Saturday, April 19, 2008

Global Warming: Not Important Enough for ABC Debate

If he were running today, ABC would ask: "Where's your flag pin, Abraham? Do you love your country more than Stephen Douglas?"

Charlie Gibbon and Georgie Peorgie Hannity couldn't be bothered to ask about global warming at the debate this week. (Shame on ABC or All the News That's Fit to Miss) There were flag pins to discuss! And McCarthy-ish guilt-by-association charges to be made! Drudge rules their world and you better not forget it.

Meanwhile, back on Planet Rational, we have these headlines: Ward Hunt Ice Shelf destined to disappear

WARD HUNT ISLAND, Nunavut–New cracks in the largest remaining Arctic ice shelf suggest another polar landmark seems destined to break up and disappear.

Scientists discovered the extensive new cracks in the Ward Hunt Ice Shelf earlier this year and a patrol of Canadian Rangers got an up-close look at them last week.

"The map of Canada has changed," said Derek Mueller of Trent University, who was amazed to find how quickly the shelf has deteriorated since he discovered the first crack in 2002.
(At ABC, Gibbon and pal are chanting, Flag pin! Flag pin! Flag pin!)

ScienceDaily: Jet Streams Are Shifting And May Alter Paths Of Storms And Hurricanes

Storm paths in North America are likely to shift northward as a result of the jet stream changes. Hurricanes, whose development tends to be inhibited by jet streams, may become more powerful and more frequent as the jet streams move away from the sub-tropical zones where hurricanes are born.
(At ABC, the chanting has turned to a shouted refrain: Ayers! Ayers! Ayers!)

NOAA: The second warmest March on record

[NOAA's National Climatic Date Center report says that] Based on preliminary data, the globally averaged combined land and sea surface temperature was the second warmest on record for March and the January-March year-to-date period ranked eleventh warmest.

March 2008 missed the record for the warmest March (2002) by a whopping 0.07°F. March 2008 was the warmest March over land in the record, beating the previous record by nearly 0.3°F. And it was the warmest March over land and sea in the northern hemisphere on record by 0.2°F .

(ABC's shouts have turned to screams: Reverent Wright! Tuzla! Polls! Electability! We know best! Pay no attention to the weather! Flag pins! Flag pins! Flag pins!)

Bye Bye!

NYTimes: The Isiah Thomas Era Ends
The team was also plagued by off-the-court embarrassments like a tawdry sexual harassment suit brought by Anucha Browne Sanders, a former Knicks executive. Thomas spoke after the verdict.
Photo: John Marshall Mantel/Associated Press

Isiah finally fired. Don't let the door, etc. On second thought, I hope the door does hit him in the ass. Jerk.

NYTimes: Isiah Thomas fired as coach of New York Knicks

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Obama: "I Will Come Right Back At Them"

You have a choice: be a fighting liberal or sit quietly. I know what I am, what are you?

- Steve Gilliard, 1964 - 2007

I love to see Obama fighting back. We have too many polite Democrats. If you don't fight, you don't win. Obama just turned last night's debate into a campaign issue: w/video

"I will tell you, it does not get much more fun than these debates. They are inspiring events," Mr. Obama quipped. "Last night, I think we set a new record because it took us 45 minutes before we even started talking about a single issue that matters to the American people. It took us 45 minutes!"

"Forty-five minutes before we heard about health care. Forty-five minutes before we heard about Iraq," he continued. "Forty-five — 45 — minutes before we heard about jobs. Forty-five minutes before we heard about gas prices."

"But not this time. People will not be distracted this time. If the Republicans come at me, I will come right back at them. And I will come back at them hard. You know, I'll be honest with you. I'll be honest with you. It's a little harder to do with a fellow Democrat, because, I'm trying to, be, uh, show some restraint. I won't have as much restraint with the Republicans."

Wall To Wall Ugly

Talking Points Memo has helpfully distilled the horrid ABC debate into 9 horrid minutes. They call it "Wall to Wall Ugly". What I think will get this blog banned by even more nanny software. Fuck ABKKKKKKKKKK, fuck Charles Gibbon, fuck George Stepheneneneospoiasfhj;posdih;o. Fuck Sean Hannity who fed some of the horrid questions to Georgie Peorgie. Fuck all of them.

All Hail Obama


Robert Koehler, Huffpo: The Done Deal

If politics is the art of saying nothing, then Barack Obama is sure blowing it, isn't he?

His latest "gaffe," to proclaim at a private fundraiser in San Francisco (of all places) that small-town Americans are bitter and cling to guns and God in lieu of financial security -- these words purveyed to the American public by way of a scratchy, Osama-quality recording -- triggered such heartfelt hypocrisy from his opponents.

"It is hard to imagine," said John McCain, "someone running for president who is more out of touch with average Americans."

I almost agree with this. Obama is definitely out of touch with something. However, it isn't "average Americans" -- who, it turns out, really are bitter in large numbers -- so much as what I would call "the tacit covenant of presidential politics."

Serious presidential candidates aren't supposed to go there, see. That's what makes them "serious" -- their understanding that American politics is settled, a done deal. The deal is this: While real Republicans can drift, unchecked, to the dark side of empire and neofascism, Democrats are supposed to campaign and govern as moderate, "responsible" Republicans.

We live, in other words, in a corporate state, the basic terms of which are no longer open to debate. The "class struggle" is over. What about this do you not understand, Candidate Obama?

All hail the (invisible) corporate state and its sacred fetishes: God, guns, flag.
All hail the cliche that is America, with its hard-working little people who get the job done. All hail the McWorkers of the new economy, who roll up their sleeves and vote for one smiling liar or another on their way to their second job. All hail the dearth of health care, the children left behind, the endless billions for war and most of all the fact that these matters are not -- I repeat, NOT -- open for discussion in this presidential election year or, God willing, the next one or the next.

Free Ride McCain

Media Matters Action Network: McCain's Free Ride
Media Myths of McCain

So far there are only eight; the next one, #9: "The media honeymoon with John McCain is over," will be released on April 21st.

Go to the original post to see why these statements, repeated over and over and over by the corporate press, are myths:

1. John McCain is a maverick.

2. John McCain is a moderate.

3. John McCain is a straight-talker.

4. John McCain is a reformer.

5. John McCain doesn't do things just
because they're politically expedient.

6. Just about all you need to know about
John McCain's character is that he showed
courage as a prisoner of war in Vietnam.

7. John McCain has too much integrity
to use his war record to his political advantage.

8. John McCain is the lobbyist's biggest enemy.

McLame: Too Old To Be President

Sez someone who knows: Rep. John Murtha, age 75.

AP: Murtha says McCain too old to be president

When is he going to release his tax returns? Maybe he forgot.Besides being too old, John McCain McSame McBush, would be happy to see American troops in Iraq for the next 100 years. Wrong for 2008, wrong for America.

What Really Matters in This Election


I tried to watch the Democratic debate last night. I really tried. But there was no there there. The moderaters, faux journalists Charlie Gibson and George Stephanopoulos, asked questions about trivial bullshit for the first hour. Here's what they, and ABC (owned by Disney) think matter: Who will run for vice president, Bittergate, Snipergate, American flag lapel pins, knowing a former member of the Weather Underground, polls, Reverend Wright.

What really matters: The war, the economy, healthcare, the housing market, food prices, gas prices, climate change, torture, war crimes, outsourcing America, restoring America's moral core, and so much more.

We got almost nothing of the latter, and way too much of the former, from the debate.

It was almost unbearable to watch. Bizarrely, Charlie Gibson reserved his most withing contempt for the candidates refusing to agree not to raise the capital gains tax. What, did he sell stock this year?

If you'd like to let ABC know how disappointed you are in how execrably poor the debate monitors were, you can

- call them: ABC Switchboard: 212-456-7777

- email a response: ABC News Network Programming Feedback

- or call or email these honchos

ABC NEW YORK NEWSROOM: (212) 456-5100 Newsroom Fax Machine 212.456.5150

Peter Salinger (THE MAN IN CHARGE OF ELECTION COVERAGE) Director, Special Events & Sports 212.456.5105

Cristi LandesManager, Programming 212.456.5107

Wayne Fisk Director, Programming 212.456.5327

Jeff Fitzgerald Executive Director, Operations 212.456.5554

Heidi Oringer Executive Director, Entertainment 212.456.5541

Jon Newman News Coverage 212.456.5100

Joyce Alcantara Assignment Manager 212.456.5106

Jim Kane Deputy D.C. Bureau Chief 212.222. 6604

Andrew Kalb Executive Director, Programming 05.567.2269

Robert Garcia Executive Director, News & Sports 212.456.5103

Tom Shales, Washington Post: In Pa. Debate, The Clear Loser Is ABC

Greg Mitchell, HuffPo: The Debate: A Shameful Night for the U.S. Media

Jason Linkins, HuffPo: Worst. Debate. Ever.

Hunter, dailykos: The Collapse Of The National Press

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Michelle Obama on Colbert Report

Michelle Obama: Cool and on message.


USA celebrates penalty shot victory over Canada, 4/12/08 Change blowin' in the wind for women's team

Besides the news that Kate Markgraf is the team co-captain (yea Kate!) this article contains this interesting outline of Pia Sundhage's challenges:

Plenty of wrenching decisions, though, lie ahead.

There is goalkeeper Hope Solo and the scars from her much-publicized banishment at the 2007 World Cup last September. Solo and her teammates have worked to mend their tattered relationship, but Solo also has admitted “there are still some people who I realize I may never be close to again.”

There is the fitness level of hefty defender Cat Whitehill, a starter in the 2003 and '07 World Cups and 2004 Olympics. Sundhage has already made a subtle statement by benching Whitehall through most of the Algarve Cup and Olympic qualification.

There is the disposition of 5-foot-11 forward Abby Wambach, who is the team's most gifted player and whose abrasive personality can (and does) rub teammates and coaches the wrong way. She was the focal point in former coach Greg Ryan's bang-it-forward system, but Sundhage's offensive diversification ultimately means fewer touches for the No. 5 scorer in U.S. history.

There is the leadership void created when Kristine Lilly, the lone remaining link to the 1991 World Cup title, took the year off to start a family.

I am not surprised that Whitehill's fitness is an issue. One of the nightmares of Greg Ryan's foolish tactics was having Whitehill come forward to take all throw-ins, when she struggled to get back into position. Hopefully Sundhage will put her on the Juande Ramos diet.

I don't know about Wambach rubbing anyone else the wrong way, but I wager that she's had a few run-ins with this reporter. Is he trying to say that Abby is crabby because she's not getting the ball as much? I bet she's happy to be winning in a system that lets the team play soccer, not bootball.

ussoccer: U.S. Women's National Team Downs Canada in Penalty Kick Shootout to Win 2008 CONCACAF Women's Olympic Qualifying

Captain Christie Rampone with CONCACAF Trophy after win over Canada, 4/12/08

Jon Stewart Skewers "BitterGate"

Yes, I am not in the mood to write today.

Obama's Hoop Roots

Bryant Gumbel interviews Obama on Real Sports:

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Stupid Republican Tricks

John McCain is a little confused about foreign policy. Again. McCain said he would leave the decision about whether to shift troops from Iraq to Afghanistan to General Petraeus. Apparently, McCain is unaware of the parameters of the job of "Commander in Chief". Petraeus had just testified before Congress last week that, well, that's not his job. That's the CIC's job. For which McCain is abundantly unqualified.

Rep. Geoff Davis (R-Ky), member of the House of Representatives, calls Barack Obama "boy". As Americablog notes, that's southern for n*gger. I believe Representative Davis shortened his name from the original: Jefferson Davis.

Stephen Hadley, Bush's National Security Advisor, repeatedly referred to Tibet as Nepal while appearing on ABC on Sunday. Repeatedly! Heckuva job, Stephen. (Helpfully, AP (Administration Puppets? Absurd Pack? Assignment: Parliament? then purged the transcript to make it look like this Bush stooge knew what he was talking about.)

Joe LieRepublican sez, it's a good idea to ask if Barack Obama is a Marxist. I ask, why does Joe LieRepublican still chair a committee in the Democratic-controlled Senate? What will it take for him to get his walking papers? He is a Republican now, Connecticut for Lieberman be damned.

On John McCain's presidential campaign website, there are recipes contributed by Cindy McCain (the woman who stole drugs from a charity). Problem: the recipes are lifted from the Food Network website. Once a thief, always a thief.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Now I'm Bitter

Democratic presidential hopeful, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., eyes her shot of Crown Royal with Bronko's owner Nick Tarailo, right, as she stops at the bar during a campaign stop at Bronko's restaurant in Crown Point, Ind., on Saturday, April 12, 2008.
(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

I'd like to write an omnibus post about the total ridiculousness of the other candidates reaction to, and the media's running gleefully with, Obama's "bitter" comment, but I'm too busy. (Work going into the electric kiln tomorrow! Whoo-hoo!) So here's an unresearched, unlinked post. Just my opinion.

The triviality of it all, the very same week that we learn that Smirky McConstitutionFucker PERSONALLY ENDORSED TORTURE, the press spends the entire weekend calling Barack Obama an out-of-touch elitist. Barack Obama, child of a single mother. Obama, who went to Harvard -- because he earned a scholarship. And then spurned hundreds of offers to work for corporate law firms, to work as a community organizer. Real elitist.

Multi-millionaire John McCain, owner of eight houses, son of an admiral, dumped his first wife to marry a multi-millionaire heiress twenty-five years his junior, he calls Obama an out-of-touch elitist. Multi-millionaire Hillary Clinton, who together with her husband earned $109 million in their seven short years out of the White House, graduate of Wellesley College and Yale Law School, has lived either in the White House or a tony suburb of New York City since 1992, she calls Barack Obama an elitist.

It's all bullshit! He wasn't insulting anyone, and they know it, and the media knows it. And Hillary Clinton, who is supposed to be a Democrat, attacks Obama like he's just admitted he authorized the United States military to start torturing prisoners. Oh, that's wrong. She attacks Obama like he's her real opponent, not John McSame, the Republicans and George W. Clusterfuck. Hillary, keep your eyes on the prize. It's not about defeating Obama. It's about beating McCain and taking back the White House in November. Shooting the other Democrat in the race is not helping.

Annie Oakley Clinton then claimed that her father taught her to shoot when she was a little girl (my mother said, my father showed me how to shoot when I was a little girl, but he didn't give me the gun. It was too big. It would have knocked me over.) And she'd gone duck hunting. Funny, I don't remember her ever mentioning that before. As a matter of fact, I'm pretty sure she was a big opponent of guns when she ran for Senate in 2000.

I looked her father up on wikipedia. The house where he supposedly taught her to shoot? It was a vacation house they owned on a lake in Pennsylvania, and Hillary spent her summers at the summer house. Real working class, summers at the second house.

Then she got photographed in a bar in Indiana throwing back a shot and a beer on Saturday night. What next? A campaign appearance with Clint Eastwood where they both drawl "Go ahead, make my day" and she shoots a paper cutout of Obama? Then goes out for a beer and a shot with McCain where they both laugh about having passed the commander-in-chief threshold? You may have guessed that I'm pretty sick of Hillary Clinton's shtick. Drop out now, Hillary, I would write in the sky over her events. If you can't say anything nice about the Democrat, don't say anything.

So, I said I wouldn't link, but this addendum to a Glenn "Glenzilla" Greenwald post pretty well summed up my opinion of the media's role in the whole debacle. (Go buy his new book, Great American Hypocrites.)

[On weekend television] there was virtually no discussion, at least on any of the news shows to which I was exposed, of the obviously consequential revelations of the President's direct involvement in the creation of America's torture regime. Instead, the vast bulk of attention was paid to depicting Barack Obama as an effete, elitist, deceptive enemy of the Regular Guy -- exactly the way that every national Democratic politician in recent memory has inevitably been depicted (including Hillary Clinton, particularly when the media and the Right thought last year that she would be the nominee).

Our elections are dominated by the same tired personality script, trotted out over and over and over. Democrats and liberals -- no matter how poor their upbringing, no matter how self-made they are, no matter how egalitarian their policies -- are the freakish, out-of-touch elitists who despise the values of the Regular Americans. Right-wing leaders -- no matter how extravagantly rich they are by virtue of other people's money, no matter how insulated their lives are, no matter how indifferent their policies are to the vast rich/poor gap -- are the normal, salt-of-the-earth Regular Folk. These petty, cliched storylines drown out every meaningful consideration and dictate our election outcomes, and they are deployed automatically.

It doesn't matter what the candidates actually say or do. The establishment press just waits for the right episode and then reflexively and eagerly fills in the gaps in the shallow script -- the script with which they are intimately familiar and which serves as their only framework for talking about and understanding political disputes.

John McSame: Four More Years of Bush

This 30 second ad is now running in DC, targeting insiders:

If The Beckhams Lived in Oklahoma

Photoshop rules.

From Wintrest, via Who Ate All the Pies?