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January 26, 2008

freedom's watch! more tone deaf than usual!

I am discovering that I am not above taking my digs at a fundraising letter.  I know, there is no fundraising letter that is not in some way hilarious, but this sucker is worth its weight in all-caps.

It is the letter that came enclosed to prospective donors to Freedom's Watch, which is the new right-wing propaganda machine that is fronted by professional dissembler Ari Fleischer, and will be funded by grumpy millionaires to the (alleged) tune of $250 million.  It's being founded to get the Conservative message out there, because who can really hear it now that America is one big undocumented alien/abortion party, with Socialists fornicating all over the place.

The pitch arrived in the form of a census form to be completed.  This is very effective, because without some lame attempt at deception, donors wouldn't be able to identify it as the real deal.

It's not only hysterical -- it's hysteric.  And it namedrops Barry Goldwater!  Barry Goldwater -- all right!  This is my favorite part:

And make no mistake, if you fail to complete this critical Citizens Census, then the Clinton/Obama/Reid/Pelosi -- supported by MoveOn.org, Big Labor bosses, gun-grabbers and the big government leftists -- will become the law of the land.

(I left out the random underlines, bolds and italics -- which look a typesetter got his sick all over the keyboard -- so you could enjoy the text without the attendant screaming migraine.)

Don't know if I've been called a gun-grabber before, but if someone makes a T with that phrase, put me down for one.

Plus also Freedom's Watch is the most awesome name ever.  Even better than the Forces of Righteousness, and the Kiwanis Club.  I wish them a very high press profile.

Posted by mrbrent at 3:39 PM

January 25, 2008

stop the spying

I think I will spend a small portion of this weekend stopping the spying.  I recommend that you do to.

I will share the results in some way, if vanity permits.

Posted by mrbrent at 1:02 PM

January 24, 2008

yahoo! is pretty sneaky, sis

I know that the Internet runs on clicks and eyeballs these days, with content designed to tantalize the end-user to hit that hyperlink to the subsequent page, but the Yahoo! Two-D Box of Headlines makes it look as awkward as your great-aunt playing air guitar:
• Producers reveal title of new James Bond movie

And the title is too long to fit in a headline?

In the next few months we will get:

• Candidate wins GOP nomination

And some yutz will still click, and Yahoo! will get another quarter penny from Countrywide or whatever.

Posted by mrbrent at 4:21 PM

american heart association is run by bastards

Today the NY Times brings to us a nice, direct, immediate scandal -- a nice low level of difficulty, with little context or research needed:
After a study last week showed Vytorin, an expensive combination of two drugs for cholesterol, worked no better than cheap Zocor alone in reducing artery plaque that can lead to heart attacks, the American Heart Association came to the drug’s defense.

That's all the set-up you need.  And the pay-off, a mere two paragraphs later:

What the association did not note in its statement [defending the drugs], however, was that the group receives nearly $2 million a year from Merck/Schering-Plough Pharmaceuticals, the joint venture that markets Vytorin.

And that's it!  It's that easy!  The American Heart Association has been bought and paid for by Big Pharma.

Scanning through the mission statement of the AHA, I'm having a little trouble finding the part where it says, "protecting large pharmaceutical companies from scrutiny of their fraudulent science".  Also, as one who has a little family history of heart disease, it makes me want to throw something through an AHA window.  I mean, feel like I want to throw, of course.

A little accountability needs to be forcibly applied to these people before everyone forgets that purchasing influence is wrong, and not just inconvenient when uncovered.

Posted by mrbrent at 10:19 AM

January 23, 2008

denton just quietly knocked blog economics on its side

For that portion of you who shared my enjoyment of Alex Balk's tenure at Gawker: please note that opting to remove yourself from the team does not necessarily prevent you from remaining a team player.  I hope my boss finds a way to somehow keep monetizing me once I've done left the building, if only for conversation's sake. 

For the record, Mr Balk is now an employee of some other online gossip/snark presence, and his personal thoughts can be found here.

For that portion of you who did not share my enjoyment of Alex Balk's tenure at Gawker: what's he really like, in person?

Posted by mrbrent at 9:54 AM

January 22, 2008

anonymous vs. scientology

I don't know if this is for real, but go watch this now, before it's yanked:
We are anonymous.  We are legion.  We do not forgive.  We do not forget.  Expect us.

And before you start checking your locks, it's aimed at the Church of Scientology, not you.

I think it's super, but I can't say why.  It will have legs.  (And spawn talentless parodies -- the wages of sin.)

Posted by mrbrent at 5:29 PM

droopy-jowled millionaires for thompson

Fred Thompson was running for president?  Of the United States?

I think I heard something about it back in the summer, but I thought it was a joke.  Fred Thompson is a wealthy lobbyist who looks like the lost son of Wallace Beery after a bender.  That may read as presidential to the blind/deaf amongst us, but who would he really appeal to (other than the similarly homely and privileged), no matter how many borrowed pickup trucks he stood on?

Next thing you're going to tell is that hundred seventy pound sack of loathsome Rudy Giuliani is running.

Posted by mrbrent at 3:37 PM

i think writing about econ makes me look smarterer

I'm still waiting for someone to tell me how to feel about this global market slide, which apparently is making Americans millionaires very nervous.  I used to think that such a decline in aggregate vlaue of a market meant that all this money was suddenly disappearing (like the Rapture!), but as I learn more about economics and the AI-ization of global economies, I realize that the money is not so much being called up to Heaven as it is being called out of investments and into more secure instruments, like commodities (precious metals! yummy food!) and Rupert Murdoch's tax-dodge dummy corporation in some island nation you've never heard of.

What does this mean to me, the dedicated consumer?  Nothing, right now, but that I don't like to watch people lose.  If the Fed keeps cutting interest rates, we might get some good inflation, but, oh, that's right, we already go to the supermarket, and we realize that inflation is already here.  So, will anything change before lunchtime?  No.  Am I concerned?  Well, yes -- the newspapers are telling me I should be.

Maybe if one has substantial investments in property, or a strong portfolio, this frenzy of financial sky-is-falling might have a more direct effect on you.  I am not one of those people, so, while I feel bad for them, I wonder why those guys aren't picking up the check more often.  (JK, baby -- they pick up the check all the time!)

If you'd like a little balm to soothe your jangly economic nerves, this is the White House comment on the situation:

In a reference to the global stock sell-off, Jeanie Mamo, a spokeswoman for the White House, said: "We don't comment on daily market moves.  We're confident that the global economy will continue to grow and the U.S. economy will return to stronger growth with the economic policies the president called for."

"No comment" -- now that's some leadership you can savor.

(BTW, the above quote appears in the print edition of the linked story, and not in the e-version.  Apparently, someone at the White House had some second thoughts about the confidence created by obliviousness, and shared these second thoughts with the NYT.]

Posted by mrbrent at 10:10 AM