Friday, February 27, 2015

Scott Walker Hates the People of Wisconsin

The all-but-certain Republican presidential hopeful sharply criticized the Obama administration’s foreign policy, but when asked about how he would deal with the threat of the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS), dodged.
“For years I’ve been concerned about that threat,” Walker said, saying he received security briefings from the FBI and his adjutant general. “I want a commander-in-chief who will do anything in their power to ensure that the threat of radical Islamic terrorists do not wash up on American soil.”
“If I can take on 100,000 protestors, I can do the same across the world,” Walker added, referencing the months of protests in his state over his efforts to limit the power of public sector unions in his state.
If Scott Walker can take on 100,000 people who are unhappy with his decision to destroy labor unions in Wisconsin, he can take on terrorists because they're the same thing, you see. They both hate America.

Mr. Walker has a bright future in the Republican Party, I'll give him that.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Things You Can Read About

Who is Disturbed by Hillbilly Themed Porn?

Jason Street at Hillbilly Thrill - 17 seconds ago
I'm not buying the premise of this: *There is a rising trend in pornography: hillbilly porn. Instead of the usual bevy of coked out blonds with fake boobies from California, these fine films feature rednecks from the South and Appalachia. It’s no wonder with the popularity of shows like Here Comes Honey Boo Boo and Swamp People celebrating the inbred and ignorant. According to Gamelink, the niche market for movies with toofless white trash going at it started selling in quadruple numbers about two years ago. While I can’t say that I understand the appeal of watching homunculus tro... more » 

On a Friday

Jason Street at The Killing Moon - 5 hours ago
The world is a shrunken, global mess of release dates and embargoed intellectual property, and I don't know if this really fixes anything. Does it change the fact that artists will release their albums on vinyl before all other formats in order to earn cachet with hipsters? To me, release dates hearken back to the 1970s, which is when an album release would actually generate attention. That's gone now--there is no album being released this year by anyone that people are going to shit themselves over, save perhaps a Kanye West album or a surprise album by Beyonce. And you just got ... more » 

The Dumbassery, It Abounds

Jason Street at Wretched Corners - 1 day ago
People have been offended by art again. You can read about it here. This is the money quote: *Small told Hyperallergic that when one billboard was being installed, a group of locals surrounded the workers, "shouting obscenities and claiming that the billboards were either Satanic or Islamic."* It's unfair to pick on New Mexico for being home to a bunch of backwoods jackasses, but still. How do you conflate art and someone's attempt to do something like this with the fear experienced by people who are too stupid to understand that ISIS is not coming to blow up their town? Answer--... more » 

A Show For the Ages

Jason Street at Foolish Blood - 1 day ago
You may click to embiggen... more » 

Parks and Recreation

Jason Street at An American Lion - 1 day ago
And that's the end of them. *Parks and Recreation* was the last "NBC" comedy that I liked. *Community* lives on in a Yahoo! format that I don't think anyone will decry or mind, but that show has shed the network that failed to make it a hit, not the other way around. I don't know what's coming, but I do know we need another paintball episode, fast. *The Office, Community, 30 Rock*, and *Parks and Recreation* were four of the greatest comedies ever. They rank up there with *Newhart*, which is a show that has never been forgotten specifically because it had the greatest finale ever... more » 

Rounded Up

Jason Street at Rounded Up - 2 days ago
Keith Olbermann Has Been Suspended From ESPN Jason Street at An American Lion - 6 minutes ago I swear to God, I really was going to write a blog post about how I was wrong about Keith Olbermann and his new job with ESPN. I was going to reference this post, where I wrote, in July of 2013, that Olbermann's being hired by ESPN was a bad idea. Then I saw this. Then I went, whew. Good luck, Keith. You belong at 9PM on CNN. You are a talented, consummate professional and a great, great broadcaster. The problem is, you are a crappy employee in a world where you ought to be the employer. Oh... more » 

Keith Olbermann Has Been Suspended From ESPN

Jason Street at An American Lion - 2 days ago
I swear to God, I really was going to write a blog post about how I was wrong about Keith Olbermann and his new job with ESPN. I was going to reference this post, where I wrote, in July of 2013, that Olbermann's being hired by ESPN was a bad idea. Then I saw this. Then I went, whew. Good luck, Keith. You belong at 9PM on CNN. You are a talented, consummate professional and a great, great broadcaster. The problem is, you are a crappy employee in a world where you ought to be the employer. Oh well. And, I don't know about you, but as soon as I saw that Bill O'Reilly had absolutely ... more »

Burying the Lede in Order to Scare People

China has had submarine for a good long while. The image above is about six years old and shows that they have an impressive number of submarines that are actually outdated, inferior to ours, and do not carry nuclear warheads as of yet. The following story gives us exactly that information in the wrong manner. Here's why. The headline reads:

China submarines outnumber U.S. fleet: U.S. admiral

The first three paras read:
China is building some "fairly amazing submarines" and now has more diesel- and nuclear-powered vessels than the United States, a top U.S. Navy admiral told U.S. lawmakers on Wednesday, although he said their quality was inferior.
Vice Admiral Joseph Mulloy, deputy chief of naval operations for capabilities and resources, told the House Armed Services Committee's seapower subcommittee that China was also expanding the geographic areas of operation for its submarines, and their length of deployment.

For instance, China had carried out three deployments in the Indian Ocean, and had kept vessels out at sea for 95 days, Mulloy said.
Emphasis mine because that really doesn't do justice to the buried lede you'll see below. For you see, the LAST sentence reads:
He said the U.S. military did not believe China carried nuclear missiles on its submarines, but that it had been producing missiles and testing them.
The relevant fact here is that the U.S. has a first strike capability. The actual power projected by the deployment of U.S. submarines is the ability for every single one of them to launch a multitude of nuclear tipped missiles at anyone from long range and without being detected [any U.S. submarine that cannot do this is a museum piece or is relegated to other duties and is not part of the offensive strike capability that protects our interests]. As you can see, China has "more" ships but "none" of them can do what a single U.S. submarine can do.

I hope you are thoroughly misled as to the capability of China's submarine fleet and will vote accordingly on the next election day.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Parks and Recreation

And that's the end of them.

Parks and Recreation was the last "NBC" comedy that I liked. Community lives on in a Yahoo! format that I don't think anyone will decry or mind, but that show has shed the network that failed to make it a hit, not the other way around. I don't know what's coming, but I do know we need another paintball episode, fast.

The Office, Community, 30 Rock, and Parks and Recreation were four of the greatest comedies ever. They rank up there with Newhart, which is a show that has never been forgotten specifically because it had the greatest finale ever.

I don't care about Seinfeld, Cheers, Friends or anything by Chuck Lorre. I'm sorry--those shows mean nothing to me. Fuck Frasier, easily the worst and most manipulative comedy there ever was in terms of things I believe are my opinion. I do miss News Radio, and I know we will have more Arrested Development. But the loss of Parks and Recreation marks a turning point for me.

The minds that put The Office, Community, 30 Rock, and Parks and Recreation on television represent the best talent in American comedy. They are the shows that have been invaluable now for years, developing and exposing America to the kind of entertainment that has been swallowed up by an indifference to quality. How people could neglect them and not watch them is beyond my understanding. The ratings for those four shows have been atrocious and anemic, and yet the talent and the writing has been incredible.

I don't buy that Community was too weird. Years from now, we'll have numerous shows like it and people will be thrilled, but you'll never top the cast of that show. 30 Rock was fast and perfect, always. It never sagged or dipped and it was the best thing Alec Baldwin will ever do. The Office was not nearly as bad as people made it out to be. The last two years were better than a lot of shows in their prime, held up by the brilliance of a supporting cast that was assembled out of actors and actresses that should be working forever. When The Office was chewing through seasons three and four, no one could touch it.

And tonight we saw the end of something special. Parks and Recreation created a town that was real and it entertained the hell out of anyone who wandered by. It was an incredibly written and performed show, marking a highlight of sorts. It was informed by the craft of television and then went further than any other show, celebrating the mediocrity of a Midwestern town without hating anyone or anything. A throwaway bit like Lil' Sebastian became a moment of inspired lunacy.

We live in an age when nobody knows what they're missing simply because they won't watch good shows. I'm not surprised by the indifference that good art is subjected to, I'm just saddened by it to the point where I find myself hoarding DVDs. Nights like tonight remind me that binge shopping when pissed only enriches the bastards who deliver us garbage. If I could go my whole live and never give NBC a dime, I would.

They had magic in their hands, and they shit the bed.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Keith Olbermann Has Been Suspended From ESPN

I swear to God, I really was going to write a blog post about how I was wrong about Keith Olbermann and his new job with ESPN. I was going to reference this post, where I wrote, in July of 2013, that Olbermann's being hired by ESPN was a bad idea.

Then I saw this. Then I went, whew.

Good luck, Keith. You belong at 9PM on CNN. You are a talented, consummate professional and a great, great broadcaster. The problem is, you are a crappy employee in a world where you ought to be the employer. Oh well.

And, I don't know about you, but as soon as I saw that Bill O'Reilly had absolutely lost his shit this week and come completely unhinged, I suspected that there was going to be a moment when Keith would join him in the spotlight and step on his own genitalia. I know it's wrong of me to admit that, and I do plan to seek help for my affliction.

Monday, February 23, 2015

This is How You Go Back Down the Rabbit Hole

Celebrating Counterinsurgency or COIN practices in Iraq and Afghanistan is a sure fire way to end up re-invading Iraq:
Nagl found himself taken under the wing of the Army senior leadership’s fastest rising star, General David Petraeus, a counterinsurgency expert in his own right who was determined to rewrite the book on Army/Marine counterinsurgency doctrine, and put that doctrine to use pronto in the field in Iraq, which was then on the verge of imploding. Nagl became a prominent part of the team of “COINdanistas” who both wrote and critiqued subsequent drafts of the new Counterinsurgency Field Manual.
When Petraeus returned to Baghdad as new commander of American forces to implement both the surge and the adaptation of counterinsurgency tactics in early 2007, Nagl, at Patreaus’s request, served as “his surrogate” to explain and defend the newly published Manual to the American people.

Knife Fight’s final two chapters are not really part of the memoir per se, but a venue for Nagle, now a well-respected defense analyst, to offer his considered reflections on the triple perils of failing to prepare for insurgencies sufficiently, engaging in them with flagging domestic will and support, or failing to engage in them at all.
Nagl's involvement in the farce that was COIN in Iraq should outright disqualify him from anything resembling a discussion on what we ought to do in the future. Is there any stomach for a third Iraq war, with hundreds of thousands of American troops operating in Northern Iraq, Syria and Turkey in an attempt to clear and hold ISIL strongpoints?

There is no will for it in America, nor is there money, political consensus, or a large enough Army. We have dismantled the military and drawn it down to a point where deploying 150,000 or more troops would be a logistical impossibility.

The mere fact that the name of Petraeus is cited without laughter is telling enough. These people are done. They have shot their bolt. They have nothing relevant to offer anyone, except and apology for failure.

The Decline of Film and the Rise of Television

I thought the Oscars were going to be held in March. It was a surprise to realize yesterday that the big day was upon us. The films this year are a bland pile of nothing, and I am not interested in any of them. I think that this was a weak offering to the film gods, and a year that will be forgotten quickly.

The decline of film has been in the works for years now, going back roughly to the rise of the super hero film as a franchise building moneymaker. Films today are rarely made for a broad audience--they are now being made for Asian teenage males. Am I supposed to get excited about a Star Wars film and an Avengers film, coming out sometime this year? I am not the target audience.

I do know that what's being done on television eclipses that of modern film, in terms of quality, scale, and artistic merit. As a whole, True Detective was better than any film released last year, as was Fargo and The Walking Dead. Lots of people have their favorites, but if you took what was accomplished in the front eight of Walking Dead Season Five and put that up against any film released anywhere, you'd have to conclude that TWD was far superior in terms of content and quality.

Take the best actors and actresses--was anyone better than Andrew Lincoln last year? Melissa McBride? Absolutely not.

The best work in terms of the dramatic arts is being done on television.

Friday, February 20, 2015

David Corn and the Things Bill O'Reilly Actually Said

This isn't a hit piece on Bill O'Reilly--it's a laundry list of things that he actually said and did while lying about being a journalist:
Here, for the record, are the questions we sent to Fox. (We included links to his past assertions to make it easy for O'Reilly to review what he said.) Will he answer these questions?
  • In numerous instances—on his television and radio shows and in his bookThe No Spin Zone—Bill O'Reilly has said that he was in the "war zone" during the Falklands war when he was a correspondent at CBS News. But it appears no American correspondents were allowed in the Falkland Islands war zone during the conflict. How does Mr. O'Reilly explain his comments?
  • In a 2004 column, Mr. O'Reilly noted, "Having survived a combat situation in Argentina during the Falklands War, I know that life and death decisions are made in a flash." What combat situation was that?
  • In a 2003 book, journalist Tucker Carlson reported on how Mr. O'Reilly answered a question during a Washington panel discussion about media coverage of the Afghanistan war: "Rather than simply answer the question, O'Reilly began by trying to establish his own bona fides as a war correspondent. I've covered wars, okay? I've been there. The Falklands, Northern Ireland, the Middle East. I've almost been killed three times, okay.'" Does Mr. O'Reilly have any comment on this? Can he describe his experiences in each of these locations?
  • On his television show on April 17, 2013, Mr. O'Reilly said, "I was in a situation one time, in a war zone in Argentina, in the Falklands, where my photographer got run down and then hit his head and was bleeding from the ear on the concrete. And the army was chasing us. I had to make a decision. And I dragged him off, you know, but at the same time, I'm looking around and trying to do my job, but I figure I had to get this guy out of there because that was more important." When and where did this happen?
  • In his book, The No Spin Zone, Mr. O'Reilly describes covering a protest in Buenos Aires when the military junta surrendered in the Falklands war. He wrote, "A major riot ensued and many were killed." News reports of the protest did not report any fatalities, only several injuries. And the CBS News report on the protest for which O’Reilly gathered video footage also did not refer to any deaths. Did Mr. O'Reilly report this accurately in his book. Does he have any comment on why other reports of this protest do not appear to be consistent with his?
  • On his radio show on January 13, 2005, Mr. O'Reilly said, "I was in the middle of a couple of firefights in South and Central America." In which countries and when did these firefights occur? Can Mr. O'Reilly describe them?
  • In The No Spin Zone, Mr. O'Reilly writes about an assignment he had for CBS News in El Salvador in 1982. He says that he reported from a village called Meanguera that was "leveled to the ground and fires were still smoldering. But even though the carnage was obviously recent, we saw no one live or dead. There was absolutely nobody around who could tell us what happened. I quickly did a stand-up amid the rubble and we got the hell out of there." The CBS News report that he filed and narrated and that was broadcast on the CBS Nightly News showed him in Meanguera, but there were people walking about and only two or so structures burned. Did Mr. O'Reilly report his trip to this village accurately in his book? Does he have any comment on why the CBS report does not appear to be consistent with the description in his book?
  • Did Mr. O'Reilly ever conduct any other reporting trips to El Salvador or Argentina or elsewhere in Central and South America other than the two described in The No Spin Zone (the trip to Argentina at the end of the Falklands war and the trip to El Salvador that included the visit to Meanguera)?
  • In 2008, Mr. O'Reilly said on his television show that he had been in "in the war zones of [the] Falkland conflict in Argentina, the Middle East, and Northern Ireland." Which war zones was he referring to regarding the Middle East and Northern Ireland? When was he in these war zones? Can he describe his experiences in those locations?
  • Did Mr. O'Reilly ever report from Montevideo, Uruguay. If so, when and what did he cover? Can he describe his experiences there?
  • In his book Keep It Pithy, Mr. O’Reilly writes, "I've seen soldiers gun down unarmed civilians in Latin America." Where did this occur?
This should have been done years ago, and in many cases, it has already been done, but, wow. When you have that many stories and a list like this, no wonder the Fox News machine is trying to smear and destroy David Corn for, um, simply coming up with a detailed accounting of the things Bill O'Reilly has actually said in public.

And, bear in mind, these were not the actions of an editorial commentator--this was how O'Reilly practiced the actual journalism that made him a prominent member of the elite media. This is a detailed accounting of what he did while working as a television journalist as relayed through his own memories.

Talk about pumping up the old resume.

Eric Engberg destroys O'Reilly in this Facebook post...

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Rudy Giuliani Says a Patriot is Someone Who Does Not Love America

Somewhere in all of this backtracking and obfuscating, Rudy Giuliani and 9/11 have a point:
Rudy Giuliani said Wednesday night he doesn't believe President Barack Obama "loves America," according to a report.
"I do not believe -- and I know this is a horrible thing to say -- but I do not believe that the president loves America," said Giuliani, the former New York City mayor and one-time presidential contender, according to Politico. "He doesn't love you. And he doesn't love me. He wasn't brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country."
In the resulting shit storm, Rudy and 9/11 pleaded for understanding and said:
"He's a patriot, I'm sure," Giuliani said. "What I'm saying is, in his rhetoric, I very rarely hear him say the things that I used to hear Ronald Reagan say, the things that I used to hear Bill Clinton say about how much he loves America."
Giuliani added that he hears Obama "criticize America much more often than other American presidents" and that he sounds "like he's more of a critic than he is a supporter."
"You can be a patriotic American and be a critic, but then you're not expressing that kind of love that we're used to from a president," Giuliani said.
So, the President of the United States, who is a Democrat, is a patriot who does not love America? Really?

Did someone tell Rudy and 9/11 that Obama isn't running next year? How many firemen died on Obama's watch because of terrible planning, crappy radios, and a lack of command and control? Is that the wrong question to ask of Rudy and 9/11?

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Townhall Is a Screwed Up One Car Parade

Serial dishonesty from conservatives who misread what's right in front of them? Nothing new:
But the President touting a victory about core Al Qaeda isn't the most bizarre part of the piece. Further down, Obama claims those engaging in violent extremism have "legitimate grievances" that must be addressed. 
Governments that deny human rights play into the hands of extremists who claim that violence is the only way to achieve change. Efforts to counter violent extremism will only succeed if citizens can address legitimate grievances through the democratic process and express themselves through strong civil societies.   
What, exactly, does Obama mean when he says "legitimate grievances"? The grievances Al Qaeda and ISIS hold are against infidels and Muslims who don't go far enough to wage jihad on the West. These "grievances" aren't economic, despite what the State Department would like us to believe. 
First of all, Pavlich incorrectly links what the president is saying to in order to make it seem like the extremists have legitimate grievances. Here's the full para from the President's op-ed (note the truncated version above)
Governments that deny human rights play into the hands of extremists who claim that violence is the only way to achieve change. Efforts to counter violent extremism will only succeed if citizens can address legitimate grievances through the democratic process and express themselves through strong civil societies. Those efforts must be matched by economic, educational and entrepreneurial development so people have hope for a life of dignity. 
As properly understood, the "extremists" DO NOT have legitimate grievances. The citizens of a human rights abusing state are responsible for addressing their own "legitimate grievances" through the democratic process.

Last time I checked, the "democratic process" did not involve becoming an extremist. The President seems to be serving notice to human rights abusing states that they are responsible for the creation of their own extremists. This could be directed at Syria, Russia, Colombia, Malaysia, or Iran in virtually any context, to name just a few. China has certainly abused human rights and created extremists out of minority populations. Saudi Arabia would seem to be the main recipient of the message. The President wants people who are suffering at the hands of human rights abusing states to legitimately express their anger and build strong civil societies in order to escape poverty.

This is naive of course because nobody really wants to be "just like us" and have democracy and all that. If you have a democracy, you end up with the lunacy that is Townhall, you see.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

This is What Envy Does to a Man

Down in Mississippi, where there aren't any issues with race because shut up and move on and think about something else, there's a state representative named Gene Alday who is sorry for something he said about black people and he didn't mean it so, God, you have to shut up now.
Addressing the House of Representatives, Alday acknowledged he made a mistake without repeating his original comments.
"I didn't do it with intent, but I am deeply sorry for my recent statements and I was wrong to say what I did and there is no excuse for my behavior," Alday said. "I value the relationships I've made with everyone in this House."
Lawmakers applauded after the less than one-minute apology.

The comments in question refer to African-Americans in his hometown of Walls, a small community in DeSoto County. Alday, 57, told Clarion-Ledger investigative reporter Jerry Mitchell that he comes "from a town where all the blacks are getting food stamps and what I call 'welfare crazy checks.' They don't work."
He also said that when he went to the emergency room one time, "I liked to died. I laid in there for hours because they (blacks) were in there being treated for gunshots."
Alday later said the statements, which were published Sunday, appeared out of context and didn't accurately portray his feelings. He denied being racist and said he has supported civil rights.
Jeez, just move on, will ya? He spoke for almost a minute and you don't honestly think a man who complains about lazy blacks on welfare who are shot through with the dang bullet holes and liked to died has a problem with race and whatnot do you? I think you should shut up if ya do because Mississippi does not have a historically terrible history of race relations between powerful white males and the general population, no sir.

The politics behind class envy are alive and well throughout America, so I'm going to stop picking on Mississippi for about as long as it takes me to look sideways. You can actually get elected to higher office, not just the crummy old state legislature, by pitting one group of people against the other. Just wait and see how the Republican Party taps into exactly what made poor ol' Gene so sorry and then turns that into a national campaign to get a Republican in the White House, one minute apologies optional when someone calls them out on their bullshit. Yay! 

Can't wait for the next election.

Modern Political Discourse

This morning, [what used to be called] the [St. Paul] Pioneer Press created some waves by calling President Obama an "assclown."
The off-color remark came in the context of the PiPress's "Loop Ten" feature, which is a slideshow that serves as sports producer Kevin Cusick's "daily countdown of the top newsmakers, groundbreakers and world-class fakers."
Clocking in at a tie for number three in today's installment was "selfies." That entry is accompanied by an image of Obama holding a selfie stick in an apparent effort to take a photo of himself.
That's all well and good, but where Cusick got himself in trouble was with the text below the image.
"A fool-proof way to make yourself look like a self-absorbed assclown," it said.
You can be rest assured that having a sports guy call the President of the United States an assclown isn't shocking or new in any context except one--when it appears on the website of a newspaper. That's a whole new ballgame, unless we're talking about a paper owned by Rupert Murdoch.

The unfortunate series of photos that accompanied an Internet interview with the President allowed for two things to happen. One, it humanized the President, who is often accused of being cool and aloof. Two, it handed conservatives all across the country more fodder for their insane diatribes against the President, as if they needed any assistance.

This was a sports guy that did this? Goodness, what a shitty life the ethics department has at the old paper. Will they fire this guy? Who knows? Wouldn't surprise me if it blew over and nothing happened. This is how far we have fallen in political discourse. You can call a Democrat anything you want. Call a Republican anything equal to or stronger than "proven serial liar" and you'll reap the whirlwind.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press used to be one of my favorite papers. I read it and I delivered it as an adult, but that was in the early 1990s and all that has turned to murky memories and badly-remembered times. This was a major American newspaper at one point, home of some interesting journalism and commentary. They abandoned the Pioneer Press as a brand and called themselves "" in the modern era of the Internet. That's a shame--a throwback, iconic name would be a hot property right now if the paper could muster any talent or ability to cover the news.

As you can see, it cannot.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Time to Get the Blood Out of the Stone

Do you really think Lance Armstrong is going to pay back the money?
A Texas arbitration panel gave a $10 million judgment for SCA Promotions in its suit against disgraced American cyclist Lance Armstrong for bonuses it paid for his Tour de France championships.
"We are very pleased with this result," SCA president and founder Bob Hamman said in a statement, per Brent Schrotenboer of USA Today. "It is hard to describe how much harm Lance Armstrong's web of lies caused SCA but this is a good first start towards repairing that damage."

The arbitration panel, which voted 2-1 in SCA's favor, will now turn its ruling over to a judge, who must give a final approval. SCA asked the panel to do so out of fear Armstrong would refuse to pay it the $10 million.
Armstrong can default on these judgments and no one would care. How bad can the public image of a man stripped of seven Tour de France victories get before people notice he's a sleaze?

Money is easy to hide. He can divest himself of property and fortune and tell the government to go pound sand. Token payments and tales of hard luck go a long way. He can live out his life free from accountability, albeit with limited potential to earn money and absolutely no dignity whatsoever.

I'm thinking he doesn't care. This is America. A wealthy man can do whatever he wants and reinvent himself when public furor subsides. Armstrong is little more than an afterthought now.

Kyle Smith is Having a Little Trouble With the Culture

The New York Post is a dumping ground for futzes and prudes who have a conservative outlook and hate the culture.

This sneering example of hating on success and cultural relevance--Jon Stewart has had both for decades, Kyle Smith not so much--shows you the divide between knowing something about success and wanting to be someone by virtue of hating success.

If you're a conservative, you know two things: Stewart has feasted upon the carcasses of your ideas and there is no "conservative" equal for him. Fox News has made at least one if not a dozen attempts to co-opt his style and mock liberals. Guess what? Stewart does a better job of mocking liberals than anyone else, and he has been rewarded with fame, fortune, and credibility. Talk about being doubled over after the steel-toed boot to the jubblies.

Smith lives in a dismal world. Look at the stories he's been writing. That Jay-Z, he's boring because he took his wifey-poo to Los Angeles. Yes, everyone is thinking exactly that about such a pedestrian piece of non-information. When you have homes in various places, and when you work in the entertainment industry, a home in the Los Angeles area is simply unthinkably boring for the likes of Jay-Z, isn't it? Why, he should build a home in Des Moines and live large, shouldn't he?

Someone must stand behind poor Smith all day with a trombone and a muffler, making wah-wuh! sounds whenever he hits publish.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Signing Up For Obamacare in Dixie

Holy cow!
Signups for ObamaCare are surging in southern states, with increases of nearly 100 percent in some states compared to last year, federal health officials said Wednesday.
Texas, Louisiana, South Carolina and Mississippi have each seen 80 percent more signups compared to last year, Deputy Administrator Andy Slavitt said.
But...but...freedom! And the government sucks! Soshalism! And...

These people got nothin'. Obamacare is working and the screams of the infantile minds in the Republican Party are music to the ears of everyone who cares about doing the right thing.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

NBC Thinks You Are an Idiot

So, if Brian Williams goes away for six months, it will mean he's the right journalist to lead the NBC News division? And that bringing him back in August of this year will mean that the dog days of summer will require his trusted, calm presence on the evening news, which no one watches anymore?

This works if everyone is stupid and forgets that Brian Williams has turned out to be a journalist who can't remember what happened to him when he was working as a journalist. Not sure if I believe that he will actually be back--I do think that if Lester Holt does respectable in the ratings, the next thing you'll hear about is how CNN has hired Brian Williams to lose yet another time slot to Fox News.

You see, it isn't about his politics, the history involved, or whether or not he's a good guy. None of that matters.

Brian Williams is a journalist.

Brian Williams likes to tell stories about what happened when he was working as a journalist.

Those stories have a lot of verifiable inaccuracies and badly recalled aspects to them.

Therefore, how good of a journalist is Brian Williams when Brian Williams can't tell you what actually happened to Brian Williams when Brian Williams was talking about things that were witnessed by Brian Williams.

See you in August.

The Liberation of Kansas

At some point, a humanitarian mission to liberate the occupied territory known as Kansas will have to be undertaken by peacekeeping forces and by non-governmental organizations that will deliver human rights relief to a badly oppressed people.

Yes, Kansas is full of God-botherers who have no money, no jobs, no health care, dwindling access to education, fracked-out water supplies, no real quality of life to speak of, but they have Jeebus and Sam Brownback and his tax cuts for the wealthy and his failed state government and his promise to make God-bothering look like a trip to a dry well on a prairie filled with nothing.

What does it say about a country where this kind of thing can happen in the year of our bothered God 2015? People need jobs and basic necessities. We see state legislatures tie themselves up in knots trying to legislate against abortions that simply don't happen anymore and they call that good government.

If you live in Kansas, my heart goes out to you. My head wonders what the hell is the wrong with Kansas, but I am not without sympathy.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Not So Manly

Oh, my goodness:
State Rep. Mike Moon wants the Affordable Care Act repealed and according to a House resolution he’s sponsoring, it will take the proper application of “Y” chromosomes to get the job done.

Moon’s resolution details all the problems he sees with the law, from passage to implementation. The resolution asks members of the Missouri House to “insist that each member of the Missouri Congressional delegation endeavor with ‘manly firmness’ and resolve to totally and completely repeal the Affordable Care Act, settling for no less than a full repeal.”
He doesn't look too manly to me. Real men don't let people die for lack of basic medical insurance coverage. Real men ensure that people who need help get that help.

In case you're wondering, this is his background:
Rep. Mike Moon, a Republican, represents the majority of Lawrence County (District 157) in the Missouri House of Representatives. He was elected in a special election in April 2013.
Rep. Moon worked in marketing for Mercy Hospital for 27 years. He currently works on his farm as a cattle rancher.
Rep. Moon is a member of the High Street Baptist Church, where he serves as a deacon, mission committeeman, and Sunday school teacher. He also is a member of the Springfield-Southeast Rotary Club, where he was the recipient of the “Lend-a-Hand” award.
Rep. Moon is a 1977 graduate of Western Branch High School in Chesapeake, VA. He received his bachelor’s in secondary education from Southwest Missouri State University in 1985.
Rep. Moon was born in Kannapolis, NC on December 31, 1958. He lives on his family farm in Ash Grove with his wife, Denise. They have five children: Amanda, Bryan, Erin, David, & Jason.
No military service, and he worked in marketing for a hospital with "mercy" in its name. That's not manly. What does he have on his cattle ranch? Baby goats and ducks for petting?

And what's funnier than all of that? He wasn't even born in Missouri. Thanks again, carpetbagger.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Ashe Schow is Stupid on Purpose

The Washington Examiner actually ran this post:
“Right now, nearly 1 in 5 women in America has been a victim of rape or attempted rape,” President Obama said Sunday night in a message played during the Grammys. “And more than 1 in 4 women has experienced some form of domestic violence.”
Wow, just wow.
Gone are the days that the president makes false claims that 1 in 5 women will be sexually assaulted while in college. Now 20 percent of all women in America have been raped or nearly raped. And 25 percent of American women — not just college women — have experienced domestic violence.
Let’s just think about that for a minute. The current population of the U.S. is 316.1 million, with women comprising about half. That means there are about 158 million women and girls in the U.S. If 20 percent of American women have been raped or almost raped, that’s a total of 31.6 million women, which is somewhere between the populations of Texas and California.
Trust me. You have to read the whole thing to understand the entitlement and ignorance enclosed herein:
These numbers are wildly out of line withnational crime statistics, which don’t show anywhere near that number of rapes in the pasttwo decades. Those statistics show fewer than 2 million rapes being reported in that time frame. Even accounting for the fact that many rapes go unreported, the number Obama gave Sunday night is staggering. It would mean that just 6.3 percent of rapes and attempted rapes are reported.
This would also mean that, if Obama is right and 25 percent of American women have experienced domestic violence, then 39.51 million women in the country (which is more than the population of California) are victims of such violence.
If this is truly the case in America — and Obama didn’t just make a major blunder by not limiting his statistics to college campuses, which are still wildly exaggerated — then the draconian measures activists have been pushing to eradicate due process to address the supposed rape crisis might be understandable.
However, in the more likely scenario that Obama forgot to say “women in college” when pushing these politically powerful but ultimately incorrectstatistics, then he just broadcast to everyone watching the Grammy’s that they should be afraid to leave their house for fear of rape, and afraid to stay in it for fear of domestic violence.
Where did this crazy President get his ridiculous ideas about how women are being raped?
An exhaustive government survey of rape and domestic violence released on Wednesday affirmed that sexual violence against women remains endemic in the United States and in some instances may be far more common than previously thought.
Nearly one in five women surveyed said they had been raped or had experienced an attempted rape at some point, and one in four reported having been beaten by an intimate partner. One in six women have been stalked, according to the report.
“That almost one in five women have been raped in their lifetime is very striking and, I think, will be surprising to a lot of people,” said Linda C. Degutis, director of the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which conducted the survey.
Ooooooohhhhh. Never mind.

It took all of a few seconds to support the President's claim with a verifiable fact and to assess Schow's "stupid on purpose" tactic of attacking the concept of attempted rape on campus as a cultural dividing line between conservatives and liberals. Conservatives are "good" because they are skeptical of how many women are actually being raped; liberals are "bad" because they think too many women face sexual assault on campus while their attackers escape proper legal accountability.

Yes, this is how crazy things are in this country. Conservatives defending the concept of rape is as crazy as it gets.

Mike Huckabee Calls the President an Anti-Semite

For any American seeking higher office to say that the President of the United States is "against the Jews in Israel" is ridiculous. The official American policy towards Israel is to sell them weapons and guarantee their safety. This is almost entirely unnecessary given Israel's own nuclear weapons stockpile, of which no one speaks. The mere fact that Israel possesses dozens of nuclear weapons makes the discussion interesting because we do not factor this into American foreign policy considerations. If there's a rogue nuclear state in the world, it is Israel, plain and simple.

Mike Huckabee has called the President an anti-Semite, in public. and in front of the cameras. He did this with deliberate calculation. This was not an off the cuff remark by him, which was delivered in response to the President giving a speech where he cited actual American history in discussing modern events.

I guess that's how crazy it is right now. Huckabee throws the anti-Semite flag, no one bothers to notice. So what?

The President is trying to keep the peace in the world (he'd get more peace with less bombing, fewer drones, and a smaller military footprint across the globe) but he is also trying to manage the hawkish nature of modern Israel's foreign policy, which craves a war that it cannot start, fight or win without American aircraft carriers and logistics. His reward for success is to be called an anti-Semite by a clown like Mike Huckabee.

One of the reasons why it is important to hold Brian Williams accountable for not remembering things that actually happened to Brian Williams is that our elite media personalities have done nothing to hold the Mike Huckabees of America accountable for their bullshit. They do not explain the nexus between Israel's lobbying of conservative American politicians, nuclear proliferation, and how the Obama administration has been pressured to start a war with Iran.

The end result of any Republican winning the presidency next year will be the deaths of thousands of Americans in a war encouraged by Israel. I'm more certain of that than I am that Mike Huckabee is not the noble critic he passes himself off as in public.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Brian Williams is Paid to Remember What Happened to Brian Williams

What the hell happened to the very public effort to give NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams a pass for having a faulty memory?
“NBC Nightly News” anchor Brian Williams is now the target of an internal investigation for lying about dodging danger while reporting in Iraq, sources told The Daily News.
The probe is being led by Richard Esposito, who heads NBC’s investigative unit, they said.
Esposito previously worked as an investigative correspondent at ABC and before that was an editor at The Daily News.
I get that Williams is a popular, well-liked person. I'm sure that this is genuine.

The problem I've had with all of this does not boil down to resume padding or trying to glom onto the Greatest Generation myth as applied to the men and women who fought in Iraq and Afghanistan. It's not even about paying respect to Veterans (although, we live in a weird country where we idolize, revere and remember veterans while refusing to give them benefits, jobs, and adequate health care).

We tend to forget that Brian Williams is supposed to be an elite journalist. A newsman. Someone who rose to the top ranks of his profession by being good at the craft of journalism. This is what pays his ten million dollar a year salary (or thereabouts). This is why he is supposed to be respected and liked.

He is now a journalist who can't remember what actually happened to him when it was happening to him.

Full stop on that. I will reset things so that we can pause and reflect.

How come Brian Williams can't remember what happened right in front of his face? He was there. He was in the middle of all of this. He's the one who gets paid the big bucks to tell people the truth of what he witnesses and give an account of such things for widespread public consumption. I am not a purist--he can give his opinion. But what were the facts?

Where's the journalism part here? Where did it go?

At a time when actual news was happening to Brian Williams, who is a journalist, he got it wrong, puffed it up over time like any braggart would, and had to apologize. His professional reputation now sits in tatters. But, where's the journalism in all of this? The kind they learn at school. Where are his notes? Where is evidence he practiced his trade? Can he point to examples where he recorded what was happening to him when he was not getting shot at? Does he have a notebook, a journal, a diary, a written or typed account or a video account of any of this?

Why should I care what happens to a guy who isn't good at the one thing that would have saved his ass from being embarrassed in the first place?

Rounded Up

Solitary Confinement is a National Problem

Jason Street at An American Lion - 10 hours ago
You would be hard pressed to get anyone to care about this issue: *Texas has one of the harshest and most punitive criminal justice systems in America. A new report shows just how inhuman the state of Texas is when it comes to doling out the punishment of solitary confinement.* *If you have any doubt that solitary confinement is torture, all you need to is to listen to the stories of those who have been forced to endure it. Nevertheless, a new report from the ACLU of Texas finds that about one in ever 22 prisoners there is in solitary confinement— more people "than 12 states house... more »

Brian Williams Gets Caught

Jason Street at An American Lion - 10 hours ago
Lloyd Grove weighs in on Brian Williams and his tall tales about being shot at: *The Brian Williams Apology Tour has begun—and who knows where it will end?* *The NBC Nightly News anchor publicly apologized three times Wednesday—during his regular broadcast, in a Facebook post, and in Stars and Stripes—after the military-focused newspaper published a damning story that Williams and NBC have been claiming falsely “for years” that, during the 2003 Iraq invasion, he was aboard a U.S. Army helicopter that was hit and forced down by rocket-propelled grenades.* *“The story actually star... more »

I Hate How My Brain Works

Jason Street at Hillbilly Thrill - 10 hours ago
What in the name of all that is holy is wrong with me?

Good Riddance

Jason Street at Wretched Corners - 19 hours ago
Are you surprised by this? Anyone who knows what is going on in Albert Lea should probably start thinking about what they want in a new city manager.

Rounded Up

Jason Street at Open Market - 20 hours ago
Supplements Made From Nothing Jason Street at Reverbist - 13 seconds ago Health supplements are made out of nothing? And they don't benefit the health and well being of anyone? What the hell? You would think that, in a just society, the outright quackery and for-profit bullshit of supplement companies--Herbalife, I am staring right at you, you sons of bitches--would lead to regulation and common sense rules protecting consumers. Guess again. We need real reform for consumer protection in this country, and as long as we're stuck in the politics of stupid, we'll never get it. We have ... more »

Google Plus Links

Jason Street at Open Market - 20 hours ago
Jason StreetShared publicly - Yesterday 11:52 PM #CafePress #cafepress #stuff  Messenger Bag 1 Add a comment... Jason StreetShared publicly - Yesterday 11:44 PM #abbottandgooseberry #abbottandgooseberry  cosplay sex games 1 Add a comment... Jason StreetShared publicly - Yesterday 2:17 PM #elitism #elitism #news #commentary #centralpark #airbnb  How Can You Stop Capitalism? I do not live in fancy digs, nor do I use Uber or Airbnb, but I cannot understand why there is a growing backlash against ... more »

Supplements Made From Nothing

Jason Street at Reverbist - 20 hours ago
Health supplements are made out of nothing? And they don't benefit the health and well being of anyone? What the hell? You would think that, in a just society, the outright quackery and for-profit bullshit of supplement companies--Herbalife, I am staring right at you, you sons of bitches--would lead to regulation and common sense rules protecting consumers. Guess again. We need real reform for consumer protection in this country, and as long as we're stuck in the politics of stupid, we'll never get it. We have grown men leading state governments and men who hold elected office w... more »

How Many INXS Albums Are Never Going to Happen Now?

Jason Street at The Killing Moon - 20 hours ago
Tim Farriss, the guitar player for INXS, severely damaged the ring finger on his fret hand in a boating accident recently. This has led to speculation that he will never play guitar again, properly, at any rate. I don't know if that's anything worth a comment, but here goes. INXS were largely finished long before the untimely demise of Michael Hutchence. They maintain a following, to be certain, but their careers ended when the 1990s began. They have been on a slow, steady decline since 1987, to be cruel about it. Having said that, it's never cool when someone has something taken... more »

the magical powers

Jason Street at Abbott and Gooseberry - 1 day ago