Archive for April, 2009

the masks

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

Seen a few people with those safety masks.  Japanese.  Makes some sense.  Stereotypically germophobic — or, I guess to put a good light on it by demeaning Americans, not slobs.

Actually I’ve seen them before in less auspicious circumstances.  On days where weather conditions create pollution stagnation (a couple days in the summer end up that way) — presumably people with sensitive respiratory problems.

Anyway, I wonder if they could stencil some designs on those buggers.  Wear it like a t-shirt.

Arlen Specter decided he wanted another term

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

I flip past the talk radio circuit to hear the big word on today’s events in the Big Donkey — Elephant Game.  They accuse Arlen Specter of political expedency.  Arlen Specter said as much in his press conference today:
“I found that the prospects for winning the Republican primary were bleak. I am not prepared to have my 29-year record in the United States Senate decided by the Pennsylvania Republican primary electorate. Not prepared to have that record decided by that jury.”

It was hard not to marvel at Arlen Specter’s precarious situation, which I did here.  Since then, things became worse for the man electorally.  Over the weekend, he looked at his poll numbers and saw that the amazingly shrunk Republican Party of Pennsylvania had polled him to a 21 point defeat against Pat Toomey — a real victory for the guy that start the bottom row of this item.  Grover Norquist has flexed his muscles.  Why has the Republican Party of Pennsylvania shrunk?, you may ask.  Look at the comments section at the various news-sites, and you will see some hilarious explanations.

“Last year, more than 200,000 Republicans in Pennsylvania changed their registration to become Democrats.”
Could he really be this stupid not to have heard of Operation Chaos??
“By some estimates, hundreds of Republicans switched parties to keep the feud going between Clinton and Obama.”
Posted by: truthmattersfa | April 28, 2009 12:17 PM

Perhaps I’m as Irony-Deficit as the Conservative believers in Stephen Colbert (Note: this study requires you to create a flow-chat), but if not I have to point out the math problem of the explanation.  “More than 200,000” is, technically, “hundreds”, but by this point you tend to explain the number in terms of hundreds of thousands.  It’s a joke, right?

Okay.  Two more thoughts from the commenters of big time news entities.  The first one:

Does this really mattter? The two parties are are two wings of the same bird, pushing the same agenda … destruction of our rights and enslavement of the American people. Politics is nothing but the slight of hand a magician uses to distract you while a trick is executed.

Run of the mill comment, that.  And then there’s this assessment:

— Thomas Coppola


Okay.  Some historical perspective on party switiching is due.  Wikipedia has a list of party switchers, and for the sake of finding a perspective it is best to take a gander at the cases where a Democra switched to the Republican.

You will recognize a great deal of the names of the last half of the twentieth century, as the Solid South opened up, split against the the national Democratic Party.  People like Ronald Reagan, This wikipedia list serves as a history of the partisan transformation of the South, and then the regionalization of the Republican Party.  Too bad the Democrats didn’t follow the advice of Zell Miller in heading this off , eh?  More impressively, is the flood of Louisianans and Texans and South Carolinans switching after the Republican landslides of 1980, 1984, and 1994.  They kept their jobs and didn’t miss a beat.

Whither the two parties from here?  I don’t know.  Didn’t you see that comment about all this being a sham?  Like it or not, Obama’s full fledged support assures that Specter is going to be re-elected Senator — meaning all you liberals have to hope his EFCA change of heart was a sham in pursuit of beating Toomey and his statements today are just a means of not embarrassing himself. 

2002 all over again

Tuesday, April 28th, 2009

What, did I just go to sleep and wake up back in 2002?  First we have a modestly exaggerated threat of a pandemic — not SARS but this Swine Flu — and now I see this headline:

Pakistani leader: Bin Laden ‘may be dead’ — or not

ISLAMABAD – Pakistan’s president said Monday his intelligence agencies believe Osama bin Laden may be dead, but he added there is no proof. Other Pakistani officials and a U.S. counterterrorism official said they thought the al-Qaida chief is alive.
Money Shot.

“We continue to believe that bin Laden is alive,” said the U.S. official, who declined to be named because he was not authorized to discuss the matter on the record.

Of course, there is no proof of this.  AND SO…

Zardari added that his country’s intelligence agencies “obviously feel that he does not exist anymore,” but he didn’t explain how or when they reached that conclusion, and quickly qualified his comment by saying bin Laden “may be dead.”
“That’s not confirmed. We can’t confirm that,” he said. “It’s still in between fiction and fact.”

Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, appearing later Monday with his visiting British counterpart at a news conference, seemed surprised when a reporter asked about Zardari’s remarks.

All very uninteresting, I’d say.  But we’ve been about here before.

tired act

Monday, April 27th, 2009

Somewhere in the midst of cheering on would-be Texas Secessionists and Nullifiers, Representative Ron Paul was hood-winked into an Ali G — now Bruno — stunt.  Witness.

“The pair go back years. Madge was such a big fan of his Ali G character she asked him to star in her video for Hey Mr DJ and they’ve been pals ever since.” Ali G and Borat made complete fools of politicians all over the world and it seems Bruno is no different. He was branded a “fraud” this week by a senior Republican who claims he was tricked into his “bedroom” for a seduction scene.

Texas Congressman Ron Paul told America’s ABC radio: “We were in a studio, I wasn’t invited into a hotel room. There were lots of lights and blaze and commotion and they said we better get in this back room which was fixed up as a bedroom.

And I was expecting an interview on Austrian economics. It didn’t turn out that way.” You can say that again congressman! It seems that stimulating the finances of the Austrian economy was the last thing on Bruno’s mind.

Ron Paul said: “By the time he started pulling his pants down, I was like, ‘What on earth is going on here?’ and I ran out of the room. This interview had ended.”

The new film is set for release in November. Hurry up!

I mention this all by way of asking for Ali G to please stop.  It was funny once.  It then ceased to be funny and is now tedious.  So Ron Paul goes into the room and leaves when you lower your pants.  Okay.  How is this incisive commentary on anything?  Just enjoy your ruining of the lives of Kazhakstan’s foreign exchange students for a generation (ala Borat) and move on to a new schtik.

10 Chris Elliott appearances on the old Letterman Show found on youtube

Monday, April 27th, 2009

#1:  Chris Elliott:  Television Miracle
#2:  Dramatic Interpretation of Elton John’s Classic “Rocket Man”.
#3:  Chris Elliott is The Fugitive Guy
#4:  Discusses the upcoming 3 minute program The Fugitive Guy
#5:  “The Guy Under the Seats”
#6:  A “Conspiracy Guy” trilogy 
#7:  Chris Elliott is The Regulator Guy
#8:  Whirlwind Romance
#9:  Chris Elliott is Jay Leno
#10:   The Chris Elliott, Jr Show , or — you know, Morton Downey.


Monday, April 27th, 2009

“Last night I got high and watched The Muppets.  I LOVE getting high and watching the Muppets.  But we all agree that it’s disturbing when Fozzie removes his green hat.”

In the infinitisimal chance that the participants of this conversation somehow happen upon this, I should clarify that I could care less about anything else said — recognizable as relatively sensitive — and only much care about the effects of Cannibas on observed Muppet behavior.  And people like to downplay the negative effects of the drug… let it be a warning on the Demon Weed.

2012 Republican Presidential Cattle Call

Sunday, April 26th, 2009

It’s never too early to concoct a “Cattle Call” ranking for the 2012 Republican presidential hopefuls.

Well, actually, yes.  Yes it is.  Absurdly early.  Not only that, but even in the “thick” of early 2012 it would be a little silly.  But, I do absurd!  Who’s up, who’s down, who’s what…

#1:  Mitt Romney.  By default.
#2:  Newt Gingrich.  No,haschance.  But, as “Idea Man” for the Republicans has maintained his role.  Supplies the Republican party with plenty of ideas.  Just none of them are any good.
#3:  Bobby Jindal.  I think his volcano monoitoring statement will haunt him in the general election.  I don’t know how his past Exorcism will work in today’s Republican Party.  Would it expose some anti-Catholic feeling from the fundamentalist tongue-speakers?
#4:  Mark Sanford.  A new line is out there:  “Dated Paul, Married Sanford.”  Granted, he’s pulled in some of Paul’s more establishment backing, and has excited a part of the Tea-party contingent, and is favorably viewed by today’s John Birch Society, but I don’t think he’ll ever get Paul’s 9/11 Truth contingent.
#5:  Mike Huckabee.  He’s risen in this thing.  Two things:  The Iowa ruling on same sex marriage has opened the door for him, but more importantly is the continued demise of
#6:  Sarah Palin. Cut loose her national advisors, and is currently working on alienating everyone in Alaska.  Also John McCain forgot her name.
#7:  TimPawlenty.  If he had no national ambitions, he would probably ratify Al Franken’s Senate seat by now.
#8:  Rudy Giuliani.  No, probably in his head knows he has no path to the White House.  But it’s impossible to view his new stance on same sex marriage as a matter of conviction, and it’s hard to see why it would be necessary for the New York Governor’s mansion.
#9:  Michael Steele.  When asked, said the matter was in God’s Hands.

All right.  How about the Democrats?

#1:  Barack Obama.  No comment.
#2:  Um… Hillary Clinton.  If you search hard enough, you will find remnants of ye olde “PUMA Movement” online still keeping the faith.
#3:  You think Dennis Kucinich might try for anotehr ever more quixotic campaign?

Wherein I relay news on a couple of radio personalities I don’t much care about

Saturday, April 25th, 2009

I’m not sure if it’s worth commenting on that a radio talk show host that I will actively not listen to is back, replacing her seat-warmer in the  radio host I passively allow into ear-shot, nor if I should try to explain some significance on this account to “Liberal Talk Radio” and / or KPOJ and whatever else you can attach it to.

Some things that can be found in poking about wikipedia.  I don’t understand this amount of loathing for Nancy Skinner, nor do I understand what underlies this statement:

2. Skinner was anti-Bush long before it was “cool” to be that way, whatever that means. The show, which started with the Monica Lewinsky debacle, was basically comprised of Ski Anderson and Nancy Skinner apologizing for Bill Clinton’s peccadilloes… until George W. Bush was first rumored to be seeking the Presidency. Then it was just anti-Bush, anti-Bush, all the way to the end. Ya gotta love it, because you just can’t like it.

Anyway, it probably violates the “Not For General Discussion” rule of wikipedia.

Now, looking over at the wikipedia article for the company that previously had Randi Rhodes’s contract — and the bizarre “whatevers”:

Rhodes’ last show on Nova M before an abrupt break was February 3, 2009. Political commentator and one-time Congressional candidate Nancy Skinner hosted the show in Rhodes’ absence beginning February 5. Following this, Anita Drobny of Nova M Radio posted a message on the Nova M site saying that they were unable to disclose details of what is going on due to Rhodes’ having complete control of the show, and that Rhodes “now has to make her decisions as to what she must do with her career”.[4] Mrs. Drobny has also said, “People are saying it’s about money. It’s not about money at all. I just could not fulfill one of her requirements.” She did, however, note the financial impact of Rhodes’ departure: “I looked at [our] site, and I see that because Randi Rhodes isn’t on, there are so many people leaving the Founders Club [which involves a fee paid to Nova M]. And you can’t operate without people’s participation.” [5]Additionally, Rhodes’ own Web site was taken down, and replaced with a letter from Rhodes to supporters stating that the entire situation is within Nova M’s control, any implication that Rhodes is responsible for the disruption is false, and that Rhodes’ show will be “seeking a new home” in light of the recent developments.[6] According to an individual familiar with the issue, Nova M agreed to provide certain standard legal protection for the popular radio host, but Rhodes had to leave the air and Nova M following a discovery that Nova had not lived up to its contractual promise.[7] Subsequently, on February 19, 2009, Nova M Radio announced that they would be filing for bankruptcy liquidation, but no such filing has yet occurred.[7]

Stephen Lemons, a blogger for the Phoenix New Times, has suggested that On Second Thought has also ceased to exist[2], and radio station KKGN, which airs Mike Malloy’s show, has reported on its blog that Malloy is now self-syndicated.[8] Records available from the Arizona Corporation Commission as of 11 March 2009 (2009 -03-11), however, indicate that the LLC (which was originally formed in 2003[9]) remains in good standing[9] (at least with respect to the Arizona state government).

I like how it has to end with an existential question for “On Second Thought”:  if your radio station is boarded up to deny your entry and flipped to Spanish, but you retain filings in a drawer in a government office, do you still exist?

“Randi Rhodes” will, I guess, now be the “#1 rated Progressive Radio Host”, based on the distribution of who she just signed with — Clear Channel / Premier.  I guess this means she’ll be shuffled onto any number of radio stations.  Eventually.  If there were many Clear Channel stations that had picked up “Air America” to fill one of its place-holding stations left, she’d be bumped to those, but casually watching the ebb and flow of this I think they largely flipped back to their pre-appointed canned formats.

Bah.  Why do I care?  If there were any way I can cement 610 AM off my radio dial for the 6 hours of 12 pm to 6 pm so that I can’t accidentally hear it, let me know.

Schadenfreude Test

Friday, April 24th, 2009

The massive reaction to Susan Boyle  can best be seen as largely a rejection of a mass cynicism which has been accumulating, Day One of American Idol and its related shows focused on laughing off bad performers and enjoying Simon’s insults.  Ms. Boyle pierced various artifices.  I don’t know who made this comment, and I don’t watch “American Idol” enough to know what to make of it, but it’s been said that the audience has tended to surprise — not necessarily picking the most obvious choices in terms of “Idoldom”.  Boyle undoubtedly has a record contract coming her way of some sort, and a make-over — one where make-up artists will focus on thrusting out an “Everyday Underdog Working-class” image.  (Again, piercing, especially for women, a very narrow cast of who gets to perform.)

Actually this is not a blog post about Susan Boyle, interesting sociological test that she be.  I just wanted to speak about the experiences of “Schadenfruede” long enough to get this series down past a scroll.  But, if I’m focused on Susan Boyle — here’s a test to see if you’ve become a more empathetic person, and have put schadenfruede behind.  Watch this series of pictures, and I’ll ask a simple question.

Did you laugh?  If so, Why?