May 28, 2008

In A Better World, This Horse Would Be Dead

PZ Myers, prompted by another moronic response, reminds us of his classic post, which is not just good soundbite, but also links to a real gem by Jason Rosenhouse.

This should qualify as beating a dead horse by now... except that the horse is very much alive.

May 26, 2008

Presidency Is an Institution... a Mental Institution

Ed Brayton hits the nail on the head:
It's utter bullshit and they know it's utter bullshit, but there's a subset of absolute morons in this country to whom such "tough" - read: utterly stupid - talk sounds convincing.

R Is for Recount

I don't have HBO and haven't seen Recount, but any occasion is good to remind Americans that the 2000 presidential election was stolen and that the administration we are suffering was not elected, but installed in a coup d'etat. Digby's post about the nightmares of 2000 is worth reading (as are her posts generally).

And yes, I remember that Bush was elected more-or-less legally once in the meantime, in 2004. I have acknowledged that by referring to him as "President", something I absolutely avoided throughout his first term. But he won that election as as the incumbent, a significant advantage which he gained as a direct consequence of his illegal 2000 power grab.

What has made me sad for the past seven and a half years is how little outrage and protest there was when Bush stole the election. I didn't live in the DC area at the time, but I came to protest against the inauguration. Sadly, there were only a few thousand (5000 would be my estimate) mostly mild-mannered protesters. In a vital democracy, millions would have taken to the streets and/or refused to cooperate with the administration. I learned then that our democracy is ill; the only question is, is the illness terminal, or will democracy recover?

Harrison Ford Could Be the NRA Spokesman

Not the NRA you think, though.

On May 13, Harrison Ford reached the Social Security Normal Retirement Age (NRA).

His next movie will be Indiana Jones and the Dentures of Methuselah.

May 20, 2008

This country's Next Top Despot?

I wonder if John McCain watches Jeopardy!

OK, I love Jeopardy!, it is my favorite TV show for many reasons, but occasionally even they get some facts wrong. A particularly ill-conceived clue in the May 16 game said
Not feeling so tolerant lately? Become Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's successor as this country's "Next Top Despot"

As much as this was in a category that was obviously intended to be humorous ("New Reality Shows?"), it was a bad clue because there is no way Ahmadinejad can be called Iran's "despot". A despot has absolute power; the only person in Iran who can be so described is the Supreme Leader Khamenei.

Well, OK, Jeopardy! is just a game. It isn't like a US President - or a presidential candidate - made such a gaffe, right?

Right... that was Friday. On Monday, this happened:


OK, he didn't say "I learned that watching Jeopardy!" but the coincidence is striking.

May 16, 2008

Blonde Jokes to Be Replaced by Right-Wing Talk Show Host Jokes

Remember this?

Now, after uttering gibberish, that girl later made some reasonably articulate appearances in which she explained how her mind had gone blank from excitement, and was able to make fun of herself, so she minimized the damage.

But imagine if she had insisted on repeating "such as" and "South Africa" for 5-6 minutes louder and louder, interspersed with attacks on the character of some person she disliked. What would that make her?

A right-wing radio talk show host, of course! Like Kevin James:

Matthews called it as it is: "BS" and "pathetic". He is a little late to that level of reality and honesty (I remember him chatting friendly and civilly with Ann Coulter), but better late than never. It is time to start exposing and debunking the idiocy of those psychopaths with huge audiences.

This was not an aberration, not a rare bad moment. No, this is how right-wing cheerleaders talk and write all the time. Idiot wind, blowing every time you move your mouth...

Update: As Digby points out, Matthews was shooting small fish in a barrel:

Let's just say that I'd be a lot more impressed with Matthews' pitbull routine if he used it, just once, on somebody with some real clout instead of low level nobodies who don't appear on TV regularly. Bullying people without power just doesn't impress me much, especially when you have people on the show every day who actually have some and you kiss their asses with gusto. Sorry, not impressed.

I agree; I'd much rather see this done to Bush or McCain. But expecting that kind of moral and intellectual accomplishment of Chris Matthews would be like expecting Jessica Simpson to act like Greta Garbo. Let's be realistic.

May 12, 2008

McCain's Ministry of Truth

That John McCain said something stupid in a speech is a "dog bites man" story - not newsworthy at all. But when his campaign expunges the mistake from the video and the transcript of the speech...
Wait -- WTF? Back the video up, listen again, watch carefully. Oh, how interesting. Right before the sentence I'm listening for, there's this white line across the screen showing that they're skipping forward to the next segment of the speech. I guess maybe I DID hear it right; someone in the campaign who knows more about the Constitution than McCain apparently cleaned up his video for him.

...that's getting into quite serious lies-and-fraud territory, and ought to be in the headlines. After all, isn't this presidential thingy supposed to be about character?