Archive for February, 2009

Simple Answers To Simple Questions

Gay-bashing murderer Keith Phoenix:

So I killed someone – that makes me a bad guy?

Well… yeah.

February 28th, 2009 at 12:20pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Quotes,Teh Gay

Snake Alert!

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Multi Medium PSA: Today is Snake Day on the Sci-Fi channel, leading up to the premiere of Anacondas: Trail Of Blood, starring Gimli from Lord Of The Rings. I particularly recommend Snake King at 1:00 (Stephen Baldwin vs. giant five-headed snake) and Megasnake at 3:00 (cameo by Feedback, winner of the first season of “So You Want To Be A Superhero”).

Seriously, if you miss Snake King you’ll never forgive yourself.  Really, any Sci-Fi movie where Stephen Baldwin is the hero is must-see television.

February 28th, 2009 at 08:19am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Coolness,Movies,TV

Expect A Lot More Like This…

Watermelon House

Lovely:

Should we send this to Maureen Dowd, who thinks she lives in a post-racial America? Look at the knee-slapping humor of Los Alamitos Mayor Dean Grose. He thought it was A-OK to send out this doctored photo of watermelons on the White House lawn in honor of Barack Obama occupying 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. And check this out:

Grose’s email included the heading, “No Easter Egg hunt this year.”

“I think he’s saying that since there’s a black president, there will be no need to hunt for eggs since they’re growing watermelons in the front yard this year,” said Keyanus Price, an African American who was among those receiving the email. Price told Fletcher that she considers the email rascist and offensive.

“What I’m concerned about is how can this person send an e-mail out like this and think it is OK?” Price said. “He’s putting the city into a bad place and he is a liability.”

The good news is that the wanker resigned, but check this choice bit of hilarity:

Grose has apologized and said he wasn’t aware of the racial stereotype that blacks like watermelon.

So someone just sent him that picture, and naive post-racial innocent that he is, he said to himself, “Watermelons on the White House lawn?  That’s so silly!  I guess they couldn’t have an Easter egg hunt with watermelons everywhere like that!  Tee hee hee!”

Yeah, I totally buy that.

We are in for 4-8 years of veiled and overt racism directed squarely at the White House, and it is not going to be pretty.

4 comments February 27th, 2009 at 08:25pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Obama,Racism,Republicans,Wankers

Random Mostly-Construction Photoblogging

…Plus one really distressed traffic cone.

Blasted Cone

Arena Construction 7

Arena Construction 8

February 27th, 2009 at 06:07pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Photoblogging,Pittsburgh

Friday Quote & Lion Blogging

This week’s quote is from Nadja, an indie vampire movie with an eclectic cast, including Elina Lowensohn, Martin Donovan, Jared Harris, David Lynch, someone named Galaxy Craze, and Peter Fonda as both Dracula and Van Helsing.  The former is actually the subject of the quote…

He was just like Elvis at the end. Drugged… confused… surrounded by zombies. He was just going through the motions. The magic was gone and he knew it.

And, of course, there’ll be other people’s white lion cubs…

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Aww…

February 27th, 2009 at 07:24am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Friday Quote & Cat Blogging

Not Helping…

So, how does US News & World Report follow up on a shallow, stupid, sexist poll about which female political figure would run the best daycare center?  Do they apologize?

No, they run the same poll, but this time with male political figures. So I guess now they can say that they’re just shallow and stupid.

3 comments February 26th, 2009 at 10:06pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Media,Politics,Wankers

Why I Hate Today’s Conservatives, Part CXXVIII

On the program at CPAC:

Just to give you the flavor, this afternoon at 2:30 ET, TPM fave Hans von Spakovsky will be on a panel titled: “Al Franken and ACORN: How Liberals are Destroying the American Election System.”

Awesome.  Vote suppression GOOOOD, voter registration BAAAAD.

February 26th, 2009 at 09:20pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Corruption/Cronyism,Elections,Politics,Republicans,Wankers

This Just In: Karl Rove Is A Shameless, Dishonest Hypocrite

God, how I loathe the walking skidmark that is Karl Rove.  And how I love Glennzilla for not missing the fat hanging curveball of bullshit that Turdblossom pitched in today’s WSJ.  Rove accused Obama of engaging in exactly the same kind of straw man argument that Rove employed throughout Bush’s entire political career… because Obama implied that Republicans chose “fear, conflict and discord” over “hope” and “unity of purpose.”

The chutzpah of denying that historical reality is especially impressive when you consider that peddling “fear, conflict and discord” was Karl Rove’s job.

(h/t Blue Texan)

1 comment February 26th, 2009 at 08:36pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Obama,Politics,Republicans,Rove,Wankers

Eli’s Obsession With The Google

I’m on the first page of search results for the crystal prostitute.

Unspeakably beautiful… and painful.

February 26th, 2009 at 06:50pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Eli's Obsession With The Google

George Will Crusades Against Junk Sex

Apparently, casual sex is just like junk food…

Put down that cheeseburger and listen up: If food has become what sex was a generation ago — the intimidatingly intelligent Mary Eberstadt says it has — then a cheeseburger is akin to adultery, or worse. As eating has become highly charged with moral judgments, sex has become notably less so, and Eberstadt, a fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, thinks these trends involving two primal appetites are related.

In a Policy Review essay, “Is Food the New Sex?” — it has a section titled “Broccoli, pornography, and Kant” — she notes that for the first time ever, most people in advanced nations “are more or less free to have all the sex and food they want.” One might think, she says, either that food and sex would both be pursued with an ardor heedless of consequences, or that both would be subjected to analogous codes constraining consumption. The opposite has happened — mindful eating and mindless sex.

(…)

In 50 years, Eberstadt writes, for many people “the moral poles of sex and food have been reversed.” Today, there is, concerning food, “a level of metaphysical attentiveness” previously invested in sex; there are more “schismatic differences” about food than about (other) religions.

If food is the new sex, Eberstadt asks, “where does that leave sex?” She says it leaves much of sex dumbed-down — junk sex akin to junk food. It also leaves sexual attitudes poised for a reversal. Since Betty’s era, abundant research has demonstrated that diet can have potent effects, beneficial or injurious. Now, says Eberstadt, an empirical record is being assembled about the societal costs of laissez-faire sex.

Eberstadt says two generations of “social science replete with studies, surveys and regression analyses galore” have produced clear findings: “The sexual revolution — meaning the widespread extension of sex outside of marriage and frequently outside commitment of any kind — has had negative effects on many people, chiefly the most vulnerable; and it has also had clear financial costs to society at large.”

(…)

Today “the all-you-can-eat buffet” is stigmatized and the “sexual smorgasbord” is not. Eberstadt’s surmise about a society “puritanical about food, and licentious about sex” is this: “The rules being drawn around food receive some force from the fact that people are uncomfortable with how far the sexual revolution has gone — and not knowing what to do about it, they turn for increasing consolation to mining morality out of what they eat.”

Perhaps. Stigmas are compasses, pointing toward society’s sense of its prerequisites for self-protection. Furthermore, as increasing numbers of people are led to a materialist understanding of life — who say not that “I have a body” but that “I am a body” — society becomes more obsessive about the body’s maintenance. Alas, expiration is written into the leases we have on our bodies, so bon appetit.

So I guess this means that sex is fattening, has dire environmental implications, and often results in the death and mistreatment of animals, right?

February 26th, 2009 at 11:36am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Media,Republicans

Colorado’s Hate Senators

Colorado, Land Of James Dobson, has some truly warped and hateful Republican state senators.  In just two days, we had Scott Renfroe comparing homosexuality to murder:

A prominent national gay rights organization on Tuesday blasted Colorado state Sen. Scott Renfroe for comparing homosexuality to murder when he spoke Monday against a bill that would extend health benefits to same-sex domestic partners of state employees.

After quoting Scripture to call homosexual behavior a “detestable act,” the Greeley Republican said it would be “an abomination according to Scripture” for the Legislature to “(take) sins and (make) them to be legally OK.”

He continued: “I’m not saying (homosexuality) is the only sin that is out there. Obviously we have sin — we have murder, we have, we have all sorts of sin, we have adultery, and we don’t make laws making those legal, and we would never think to make murder legal.”

…And state senator Dave Schultheis opposing HIV testing for pregnant mothers because it “rewards promiscuity”:

Democrats were outraged Wednesday morning when Republican state Sen. Dave Schultheis said he planned to vote against a bill to require HIV tests for pregnant women because the disease “stems from sexual promiscuity” and he didn’t think the Legislature should “remove the negative consequences that take place from poor behavior and unacceptable behavior.” The Colorado Springs lawmaker then proceeded to cast the lone vote against SB 179, which passed 32-1 and moves on to the House.

He then issued a “clarification”:

The Colorado Springs Republican with a penchant for foot-in-mouth moments tells The Rocky Mountain News in a follow-up story to Wednesday’s Senate floor controversy:

“What I’m hoping is that, yes, that person may have AIDS, have it seriously as a baby and when they grow up, but the mother will begin to feel guilt as a result of that,” he said. “The family will see the negative consequences of that promiscuity and it may make a number of people over the coming years begin to realize that there are negative consequences and maybe they should adjust their behavior.”

Yes, Schultheis really said he is “hoping” people “have AIDS, have it seriously as a baby …”

I know Colorado is like Ground Zero for fundies and all, but this really is twisted and over the top.  The religious right is inching closer and closer to Fred Phelps territory.

February 26th, 2009 at 07:16am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Politics,Republicans,Sexism,Teh Gay,Wankers

OMG Obama Is The BIGGEST LIAR OF ALL TIME!!!

The AP really need to get over themselves…

Once again, Republican shills at the Associated Press, on the day after our president gave what is universally recognized as one of the greatest and most important addresses of the past 100 years, launch a nit-picking fusillade of hair splitting, distortions, and outright lies.

Get this for the AP’s idea of just how bone-headed Obama’s speech really was:

OBAMA: “And I believe the nation that invented the automobile cannot walk away from it.”

THE FACTS: Depends what your definition of automobiles, is. According to the Library of Congress, the inventor of the first true automobile was probably Germany’s Karl Benz, who created the first auto powered by an internal combustion gasoline engine, in 1885 or 1886. In the U.S., Charles Duryea tested what library researchers called the first successful gas-powered car in 1893. Nobody disputes that Henry Ford created the first assembly line that made cars affordable.

http://news.yahoo.com/…

Well, gee, if Obama can’t tell the truth about who invented the automobile, what else will he lie about?  I don’t know how I can ever trust him now.

Seriously, that has got to be one of the lamest, most desperate gotchas ever.  I’d laugh at that one even if they were calling President Bush or (shudder) President McCain on it.

If you read the rest of the diary, it sounds like the car thing might actually be the highlight of the story…

(h/t Phoenix Woman)

4 comments February 25th, 2009 at 11:21pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Media,Obama,Politics,Wankers

And Harry Reid Continues To Suck.

He can’t even zing Republicans without looking like a tool:

A ten percent increase in the budget for Congressional operations was needed because Senate Republicans wanted to retain previous staff levels despite having lost roughly 20 percent of their ranks in the 2008 elections, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said Wednesday.

Congressional Republicans have been pouncing on any instance of wasteful spending they can find, but the congressional-operations line item will likely remain safe from their ire.

The one-tenth hike brings the budget for Congress itself to $4.4 billion.

Reid, asked about the increase at a press conference, initially dodged the question, speaking instead about spending in general.

The unsatisfied reporter repeated the question about a ten percent raise for the congressional budget. “How is that going to help get out of the depression?” she pressed.

Don’t blame us, said Reid.

“We had a situation — you should direct that question to Senator McConnell,” he said, referring to the Senate Minority Leader, “because we had trouble organizing this year. He wanted to maintain a lot of their staffing even though they had lost huge numbers. And the only way we could get it done is to do what we did. So you should direct that question to Senator McConnell.”

So… Harry, you’re saying that you totally caved to the unreasonable demands of the party with only 41 seats?  And you think telling us that makes you look good somehow?

Jebus, I think I’m going to have to send money to your Republican opponent next year.  Voting you out is the only way to get you out of the Senate leadership, and sacrificing one Democratic seat for a Majority Leader who actually acts like one would be a tradeoff I’d make any time.

(Of course, I thought the same thing when Daschle got voted out, that there was no way the Senate Dems could ever possibly replace him with someone worse…)

2 comments February 25th, 2009 at 09:28pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Politics,Republicans

George Will Discovers The Manhug

…From a safe distance, of course.


“I don’t know when men started to hug each other, but hug they do, and look at that.”

It makes Will feel all… funny in his Bad Places.

February 25th, 2009 at 08:45pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Media,Obama,Republicans

When Life Hands You Lemons…

Mermaid
Steve Unwin

…Make yourself a mermaid:

[Nadya] Vessey’s mermaid tail was created by Wellington-based film industry wizards Weta Workshop after the Auckland woman wrote to them two years ago asking if they could make her a prosthetic tail. She was astounded when they agreed.

She lost both legs below the knee from a medical condition when she was a child and told Close Up last night her long-held dream had come true. “A prosthetic is a prosthetic, and your body has to be comfortable with it and you have to mentally make it part of yourself,” she said.

(…)

Weta costumer Lee Williams, who worked on the suit between film projects with seven other staff, told Close Up she “wanted [Nadya] to be beautiful and sexy”.

After seeing Ms Vessey test the tail in Kilbirnie pool then frolic in the harbour, Ms Williams was stoked. “It was absolutely amazing. It’s beautiful to watch Nadya swim and to see that dream come true and to be a part of that. I feel quite blessed.”

The suit was made mostly of wetsuit fabric and plastic moulds, and was covered in a digitally printed sock. Mermaid-like scales were painted by hand.

Mr Taylor said not only did the tail have to be functional, it was important it looked realistic. “What became apparent was that she actually physically wanted to look like a mermaid.”

This was easily the coolest, most amazing thing I’ve read all week.  Even cooler than the PC that fits inside its own power adapter!

(h/t Phoenix Woman)

February 25th, 2009 at 07:02pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Coolness,Technology

Wednesday Why-I-Love-The-Weekly-World-News Blogging

Nike signs their biggest spokesman yet:

Spokespeople for Nike Corporation announced yesterday the signing of God as the centerpiece of the ‘Thou Shalt Just Do It’ campaign.He was given a three-year, $22 million-dollar advertising contract with the corporation.

“We’re very excited about signing the Lord,” said Samantha Brecker, a public relations official for the world’s largest running shoe manufacturer.  “In addition to the fact that His word is worshipped and adhered to religiously by a large percentage of our customers, the Creator’s lifestyle is a perfect reflection of Nike’s values of absolute power and omnipotence.”

Though God has resisted previous advances by organizations seeking his endorsement – Starbucks, McDonald’s, and the Catholic Church are just a few examples – the Almighty said that Nike’s proposal stood out.

“Nike hath spoken to the needs of my children,” sayeth the Lord.  “Had the Children of Israel been blessed with the kingly arch support and heavenly appearance of these shoes, verily the ten plagues would have surely been unnecessary.  I am the Lord.”

Despite this explanation, and given that He has been absent from the affairs of Man for millennia, observers in both corporate and religious circles are perplexed by God’s decision to choose Nike as a forum for his return.

“We offered Him $18 million for two years, and that’s in 1992 dollars,” says Monsanto advertising executive Steve Prior.  “And frankly, you’d think that the Lord would be more interested in the genetic manipulation of Life itself than in a pair of sneakers.  We were very disappointed when the ‘Playing God’ campaign fell through.”

Although jealousy is plainly rampant in the advertising community, religious institutions all over the world are equally shocked by the nature of His return.

“Although we’re obviously pleased that the day of revelation has finally arrived and that the salvation and judgment of Man is now assured for all eternity, we’re also a little disappointed with the details,” said the Pope in a press release from the Vatican.  “No Jesus, no four horsemen, nothing.  Just a flashy commercial for the Super Bowl.  We’re a little miffed, frankly.”

Advance copies of the much talked-about Super Bowl commercial, intended for broadcast in 2010, have been distributed to certain key figures in the religious community to gauge reaction and court support.  Said Nike advertising executive Jill Logan: “We’re not sure what to expect.  We just want to make sure that we’re doing this the right way.”

The commercial opens with a dramatically lit mountain-scape, then closes in on the late Charlton Heston, reprising his role as Moses from the Hollywood blockbuster The Ten Commandments.  The sky is rumbling with thunder and bright with lightning.  Moses calls to the heavens: “Lord – The faithful do not walk with thee!  How will they cross the desert and the sea?”

The sky clears suddenly, and Moses is illuminated by a blinding white light.  A pair of Nike running shoes descends gracefully in the halo, as the theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey begins to play in the background.  The voice of God is heard off-screen: “Moses,” He says as the shoes settle to the earth at his feet, “They may walk to me…with these.”

The music builds as Moses picks them up in his hands and slowly rises to his feet.  Moses and the shoes are framed against the blinding light, and he says: ‘Thank you, Lord.  Thank you.”  A black screen suddenly appears with the words: ‘Nike.  Amen.’

Despite a vague sense of discomfort and confusion in many of the faithful, most consumers, religious or not, seem to have embraced the call of the Lord.  In fact, Nike has not seen such an increase in sales since the famed ‘Air Jordan’ campaign of the early nineties.

“They’re great,” said Baltimore teenager Jeffrey Wenders.  “My feet feel fantastic.  They’re so light.  I feel like I can walk on water with these babies.”  Mr. Wenders added: “You think I’ll be able to dunk it with these on?”

I look forward to the commercials where God is paired with Spike Lee.

February 25th, 2009 at 11:20am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Weekly World News

New Horizons In All-In-One PCs

Plug PC

I’ve seen lots of PCs integrated into monitors, but this is a new one on me:

Marvell has the technology and the vision, and if the company gets its way the world will soon be overrun by lilliputian Linux machines. Hiding in wall warts and the like, these guys will begin quietly taking over tasks that we once relegated to servers and desktop machines. To this end, the company has just announced that they’ll be making the SheevaPlug dev kit available. This is the platform that PogoPlug is based on, consisting of a 1.2GHz Kirkwood processor, 512MB flash storage, 512MB DRAM, a Gigabit Ethernet port, and USB 2.0. This bad boy supports many standard Linux 2.6 kernel distributions, and the whole thing plugs directly into a standard wall socket, drawing “less than one tenth of the power of a typical PC” while in use. Currently available for $99, the company says that it anticipates a price drop to $49 “in the near future.”

That’s right, a PC that’s integrated into its own power adapter.  And it’s almost as powerful as my last PC was.  Amazing.

1 comment February 25th, 2009 at 07:10am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Coolness,Technology,Weirdness

Bobby Jindal: FAIL

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Not only did he sound like Mr. Rogers pitching an informercial, not only did his entrance inspire Chris Matthews to whisper “Oh my God” into a live mic, not only was his “government sucks/we know we screwed up but we’ll regain your trust by continuing to do what we’ve always done” messaging completely tone-deaf, but it’s very likely that the anecdote he used as the centerpiece of his “government is the problem” thesis… was completely fabricated.

Nice career you had there, Mr. Jindal.  Have fun explaining to Louisiana voters over and over again why you said you’d take all the stimulus funds for your state except the ones earmarked for unemployment.

4 comments February 25th, 2009 at 12:07am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Politics,Republicans

Simple Answers To Simple Questions, Volume 342

Jamo Foser asks:

Will media repeat Jindal’s false attack on Obama, or correct it?

According to Ben Smith, Bobby Jindal will accuse Obama of pessimism tonight, saying:

A few weeks ago, the President warned that our nation is facing a crisis that he said ‘we may not be able to reverse.’ Our troubles are real, to be sure. But don’t let anyone tell you that we cannot recover – or that America’s best days are behind her.

Smith didn’t mention this, but Jindal’s claim is false.  Obama didn’t say “we may not be able to reverse” the crisis; he said if we continue to do nothing, it may reach a point where it cannot be reversed.  And he didn’t say “we cannot recover” or that “America’s best days are behind her.”  Simply didn’t happen.

Here’s Obama’s February 5 op-ed:

What Americans expect from Washington is action that matches the urgency they feel in their daily lives — action that’s swift, bold and wise enough for us to climb out of this crisis.

Because each day we wait to begin the work of turning our economy around, more people lose their jobs, their savings and their homes. And if nothing is done, this recession might linger for years. Our economy will lose 5 million more jobs. Unemployment will approach double digits. Our nation will sink deeper into a crisis that, at some point, we may not be able to reverse.

That’s why I feel such a sense of urgency about the recovery plan before Congress. With it, we will create or save more than 3 million jobs over the next two years, provide immediate tax relief to 95 percent of American workers, ignite spending by businesses and consumers alike, and take steps to strengthen our country for years to come.

I’m gonna go with “repeat.”  Although it does look like, mercifully, there will be some exceptions:

UPDATE: Salon’s Alex Koppelman is all over this:

That’s misleading, at best, though it’s a cute little frame. (“Obama doesn’t believe in you!”) In context, it’s clear that the quote Jindal refers to means almost exactly the opposite of what he says it does.

Excellent.  More like this, please.

February 24th, 2009 at 08:07pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Economy,Obama,Politics,Republicans,Wankers

Wanker Martyr Of The Day

Norm Coleman:

Republican Norm Coleman on Tuesday refused to rule out an appeal if a three-judge panel rules against his challenge in what he called “the race that never ends.”

(…)

Coleman said his lawyers will wrap up their arguments by the end of the week, and he expected a ruling to come down in a “couple weeks.” If he loses, he would not say whether he would try to appeal a ruling with the state Supreme Court.

“I’m not ruling it in or ruling it out, let’s see what the court does and hopefully they’ll do the right thing,” Coleman said.

He added: “This process already is Tolstoy-esque.”

I think it’s brilliant how Norm theatrically and hyperbolically laments how long and drawn-out the process is, like he’s just some helpless, Kafkaesque pawn being swept along by events – even as he singlehandedly prolongs the ordeal himself.

February 24th, 2009 at 07:04pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Elections,Politics,Republicans,Wankers

Random Sky Photoblogging

Like the title says, just some random sky pictures. I was mostly trying to capture that cool ray effect when the sun shines through clouds, but it’s elusive as hell.

Sunset Globe 1

Sky 281

Sky 282

5 comments February 24th, 2009 at 11:28am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Photoblogging,Pittsburgh

Wanker Of The Day

John Tierney takes on the tyrannical hubris of science:

Most researchers, Dr. Pielke writes, like to think of themselves in one of two roles: as a pure researcher who remains aloof from messy politics, or an impartial arbiter offering expert answers to politicians’ questions. Either way, they believe their research can point the way to correct public policies, and sometimes it does — when the science is clear and people’s values aren’t in conflict.

But climate change, like most political issues, isn’t so simple. While most scientists agree that anthropogenic global warming is a threat, they’re not certain about its scale or its timing or its precise consequences (like the condition of California’s water supply in 2090). And while most members of the public want to avoid future harm from climate change, they have conflicting values about which sacrifices are worthwhile today.

A scientist can enter the fray by becoming an advocate for certain policies, like limits on carbon emissions or subsidies for wind power. That’s a perfectly legitimate role for scientists, as long as they acknowledge that they’re promoting their own agendas.

But too often, Dr. Pielke says, they pose as impartial experts pointing politicians to the only option that makes scientific sense. To bolster their case, they’re prone to exaggerate their expertise (like enumerating the catastrophes that would occur if their policies aren’t adopted), while denigrating their political opponents as “unqualified” or “unscientific.”

“Some scientists want to influence policy in a certain direction and still be able to claim to be above politics,” Dr. Pielke says. “So they engage in what I call ‘stealth issue advocacy’ by smuggling political arguments into putative scientific ones.”

In Dr. Pielke’s book, one example of this stealthy advocate is the nominee for White House science adviser, Dr. Holdren, a longtime proponent of policies to slow population growth and control energy use. (See TierneyLab, for more on his background.) He appears in a chapter analyzing the reaction of scientists to “The Skeptical Environmentalist,” a 2001 book arguing that many ecological dangers had been exaggerated.

Dr. Holdren called it his “scientific duty” to expose the “complete incompetence” of the book’s author, Bjorn Lomborg, a Danish political scientist. Dr. Holdren was one of the authors of an extraordinary 11-page attack on the book that ran in Scientific American under the headline, “Science defends itself against ‘The Skeptical Environmentalist’ ” — as if “science” spoke with one voice.

After reviewing the criticisms, Dr. Pielke concludes that a more accurate headline would have been, “Our political perspective defends itself against the political agenda of ‘The Skeptical Environmentalist.’ ”

(…)

Dr. Pielke suggests that scientists could do more good if, instead of discrediting rivals’ expertise, they acknowledge political differences and don’t expect them to be resolved by science. Instead of steering politicians to a preferred policy, these honest brokers would use their expertise to expand the array of technically feasible options.

What would honest brokers tell the president about global warming? Dr. Pielke, who calls himself an Obamite, says he’s concerned that the presidents’ advisers seem uniformly focused on cutting carbon emissions through a domestic cap-and-trade law and a new international treaty.

It’s fine to try that strategy, he says, but there are too many technological, economic and political uncertainties to count on it making a significant global difference. If people around the world can’t be cajoled — or frightened by apocalyptic scenarios — into cutting carbon emissions, then politicians need backup strategies.

One possibility, Dr. Pielke says, would be to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere in the future. He calculates that it could cost about the same, in the long run, as making drastic cuts in emissions today, and could be cheaper if the technology improves. It could also be a lot easier sell to the public.

Yet research into this strategy has received little financing in past budgets or the new stimulus package because it doesn’t jibe with the agenda of either side in the global-warming debate. Greens don’t want this sort of “technological fix”; their opponents don’t want to admit there’s anything to fix. And neither side’s advocates will compromise as long as they think that science will prove them right.

So, let’s see…   According to Tierney and his new BFF Pielke:

o Scientists are just as biased and political as the anti-scientists of the Bush administration, and therefore their conclusions and recommendations have no credibility.

o The science still isn’t settled on global warming.

o Holdren attacked Lomborg for purely political reasons, and not because Lomborg is a denialist hack.

o We don’t need to worry about limiting carbon emissions (and it’s too hard anyway), because the Magickal Technology Of Teh Future will conveniently be able to scrub all the carbon from the atmosphere.

Yeah, giving a science column to an anti-scientist was a great idea.

February 24th, 2009 at 07:28am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Media,Republicans,Science,Wankers

New Approach To Defense Spending?

I hope this is for real:

President Obama late this afternoon nominated Harvard professor Ashton B. Carter, a leading authority on arms control, to take on a surprising new role, according to top administration officials — as the Pentagon’s chief weapons buyer.

(…)

Unlike most of his predecessors selected to be under secretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, Carter has no professional ties to America’s arms makers or manufacturing industry, nor has he spent his career in government procurement. Instead, from his perch at Harvard’s Kennedy School, Carter has been criticizing the Pentagon for buying too many armaments it doesn’t need, decrying what he calls a lack of discipline and “failure to take account of cost growth in weapons systems and defense services.”

A trained scientist with a doctorate in theoretical physics and a degree in Medieval history, Carter’s advocates say the long-time Harvard professor and national security specialist is being chosen because his combination of technical expertise and knowledge of defense strategy will be needed to make what Gates calls “difficult choices” about which weapons programs to invest in and which ones to terminate.

“He is not being brought in to help the defense industry thrive,” said Loren Thompson, president of the Lexington Institute, an Arlington, Va., think tank. “He is being brought in to decide what we need and what we can do without.”

It would be a refreshing change to see something other than a blank-check approach to defense spending.  Now if Obama can get us out of Iraq, we might actually save some real money.

5 comments February 23rd, 2009 at 11:07pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Obama

Larry Kudlow’s Irrational Exuberance

You know, they have pills for that now…

Kudlow last July fantasized about a scenario in which

oil prices will keep on plunging — perhaps all the way to $75 a barrel, which is the profitable break-even point for lifting the extra barrel of oil.

His prediction?

That would drive the Dow to somewhere between 15,000 and 16,000, and it would have a huge tax-cut effect on the economy. And, of course, it could completely change the November election outlook in a highly favorable way for the GOP.

The price of oil today: approximately $39 a barrel. The Dow: 7,114.78.Massive, throbbing fail.

Wait, I know what the problem is: The price of oil went too low!  Yeah, that’s the ticket!

I think Kudlow sees everything as a catalyst for stratospheric stock prices.  It’s like the financial equivalent of “This can only be good for Republicans.”

1 comment February 23rd, 2009 at 09:52pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Economy,Republicans,Wankers

Republicinsanity

This just in – Republican noisemakers are nasty, horrible, crazy people:

In terms of speed and efficiency, the right-wing collection of bloggers, AM talkers, pundits, and yes, newspaper cartoonists, may have set a new land speed record for becoming collectively unhinged, as they wail and moan about how the new Democratic president’s turning America into a fascist state, or communist, or socialist, or whatever other bugaboo claim Glenn Beck and Laura Ingraham are tossing out to viewers and listeners on a daily basis.

(…)

If we just pause and take one or two steps back from the daily/hourly barrage of hate, it’s obvious that faced with the new Obama presidency, the Republican Noise Machine has already lost all perspective — has gone totally loco — and it’s only February, a mere month into Obama’s first four years in office. Who dares to even imagine where the right-wing “conversation” goes from here?

It’s astounding to watch the avalanche of hate ooze from conservative media quarters. And why? Because Obama passed an economic recovery bill. Good Lord, imagine if he had failed to win the popular vote and then led the country into a pre-emptive war based on faulty intelligence, a war that lost thousands of American lives, and tens of thousands of foreign lives, while milking the U.S. treasury out of a few trillion dollars in the process.

(…)

[B]y openly embracing Limbaugh, leader-less conservatives are purposefully mainstreaming the talkers’ brand of loonyness. And by enthusiastically endorsing Limbaugh and his crowd, Republicans must accept — must take ownership of — the radical hate speech that defines the Noise Machine….

That hate speech is now, unequivocally, the sanctioned voice of the Republican Party. It’s a voice that, after just 30 days of an Obama presidency, has gone completely bonkers. And it’s a voice that’s revealed itself in the form of swastikas, dead monkeys, and bizarre talk of ankle-grabbing.

But liberals hated Bush! That’s the but-they-did-it-too defense being paraded around by right-wingers like Malkin after she was spotted with Swastika Guy. Everybody on the left compared Bush to Hitler, Malkin claimed last week. Really? Liberal protesters waved around Bush-Hitler signs at rallies to protest new administration policy during Bush’s first month in office? Bush hadn’t even finished filling out his Cabinet, and prominent liberals were demonizing the new president as an anti-American fascist?

Please.

(…)

The Republican Noise Machine, which has already turned its hate amplifiers up to 10, doesn’t like to admit it, but over time a strong majority of Americans came to share the liberals’ contempt for Bush, who they dubbed to be an utter failure as a president. And perhaps the worst in the nation’s history. The Obama disdain, though, is being unleashed against a president with extraordinarily high job approval ratings, which highlights how the Noise Machine remains completely out of touch with mainstream America.

As that fact becomes increasingly obvious in the months to come, I fear it’s only going to force feverish conservatives to ratchet up the hate.

Let’s see how that We’re The Spittle-Flecked Party Of Hate branding works out for the Republicans, shall we?  If the American people have any decency left at all, the backlash of disgust and horror will be discredit the GOP and all its mouthpieces with the 70-80% of the country that isn’t crazy conservative dead-enders.  Yes, we liberals loathe Dubya, but it’s not like he didn’t go to extraordinary and unprecedented lengths to earn our hatred.  And, as Boehlert points out, Bush hatred is hardly an irrational or fringe position these days.

But by all means, keep screaming, conservatives.  Everybody loves that crazy guy who barges into the family restaurant screaming obscenities and racial slurs.  You go ahead and be that guy, that’ll totally get your message across.

February 23rd, 2009 at 08:34pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Media,Obama,Politics,Republicans

“You Got Your Church In My State!” “You Got Your State In My Church!”

Oh, this is not good:

In one term, the Supreme Court cut back drastically on reproductive freedom, it issued an absurd decision holding that when the President violates the Establishment Clause, there’s nothing you can do about it, and it held that it is unconstitutional for school boards to racially integrate schools (seriously!).   Since that one awful term, however, the Court has stayed relatively quiet on cultural issues.

Looks like that’s about to change, however, the Court just granted cert in Salazar v. Buono.  For folks who are unfamiliar with the case, take a look at the picture of the cross over on the right there.  That cross sits alone on a rock in the middle of a federal land preserve, which is a fairly textbook violation of the Establishment Clause—at least as the law exists right now.

When Justice O’Connor was still on the Court, she was the all-important fifth vote for the notion that government cannot erect whatever monuments to religion it chooses.  Four of her colleagues had no problem with, say, massive displays of the Ten Commandments in the middle of a state courthouse.

Anyone want guess how Justice Alito’s going to vote, now that he has the chance to destroy almost fifty years of precedent holding that government is not in the business of endorsing a state religion?

Ooo!  Ooo!  Pick me!  Pick me!  From November 2005:

[Althouse's] sole piece of evidence to “prove” that Alito is more liberal than Scalia is their interpretation of the First Amendment’s protections of religion. Scalia wrote the Employment Division v. Smith decision which ruled that “neutral, generally applicable” laws cannot be considered infringements on religious rights.

Ah, but Alito found loopholes that allowed him to rule in favor of Muslim policemen whose religion obligated them to grow beards, and “a Lakota Indian who claimed he derived spiritual powers from two black bears.” This is all very well and good, but does it really prove that he’s not a conservative extremist, or merely that he defers to religion wherever possible? It’s admirable that he would be so accommodating to non-Christians, but it’s not much of a stretch to believe that he was thinking of precedents for future cases where Christian spiritual practices are being infringed. I must admit, it’s hard for me to imagine any law infringing on Christians ever getting passed anywhere, but why take chances?

Yeah, I think we’re screwed.

February 23rd, 2009 at 07:29pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Constitution,Religion,Republicans,Wankers

Monday Media Blogging – Creepy Clown Edition

I have been looking for Das Clown for the last ten years, ever since IFC aired it in between movies, and it finally turned up on YouTube:

YouTube Preview Image

“‘Das Clown.’  Hmm.  I do believe that means… ‘The Clown.’”

On the plus side, my heretofore-futile search did lead me to discover Crispin Glover’s “Clowny Clown Clown” video…

http://myspacetv.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&videoid=730164

February 23rd, 2009 at 11:20am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Monday Media Blogging

Well, That Would Be A First…

Condi has inexplicably landed a huge $2.5 million three-book deal with Crown:

Rice will combine candid narrative and acute analysis to tell the story of her time in the White House and as America’s top diplomat, and her role in protecting American security and shaping foreign policy during the extraordinary period from 2001-2009,” according to a statement issued Sunday by Crown, a division of Random House Inc.

Candid narrative and acute analysis???  HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

You people have no idea who Condi is, do you?

February 23rd, 2009 at 07:09am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Books,Republicans

Wanker Of The Day

Ari Fleischer is so wanky it makes my head spin:

In an interview set to air over the weekend on CNN’s D. L. Hughley Breaks the News, Ari Fleischer admits that the Bush administration was wrong to claim that Saddam Hussein had WMD in the lead up to the Iraq war, but still insists that Saddam was at fault for the war. “Saddam was the big liar here,” Fleischer concludes:

FLEISCHER: We were wrong about weapons of mass destruction being in Iraq. […]

HUGHLEY: When you found out that you were wrong, how did that make you feel?

FLEISCHER: You just scratch your head and say, “How could we be wrong?” It wasn’t just us that thought he had weapons of mass destruction. The Egyptians thought it, the French thought it, the Germans thought it the United Nations thought it, Bill Clinton’s CIA though it. We all thought it. Saddam was the big liar here.

Yeah, Saddam was a big fat liar who cunningly tricked the US into invading his country and executing him by saying that he didn’t have WMDs when, in reality… he didn’t have WMDs.  Brilliant.

February 22nd, 2009 at 03:23pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Iraq,Quotes,Republicans,Wankers,War

Right-Wing Twit Of The Week

YouTube Preview Image

Shorter S.E. Cupp: OMG, Mike Pence!  Squee!!!

See, in my world, stars don’t come any bigger than Newt Gingrich, Karl Rove, Mitt Romney and Mike Pence (if there were a congressional version of Teen Beat, the Indiana congressman would be on its cover every month). Michael Steele, Mike Huckabee and John Boehner are the Jonas Brothers of conservative celebrity. And all of them will be at CPAC 2009.

Her world must be as empty as her head…

Am I the only one who gets excited at the thought of a two-hour discussion on “Protecting the Secret Ballot” or “Taking Action Through Citizen-Led Reform” in the Regency Ballroom? [Well, yes.]  When I see such clever lecture titles as “Will Congress Take Your Guns?” and “Are We All Socialists Now?” I start salivating. Will it? Are we? I can’t wait to find out.

Just announced — Mario Lopez is speaking! Okay, it’s Mario Lopez of the Hispanic Leadership Fund, and not the hunky headliner of “Saved By the Bell” and “Dancing With the Stars,” but still — he’s going to be great, I just know it.

And doesn’t everyone want to have “Breakfast With Phyllis Schlafly”? Just me?

If my excitement about CPAC makes me seem hopelessly out of touch, uncool or miles from MTV reality, I can live with that. In my defense, I’m also looking forward to drinking boxed wine with such friends and colleagues as Tucker Carlson, Stephen Baldwin and Andrew Breitbart during the forced socialization of conference happy hours. You’d be surprised how many big deals are done over pigs-in-a-blanket and cubed cheese. And yes, I just totally name-dropped.

She thinks that was name-dropping.  How utterly sad.

I looked for some kind of wink that she was tongue-in-cheekily poking fun at the lameness of CPAC 2009′s guest list, but I just couldn’t find it.  It seems she really does think that Steele, Huckabee, and Boehner are “the Jonas Brothers of conservative celebrity.”  If they are, then I could almost feel sorry for the Republicans if they weren’t such utter bastards.

Only at the very end does Cupp get around to a CPAC attraction I might be interested in seeing:

Last year a disheveled-looking man sat on a street corner near the hotel all four days, pan-handling. He held a cardboard sign that read, “Bush is Bi.” I’m not sure what he meant by that — I have a feeling he didn’t know, either — but I really hope he’ll be there again. Who needs star power when you have memories like that?

Good point.  Maybe Bush-Is-Bi Guy can be the Republican nominee in 2012.

1 comment February 22nd, 2009 at 12:36pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Media,Politics,Republicans

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