Nice line - and an interesting thing to add to discussions of this issue.
Harassment of people who might have been potential protesters at the RNC. In these preemptive police/fed sweeps, also detained were journalists covering the events and lawyers who were there to provide counsel.
Yes, I know liberals aren't allowed on tv, and I know the convention in St. Paul is starting on Labor Day, but evenso this line-up is laughable. John Kerry is the last of three guests on one show - and he's the only Democrat on any of them today?
McCain's already said one thing that'll make many Republicans close to orgasmic (i.e., he's promised to greatly impair Congress' ability to run as a legislating entity). It's going to be a long week.
You think I'm kidding?:
Bentley describes God ordering him to kick an elderly lady in the face: "I am thinking, 'God, why is the power of God not moving?' And He said, 'It is because you haven't kicked that women in the face.' And there was, like, this older lady worshipping right in front of the platform and the Holy Spirit spoke to me and the gift of faith came on me. He said, 'Kick her in the face ... with your biker boot.' I inched closer and I went like this [makes kicking motion]: Bam! And just as my boot made contact with her nose, she fell under the power of God."
Prince of peace, my ass, eh?
Expect to hear more about this in the blogosphere, because apparently Sarah Palin's church has ties to Joel's Army. As always, I don't expect the MSM to pick up on this because it's not nearly as fun as talking about scary black men who hate America.
So since neither of my Bloodless colleagues has yet to note it, I'll note that we all went to go see this star-studded comedy today. I think it lived up to its hype. It's a funny movie about the movie industry. The script is better than I thought it would be (go Justin Theroux! yeah he didn't write it on his own, but I like him), and it is well-played by pretty much everyone involved - even by Ben Stiller who tends to annoy me. But of course the best, and the star of the thing without question, is the #3 most Bangalicious celebrity in the world. Love him.
So being both a fan of the Poirot books and the David Suchet tv series I thought I'd give this one of Suchet's a go. While he's been playing the part on and off for something like 15 years, this is one of the latest Poirot stories he's filmed. And I've got to say it was highly entertaining if you like this sort of thing. Interesting characters, beautiful settings, and a complex puzzle all set amid a playful group of players, some of whom aren't going to let a brutal murder get them down.
WVU beat Villanova 48-21, while Bowling Green beat Pitt, East Carolina beat Virginia tech, and Utah beat Michigan. I think it's safe to say people in Morgantown will be happy tonight.
As a child of the (sub)tropics, I have not been able to shake the need to know what is happening over the Atlantic as fall approaches. Even though I moved to the mountains some years ago, I still keep a keen (possibly obsessive) eye on approaching systems, waiting and watching. I still have family on the southern coast of Florida, but it's more than being worried about them.
My mom is a weather watcher. She will call me from Florida to tell me that there is bad weather headed my way, because she watches the weather channel for me since I don't have cable. She doesn't get the magic of the internets, but I don't try to tell her because I think it's cute. It's a way that she can still mother her 40 year old "baby" with a phone call. She's a "tough old bird," as she likes to say, quoting her doctor. She talks about storms of the past like old frenemies. "That damn Cleo" and what not. Wilma was the one that broke her nerves of steel. She would never admit that it had anything to do with approaching 80 years of age, and instead says that Wilma shrieked and howled so loud and for so long that she had never heard anything like it before, so now she says that as long as they aren't noisy, she can take it. She and my dad were troopers, taking cold baths and cooking on the grill for weeks afterwards. Again, for folks getting up on 80, that's pretty spry.
My dad's folks lived through the Category Five Okechobee Hurricane of 1928. It blew their first house right off its foundation, and they rebuilt the small wood frame stucco house that my grandmother lived in until she was 94. That little house - one tiny bedroom, a tiny kitchen, a little bathroom, and a small living room, plus another closet-y one for storage and laundry - stood through a lot of storms, and was finally brought down by termites in 1997 after my grandmother's death. When my parents got married, my grandparents divided their lot and my folks built (and they themselves built it, my mom hauling around concrete blocks while pregnant with one of my sisters) a small square cement block house - two small bedrooms, a bathroom, and a kitchen/dining/living room. It's also built to last, on the only high ground in town (a ridge) of low concrete block construction and a hip roof.
I worry about them a little because they are old timers, and used to riding things out. I worry that although they could ride it out and the house would make it and be above the flooding, that the aftermath would be too much, too dangerous. One sister and my brother live close by, thank goodness, and they do the lion's share of helping get things ready. If a big one was coming straight on, though, they'd all go.
Gustav isn't going anywhere near my family, but I feel worry for other places I love and other families that are in the way. It passed by the Isle of Youth and Pinar del Rio is getting hammered right now. Gustav is still a Cat 4 storm as it is crossing Cuba, and is so big that the hurricane force winds are going to buffet Ciudad de la Habana. As Dr. Masters points out, the architecture is not in good shape, and while the people will hopefully be evacuated and cared for, the beauty that remains of old Havana is in serious danger. And New Orleans. The city that has suffered far more than enough, whose collective PTSD is crashing and sparking today, is in the sights of this still growing monster. And there are several more stacked up both in the Atlantic and across Africa (look about halfway down in this post at the black and white satellite map). With the potential for some Cape Verder-type hurricanes, September looks to be a rough ride.
Still, despite the fear and worry, there is something about hurricane season that I love. The extra phone calls with my mom, as we discuss the potential paths of the storms, my folks' plans for when to put up the shutters (not so soon that it's a waste of work, not so late that they become sails in the gusts as you try to put them up), and what the rainfall amounts could be and what it would mean for the levels on Lake Okeechobee (which, in my mother's estimation was prematurely drained last year in preparation for hurricanes that never came, leaving South Florida in a bad drought). I also love to watch the storms march across the Atlantic, wondering which will get a name and which will stay out over the ocean and dissipate. I love to reload the satellite imagery, watching the bands stretch out, and the eye definition come and go.
Gustav has been a pretty one to watch, but deadly, and it's sitting over Western Cuba where it brought ~20 foot storm surge, 145 mph winds and 2 feet of rain. And nowhere to go but places it wil cause lots of trouble.
Oh my. I'll be the first to admit I don't know as much as others about how to appropriately apply Chevron. But hey, I did watch the Boston Legal episode that referenced this issue, and not only do I feel bad for Creekstone, well, apparently that means I am siding with a dissent written by Judge Sentelle. Agreeing with Sentelle - I sort of feel like I should immediately send donations to 3 liberal groups to make up for it.
Gosh, I have no idea what the VP does!
Well, gosh, do you think she's the kind of person folks might want to have a beer with? Maybe she's make a great neighbor!
One of the true delights of this election season has been watching how it's transformed Jack Cafferty - how the Republicans continue to push him around the bend, and how he quite forthrightly makes that clear to one and all. It's fun to watch - like seeing an old uncle getting riled up at Thanksgiving. And on this, I've got think he's right - and that could be important if swing voters start to look at it that way.
Let's suppose that that phone rings at 3am in the morning and either Joe Biden or Sarah Palin has to answer it. You tell me. After this pick, ask yourself again who has the better judgment, John McCain or Barack Obama.
So Palin supported the "Bridge to Nowhere" and she likes congressional earmarks generally. Hmmm, interesting that McCain said exactly the opposite regarding her views on those issues as he introduced her today.
And she supported Pat Buchanan in 1999?
UPDATE: Oh, I see she said the opposite about her position on funding the Bridge to Nowhere. Lovely, it would appear that while introducing herself to the American people she lied. That does not bode well.
That's how I read this. They met at the NGA meeting in February. They talked on the phone on Sunday. And they met again on Thursday when he offerred her the job. I have no idea the last time a president and vice president had so little personal interaction prior to forming a national ticket - Eisenhower & Nixon maybe?
Andrew Sullivan has been throwing up some weird posts today. This one stands out as the wackiest. He so desperately wants to see Republicans and conservative embracing gay people that he sees it where it doesn't exist. He notes that Palin is explicitly against civil unions and equal rights for gays ... and then says this is a great day for gay Republicans? Errrr-what? Add one more thing to the list of things that are confusing me this Friday. She didn't sign a law that her Attorney General said was unconstitutional. That doesn't make her the slightest bit friendly to gays, it merely shows she has some respect for the law. True, even some respect for the law is a step up from Team Bush. But she's not at all gay-friendly, even if she is willing to eat mooseburgers with certain gays and lesbians. Sullivan is bright guy and should wake up from his dreams.
By the way, I will say one thing for this pick - McCain has totally destroyed what otherwise would have been a weekend full of positive stories on Obama. Palin is going to rule the weekend, one way or another.
Seriously? On the one hand it's an incredibly savvy choice in certain areas. She's got a great personal story and will thrill the Right and some PUMAs, and she'd be an historic choice. But a man, a 72 year-old man, whose campaign is essentially "experience-to-be-ready-on-day-1" (mixed in with healthy sprinkles of P.O.W.) running with someone who has been governor of one of the country's least populous states for less than 2 years (and who before that was mayor of a tiny town)? That would be kind of strange.
UPDATE: Benen's initial reaction hits on 2 interesting things. Just yesterday McCain campaign aides were saying a Palin pick would conflict with the message of their campaign. Secondly, it's not just the people and the press that don't know her, neither does McCain. So much for all that analysis that given McCain's personality he was likely to pick someone who was close to him personally.
UPDATE 2: LGM's Alaskan comments on her here.
This is their response to Obama's speech? In the first place, maybe they'll later add an "analysis" tag to the work and stop calling it a "news" piece, as they've done with McCain-cheerleader Fournier's work. But beyond that ... c'mon. You've got to be freakin' kidding me. They want 40 paragraph-long essays of the precise details of tax policy proposals in an acceptance speech? He said he'd cut taxes for 95% of working families. To me that's a pretty clear promise. That he didn't get into the details of that is far from surprising, given the nature of the speech and the event, and to expect that he would verges on the ludicrous. No doubt if he had they'd criticize him for droning and losing touch with the people and being dull. I'll be exceedingly surprised if McCain is as detailed in his plans next week as McCain was tonight. But somehow I'm not expecting the AP to be this tough on him if he's not.
The AP is hardly the only outfit that's done an egregiously poor job of covering Obama's platform. In her post-speech analysis Judy Woodruff noted that he'd finally put some meat on the bones of his proposals, responding to critics who said he was all talk. She was either clueless or seemingly unaware that the "meat" had been there for months and months and PBS and the rest of the traditional media had simply declined to highlight it as the media covered important debates over celebrity or Obama's "presumptuousness" or the exact number of homes John McCain owns. But while the traditional media's done a horrific job this cycle in terms of providing election coverage that would actually be of use to most voters the AP stands out as being uniquely agenda-driven (well, apart from Fox of course).
Charts showing a potential double whammy.
With two more right behind.
But cool, nonetheless.
Matthew Sweet's new album, Sunshine Lies, came in the mail today. Good shit, nice art and signed to boot. I cannot wait for the Pittsburgh show.
Want to see things from really, really high up? Go to the recently completed World Financial Centre in Shanghai. As this pic shows you'll also get quite a close view of another of the world tallest buildings (the Jin Mao Tower) which is right next door.
Given that the McCain campaign seems to be running on his POW past of late, am I the only one who finds it peculiar that no one in the media seems to ever mention that confession he wrote in prison? I mean of course it's not surprising b/c 1) the media has worshiped McCain for years and 2) most would consider folding to torture completely understandable (though, true, according to the Bush administration McCain wasn't tortured) so it's not that surprising he did it. But if the campaign is constantly going to "go there", isn't the utter silence on the topic peculiar? And if Barack Obama had written such a thing wouldn't parts of the media be collecting their torches and pitchforks? To be clear I am NOT urging them to go there. But given the media's often salacious tendencies, and the McCain camp continually spotlighting his time there, I find the silence odd.
With flying colors. And I am counting the orange pantsuit.
Well golly McCain doesn't want to step on Obama's toes, really he doesn't, it's just you've got to let those darned advance people and the Secret Service know, and should the name come out, well, really, honest-to-golly-gee-shucks McCain will feel really bad about it ... Oh puh-leeze. Spare us. If the name comes out it's McCain's responsibility and he's doing it on purpose. Such logistical issues were abundantly clear when the McCain team decided to announce their pick the morning after Obama's speech.
In any event it seems likely we'll know the name in the next 36 hours. Anyone want to make a prediction about who he'll choose?
Which is cool, and it was nice of Sen. Clinton to go to the floor to propose that his nomination be made by acclimation during the roll call of states. But personally I'd say what really made that moment was playing The O'Jays as applause roared across the building. I mean the television talking heads can try to spur disunity all they want, but it's hard for that to really take hold over the sounds of "Love Train".
I didn't follow this brouhaha closely enough to say whether or not this will change anyone's interpretation of what did or didn't happen. But it definitely makes one anti-Beauchamp source a lot less credible.
No time. Very busy.
1. The Democratic convention wants to make me stab myself with a dull screwdriver. There isn't anything passionate and/or interesting that I've heard in excerpts of any of the speeches (including Hilary, though she wasn't bad). After eight years of Bush, and McCain acting like an insane and ignorant gunslinger, you'd think that a mass of Democrats might manage to make a few points. They haven't.
1A. I heard the Governor of Massachusetts for ten minutes last night. If he ever goes near a microphone again, someone tackle him and lock him in a janitor's closet for a week. I thought my brain was going to gnaw its way out of my skull I was so bored.
2. When did McCain go completely around the bend? As best I can tell, his foreign policy consists of a more bellicose version of the present President's foreign policy.
3. When did McCain completely throw out his morals? His response to just about everything seems to be "I was a POW." I respect the service McCain put in, but my own position is evolving towards the idea that military service is not necessarily beneficial to a politicians ability to conduct foreign or domestic policy. It can be (see: Clark, likely Petraeus in the future), but just being an grunt in uniform doesn't give you any greater insight into foreign policy (or dealing with, say, Iran) than slinging burgers at McDonalds.
4. Russia is going to keep the parts of Georgia they want, and looks to be moving into position (literally) to keep Georgia weak. While I still don't think there is much we can do to cheaply punish Russia for the initial invasion, we might want to re-think our options if Russia is just going to keep troops in what are clearly undisputed parts of Georgia. That's a precedent I don't think we want to set. On the other hand, I have no idea what we can do about it.
5. I just added the National Review's "The Corner" to my RSS feed to see what those folks were thinking about (everybody always links to something one of them says, so I thought I'd take a look). That might be the most insane set of ideological ramblings since Charles Manson.
6. Is the fact that China put a big national push on to (A) have a (boringly) flawless Olympics and (B) win more gold medals than anyone else supposed to impress me? Is there anything at all that's relevant about this?
6A. I think I'm more scared (long term) of Chinese nationalism than I am of Iranian nuclear weapons, Al-Qaeda terrorism, Russian resurgence and North Korean missiles combined.
6B. The Chinese had an officially designated "protest zone", but anyone who applied to protest got "re-educated"? I understand there can be cultural differences and misunderstandings, but someone seriously didn't read the book. It made them look silly.
7. I think media coverage of the Presidential race has reached a new nadir. There isn't anything particular I can point to (maybe the constant barrage of "Hilary versus Obama" issues about the convention: don't they understand that the fight is over? Obama won, and the rest is window dressing and completely irrelevant to everything. Hilary delegates or voters aren't going to vote for McCain in any significant numbers...Does the US media really not understand that?), but they all seem to be morons of the highest order. At this point, I just plain can't stand to watch any network news for any length of time.
That's all I can think of.
So I just got a note from the convention on where the campaign is headed in West Virginia. The Obama team will staff 3-5 offices in the state. That'll include a big one in Charleston, one in Morgantown, one in the Eastern Panhandle, and perhaps two others. Both Obama and Biden will camapaign here, perhaps more than once, but the timing of those trips isn't set yet. He's not throwing in the towel in West Virginia, even though the demographics are very tough for him here.
Most of last night's political coverage was focused on the Democratic National Convention and the election results in Alaska (Sen. Stevens was easily renominated and Rep. Young appears to have just barely won - by about 150 votes). But they were voting in Florida too. So what happened? Well in the 8th district, home of Walt Disney World, incumbent Ric Keller (who was breaking a term-limits pledge) barely beat back a Republican challenger and will face a self-funding candidate who's spent over a million dollars on the race so far. Alan Grayson posted a big victory in the Democratic primary, winning by 20 points. Down in the 16th district (an area Binky probably knows a bit) the Republicans were picking a nominee to take on Tim Mahoney, the man who succeeded Mark Foley. The winner? Tom Rooney - yes, of Pittsburgh's Rooneys.
While I assume the new Gallup number will be the poll story of the day, scroll down to the congressional races. In the latest PPP poll Elizabeth Dole is behind challenger Kay Hagan. Dole's numbers appear to have plunged in the last month (courtesy of DSCC spending on Hagan). That's pretty remarkable. Given that the Democrats appear likely to pick-up 5 seats and hers isn't one of those 5 the Democrats are clearly "expanding the map" to positive effect. Also, take a look at those Michigan races. Those numbers don't look good for the Republican incumbents.
The annual tradition of staff comments on members continues. Click to find out who's "meanest", "nicest", a "workhorse", a "fashion victim", and much more.
So let's see, an attractive blonde who speaks English, is a great interview, wears skimpy outfits and gets wet beats the favored Chinese for gold - and NBC's coverage of him is akin to the proverbial crickets chirping? Nope NBC isn't afraid of gay athletes and their families, not at all.
Well if I made offensive arguments that were really dishonest nonsense I'd be playing the "I'm oppressed/protect my rights" card too - it's easier than, you know, writing thoughtful, supportable scholarship.
Everybody knows that the latest anti-Obama ads berating him for having a poor half-sibling (hmmm, who knew the Republicans favored intra-family handouts - I thought they were the party of personal responsibility) are really about implying that he's a furriner - and one with ties to Africa at that. But you'd really think the McCain Team would find a different way to throw that slime, considering Cindy McCain's relationships with her half-siblings (hmmm - if the McCain's are so big on intra-family financial aid I'm sure Cindy will be handing over millions of her inheritance any time now - right?).
Interesting. I think I should watch it again.
You know I guess I can see Tom Benson avoiding the top (bottom) 3. Barely. But's he's being far too kind to the Yorks. Between them and Al Davis it's a wonder that all NFL fans in the Bay Area haven't been driven mad.
A US-led coalition military operation in western Afghanistan on Friday killed 76 civilians, including 50 children and 19 women, the Afghan interior ministry said. The coalition confirmed it carried out an operation that included air strikes in the western province of Herat but said 30 Taliban rebels were killed only and said it knew of no civilian deaths.
Oh, right, that one:
Eight women currently are governors of states.
Dem women governors: 5
GOP women governors: 3
I count 72 women in the House of Representatives
Dem women representatives: 52
GOP women representatives: 20
There are 16 women senators:
Dem women senators: 11
GOP women senators: 5
Numbers that lopsided are not a coincidence. And here are some more:
Number of GOP women who were serious contenders for the 2008 nomination: 0
Number of Dem women who were serious contenders for the 2008 nomination: 1
Number of GOP women who have been Speaker of the House: 0
Number of Dem women who have been speaker of the House: 1
Number of women the GOP has ever nominated to a presidential ticket: 0
Number of women the Dems have ever nominated to a presidential ticket: 1
This is the commenter name from the latest round of spam inundating the blog. WTF?
So last night kikimonster and I went to go see Julian Jarrold's film adaptation of the class Waugh novel. I liked the book a great deal. This movie should not be taken as an accurate adaptation of the novel. Sadly, it tries to reflect some of the themes of the novel, particularly those related to Catholicism and faith and living a life affected by the Church in 20th century England, and fails terribly. The last half hour of the film is just silly (and that's putting it kindly). Actually the less said about every section of the film that follows Julia's engagement, the better. But even though I thought the last third stunk, even though the first two thirds didn't really reflect the novel correctly, even though the protagonist is largely lifeless throughout ... I'd still give the movie a thumbs up. Why? There are worse ways to spend an hour than seeing Charles Ryder's exposure to the grandeur and beauty and of the Marchmain world, and Charles, Sebastian and Julia's flirting and adventures before everything crumbles away. Plus there's Emma Thompson, who's always a delight to see. And scenes of opulent Venice, who doesn't like that? And, though I'm surprised to say it, I thought (excluding the Morocco bit which is more a problem of directing and writing than of acting) Ben Whishaw was terrific as Sebastian. He comes across as more slight than the book's Sebastian, and he comes across as far more femme than the book's Sebastian. So I was expecting to find him a grating, prancing caricature. But actually I think Whishaw's performance worked very, very well. It fit the character far better than I expected - and it fit the movie's character perfectly. He was my favorite thing in the film (well, along with all the beautiful clothes, vices and devices of his decadent life).
They don't want you to use products without warning labels. No, really:
Penis enlargers and constricting rings to maintain erections can be seized at U.S. borders, U.S. regulators said Thursday, citing inadequate safety labels.
McCain's camp gave him a job offer, and supposedly he turned it down, but are we sure of that? I mean this line certainly doesn't look like something written by a reporter without an agenda:
For all his self-confidence, the 47-year-old Illinois senator worried that he couldn't beat Republican John McCain without help from a seasoned politician willing to attack.
Really Mr. Fournier? And exactly where is your reporting that backs up that statement? Hmmm. Somehow that's missing entirely from you supposed news piece. Interesting that you can apparently read Obama's mind so clearly - and thanks for filling us in on your Kreskin-like insights.
UPDATE: Actually Benen has a great post on this, and other Fournier nonsense, up on Political Animal.
Hillary Clinton? Joe Biden? Chet Edwards? If those are finalists I suddenly find myself yearning for him to pick Evan Bayh (though really I still want Kathleen Sebelius).
I strongly agree with this. Sham indeed.
I mean, really, how can you not love her?
At the moment Mark Halperin is leading The Page with the suggestion that Obama's pick might be Indiana's other senator, Dick Lugar. Yes, the senior Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. It's an interesting thought, but is this just Halperin once again pulling something out of his ass?
Because he always merits it. She also nicely dings the concept of McCain-Lieberman.
So the blogosphere seems to largely approve of choosing Biden as vice president. To which I say, what about before he chaired Foreign Relations? He used to chair Judiciary. And back then he managed crime bills, and was a major player in leading us into an expanded "War on Drugs"? Why aren't these parts of his record - which I think quite a lot of thoughtful liberals (to say nothing of libertarians of various stripes) would find highly problematic at best - not part of the discussion of Biden's merits?
UPDATE: Ah, here's one - with several links. I'm not fond of Biden. I'd rank him down with Bayh. But then like most Americans I'm going to vote on the basis of the top of the ticket, not the vice presidential nominee.
What can I say? On the one hand this Kimberly Pierce film (her first since Boys Don't Cry) is well-made from a technical standpoint. It's a "good movie", no question. On the other hand it's about as subtle as Roseanne Barr and Sean Hannity playing tubas as they lead the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. It's preachy, and some of it is a chore to sit through. But, again, it looks great, and it stars some watchable actors doing nice work, though the plot puts them in a string of extreme situations. I guess my reaction can be summed up as "mixed".
This would imply Obama is going to pick a man. But wouldn't this be a fun spectacle to watch? Please, please, please let it be a woman not named Clinton. And no, not just for my amusement. As a policy matter Sebelius appears preferable (well, in terms of my policy preferences). And as Ruth Marcus points out, doing more to appeal to women could put the election away for Obama. So the entertainment value of such a pick isn't driving why I'd like it. But being in a position to sit back and watch as the aftermath unfolds would be awfully fun.
So eager to rumor-monger, and let us all know that he's playing with the in-crowd, he's had a post up for hours noting that Beau Biden knows the Veep pick - and yet for most of that time he didn't know how to spell Beau.
Oh please please please let these 100 college presidents work some magic and get the 21 year old drinking age reversed. Infantilizing adults is no way to run a society, much less a free one. And talk about your laws with problematic consequences that are arbitrarily enforced and often evaded (which of course encourages a disrespect for the law in general) ...
So McCain is going to announce his running mate on the 29th in Ohio. Think that will lower or increase how often the press will mention that he turns 72 that day? I'm guessing it'll lessen the number of birthday features.
And does Dayton mean it'll be Rob Portman? It seems unlikely he'd introduce someone like Charlie Crist there.
You'd really think the press would at least go through the motions of asking him about that.
Couldn't you see this face and profile on our money? And yes, one could argue that's one of the pettiest things I'll ever post, but really folks - why not Sebelius? She fits with and reinforces all of Obama's best qualities. I really hope she's the pick.
I strongly agree with Matt Yglesias. Let's ditch the Vice Presidency. True, we are unlikely to do that. But I'd much rather have new elections after a vacancy opens up at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. The current system is so anti-democratic that it's bizarre. Of course I'd also like to see us get away from fixed-terms (or at least fixed-terms with no vote of confidence), and that's not going to happen either.
This is just so wrong - as well as being seriously lame.
Every so often I get hungry when I am reading The New Yorker. This is one of those times.
Obviously a complicated relationship, the this finding of a "monetary-industrial complex" is rather interesting.
I'm seemingly less interested in the Olympics than almost everyone I know. But when my longtime favorite picks up a gold, I take note. Especially when he celebrates like this.
But while I'm happy for at least one athlete (well, at least two as I like Ryan Lochte as well), the Olympics themselves continue to piss me off. I get them being annoyed at that Swedish wrestler, but stripping him of his medal?
For the record, I'm glad it's back. It reminds us of the extent to which the chattering class' chattering is largely uninformed guess work. Plus, hey, it's entertaining.
Hilzoy has linked to this, which makes an excellent point. John McCain (and the Neocon war-war-war chorus) might not be besties with the president of Iran. But I'd be hard pressed to think of anyone who's doing more this month to secure the rule of the current Iranian regime than the Republican party's candidate for president.
If you are a fan of Stephen Frears (and I am) and/or are interested in British politics (me too again), this 2003 film about the 1994 deal between Gordon Brown and Tony Blair is well worth your time. It clearly had a tiny budget, but it's very well made, and the two stars, David Morrissey and Michael Sheen, do very nice work.
Andrew Sullivan nails Sen. McCain when it comes to war, conflict, and international affairs.
And really, how many clueless IR comments is McCain going to get away with making? Everyone misspeaks now and again. But McCain sure does it a lot on matters of great importance.
For the academics among the bloodless readership, IRB is a neither new nor pleasant part of the academic research regimen. For the non-academics among you, the common exposure is usually hearing about double-blind medical studies, and preventing harm done to sick people or lies being told by pawns of the tobacco industry. There is a legitimate need to protect people involved in studies (Milgram, anyone?) even those that do not pose physical harm. The heinous acts (among others) that ultimately led to the establishment of the protocols were truly horrific.
All that being said, the IRB procedures and "training" conducted institutions often reek more of CYA than anything else. As I was renewing my certification to conduct human subjects research (survey questions count, people, but too bad we can't have telemarketers brought up on charges!) via an online service to which our institution subscribes, there was a module on the necessity of institutional review as well as the history of the practice. I'm not sure if they hired a CNN headline writer to do the mouseover text on their pictures or what, but one of the illustrations of the text was a painting of Gallileo. The mouseover text?
Gallileo had his work reviewed by the ethics board of his day. Here Gallileo is pictured before Cardinal Bellarmino and the Roman Inquisition in 1632.
I'm not sure whether to take that as a threat, a signal that they think they are funny enough to joke with the test takers who feel like they are in front of Bellarmino, or as a sign that they have some actual insight into the constraining effect that the IRB procedures can have on people's research.
I'm watching season 1 of Boston Legal, courtesy of Binky and Baltar, and I'm digging this wacky show. I mean consider the following, and consider that it's said by Betty Fucking White to a murderous Leslie Jordan (aka, Will & Grace's Beverly Leslie and Sordid Lives' Brother Boy):
I am saying that if you are out there murdering people, on some level you must want to be Christian. Would you let me take you to church?
When the show enters a courtroom my interest tends to nosedive as in that setting the silliness often doesn't work. But in general it can be delightful weird. While James Spader really makes the show so far (appropriate for a guy who has won 3 of the 4 last Lead Actor in a Drama Emmys), some of the guest stars and side characters are fun too. Hey, this episode features not only the two listed above, but also Freddie Prinze, Jr.
For your information, tonight is the last night the downtown theater is showing The Fall. Tomorrow it'll start showing Brideshead Revisited and And When Did You Last See Your Father?
Yes, the McCain campaign either lacks any sense of irony or the candidate has such a lack of self-awareness that one wonders if he's conscious. It's hard to imagine behavior more "presumptuous", as the word was defined by McCain earlier this summer, than the actions recently taken by the senator from Arizona. All on behalf of a country that's paid his top foreign policy aide to represent their interests (is that putting America first?).
But all that's pretty obvious, presuming you are more awake to world and political events, than, say, the Washington Post (or Sen. McCain). What I'm wondering about is the response the White House is going to pursue in light of the senator's statements. Do you think Bush is going to feel compelled to follow McCain's line, since that is the position of his party's presidential nominee? At the very least, might Bush feel it necessary not to embarrass McCain on the issue?
Numbers 1 and 2 are pretty damn predictable, but an interesting list on the whole. And hey, it's given me an idea for my next reading diversion (#6).
So today some of the blogs are wondering if given the events in Georgia, and Wed. night being national security night at the convention, Joe Biden be be Obama's Veep choice. I hope not, for a number of reasons. But I'm particularly puzzled by the idea because it would play directly into the McCain campaigns silly attacks. If McCain's strategy is to portray Obama as someone who is all words and inauthentic, does it make since for Obama to run with someone that most of the idea associates with plagiarism and an inability to ever shut up?
Look at the length of the sentence Robert Chambers just got. Then look at the length of the sentence he got for killing Jennifer Levin. Anyone else think something seems out of whack? It's not surprising, but that sort of makes it all the worse.
Who knew that McCain was such an ABBA fan?
Tierney Lab asks the question: Can bad drivers be shamed?Those who know me IRL have long suffered with my rant about my paintball system for driving offenses. It goes like this:
First, you start with a paintball system that uses medium duration but ultimately non-harmful (to the paint of the car, to the environment) paint that is color-coded by offense. Red for tailgating, yellow for talking while driving, purple for failure to use a turn signal. When someone does one of these offenses, the community of other drivers, bike riders, pedestrians etc takes a shot and hits the car. The paint should last something like, a month, right? So it serves as a warning to other drivers (beware!) as well as to the driver or other user of the offending vehicle (perhaps this is how the teen finds out his dad is a tailgater?). However, because the paint is temporary, it gives the offender a chance to reform, and it does not overly penalize "false positives" that should wear off in a relatively short time. Yeah, I'm a liberal like that, I believe in second chances and false positives.
The real problem, of course, is the rage-a-holic who takes a gun out to shoot at the person marking them with the road rage paint. So it's got a few kinks.
Seriously Howard, stop whining - especially when there's plenty of evidence that you are wrong. And giving the opportunity for the press to point out that you are wrong and that Sen. Clinton wouldn't have gotten most of those Edwards supporters ... that doesn't reflect well on you or her.
Really, why in the world does anyone watch the Sunday morning shows. I know it's kind of the job of the national press to follow them (i.e., to listen to each other), but it's surprising doing so doesn't lead peoples brains falling right out of their heads, given shit like this.
There's no need for that of course. One can certainly speak to security issues without being one. But that'll be today's Veepstakes chatter given the convention schedule. Of course none of the 4 people most often discussed as his running mate (Kaine, Bayh, Biden and Sebelius) served in the military, so if it is a veteran it'll be a bit of a surprise.
Although radishes have reigned supreme as the multi-use go to garden goody of the summer, the squashes (of the "it came from the compost!" variety ie I have no idea which kind of squash) are really flowering with gusto, which means cheese filled, fried goodness. I've tried various recipes for stuffed squash blossoms, and have decided that you have to be careful not to make the batter too heavy or sticky. It needs to be light, but seasoned. So, get yourself a pot of veg oil and bring it up to 350 degrees. While that is coming to temperature, mash up some fresh goat cheese (picked up some yesterday at the farmers' market that is dry and delicious!) with some chopped fresh herbs from the garden (thyme, basil, parsley, chives and a leetle rosemary) plus salt and pepper to taste. For about ten blossoms of varying sizes (pumpkin are large, Hubbard are medium, the mystery were a bit smaller) I used about a third of a medium log of cheese and about a quarter cup of herbs. Shove a blob of the cheese mixture down into the base of the blossom, making sure all our insect friends have been released into the wild. I accidentally refrigerated a bee overnight last night, but although a bit sluggish, he was still kicking when i released him today. Twist the tips of the blossom in a spiral motion, and squeeze to seal the cheese inside. Just before dropping the blossom into the hot oil, immerse/roll in a flour/milk dip. Here is the key... I always like to use corn meal flour instead of regular white flour, because it has an earthier taste. Also, squash and corn are two of the tres hermanas (see here for a brief explanation). Anyway, use 2 tablespoons of cornmeal flour per 1/2 cup of milk, and whisk them (plus a little salt and pepper to taste) together until you get a very light paste. And this is harina de maiz not cornmeal, which is too grainy. It's more runny than pasty, but just make sure the flour is all suspended in the milk. So, cheese mixture in flower, dip in milk mixture, drop in 350 degree oil (deep enough to cover). Cook one minute (-ish) on each size, drain and eat (but be careful, they come out rather molten).
So kikimonster and I finally got around to seeing this disappointment last night. I'm perfectly willing to roll with inane scripts and silly pratfalls and jubliation for the sake of jubilation (including singing and dancing of course) as long as the overall experience is light-hearted and fun. But evenso, that's hard to do during this. A.O. Scott nails this film here. What would I add? Well, if anything he's too kind to the direction, editing and photography. It's an atrocious mess, and that makes it really hard to enjoy the film. And the mix of people who can sing with those who clearly can't (Pierce Brosnan is the worst, but much of the cast is surprisingly poor) messes up the tone. Now there are some fun numbers, and as long as the movie was focused on, Amanda Seyfried (finally she gets a lead role! even if she's listed at the back of the credits) and Dominic Cooper, and Christine Baranski and Julie Walters, things are fun and enjoyable. But the older men are such bad singers, and I think Meryl Streep is so terribly miscast, that the bulk of the film is somewhere between "missed opportunity" and "makes you cringe".
Which is too bad. Seyfried does her damnedest to move it along, and she is winning and charismatic and has a beautiful voice. Baranski's fun number makes you think what this film could've been if the rest of the cast could actually sing. And hey, Streep's Winner Takes It All makes you realize that even the not so hot singers could be compeling and entertaining if the film stuck to a tone and look that was fairly consistent for, oh, more than 30 seconds at a time. But sadly the movie looks so bad, is so jumpy and muddled (from the direction to the choreography), that it really doesn't work. When you can reasonably argue that the credits are the best part of a movie - that's not good.
Am I missing something? Not being a Christianist voter, maybe I just don't get the big deal. Well, almost certainly I don't. But I do follow politics closely, and John Edwards' position as a national politician has been deader than dead for months. And since he's shown no interest in a return to state office, well, isn't this story getting oddly heavy airplay? Yeah, I know, we are the US of A, and if there's anything we get frothingly excited over it's sex and who's sleeping with whom. But this sort of seems about as relevant a news story as Mike Huckabee having an affair - heck, he's actually got a political future, so maybe that'd be a bigger story. Which is another way of saying, who'd want to know/care about such things?
Bloody international conflict on the day that sees the opening of the 2008 Olympics.
No, it's not 1990 again, but apparently she's considering it. While older than John McCain and Carl Levin, the expectation is apparently that the job can be hers (in 2011) if she wants it.
Cohn makes the case here. On the merits I think he'd be a fine choice. But I don't know that it would work politically/as a matter of marketing. Though a reformer, he's older than McCain and has been in the Senate longer than McCain. And those characteristics don't scream "Change".
Uh, that was it? I know some have bowed down before him since Freaks & Geeks, but I'm thinking that the whole Apatow-and-company craze is seriously out of hand. I mean I'm still interested in seeing Pineapple Express, but he's hardly the comic visionary he's made out ot be. I'd give this a C/"completely lost my interest". Superbad was great and The 40 Year Old Virgin had plenty of good moments. But other than that their pre-2008 movies really aren't all that special. And that's before one even gets at the weird/troubling gender politics of the films.
Didn't know there'd been one? Neither did I.
I usually can't read Greenwald. The combination of the tone and the constant updates is too much for me. However, he does have a point.
That means that the same Government lab where the anthrax attacks themselves came from was the same place where the false reports originated that blamed those attacks on Iraq.
My whole point here is that the U.S. Government now claims the anthrax attacks came from a Government scientist at a U.S. Army lab
US olympians are kowtowing before the Chinese, apologizing for wearing face masks (I was just talking to someone who was there last week - she was talking about how in Beijing you can't see the sun). And the chairman of the Republican House Policy Committee rips into President Bush in ways that likely make Michael Moore both thrilled and jealous.
Not that another one is needed, but having a woman on the ticket would appear to help Obama (or be more helpful to him than it would be for McCain).
And as far as Bayh goes, I find this argument peculiar. Okay, so Bayh isn't all that conservative by the standards of Indiana. But wouldn't you think that Democrats would want to use, say, their own electorate or their core states as the appropriate baseline? Fine, he's not a conservative by Indiana standards, but that doesn't mean he's not to the right of lots of Democrats. So I am inclined to agree with Scott L.
That said, back when he was thinking about running for president he made some great comments about various Bush administration misdeeds and had an improved voting record. And happily we could count on him to vote against not only Alito, but also Roberts. So perhaps his voting record is indeed skewed by him wanting to represent and appeal to his current constituency - and those biases might evaporate once he was on the national stage. But then again, his economic record is likey to drive certain parts of labor nuts, and he supported the Iraq war, so I find any thoughts of him being a latent liberal a bit of a stretch.
More pointedly, he appealed to 'the North American churches' to stick to moratoriums on the ordination of openly gay clergy and the blessing of same-sex unions, saying their failure to do so would imperil the chances of broad agreement on the proposed covenant. And that, he said, would mean that 'our communion will continue to be in great peril.'I understand why the Archbishop of Cantebury is saying such things, and I fully expect him to continue doing such things, playing for time as long as he can, and then probably throwing gay clergy under the bus - but c'mon. Break the fucking Communion already. Obviously Williams' doesn't want to, and won't. But it's a product of another time. And as long as the Anglicans, and for that matter the Roman Catholics, seek a big-tent Church they are going to be drawn to the views of the global South on these issues, since that's where the great majority of most of the Church's members are. And culturally the two regions (North American and Europe versus "the South") are growing more and more apart. This is really just delaying the inevitable. Given where the Roman Catholics are, this stuff shouldn't break them. I mean when you've got Kasper the friendly cardinal, one of the most "liberal" men that John Paul II bestowed the red hat on, saying stuff like this, it's clear that Church is united. But the Anglicans? You aren't going to reconcile the difference between the Episcopalians of New England and the Anglicans in Nigeria. Put the Communion out of its misery.
If any of you want to comment on the news that McCain's camp is vetting Eric Cantor, here's a thread for you. I think Cantor is, from McCain's perspective, one of the strongest picks he could make. Not as good as Charlie Crist, and maybe not as good as Fred Smith (I'd need a few more details on Smith). But other than them, I can't think of a better pick for the Arizona senator.
Since my Saturday night diversion bailed out at the last minute, I ended up watching another dvd last night. And I can finally say that my long string of movies that didn't meet my hopes or expectations has come to an end. In part, that's because I had very low expectations for this comic strip adaptation. But actually it proved to be delightful with an endearing and adorable lead performance by Daniel Letterle (Camp), some game supporting actors, and a cute structure. It was so predictable you didn't really need to watch it to know exactly how it would unfold (and I mean exactly), but if you did pay attention, it was pretty funny.
Talk about irritating. Just go ahead and raise ticket prices an extra $2. I'm sure the flight attendants don't want to be bothered with picking up paltry sums of cash from 100+ people, and it's not like people are going to stop buying tickets that already cost hundreds of dollars because they inch up a tiny bit more.
The person who's really being dissed in McCain's latest lame attempt to move the campaign from a discussion of the issues facing the country to dismissive name-calling against Senator Obama isn't Senator Obama, it's Britney Spears. I mean c'mon, think of Britney what you will, but surely she's a significantly more substantial public figure than Paris Hilton (even though Paris, unlike Britney, had a cameo on Veronica Mars).
Moon pointed me in the direction of this. It's hilarious if you know anything about Pittsburgh's politicians and power brokers. And actually it's probably still pretty funny even if you don't. Part 1. Part 2. Part 3.
The Armchair Generalist has a couple good links here, one to a letter Gen. Shinseki wrote Secretary Rumsfeld, and one to a piece by Secretary Gates (I might throw the latter on a syllabus). And as to McIntyre's comments about the Shinseki letter, either he's too stupid to breathe, or he's carrying some serious water for people in the OSD. That's "liberal" CNN for you.
The story doesn't come out and say it, but seems to hint at it pretty strongly. The guy worked at the US Army lab that researches and investigates anthrax, was being investigated, and committed suicide this week. There isn't any proof in this early story, and they have been wrong before (they paid Hatfill about $5.5 million this spring), but this might be wrapped up.
I sorta thought we'd never know who did it.