Friday, August 01, 2008

If He's Going to Take the Low Road

Senator McCain should get a suitable vehicle.

Body by Bowflex Cheetos

By the time they're done scraping, there won't be any bottom of the barrel left.

Is Amy Chozick salary being paid by a grant from the Frito-Lay® Corporation?

Related--a while back, looking for something else, I came across this--laff.
Friday Cat Blogging

I finally got around to taking some photos of the now just over-one-year-old orange one with whom I share the house.

Meet Tigger...that's the name the adoption agency gave him, but I don't see any need to change it. He's a good little guy--a bit on the active side, but hey, I don't mind, even if his favorite chew/claw toys (and he's got plenty) arms and legs. Oh well--they're mostly minor scratches.

Tigger also made astonishingly quick work of the single roach I've seen of late (alas, a few manage to get in despite quarterly visits from pest control)--good boy! And I haven't seen any evidence of mice. Hopefully they can smell or hear him, and have decided to stay away.

Anyway, here's to you, Tiggs.
Dick's Gambit

When most of us consider the sacrifices our soldiers make, something like this comes to mind:

Dick Cheney sees things differently:

"They volunteered."

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Seeking Out the Crybaby Demographic

Come to think of it, maybe Team McCain is hoping "crybaby" lends a slightly more youthful air to the Arizona Senator. Of course, you run the risk of being labeled a "whiner," but, to paraphrase a former idiot SecDef, you go to the general election with what you've got, not with what you want, eh?
The Maestro Returns

Let's hope it's not a limited engagement, but the beginning of an extended set by the superb Billmon.
Citizen Participation

So, Joe Lieberman's got a resolution...well, I've got a resolution, too:
Full Speed on the GOP Production Line

Because hey, those shitstorms aren't going to manufacture themselves, you know.

I think I've posted about this before, but I hope you don't get too bored with me repeating: what genuinely amazes me this election cycle is how deeply the cynicism has managed to embed itself. I mean, geez, dirty campaigns have been around as long as campaigns themselves...but in times past it at least seemed that the actual tasks were grimly assigned and/or delegated to professional bottom feeders who might have specialized in that sort of thing but kept at enough distance to afford at least a minimal measure of deniability.

But in this cycle, that isn't even a consideration: instead, it's flail away with just about anything, facts or consequences be damned, and look to see if something sticks, that is to say, generates enough media converage to require a response or "explanation" (and, as the saying goes, when you're explaining, you're losing.) Sad to say, I wouldn't be surprised at all if McCain's next act of desperation was to level the charge that Obama "fathered a black baby" and then hope his pundits simply out-shout the competition.

OK, maybe they'll draw the line at that. But anything short of the "theme" of the McCain campaign...because that's all they've got. Try to stir up outrage and resentment over...well, anything. By the time November rolls around, they're going to make Bob Dole in 1996 look all warm and fuzzy in comparison.

Will it work? I hope like hell not. A while back I commented over at YRHT that stirring up hatred, resentment and other such emotions are, sure, part of standard modern campaign tactics (it's far easier to hate than to like)...but they're also, for lack of a better word, small luxuries. Small luxuries that, during an economic crunch, people can't afford:

"When people are struggling, when they’re trying to pay their bills, when they’re concerned about their fundamental security, I don’t think they have much tolerance for Britney Spears and Paris Hilton," Mr. Axelrod said. "I think they understand times are more serious than that, and they thought John McCain was, too."

I guess we'll see.

Oh--one other thing: after running what's bound to be one of the sleazier campaigns of this era, I can guarantee that Team McCain, should they lose, will individually and collectively, from the top down, play the victim like you've never seen, a final act of self-pity on a scale that could only be described as epic.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

This Week, on "The Black Perspective"...

...hosts Glenn Beck and Toby Keith offer their unique insights on "Black Society and Barack Obama:"

Keith: Even though the black society would pull for him, I still think that they think in the back of their mind that the only reason that he is in is because he talks, acts and carries himself as a Caucasian.

And don't forget to tune in next week when they'll solve the problem of "the angry black woman" as only someone who's been there can.
OK, Bodman, Your Turn to Wear the Dunce Cap

You'd think the Secretary of Energy would be smart enough to know when to shut the fuck up. But, then again, if you're not going to get called it, why bother with the truth?
Earning His Reputation and Station

Aim well.

The House Judiciary Committee, in a long overdue decision, voted to cite Karl Rove for contempt...of Congress.

It's too bad they couldn't cite him for contempt of just about everything...because that'd be more accurate. Karl Rove is the latest in a long line of GOP obscenities to pollute and poison the body politic, having slithered onto the scene a generation ago as a YAF'er dweeb and Dick Nixon acolyte. It's also too bad that contempt of Congress no longer seems to carry any real weight...which is something that you can not only thank Team Bush for, but the spineless Democratic leadership as well. Nice work, Dems.
"I'm John McCain, And I Approve THIS Negro..."

Because he's not all uppity like, you know...
Flat, Lukewarm Surge

William S. Lind prefers reality to mythology:

Senator John McCain’s position on the situation in Iraq is wrong on two counts, which means his criticism of Senator Obamais also wrong. The twin pillars of McCain’s assessment of the war are a) the surge worked and b) because the surge worked we are now winning. Neither of those views is based in fact.

The first represents the long-recognized logical fallacy known as post hoc ergo propter hoc, i.e., because one event occurred after another, it was a consequence of the first event. Because the cock crows before sunrise, he thinks he makes the sun come up. Because violence in Iraq dropped after the surge, McCain claims the surge caused the reduction in violence. He is quick to add that he supported the surge at the time, which Obama did not. In the real world, neither rooster nor Senator has quite so much reason to strut upon his dunghill.

Here's the rest of Lind's column--well worth a look.
'Straight Talk' Meets Turd Blossom

In the gutter, of course...where else?

Well, that certainly didn’t take long. On July 3, news reports said Senator John McCain, worried that he might lose the election before it truly started, opened his doors to disciples of Karl Rove from the 2004 campaign and the Bush White House. Less than a month later, the results are on full display. The candidate who started out talking about high-minded, civil debate has wholeheartedly adopted Mr. Rove’s low-minded and uncivil playbook.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

"It's All a Matter of Technique"

Jindal demonstrates his demon-banishing moves.

OK, I lied--the original picture is here, the story concerns "town hall" type meetings in Nawth Loosiana...where not an exorcism, but a deal or at least a negotiation with Old Scratch might be in the making for some sort of incentive package designed to mitigate or limit impending layoffs at a Shreveport manufacturing plant that produces Hummer H3's and midsize pickups.

I wonder whose soul gets bargained away in exchange...
Urban Cowboys Don't Recycle


Houston loves it some pollution, but recycling, not so much:

The city's shimmering skyline may wear the label of the world's energy capital, but deep in Houston’s Dumpsters lies a less glamorous superlative: It is the worst recycler among the United States' 30 largest cities.

Houston recycles just 2.6 percent of its total waste, according to a study this year by Waste News, a trade magazine. By comparison, San Francisco and New York recycle 69 percent and 34 percent of their waste respectively. Moreover, 25,000 Houston residents have been waiting as long as 10 years to get recycling bins from the city.

Environmental advocates are pleading for municipal intervention. And some small improvements -- an organic waste program, for one -- are expected soon.

But city officials say real progress will be hard to come by. Landfill costs here are cheap. The city’s sprawling, no-zoning layout makes collection expensive, and there is little public support for the kind of effort it takes to sort glass, paper and plastics. And there appears to be even less for placing fees on excess trash.

"the kind of effort it takes to sort glass, paper and plastics." Hmmm...well, I dunno, maybe when your air quality is abysmal, even simple things like breathing take some effort.

For what it's worth, BR's been recycling for a while (and I'd had some familiarity with the concept via Madison Pride). My "effort" consisted extra can.

(cue up the golf claps and hand me a gold star.)
A Matter of Perception

OK, I'm not going to sit here and pretend that I'm any sort of expert on New Orleans, or its municipal politics, and so on. I don't live there, and can assure you that Red Stick might be an hour and a half to the northwest,'s almost as if it were in a different universe.

B.R. could easily serve as the punchine to the joke about the difference between culture and agriculture.

That said, the latest example of Nagin's, er, governing style, certainly gives the impression that the mayor's existing reputation remains intact. Unfortunately, his reputation is that of at best a bumbling fool...and possibly a crook.

Whether his reputation is earned or not, Nagin, whether he likes it or not, seems to be as much an obstacle as anything these days. And, not unlike my own attitudes towards another New Orleans politician I don't know well but hold in similarly low esteem--Dollar Bill--my .00000002 cent's worth re: Mayor Nagin is that, if he really DID have the interest of the city at heart, he'd resign as a matter of the public good.

I'm sure he could come up with a way of maintaining or even improving his personal revenue stream once freed from the burden of public employment. And such a move might even generate enough sympathy to salve if not salvage his personal reputation.

But I'll tell you--not that I travel a lot, but when I do--and when the subject of New Orleans comes up--people invariably tell me they believe Ray Nagin is [paraphrasing here] either crooked or an incompetent nincompoop.

And you know what? I can't think of anything he's done to counter such a perception.
You've Got Your Prima Donnas...

And then you've got your Prima Dicks:

Monday, July 28, 2008

The DeSoto Hillbillies Millionaires

Not unlike winning the lottery:

MANSFIELD, La. -- They had to repeat the amazing number, $28.7 million, over and over, to make sure it was real and would not go away. Even then, the members of the DeSoto Parish Police Jury -- the county commission -- could hardly believe it.

They laughed, rocked back in their chairs, shook their heads, stared at the ceiling and muttered oaths to each other. "We have -- $28.7 million," said the president, Bryant Yopp, to settle the matter, definitively if still incredulously. It was nearly one and a half times the parish’s entire annual budget.

To be honest, I had to look up the exact location of DeSoto Parish--I knew it was up "north," but I always confuse it with LaSalle (Jena)...DeSoto's over along the Texas border, and it looks like part of the Toledo Bend Reservoir is also along the parish line.

Here's hoping the petrochemical money doesn't turn out to be a mixed blessing.
Once Again, We Find Out...

That the the GOP wingnut faction--who still run the Bush administration and Fourthbranch--justified and based a literal torture regime on...

A teevee show.
More Kool-Aid, Ms. Goodling?

When wingnuts assign counterterrorism a back seat.
Cost of War

No photoshopping here--this is a picture I came across over the weekend, part of a slideshow documenting the very grim reality of war--the sort of grim reality the pro-war crowd reacts to with equal measures of denial and blind fury at those whose work makes it impossible to deny.

It's a testament to the war-at-all-costs crowd's fury that the photographers who insist on chronicling this reality are as often as not punished, usually by some suspension of their livelihood. That's because their photographs often obliterate, in the most stark and clear way possible, the mythology of combat central to the pro-war ilk's deranged mental outlook.

The picture above stuck with me precisely because it runs as counter as you can get to the myth of the heroic warrior death. There is no climactic mass carnage on a glorious field of battle, no epic action or event, no whispered requests to a loyal comrade asking that word be passed to a loved one that it was for a good cause...nope, just a single, solitary casualty who suffered the worst of all possibilities in a filthy Fallujah hell-hole.

I can't help but wonder how this individual, this once living, breathing person, would have reacted had, somehow, his death had been foretold. Maybe not any different at all; however, I really don't believe that anyone, even soldiers who live with death on a daily basis, would be content with a final end in such a manner. I don't know--perhaps others think or feel differently.

I do know that this sort of myth busting, in the truest sense of the term, reveals the level of derangement on the part of the pro-war types. Since reality will never match up to the mythology of combat, they insist upon denying...reality, even as they pretend otherwise...e.g., George W. Bush often brays about the "violence on the teevee screens," which would be news...if the news organizations actually DID broadcast such things.