Archive for March 11th, 2008

McContext

It really is amazing what a difference “context” can make:

On Bill Bennett’s radio show this morning, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said he repudiates “any comments” by hard-line conservative Pastor John Hagee “that are anti-semetic or anti-Catholic, racist, any other.” “I repudiate the words that create that impression,” said McCain.But unlike his previous, half-hearted attempts to distance himself from Hagee, McCain also spoke up in the controversial pastor’s defense, saying that Hagee “said that his words were taken out of context”:

I will say that he said that his words were taken out of context, he defends his position. I hope that maybe you’d give him a chance to respond. He says he has never been anti-Catholic, but I repudiate the words that create that impression.

McCain then said he could look past Hagee’s bigoted comments because “when we were doing the No Surrender tour, he came and spoke on behalf of not surrendering in Iraq.”

Even if Hagee does support McCain’s vision of 100 years in Iraq, that does nothing to change the context of his past toxic comments. What context would absolve his belief that “Hurricane Katrina was, in fact, the judgment of God against the city of New Orleans” for hosting a gay pride parade?

And let us not forget when Hagee called the Catholic Church “the great whore,” a “false cult system,” and “the apostate church.” Because I’m sure that the context was something like, “Here is a list of things that the totally awesome Catholic Church is not.”

I am so sick of Republicans using “out of context” as a get-out-of-jail-free card whenever they get busted saying something repulsive.

March 11th, 2008 at 10:36pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Elections,McCain,Politics,Religion,Republicans,Wankers

Oh So Pretty

http://youtube.com/watch?v=7NblU3J_5mI

I really just wanted an excuse to use this video…

Norm Coleman hardly can believe he’s real:

According to polling sources, Norm Coleman is in a tight race to keep his US Senate seat. But if he’s losing any sleep, you probably won’t be able to tell. His most recent FEC report shows a $73-dollar disbursement to Nordstrom Direct for makeup. Was he searching for the best moisturizer to smooth away those worry lines from campaign stress? Or some concealer to hide dark circles following sleepless nights?

This isn’t the first time Sen. Coleman has put his best face forward: in 2005 he made the Washington Post when emails were flying regarding 1999 dental work worth $6,000. Before and after pictures were posted on the dentist’s website, but were soon removed at the request of the senator’s office.

I’m sure this will get exactly the same kind of condescending media coverage as John Edwards’ gazillion-dollar haircuts did…

March 11th, 2008 at 07:45pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Elections,Monday Media Blogging,Republicans

My Brilliant TV Concept

It would combine two of America’s favorite things: Reality shows, and monster movies. It would be sort of like Punk’d, only with monsters. And I would call it…

Candid Gamera.

As a special bonus, the celebrity guests would be eaten alive at the end of each episode.

March 11th, 2008 at 06:45pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Puns,TV

Incredible Mind-Blowing Surprise Of The Day

Saddam had nothing to do with al Qaeda OMG!!!

An exhaustive review of more than 600,000 Iraqi documents that were captured after the 2003 U.S. invasion has found no evidence that Saddam Hussein’s regime had any operational links with Osama bin Laden’s al Qaida terrorist network.

The Pentagon-sponsored study, scheduled for release later this week, did confirm that Saddam’s regime provided some support to other terrorist groups, particularly in the Middle East, U.S. officials told McClatchy. However, his security services were directed primarily against Iraqi exiles, Shiite Muslims, Kurds and others he considered enemies of his regime.

The new study of the Iraqi regime’s archives found no documents indicating a “direct operational link” between Hussein’s Iraq and al Qaida before the invasion, according to a U.S. official familiar with the report.

(…)

Then-Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld claimed in September 2002 that the United States had “bulletproof” evidence of cooperation between the radical Islamist terror group and Saddam’s secular dictatorship.

Then-Secretary of State Colin Powell cited multiple linkages between Saddam and al Qaida in a watershed February 2003 speech to the United Nations Security Council to build international support for the invasion. Almost every one of the examples Powell cited turned out to be based on bogus or misinterpreted intelligence.

As recently as last July, Bush tried to tie al Qaida to the ongoing violence in Iraq. “The same people that attacked us on September the 11th is a crowd that is now bombing people, killing innocent men, women and children, many of whom are Muslims,” he said.

Well, I reckon that’s true, Dubya. Care to tell us how they got there? ‘Cuz, I mean, they weren’t in Iraq before – at least not in the parts under Saddam’s control.

Why, it’s almost as if the entire invasion was based on a lie! But that can’t be right, can it?

March 11th, 2008 at 11:51am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Downing Street Memo,Iraq,Republicans,War

Still More Random B&W Urban Photoblogging

Some more moderately grungy urban photos…

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Mini-bulldozer! SO cute!

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The cap ends of the railings on the overpass.

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The door on the back of a truck.

March 11th, 2008 at 11:25am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Photoblogging,Pittsburgh

Phone Haters, Unite!

Wow, good to know it’s not just me:

Megan Hustan bemoans the decline of the phone call as a tool of business. Apparently she learned vital skills while eavesdropping and first made a mark for herself as a placer-of-phone-calls for her boss. Personally, I couldn’t be more thrilled with the phone’s decline. I used to be painfully shy as a person, and while I’ve largely gotten over that IRL I still find it incredibly stressful to talk to people on the phone.

Instead, I email. I SMS. I blog. I Twitter. I write on Facebook wall pages. I use IM and GChat constantly. Anything but the phone. I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels this way, and in the years to come we phone-haters will inherit the earth. I call it progress.

By way of Atrios, who says:

I think I enjoyed chatting with girls when I was 13 or so, but since then I’ve pretty much hated the phone.

I dunno what happened. I used to really like talking on the phone, I’ve had phone conversations that have lasted, 4-8 hours (memory’s hazy, but it was some ungodly length of time like that), but now I start squirming to escape within a few minutes. It’s like my hatred for cellphones has bled over into my attitude towards regular phones.

Some of the comments to Yglesias’ post really ring true (so to speak), especially the ones about how you can deal with e-mails at your own pace, but the phone is kind of peremptory and demands that you drop whatever you’re doing and deal with it.

My own personal pet peeve: People who leave voicemails asking me to call them back, without giving the slightest hint as to what it’s about. I mean, how hard could it be?

I find phones useful for coordinating logistics, and sometimes you do need real-time interaction to hammer something out quickly and nip misunderstandings and verbal dead-ends in the bud, but for the most part I just find them irritating. I guess I’m just a creature of the digital age.

3 comments March 11th, 2008 at 07:27am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Technology


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