Friday, August 22, 2008

DemCon Religiosity Watch


South Korean President: Insensitive to Go Golfing in Current Economy

golf ball cups
Originally uploaded by debbiedoescakes
From Reuters: "South Korea's President Lee Myung-bak has told officials to give up golf for the moment because it sends the wrong signal just as the economy has hit the rough." Taking his cues from Bush?

Sullivan to Fournier: Get a Blog!


The Monopoly Is Broken

"Israel’s Reform and Conservative movements have been allotted government land for synagogue construction, marking the first time in the Jewish state’s history that the Orthodox monopoly on public support for prayer facilities has been broken." The religious monopolists, who are basically pious welfare queens, will stop at nothing to nip this in the bud.

Jeff Greenfield's Top 5 Classic Convention Books


McCain and Scheuneman, Unambiguously Neocon Duo

Sullivan: "Just because Putin is paranoid doesn't mean McCain isn't out to get him."

Friedman Institute: Just Say No

Marshall Sahlins:

Does the university expect us to "disappear" the memory of the Friedman-trained Chicago Boys, who supplied the economic programs for the draconian regimes of Augusto Pinochet in Chile and the generals in Argentina?

Of course, this is completely ridiculous and Sahlins is just giving ammunition to the likes of David Horowitz and the bowtie-wearing populists over at The New Criterion. Better to compromise a little than to give license to the culture warriors to nurse their absurd grievances. The truth is that they'd rather have the grievance than the Institute, so why give them what they really want?

Toronto's Bicycle Black Hole

Originally uploaded by bsidez
What was he planning to do with 2,865 bicycles? (Perhaps he's being paid by this jerk?)

In the Broadest Sense of the Word

The program for an event in Denver being sponsored by Sea Change Communications:

Thursday, August 27th | 2:30 PM – 4:00 PM
Cause Celeb: High Profile Activists

Celebrities recall their most entertaining experiences on the campaign trail for their candidate of choice.

* Moderators: Ted Johnson
(Managing Editor of Variety)
* Rosario Dawson
(Actress and Founder, Voto Latino)
* Hill Harper
(Actor, NYT Best Selling Author "Letters to a Young Sister")
* Kerry Washington
(Actress, Obama Surrogate)
* Tatyana Ali
(Actress, Obama Surrogate)
* Kal Penn
(Actor, Obama Surrogate)


Kumar is an Obama "surrogate?"

McCain's "Judeo-Christian" References

"When discussing foreign policy, his use of the term can be glaring. McCain's view of American power harkens back to the World War II era, when the United States held the moral high ground as liberator. He is a staunch interventionist, both on humanitarian and national-security grounds. To most of the world, especially in Muslim nations, there is an enormous difference between standing up for freedom and standing up for Judeo-Christian values, but McCain conflates the two. And sometimes, his use of the term seems more than accidental."

Little Bill Clinton

The Christian Science Monitor looks at the life of a new American.

McCain's Housekeys


Reading the Tea Leaves

David Kurtz of TPM thinks he's the choice.

Book Rec of the Day


Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Germany's Key to Green Energy

"While other nations hunt for ways to wean themselves from fossil fuels, Germany is in the throes of a green revolution that has made it the global leader in solar- and wind-power generation. The reason? A pioneering law that requires utilities to buy electricity from renewable sources at premium rates. This means anyone with a rooftop solar generator or a small water turbine can sell the energy they produce at a healthy profit."

Thawing Reveals Bigfoot Merely a Rubber Gorilla Suit


Sunday, August 17, 2008

Migratory Species

More veteran journos leave their newspaper jobs for ProPublica. The collapse of once-great newspapers like the LA Times is sad but at least there's maybe, just maybe something there to replace them in the form of nonprofit journalism.

Right-Wing Dilemma

In a massive governmental abuse of power, out-of-control tax board investigators do everything they can to ruin a California (or is it Nevada?) man's life ... but then he receives a ridiculous, excessive jury award of $400 million. What's a government-loathing, anti-tax, tort reform-supporting conservative ideologue to make of it all?

Laura Richardson for VP

How could Obama possibly say "I feel your economic pain" any better than putting on the ticket a woebegone woman whose foreclosed home has been declared a public nuisance because of rotting fruit in the backyard?

Lightning Bolt

While it's certainly arguable, I thought Usain Bolt (Kevin Drum calls him the "fastest mon alive") was smart to ease up in the last 15-20 meters of his gold medal-winning 100m race in Beijing - it's great showmanship, if not necessarily the best sportsmanship, to treat your adversaries like a bunch of punks by celebrating before the race is over. Showmanship is all about leaving the crowd wanting more, and creating a tantalizing wonderment about what could have been.

An Alternative to Congestion Charging?

I knew that the Chinese government was restricting automobile traffic in Beijing during the Olympics, but I didn't realize how they were doing it: by allowing only even-number license plates one day and odd-number plates the next. An elegant-seeming solution, though obviously there are enforcement issues and it's class-biased (wealthy people own more than one car, so they can just use different cars for different days). Has this been tried anywhere as an alternative to congestion charging?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

If Lincoln and Douglas Debated the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict


Elvis Sighting

"Apparently a black man with dreads can't carry that much cash." No shit, Sherlock.

The Teacher Salary Project

Apparently it's a Dave Eggers project, but then again what isn't?

Whither Corzine?

Paulson succeeded Corzine as CEO of Goldman Sachs, and in fact had a hand in engineering Corzine's departure - now Corzine could succeed Paulson at Treasury. If it plays out that way, expect Senate confirmers to ask pointed questions about Long Term Capital Management.

Tom Hayden on O'Bama

Some of this is very into the weeds, which is of course why it compares so favorably to the usual horse-race drivel. (And it offers perspective on how similarly parochial -- not to say insignificant -- issues related to Israel or the Jewish community can be.)

Anyway, it seems to be further proof that neither Obama nor McCain are very good (for better or for worse) at the finessing, caressing, cajoling and pandering required to win over all the various organized ethnic lobbies.

GOP Abandons New Jersey...

... and Kos, sensing they are missing an opportunity to miss an opportunity, is bummed about it.

Pet Endorsements


Libertarian & Green Party Lovefest


The Plot Against Liberal America


Why Comedians Hate Carrot Top

World's "worst" comedian Neil Hamburger:

Q. Do you hate anyone?

A. Yes, Carrot Top, that son of a bitch. People like myself working so hard on cracking these jokes to cheer people up then that prick shows up with a trunk of shit. You can watch a hobo unloading a shopping cart and it'd be more entertaining than that. That guy makes millions of dollars for opening a trunk and pulling out a hubcap and saying "this is what you use to open walnuts" and everyone laughs and they give him another check for a million dollars. It is horrible.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Bring On The Dolphin-Men!

Kevin Drum:

Despite all the hoohah about LZR suits, 3-meter pools and the insistent march of technology, the biggest drop [in swimming world record times] by far was between 1950 and 1980, when the 200m record plummeted by 15 seconds. In the past 28 years, by contrast, it's dropped only a sluggish 6 additional seconds. Not so amazing after all! I demand swimmers with genetically engineered gills in time for the 2012 Olympics.

Damn Foreigners

More Canadian interference in our election...

Child's Play

Ron Rosenbaum:

When does dissent become Untruth and lose the rights and respect due to "legitimate dissent"? Who decides—and how—what dissent deserves to be heard and what doesn't? When do journalists have to "protect" readers from Untruth masking itself as dissent or skepticism?

Journalists protecting us from Untruth? That's child play! What about (cf. Hunter, Rielle) journalists protecting us from the Truth!

Two Jews, A Black Guy, and the Greatest Olympian Ever Walk Into A Bar...


Anti-Bayh For VP Facebook Group


So Much For Golden Arches Theory of IR...


Middle East Counterpart to Offshore Drilling?

Whether or not to build the Red Sea - Dead Sea Canal...

Monday, August 11, 2008

Irish Eyes Are Smiling

Padraig Harrington has done it again. He played the closing holes at Oakland Hills with almost superhuman precision and tenacity, just as he did in the closing holes of the British Open. The way he is playing now, he has easily replaced Phil Mickelson as the premier rival to Tiger Woods's golf-world hegemony. Interestingly, his recent book is still stuck way down the charts with an amazon ranking of 88,000.

In Defense of Hawaii

TNR (and apparently Cokie Roberts) has been pondering the politics of Hawaii as a vacation spot... the idea of Hawaii as foreign and elitist is completely ridiculous, as anyone who has ever been in the Oakland airport and seen the unwashed masses armed with Janet Evanovich mass-market paperbacks and $12.99 polyester Aloha shirts from JC Penney waiting for their package-deal charter flights to Honolulu could tell you. Hawaii is a perfectly respectable non-elitist vacation spot for West Coasters of all classes. To not know that is to be living in a Beltway bubble as thick as Beijing smog.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Is Edwards's Affair Different From McCain's?


U.K.'s Fat-Headed Policy on Obesity Tests

Fat Man 4
Originally uploaded by homo_sapiens
Speaking of Rosa Parks, UK writer Mick Hume puts his foot down...

From the Bad Analogy File...

Haredi women in Israel take seats in back of bus (in favor of gender segregation), and compare themselves to Rosa Parks?

Tipping His Hand

Melinda Henneberger thinks Kaus tipped his hand about the real reason he's so utterly obsessed with the Edwards love child story...

Missed Opportunity...

In a post about the dissolution of Belgium, Marty Peretz doesn't even mention that the insoluble conflict between Flemings and Walloons is a fairly strong argument against trying to apply the bi-national paradigm ("if it doesn't work in Belgium...") to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. (Of course I thought this is where he was headed - instead he just heaps scorn on the EU. Ye of little faith!) Where's the two-state love, Marty?

Top Ten Olympic Moments

Per British online mag Spiked. What's your list?

Shameless Olympics Political Piggybacking...

In my inbox today, from CT-05 Congressman Chris Murphy:

Dear Friends,

This month, while the world turns its attention to the Olympic Games, my attention is turned to you - finding out what is on your mind and what you want me to work on when I head back to Washington in September.

Because listening to you is my first priority, this weekend I will be hosting an Issues Olympics tour throughout the District with all of you, the people of the 5th District, as judges.

I, along with members of Team Murphy, will have judging stations all over the District where you and other 5th District residents will be able to rate your Gold, Silver and Bronze issues as well as to let me know specific ideas on how we can make things better.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Fallows: The Day Is Here, and the Air Quality is a Disaster


Liberal Blogs Win Profanity Wars

Classic conservative hypocrisy. Invent a "research project" that involves googling "cock-sucker" and "pussy" and then slap on some ridiculous conclusion about liberals being more profane to justify the whole thing. This isn't research. It's viewing pornography under false pretenses (hey, we've all been there).

Hat tip to Michael Calderone.

Victory For Cohen and for Civility

Rep. Steve Cohen, whose hapless opponent Nikki Tinker managed to unite both Sean Hannity and Keith Olbermann (when was the last time that happened?) against her with a race-baiting and Jew-baiting campaign ad, has won his primary resoundingly. Anyone who cares about upholding a semblance of civility in politics, or about the relationship between blacks and Jews, is enjoying a big sigh of relief.

Year of the Cripple on the PGA Tour

Jeev Milkha Singh
Originally uploaded by Golfing Nut
Leading the PGA Championship: "Singh fits the mold of someone who would thrive in the majors this year. He came to Oakland Hills with an ankle injury he has been coping with the last two months, so severe that doctors have recommended a month of rest."

Metaphor Alert

Larry Craig's lawyers will be in Minneapolis for oral arguments related to his case roughly at the time of the Republican National Convention. As they say, politics is all in the timing.

Ezra Klein Mocks WaPo Corrections



Why does wingnut rag Newsmax still have all these dumb web ads saying things like "Is Obama Finished? Vote Now!" all over the blogosphere? I think they went up around the time Reverend Wright went platinum (maybe four months ago?), and they've just kind of lingered there. Are they, perhaps, so bad that they're good? That is, so dumb and mysterious (finished? the guy has led in nearly every public opinion poll for two months) that people click on them and... then... become fully paid up Newsmax subscribers. Seems implausible. Maybe they just have ridiculously long-term wed-ad contracts.

Not Some Extreme Felony

If this is the argument Sen. Stevens intends to use in court, he's in big trouble.

Sizing Up PUMA

I don't think it comes as much of a surprise that it's more bark than bite.

If You Can't Beat Mis-spelling, Join It?


Worst Obituary Ever

In his obituary of Peter Rodman (a leading light of foreign policy neoconcervatism), NY Sun's Eli Lake has what can only be described as an orgasm on Rodman's grave. Memo to Lake: you know your obituary is a joke when:

1) The piece begins by saying, "Americans began mourning over the weekend the loss of one of the country's premier foreign policy thinkers and strategists," when probably less than 1% of Americans have ever heard of the deceased.

2) You refer without a hint of irony to "President Bush's freedom agenda."

3) The only quotations in the piece are from Donald Rumsfeld and Douglas Feith, and a little-known speechwriter for Henry Kissinger.

This kind of ridiculous neocon preening only draws attention to itself, when the focus of any obituary should be on the deceased's life and (perhaps) the tragedy of his passing.

Getting Rid of Anonymice, The Wrong Way


Paradoxes of Public Finance

To take public funds or not to take public funds, that is the question...

Cory Booker Wants To Be Asked About Nonproliferation

Perhaps the most interesting tidbit from Matt Bai's NYT Mag piece on the new generation of black politicians:

“I don’t want to be pigeonholed,” [Cory Booker] said. “I don’t want people to expect me to speak about those issues.” By this, presumably, he meant issues that revolve around race: profiling by police, incarceration rates, flagging urban economies. “I want people to ask me about nonproliferation. I want them to run to me to speak about the situation in the Middle East.” Since the mayor of Newark is rarely called upon to discuss such topics, I got the feeling that Booker does not see himself staying in his current job for anything close to 20 years.

Environmental Costs of the Pipeline Boom


The Woes of New York's Jamaica Bay


Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Al-Jazeera's Self-Criticism

Declares its own coverage of Kuntar release unethical. As with all self-criticism, whether the penitence rectifies or outweighs the original crime depends heavily on whether or not one reads the penitence as sincere.

Obama Flip-Flops on Age


Doha Cover-Up

James Ledbetter:

Most major financial papers and Web sites lead with the collapse of the Doha round of global trade talks, a seven-year tragedy of errors in which the convergent agendas of developed and developing worlds have become starkly drawn. In times of soaring food prices, the United States and Europe are bound to cling to free trade as a solution as fiercely as China, Brazil, and India cling to tariffs. Thus, the papers find plenty of blame to go around; the Financial Times quotes European trade minister Peter Mandelson faulting American agricultural expansion by Congress this spring as " 'one of the most reactionary farm bills in the history of the U.S.', though he did give credit to President George W. Bush for attempting to veto the bill."

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the American papers did not include that quote.

Grace Under Fire

Ezra Klein: "Obama is never better than when he's backed against the wall on an issue where he believes he's right."

Sad State

It's definitely a sign of the times, or at least a reflection of the sad state of network television, that Charlie Sheen is the highest paid actor on television.

Sins of Their Fathers


Campaign Metaphor Alert


SUNWalk 2008

It's one thing to walk across America, or to sail across the Atlantic, to raise awareness about a pet cause. But to do both, one right after the other?


A Georgia candidate, repeatedly bitch-slapped by Obama for trying to piggy-back on him, loses the primary, and according to Commentary intern Daniel Halper it shows the weakness of the Obama brand? By that logic, if Republican piggy-backer extraordinaire Gordon Smith loses, the Obama brand will really be in the toilet!

Yglesias and the Blogless Life


Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Count Chocula as Racial Slur


Barack Obama Speaks at Burning Man


Monday, August 04, 2008

On Obama's Birthday, Hillary Gets the Party


Obama, Britney, Paris... and Nancy Ajram?


Couldn't Happen to a Nicer Guy


A (Not Surprisingly) Seldom-Staged Opera

Richard Silverstein makes his own caption: "Queen Roxana has some serious Dairy Queen (or is it Cool Whip?) going in her hairdo. King Roger reminds me of Dick Cheney being forced, Scrooge-like, to gaze into Christmas Future and behold the pain and suffering his misanthropy has inflicted on the world. That would make Dairy Queen lady Lynne Cheney."

Chicago: City of Big Shoulders and Big Nannying

Chicago takes the cake in Reason Mag's ranking of nanny cities. Sandy Ikeda: "Not too surprisingly, Seattle and New York followed Chicago, but I didn't expect Portland, Oregon, which has one of the most irksome land-use regulations, to be one of the least restrictive (seventh) in personal freedom."

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Top Ten Hottest Green Music Tours


Let the Good Times Roll

The McCain-Anthrax Connection


Saturday, August 02, 2008

More EU Infighting...

"It's horrible - we would never bathe naked, we are Catholic."

Small-Town Sanity

Ben Smith notes that small-town papers seem to care less about all the ridiculous horse-race narratives and sub-narratives cooked up in the beltway (e.g. Racecard-gate), and more about real issues. Who would have thought the Fort Collins Coloradoan and the Springfield (Mo.) News-Leader would become the papers of record for Election 2008?

Bringing Home the Bacon


Friday, August 01, 2008

About Selling That Bridge in Brooklyn...