broudy and others seeking claims on behalf of "atomic veterans." the same court simultaneously rejected bids by other veterans exposed to biological and chemical agents.

taken together, the dual rulings by the d.c. circuit court of appeals will likely impede many veterans hoping for compensation. at the very least, it will complicate future claims.

"it's a significant ruling," washington-based attorney david cynamon, who represented veterans in both cases, said friday. "unfortunately, it's a significantly bad ruling."

a department of veterans affairs spokesman couldn't be reached to comment.
we've got a comment, but it would take asterisks replacing the vowels to publish it.
posted by skippy at 11:01 PM | 0 comments

stepping into a big pile of macaca

joe-nertia has the kiss float, and now sen. george allen has a kid in a monkey suit and another in a banana suit following him around. newsleader:

allen visit attracts protesters

protesters dressed as a banana and a monkey wear signs reading "racism is not a family value" while walking down beverley street in downtown staunton today. a handful of protesters, as well as a few supporters, were on hand friday afternoon to express their views during a visit by u.s. sen george allen that was canceled at the last minute.
sen. allen was also stymied by the amazing mike stark (who loves to call up the hardly-ever-right wing talk shows and engage them in mind-numbing debate) who asked the senator to his face "have you ever used the word 'nigger'?" to which the senator did not reply.

we wonder why?
posted by skippy at 10:40 AM | 0 comments

say hello

to democracy for new mexico.
posted by skippy at 10:31 AM | 0 comments

nothing changes the solar system like a clever bumper sticker

Example

keep pluto a planet

addendum: as mrs. skippy says, the solar system is downsizing. and darbi of bearwaller holler points out that blame bush! manages to blame bush:

bush’s big astronomy buddies announced this week that pluto’s planetary status has been officially revoked, and it is no longer welcome in the solar system. such is the price of dissent in this day and age.

on the bright side, three “dwarf planets” have been admitted into our celestial community – three new additions to bush’s galactic coalition of the coerced and the bribed. one can only wonder what kind of deal he struck with all those poor, naive little dwarves. no doubt it involves stealing their oil.

however, i can’t help but question the timing of the whole thing. it’s just a little too coincidental that three whole planets appear out of their cosmic deep freeze now, simultaneously, without any sort of advance warning, and so close to the november elections.
posted by skippy at 1:12 AM | 0 comments

sit in the back of the blog

man eegee takes the recent story about the louisiana bus driver who made the black children sit in the back of the school bus to expand on the not-so-subtle resurgence of racism in america:

in my opinion, it's happening because there are plenty of unabashed racists being given plenty of airtime on television and radio stations - rush limbaugh, ann coulter, michelle malkin, bill bennett, pat buchanan, chris simcox - the list goes on and on and on.

latent feelings of hostility towards otherness is stoked and comforted by having people like that given prominent spotlight attention instead of public denouncement - it allows the flaming racist/bigot/xenophobe who sits at home disgusted with the mexican "terrorists" crossing the border, or the new arab family in the neighborhood, or the gay couple he saw leaving one of those bars holding hands to feel justified in their perpetual state of hate.

when i say that the political climate in the u.s. is poisoning the well, i wish i was being flippant. in reality, i want to be convinced that there will be a huge outpouring of compassion and tolerance but the crickets are chirping. why is that?
posted by skippy at 12:54 AM | 0 comments

Friday, August 25, 2006

say hello

to trailing edge blog.
posted by skippy at 11:52 PM | 0 comments

where's your cheerleaders now, moses?

don't ask us why, but here it is...



10 things i hate about commandments
posted by skippy at 10:28 PM | 0 comments

okay, one more...

{neo-puritan on}

people enjoyed the image in this post here and at the medley, and a few wanted to see the rest as well. not gonna do that, senoras and horsemen. truth be told, a few of the toons lil' sis sent me were simply tasteless, and one i considered a bit offensive. i'm not reproducing these images, nor am i forwarding them to anyone. (note to lil' sis: you're in the clear. feel free to offend me any time you like.)

but one of the tasteless ones did strike me as funny, so i'll make one exception:



and that's all! ya ain't gettin' no more! leave me alone, i'm busy becoming older and grumpier...

{/neo-puritan off}
posted by Jim Yeager at 9:18 PM | 0 comments

fueling the debate

gas pump man points oily finger at republicans
posted by George at 9:01 PM | 0 comments

it's like deja vu all over again

if republicans, neocons and bolton were graded on foreign policy and analyzing intelligence reports, dr. cole would give them an f.
posted by George at 7:01 PM | 0 comments

don't be fooled by cheap imitations of reality

talkleft reminds us not to be fooled by the repubbb's massive pr efforts about katrina next week, and sends us over to thinkprogress for the true timeline of events.
posted by skippy at 6:58 PM | 0 comments

annthrax gets shot down and shut up

in case you missed it, crooks&liars has the video of annthrax coulter being totally ignored by substitute host kirsten powers filling in for colmes on hannity&.

annthrax, totally ignored by powers and guest michael brown, finally just walks off.
posted by skippy at 6:37 PM | 0 comments

christian group doesn't just steal its name...

...it is also stealing a likeness. comedian jackie mason is suing the christian group that calls itself "jews for jesus" for using his likeness on a pamphlet that they have been handing out in new york. mason is suing for $2 million and for the destruction of the pamphlet.
posted by DBK at 9:40 AM | 0 comments

nola update

scout prime has her update on n'awlins, then and now over at first draft. she pretty much concludes that not much has been done. she proves it with two videos, taken 6 months apart (tho apparently they did get the big yellow house out of the middle of the road, so something was done).
posted by skippy at 8:41 AM | 0 comments

Thursday, August 24, 2006

say hello

to cannablog.
posted by skippy at 8:11 PM | 0 comments

and condi goes do do do do do de do do do do

long-time readers of this space know what fans we are of the party party, and especially their wonderful rendition of awol singing a mashup of "imagine" and "walk on the wild side."

well "imagine" our delight to see that the party party has made a video of our favorite song of theirs, along with one for "sunday, bloody sunday."

see it at the party party's website, or go give it some hits at youtube.

or tune in right here:

posted by skippy at 7:43 PM | 0 comments

yo, christian republicans!

(edited version)

take a long look at your party's logo:



would you care to explain why the stars are pointing down instead of up?

and if you don't understand what i'm getting at, then here's a hint:



betcha never noticed that before, huh? someone had to point it out to me, too, but i'm neither a christian nor a republican. what's your excuse?

(full jim webb for u.s. senate version [bad blogwhore -- very bad blogwhore]...)
posted by Jim Yeager at 11:43 AM | 0 comments

pluto gets the boot-o


my third grade science project now receives a belated "f" because it modeled a solar system with nine planets. pluto got kicked out of the list of planets today by the international astronomical union. we're down to eight. apparently, the club has stricter standards now.

personally, i think the iau could have been decent about it and grandfathered pluto in, but the hard-hearted, angry astronomers of the iau ground their axes on poor little pluto and out it went.
posted by DBK at 9:11 AM | 0 comments

katrina and the waves

scout prime over at first draft shows us a pre-anniversary video and reminds us:

let's remember new orleans not just this next week but everyday until the people receive justice.

give your support.
give your care.
give your money.

give a damn.

raise your voice

call your congress critters and tell them to rebuild the gulf coast
posted by skippy at 12:24 AM | 0 comments

it's still probably smarter than the real one

lambert at correntewire tells about the "pull my finger" farting awol doll.
posted by skippy at 12:22 AM | 0 comments

and the horse you rode in on

the brad blog reports from the dnc meeting in chicago last week where he spoke about election integrity and got a choice quote (reference in the title of this piece) from donna brazile:

i was privy to what could be seen as a first hand close-up of everything that is wrong with the dnc's thinking when it comes to election protection. frankly, i think it starts with the old-school attorneys who have been there for decades and are either too disinterested, or too entrenched to have any clue about what is actually going on on the ground. the younger ones in attendance listened to my sterling and brilliant presentation with interest and recognition. they took notes, seemed to smile and nod in agreement, and even laughed at my hysterical jokes.

the old-timers, however, the ones that currently seem to call the shots, did little more than grin smugly as if they were being held hostage and forced to listen to the tale of a ufo abductee.

mountains of scientific reports, be damned. one primary election meltdown after another this year? forget it. the fact that there's not a computer scientist or security expert in the country (or the world) who would go on record to state the machines we're now using to count our votes in the most essential element of our democracy — the vote — are actually secure for use in an election? never mind that. the only thing to worry about is disenfranchisement on election day and a "close election," whatever the hell that means these days to these knuckleheads.

they are no more worried about stolen elections now, with billions of dollars of proven-hackable machines being used for the first time around the country, than they were when the entire country used paper systems which could at least be recounted and/or easily reveal malfeasance with any kind of close scrutiny.

the dnc needs a whole lotta new lawyers.
we probably need a whole new dnc.
posted by skippy at 12:20 AM | 0 comments

one man's tragedy is another man's escrow

mr. and mrs. skippy are in the same boat as monkeyfister...just waiting for the current crisis in housing costs to reward them with a great deal on someone else's foreclosure...

addendum: holden at first draft tells us the specifics:

sales of previously owned homes plummeted in july to the lowest level in 2 1/2 years while the number of unsold homes peaked to a new record high as buyers waited on the sidelines for prices to come down.

sales of existing homes dropped 4.1 percent in july from june to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.33 million, the lowest level since january 2004, according to the national association of realtors.
posted by skippy at 12:16 AM | 0 comments

cue rick ocasek: who's going to drive you home tonight?

ned lamont picked up the endoresment of the united auto workers, who said that what joe-nertia was doing was "b.s." meanwhile, joe-nertia officially qualified for the ballot in november. wtnh.com:

senate democratic nominee ned lamont received a big labor endorsement wednesday, and the union called sen. joseph lieberman the "de facto republican candidate." this comes as a new poll shows lamont and lieberman in a dead heat, with republican alan schlesinger a non-factor.

by accepting the endorsement of the united auto workers, lamont is on his way to matching joe lieberman's union support. lieberman got the endorsement of 15 separate state labor union locals yesterday.

the secretary of the state made it official wednesday. lieberman has qualified for the november ballot, which brought this barb from the head of the u.a.w.

"you're running as an independent and instilling in everyone in the republican party to get out there and vote is a bunch of b.s," said bob madore, region 9a u.a.w.
don't hold back, bob, how do you really feel?
posted by skippy at 12:15 AM | 0 comments

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

natural selection at work...

my little sister, for reasons she has yet to explain, e-mailed me this:



but i like it.

she sent me a bunch of toons along with this one, in fact. if you think this is bad, you'd hate the ones i won't post...
posted by Jim Yeager at 8:48 PM | 0 comments

Congressman Doolittle? More like Doonothing

Charlie Brown, Lt. Col., USAF (Retired) is running against Congressman John T. Doolittle of California. Doolittle went on one of his "fact finding" missions to Iraq where by chance Charlie Brown's son, also a military pilot, flew the C-130 that Doolittle flew on. The story's been told before, but it's worth repeating and Brown tells it well. Here's an excerpt, but go read all of it.

John sat down in the cockpit and spoke for a minute with the aircraft commander. He didn't say anything to the rest of the crew. Nothing to the flight engineer. Or the navigator. Or the copilot. He didn't ask any of them where they were from. Or what it's like in Iraq. Or what he and the rest of Congress could do to help.

snip

The copilot was my son, Jeff Brown, Air Force Captain.

John Doolittle sat next to my son for over an hour and didn't ask him his name. He didn't ask him where he was from. (Jeff, of course, is from John's District here in California.) He didn't ask how long Jeff had been in Iraq. (It was Jeff's third tour, and he's now scheduled for his fourth.) And he didn't ask what Congress could do to help him and the rest of the troops there in Iraq.

But I've asked. And Jeff told me, that if John had asked what he needed, he would have asked to make sure Congress fixes the cracks in the C-130 wings, because many of the aircraft are grounded, and many more are restricted on how much weight they can carry, and they're flying the heck out of those planes. Jeff would have asked to make sure Congress gives good medical care to the wounded, because he flies them out of Iraq. And Jeff said he would have asked to make sure Congress gives the best care to the families of the remains of fallen soldiers, because he flies them out of Iraq too.

But John Doolittle didn't ask. He didn't talk to the airmen. They were just his drivers that day. John Doolittle sat next to my son for over an hour and didn't have the courtesy to even ask his name.

Doolittle's an uncourteous bastard.
posted by Carnacki at 8:27 PM | 0 comments

Stewart on aWol

Jon Stewart on last night's "The Daily Show" highlighted the same aWol quote I did (see "On bearing witness" below). From Dan Froomkin's White House Briefing:

From Jon Stewart on "The Daily Show": "There comes a point in every president's career when he has to reassure the people that he isn't the thing that everybody thinks that they are. Richard Nixon famously said 'I am not a crook.' Bill Clinton assured us 'I did not have sex with that woman.'

"What point does this president have to clear up?"

Stewart then played a clip of Bush saying: "Nobody likes to see innocent people die."
posted by Carnacki at 8:19 PM | 0 comments

You lot should watch 'Life On Mars'

One of the grooviest aspects of the time-bending detective show Life On Mars is the music. Here's David Bowie's Jean Genie, a song which plays during an important scene during a recent episode. The main character of the series, Sam, like many 30-something year olds, loves the music of the late 1960s and early 1970s. (Here's Billy Corgan of The Smashing Pumpkins with David Bowie doing Jean Genie.)


Sam was listening to Bowie's Life On Mars on his iPod when he was struck by the car that either a) caused him to travel back in time or b) put him in a coma and his unconscious mind created this world where he's in 1973. The third alternative is he went insane after his girlfriend, a fellow detective, disappeared while investigating a serial killer in the first episode. Sam doesn't know which is the truth, but he's trying to make the best of it. And when he and his boss, the deputy chief inspector, walk into a rocking night club, The Warren, Sam's face lights up as he hears the song and sees the groovy dancing. The scene carried a genuineness about it. Despite the mind-bending idea of the serie's premise, the show has a terrific authenticity, widely praised on the message board of the official site by people who lived in Manchester and even worked for the police department in the early 1970s.


A great soundtrack cannot be overrated for a show like this. And when some of the songs come on I feel like Sam did walking into the club, filled with the happiness that comes when a song captures the moment perfectly.

posted by Carnacki at 11:42 AM | 1 comments

The Thing (from another world)!

Via Exclamation Mark's Vintage Sci-Fi/Horror Reviews, comes this excellent post about The Thing (from Another World)!, one of my all-time favorite movies in any genre, over at Greenbriar Picture Shows, which also has fantastic photos of how the movie exhibitors promoted the fillm.


Also, don't miss the information about Hawks in the comments either.

posted by Carnacki at 11:38 AM | 0 comments

r-e-s-p-e-c-t

(cross-posted at tami, the one true)
hat tip to sharon gr of bluejersey and the center of new jersey life.

some of the lowest points of my life have been at funerals. dealing with a sense of loss, trying to wrap your head around the new order of who is and isn't there any more, it's a lot. the last thing anyone should be doing at a funeral is protesting - even the most unprincipled felon came into the world as someone's child. this is why i'm glad that a bill was signed into law here in nj yesterday that would keep protesters back at least 500 feet. yes, it's a free country, and we can protest if we want to, but we should be allowed to grieve without physical harassment when we need to, as well. this law is, of course, inspired by a certain kansas preacher who hasn’t made his way to nj as of yet, but why wait? sometimes you have to spell out to people exactly what decent behavior is.
posted by The One True Tami at 5:57 AM | 0 comments

license, insurance, and registration, please

an israeli police officer was following an underworld figure when he fell asleep at the wheel and crashed into the suspect's car. i'm no police officer, but i'm pretty sure that isn't the way they teach it at the academy.

"let me see your license, insurance, and registration, please."

"you crashed into me. you show me your license, insurance, an registration."
posted by DBK at 5:25 AM | 0 comments

for here
am i sitting a tin can
far above the world


the new, manned space expedition to the moon has a name and the name is orion. unfortunately for nasa, that was supposed to be a secret. astronaut jeff williams was taping an announcement about the name, which was not supposed to be made public until next week, from the international space station, but somehow the taping was also broadcast on space to ground radio.

oops.

let's all hope they do o-rings better than they do secret.
posted by DBK at 5:16 AM | 0 comments

coming soon to a jurisdiction near you

this is the heartbreaking tale of one time do-gooder journalist letting his inner republican out. woodard and armitage star in snakes on a plame.
posted by George at 12:32 AM | 0 comments

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

On bearing witness

aWol at a press conference Aug. 8, 2006:

"You know, nobody likes to see innocent people die. Nobody wants to turn on their TV on a daily basis and see havoc wrought by terrorists."


Barbara Bush on "Good Morning America" March 18, 2003:

"Why should we hear about body bags and deaths? Oh, I mean, it's not relevant. So why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?"


It has been said that aWol takes after his mother. I am not a psychologist and I won't pretend to understand this strange lack of empathy that they share for others.

But read aWol's quote again: "You know, nobody likes to see innocent people die. Nobody wants to turn on their TV on a daily basis and see havoc wrought by terrorists."

What he does not say is "Nobody wants innocent people to die."

He does not say it because the loss of innocent life apparently is not important to him. What is important is that nobody sees it.

This is more than just semantics. Tens of thousands of Iraqis who never had anything to do with the Sept. 11th terrorist attacks, Saddam Hussein, terrorism, crime of any sort, have died in aWol's illegal, unjust and unnecessary war.

It is the loss of innocent lives that is appalling. Americans should see the results of this tragedy. Then perhaps people would be less eager for war, less eager to seek military action against Iran. If people saw the results of war on their televisions -- not the far off drifting smoke from distant explosions, but the horrific results -- perhaps people would support diplomacy and negotiation at every opportunity and war would be seen only as a failure of effort and not a cause to support.

Despite the war not being seen in all its graphic horror, Americans have turned against the war. Of course aWol (nor his mother) does not want us to see the casualties. Because if we did, we'd see how much of their blood covers aWol's hands. And the stain of innocent blood can never be washed clean.

To his crimes, we should all bear witness.
posted by Carnacki at 7:55 PM | 0 comments

nobody likes a whiner

especially connecticut voters. on the heels of the bad news in recent polls, joe-nertia finds himself with even more obtacles in the form of two voters groups that want to kick him out of various places, such as the democratic party and the november ballot, respectively (if we can write a story about lieberman and use the word "respectively" with a straight face). washpost:

a group whose members describe themselves as peace activists asked sharon ferrucci, democratic registrar of voters in new haven, to remove lieberman from the party, arguing that he cannot be a democrat while running under another party's banner.

the request could lead to a hearing in which lieberman, the democrats' vice presidential nominee in 2000, would have to argue that he still adheres to the party's principles.

"the law is pretty clear he is no longer a member of the democratic party in good standing," said group leader henry lowendorf. "there was an open vote, and he was voted out. he joined a different party."
and, on the another front, an ex-opponent of joe-nertia is taking legal steps to toss joe off november's ballot:

john orman, a democrat who gave up a challenge to lieberman last year, argued in complaints filed with the state monday that the senator should be kept off the nov. 7 ballot.

orman, a fairfield university professor of political science, accused lieberman of creating "a fake political party" and added: "he's doing anything he can to get his name on the ballot."
posted by skippy at 3:38 PM | 0 comments

housekeeping

we are happy to add jon swift to our blogroll. mr. swift is, aside from the author of a modest proposal, an astute mind with a rapier wit. for example, his latest post tells jacqueline mackie paisley passey that he's just not that into her.
posted by skippy at 3:20 PM | 0 comments

don't cry for me, ol' joe-nertia, or, no lament for lamont

we were running around blogtopia (yes! we coined that phrase!) last week posting comments on various blogs, scolding people for being down in the dumps because ned lamont wasn't ahead in the polls after his primary win.

we cajoled people, reminding them that the goldwater contingent worked 40 years before they got control of the world (an aside: and look what they did with it!), so for bloggers and commentors to keen and rent their garments in mourning just because lamont wasn't automatically crowned the king of all politics after the primary was ridiculous. it's a long hard road ahead of us, and it takes work, work, and more work to get our world view of equality for all, fairness in government and media, and one person one vote to permeate the political landscape.

and, lo and behold, all things come to he who waits and works while he waits. the latest arg poll:

joe lieberman and ned lamont are in a statistical tie in the race for united states senate in connecticut according to the latest survey from the american research group. among likely voters in november, 44% say they would vote for lieberman, 42% say they would vote for lamont, 3% say they would vote for alan schlesinger, and 11% are undecided.
you heard it. lieberman and lamont are tied. stop crying already. get out and work.

and, as mydd and fdl and dkos (and our own carnacki) are reminding us, there's plenty of other races that need our attention, money, and elbow grease.
posted by skippy at 10:02 AM | 0 comments

say hello

to kathryn cramer.
posted by skippy at 12:11 AM | 0 comments

Monday, August 21, 2006

everything old is neutrality again

via the sideshow, we find a pessimist at the left coaster giving a great explanation of where net neutrality stands (it doesn't; it seems to be sitting) and senator tubes stevens' latest efforts to thrust his advanced telecommunications and reform act down the throats of americans:

so it's up to you to save the internet as we know it. here are the political players involved, and the current scenario in congress:

alaska republican senator ted stevens, the powerful commerce committee chair, is trying to line up votes for his advanced telecommunications and opportunities reform act. stevens is hunkering down to get his bill passed by the senate when it reconvenes in september.

oregon democrat senator ron wyden,
maine republican olympia snowe
and north dakota democrat byron dorgan
have joined forces to protect the us internet.
wyden has placed a "hold" on the bill, requiring stevens (and the phone and cable lobbies) to strong-arm sixty colleagues to prevent a filibuster. but with a number of gop senators in tight races now fearful of opposing net neutrality, the bill's chances for passage before the midterm election are slim. stevens may be able to gain enough support for passage when congress returns for a lame-duck session.
if that happens, then bu$hco dominates the available information, and no one will be able to challenge them ever again. the corporate reach into what remains of your purchasing power extends even deeper, taking more from you to keep what you deem vital - no matter what it is.
posted by skippy at 11:51 PM | 0 comments

case closed...

courtesy of think progress:

bush: the terrorists attacked us and killed 3,000 of our citizens before we started the freedom agenda in the middle east.

question: what did iraq have to do with it?

bush: what did iraq have to do with what?

question: the attack on the world trade center.

bush: nothing. except it's part of -- and nobody has suggested in this administration that saddam hussein ordered the attack...


oh, yeah? then what was this all about?

...(1) reliance by the united states on further diplomatic and other peaceful means alone will neither (a) adequately protect the national security of the united states against the continuing threat posed by iraq nor (b) likely lead to enforcement of all relevant united nations security council resolutions regarding iraq; and

(2) acting pursuant to the constitution and public law 107-243 is consistent with the united states and other countries to take the necessary actions against international terrorists and terrorist organizations, including those nations, organizations, or persons who planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on september 11, 2001...


spinning a web of lies seems a lot like taking uppers: getting started is pretty easy, and rather enjoyable in an odd way, but the more uppers you take, the harder it becomes to stop taking them -- and the less enjoyable the experience is.when it comes to iraq, awol has been taking uppers for at least four years -- he's starting to sound like ellen burstyn in requiem for a dream to me, and it's creeping me out. saying no one in his administration claimed saddam ordered the attacks is like saying no one claimed he planned, committed, or aided the attacks, either. he's finally gotten his abdomen stuck in his own web, and now he's flailing about helplessly.

but you know what? as creepy as it strikes me, it still looks real good on him. this couldn't happen to a meaner poster child for arrested development...
posted by Jim Yeager at 11:04 PM | 0 comments