Monday, August 30, 2004

On shiny, brightly-colored objects

Okay, so I know this isn't even a subtopic of the article in question, but I read this bit:
Mitchell E. Daniels Jr., Bush's first budget director and now the GOP candidate for Indiana governor, remembered presenting Bush with a variety of spending choices, usually depicted with the elaborate charts and graphs the president seemed to like. (Emphasis mine)
and I just get this image of President Bush running a grape-jelly-stained index finger over a pie chart of federal social program spending and intoning, "Pretty... Pretty."

Friday, August 27, 2004

On spiffy metaphors - and on much-needed vacations

Okay, so I feel silly sometimes posting things that other people said without any sort of commentary beyond the occasional "Right on" or "Way to go, girlfriend," but sometimes people just say things better than I could say them. So today's Practically Harmless Quote O' the Week is going to have to go to Tony Goins, commenter over at GWBWYPGN?!, with this very illustrative metaphor:
Al Qaida and Saddam were like Wendy's and Burger King -- they both want to see McDonald's go down, but that doesn't make them allies.
Right on. Way to go, girlfriend.

In other news, blogging will be slow this weekend due to a much-needed and much-deserved beach trip. But then, blogging tends to be slow, and if I didn't post for three days, no one would notice - or care, for that matter. So why mention it? Gloating, pure and simple.

Suck it.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

On satisfyingly large round numbers

Okay, so we're on the cusp of an auspicious occasion - nearly 500 people have wasted their time accidentally stumbling onto this blog in a search for dog porn. If you happen to be lucky enough to watch the numbers turn over to the big five-oh-oh, shoot me a note down in the Comments section and I might slip you a little something special. Not like that, you sick perv; like a t-shirt or something. Jesus.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

On Michelle Malkin, beauty queen

Okay, so this just about caused me to spit coffee all over my computer monitor. This one goes out to all those nutty Republicans who think that Michelle Malkin is the epitome of conservative hotness. Much thanks to Sadly, No! for the link.

Friday, August 13, 2004

On the next big reason to be scared

Okay, so... Eh, I got nothing. Sigh. Link.

"Cues from chatter" gathered around the world are raising concerns that terrorists might try to attack the domestic food and drug supply, particularly illegally imported prescription drugs, acting Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Lester M. Crawford says.

On a little bit of Illinois snark

Okay, so Illinois Republicans have been scrambling to find a senate nominee after Jack Ryan was forced to drop out of the race basically for being a super-perv. They finally settled on Alan Keyes, two-time loser of the presidential race and, curiously enough, Illinois non-resident. Now, apparently Democratic nominee Barack Obama agreed to six debates with Ryan, but will only agree to two or three with Keyes. Courtesy of Talking Points Memo, the snarky little exchange that reminds me, as if I needed it, why Barack Obama is my new boyfriend:

Obama says he'll debate Keyes two or three times, not six.

To which Keyes responded: "So let's see. Before I came on the scene, Barack Obama thought of himself as if he was in the same class as Lincoln and Douglas in the critical drama of American life. And now he realizes that he's not in that class. Well, I think that the state of Illinois remains in that class. . . . And I think that it is a disservice to the people of this state to allow him to cower in timidity, and before the real historic challenge that is before us in this campaign."

Obama replied, pretty cleverly I thought, that the six debate offer was "a special for in-state residents."
Oh, Barack, you scamp.

Monday, August 09, 2004

On the eloquent leader charged with the task of carrying us through these turbulent times

Okay, so... eh, screw it. No comment. Link.

Thanks to Kos for the link.

On blogging from work

Okay, so I'm not going to tell the whole story, 'cause it's not really my story to tell; it's Doug's (you all know Doug; hi, Doug), and he knows all of the gory details, and he tells it better anyway, so be sure to keep an eye on GWBWYPGN?! for the complete poop. And I'm also going to start with a disclaimer: blogging at work is wrong, m'kay? Doing anything at work that isn't work-related is wrong and is misuse of company assets, and you should never, ever, ever do that. And all other things aside, Doug should have known that, and was completely in the wrong (and a big ol' butthead) for doing it. Shame, shame. Eye contact. Hand.

That having been said, though, this whole thing has been blown wildly out of proportion. What whole thing, you ask? Um, this whole thing:
UAB editor's blog raises legal questions
UAB to discipline Kerry volunteer for politicking at work
UAB To Discipline Worker For Online Politicking
Once again - yes, what he did was wrong. But come on. Read over the articles and then come the hell on.

A bit that I liked:
By noon Thursday, Gillett had generated and posted to the Internet more than 800 words of commentary, pictures and links to articles on his own blog and contributed almost 700 words to the running arguments on Politics 101.
Anyone who has done any blogging knows that if you're really passionate about a topic, writing about it isn't that hard to do - that's why you have a blog. And anyone who knows Doug knows that he in particular could pound out 800 words in a matter of minutes. 800 before noon? Hell, it was probably 800 between 9:12 and 9:18.

And let's talk about slacking, BTW. If all of this blogging is really taking time away from his work, you'd think UAB would be all over him, n'cest-pas? But, to blatantly steal from the man himself, Ooh, the card says "Moops"! The university didn't know a thing about until they got a call from a reporter, who got his tip from... an anonymous letter sent directly to him. Not at all creepy there.

So, to recap: citizen is concerned about all of this blogging on state computers/time and goes directly to Doug's boss - whoops, sorry there, writes an anonymous letter to a reporter.

But one might wonder why this is newsworthy at all. Doug said it himself - "I could have gotten fired for doing blow in the men's room at UAB and it wouldn't have made the paper." Too true. I'm pretty sure it comes back this other bit that I like,
A volunteer spokesman for John Kerry's presidential campaign in Alabama will be disciplined for using a computer at his workplace — The University of Alabama at Birmingham — to post Internet messages critical of President Bush. (Emphasis mine)
Now, if you look at the blog, it's not a Kerry blog. Parts of it actually say that it is in no way associated with the Alabama for Kerry organization. But it's too much trouble to do the research or ask the pertinent questions - besides, if we did that, we might discover the truth and then be obliged to report it. And I'll admit, if the Alabama for Kerry communications director was doing his AL for K stuff on state time at a state computer, the media would be right to pick it up.

But it's not all that. It's one dumbass who was too stupid to think that blogging from work was a bad idea. And a dumbass isn't newsworthy. That is, if you're willing to do the research to find out that all he is is a dumbass. Dumbass.

ACG posted this on work time at 12:02 PM.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

On Swift Boat Veterans for Truth

Okay, so I wasn't there, so I wouldn't know, but it looks like an Atrios commenter was and might just:
We had a name for guys like these Swifties for Truth: Buddy-fuckers.

On flying the formerly friendly skies

Okay, so maybe I feel a little bit guilty about further publicizing the indefensible paranoid wingnuttery of famed frequent flyer Annie Jacobsen, but as I'm sure that all three of my readers have heard of her already, I won't feel too terribly guilty. For whoever wandered over here in a misguided Google search for homoerotic puppy porn or the like, a quick overview of Annie's nightmare flight: Annie Jacobsen and her darling husband were flying Northwest one afternoon when a whole bunch of swarthy people dared to get on the plane with her. Throughout the course of the flight these particularly tan men committed such unforgivable sins as standing up, going to the bathroom, talking to each other, and on one terrifying occasion, glaring at her. Needless to say, Annie was traumatized to the point of pestering a flight attendant and later sharing her story with the extensive readership of Women' Twice. Wait, no, actually four times.

Of course Annie was vindicated by the fact that the fourteen deeply tan men actually turned out to be Syrian musicians on their way to play a casino near San Diego, and that federal air marshals actually saw her as more of a threat to the safety of the flight than a bunch of guys with a McDonald's bag. Wait, "vindicated" isn't the word I'm looking for... It should be... outed as a complete nutjob? Hmm. Wordy, I suppose, but accurate.

Anyhoo, despite her exposure as a paranoid but persistent publicity hound, she's still gotten a lot of support from, well, her, and this guy, and of course these folks over here. But thankfully, World O'Crap has been kind enough to provide us with an update on this harrowing tale of men bold enough to disobey the "fasten seatbelt" light. My favorite part? Probably WOC's MST3K take on the story:
Suddenly there were no terrorists, no bomb built from a Big Mac container and a disposable camera. There was nothing on the plane but the hysterical man and woman of scaredycatness who suddenly found themselves alone with shadows and darkness, their invitations to Scarborough Country and Hannity & Colmes rescinded.... The Syrian musicians were found alive, well, and of normal size some 8,000 miles away, performing at a wedding in Damascus.
One point in Annie's defense - the men were discovered to be the backup band for a Syrian singer named Nour Mehana, frequently called "The Syrian Wayne Newton." The Syrian Wayne Newton? Terrifying.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

On Sen. Joe Lieberman (D), Connecticut, tool

Okay, so I know this guy was our vice presidential candidate back in 2000, and I'm not going to say for a second that the country is better off with Bush/Cheney than it would have been with Gore/Lieberman - War on Terra notwithstanding. But the fact is, we'd be better with Bobo the Chimp than our current leader, and I don't think that, under a Gore administration, our national success, security, whatever you want to call it would have been because of Joe Lieberman, because the more I hear him speak, the more I realize that he is a) wholly uninspiring, in terms of physical presence and apparent intestinal fortitude, and b) a complete and utter tool.

On CNN Sunday, there was this'n:
LIEBERMAN: I don't think anybody who has any fairness or is in their right mind would think that the president or the secretary of Homeland Security would raise an alert level and scare people for political reasons.
And back in January, of course, there was this'n:
LIEBERMAN: [L]ook at Saddam's record. He has got weapons of mass destruction. ... He tried to kill President Bush's father in 1993. How much more of a terrorist act could there be?
Gosh, let me think on that...

But I think that in the end, it can be traced back to this'n:
MILLER: Hey, Joe, want to come over to my place Fourth of July weekend? We're barbecuing.

LIEBERMAN: Gosh, Zell, I don't know, I've kind of got plans for the Fourth.

MILLER: Come on, Joe. We're serving Kool-Aid.

LIEBERMAN: Well, I do love some Kool-Aid...
'Course you do.

On terra. TERRA! (Ooga-booga)

Okay, so the threat level has been raised to orange in DC and Newark, NJ (New York has been at orange ever since September 11). This is the result of late-breaking terror threats on some of our nation's financial centers. This is no joke; President Bush was quoted by the Washington Post as saying,
It's serious business. I mean, we wouldn't be, you know, contacting authorities at the local level unless something was real.
But local authorities have been contacted, and residents of both towns can take comfort in the fact that in addition to the new security that they can see, there's more behind-the-scenes security to keep them safe from the terrorists that we know are coming.

But even with terrorist threats looming, we need to remember that - what's that? I'm sorry? Ladies and gentlemen, this just in - the late-breaking news that has necessitated the royal tizzy currently enjoyed by Tom Ridge and friends is actually, well, old. Like, way old. Like, several years old, dating back to before the September 11 attacks, like news that Condi Rice considered "historical" back in August of 2001. Said one senior law enforcement official, "There is nothing right now that we're hearing that is new. Why did we go to this level? I still don't know that."

Why would our trusted leaders do something like that? Why would they arouse the fears of American citizens over news that was considered old before it became pertinent the first time? What reason could the Bush administration possibly have for randomly frightening us with old news?