Archive for October 24th, 2007

Programming Note

I’m on vacation for the next few days, so posting will be pretty light.

I’ll try to at least keep the photoblogging and the regular Monday/Wednesday/Friday features coming, but no promises.

1 comment October 24th, 2007 at 08:14pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Uncategorized

Three Little Words

Digby has a great post titled “The Art Of The Hissy Fit,” about how the Republicans use transparently fake outrage to intimidate and emasculate Democrats, making the Democratic party look smaller and weaker every time they cave in, and they always cave in.

I’ve written a few posts about how Democrats need to start standing up for themselves, and stop validating dishonest criticism. I’m very fond of Paul Hackett’s “I said it, I meant it, I stand behind it” mantra, but I’m starting to think that it doesn’t go far enough.

When you are attacked by a hypocrite, by someone accusing you of the very thing that they themselves are guilty of, it’s not enough to simply stand your ground. You have to counterattack. You have to call them on their hypocrisy, remind everyone that their offenses against civility and decency are far, far worse than yours. I recommend that the Democrats memorize and practice these three little words, which must be incorporated into every response to phony Republican outrage:


Go ahead, try it. Who knows, you might even like it.

2 comments October 24th, 2007 at 07:55pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Favorites,Politics,Republicans

Great News, Everybody!

The Bush administration informs us that “Over Half the Families in America Are Not Poor.” Awesome!

The bar for success gets set lower and lower every day…

October 24th, 2007 at 05:52pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Politics,Republicans,Wankers

Under Review

So here’s Hillary, being interviewed by the Guardian’s Michael Tomasky, on the hot-button topic of executive power:

Tomasky: If you become president you’ll enter the White House with far more power than, say, your husband had. What is your view of this? And what specific powers might you relinquish as president, or renegotiate with Congress – for example the power to declare a US citizen an enemy combatant?

Clinton: Well, I think it is clear that the power grab undertaken by the Bush-Cheney administration has gone much further than any other president and has been sustained for longer. Other presidents, like Lincoln, have had to take on extraordinary powers but would later go to the Congress for either ratification or rejection. But when you take the view that they’re not extraordinary powers, but they’re inherent powers that reside in the office and therefore you have neither obligation to request permission nor to ask for ratification, we’re in a new territory here. And I think that I’m gonna have to review everything they’ve done because I’ve been on the receiving end of that. There were a lot of actions which they took that were clearly beyond any power the Congress would have granted or that in my view that was inherent in the constitution. There were other actions they’ve taken which could have obtained congressional authorization but they deliberately chose not to pursue it as a matter of principle.

Tomasky: I guess I’m asking, can a president, once in the White House, actually give up some of this power in the name of constitutional principle?

Clinton: Oh, absolutely, Michael. I mean that has to be part of the review that I undertake when I get to the White House, and I intend to do that.

This is all well and good and everything, but I have to ask the question: Why wait until you get to the White House? You have a pretty good idea of what powers the Bush administration has grabbed, so why not perform that review now, and then tell everyone what you intend to roll back, rather than just saying that you’ll “review” it?

Sure, there’s probably some stuff no-one even knows about, but there’s no reason you can’t say, “Of the executive powers that I know about, here’s what I would change. There are probably some powers that this administration has assumed in secret, and I will look at those very thoroughly and very skeptically when I take office.”

How hard could it be?

5 comments October 24th, 2007 at 03:35pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Clinton,Constitution,Politics

Penultimate La Jolla Photoblogging

This is the next-to-last batch of San Diego/La Jolla photos, taken from my Israeli cousin’s patio and backyard… which I hope are still there.

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The patio roof.

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Another view of the roof, plus a birdfeeder.

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Random shadow.

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The view from the backyard.

October 24th, 2007 at 01:45pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: La Jolla/San Diego,Photoblogging

In Case You Were Worried

If anyone read my post comparing White House Counsel Fred Fielding to a sphincter, and was concerned about the whereabouts of my cherished copy of The Book Of Strange Facts And Useless Information… I just found it while looking for Weekly World News back issues which I was sure that I had.

So without further ado, here is In Praise of the Sphincter Ani, from the introduction to an article by W.C. (no, really!) Bornemeier in The American Journal of Proctology. It is not, as I had remembered it, a poem, but the adulation is no less glowing:

Of all the structures in the area one stands out as the king. You can damage, deform, ruin, remove, abuse, amputate, maim or mutilate every structure in and around the anus except one. The structure is the sphincter ani. There is not a muscle or structure in the body that has a more keenly developed sense of alertness and ability to accommodate itself to varying situations. It is like the goalie in hockey… always alert.

They say man has succeeded where the animals fail because of the clever use of his hands yet, when compared to the hands the sphincter ani is far superior. If you place into your cupped hands a mixture of fluid, solid and gas and then, through an opening at the bottom try to let only the gas escape you will fail. Yet the sphincter ani can do it. The sphincter apparently can differentiate between solid, fluid, and gas. It apparently can tell whether the owner is alone or with someone, whether standing up or sitting down, whether its owner has his pants on or off. No other muscle in the body is such a protector of the dignity of man, yet so ready to come to his relief. A muscle like that is worth protecting.

Now what other blog are you going to find this kind of hard-hitting yet edifying content on?

1 comment October 24th, 2007 at 12:44pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Weirdness

Rudy Will NEVER Be Cheered In Yankee Stadium

This is an unpardonable sin:

“I’m rooting for the Red Sox,” the Republican presidential contender told a Boston audience on Tuesday, just a few T stops from Fenway Park.

“I’m an American League fan, and I go with the American League team, maybe with the exception of the Mets. Maybe that would be the one time I wouldn’t because I’m loyal to New York.”


“Somehow it makes me feel better if the team that was ahead of the Yankees wins the World Series,” he told a group of mostly local reporters in explaining his sudden backing of the Red Sox, “because then I feel like, well, we’re not that bad.”

Later, at a town hall meeting in Lebanon, N.H., Giuliani yukked it up with a couple of audience members who were wearing Sox caps. “If I keep looking at that hat, I may start crying,” he said to chuckles, before adding, “Good luck to the Red Sox!”(…)

The GOP front-runner insisted his sudden conversion to Red Sox fandom was “not just because I’m here in Massachusetts.”

“In Colorado, in the next week or two, you will see, I will have the courage to tell the people of Colorado the same thing, that I am rooting for the Red Sox in the World Series,” he said.

I’m sure Yankee fans will be very comforted by Rudy’s consistency.

October 24th, 2007 at 10:45am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Republicans,Rudy,Sports

My Terribly Bitter Prediction

While swaggering through an insincere photo op somewhere in the general vicinity of the Giant Fire, surrounded by living props firefighters who are desperately needed elsewhere, President Bush will announce that he will retaliate against Fire’s cowardly assault on America by attacking Earth, Air, and Water.

Oh wait, he already has.

More seriously, my sincere best wishes to the people of Southern California. This is just horrible – 500,000 people evacuated, 1200 homes gone, probably 7 dead (so far). Jeez.

2 comments October 24th, 2007 at 07:29am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,War

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