Monthly Archives: February 2009

Stupid Shit Friday


So it begins.


Sigh
.

While watching Republican presidential candidate John McCain’s concession speech, gun owner AJ Sullivan had a sinking feeling.

“Liberals like to ban guns. That’s what it comes down to,” said Sullivan, 25, a Texas Christian University student.

Sullivan was among hundreds scrambling to buy a weapon Thursday at
the gun store Cheaper Than Dirt! — which sold $101,000 in merchandise
the day after the election, shattering its single-day sales record,
said store owner DeWayne Irwin.

Stories were similar across Texas, where residents are fiercely
protective of their Second Amendment rights and now fear stricter
gun-control laws under Democratic President-elect Barack Obama.

“There’s a mindset here of freedom, and you’ve bitten off more than
you can chew if you think you can come after Texans’ guns,” said
Charlissa Stokes, co-owner of Panhandle Gunslingers, an Amarillo
shooting range and gun store where sales have doubled the last few days.

At Houston’s Memorial Shooting Center, gun sales are up 70 percent
and “the whole wall of assault rifles is gone,” said manager Richard
Poulis.

Fort Worth’s Cheaper Than Dirt! reported about $480,000 in sales in
October 2007 but $890,000 last month, jumping to $1 million including
the first four days of November, Irwin said. About half of the sales
are guns, mostly assault rifles and other weapons that would be subject
to the assault-weapons ban if it is reinstated, he said.

President Bush and Congress allowed it to expire in 2004, 10 years after President Clinton signed the ban into law.

“A few weeks before the election most customers were younger and
weren’t old enough to buy guns in ’94 when the assault-weapons ban took
effect, but they’d heard stories from their parents,” Irwin said. “On
Wednesday, the older folks woke up and said, ‘Oh, crap. McCain didn’t
win, and Obama’s going to ban guns,’ and they came in here. There’s
also a Democratic Congress, so they’re saying it’s going to happen.”

Obama has said he supports an individual’s rights to own guns with
reasonable restrictions, so it seems that a “narrow subsection” of gun
owners are afraid of being denied access to assault weapons, said Doug
Pennington, spokesman for the Brady Campaign, which supported the
weapons ban.

National Rifle Association spokesman Andrew Arulanandam said it does
not track U.S. gun sales, but anecdotal evidence at stores in recent
weeks indicates many residents “didn’t buy Obama’s spin.” The 4
million-member NRA had distributed literature claiming Obama would be
“the most anti-gun president in American history” and said anti-gun
groups endorsed him.

Mark Mendiaz, 35, said he voted for Obama because he felt the
country was headed in the wrong direction and never heard the
candidates discuss gun control. But Mendiaz, a Navy veteran who owns a
handgun and rifle, said he started thinking about it after receiving
NRA postcards.

On Thursday Mendiaz bought an AR-15, a semiautomatic rifle similar
to what soldiers use, for target practice or to sell later, he said.

“If there’s going to be a ban, it just creates a market,” Mendiaz
said. “The bad people probably have them, and the honest people will
probably get left out.”

First of all, let me say this: I am a gun owner. That’s right. Crazy, liberal me. And I have absolutely no fear that anyone’s going to come take it away. Zero. However, even if my type of weapon were outlawed, I wouldn’t be pissing myself with fear. If it’s the law, and it’s just, you comply. If you think it’s unjust, and disobey in a civil manner, then you have to face the music. Personally, I don’t think that restrictions on certain kinds of weapons are unjust. Now that I’ve got that cleared up, on to the smart-assery.

Look, I know some of these people are NRA drones who believe that any Democrat (but especially Caliph Hussein Marx Obama X) will ban all guns. The NRA was balls-to-the-wall against Gore in 2000 and Kerry in 2004. Just like thepissing and moaning from other corners of the right-wing nuthouse, the current imagined crisis these people face is always The Worst Ever. They did it with al-Qaeda, they did it with Iraq, they did it with the fake-ass Social Security scam, the Patriot Act, FISA, everything. These people live in a state of permanent panic. Frankly, I don’t know how they do it. 

But I’m sure there’s more to some of these people’s motivation. I say this because I’m related to lots of people like these men and women who have lined up to buy guns. And they are afraid. But they’re not just afraid of the NRA’s “tyrannical government” boogeyman (and ain’t it funny how we didn’t hear a peep out of them for the last eight years, when the government really did engage in an unprecedented power grab?). No.

They’re afraid that black people are gonna come take their shit. 

I know a lot of people–typically educated, middle- to upper-middle-class types–laugh when they hear this idea. “Oh, no one could believe that discredited myth.”

Bullshit.

It’s a powerful, longstanding fear in this country. Why, an educated person might even call it anidée fixe. I’ll let you know if I run into one of those. You never hear this idea articulated among “polite” people; maybe it’s just too shameful to face up to your own warts-and-all history. But damn if there aren’t millions of terrified white people in this country. It’s part of why our social safety net is the stingiest one in the industrialized world. Rich white people have managed to convince poor white people that poor black people are taking their shit (via progressive taxation). And this strategy has worked like a charm. This is a very important part of why poor white people continually vote against their economic interests. It’s ugly, and it’s petty, and it’s short-sighted. But there it is.

And now they’re buying guns. Lots of guns. To keep their shit safe.

It doesn’t matter that the chance of the feared Black Uprising happening is less than the chance that I’ll become a Sarah Palin fanboy. The fear lives on. Here’s an idea for the future: Maybe, just maybe, if you didn’t systematically fuck over a group of people for several centuries, you wouldn’t have to be afraid of their retribution.

And, finally, I have a short cartoon for you. Yeah, some of the stuff isn’t completely accurate, but it’s still fun. Enjoy!

One of Jindal’s “favorite stories”

When Jindal told his Harry Lee story it sounded off to me. TPM has beenposting on the veracity of the story and thelatest is here.

Also of note isthis found in yesterday’s column by Stephanie Grace of the Times Picayune:

Jindal then proceeded to tellone of his favorite stories, about the
time he walked into the late Jefferson Parish Sheriff Harry Lee’s
office just after the storm and found him up in arms over the fact that
“some bureaucrat” wouldn’t let a flotilla of volunteer rescue boats
through without proof of insurance and registration. (my emphasis)

One of his favorite stories?

Sounds like Bobby has told this story before. Apparently no one bothered to question the veracity of it until now… but ya know it’s all just“liberal blogger B.S.”


Republicanism Explained


Lee Atwater. It all started with this prick.

In the last few months, as the scavengers have picked at the carcass of the Republican party, I’ve heard a lot of people talk about what “conservatism” means. Most recently, the New York Times saw fit to address the issue inthis waste of virtual space.

Well, I can’t definitively say what “conservatism” means. I possess no advanced degrees, am not a philosopher, and have almost no knowledge of political science.

However.

I can tell you what Republicanism means, and that, I think, is a more germane issue. As I’m sure you’ve noticed, we don’t have a “Conservative” party on our ballots. No. We have a “Republican” one. So figuring out what they stand for seems to be a much more useful endeavor than attempting to define “conservatism.”

Well, I’ve done a lot of observing and thinking, and it seems to me that the Republican party stands for two things.

  1. Tax cuts are the cure for everything, including the common cold.
  2. Fuck you.

And that’s pretty much it. All of the shit that the Republicans do flows from those two points.

I know what you’re thinking. “What about the religious right?” “What about the anti-science stand?” “What about the neocons?” “What about all of the other cherished bullshit of the GOP?”

They can all be explained by number two. The Republicans don’t really care about God. They just like to use him to tell people “fuck you.” Women want to control their own reproductive systems? Fuck you. People want to get married to whatever other adult they want? Fuck you. There’s overwhelming evidence that life on earth is billions of years old? Fuck you.

The same applies to their foreign policy. What, you aren’t happy with us starting a war with a country that never attacked us? Fuck you. Don’t like our carbon emissions or bullshit missile defense? Fuck you. Pissed off that we abducted and tortured your citizens? Fuck you.

And on and on it goes. These people aren’t interested in cutting spending or in limited government–they spend like drunken sailors (I would know) and want to regulate who, when, and where you can fuck. That’s about as fiscally irresponsible and intrusive as government can get. They don’t care about patriotism or families. And “drill, baby, drill” was just a “fuck you” that was acceptable to the FCC.

As for # 1, they keep parroting that insane fucking line no matter what. Got a surplus? Cut taxes. In a deficit? Cut taxes. Booming times? Cut taxes. Worst economy since the Great Depression? We need to–you guessed it–cut taxes. They never explain how it would work. It’s an article of faith. I mean, when agroup of imaginary creatures from a cardboard cut-out cartoon show has a better economic model than a major political party, things are really fucked up. Yet, somehow, they still get taken seriously. There are a lot of things I don’t understand about the world. That fact is about forty of those things.

So it comes down to this: Republicanism is an ideology by and for bullies. But not the kind of bullies who have the guts to get in actual fights, even if the deck is stacked in their favor. No. They hire people to do their fighting for them. Even in their grand and glorious overseas crusades, the ones where they denounce everyone who opposes them as cowards and appeasers, these cocksuckers stay on the sidelines. How many prominent Republicans ran out and enlisted after 9/11? How about before the Iraq war? Which major Republican pundits were cops? Not a goddamn one. Why? All talk, no action.

They’re the kind of bullies who love to pick on anyone at the lower end of the economic ladder. It’s what weak, shitty people do. What, you want health care you can afford? Fuck you. Your kids need better schools? Fuck you. Workers want to be able to form unions to get better pay and benefits? Oh, fuck you.

That tax cut shit is bullying, too. Because they don’t really care about cutting your taxes. No. They want to cut rich people’s taxes. It’s like they read the story of Robin Hood and thought he was robbing the wrong people. And, since somebody eventually has to pay the bill for all the costs the government incurs when it’s out invading sovereign countries that have never threatened us, who do you think gets left with the tab? That’s right. The people who can least afford it.

Why?

Because fuck you.

So I guess Republicanism has just one premise after all.

Friday Ferretblogging: Sleep Edition

Riot’s favorite place to nap is in my afghan:

Riot.sleep

Puck’s is in the smallest place he can find to curl up, usually the sleeve of something one of us was planning on wearing:

Puck.sleeve

A.

Dallas Levees Rated Unacceptable

Our fate_0001

Our fate is your fate…

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has just delivered a bombshell to
the city of Dallas, rating the integrity of the Trinity River levees
unacceptable in a draft inspection report .

The rating means that Dallas’ primary flood protection, the massive
berms of earth that run along the Trinity floodway, do not meet current
standards set out by the corps after the disaster of Hurricane Katrina
in 2005.

“It means that some of the items of our levee system must be fixed
and on others we must do further testing and analysis to determine if
they need mitigation,” city manager Mary Suhm wrote in a memo to
council members.

George Bush on a roof awaiting rescue would signal the rebirth of irony (which his administration all but killed). But for the sake of all the other Dallas residents let’s hope they fix the levees and that never comes to pass.

Dulce et Decorum est pro journalism mori

I don’t know if journalism is dead, dying or simply evolving, but you can’t turn around these days without seeing a newspaper shuttering its doors. The Rocky Mountain News has called it a day, with it’sfinal issue having rolled off the press today. (You can feel free to blame whomever you’d like for this foreclosure, but if the ad at the bottom of this story to “subscribe to the Rocky Mountain News” is any indication of their ad and marketing department’s level of sales acumen, it’s a small wonder the paper lasted this long.) In San Francisco, the Chronicle is headed down a similar path and in Seattle, the clock is still ticking on Post-Intelligencerwhere staffers were told in January that the paper needed to be sold in 60 days or likely be shut down. The Albuquerque Tribune and the Cincinnati Post have already closed up shop and while hundreds of other newspaper continue to publish, they are doing so with staffs that have beenhacked and slashed nearly to death.

For years, newspapers were told they needed to change their ways of doing things. They were told to spend more money on developing web content. They were told to put all the stories on line so that they could expand their reach. They were told to learn new skills such as video production, audio editing and interactive graphic construction so that they’d be the “go-to” place on the web for news. Some did, while others didn’t. I’m not sure either ended up coming out of this well. If you look carefully at some of the images from Seattle or Denver during the closure announcements, you’ll see journalists capturing video or blogging the event. The ability to Twitter didn’t save them from watching their newsroom get 86ed.

In education, our job is to prepare students for the future and get them ready to enter the workforce. As someone who has to teach students who will enter this field of landmines, broken promises and crumbling job prospects, I sometimes find myself wondering if I’m doing them a disservice by convincing them that journalism is a good career. Part of me wants to say, “You say you want to be a cops reporter? You can stand the sight of blood, right? Good. Why don’t you be a nurse instead? There’s always a huge need in that field.” I had a former student email me last night after he saw the news about the Rocky. This kid has wanted to be a journalist since he was about 12 but this latest blow was almost too much for him: “Honestly, anymore I’m running out of reasons to want to enter this industry. I hate that.”

I hate it, too, because when I was in college, I moved into journalism after realizing that writing was one of my few marketable skills and that an English degree wouldn’t get me anywhere. My parents didn’t like it much (“You can make more as a starting grade school teacher,” my mom noted) but they were happy that I picked something that had careers attached to it, unlike their friend’s son who majored in cartography and spent six years after college managing a Toys ‘R’ Us. Now, you’d be better off as a cartographer.

In his column on the crisis, Walter Isaacson makes a good point about how we got here: why pay for something that’s free? It’s not the internet’s fault that people like to get news this way. It’s the newspaper chains’ fault for giving away the store and then being surprised when the hordes showed up and picked them clean. For a while it worked because the ad revenue was strong. However, common sense should tell you that you don’t put all your eggs in one basket, especially when the livelihood of hundreds of people will depend on it.

We’re not a communist or socialist state in this country. People are happy to participate in our capitalist system when they want something they feel is worthy of purchase. The kids I teach pay for ring tones they’ll use for two months and then never hear again. They pay for Fantasy Football Draft Kits so they can win an imaginary league that gives them nothing but bragging rights over seven other people. They pay for text messages, mp3s and phone minutes without thinking about them. They also drop change at the food kiosk and if it’s less than a quarter, they tend to not bother to pick it up. Is it really that hard to imagine they’d cough up a nickel or two to read the paper?

Maybe it is now that they’re used to it, but if iTunes managed to emerge from the Napster culture, perhaps anything is possible in time.

The question is: How much time do we have left?

Speaking of Priorities

I’ll leave it up to you smart folks to figure outwhich of the many comments Steve’s got posted up is mine, but this bit I found interesting:

This whole newspapers vs. the Web reminds me of back in the day when
film editors were resisting the move to non-linear editing systems. the
guild had meetings about the importance of updating your skills and it
was met with such resistance. But, what everyone finally discovered is
that the Avid and Lightworks were just TOOLS. For about a year,
computer geeks got editing jobs, but producers/directors learned
quickly that button pushers are not editors and while they can do cool
effects, they didn’t know squat about story, character development,
etc. In the meantime, film editors got their heads out of their asses
and learned the new tools. The job market is tougher, but those systems
are getting cheaper and cheaper so studios have more money to make more
films. It’s working itself out, if that makes any sense. I think it
mirrors what’s going on today in journalism.

And I’ve said this before but I’ll reiterate because, well, nobody listened the first time: There’s no reason this has to be adversarial. AT ALL. Google is not stealing. HuffPo is not stealing. Nobody’s plagiarizing by linking to you. All they’re doing, ALL they’re doing, is driving traffic to your site, where people can view YOUR content. You might as well bitch that the AP wire is stealing by sending your story out with your byline and your newspaper’s name on it. I don’t get this.

Admittedly, some bloggers have fanned the bonfire by claiming they’re gonna take down the “dinosaur” media by posting links to videos of themselves in little outfits or by sending Joe the Plumber to Israel. Those people are known, in any business of any kind, asidiots. They’re not emblematic of anything. They’re not the Internet. They’re just idiots. You find them digging ditches, too, doesn’t mean we should stop digging ditches.

I mean, I get that the print-only model was life. I was raised on it and I was as resistant to the Internet as anybody, back in 1995, when Mr. A was talking about putting newspapers on a computer you could read and I was screaming that it was a picture, a ghost in a machine, it was air, it didn’t mean anything. You coudln’t pull it off the press with your hands and see what you’d made right there in front of you. That’s a powerful experience and one that has informed my entire life, everything I’ve ever done. The roar of the presses at night, that sound will never leave me. I love it, that’s why I mourn its decline. A decline, as you reading here all know is not for a fraction of a second due as much to the Internet as to crap management and greed.

I just don’t think we’re as far apart as print hacks like to think. I get the same rush, the exact same one, from slamming something out here and watching you all chew it over, seeing it spread around to other sites if it’s any good or anyone notices, arguing with people, and then doing it all over again the next day. In Denver in August I did the same thing I used to do for my paper: I went somewhere something was happening, looked around, hung out, talked to people and then wrote it all down so that people who weren’t there could (I hoped) see what it was like. Did I do it the precise way I’d have done it for a paper? Probably not. They still don’t let you say fuck that much.

So I don’t understand why we can’t have both, especially if the skill set is the same, if the mission is the same. Why not a great paper and a great web site? You can’t tell me the money isn’t there, we all know it is, just maybe not as much as some shareholder might like. Why can’t we do both truly and well? Why does the argument have to be about old versus new, print versus online, as if the one doesn’t feed the other, around and around and around? It’s the exact same way we do the same old thing humans have always done: Tell each other stories. Why not do it all the ways we can think to do it, and revel in how much we have to share?

A.

‘Like Playing Music at Your Own Funeral’

Horrible:

The Rocky was founded in 1859 by William Byers, one of the most
influential figures in Colorado history. Scripps bought the paper in
1926 and immediately began a newspaper war with The Post. That fight
ebbed and flowed over the course of the rest of the 20th century,
culminating in penny-a-day subscriptions in the late ’90s.

Perhaps the most critical step for the Rocky occurred in 1942, when
then-Editor Jack Foster saved it by adopting the tabloid style it has
been known for ever since. Readers loved the change, and circulation
took off.

In the past decade, the Rocky has won four Pulitzer Prizes, more
than all but a handful of American papers. Its sports section was named
one of the 10 best in the nation this week. Its business section was
cited by the Society of American Business Editors and Writers as one of
the best in the country last year. And its photo staff is regularly
listed among the best in the nation when the top 10 photo newspapers
are judged.

Staffers were told to come in Friday to collect personal effects.

“I could say stupid things like ‘I know how you feel.’ I don’t,”
Boehne said. “We are just deeply sorry. I hope you will accept that.”

Via Dan in comments. And just in case anybody’s confused, or for those of you who just got here: The “I’m killing journalism” thing is a running gag, right, but the joke isn’t that I want journalism dead. Or newspapers dead. Or even TV news dead. Or that I delight in journalism’s troubles. If anything, I want newspapers as alive and vibrant as they were two decades ago, when I first fell in love with them, and my anger at journalism today is at the squandering of resources, rampant greed, and unnecessary fatalism that has led us to this moment. Not at journalists. Not at newspapers. Not at anybody in Denver who’s hurting tonight.

I’ve closed a newspaper. It was like going to a funeral, every day, for seven months, the funeral of someone you loved dearly, every single day. And every day I got up and somebody was picking over our bones and we had no way to answer back because we didn’t have a paper anymore. We came in for some of the cruelest criticism I’ve ever been subjected to, and I’ve been told I’m a shitty writer and that people hate my ferrets, okay, so. Every day it was like going to a funeral for your best friend and hearing everybody there call that guy an asshole while you’re still trying to figure out how to live without him.

I would not wish that experience on the person I hate most in the world. There is no journalistic sin that deserves that punishment, so when I say I’m killing journalism, I’m not being cute. I’m being angry. That’s where my anger at this situation comes from. It comes from knowing that it didn’t have to be this way:

After Friday, the Denver Post will be the only newspaper in town.

Asked if pubilsher Dean Singleton now walks away with the whole pie, Boehne was blunt.

“He walks away with an unprofitable paper, $130 million in debt and
revenues that are down 15-20 percent every year,” Boehne said.

Asked if Singleton would have to pay for the presses now, Boehne
added, “We had to kill a newspaper. He can pay for the presses.”

If I yell and bitch that I’m obviously killing journalism, it’s because I want people to realize there are problems here deeper than the Internet, deeper than a few people having modest financial success in a new medium. Those problems would persist if the entire Internet disappeared tomorrow, and until we solve them, I can publish all the cat macros and Happy Obama photos and cock jokes I want, but it won’t make a damn bit of difference to Scripps’ bottom line, and the sooner everybody takes their eyes off I Can Haz Cheeseburger and starts looking at where $130 million got flushed to, the sooner I can stop reading stuff like this:

Several employees wanted to know about severance packages, or even if they could buy at discount their computers.

It’s nauseating. There aren’t words.

A.

What’s the Frequency, Kenneth?

Kennethparcell copy

Not to pile on any further, but this article from the local rag underscores the degree to which Jindal underwhelmed. You see, the local paper, as well as local television stations have relentlessly promoted the governor–and did so well before he became governor. To be sure, there’s a bit of ‘local boy makes good;’ however, Jindal’s brand of hyper-conservatism sells down here.

I remember in 2003 being mildly surprised at the degree to which local reporters displayed their disappointment at Jindal’s loss to Kathleen Blanco…not that I expect journalists to actually be objective, but you’d think if nothing else they’d pretend. After Katrina and the flood, the 2007 race became less an election and more of an annointing/laying on of hands. The Democrats put up only token opposition. And the Democratic stronghold–New Orleans–was and remains depopulated, making a steep hill for any candidate come 2011.

So, despite falling flat on the national stage, I expect PBJ will win re-election rather easily. But at least for now he’ll have to content himself with being a big fish in a small pond, at least as long as comparisons to Kenneth the Page are out there. Ridicule is VERY hard to overcome.

Interestingly, another Louisiana governor had a disastrous national debut that effectively ended his larger ambitions. Edwin Edwards was touted in the 70s as a possible candidate for at least VP; however, I was told that for at least one public event Edwin’s choice of livery–the “electric blue [leisure?] suit”–marked him as a hopeless rube. Of course, Edwards had other issues, and I half suspect he wasn’t all that unhappy remaining a regional figure, provided there were ample opportunities to pad his wallet, and ample opportunities of a different sort on LSU’s Sorority Row.

And no one ever compared him to a hopeless nerd.

Priorities

This is a front-page story at the Trib’s web site.

“I was absolutely mortified. … This was my home,” Braun said.

Just before 10 p.m. Feb. 13, she got a call from a mother asking about
a party that reportedly was under way in Braun’s home. But Braun and
her daughter, a New Trier High School sophomore, had moved into a
Northfield condominium in July and were preparing to sell the Winnetka
home, where they had lived for a decade. Braun’s daughter was with her
when she got the call.

Braun alerted police and headed for the home. A side door had been
opened. Empty beer cans littered counters, closets were emptied of
clothes and crude images were drawn on a bedroom wall, said Braun’s
lawyer Richard Broderick.

Six students from New Trier and one each from Loyola Academy inWilmette and Taft High School in Chicago were discovered inside, authorities said.

Those cited with underage drinking are Laird Patten of Winnetka; Anna
Soltysiak and Christopher Losey of Chicago; Spencer Carey and Kathryn
Brown of Wilmette; and Marie Conway and Eric Padgitt of Northfield. All
are 17, according to police records. A 16-year-old boy from Wilmette
also was ticketed.

Apparently teenagers boozing it up and vandalizing is now the most pressing issue of our time. If only they’d been having a rainbow party or “grinding” at a school dance, then we’d have a full-blown “firestorm of controversy” on our hands.

A.

Gulfport Mayor Indicted for Katrina Fraud

From theSun Herald:

GULFPORT — Gulfport Mayor Brent
Warr and his wife, Laura, quietly cried in the corridor of the U.S.
District courthouse mere blocks from City Hall after they were each
indicted on 16 charges, including conspiracy, fraud and making false
statements to obtain a total of $222,798.10 in federal Katrina relief
and insurance funds.

The Warrs pleaded innocent to the charges in
U.S. District Court this morning. They flanked their attorney, Joe Sam
Owen of Gulfport, as they stood before U.S. Magistrate Judge John M.
Roper.

Gulfport’s first couple potentially faces maximum
penalties of 210 years each in prison and fines of up to $4 million
each. The government also is seeking forfeiture of their Katrina and
insurance funds, or assets of equal value.

SNIP

The indictment outlines relief the Warrs received for their beachfront
mansion from Sept. 15, 2005, through March 7, 2007. They are charged
with conspiring to falsely claim they lived in the beachfront home when
they hadn’t actually moved in before the Aug. 29, 2005, hurricane.

Warr is a Republican and it was Warr who stood alongside Cheney during this infamous Katrina moment:

/div>

Michael Gerson: Reality Fail

Scout e-mailed this over either last thing last night or first thing this morning (What day is it? All day yesterday I thought it was Wednesday, and now I’m confused.) and I have to say, it’s almost charmingly divorced from reality:

At a recent meeting of conservative activists, Jindal had little to say
about his traditional social views or compelling personal story.
Instead, he uncorked a fluent, substantive rush of policy proposals and
achievements, covering workforce development, biodiesel refineries,
quality assurance centers, digital media, Medicare parts C and D, and
state waivers to the CMS (whatever that is).

It’s theCenters for Medicare and Medicaid Services, you asshole. I get what he’s doing here, that it’s somehow cute and funny not to get it, and it would be if Gerson was Elle Woods and not, you know, a columnist for the Washington Post.

Hee hee! I’m just a girl! I don’t understand big words! Teach me, Mr. Jindal!

In person, Jindal’s manner more closely resembles another recent
president: Bill Clinton. Like Clinton (a fellow Rhodes scholar), Jindal
has the ability to overwhelm any topic with facts and thoughtful
arguments — displaying a mastery of detail that encourages confidence.
Both speak of complex policy issues with the world-changing intensity
of a late-night dorm room discussion.

That’s what we need. More overcaffeinated dorm room discussions! Because college students can all save the world, especially if they go out and become Republicans!

In recent days, Jindal has displayed another leadership quality:
ideological balance. He is highly critical of the economic theory of
the stimulus package andturned down
$98 million in temporary unemployment assistance to his state —
benefits that would have mandated increased business taxes in
Louisiana. But unlike some Republican governors who engaged in broad
anti-government grandstanding, Jindal accepted transportation funding
and other resources from the stimulus — displaying a
program-by-program discrimination that will serve him well in public
office. Jindal manages to hold to principle while seeing the angles.

Ah, bipartisanship. The unbearable rightness of half-assing everything so as not to make a commitment.

And Jindal’s résumé, intellectual confidence and command of policy make
him the anti-Palin. Fairly or unfairly, media and intellectual elites
(including some conservative elites) regard Gov. Sarah Palin as an
inhabitant of another cultural planet. Jindal, while also religious and
conservative, speaks the language of the knowledge class and will not
be easily caricatured or dismissed. Tojournalists, policy experts and
Rhodes scholars, Jindal is also “one of us.”

Emphasis mine. Who are they? Who? Seriously, this whole “one of us, one of us” mantra makes zero sense. Being able to get along with vapid preppy assholes whose only concern is that Chris Matthews piss on them as he walks by is not a skill that automatically translates to running government well.

All during the campaign “journalists” — by which Gerson really means starfucking columnists — whined and complained that Obama wasn’t nice enough to them, that he ordered drinks in a diner wrong, that he didn’t bowl well enough, and we elected his orange-juice-drinking, low-average-having ass anyway and in the first 35 days he’s been on the job he seems to not be fucking it up too badly. So I’d like to know eactly how much weight Bobby Jindal’s supposed ingratiation with Gerson is going to carry with voters who, last I checked, were still the ones who made the real decisions about who they trusted and didn’t.

Much to Michael Gerson’s disappointment, I’m sure.

A.

Play from your fucking heart

Bill Hicks died 15 years ago tomorrow.

Rather than try to answer the unanswerable question of what he might think or might be doing if he was still around, I intend to celebrate what he did while he was here, and the difference he made. Join me, won’t you?

Meatspace tributes are scheduled in London, Austin, Portland, Oklahoma City, Buenos Aires and possibly elsewhere, with proceeds going to theBill Hicks Foundation for Wildlife Rehabilitation, a nonprofit which aids in the rescue, rehabilitation and release of orphaned, ill and injured Central Texas wildlife.

And wherever you are, you can participate inBill Hicks Day on Twitter:

a day for Twitter users to post comments, quips, remembrances, musings, ponderances, jokes, and anything else Bill-related…a day devoted to the moments that remind us all of Bill, such as when we hear a news story or notice something in pop culture and wonder “What would Bill say?”…a special day to share with everyone your favourite Bill rants and truths, and to remember Bill’s vision…a day to tweet Bill’s quotes, your thoughts, links to Bill sites, links to sites that you think Bill would approve of or condemn…in short, a day to squeegee your tweeter!

And don’t forget to hashtag those tweets: #billhicksday.

‘Can We Have It Back, Please?’

Seriously.





I remember when this episode aired, people were bitching about how unrealistic it was to have a Republican character so boneheaded tone deaf stupid as Gov. Richie. I don’t think the optimists making those complaints in their wildest dreams imagined the GOP of Sarah Palin and Bobby Jindal.



A.

I Confess, I Confess

It was me! I killed the journalism!

Remember the DABA Girls? Late last month the Web buzzed about their blog, Dating a Banker Anonymous,
which bills itself as a place for Wall Street women to vent about how
the financial crisis has killed their love lives. (“If your monthly
Bergdorf’s allowance has been halved and bottle service has all but
disappeared from your life,” this is your site, the homepage cheers.)
Populist outrage followed the publication ofa credulous profile in the New York Times,
and was furthered with the news last week that the DABA girls have
signed with big name agencies in Hollywood and New York
publishing—United Talent and Janklow Nesbit, respectively. This has, of
course, renewed rumors of a book, a movie and maybe even a TV series
based on the blog. But even after a full turn of the media world —NPR has raised doubts about the site’s authenticity and the New York Times was forced to defend its story— the question remains: are these girls for real?


No,
not really, as Newsweek found out in a recent interview. Sitting in a
West Village coffee shop near her apartment, cofounder Laney Crowell,
clad in jeans, snow boots and black pullover, says that what the Times
described as a “support group” of about 30 women is actually a
full-blown parody — and it’s at least partly fictionalized. There is no
real support community, no regular meetings and the blog is written by
Crowell and her lawyer sidekick Megan Petrus, who concoct entries out
of a mixture of their own experiences, stories of people who email the
site, and anecdotes of girls they meet socially. They don’t fact check
the emails, or the gossip, and the posts are embellished and
exaggerated for added laughs. At times, details are plucked from thin
air to give the stories a satirical edge.

Via Romenesko.

A.

Hoopleheads

Fucking Hearst. Al Swearingen should have let Dan take care of him:

“Because of the sea change newspapers everywhere are undergoing and
these dire economic times, it is essential that our management and the
local union leadership work together to implement the changes necessary
to bring the cost of producing The Chronicle into line with available
revenue,” Frank A. Bennack Jr., Hearst vice chairman and chief
executive, and Steven R. Swartz, president of Hearst Newspapers, said
in a joint statement.

Hearst purchased The Chronicle in 2000, but soon afterward felt the
impact of an economic downturn in the dot-com sector as well as the
loss of classified advertising to Craigslist and other online sites.
The problems have been exacerbated by the current recession.

For those who don’t get the joke:


A.

Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freepi – Double-layer iso suit edition

Good morning, everybody! Through the miracle of delayed posting, while you’re reading this, I’m currently kicking back in front of the tent at Turner Falls, Oklahoma, watching the river run and the clouds roll by:

Oreilleys_063

But right now? Time to get down and dirty with the Freeperati. Everyone check your iso suits – fecal coliform can actually jump off their posts and leap straight for your eyes.

First off – some reaction to Olbermann’s reaction to Rich Lowry’s reaction:

Olbermann: “Rich Lowry Masturbating
During Debate”

MSNBC ^| 10/05/2008 | Noel Sheppard

Posted onMonday, October 06, 2008
2:40:24 PM
bySneakyuser

Just when you thought Keith
Olbermann couldn’t go any lower, he plunges to new depths that seem almost
unimaginable for someone pawning himself off as a journalist.
On Friday, the
“Countdown” host actually told his viewers that National Review editor Rich
Lowry’s published opinion of Sarah Palin’s performance during Thursday’s debate
“read like soft core porn.” MSNBC’s leading on-air personality disgustingly
concluded: “I don`t really care if you sat there last night during the debate
and masturbated. But was it really necessary to tell America about it?”

I’m sure this willnever open up a Pandora’s box of sexually confused projection at the Land Of The Freep and the Bone Of The Depraved…

To: Sneakyuser
if true, who could blame him? 😉
2 posted onMonday, October 06, 2008
2:41:50 PM
byPerdogg (Vice
President Sarah H Palin – Make it happen !!!!)
Ok – I think It’s time to put on a second iso suit just for safety’s sake here. This is gonna get weird(er).
Those with the courage – there’s more after the jump.
Let’s rip the lid off their id!

Because it can’t be emphasized enough

Yeah, HOW Jindal said it, his halting sing-songy Kenneth-the-NBC-page delivery was FAIL-tacular, but Maddow’s befuddlement on WHAT he was saying was spot-on. His appropriation and flip flop of the post-Katrina fed debacle is jaw-dropping.

And don’t even get me started on the Train to Disneyland and volcano-monitoring. Sheesh. Jindal took a few billion of the stimulus for road and bridge infrastructure, in a state that’s more than half underwater, but the very idea of a train, for people, for tourists, taking future needs into account, well that’s just elitist wasteful crazy talk. (Aside of course, from the fact that Republican talking points on the MagLev lineare big fat lies.)

And monitoring the development of natural disasters-what good could that possibly do!? (apply head directly to desk now)

This stuff cannot win. The Rs are lamely attempting to rally their usual low-hanging fruit…okay, “low-information” voters, hoping they can scrape up enough folks to go to the polls in the next election cycle so they don’t look like what they already are: irrelevant embarrassing failures.