Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Haja o Que Houver

One of my all-time favorite songs.

Friday, March 27, 2009


Gotta add this to my reading list.

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Fire this cop, re-hire him, then fire him again.

More Teleprompter in the MSM

A WaPo reporter interviews Robert Gibbs, and what are her top questions? You guessed it. His response is great, and she squirms and giggles as if she suddenly realizes what a tool she is.

Make it stop.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Ed Henry Is A Muppet

This Ed Henry piece is really one of the most ridiculous pieces of journalism I've read in a long time. If you caught the Obama press conference last night, you might remember Henry as the one who asked about AIG bonuses and why the administration waited two days to speak publicly about the issue. He received a succinct, somewhat curt, answer from the president: "Because I like to know what I'm talking about before I speak."

So anyway, today Henry files a piece on...the fact that he asked a question. It's the most smug, self-important, self-congratulatory article you can imagine and might as well be titled "Hey Mom, I asked a hard question at work today!" It's really beyond parody. Also, I love that in the photo accompanying the article, Henry looks like he's about to throw up as Obama is addressing him.

CNN was so impressed that one of their reporters asked a question, they had him do a guest spot on AC360 talking about how awesome it was.

During the conversation with Anderson, Henry says "The interesting thing is that [Obama] used a teleprompter." Really? The interesting thing is that, like thousands of other public speakers and politicians, he uses a teleprompter? Why is that interesting? What's interesting is the willingness of the mainstream media to help propagate this right-wing meme about Obama using a teleprompter. On the one hand, it's sort of amusing and pathetic that the best they can come up with as far as criticism is that he uses a teleprompter. It makes sense as a Rovean type of strategy where you try to attack your opponent's strengths, but accusing Obama of being a poor orator is so easily disproved that it's hard to see why they're bothering with this line of attack. And even if it's all a bit silly, it's still pretty shocking to see mainstream media outlets running with absolutely false stories.

By the way, I really recommend Wonkette's hilarious takedown on Ed Henry's article.

Friday, March 20, 2009


Andrew Malcolm

This guy keeps showing up on my radar in various wankerous ways. Here's hoping that when the Times needs to trim some fat they look his way.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Blog Spring Cleaning

A couple of small changes here. I realized the feed info in the right sidebar was outdated, so if you want to subscribe to the blog, that's been updated.

Also, at the very bottom of the page you can see a feed of items I've flagged from Google Reader - posts I thought were interesting.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Cheap Tickets

I can't say I've been paying very close attention to ticket deals, but did notice in the Sunday paper yesterday that there are some pretty amazing deals for Vancouver-Amsterdam and Vancouver-London. Apparently Hawaii is cheap right now too.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Quite a Distinction

Woo-hoo! Sequim has made international headlines for being one of the 10 most mispronounced places in the world. It's skwim, if you were wondering. Not difficult to pronounce, just seldom pronounced correctly by outsiders.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Google Reader Gets Social

I've been using Google Reader for quite a while for all my blog-reading needs. They've been adding lots of new features, most of which I haven't yet taken advantage of. But this sounds cool. Being able to share items with friends, coupled now with being able to comment on them with your friends, is basically turning it into a blog-centric social networking tool, which I like.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Douthat to the NYT

This is great news. Ross Douthat is one of the best conservative bloggers out there, period. He's intellectually honest and always interesting, and is a truly modern face for conservatism. He's worlds better than the disaster that was William Kristol. Conservatives should embrace Douthat just as they should reject the tired Limbaugh/National Review variety of conservatism.


Ladies and gentleman, I bring you American conservatism today:
The other day when I turned on the tv, the channel was set, as it often is, to Noggin, the toddler network. There was a cartoon image of our president with an announcer saying something like, "Noggin congratulates President Obama. And now here are some things that he likes." I flipped the channel before finding out whether abortion and taxes made the list.

Lovely people over there at The Corner.

Friday, March 06, 2009

The Baltic Dry Index

Nothing says "Friday night" like the Baltic Dry Index.

So, the market's been all over the place. You're a-feared. It's a bit unfortunate that people pay such close attention to the daily action of the market; for one thing, the Dow Jones falling 200 points is a lot less important than things like job losses and retail sales. And investors are so crazy right now that the market is rising and falling dramatically on the smallest pieces of news. I've heard estimates that the US markets are about 30% undervalued simply because people are so panicked.

It's pretty hard to look at the stock market fluctuations and assess where we're at - like if we've bottomed out or are starting to recover. It doesn't get much (or really, any) attention in the mainstream media, but there's another index that economists pay close attention to. It's the Baltic Dry Index, and it basically tracks the cost of shipping raw materials by sea. The higher the BDI, the higher the demand is for shipping vessels to transport raw materials like coal, iron and grain. It's considered a leading indicator because increased movement of such materials is a precursor to increased growth and production. And the good news is that the BDI has been steadily climbing for a while now. Here's a look at the last 3 months:

Nice - we haven't seen that shape for a while. And unlike a good deal of current stock market activity, the BDI is a cold, hard measurement of real movement and growth, not just investor sentiment. It's just one figure among a lot of bleak news, but it's reassuring.

A Great Dane Walking a Beagle

Because it's the weekend

The Mysterious Case of the Homeless Guy with the Cellphone

This is a good example of what I'm talking about. This is what conservative bloggers were pissed about today. Michelle Obama goes to volunteer in a soup kitchen. While she's there, an apparently homeless guy takes a picture of her with his cellphone. LA Times writer Andrew Malcolm captures the moment and posts this:
It doesn't detract from the first lady's generous gesture or the real needs she seeks to highlight to ask two bothersome journalistic questions about these news photos:

If this unidentified meal recipient is too poor to buy his own food, how does he afford a cellphone?

And if he is homeless, where do they send the cellphone bills?

Bloggers like Michelle Malkin and Kathy Shaidle ran with it, apparently outraged at the idea of a homeless man having a phone. Here's nice little bit from Shaidle:

Today's "poor" are the rich Jesus warned you about: fat, slovenly, wasteful of their money and other people's.
He spends all his (our) money on cellphones and, most likely, tattoos and drugs and booze and other crap, and has no money left for a home and food. And why should he bother? We pay for his shelter and food anyhow.

Um...so Jesus warned us about rich people, but he really meant poor people with phones? I gotta say, if you're a Christian and the thing that really works you into an angry lather is that some homeless guy has a phone, you need to re-read the gospels and figure out what Jesus was really about.

As for Mr. Malcolm's "bothersome journalistic questions," man, I guess you all are too elite to have heard of pay-as-you-go phones. And you must not understand that for a homeless person to pull himself out of poverty, get a place to live, and try to find work, it really helps to have contact information.

Tigerhawk, the Engine of America

So, TigerHawk posted this whiny YouTube video:

I'll just quote liberally from Brad's great summary and takedown:
For those of you who don’t have the stomach, I’ll boil it down for you:

* I, Tigerhawk, am a hard-working guy who makes a lot of money.

* I and others of my kind work harder than any of you out there and we are better than you are because you’re lazy.

* But despite the fact that we’re superior to all of you, you’re all being ungrateful to us… indeed, you want to raise our taxes!

* Because of this, my feelings hurt.

I agree with Brad that there's this weird undertone of anger and resentment towards poor people and the middle class among TigerHawk and his cohort. It always strikes me when I'm talking about the economy with someone and they only want to blame the mortgage defaulters and the labor unions for the current mess, ignoring the bankers and investment executives who were more concerned about their bonuses than having a sound business model. There's blame all around.

If you watch the video above, TigerHawk basically says straight up that because he is a hard-working wealthy man he is more important than people making less than $250k and that they are showing insufficient gratitude towards geniuses like him. So now you've got folks like him "going Galt" by doing what...not tipping waitstaff!. Yeah, stick it to the working class people serving you!

I completely agree with Brad's conclusion:
Tigerhawk, if it makes you feel better, I have nothing against rich people. If you’re a successful person who has contributed something to society, then more power to you.

But please. Do not ask me to feel sorry for you. You’re rich. Again, I repeat: you’re rich. And because you’re rich in the United States, you have to pay less taxes than rich people in every other industrialized country in the entire world. You also have an entire political party (the Republicans) and a large swathe of another political party (the Democrats) who are lining up to kiss your ass on a regular basis. Rich people in this country have it better than rich people in every other country in the world. You’d think they’d be a little more grateful for this fact instead of being perpetually resentful whiners.

Gordon Brown on Prop 8

I look forward to the day when one of our leaders stands up and says something like this:

Gordon Brown has condemned California's ban on gay marriage as "unacceptable" and warned people to be vigilant against all forms of discrimination...

Mr Brown said "this attempt to undo good that has been done is unacceptable".

He added: "This shows why we have always got to be vigilant, always got to fight homophobic behaviour and any form of discrimination."

He also praised equality campaigners in the UK for "changing opinion" about same-sex unions.

I hope Obama will be the American leader who firmly stands up for equal rights. There's a long way to go, but then again, it wasn't until Obama was elected that you could even imagine a US president saying something like "our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters."



(Via Ben Goldacre)

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Boneshaker Almanac

This looks good. Is it available locally, anyone know?

Losing It

Seriously, wingers are losing their shit. Just a few examples:

- Limbaugh, the winger Godfather, says he hopes the Obama recovery plan will fail.

- Glenn Beck thinks America is in its death throes and that we should all start building bunkers.

- Jim Cramer thinks Obama is a bolshevik and that Pelosi is the general secretary of the Communist Party.

- Malkin is enamored with the whole Going Galt joke, though it's not clear what talent she could possibly withdraw.

If you follow that last link, you'll see that Malkin claims that American taxpayers are fed up with Washington's "confiscatory policies". Really? Considering that 95% of taxpayers will be getting tax cuts, I very much doubt that. Perhaps not coincidentally, Obama's approval ratings are sky-high. Maybe Beck and Cramer et al. are pissed off because they make more than $250,000? In their view, the patriotic thing is to have the tax burden on the poor and middle class and any suggestion otherwise is "bolshevik".

Going Galt

Ha ha, yes, only a wingnut strike will save us now!

The only thing funnier than right-wingers getting all their ideas from Rush is right-wingers getting all their ideas from Ayn Rand.