Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Filling The Ark: Animal Welfare in Disasters

"When disasters strike, people are not the only victims. Hurricane Katrina raised public attention about how disasters affect dogs, cats, and other animals considered members of the human family. In this short but powerful book, noted sociologist Leslie Irvine goes beyond Katrina to examine how disasters like oil spills, fires, and other calamities affect various animal populations—on factory farms, in research facilities, and in the wild." Book rec of the day.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

South Florida Welfare Queens

This cartoonishly one-sided report by arch-libertarian John Stossel on Medicare as "generational theft" is hilarious in its depiction of the elderly as a heartless and medically profligate menace to society.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Invisible History: Afghanistan's Untold Story

"Invisible History presents a fresh, comprehensive analysis of Afghanistan's political history that begins at the roots of tribal leadership and ultimately emphasizes our current political moment and the impact of ongoing U.S. military intervention. Fitzgerald and Gould tell the real story of how the U.S. came to be in Afghanistan and what we can expect next." Book rec of the day.

Crazy Like a Fox, or Just Crazy?

Is it just me, or is it weird that Ron Paul's son chose Rachel Maddow's show as the place to announce his bid for Jim Bunning's Kentucky Senate seat?

Reverse Discrimination?

It used to be that an ambitious young Jew might consider his Jewishness a career liability. He might even change his name or convert to avoid being "outed."

But in the race to succeed Jack Weiss as Los Angeles's 5th district city councilman, in a heavily Jewish section of West LA that has represented by a member of the tribe since 1953, you apparently have to worry about being outed as non-Jewish, as candidate David Vahedi has just found out (scroll to the end of the Q&A).

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

International Monetary Policy and the Price of Hookers in Latvia

Johm Hempton diagnoses the dire economic situation in the Baltics, particularly Latvia (which experienced terrible street riots earlier this year):

Ryanair canceled the Shannon/Riga flight (and the Irish lads now go to Prague). The London Riga flights are less full. There are plenty of complaints on the web about over-priced bars and rip-offs in Riga. The oldest and one of the most dependable of professions was – due the ridiculous exchange rate situation – just priced out of existence.

To the extent that for the last fifteen years the economy of Eastern Europe has been based rather unsustainably on cheap beer, cheap hookers, and cheap Ryanair flights, all of this may not be such a bad thing.

Thorium As a Safe and Secure Nuclear Fuel Alternative?


"The Story of Stuff" Goes Platinum

Is it just me, or does the inclusion of a random detractor from Missoula, Montana in this NYT story seem like an attempt at artificial journalistic "balance"?

When You Put It That Way...


Was There a Jewish Pope?


Politico's Ben Smith Tweets...

"Trump asserts equivalence of POTUS and Prejean on gay marriage. Strangely neglects to note that both have posed topless."

Vive La Belle France

Stimulus package in France: big $$ for restoration of 14th century cathedrals!

P.S. And French safe-investment strategies (i.e. cattle)!

Michael Ledeen: Ransom For Saberi?

Maybe the payoff was selling arms to the mullahs and illegally funneling the profits to right-wing US proxies in Central America. That Obama is such a traitor!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Headline of the Day


Cramer Not So Mad After All?

A new study suggests he's actually outperformed the market.

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Green Prefab Comes of Age

A Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary debuts a line of green prefab homes... the basic "i-house" starts at under $75,000, with a bunch of optional add-ons. Via DailyKos. Is this the sort of thing that Sean Hannity believes Obama will soon be forcing everyone to buy?

While it's risky to second-guess Warren Buffett, I have some reservations about whether this will be a money-maker (we are living in an era of green-washing, are we not?). And I wonder sometimes if us tree-huggers can't see the forest for the trees. Call me an elitist but the whole idea of green prefab doesn't fit my idea of what a truly sustainable and relocalized post-carbon economy would look like. But in the meantime it'll do.

Moving Towards A Real Torture Debate

Andrew Sullivan makes a good point about the Pelosi revelations:

The emergence of the possibility of Pelosi's and Rockefeller's enmeshment in the torture program could have, to my mind, a salutary effect on the debate.

Responsibility for creating and perpetuating the torture program lies with Bush and Cheney - but if they brought in senior Democrats who did not complain or do all they could to stop it, then those Democrats bear some responsibility as well.

And that perhaps helps the case for accountability.

So while Cheney et al. clearly believe that the Pelosi revelations somehow justify the previous administration's conduct simply by making it harder for Democratic politicians to score points against an easy target like Bush... as if the case against waterboarding were a tactic of Democratic Party apparatchiks and nothing more. Something quite nearly the opposite may turn out to be true. The fact that the debate about torture is now (slightly) less vulnerable to politicization will make the anti-torture argument that much stronger.

Good News For California

A new California-focused nonprofit journalism initiative (just in time to monitor the greatest fiscal crisis in the state's history when Arnold's budget propositions fail at the ballot next Tuesday, and Miss California's rise to the apex of the Republican Party)...

The Saddest Part of Manny-gate

No more dreadlock wigs in Dodgers team store... their entire marketing strategy has to be revamped!

Friday, May 08, 2009

Black Budget

Pentagon wants to spend a record $50 billion on classified programs next year...

Thursday, May 07, 2009


A conservative blogger sees a dastardly conspiracy in MSNBC's concealment of Obama's use of Dijon mustard... P.S. It's become an explosive controversy! P.P.S. Jon Stewart responds with help from Dan Rather.

Behind the Scenes at the Metropolitan Opera

This does make the opera world seem more than a bit out-of-touch with the "real world" of financial chaos, rising unemployment and epidemic home foreclosures... but then again one man's "out-of-touch" is another man's "pleasant escapism."

Humanitarian Impulses

Mark Leon Goldberg says the Obama administration's response to the humanitarian situation in northern Sri Lanka bears the imprint of Susan Rice and Samantha Power, and that's a good thing.

Ned Lamont's New Stump Speech?

If you were in attendance (as I was) last night for Lamont's speech at the New Haven Lawn Club, you would have been forgiven for thinking you were back in 2006 on the senate campaign trail...

PA Primary

Earlier tonight I watched Joe Sestak on Rachel Maddow's show -- he didn't say so explicitly but he sounded pretty darn geared up for a primary challenge to Arlen Specter.

The Heifer Who Ran Away


The police said the slaughterhouse from which the heifer came was in the area of 158th Street and Beaver Road. There are several slaughterhouses in that area, but none came forward immediately to claim the heifer, Mr. Gentles said.

“We want her to live,” he said. “We want her to live out her life, absolutely.”

Mr. Gentles said the agency had already contacted Farm Sanctuary, a vegan farm in the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York that takes in animals found running loose in New York City, and called other sanctuaries as well.
[Emphasis added]

A vegan farm that takes in animals found running loose in New York City? I guess I should have known there would be such a thing.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Saudi Arabia's Beautiful (But Who Can Tell?) Miss Morals


Bad Pun of the Day


The OTHER A-Rod Scandal

Does he tip pitches to friends on opposing teams?

Wesleyan Shooting

I have been in Broad Street Books many times... wonder what it will feel like next time I'm in the store.

Martyr Complex

Anyone who has followed Steve Rosen's recent career knew it was only a matter of time before he compared himself to Dreyfus...

Death Threats Overrated?

Kos is not impressed by the seriousness (or orthography) of the death threats that regularly land in his inbox: "stuff like 'I hope you die' or 'I hope God strikes you down' or stupid stuff like that. Those aren't 'death threats', but I bet that 99.9 percent of the time, people crying about online death threats are referring to that kind of stuff."

The Right's Faux Defense of Free Speech

Glenn Greenwald wonders, if the right is so outraged about Michael Savage being blacklisted by the U.K., why didn't they speak up when Norman Finkelstein was banned from entering Israel? (To his credit, Alan Dershowitz DID speak up.) P.S. Did anyone hear Savage on NPR's Talk of the Nation yesterday? The first caller took issue with Savage's hate-as-performance-art shtick... and, sincere defender of dissent and unpopular opinion that he is, Savage immediately went berserk, making outrageous ad hominem attacks on the caller as well as TOTN host Neal Conan, and then abruptly hung up.

Strange Bedfellows

Center for American Progress and American Enterprise Institute find common ground on education reform...

King of the Jungle - Jungle Primary, That Is

How to get elected to Congress with less than 12,000 votes.



Plus Ca Change

The Mafia is in the wind farm business?

The "Churchill Gene"



The Fillmore District used to be the "Harlem of the West"... so why are black people leaving San Francisco?