Saturday, October 31, 2009


ABC's This Week is promoting Sunday's show as featuring Valerie Jarrett and a "Powerhouse Roundtable".

Who makes up the Powerhouse Roundtable?
  • George Will
  • Dee Dee Myers
  • Ron Brownstein
  • Ed Gillespie
  • Rev. Al Sharpton
A liar, a relic from the Clinton years, a journalist, a Republican hack, and a race hustler.

Nobody is watching these shows, are they?

EVEN WORSE - Fox "News" Sunday puts it this way:
This week, talk radio giant Rush Limbaugh is our exclusive guest.
The nation is in great peril.


Meet the Press' website designed NOT to be read:

Screenshot of part of the page (which is mostly dark)

Kudos to the web design team for getting paid for this effort.



Certainly her (relatively) early support for Hoffman in NY-23 will be seen by many Republicans that way.


Two events in recent hours:

Yesterday: NARAL Supports GOP Candidate in Fight for NY23 Against Surging Pro-Life Conservative
WATERTOWN, New York, October 30, 2009 - NARAL Pro-Choice New York has now thrown itself into the three-way battle going on for the New York 23rd with a heavy endorsement for the embattled Republican pro-abortion candidate Dede Scozzafava.

NARAL, sensing that Scozzafava's political fortunes are in serious trouble, has decided to pour in their resources to prop up her failing bid to fill the seat vacated by Rep. John M. McHugh, who resigned in September to become Secretary of the Army.

Elizabeth Benjamin of the New York Daily reports that the abortion-advocacy group blanketed 10,000 mailboxes in New York's 23rd on Thursday and Friday to get out the vote for Scozzafava. The mass-mailing costs something to the tune of $10,000-15,000 and tells readers that Scozzafava is a "no brainer choice" because the GOP Assemblywoman has "a 100% pro-choice record and a clear record of commitment to reproductive and women's health care issues."

Some pro-abortion advocates, however, are appalled that NARAL has decided to get involved now, arguing that the move essentially amounts to friendly-fire on a candidate who is already hemorrhaging GOP voters over her very liberal stances.

Markos Moulitsas of the left-wing blog Daily Kos says that NARAL is "working for a right wing victory" and that if the pro-abortion organization does not want the pro-life Conservative candidate Doug Hoffman to win, their public effort "is beyond stupid."

Today: Scozzafava suspends campaign four days before election

Remember when NARAL supported Lieberman over Lamont? Remember when they supported Lincoln Chafee? And then he voted with Republicans on Alito?

It's as if NARAL is ignorant of party politics. They should know better.

UPDATE: Here is the full Kos post complaining about the endorsement.

UPDATE2: Commenter at Salon makes the following point:
I see Kos's point. NARAL's endorsement is a double whammy- it takes liberal votes away from the Dem and conservative votes away from the Republican. In other words, it means that two candidates are going to be sharing Dem votes, while the conservative candidate gets unfettered access to the Republican. Given that the race right now is very close, with the Democrat down, that could be a deciding factor.


Friday, October 30, 2009

New crowd size estimate for September 12 gathering!

Most numbers were around 75,000. Some (e.g. at Fox "News" and various hard-right bloggers) suggested it approached 2 million.

But there's a bigger estimate from Orly Taitz. From her website: (she uses the continental-European convention of a comma as a decimal separator)
How long will it take for those citizens to revolt? Washington Post has written that 8 out of 10 Americans know about [the Obama birth certificate] issue. According to AOL-it’s 85%. This number is growing. How long will those people be silent? 4,5 million marched on Washington DC on September the 12th.
4.5 million. That's a lot of people.

Naturally, in the comments section for this report (at Salon) you get smart alec stuff like this:
"4.5 million marched on 9/12"

Surely you underestimate, Ms.Titz!

I heard from several reputable sources it was closer to 45 million. The liberal media keeps trying to reduce the number of True Patriots in attendance that glorious day ...
1.3 billion

Gathered at my house just the other day, it was a blow out party ...


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Bob Herbert on Obama:

Obama was swept into office on a wave of change that was driven by the economic distress being felt by millions of American families. People were more than willing to swallow big government deficits if that was the only way to stabilize the economy and relieve their personal economic plight. Well, the economy has been stabilized, more or less, and the president and the Fed deserve credit for fending off a catastrophe. But from the public’s perspective, not nearly enough has been done to improve the economic health of the average American. Voters are being told that the recession is over, but what they see in their daily lives are continuing job losses, an epidemic of foreclosures, families going bankrupt, homelessness rising and so on. (...)

The widespread feeling among people I’ve talked to over the past few weeks is that the only ones benefiting from deficits being driven to the moon are the big banks and Wall Street. (...)

The disenchantment I’m hearing from people who wholeheartedly supported Obama, and not just liberals, is palpable and growing. It’s early, but the big changes people were hoping for have not materialized, and voters don’t seem to be in the mood now for initiatives — even necessary ones — that will cost a lot of money. The Democrats were given a very strong political hand when Obama took office, and they have not played it well.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Maybe we'll see a real filibuster on the health care bill:

You know, with Senators reading from telephone books, standing for hours next to a lectern as aides bring glasses of water. While the outcome of a filibuster would be indeterminate, it may trigger a public response, much like Gingrich's shut down of Washington many years ago. And who knows what would happen then?

Given the dicey-ness of the 60 vote threshold being reached, it could end up being a procedural morass, which may not be as terrible as people fear.


How about that Joe Lieberman guy?

He's sure getting a lot of attention this week.


The state of affairs in the GOP:

In case you were wondering. "Radical leftist"-loving Newt Gingrich is blasted by Michelle Malkin for his support of the Republican candidate in NY23.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Time to amend the Constitution?

Article 1, Section 3, Clause 4
The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided.
Sixty votes is the new normal. For any legislation that reaches a floor vote, the Senate will never "be equally divided".


Verizon port 25 block client Outlook Thunderbird:

Just throwing this out in case someone is Googling for some help.

If you are a Verizon customer with:
  • A non-fixed-IP address (what most customers have).
  • A client-based email program (e.g. Outlook, Outlook Express, Thunderbird).
  • An email account at a non-Verizon and non-gmail domain (e.g. or
You should do the following:
  • Access the accounts in question. (Frequently it's Tools | Accounts | Mail-tab | (select account) | Properties)
  • Make sure the Reply Address is a copy of the Email Address (e.g.
  • Change Outgoing (SMTP) to
  • Make sure the Outgoing Mail Server Requires Verification is checked
  • For Outgoing Mail Server, you must also:
    Set the username to your Verizon email username
    Set the password to your Verizon email password
Close appropriate boxes. You will now be sending email via for your other accounts, but the Reply Address will make recipients think it came from the other domain that you had used before. There is a potential drawback in that the other domain no longer see your mail, and therefore can't archive it or make it available if there is a companion web-access functionality.

Please note that outgoing to any gmail accounts through port 465 is still functional and requires no change.


Monday, October 26, 2009

Glenn Beck goes nuts with a baseball bat:

Maybe he should organize a squad of people wielding axe handles. You know, just to protect themselves.


Fox "News" presents the Obama Change Index:

Heady stuff. And quite the analytic tool. This week his number is 282, which is minus 71 from the week before, a 20.1% decline.

Not a twenty percent decline, but a twenty point one percent decline.

With delicate measurements like this, you need three digits for accuracy.

Now many of you are laughing, but that's because you fail to see the usefulness of the Obama Change Index. It provides good numbers for you to use when playing the lottery.


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Job-loss recovery:

Experts see rebounding economy shedding jobs
Forget a jobless recovery. The economy may be entering a recovery with job losses.

Third-quarter estimates this week are expected to show that the economy grew for the first time since the quarter ending in June 2008. Despite the estimated 3 percent expansion and a stock market that has been on a tear since March, hundreds of thousands of people are still being laid off each month.

Eight million jobs have been lost nationwide since the recession began two years ago, and by some measures workers face the worst job market since the Depression. The average laid-off worker has been without a job for 6 1/2 months, a post-World War II record. Many of those workers will never recover financially.

Employment mystery

Economists are puzzled as to why job growth has slowed, citing everything from higher health care costs, to higher productivity, to Chinese currency manipulation.

"It's a complete mystery to me," said Brad DeLong, a liberal economist at Berkeley, as he drove home from purchasing a made-in-China flat screen television in his Kia Optima. "I'll have to get online to research this, but first I have to contact Verizon's Bangalore-based call center to restore my DSL service."
Okay, that last paragraph is satire.


Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Salon redesign:

Don't like it. Several complaints:
  • No dates for any headlines on the front page.
  • Totally uninterested in clicking the "Most Read" tab. What, are we all alike in our interests? Same for Critics' Picks.
  • Not rigorously chronological, but instead grouped into sections: News & Politics, Entertainment, Books, and Life that have to be clicked on to be sure you haven't missed anything (see BONUS WTF below). With a chronological presentation you can quickly discern what's been added since your last visit. That's impossible now.
  • Instead of a tall (virtual) page, where elements are presented vertically, the eye now has to scan left-and-right over a rectangular canvas. Within limits (e.g. three columns) that's okay. But at Salon, it's like examining every square on a chessboard to see what's available.
  • In the columnists' and most topical sections there is the irritating "read more" feature. This is apparently because the headlines are so inadequate that the reader must scan a couple of paragraphs to know what the article is about, and then click to get the rest of it.
  • Stuff repeatedly sprinkled about the front page: Get this, there are four links to the Joan Walsh section (link in Top Features strip, Blogs, Inside News & Politics, Links at the bottom) and three links to her latest essay (Front page feature, Blogs, Most Popular/Most Read), for a total of seven links. That shows the frothy, undisciplined, nature of the design.
  • This applies to both old and new format: Why, oh why, is any text presented as light gray against a white background? That's how the date is rendered (and author names). Sharp black on white should be the standard.
BONUS WTF: A Patrick Smith "Ask the Pilot" column from September 25 - one month old - is on the front page! It's one of the five entries under the Most Recent tab of Tech & Business. Most Recent? I just checked the Tech & Business page and there are several article more recent than that one. That's a failure of programming. How did this mistake not get caught in Q/A testing>

While the old design might have benefited from some improvements, this new format is not it. There's a lot more clicking to open new tabs to see what you might (or might not) want to read. I'd be interested to see if there were speed tests comparing the new layout with the old one.

One wasted opportunity was with the tabs. Instead of Most Recent and Most Read, they should have scotched the Most Read and replaced it with tabs for the INSIDE set (authors and/or topical subdivisions). That would have been effective, since clicking on a tab merely changes the content within the frame. Right now the INSIDE links result in a full-sized page that you're likely to open in new tab, which can be a time waster.

Looks as if Salon went to the same people who redesigned the UI for Microsoft's Office. Change for change's sake.


Windows 7:

Review by Walter S. Mossberg at the Wall Street Journal (h/t brainstormtech):
"After using pre-release versions of Windows 7 for nine months, and intensively testing the final version for the past month on many different machines, I believe it is the best version of Windows Microsoft has produced." - Wall Street Journal, Oct. 8, 2009
Two years ago, Mossberg on Vista:
"After months of testing Vista on multiple computers, new and old, I believe it is the best version of Windows that Microsoft has produced." - Wall Street Journal, Jan. 18, 2007
What are you waiting for? Run out and get it now!


For George Will, "some" = "one"

In Sunday's Washington Post, George Will pens a positive column about Michele Bachmann. But upon closer inspection, there's not much substance. Will gives a quick background of her political start, then writes:
Some of her supposed excesses are, however, not merely defensible, they are admirable. For example ...
What are "some" of those admirable actions? Will cites only one, Bachmann's floor speech in the House complaining about Democratic legislators working to save one GM dealership from forced closure, which she characterized as "gangster government".

That's it. The remainder of the column is a mixed bag of Minnesota electoral results, Bachmann's family, and other trivia.

What an empty column. Will probably could have found a couple more instances where Bachmann comes off as a sensible conservative, even though she's basically loony. But he clearly thinks that he, The Grand Exalted George Will, has enough cred to give a boost to Bachmann's political future.


Friday, October 23, 2009

One of the more bizarre things I've seen on television:

Lingerie Football League.

Women in Jockey-style briefs and tops, wearing standard-issue plastic helmets and shoulder pads, with elastic knee-and-elbow pads, playing indoor football. The women are presumably shapely, but you can't tell.

It's not particularly sexy. You see a lot of midriff and leg, but that's it. The football is so-so. After tuning to it, it quickly turns into background noise - as if the television is set to a high school game that you have no interest in.

What's the point?


This guy was lotsa fun:


Joe Klein is wrong:

Klein, writing about the "war" between Obama and Fox News: (emp add)
Let me be precise here: Fox News peddles a fair amount of hateful crap. Some of it borders on sedition. Much of it is flat out untrue.

But I don't understand why the White House would give such poisonous helium balloons as Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity the opportunity for still greater spasms of self-inflation by declaring war on Fox. (...)

If the problem is broader--that Fox News spreads seditious lies to its demographic sliver of an audience--the Administration should probably be stoic: the wingnuts will always be with us. The best antidote to their garbage is elegant, intelligent governance. The next-best antidote is occasional engagement: I thought Obama came away from his O'Reilly and Chris Wallace interviews much the better for it. (Though you don't want to sit down with a thug like Hannity or a weirdo like Beck.)

The problem with war is that it diverts attention from the actual news.
The Fox nonsense is not confined to a narrow sliver of an audience. It spreads.

But regarding the second assertion, that it "diverts attention from the actual news", it appears that so far, when an anti-Obama Fox lie or distortion gets play, it quickly gets channeled into the war meme. That diffuses it considerably. The "war" is diverting attention, but not so much from the actual news. Joe Klein is incorrect. He should know better.


James Arthur Ray:

He's a self-help spiritual guru. Here's an essay he wrote at the Huffington Post in August: (excerpts, emp add)
Health Care: What Ever Happened to Personal Responsibility?

I don't know about you, but if I make poor financial decisions in my personal life or business, I've never found anyone (much less the government) ready to bail me out. I currently have a pretty hefty tax bill due to the state of California, and I'm pretty sure they're not going to let me off.

And now, we're consumed with sick care. I'm not too excited to pay for a lung cancer case obtained by smoking two packs of Marlboros per day. What part of "smoking has been proven to cause lung cancer" is unclear?

Likewise, I'm not excited to pay for triple bypass for a person who's spent a lifetime eating burritos, Krispy Kreme and Snickers, whose idea of a workout is clicking the remote on their television.

If I sound insensitive, I apologize. Those who know me know I'm very sensitive to the needs of others.

While I care tremendously about the needs of others, I care enough to believe in the age old saying, "Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Teach him to fish, and you feed him for a lifetime."
Further on in the essay he suggests remedies that are congruent with his business operation.

In any event, he's been in the news this month:

Spiritual warrior 'cleanses tweets' after fatal ceremony
The organiser of a US spiritual retreat, during which two people [now three] died and another 19 had to be admitted to hospital, has been caught deleting potentially incriminating tweets he published during the event.

Ray is also an avid tweeter and, even while attendees were falling ill at the retreat, he made several posts to Twitter that were later deleted but not completely removed from the site.

"The Spiritual Warrior has conquered death and therefore has no enemies, and no fear, in this life or the next," he wrote in one.

In another he wrote: "... for anything new to live something first must die. What needs to die in you so that new life can emerge?"

After deleting those tweets Ray published new Twitter messages saying he was "shocked & saddened by the tragedy occurring in Sedona".

About 55 to 65 people were inside the sweat lodge, each paying $10,000 for their seat.

In addition to the two people who died, 19 were taken to hospital suffering from burns, dehydration, respiratory arrest, kidney failure or elevated body temperature.

The "sweat lodge", similar to a sauna, is a Native American purification tradition in which water is poured on heated rocks.

Joseph Bruchac, the author of a book on the subject, told The New York Times that only eight to 12 people were typically present in a lodge, which was not meant to be air tight.

At the Spiritual Warrior retreat up to 60 people were crammed into a lodge measuring between 76 centimetres and 1.3 metres high and covered in plastic and blankets.

“It means that all these people are fighting for the same oxygen,” he said.
Criminal investigation launched in Sedona sweat lodge incident
The focus of the investigation is on James Arthur Ray, now a "person of interest", and any other whose actions may have played a role in the deaths of two people [now three] at the Angel Valley retreat in Sedona last week. Investigators have determined the deaths were not accidental, which warrants a full criminal investigation.

The sweat lodge was a temporary construction, with a frame of juniper and oak and covered with layers of tarps, blankets, and comforters. The floor area of the lodge was 415 square feet; 53 inches high in the center, and 30 inches high on the edges. Fifty to 60 people were in the lodge during the ceremony.

In an AP report of a conference call held by Ray regarding the incident, a woman identified as Barb told the callers that a channeler at the retreat last Friday said the deceased had an out-of-body experience during the sweat lodge ceremony and "were having so much fun that they chose not to come back."
Witness recounts Arizona sweat lodge horrors
UNCONSCIOUS victims were left on the floor and a disoriented man suffered burns crawling over heated rocks, according to the first witness account of a New Age sweat lodge ritual in which three people died.

Enticed by an interview that they had seen on The Oprah Winfrey Show, the 50 or so participants in James Arthur Ray's cleansing ritual had each paid $9695 for the opportunity to become "spiritual warriors" at his retreat in the Arizona desert.

After several days of fasting, sleep deprivation, mind-altering breathing exercises and extreme heat, some of the participants began to vomit and lose consciousness. Those who wanted to leave were chided and pleas for medical help were allegedly ignored until it was too late.

Beverley Bunn, 43, from Texas, described how her group had finished a 36-hour ritual that included fasting alone in the desert when participants were told to strip to their bathing suits before being led into a tent known as a sweat lodge.

"There were people throwing up everywhere," said Ms Bunn, an orthodontist.

She claimed that when the participants said they wanted to leave Mr Ray chided them and urged them to continue.

Ms Bunn said that after about 90 minutes someone shouted: "I can't get her to move. I can't get her to wake up."

Mr Ray allegedly responded: "Leave her alone, she'll be dealt with in the next round."

The unresponsive woman was Ms Bunn's friend, Kirby Brown, 38, a painter from New York. She never recovered.
'Sweat Lodge' Survivor Says James Arthur Ray Abandoned Participants
One of the survivors of the Arizona sweat lodge disaster said that as participants lay dying and injured, leader James Arthur Ray simply left the scene.

"James Ray pretty much abandoned all of us. He left us there to figure out what was going on," orthodontist Beverly Bunn told "Good Morning America" today. "After the incident he never came back."

Bunn said Ray, who sat near the only opening of the tent, allowing fresh air in only to accept more heated rocks, didn't seem overly concerned when people became ill, some of them vomiting.

Ray, a frequent guest on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" who helped write the best-selling documentary and book, "The Secret," has refused all interview requests, but in a message on his Web site he told followers that he felt their pain, and that while he was also investigating what went wrong, he is determined to continue with his self-help ministry.

Other participants inside have said they were screaming "We need water," vomiting and fighting to stay alive.


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Shorter Tom Friedman:
I see a future where routine work by by skilled, semi-skilled, and unskilled workers won't pay for a decent living - largely due to globalization and immigration, But I'm not perturbed because I believe that through education everybody in the country can become brilliant and superb entrepreneurs. Then they'll be immune from the pressures of cheap manufacturing and cheap services from China and India, and anywhere else.


Shorter George Will:
With the government funneling trillions in dollars and guarantees to banks, and many of those companies paying tens of billions in bonuses, I'll complain about the proposed expenditure of $13 billion to one fifth of the population who are elderly or disabled.


$99 !!

Bank of America to Charge Annual Fee on Credit Cards

A Bank of America annual fee on credit cards is coming. This Bank of America credit card annual fee is going to be tried out in order to see how it goes. ...

According to Sandra Block from USA Today, Bank of America is going to start charging the annual fees of a small number of customers during 2010. What they mean by "small number" hasn't been revealed yet, but it has to range from thousands to millions of their customers. These Bank of America customers are going to be charged an annual fee that ranges from $29 up to $99. This will solely be for the privilege of holding a Bank of America credit card, and will serve as a fee that is automatically charged to everyone that is placed within the test group.
Hey, why not? As long as the system is going to the dogs, grab what you can.




New York, New York
October 21, 2009

Goldman Sachs today announced they would lay off 1500 U.S. Treasury Department employees and cut the salaries of another 52,000 federal workers in order to compensate for lower-than-anticipated bonuses for Goldman Sachs executives.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A joke:

This is what a website affiliated with an "unbiased news" organization looks like:

One of the best lines in Jacob Weisberg's essay on Fox was this:
There is no need to get bogged down in this phony debate [about whether or not Fox is biased and deceives], which itself constitutes an abuse of the fair-mindedness of the rest of the media.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

When will the pot boil over?

A Goldman Sachs International adviser defended compensation in the finance industry as his company plans a near-record year for pay, saying the spending will help boost the economy.

“We have to tolerate the inequality as a way to achieve greater prosperity and opportunity for all,” Brian Griffiths ...


Bypassing the big one:

FOX Nation is promoting the second run of the Tea Party Express. It's going to run up California, Oregon, and Washington and then head to Texas and finish up in Florida.

But a closer look at the route shows that it's going to bypass Los Angeles, the second largest city in the nation.

It also won't stop in Seattle (it will go to Portland). Basically the Tea Party stuff is for non urban America. That's a niche market. Is that where Fox gets its good ratings? From Rural America?


Monday, October 19, 2009

The Fox News poll:

In the wake of recent statements from the White House dismissing Fox News Channel as a legitimate news organization, Fox has started a poll. Here it is: (screenshot)

Now that's a poll! Choices are: White House wrong or confused, or "I don't know".

Here are the results so far this morning:

Fox News Channel: A propaganda outlet for idiots.




Sunday, October 18, 2009

That Arlen Specter, he sure is a political survivor:

Behaives like a life-long liberal Democrat all of a sudden.

Is he the most accurate political weather vane in the country?


Saturday, October 17, 2009

Goldman Exec Named First COO of SEC Enforcement

A Goldman Sachs executive has been named the first chief operating officer of the Securities and Exchange Commission's enforcement division.

The market watchdog agency said Friday that Adam Storch, 29, who worked at Goldman Sachs for the last 5 years, will be assuming the new position of managing executive of the SEC division.

Along with the enforcement division's deputy director, Storch also will supervise the SEC's Office of Market Intelligence, with an eye to improving the monitoring, collection and analysis of the hundreds of thousands of tips and complaints the agency receives annually.

Storch has a strong background in technology systems and project management, SEC Enforcement Director Robert Khuzami said in a statement. ''He showed me his Facebook page, knows how to use Twitter from both his netbook and cellphone, and rearranged the icons on my computer,'' Khuzami said.


How did Goldman Sachs make all that money?

There is a good commentary by Numerian over at the Agonist (h/t Ian Welsh).

Bottom line: Sachs made the money by acting like a hedge fund. Not as a commercial bank or even as an investment bank, despite the fact that it's got the borrowing privileges and federal backing that applies to commercial banks. Goldman Sachs has the legal status of a commercial bank but was speculating* like a hedge fund.

* - "speculation" may not be the right word since this year Goldman Sachs had some unique advantages due to its size and the fact that other competitors had vanished.


The "War Against Christmas" never gets old:

Here's an early entrant for 2009:
On the Internet, the "war against Christmas" wages on — or at least that's what the e-mails claim.

A chain e-mail says that the Obama White House is renaming Christmas trees "holiday trees."

"We have a friend at church who is a very talented artist. For several years she, among many others, has painted ornaments to be hung on the various White House Christmas trees," the e-mail begins. "She got her letter from the WH recently. It said that they would not be called Christmas trees this year. They will be called Holiday trees. And, to please not send any ornaments painted with a religious theme... Just thought you should know what the new residents in the WH plan for the future of America."

"This isn't a rumor; this is a fact," the e-mail says.
The reality:
... White House spokeswoman Kate Bedingfield says the tree tradition isn't changing.

"There is no truth to this, and the letter referenced in the e-mail does not exist," she said. "No letter has gone out yet from the White House pertaining to Christmas tree ornaments."

She added, "The trees in the White House will be called Christmas trees, and the tree on the Ellipse will be called the National Christmas Tree. There will be no name changes."
Considering the over-the-top remarks about Obama this summer by the teabagging crowd, and that this Christmas will be the first with him in the White House, it could be a wild holiday season.


Friday, October 16, 2009

Cable news fail:

There's been some talk about the waste of time that the cable news networks spent on "balloon boy". But this is nothing new.

Rembember John Karr?

He's the guy who who made a false confession regarding the unsolved murder of JonBenét Ramsey. When the story broke it was obvious that there were many problems with it and that it merited extreme skepticism. But the cables went wall-to-wall with it for days.

That was a little over 3 years ago. Has everybody forgotten?


What's the Glenn Beck demographic?

It's got to be overwhelmingly people over 60. This clip has him celebrating things from the 1970's.

It's as if Fox is serving up a "nice young man" for older viewers in order to reassure them that the next generation hasn't forgotten the good old days. The crying bit also seems like a hook for elder-sentimentality.

Beck's recent outrage over somebody quoting Chairman Mao has got to be lost on anybody born after 1960. (Mao died in 1976 but was a fading figure in the years prior.)


I think Richard Dawkins was lying ...

when he said:
I know nothing of any stance [Bill Maher] may have taken on medical questions.
Long post (w/ tons of links) that fleshes out the story here.


Thursday, October 15, 2009

AVG security warning for Yahoo ads?

On XP w/FF 3.14 & AVG Free 8.0.238 the following warning appears when visiting
Danger: AVG Search-Shield has detected active threats on this page and has blocked access for your protection.
The page you are trying to access has been identified as a known exploit, phishing, or social engineering web site and therefore has been blocked for your safety. Without protection, such as that in the AVG Security Toolbar and AVG, your computer is at risk of being compromised, corrupted or having your identity stolen. Please follow one of the suggestions below to continue.

IP Address:
Another report (from Spain) has the IP address of

IP lookup for those two IPs are:

[UPDATE: also this:]

Somebody else gets the message when visiting a Yahoo homepage.

The warning appears about one second after the page begins to fill, as if the basic skeleton is okay, but a callout for an ad is triggering the warning.

Looks as if AVG has some sort of entry that indicates trouble from a Yahoo source. May not actually be trouble, but putting it out here in case anybody has encountered the same problem and is Googling around to see if others have had the same experience.


What's with the crappy user interface at Facebook?

In my personal capacity (i.e not as "Quiddity") I log in to Facebook.

Someone wants to be a Friend so I shoot out an "Add a friend".

Facebook demands a Captcha check. That seems unnecessary since I've already logged in, but okay.

Then a pop-up with this:
Confirm Your Phone

Facebook uses security tests to ensure that the people on the site are real. Having a mobile phone helps us establish your identity. Please verify your account by confirming your phone here. We'll text you a confirmation code.
Facebook does not have my land line or cellphone because I don't want to disclose it, yet here is a message that implies that I have to enter my cellphone in order to complete the action. Also, I don't want Facebook texting me under any circumstances.

I refuse to join the Borg. At least not completely.

CODA: The overall user experience at Facebook is cramped, obscure, with too many junky "maybe this is of interest to you" or "someone-I've-never-heard-of-would-like-to-contact" elements. Is Facebook really that much fun for others? Am I missing something here?


"Soviet-style gulag health care"

So says Representative John Shadegg (R–Ariz.) when describing the current health care legislation.

Really now. Where's the imagination? He should have gone all out with:
Soviet-style gulag pederast fungus Nazi tapeworm vomit keelhauling asbestos pustule lamprey health care.


How about that "Bush Recovery"?

Joe Gandelman of the Moderate Voice remarks on the Fox "News" framing:
The brazenness of partisan rhetoric each day hits new lows. And here is one for the books.


All hail Ronaldus Magnus


Something to ponder:

In a comment thread over at Think Progress, pags2 wrote:
In 2010 and 2012 the corporate interests in the US are going to line up against the Republicans. The Republicans in Congress are going to be running on a platform denouncing the bailouts that were given to banks, AIG and the auto industry. These bailouts saved a number of businesses from bankruptcy. The business community is going to give money to Dems who voted for these bailouts. There is no reason for the business community to support people who were against the bailouts.
Is that a reasonable scenario?

Aren't the Democrats largely doing things that business* want? Why swap horses if it's working?

* - with the exception of some health-care interests


Wednesday, October 14, 2009

DOW 10,000:

I hope that everybody out there is super-excited about the good fortune on Wall Street that you are all, no doubt, sharing in.

Happy days are here again!

Or maybe not.


Limbaugh out of the bidding for the Rams:

Apparently. In any event, this observation by Morris O'Kelly is good:
... the league would not have any editorial control over Limbaugh's daily radio program. Each and every single day, Rush Limbaugh manages to deeply offend someone and that anger would then be tied to the St. Louis Rams and to the NFL. The routine and inevitable hatemail and calls for boycott of advertisers supporting Rush Limbaugh would also then become the NFL's problem.

Every subsequent story regarding the "questionable" remarks of one Rush Limbaugh would inevitably include the words "owner of the NFL's St. Louis Rams" in the opening paragraph. The NFL doesn't want that and given its stature surely doesn't need that.
Note that the above remarks are not discussing race. While Limbaugh's statements regarding race have garnered most of the attention, it should be noted that Limbaugh has targeted lots of other groups (feminists, Democrats, scientists, celebrities, reporters), which is his right. But does the NFL need somebody like that? No.


The Republicans party is in bad shape:

At least if you follow Kathleen Parker. In her essay, Time for the GOP Women, she writes: (emp add)
The answer to the [Republican] party's woes ... is ... women.

Among the newer comers are two mega-businesswomen and two famous daughters ...

First up in this new league of their own are two celebrity entrepreneurs. Meg Whitman, former chief executive of eBay, is running for governor of California. And Carly Fiorina, former Hewlett-Packard chief executive ...

Meanwhile, another Meg (McCain) and Liz Cheney, daughter of the former vice president, have emerged as strong voices in a party ...
The Republican party, in so many parts of the country, does not have a "feeder system" that a robust party normally provides. Instead, and California is an excellent example, they look for celebrities like Arnold Schwarzenegger to run for office.

Republicans are well established in the Dixie South but are threadbare elsewhere. They will win elections now and then throughout the nation, but it's still weak at the national level.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Too late:

There's been some discussion of Charles Krauthammer's essay that says Decline Is a Choice. See Yglesias and Farley.

Krauthammer looks at the world situation and asserts that the United States can stay on top, mostly with an aggressive (military) posture. And he suggests that "liberal internationalism" is a factor that would bring the country down.

But here's the deal: The decline has already started.

Wages have declined since 2000 and there's no sign that this country is in any way prepared to halt the competitive pressure from China or India. The decline took place under Bush Jr., but Clinton is also responsible with his neo-liberal free trade policy.

As Yglesias points out, there is no way to stop China, India, or Europe from eventually becoming formidable powers, no matter what Krauthammer thinks. But to get to Krauthammer's essay: His attempt to paint liberalism as the cause of what's already started is without merit.


Monday, October 12, 2009

Fox "News" doesn't report the news:

Fox is currently defending itself from White House charges that it's basically a Republican outlet.

Remember this? Here is how Fox "News" reported on a high-speed-railway project earlier this year: (emp add)
KELLY: It's a super railroad, of sorts -- a line that will deliver customers straight from Disney, we kid you not, to the doorstep of the moonlight bunny ranch brothel in Nevada. I say, to the moonlight Bunny Ranch brothel in Nevada.
Enough said.


Sunday, October 11, 2009

Tom Friedman's list of those who Obama should accept the Nobel Peace prize on behalf of:
  • men and women of the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps.
  • American soldiers who landed on Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944
  • American soldiers and sailors who fought on the high seas and forlorn islands in the Pacific
  • American airmen who in June 1948 broke the Soviet blockade of Berlin with an airlift
  • American soldiers who protected Europe from Communist dictatorship
  • American soldiers who stand guard today at outposts in the mountains and deserts of Afghanistan
  • American men and women who are still on patrol today in Iraq
  • American soldiers who today help protect a free and Democratic South Korea
  • American men and women soldiers who have gone on repeated humanitarian rescue missions after earthquakes and floods
  • American airmen and sailors today who keep the sea lanes open and free in the Pacific and Atlantic so world trade can flow unhindered between nations.
  • [Obama's] grandfather, Stanley Dunham, who arrived at Normandy six weeks after D-Day
  • [Obama's] great-uncle, Charlie Payne, who was among those soldiers who liberated part of the Nazi concentration camp of Buchenwald
  • American men and women soldiers, past and present
No diplomats, non-military charity workers, doctors, or human rights activists. Instead, virtually nothing but gun-toting agents of power.


Shorter George Will:
I will criticize minor bad behavior by people I shall call liberals, without actually knowing if they are liberals or not.
Kudos, once again, to Fred Hiatt for serving up a masterpiece of political analysis.


Conservative Bible scholar Ben Witherington on Michael Moore's Capitalism movie:

He has a nit or two, but overall he was really affected by it. Perhaps something is brewing within Christian circles regarding capitalism. Wouldn't that be something?


Conservapedia's rewriting of the King James Bible:

The objective:
Framework against Liberal Bias: providing a strong framework that enables a thought-for-thought translation without corruption by liberal bias
The execution:
Mark 10:23
King James Version
And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!
Conservative Translation
Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, "How unlikely it is that those who worship riches will enter the kingdom of God!"
Mark 10:25
King James Version
It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
Conservative Translation
It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a man who cares only for money to enter into the kingdom of God."
Conservative Analysis Section for this revision
very nice improvement on the imprecise term "rich"
That's much better. No longer is being rich a problem!

Difficulties are restricted to the hard-to-prove category of those who are seeking money, which - as a bonus - could be construed as including those deadbeat poor, elderly, and sick, that are looking for a government handout.

POLICY IMPLICATIONS: Clearly, as the Conservative Bible Project shows us, Jesus wants the estate tax abolished and the Bush tax cuts made permanent (or even expanded in scope). Praise!


Friday, October 09, 2009

Another Washington Post liberal dismissive of Obama's Nobel Peace Prize:

This morning it was liberal Richard Cohen.

Now it's liberal Ruth Marcus:
This is ridiculous -- embarrassing, even.

... the peace prize? This is supposed to be for doing, not being -- and it’s no disrespect to the president to suggest he hasn’t done much yet. Certainly not enough to justify the peace prize. (...)

Obama gets the award for, what, a good nine months? Or maybe a good two weeks -- the nominations were due Feb. 1.
Marcus sensibly takes the view that Obama got the prize for ten days or nine months "work" and very properly dismisses any notion that the prize has anything to do with Obama's reversal of the neoconservative posture on war and torture (first with an electoral victory, followed by policy changes).

It's good that the Washington Post has such astute liberal columnists. Kudos to Fred Hiatt for keeping them on the payroll.


The public option and opt-out:

Aren't the people in red states generally less healthy than those in blue states? I believe so. That would make the public option even more competitive!


Not for 10 days, but for 2008:

Republicans and conservatives are making hay over the fact that Obama was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize 10 days after becoming president. And so they mockingly say it's for what he did in those ten days. But the award was clearly given because Obama defeated McCain and put a stop to the neoconservative foreign policy of the previous eight years. A neocon foreign policy that lead to an unnecessary war.


Just as we've always suspected:
"The Nobel Peace Prize is just an extension of the United Nations objective to destroy the United States."

Rush Limbaugh - 9 Oct 09 (start of 2nd hour of broadcast)


This kind of makes sense:

Over at TAPPED:
One of the sad/ridiculous/poignant things about this is that the Peace Prize is something Obama could have aspired to in the later years of his presidency, or even afterward. Now, here he is at 48 years old, being awarded this incredibly prestigious prize for goals he has yet to accomplish.


FOX Nation commentators on the Nobel Peace Prize:
  • This is part of the plan. Think about it. Part of the New World Order. He is just the puppet.
  • Another "Award" relegated to the catagory of "political Statement" by America hating European Socialists. Who better to receive it than an America hating "American?" Socialist ?
  • Let’s face it, he got this phony left wing award because he glorifies Islam, trashes Israel, condemns America and is in the process of creating a pure Marxist state.
  • Does he need to show his birth certificate to receive his $1.4 mil ??
  • I wonder if they will reverse the award if obama continues to drive for civil unrest in the USSA???
  • Obviously BOUGHT by george sorros.
  • The president get the Nobel Peace Prize for being the person responsible for the destruction of the USA.
On the other hand, Limbaugh has this higher-toned response:
[The Nobel Committee] "love a weakened, neutered U.S and this is their way of promoting that concept."
Meanwhile, liberal columnist Richard Cohen made fun of the whole prize business.

Mickey Kaus weighs in: (emp orig)
What Obama Should Do With His Nobel Peace Prize

Turn it down! Politely decline. Say he's honored but he hasn't had the time yet to accomplish what he wants to accomplish. Result: He gets at least the same amount of glory--and helps solve his narcissism problem ... demonstrating that he's uncomfortable with his reputation as a man overcelebrated for his potential long before he's started to realize it. ... Plus he doesn't have to waste time, during a fairly crucial period, working on yet another grand speech.


Well, I'll be damned:

President Barack Obama wins Nobel Peace Prize

Didn't see that coming at all.

Makes up for losing the Olympics, doesn't it?


Corrupt Clintons:

There have been a number of reviews of how the press treated the Clintons in the 1990s. Defenders of Clinton say that Whitewater was overblown. That may be true, but it was not unreasonable to suspect that something was going on in Arkansas, a state that appears to be less than squeaky clean.

In fact, there was a reason to think that the Clinton's engaged in special favors (either from the government or powerful allies). Remember Hillary turning $1,000 into $100,000 by trading cattle futures? Those were 1979 dollars, by the way. The trades were most likely either the other side of front-run orders or were fraudulently assigned after the trading day ended.

So when people learned that Whitewater involved a partnership with Jim McDougal - who was a slippery figure, and you have judge David Hale saying Clinton tried to influence a loan (later shown to be a false allegation) what were people supposed to think?

Impeachment of Clinton was wrong. Ken Starr was a nut. Much editorializing against the Clintons was overblows. But they were firmly ensconced in the Arkansas culture of the socially advantaged, which involved favors and privileges that were illegal or, at least, unseemly.


Thursday, October 08, 2009

Opt-out mania:

There's been talk about including an opt-out provision in the health care bill. That would probably mean that red states, largely in the south, would exit the system. It would mean more hardship and misery, but that's apparently what they want. Certainly lots of Dixie Republicans do.

But why stop there? Why not allow red states to opt-out of health and safety regulations as well? No FDA certification of drugs. No inspection of food (especially ground beef). Let the free market do its magic.

Sounds like an excellent idea. Not only does it address states' rights concerns, but it will allow the blue states to become more like Europe, Canada, and Japan. And the red states will be more like the free market paradises found in Paraguay or the plantation economies of old.


The impeach Obama movement:

From the brainiacs at World Net Daily:
... "high crimes and misdemeanors" does not refer to a criminal act. Our Founding Fathers fully intended to allow for the removal of the president for actions which include: gross incompetence, negligence and distasteful behavior.   (...)

Impeachment is no more or less than the recall of an elected official who isn't up to the job.
Those remarks (above) are false.

Impeachment, for political reasons, is a repudiation of democracy. But that's what the teabaggers and their allies are all about. They didn't like the results of the 2008 election and they refuse to acknowledge it.

First it was calling for a coup. Now impeachment. You'd think World Net Daily would be a pariah among Republicans, but they're not.


Not an "intellectual exercise"

Getting back to that Andrew Sullivan semi-maybe_not-apology for running the Betsy McCaughey article in 1994. He wrote:
In my view, it had many interesting points and as an intellectual exercize in contemplating the full possible consequences of Hillary Clinton's proposal, it was provocative and well worth running.
I read the article at the time. It changed my view of the Clinton plan for the negative. Why? Because it stated as facts things that turned out not to be true.

It is an intellectual exercise to review accurate statements about something. It is not an intellectual exercise to read blatant falsehoods and then make a judgment on a policy. That's a waste of time. If the reader is supposed to discern falsehoods, why not publish a blank piece of paper instead? It would be as useful a Sullivan-intellectual-exercise.

The reader was not in a position to look at the actual bill and consult with lawyers. So when McCaughey wrote that you could not purchase health care outside of the Clinton plan, how is anybody supposed to discount that lie?


Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Bill Ayers is a self-centered asshole:

This will only add to the number of people who will hold an incorrect view of Obama.


When you have low volume, almost anything can happen in the stock market:

There is a very interesting chart at Hussman Funds which plots the various post-recession recoveries. Guess what? The action we've witnessed this year is quite the exception. Not only has the run-up been extraordinary, so has the volume. From the report:
It's clear that this year's rally is an extreme outlier in the dataset, with above-average returns and a continued contraction in volume from the levels of trading in March.
Calling it an "extreme outlier" is apt.

The report also notes the role played by "Phoenix stocks" like Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Citigroup, AIG, and Bank of America who are responsible for a lot of the (already low) trading action. Take those out and the volume is even lower, which makes you wonder what's going on in Wall Street.

What's going on in Wall Street? The public is not participating. It's strictly the pros playing/gaming the market with momentum as a huge factor. But momentum eventually runs dry, so expect some sort of reversal in the months ahead.


The Murdoch strategy:

In a wide-ranging essay on Rupert Murdoch and his attempt to charge for content on the web, this excerpt:
Murdoch is not a modern marketer. He runs his business not on the basis of giving the consumer what he wants but through more old-fashioned methods of structural market domination. His world, and training ground, is the world of the newspaper war—a zero-sum game, where you wrestle market share from the other guy. Curiously, his newspaper battles have most often involved cutting prices rather than, as he now proposes to do on the Internet, raising them. (...)

But more than being about cost, his strategy is about pain. What he is always doing is demonstrating a level of strength and will and resolve against which the other guys, the weaker guys, cower. He can take more pain than anybody else.
That's not going to work against the Internet. There is no "other guy" to outlast, such as is found in a single metro area with a competing newspaper. (Also, with the Internet, Murdoch can't control distribution, his other strategy in media battles.)

Murdoch can't really believe that if he holds fast to charging for content, that he will undercut the (virtual) cross-town paper and ride to victory. Or maybe he does.


Andrew Sullivan: "I take responsibility"

After months of semi-evading his role in having Betsy McCaughey published in the New Republic fifteen years ago, he writes a substantial post on the matter. On the whole, he admits to bad judgment but in the final lines asserts that the "No Exit" piece was only a part of the health care discussion and that Hillary Clinton is the real reason reform failed to get enacted.


Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Conservapedia's Conservative Bible Project:

Mentioned at Salon. An impressive agenda, but they will have to compete with the LOLCat Bible Translation Project. (The Internet has brought forth many wonderful things, but this is not one of them.)

The LOLCat Bible presents the books from only the Hebrew Bible, so Conservapedia's efforts will fill a much-needed void.


Monday, October 05, 2009


Bloomberg headline and first paragraph:
U.S. Economy: Service Industries Grow for First Time in a Year

Oct. 5 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. service industries expanded in September for the first time in a year as the emerging recovery spread from housing and factories to the broader economy.
Did you get that? The recovery, already firmly in place in housing and factories (!) is now spreading to other sectors of the economy. Who knew housing and manufacturing was doing so well?


Sunday, October 04, 2009

Good luck with any of that:

Paul Krugman:
To get out of the current crisis, “we need a source of demand, we need a driver,” he said, noting it has to come from business spending.

We need somebody to invent the equivalent of the railroad or Internet to get that happening again, he said.

His current views have been coloured by research showing that recessions triggered by financial crises persist longer, and the recovery depends heavily on the crisis-hit country scoring big export gains and large trade surpluses.


Saturday, October 03, 2009

The New York Times is out of ideas:

In an editorial, Wanted: Leadership on Jobs, the New York Times has virtually nothing to say about creating private sector jobs except for this:
If successful, ambitious goals like health care reform and energy legislation may generate jobs ...
Yet adds
... but officials have not persuasively linked them to job growth.
The Times notes:
Economic recovery will not automatically replace the jobs that have been lost so far in this recession. Nor will higher levels of learning and skill — necessary as they are — magically create jobs, especially in the numbers that are needed.
How did those jobs get lost? Some of it was due to free trade, a policy the Times promotes. As in a recent editorial opposing tariffs on tires made in China:
... the additional duties are unlikely to give [workers] lasting relief. In a globalized economy, raising tariffs cannot long protect uncompetitive businesses.
Hey, guess what? As long as we trade with a China that pays its workers very little in wages, all manufacturing jobs in the U.S. will be "uncompetitive", which is just fine for the Times, requiring no action at all (like tariffs).

Global free trade with countries that employ low-wage labor is a job killer in developed countries. The Times prefers not to notice that fact.

In that (latter cited) editorial, there was this gem:
Like all American workers, these workers can best be helped by regenerating growth at home and abroad. Protectionist remedies, even legal ones like this, impede that growth without providing long-term replacements for vulnerable, trade-threatened jobs.
Okay, New York Times, what are the long-term replacements for such jobs? What are they? Give us a list.


Shorter David Broder:
Yup, ya gotta have 60 votes in the Senate to pass anything.


This is a very good question:

Over at TNR, something I've been wondering about:
A Question the Fed Needs to Answer Regarding Goldman Sachs

At the height of the financial panic last fall Goldman Sachs became a bank holding company, which enabled it to borrow directly from the Federal Reserve. It also became subject to supervision by the Federal Reserve Board (with the NY Fed on point) ...

Goldman is also currently engaged in private equity investments in nonfinancial firms around the world, as seen for example in its recent deal with Geely Automotive Holdings in China. U.S. banks or bank holding companies would not generally be allowed to undertake such transactions--in fact, it is annoyed bankers who have asked me to take this up.

Would someone from the NY Fed kindly explain the precise nature of the waiver that has been granted to Goldman so that it can operate in this fashion?

If this is temporary, is it envisaged that Goldman will cease being a bank holding company, or that it will divest itself shortly of activities not usually allowed (and with good reason) by banks? Or will all bank holding companies be allowed to expand on the same basis?
Goldman got a huge advantage with the waiver - they could borrow from the Fed at low rates - but it was supposed to be temporary, wasn't it?


Friday, October 02, 2009

Following up;

In the Los Angeles Times:
In Roman Polanski case, is it Hollywood vs. Middle America?

Some of the industry's most prominent women said they believe Polanski, who faces a sentence as low as probation and as high as 16 months in prison for pleading guilty to having sex with a minor, should be freed. "My personal thoughts are let the guy go," said Peg Yorkin, founder of the Feminist Majority Foundation. "It's bad a person was raped. But that was so many years ago. The guy has been through so much in his life. It's crazy to arrest him now. Let it go. The government could spend its money on other things."
Press release from the Feminist Majority Foundation:
Statement of Eleanor Smeal President, Feminist Majority Foundation On the Arrest of Roman Polanski

The Feminist Majority Foundation joins our sister feminist organizations in working to ensure rape is prosecuted as the heinous crime that it is, especially against girls. The Feminist Majority Foundation is a leader in the fight to end all forms of violence against women and is demanding the expeditious processing of all back-logged rape kits in the possession of law enforcement authorities so that perpetrators can be brought to justice. The Feminist Majority Foundation believes Roman Polanski should be extradited to the United States to face the consequences of his conviction for raping a 13-year old girl in 1977. No one is above the law. The chair of our board, Peg Yorkin, was quoted in the Los Angeles Times yesterday providing her personal opinion on the matter of Polanski's arrest, but wants to make clear she condemns rape. Her statement on Polanski's arrest, however, does not reflect the position of the Feminist Majority Foundation.


Jobless situation could be worse than reported:

Bloomberg: U.S. Job Losses May Be Even Larger, Model Breaks Down
The U.S. economic slump earlier this year was so severe it short-circuited the government’s model for calculating payrolls, raising the risk that today’s jobs report may be too optimistic.

About 824,000 more jobs may be subtracted from the payroll count for the 12 months through last March when the figures are officially revised early next year, a Labor Department report showed today. The revision would be the biggest since at least 1991. (...)

Because the government doesn’t know if a company fails to respond because it has gone out of business or is just late, it estimates the number of companies that may have folded. By the same token, it plugs in an estimate for the formation of new businesses to account for their hiring. (...)

“In this period of steep job losses, the birth/death model didn’t work as well as it usually does,” Manning said in an interview. “To the extent that there was an overstatement in the birth/death model, that is likely to still be there.”

The model added about 184,000 jobs to the payroll total last quarter compared with a 135,000 increase in the same period in 2008, before the financial crisis deepened with the collapse of Lehman Brothers Inc.


Might as well make a guess:

I think the Olympics will go to Rio.


Thursday, October 01, 2009

The Fox Nation just makes things up:

Today's story/headline: Media Attacks Palin Co-Author: 'Evangelical Partisan', which links to a article. In it, here are all the negative elements about Lynn Vincent, the co-author:
  • Some Palin backers cautioned against associating the politician with the views of her hired co-author.
  • [Conservative blogger Robert Stacy McCain, a co-author with Vincent] didn't respond to an email from POLITICO, but brushed off to the Washington Independent's any attempt to link Vincent to his own controversial past remarks on race.
That's it. By the way, the Washington Independent is not exactly CBS news. No printing presses, just a website.

The vast majority of the story was a neutral observation of Palin and her fans, e.g.:
Two other Vincent books reviewed Wednesday by POLITICO reveal a lively writing style and deep roots in evangelical Christianity.
What's notable isn't the Fox Nation lying. What's notable is Fox contining to create a division within the media. Fox viewers/readers are constantly being told not to believe other sources of information. That's what a cult does.


Will the teaching of evolution be a political issue in 2010?

With the Republicans fast becoming a party of Dixie christian militancy, seen most recently at that Take Back America confab, one has to wonder if Darwin and evolution won't appear as a factor in next year's elections. The reasons are:
  • Many are wary of scientific conclusions, global warming being the issue most focused on. A hostile stance towards science typically includes a rejection of evolution.
  • Lots of Republican leaders are one degree of separation from a prominent evolution denier. (Or zero degrees in the case of Huckabee.)
  • Evolution contradicts a literal reading of the bible.
Given that this country is polarized and likely to stay that way (or get worse), defining beliefs eventually rise to the surface as a proxy for each side. Will evolution be one of them? Perhaps so.


Fox Nation promotes ...

Operation: Can You Hear Us Now? by linking and quoting from their front page:
Tea Parties Marching on Media Outlets Oct. 17!

Obviously, the "main stream" media are hard of hearing and seeing. About 2 million mad-as-hell taxpayers assembling in Washington, D.C. for the largest-ever (most well-behaved ever, most respectful ever) protest did not make it onto their radar screens (or our TV screens). They need our help.
You've gotta love the "about 2 million" part.

That posting prompted this snarky comment (to get past the Fox Nation moderators:
This is a TEACHABLE MOMENT... NOW, please, in planning your events don't forget the TEA. That has always been your problem. You get everybody all excited, but then don't serve any tea, so we all get disappointed and go home. SO, learn from past mistakes and make sure there is plenty of yummy tea to be had by all. It also wouldn't hurt to have some tasty Kool-Aid available as well....maybe a couple of different flavors for variety. Kool-Aid is also a beloved drink, so you'll probably get a few people you otherwise might not. Oh, and maybe some nice pastries would be good too. Eclairs or creme horns, bismarks or even some good old fashioned donuts would be cool. So, c'mon people, let's do it Right ... this time....PLENTY OF TEA AND PASTRIES!
Can't argue with that.


Can't wait for the Yglesias response:

George Will has penned a number of skeptical-about-global-warming essays [A,B] which prompted Matthew Yglesias to pen spirited replies about Will and the Washington Post [A:1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10; B:1]

Well, George Will has done it again. He cites a New York Times article about stable global temperatures, but fails to include this passage:
Scientists say the pattern of the last decade — after a precipitous rise in average global temperatures in the 1990s — is a result of cyclical variations in ocean conditions and has no bearing on the long-term warming effects of greenhouse gases building up in the atmosphere.
Shall we see Yglesias - over there busy in Europe - pick up on this latest Will column? Let's hope so. It's usually a good read.

UPDATE: Yglesias delivers.


What is the New York Times' point here?

In an editorial decrying the crackdown on 1,800 undocumented workers, which will lead to their being fired, the NYTimes argues that:
  • "one has to ask who benefits from a crackdown like this"
  • "The government has not charged [America Apparel] with knowingly hiring or exploiting illegal labor."
  • "Unlike companies that routinely seek out illegal immigrants ... American Apparel pays $10 to $12 an hour, well above the minimum wage and industry standards, plus health benefits."
  • "A crackdown that forces 1,800 taxpaying would-be Americans into joblessness in a dismal economy is a law-enforcement victory only in the bitterest, narrowest sense."
  • "As a solution to the problem of unauthorized workers — 1,800 down, millions to go — it’s ludicrous."
Is it that these "illegal immigrants" are all "taxpaying would-be Americans", and therefore should be exempt?
You've got to admire the "would-be" formulation. They didn't go for the more realistic "would-like-to-be".
Is it that crackdowns should only apply to companies that knowingly hire illegal labor, but not when the laborers themselves knowingly work in violation of the law?

Is it that illegal immigrants, when being paid fairly well, should be allowed to work in tht U.S.?

Is it that it's 'only' 1,800 jobs, and law enforcement shouldn't care about violations when the number is small?

The Times says, "The government has to enforce the law", but it appears in this case that they don't think it should so. The Times thinks that illegals working for a good wage (!) should be allowed to displace legal domestic labor. Taking that view, there might as well not be any laws regulating immigration or their ability to work in this country. Some people agree with that, but that view is very unpopular during a recession.