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May 17, 2008

also, mccain should have this energy crisis beat by 2035

There's something strange about Sen. McCain's suggestion that a McCain administration can have the war in Iraq all wrapped up by 2013.  Well, first of all, it implicitly throws the Bush administration under a bus, inasmuch as it admits that this short, easy and rationalized military action, now five years/many dead past short and easy, isn't even at the halfway mark.  Arguably, that is not strange, but instead approaches honesty.  Which would be strange, wouldn't it?

But more strangely, if you think about it, the target date McCain proposes is one year past the conclusion of what would be McCain's first term, were he to win the White House.  Isn’t it more customary to make this sort of promise in the middle of a presidential term, and not prior to it?  That is to say, shouldn't you wait until you're on the field before you start moving the goalposts?

From this we can deduce the primary objective of a potential President McCain: tread water until it's somebody else's problem.

Plus also he resembles a muppet, but that's not necessarily a negative for all voters.

Posted by mrbrent at 10:30 AM

May 16, 2008

radio host kevin james, dumber than box of hair

Dunno why I'm watching so much of the television this week, but I just want to share this with you, not so much for the "Hell yeah" of it, but mostly in case radio host Kevin James is googling himself, so he can find one more post taking the piss out of him.

Mr James appeared on Hardball last night, to bellow something about Obama and Neville Chamberlain, and was then worked over pretty good by host Chris Matthews.  Because, as James began to yell about Chamberlain, Matthews responded with the Hardest Question Ever: "What did Neville Chamberlain do?"  Against which there was apparently no defense, except for sputtering, and, I'm assuming off camera, blushing and flop sweat.

And, Kevin James, even worse than being mauled by Chris Matthews on live television for being a freakin' idiot is concurrently being lectured by Mark Green for the same reason.  Mark Green!  You freakin' idiot!

And if you, the reader, not Kevin James, are getting a little sick of our recent renewed obsession with things political, then please ignore the above link, and go watch this most excellent Tom Waits clip dug up by the Dad Who Is Grizzled.

Posted by mrbrent at 8:27 AM

May 15, 2008

why on earth is mccain invoking the october surprise?

I would assume that someone as mocked and derided as Sen. John McCain would have a better memory than this.  In the volleying back and forth over who loves Nazis more, McCain jumps in:
“I believe that it’s not an accident that our hostages came home from Iran when President Reagan was president of the United States.  He didn’t sit down in a negotiation with the religious extremists in Iran, he made it very clear that those hostages were coming home."

I do not have enough foreign policy experience to have much more than a barstool opinion on this issue (hurrah diplomacy!), but I am up on my history enough to call bullshit on McCain's assertion.  If you're old enough to remember the background of the 1980 election, then you would remember this old saw (from Wikipedia, so, caveat emptor):

After the release of the hostages on the same day as Reagan's inauguration on January 20, 1981, some charged that the Reagan campaign made a secret deal with the Iranian government whereby the Iranians would hold the hostages until Reagan was inaugurated, ensuring that Carter would lose the election.

The point being that, while it's alleged that Reagan didn't "sit down in a negotiation with the religious extremists", pretty much everyone thought that he, or a functionary of his, did.

And even if you don't go in for the conspiracy theory, do keep in mind that the hostages were released on the same day as Ronald Reagan's inauguration.  To imply that the foreign policy decisions of a man who was (until that day) nothing but an ex-governor of California with a sizable investment in Bryll Cream had something to do with the release of the hostages is deliberately confusing the order of events.

Unless the allegation is being made that Reagan's actions before he assumed the White House had something to do with the timing of the release, in which case it follows that there were back-channel discussions going on.  Which would count as engaging the terrorists, which would count as appeasement, see option A.

I'm sure the palpable joy of saying the name "Reagan" on the campaign trail temporarily overwhelmed the senses of Sen. McCain, but Reagan's foreign policy had about as much to do with the hostages being released as I had to do with the fall of the Soviet Union.

Though I have to agree with Sen. McCain on one issue: I too believe that it was no accident that our hostages came home from Iran when Reagan was president.

Posted by mrbrent at 12:30 PM

kc green: you make good comics

In the interest of posting random comic strips only because they make you laugh out loud, I offer this specimen, the product of a gentleman who goes by the unlikely moniker "KC Green", and the rest of whose shit seems to be pretty decent.

I am posting this at the recommendation of a buddy of mine who sent me the link in an email with the subject line, "Because it's 2am and beer", which must have been an exaggeration, as all my "2am and beer" emails (which I have foresworn) look like they were typed with an oven mitt on my left hand and using my face instead of my right hand.  And the syntax!  Oh my goodness.

But hey.  Remind me to tell you my turtle jokes.

Posted by mrbrent at 11:44 AM

oh, yeah, *that* war

In the course of your bouncing around the Internet, you will hear this or that about a Keith Olbermann "Special Comment" that he read at the end of his program last night.  I know, "There goes Grampa again about those Special Comments he liked so much back when people still said 'Netroots'!  Say hi to 2005 for us!"

And actually, I was kind of thinking the same thing (minus the Grampa part, when we were watching the teevee last night -- something like, "Do we really need another Special Comment?  I think we get it, Keith."

But, having watched it, I will say that it was unique as among all the other Special Comments.  Olbermann has already employed the newsreaderly indignity and the "how-dare-you" righteousness a number of times, but last night, he approached more of a state of incandescent outrage which just about broke my teevee in half (it's old).

The outrage, of course, can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on the whole subjectivity thing.  For me (and I'm guessing for you) it's a good thing.  It was all about the Iraq War, and how the president lied about giving up golf over it.  It's hard to keep the Iraq War in the front of your mind during these extremely novel times of endorsements and exponentially more expensive gasoline, but if you can try to remember the Iraq War for just a second, and all those body bags, and what that trillion dollars could have been spent on, and then also remember the tone and content of anything that comes out of the president's mouth, then you'd want him to shut the (very small pause teasing a possible f-bomb) hell up too.

Video and transcript (and further comment from Rachel Sklar) here.

Posted by mrbrent at 9:15 AM

May 14, 2008

congrats travis childers

I don't trust indications of the Coming Political Landslide as a general rule -- mostly because I can think of a whole bunch of them from the past ten years that turned out to be less than accurate, which has considerably dimmed my optimism.

But if you do go in for such things, buried in last night's election results is news of the GOP's defeat in the third special election in a row.  This time around, it happened in a Mississippi district that used to house the Representative that got kicked upstairs to replace a retiring Trent Lott in the Senate.  The district in question (MS-1) is what you would call "blood-red", in the parlance of using colors to represent ideological tendencies that became popular in the past whatever, which means that a Democrat (Travis Childers is the new Representative's name) taking the seat is more than alarming.  Especially in light of the fact that the GOP candidate ran the standard-issue "my opponent is close friends with Nancy Pelosi and Barrack Obama" as its primary tactic.

What some (see link below) are surmising from this is that the dissatisfaction with the Bush Administration is so profound that cynical voters are turning on campaigns that rely mostly on insinuation and calumny.  It follows that, since the GOP doesn't have much else to run on this year, it does not bode well for their November prospects.

While I would cheer the end of the "God, guns and Gays" era of politicking (on grounds of lack of substance), I'll believe it when I see it.

But yeah, Travis Childers kicked some serious ass last night.

This DailyKos post is a useful roundup of reaction from the Conservative-leaning content outlets out there.  Panic!

Posted by mrbrent at 12:30 PM

May 13, 2008

mulligan's -- warm beer, cold food, assholes

Finally someone's upset that I keep picking on West Virginia, a state that I am very fond of, even though it is peopled by caricatures (most of whom I'm somehow related to) -- and that someone is Cobb County, Georgia, who is all " Look at me!  Look at me!"  A couple more bar owners like swell-guy Mike Norman, comparing Sen. Obama to a monkey, and we're gonna totally forget where WV is on a map.

It's gonna be totally excellent and interesting to see what kind of "free speech" will shake out once Sen. Obama is the candidate proper -- like a time capsule back to the 50s.

But this is also why God invented "the light of day".

[Via DailyKos, though it's pretty much everywhere now.]

Posted by mrbrent at 4:11 PM

old crazy racist mountaineers

Why do I keep posting links incriminating to the state in which I was born?  Like this one:
Seriously, West Virginia, we are going to give you back to Virginia unless you can demonstrate that you can handle statehood again.   And no one wants that.

Maybe because my parents are both super-reasonable, and have no offensive beliefs that I've had to attempt to correct by publicly embarrassing them?  That could be it -- finally, a chance to be the good son.

Or, maybe I'm just pointing out all the old crazy racist people quick before they die, and exist only as memories, and exhibits in the Museum of Old Crazy Racist People.

Whichever.  This is a car wreck I'm having trouble pulling my eyes from.

Posted by mrbrent at 12:32 PM

do not quit day jobs, burglars

I do love the "crime doesn't pay" stories that run in the papers not frequently enough.  In fact, I think shame could be a very valuable tool in discouraging petty thievery and dimestore street crime. so it's good to see knuckleheads get their fifteen minutes.  Today's version -- burglars foiled by tech-savvy victim, who remotely snaps the perps pics from with the camera in her stolen laptop.

As a one-time victim of a burglary: have some, shitbirds, and have a nice day, in jail.

Plus also, mug shots are included in the post, so the two gentlemen can now be recognized all over the city by law-abiding citizens as world-class stupidists.  Why, that would make it twice that they were delivered justice from the bitch goddess, Technology.  In that case, have some more, shitbirds.

Posted by mrbrent at 11:44 AM

as goes west virginia, so goes, well, no one

I'm trying to conjure up some point of pride in the probable outcome in today's West Virginia primary -- Sen. Clinton doubling up on Sen. Obama.

I do hate the piling on the West Virginians for the obvious things (other than the egregious), so I'm going to try to look at this positively, and not evidence of a contrarian state full of voters who will do something just because you tell them to do the other thing, taking the brave stand against that black guy who wants to build a mosque on the White House lawn.

Um, "We'd hate to see you go home empty-handed, Sen. Clinton, so tell her what she's won, Johnny!"

That's about the best I can do , I think.

Posted by mrbrent at 8:47 AM

May 12, 2008

thanks for nothing, carmike cinemas

So we saw "Iron Man" last night, and cue the good news/bad news:

The good news is that the movie is very good.  It passed the me-and-my-wife test, which is almost like passing the me-and-my-folks test, but not quite as unequivocal.  She remarked, "It's something what hiring a couple of good actors to be in one of these comic book movies will do," and she was dead on with that.  Now, in perspective, this is not that much of good news, really -- "Blockbuster movie really good!" -- but it did imbue us with a satisfied happiness at least for the duration of the drive home, so let's hear it for little victories.

The bad news is, well, that movie-going in these modern days is a singularly joyless experience.  I may be guilty of under-attending the movie houses over the past bunch of years (for which I blame digital cable), but, damn, other than the movie itself, that was whole bunch of not-fun.  Big dirty multiplex, popcorn and sodas that were priced in Euros, and fifteen minutes of commercials preceding the previews.  Wasn't there a time not too long ago that fifteen minutes in your local cinema would have precipitated riots?  Is there not some flaw in the logic that I pay you money to sit in your premises for you to show me commercials?  And to UCLA, who apparently held some contest for its film school directors, with the winner to be screened in front of features across the country -- that's not a short film, that's a commercial for Coca-Cola, so go fuck yourself.

I am a little unfamiliar with the economics of the film exhibition industry, but I am familiar with the phenomenon of a rapacious industry squeezing every dollar out of a consumer until they are left with no option but laughing while the industry burns.

And as a sidenote, how will I end these sudden rants when no one remembers who Andy Rooney is?  Ah, fuck it -- I may be bitchy, but I'm right.

Posted by mrbrent at 12:22 PM