Saturday, February 28, 2009

TB Weekend Film Corner

From the UK comes Bronson, a movie about an ex-circus strongman and boxer who treats violence as self-expression and art.

Charles Bronson (prisoner)
Charles Bronson (born 6 December 1952) is the adopted name of Michael Gordon Peterson, a British criminal who is referred to in the British press as the "most violent prisoner in Britain".
Bronson was initially jailed for seven years in 1974 for a bungled armed robbery[4], aged 21, during which he stole a mere £26.18.. Contrary to popular belief, Bronson has never actually committed murder.

Bronson's sentence has been repeatedly extended for crimes committed within prison...He has served 30 years of his 34 years in prison in solitary confinement due to a number of hostage situations, rooftop protests, repeated attacks on prison staff and on other inmates. His dangerous behaviour has meant that he has spent time in over 120 different prisons, including the infamous Broadmoor.

Hostage incidents

  • Bronson took hostages and staged a 47-hour rooftop protest at Broadmoor in 1983, causing £750,000 of damage.
  • In 1998, Bronson took two Iraqi hijackers and another inmate hostage at Belmarsh prison in London. He insisted his hostages call him "General" and told negotiators he would eat one of his victims unless his demands were met. At one stage, Bronson demanded one of the Iraqis hit him "very hard" over the head with a metal tray. When the hostage refused, the 18-stone strongman slashed his own shoulder six times with a razor blade. He later told staff: "I'm going to start snapping necks - I'm the number-one hostage taker." He demanded a getaway helicopter to take him to Cuba, two Uzi sub-machine guns, 5,000 rounds of ammunition and an axe. In court, he said he was "as guilty as Adolf Hitler". He said: "I was on a mission of madness."
  • In 1994, while he was holding a guard hostage at Woodhill Prison, Milton Keynes, he demanded an inflatable doll, a helicopter and a cup of tea as ransom.
  • In 2007, two members of prison staff at Full Sutton high security prison in the East Riding of Yorkshire were involved in a "control and restraint incident", in an attempt to prevent another hostage situation, during which Bronson (who now needs spectacles) had his glasses broken. Bronson received £200 compensation for his broken glasses, which he claimed were made of "pre-war gold" and given to him by "Lord Longford".

An important message

Friday, February 27, 2009

Because it's the end of the day and you need to feel bad

G.D.P. Revision Suggests a Long, Steep Downfall
The economy at the end of last year contracted at a far faster rate than initially estimated, a government report released Friday said, suggesting that the recession may be deeper and more severe than recent projections have indicated.

The country’s gross domestic product fell at an annualized rate 6.2 percent in the last quarter of 2008, the steepest decline since the 1982 recession. Economists are expecting a similar drop in the first quarter of 2009.

“What a ghastly report,” said John Ryding, chief economist at RDQ Economics. “This will almost certainly be the longest postwar recession, and now potentially the deepest one as well.”
Also: polar bears are dying, the Steelers resigned Willie Colon and Chris Kemoeatu, and stocks hit a 12 year low.

I'm going to miss the rotten bastard

It seems all our favorite enemies are leaving us. George Bush and Dick Cheney are off enjoying freedom, Alberto Gonzalez is begging for spare change on some street corner, and now James Dobson is exiting the scene, no doubt preparing his bunker for the coming socialist apocalypse that the gays probably caused.
The Associated Press has learned that James Dobson has resigned as chairman of the conservative Christian group Focus on the Family.

Jim Daly, president and chief executive officer of the Colorado Springs, Colo.-based ministry, said Friday that Dobson will continue to host the organization's flagship radio program and speak out on moral issues.

The departure of the 72-year-old Dobson as board chairman is part of a succession plan. He founded the group in 1977.
As Steve Benen put it:
Few modern figures on the political scene hate quite as many people, with quite as much intensity, as James Dobson. Gays, minority faiths, the First Amendment, Girl Scouts, SpongeBob Squarepants ... if you don't think, act, or believe as Dobson does, you're an enemy.
A man who could observe any event and immediately channel it into some conspiracy about how gays/papists/Muslims/liberal/lizard people/women had somehow caused the event to cause pain to the baby Jesus or we to blame for the event having angered the Lord with their gayness/Roman popery/jihadery/America hating/cold blooded forked toungeness/hoo-hahs. The man was the Babe Ruth of far right, religious based hate, how will they ever replace him? What will we do without him telling us how to live, think and act lest God hit us with a flaming climate change monitoring satellite?

Dobson, Falwell, Ralph Reed, soon Robertson. The religious right is in need of successors, here's hoping for a long fruitless search.

Cheap Blogging Crutch 2.27

This is a story of one man. One man and his failed career as a comic, his third rate Kentucky Fried Movie wannabe, a Church of Scientology bankroll, financial ruin and attacks from the CoS, redemption in the form of an absorbent towel, and a ShamWow funded war against Scientology. Vince the ShamWow guy, our personal hero of the day.

Obama Budget Includes Funding Boost for NASA
AstroBase Go! Combined with the stimulus package NASA is getting an extra $2.4 billion to destroy satellites and not build me a moon chateau. On the other hand it makes plans to move away from the shuttle, finish the International Space Station, further non-exploding monitoring of climate change, build a robot that will dent and graffiti Chinese and Russian satellites and spacecraft, and a plan to bury Neil Armstrong's bones on the moon by 2020.

Growing hate groups blame Obama, economy
Ever wondered what marginalized, fringe, racist hate groups are feeling about the economy and President Obama? No, right? Because you can already guess what they're going to say? Yeah, I thought so. Still, for the five of you who would be surprised, CNN went and asked anyway. Turns out they're sympathetic to Obama and the problems he inherited, they just hope that he'll increasing spending on programs for students and people living in rural poor areas, seeing as achievement levels are mostly a result of the poverty level whether in the inner city or the sticks. No, just kidding. They hate his black ass and blame him for everything. Plus there's some analysis on how the economy is going to probably swell their ranks and increase the amount of shit they build into crosses and swastikas and set on fire.

Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden?
Hey, remember that guy who killed 3,000 Americans and then got off scot free? Obama something something? Well it turns out some people are still concerned that he's still breathing and planning attacks with al Qaeda. The people at Foreign Policy magazine have gone to the trouble of bringing us MIT scientist Thomas Gillespie's biogeographic data information and his mathematical model for where bin Laden should be. Unsurprisingly it's on the Afghan/Pakistan border, Kurram province to be specific. The town of Parachinar to be exact. N. 33.901944° E.70.093746° to be precise. Though his map does say there is a 10% change bin Laden is in Japan or France. Anyone up for a look?

Hip-hop GOP in full swing

The following transcription is in no way a parody or fabrication of any kind. It's has been unchanged and unedited and is not one of our funny 'make-em-ups" or satire related activities. The names have not been changed and this is all horribly real.
"Tonight, we tell America: we know the past, we know we did wrong. My bad," said Steele. "But we go forward in appreciation of the values that brought us to this point.
"Michele Bachmann praised Steele's speech: "Michael Steele! You be da man! You be da man."
Steele on Bobby Jindal
SLIWA: Now, using a little bit of that street terminology, are you giving him any Slum love, Michael?

STEELE: (laughter)

SLIWA: Because he is — when guys look at him and young women look at him — they say oh, that's the slumdog millionaire, governor. So, give me some slum love.

STEELE: I love it. (inaudible) ... some slum love out to my buddy. Gov. Bobby Jindal is doing a friggin' awesome job in his state. He's really turned around on some core principles — like hey, government ought not be corrupt. The good stuff ... the easy stuff.
The GOP....ain't nothin' but a gangsta party. They're speaking to the youths of America, Democrats! Be afraid!

Tim Geithner calls do-over

Tim Geithner on Wednesday
Nationalization is "the wrong strategy for the country, and I don't think it's a necessary strategy," Geithner said. He added that a government investment in the banks "does not go to pay dividends or excess compensation." He added: "we want the terms designed so that, as conditions normalize, our support is expensive and unattractive," motivating the banks to replace the government support with private sector investment.

Continuing with his views on nationalization, Geithner said, "governments tend to underestimate the scales of problem, they move too slowly, they're too tentative and gradual, they escalate late, and that makes crises deeper."
Tim Geithner today
"We're totally gonna buy up 30%-40% of Citigroup. Nationalization baby, let's have sex in the streets! By the way, has anyone seen that Tim Geithner impersonator that keeps going on TV and saying crazy shit?"
Now I'm sure he's got some legalese and fancified Wall Street word wrangling, but anyone want to explain to me how a government buying 40% of a company, eliminating dividends, and replacing most of the board isn't nationalization? Especially when the move is for a higher risk higher reward move of buying common stock? Not that I'm against nationalization. Krugman is for it and it's what worked in Sweden and eventually in Japan. But it does kind of worry that the guy running things says one thing one day and then decides to do the opposite (or 40% of the opposite) the next day. Doesn't well you up with confidence.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Broken News: Area man declares himself medical expert after ‘House’ marathon

PORTLAND—Today a group of concerned family and friends pleaded with local authorities, the Portland medical community, and the FOX Broadcasting Network to try to talk some sense into local resident Charles Matthews, who has seen fit to declare himself a medical expert after watching all 4 seasons of House during one marathon session.

The Emmy Award-winning medical drama, featuring a maladjusted, drug-addicted, curmudgeonly doctor and his team of specialist diagnosticians tackling medical cases involving rare diseases, is produced by director Bryan Singer and stars British actor Hugh Laurie. Friends of the now self-declared Dr. Matthews say that the show's in-depth medical discussions and use of medical procedure combined with high drama has convinced the man that perusing the back catalog of episodes is a substitute for a medical degree and license.

“I’m at a loss to what to do with him,” announced neighbor Jerry Westen, who Matthews diagnosed as having four months left to live. “He’s invasive, rude, authoritative, misanthropic, cynical, obsessive, and doesn’t let anything get in the way of his ‘diagnoses’. My kids had to pull him off me the other day when he claimed I had a myocardial infarction and had to perform a lower lumbar puncture to confirm. After he got up from the ground he told me I had Myasthenia gravis and told the kids I only had months to live. They're still traumatized.”

He continued, rubbing his sore back in the spot where Dr. Matthews performed the spinal tap, “I don’t think he’s even diagnosing things properly. I think I saw that episode, it’s a simple autoimmune disease that can be treated with medication. I don’t think he did this lower lumbar puncture right either. At least he’s as cutting and witty as the TV House. At least there’s that.”

We waited by Dr. Matthews house to get a statement but, as we later discovered, he was busy diagnosing a 12 year-old girl from around the corner with Herpes Encephalitis and demanding that she give a list of her sexual partners so that ‘they’ might be able to save another life and correctly start treatment on the right course of drugs.

When her exasperated parents declared that she was only twelve and had no sexual partners, that he was making her cry, and that he should get the fuck off their lawn before they called the police, Matthews only gruffly spit out the words “Everyone lies”, House’s mantra, before diagnosing the father with subacute sclerosing panencephalitis.

As of this morning Matthews had also been banned from the premises of Providence Portland Medical Center and the Kaiser Sunnyside Medical Center after he wandered the halls in a lab coat changing charted diagnoses of lupus stating “It’s never lupus... or vasculitis”, citing a running theme of the show, before ordering expensive tests for Erdheim-Chester disease.

Matthews also had to be physically removed from Eastmoreland Hospital after he hit an oncologist with his cane and made a racial crack towards a doctor he felt looked like Omar Epps, who plays team member Dr. Eric Foreman on the program. Efforts to charge Dr. Matthews were unsuccessful when during the arrest a reference to the arresting officer’s shaking hand, a diagnosis of fulminating osteomyelitis, a blunt prediction of imminent seizure, and a need to intabate the officer caused a panic at the ER entrance where nurses, confused by Matthews lab coat and the assuredness of his analysis, took the officer in for immediate care.

As of today the ‘doctor’ is currently AWOL from his friends and family, having disappeared after the incident at Eastmoreland. While there have been reports of a scruffy man with a cane popping vicodin like candy and diagnosing the homeless with echinococcosis, gold sodium thiomalate poisoning, haemochromatosis, and zygomycosis at a local shelter, these reports are preliminary.

The family hopes that the authorities can track down Dr. Matthews and with the help of the medical community explain the concept of dramatic license, fiction, television, and medical school. If these efforts are unsuccessful they hope to convince FOX and some of the secondary cast of House to fly in and explain to Matthews that he’s gone too far this time and he's fired.

Exploding satellites hamper climate change efforts

NASA rocket failure blow to Earth watching network
A new satellite to track the chief culprit in global warming crashed into the ocean near Antarctica after launch Tuesday, dealing a major setback to NASA's already weak network for monitoring Earth and its environment from above.

The $280 million mission was designed to answer one of the biggest question marks of global warming: What happens to the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide spewed by the burning of coal, oil and natural gas? How much of it is sucked up and stored by plants, soil and oceans and how much is left to trap heat on Earth, worsening global warming?

"It's definitely a setback. We were already well behind," said Neal Lane, science adviser during former President Bill Clinton's administration. "The program was weak and now it's really weak."
What's that? An expensive satellite sent to monitor global climate change exploded during launch, spewing even more carbon dioxide into the air, and denting our Mother Earth with craters full of flaming science debris?

Bjørn Lomborg 1 - Al Gore 0

The satellite plummeted to earth after it's protective covering didn't jettison, rendering it to heavy to break orbit. It appears rocket science is as difficult as it seems. The $280 million fire crater was meant to be the one positive step the US had made towards global monitoring efforts and one of the lone bright spots for earth monitoring period. Luckily the stimulus package provided NASA with an extra $400 million for Earth sciences, so now they have to decide if they want to spend some of that money rebuilding the satellite or proceed with a more costly and advanced follow up......which will also probably explode in the ionosphere.

Hopefully the President will not only pony up some scratch to NASA for better Earth monitoring, but finally get NASA to get us some goddamn moon bases and a Mars program. Talk about a stimulus, how expensive would it be to build shit on the moon and go to Mars?

Now all we're left with is the only true way to monitor global warming: conservative douches looking outside, seeing whether it's too cold for a particular season, then sneering about myths and Al Gore being fat. It's science!

I have altered the Warhol. Pray I do not alter it any further.

The Vader Project - a reimagining of the iconic Darth Vader helmet by some of today’s hottest underground and pop surrealist painters, artists and designers - makes its museum premiere and will be on display February 13 – May 3, 2009 at The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

EDIT: Some local coverage and pictures at Vinyl Pulse

Finally we're giving back to Mexico

U.S. Is Arms Bazaar for Mexican Cartels
The Mexican agents who moved in on a safe house full of drug dealers last May were not prepared for the fire power that greeted them.

When the shooting was over, eight agents were dead. Among the guns the police recovered was an assault rifle traced back across the border to a dingy gun store here called X-Caliber Guns.

Now, the owner, George Iknadosian, will go on trial on charges he sold hundreds of weapons, mostly AK-47 rifles, to smugglers, knowing they would send them to a drug cartel in the western state of Sinaloa. The guns helped fuel the gang warfare in which more than 6,000 Mexicans died last year.

Mexican authorities have long complained that American gun dealers are arming the cartels. This case is the most prominent prosecution of an American gun dealer since the United States promised Mexico two years ago it would clamp down on the smuggling of weapons across the border. It also offers a rare glimpse of how weapons delivered to American gun dealers are being moved into Mexico and wielded in horrific crimes.
Mexico: we don't want your damned people walking over here and doing our menial labor in the fields and restaurants of America.....but if you want sneak over here just for the purpose of buying guns from us and slaughtering each other and innocents in a fevered drug war? Be our guests, pesos spend as good as any currency. Cash overrides fear of Aztlan any day.

Unsurprisingly the cartels do this because not only are our gun laws waaaaay looser than Mexico's (thank you Chuck Heston) we also don't care if you're clearly not a citizen when you buy enough guns to arm a militia. We only care that you're not a citizen if you are trying to cook food, pick food, work construction, or clean someone's house. What will we do about it? Probably nothing, because then we'd be infringing on the 2nd Amendment, which in addition to covering terrorist suspects probably also covers Mexican drug cartels.

If you're interested in just what exactly our weapons are fueling this time, I urge you to click over to the LA Times series on Mexico's drug war, a near daily account of violent murders, shootouts, and street wars.

We need cash...stat!

G.M. Loses $9.6 Billion as Its Struggles Continue
The automaker General Motors said Thursday that its cash reserves were down to $14 billion at the end of 2008, a year when the industry’s worst sales slump in decades nearly forced the company into bankruptcy before the federal government gave it a lifeline.

G.M. lost $30.9 billion, or $53.32 a share, in 2008 and spent $19.2 billion of its cash reserves.

For the fourth quarter, it lost $9.6 billion, or $15.71 a share, as its global sales fell 26 percent. It spent $6.2 billion of its reserves — $2 billion a month — in the fourth quarter alone. The company has said in the past that it needed a minimum of $11 billion to $14 billion in reserves to finance operations, but the estimates were made before the recent drop in auto sales and cuts by G.M. in response.
Wait, people still aren't buying GM cars? Rick Wagoner drove in a hybrid for you ingrates! From Detroit to Washington! He pretended to know what an electric car was! He said hydrogen! Fuel cell! You still have the nerve not to buy his cars? Fine, now he's going to have to reduce himself to begging from Barry even harder. Are you happy now? Has he debased himself enough now?

Luckily he gets to grovel in private this time as today he meets with his new overlords Barry, Timmy Geithner (tax-cheat), and Law-Dog Summers. Rick has already promised to garrote Saturn, Hummer, and Saab, and has commenced pleading with the greedy unions, whose workers make upwards of $700 a second to grab ass with the robots building the cars and organize beer league softball teams, to stop holding them to the deals they signed. Hopefully Barry will deign to have pity on this pitiable CEO, who by the fickle combination of an economic crisis and decades of poor management has been left with only billions in cash reserves and hunks of useless metal cluttering the eyelines of a disinterested buying populace. Let's hope Barry has a couple billions worth of mercy for this poor man.

The dance begins

The other night the President gave a lengthy set of policy proposals and laws to enact his insane vision of such things as health care, environmental policy, and banking regulation. Well surprise of all surprises, like the rats returning to Capistrano to eat the dead swallows, the lobbyists and bag men for these industries have flocked to Washington lest our crazy black President actually make our lives better.
The day after Mr. Obama formally laid out his policy goals in his first address to Congress, the former chief executive of HCA Inc. unveiled a $20 million campaign to pressure Democrats to enact health-care legislation based on free-market principles.

"What you see is when the government gets involved, you run out of money and health care gets rationed," former CEO Richard Scott said Wednesday, after announcing the creation of Conservatives for Patients Rights.

Mr. Obama's ambitious agenda...threatens to disrupt the business models of a broad swath of America's biggest companies.
The agriculture lobby quickly recoiled Wednesday against President Obama's vow to "end direct payments to large agribusinesses that don't need them," though industry leaders and farm-state legislators weren't sure which government payments they'll have to defend.
Meanwhile, an alliance of electric utilities, coal and mining companies said it will spend as much as $40 million to make sure Congress approves a global-warming plan with funding for technology to reduce emissions that includes carbon capture and storage at coal-fired plants. In his speech, Mr. Obama called for a $15 billion-a-year investment in clean-energy sources, including clean coal.
Conservative for Patients Rights? Those poor patients. In any event it's money spent lobbying they probably don't have to spend. If it goes like any other health reform, it'll be fucked up and a failure long before voting happens. You have the right to get fucked on a schedule of the health insurance industry's making. Good to see the farm industry is at least a little worried, seeing as they're the biggest welfare queens on the block and a whole raft of terrible environmental, economic, and health polices stems from the fact that we pay agribusiness to produce more than we need and artificially drive prices down on a litany of products with needless subsidies. But don't listen to me on that, listen to Michael Pollan.

Nice to see we're still going to fall for the clean coal bullshit. Millions and potentially billions on a plan that not only doesn't exist, won't exist for 2 decades at least, but is based around the idea that instead of pumping carbon into the air, let's just pump it into the ground. It's funny that the free market people all go quiet when some mentions regulating carbon emissions with a cap and trade system. Just build the smokestack facing down and pump that shit, it's the mole people's problem now.

At least we have a front line of stalwart heroes in Congress ready to stand against such incursions. LOLlerskates! No, most of this stuff is coming out of any budget because it's too esoteric for our betters to understand, while campaign donations, free plane rides, and high pitched whining from men in expensive suits isn't. Hopefully Barry is willing to fight to keep it in. We'll see...a man can dream...about decent food policy. Alright, it's a lame dream, but it's still worthwhile.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Broken In Brief: Jindal apparently unaware he is completely full of shit

Above: Jindal shakes hands with his head speechwriter

BATON ROUGE--In delivering the GOP response to President Obama's first address to a joint session of Congress last night, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal stressed his party's commitment to a new era of personal responsibility, limited government, and a seeming inability to acknowledge blatant contradictions at the core of his political philosophy.

Jindal opened his response by recounting his immigrant parents' ceaseless optimism and belief that "Americans can do anything," before accusing the institutional manifestation of their collective will of being unable to do anything.

Slipping into the boilerplate Republican argument that government has never accomplished any public good in all of recorded history, ever, Jindal assailed the President's assertion that the country can be righted by collective action directed at the nation's biggest problems. The governor then proclaimed, "Americans can do anything. When we pull together, there's no challenge we can't overcome."

Jindal continued, "Nothing is out of our reach, so long as we work together from a safe distance and refrain from providing federal funding for publican education, scientific research, or infrastructure improvement. To engage in such pluralism would undermine the very individualistic ethos upon which this country's founding fathers, in a historic moment of unity, compromise, and self-sacrifice, first launched this great Ship of State."

This reporter was unable to pose follow-up questions, as he was still striking himself between the eyes with a cudgel at press time.



The whole world, it seems, wants to know: What kind of dog are the Obamas getting and, for goodness sake, when?

Speaking to PEOPLE at the White House recently, Michelle Obama leaned in and confided: "You're getting some scoops here."

So, when? In April, Mrs. Obama says – after she and the President take daughters Malia, 10, and Sasha, 7, on a vacation for spring break.
And what kind of dog will soon be frolicking on the South Lawn? Mrs. Obama says the family is looking for a rescue Portuguese Water dog who is "old enough" and a "match" for the family dynamic.

"Temperamentally they're supposed to be pretty good," she says of the breed that Sen. Ted Kennedy has also lobbied for (he has two Water dogs of his own). "From the size perspective, they're sort of middle of the road – it's not small, but it's not a huge dog. And the folks that we know who own them have raved about them. So that's where we're leaning."
HOLY FUCK!!!!! Portugese!!! Water!!! Lawn!!! Dog!!! Kennedy!!! Raves!!!! I dare you to not get excited about the biggest break in the most covered story about the Obama's since Barry became President of America and its dogs.

So go back to whatever it is you're doing that is nowhere as cool as getting a puppy, if you can even concentrate on your menial pencil pushing tasks knowing that the Obamas are going to get a dog. What are they going to name it?!?!?!?! I can hardly wait to find out!!!!

When the clock chimes the end is nigh


This is the Corpus Clock at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge. It was invented by John C. Taylor, cost $1 million dollars, involved six new patents, was one of TIME's best inventions of 2008, should be able to run accurately for over 200 years, and is creepy as all unholy fuck. Also: CONSPIRACY!!!!!!!!
John C. Taylor said that the clock “is terrifying. It is meant to be... I view time as not on your side. He’ll eat up every minute of your life...”. He refers to the “Chronophage”, the locust at the top of the clock as “demonic”, and states “Time is gone. He’s eaten it.”

The inscription at the base of this mysterious clock, which incorporates six undisclosed patented inventions, and which had components constructed at a secret military research facility in Holland, is from the Vulgate translation of John 2:17: “Mundus transit et concupiscentia eius”... “The world passeth away, and the lust thereof.”
We, a group of concerned individuals, have since the unveiling of the Corpus Clock been conducting heavy research concerning the creators of this clock, and the strange occult symbolism embedded within it’s design.

We are working to make our research public, in order to inform the public and allow people to draw their own conclusions about this mysterious device and its origins and purpose.
All I'm saying is that when the world ends, and that will probably be soon, this clock will tell us and/or trigger the end times. I just wanted you all to be aware of that and know the horrid face of the creature that devours all time. Wired had a nice video describing how exactly it chews and eats seconds and terrifies children:

This changes nothing

Remember last month when we formally issued articles outlining a Declaration of Hate on the Dating A Banker Anonymous (DABA) support group? While the entire sordid enterprise absolutely reeked of scam, we dove headfirst into the hatefest because, well, this is New York and the notion was not the least bit far-fetched. Turns out the Times done been had.
Editors' Note: February 25, 2009
An article on Jan. 28 about women who commiserated over dating Wall Street bankers caught in the financial crisis described a group they had formed, Dating a Banker Anonymous, as a support group. That is the name of their blog. Its creators originally told The Times that about 30 women had participated, but since publication, they have said that all involved were friends. Laney Crowell, one of the women who started the blog, said in the article that it was “very tongue in cheek;” she has since described it as a satire that embellishes true experiences for effect. Had the nature of the blog been made clear at the outset, the article would have described it accordingly, not as a support group.
So it's not a "support group," per se, but rather a blog that "embellishes true experiences." Fuck that. The hate remains. This city becomes more tolerable every time one of these people loses his or her job and has to move the hell out. TB will run no correction, no retraction. Only more hate. Hate hate hate.

Twitter must be stopped

It appears simple blogging is not good enough for our elected betters. No, blogging would mean sentences and paragraphs and writing and possibly feedback. They've found something much more insidious for their monosyllabic use: Twitter. The 140 character behemoth has swept the halls of Congress, infected our leaders with it's brevity and seeming cutting edge communication possibility, and in turn infecting us with their poorly thought out ramblings about nothing.
"One doesn't want to sound snarky, but it is nice not to see Cheney up there," Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) announced as Obama entered the chamber.

"I did big wooohoo for Justice Ginsberg," Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) broadcast, misspelling the name of the ailing Supreme Court justice. McCaskill could be seen applauding with BlackBerry in one hand.

"Capt Sully is here -- awesome!" announced Rep. John Culberson (R-Tex.), spotting the US Airways pilot in the gallery.

Then there was Rep. Joe Barton (R-Tex.), in whose name this text message was sent at about the time the president spoke of the need to pull the country together: "Aggie basketball game is about to start on espn2 for those of you that aren't going to bother watching pelosi smirk for the next hour." A few minutes later, another message came through: "Disregard that last Tweet from a staffer."
They don't have time to run our country competently or pay attention to a speech, but they have time to tap away on their Blackberry's. Unsurprisingly Republicans have convinced themselves this is the future and have trying to meld with Twitter in an attempt for it to be the first technological advancement since radio that didn't leave them behind. Can their genius and ideas be confined to 140 characters? See the oncoming future, we're mere steps away from grunted out, sentence long interviews.

So enjoy your new dialogue with your leaders, America. Fitting they chose the shortest communications advance with the least feedback to get excited about. It's all wasted time anyway, we know Sen. Ellis of Bloody England is the only elected representative worth following on Twitter.

The non-state of the union

Barry gave his pseudo SotU last night and there was much rejoicing. He confused America by appearing calm, collected, rational and he baffled us by talking to us as if we were adults and explained his plans and reasoning to us in much the same way. After eight years of "They hate your freedom. We are awesome" goo goo gaga childspeak it was at time horrifying and confusing. If he talks to us like we're adults, then don't we have to act like adults? Terrible. Barry talked about the economy, jobs, energy, bipartisanship, greed, torture, health care, and about messing with Joe Biden. There were 37 standing ovations and 65 applause breaks. Additionally someone installed an electric shocker on Nancy Pelosi's seat, causing her to jolt up excitedly after every sentence the President completed. 30,000 volts in the anus makes you excited about change.

The early review are in and Obama won the speech overwhelmingly or something. People liked it as both Democrats, Independants, and Republicans gave him high marks for the speech, the issues it addressed, and applying electrical shocks to Congressional members. Barry apparently killed it on taxes, Iraq, and the deficit. While some are even saying that the pre and post polling saw a 14 point jump in his popularity. Which is all meaningless as I can't remember there ever being a SotU that people came away hating. Talk is cheap, let's see if he can actually live up to the words. Furthermore this will hardly make a difference with Republicans he has to win over in the House or Senate, as the polling was not done of people from the 1950's.

Then there was Louisiana Governor and part-time exorcist Bobby Jindal's response. In his defense these are usually terrible.....and his was as well. He decided to take the opposite path Obama did, talking to us as if we were five year olds. Slow five year olds who couldn't realize that his speech was the same one Republicans have been giving since time immemorial. Government is the problem, we trust the people, tax cuts, Reagan, boo liberalism, volcano monitoring is for suckers, government is the problem. Maybe not the volcano thing. He also somehow tried to use Hurricane Katrina against the black Democrat President. Points for effort. He also talked like Kenneth from 30 Rock. When the words 'amateurish', 'laughable', and 'awkward' are thrown around, you know you've just springboarded to the top of the GOP's 2012 list. Someone's going to have to out hokey, out religious, and out folksy Sarah Palin and Bobby Jindal thinks he's the man to do it. Godspeed.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Headline of the day

Scandal-plagued Republican says Burris should resign

Is it bad when a guy who rails hookers for a decade and refuses to give up his senate seat after he's caught thinks you need to resign? Is it bad when he's right? Is it bad when Dick Durbin agrees?

Don't worry Roland, you still were technically a senator. If you resign you still get to carve it on your monument to yourself.

See you later Iraq, keep in touch

US Troops To Leave Iraq By August 2010: Officials
The United States will withdraw most of its troops from Iraq by August 2010, 19 months after President Barack Obama's inauguration day, according to administration officials who expect Obama to make the announcement this week.

The withdrawal plan would fulfill one of Obama's central campaign pledges, albeit a little more slowly than he promised. He said he would withdraw troops within 16 months, roughly one brigade a month from the time of his inauguration.

The U.S. military would leave behind a residual force, between 30,000 and 50,000 troops, to continue advising and training Iraqi security forces. Also staying beyond the 19 months would be intelligence and surveillance specialists and their equipment, including unmanned aircraft, according to two administration officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because the plan has not been made public.
Yeah, it turns out we're still in Iraq. I forgot too. We're apparently going to be out of that war we all forgot about when our money died. Though really, 19 months instead of 16? I cry disillusionment, Mr. President! This is not what I voted for when I pretended that I voted.

Still I think it's quite honorable that the President has hewn so closely to his pledge to surrender to Islam and disgrace our troops with his cowardly white hankie waving. Some promises mean something and Barack clearly meant his promise to weaken our nation with liberal cowardice.

Luckily we won't actually save any of that money that we won't be spending on war, we have to give it to banks now. Oh we'll still need some cash to complete the never ending task of training Iraqi police and security forces, Predator drone polish, sedatives and psychotherapy for Michael Ware, and for new satellites we need to send up so we can really get a good view of Iraq's impending civil war and proxy/actual war with Iran. The rest of that money is Merrill Lynchs'.

I think we all need to pause and thank President Bush for this multi-year odyssey. It turns out that by steadfastly staying with a failed strategy and refusing to listen to the people who elected you, you can slowly sap the will of those people until they can barely be bothered to care what happens to that thing they were so enraged about a few months previous. It helps when you also simultaneously shoot the economy in the head. Thanks Mr. Former-President, we only have 19 months left to enjoy your spit in our mouths.

I call bullshit

Ben "Stacks O' Cash" Bernanke:
U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Tuesday that the recession should end this year and 2010 "will be a year of recovery," if actions taken by the government lead to some stabilization in financial markets.
Pretty big fuckin' "if" there Ben. "If everything gets fixed then everything will be fixed." But I'm sure that this is a statement you will never come to regret and won't be carved onto your tombstone if it's wrong.

Actually, the good news is if you live long enough when you die we probably still won't be using stone to mark graves, we'll just let bodies rot where they fall, lest we expend precious energy on something other than survival. Even if you do get a gravestone, soon things such as society and literacy won't even exist, so you're safe on that count too. Fuck it, make all the "everything is fixed" predictions you want, accountability doesn't exist anymore.

The populist rage of the rich white idiot

Maybe you haven't heard about Rick Santelli. He's a reporter for CNBC who reports from the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. He gave a huge rant against the stimulus bill because it had the nerve to try to help people avoid foreclosure. According to Santelli, this entire crisis is the fault of homeowners who have beleaguered poor financial companies, banks, and traders with their incompetence. Helping them is COMMUNISM!!! He stood up for all the downtrodden brokers and derivatives traders and said "The poor won't push around the rich anymore!", advocated a revolution, and as he finished the millionaire traders he was surrounded by broke into applause.

Of course he's an idiot and an obvious one. Robert Gibbs, Obama's press secretary pointed it out rather bluntly in the middle of taking big bites out of Santelli's lunch. Of course Santelli responded by crying about it and claiming that the White House is trying to intimidate him and scare his children. In true cognitively dissonant fashion he did it on the talk show of G. Gordon Liddy, a man who knows a little about White House intimidation and conspiring to kill political opponents.

Now he's being persecuted for his beliefs that the rich are genetically superior to the poor and molecularly blameless. All he's advocating is that the rich bankers and traders overthrow the government and that same government has the nerve to point out that he has absolutely no idea what he's talking about. It happened to Gandhi, MLK, and Jesus, now it's happening to Robert Santelli. This is what happens when you try to stand up for the......trodders? What's the phrase I'm searching for? The people who trod on the poor making them downtrodden. Them. When there's no one left to speak for the incredibly wealthy, then we're all in trouble. We salute you Mr. Santelli.

Broken News: New York City ponders Decency Tax

NEW YORK--Faced with a $4 billion gap in the city budget that begins July 1, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced today that the city was considering taxing individuals whose behavior smacks of basic human decency.

As the Bloomberg administration waits to see how much of the federal economic stimulus package will make its way to New York, sources close to the administration claim that this option, which is being seriously considered, would levy a tax against any New York City resident found to be "conducting themselves in a manner indicating respect for the dignity of another human being."

The city has seen its fortunes dwindle with the collapse of the financial industry, upon which approximately 97% of the local economy depended. The budget shortfall has prompted city hall to look into slashing funds for everything from law enforcement to public schools to the day trader prostitute reimbursement program.

"We are quickly getting to the point where we might have no other choice," explained Bloomberg spokesperson Craig Ferlster. "And when members of this administration, day after day, peer through the tinted windows of our government-issue Lincoln Town Cars at a distinct lack of condescension and disdain for one's fellow citizens, we are compelled to take action."

"It all traces back to this economic collapse," explained Ferlster. "Our streets used to be packed with middle management assholes and trust fund scumbags who worked at these financial behemoths. When Wall Street went tits up, not only did we lose the tax revenue from these martini lunch cocksuckers, but the downturn either forced them out of the city or humbled them so thoroughly that their sense of entitlement has vanished. Without the financial industry to drag them down, niceness and decency are rising unimpeded and we have to seize the opportunity to tax the shit out of them."

Bolstering the mayor's case is a recent study commissioned by the People's Regulatory Initiative for the Constraint of Kindness (PRICK), a non-partisan think tank funded by the New York State Republican Party. The findings point to a sustained drop in class-based animus stretching back to October 2007, with the most drastic shortfall coming over the last six months.

City Deputy Treasurer Glen Hirschfeld allowed a hypothetical examination of the situation, noting that it was, "Important we preserve this great city's unrivaled reputation for rewarding wealth, punishing poverty, and encouraging all those in between to violently judge each other on largely irrelevant and fluctuating cultural trivia. And there's no reason we can't turn a buck doing it. After all, we need to keep cops on the corner, right? I'm asking that as a real question. We're legally mandated to provide police protection, right? We are? Fuck. Tax 'em!"

Surprisingly, New York's extensive non-profit sector had little comment on the proposed policy. Gus Freeman, lead organizer at the South Brooklyn Food Bank, commented, "Well, a general lack of decency pretty much explains why that motherfucker is mayor in the first place, so I can't say I'm exactly shocked. Only thing that surprises me is that he didn't try to levy some type of fine on charitable donations."

The general sentiment coming out of City Hall was echoed by several New York residents. Battery Park resident Marissa Florentine commented, "I am so, like, on board with this. Last week I was in line at Cain Luxe -- you know, that place where Lauren and Audrina from "The Hills" hang out? -- and when the doorman turned away this chick wearing Marc Jacobs at what was clearly a Ronen Chen spot, well, he was all, like, polite about it. I don't think she even saw me sneer."

Jacobs himself agreed. Speaking from the Kedem Sasson show in Bryant Park, the fashion icon explained, "I used to be able to walk down 6th Ave. and publicly defecate on anyone I caught with frayed blue jean bottoms or a 'Big Dog' t-shirt. In fact, it was part of my Fashion Week keynote address for several years."

Even former New York Mayor, Lenny Clotch, agrees with the impetus behind the Decency Tax. Speaking from his home upstate, Clotch said, "Being miserable and treating other people like dirt is every New Yorker's God-given right!"

Bloomberg hopes this tax will allow the city to continue funding essential services such as protecting the subway line from CHUD and homeless army incursions, completing the forced sterilization of Williamsburg, and acquiring a 3rd base-side luxury box at the new Yankee Stadium to go with the one behind home plate. City Hall aims to have the tax in place by the end of March.

Oh yeah, the State of the Union

Well, OK technically the speech that guys in their first month of office to Congress isn't called the State of the Union Address, but really all the same elements are there. President, Congress, speech, legislative proposals, TV audience. And what a state the union is in, the state of freefall. While some are hoping for a more...uh...hopeful tone, he is going to be talking about proposals that have to get past Republicans. So expect this speech to take on the tone of a hostage negotiation, where the chief of police has to try to get the deranged leader and his elite team of mercs to release the hostages before they blow up the building and kill everyone. The White House has addressed some preliminary points Barry will touch upon.
The economy, in its worst tailspin in decades, will dominate. Obama will touch on foreign policy, but that will largely be left for other upcoming speeches. This will not be a rollout of one policy initiative after another.

Obama will make clear that the trillion-dollar-plus deficit is one he "inherited." In other words, he wants to remind people that President George W. Bush and the previous Congress left him a big hole, forcing him to pursue the costly stimulus package.

The president will push for movement on ensuring health coverage for all Americans. He will seek to expand educational opportunities, and diversify the country's energy sources, and contain sacred entitlements like Social Security, and halve the soaring budget deficit in four years.
Ah yes, 15 minutes of "Things will get better" followed by another 15 of "That motherfucker Bush caused all of this. J'ACCUSE!!!!!!!" Then he moves on to things that will invariably not get passed, like healthcare, because ~socialism~ and someone like Ben Nelson or Olympia Snowe thinks it sounds too expensive. Round it out with a plea to halve the deficit by either cutting spending or overseeing the dissolution of the United States and this shouldn't go more than an hour. All in all it ought to be good practice for a year from now as he gives his first official SotU in front of a trashcan fire in the burnt out remnants of Washnington.

Monday, February 23, 2009

How far are you willing to go for fashion?

In honor of no longer having to scroll through five fashion week articles every time I load the fucking Times page:

Thank you, Snuff Box.

Of Atlantis and Anacondas

i-want-to-believe copy

OMG! Did Google Earth find Atlantis?
When trolling the oceanographical floorography on Google maps an man, purported to be someone with enough time on his hands to look at ocean topography on Google Maps, saw a what appeared to be a gridded network about the size of Wales on the ocean floor just off the coast of Africa. It was immediately apparent what this man saw: ATLANTA ATLANTIS!!!!!!!! Duh! There is no other explanation. Except for the one Google gave about it being sonar remnants from their ocean floor mapping they did for Google Earth 5.0....which they did in grids. Or the fact that Plato's opium induced deranged ramblings scholarly works described Atlantis as a series of concentric circles.

I think we all know what's going on here. Coverup!!!!! Google wants Atlantis to themselves. This is how it all ends, first Google gets Atlantis, then the Bermuda Triangle, then Nessie, then Bigfoot, then they start genetically breeding them and arming them with the retro-futuristic technology of Atlantis and the ships and planes from the BT. Worrying about Skynet is for amateurs. Worry about Google branded Bigfoots in 1942 fighters with laser guns.

Photograph shows 'giant snake' lurking in Borneo river
Thinking of traveling to Indonesia for a nice vacation? Good, I just hope you like getting eaten by hundred foot long snakes with dagger teeth. They caught a photo of the giant beast as it enjoyed a nice swim down the river to eat a village of cute children. The Telegraph isn't sure if it is really a giant snake, perhaps a boat, or even.....a fake, but they are willing to publish it and run it. Inconclusive aerial photography strikes again!! Already the villagers are terrified, dubbing it Nabau, and will be worshiping it imminently.

I just hope this has given you a proper fear of rivers. Oceans are the domain of giant fucking sharks, rivers are the domain of giant fucking water snakes......and also sharks that swim upstream. Christ, here in Pittsburgh, we've got three rivers. There could be three massive snakes patrolling the waters as we speak, dragging yinzers to their deaths. Stay safe, stay vigilant. The snakes can't eat us all.

Broken In Brief: NFL considers renaming “franchise tag”

NEW YORK—When the NFL created the franchise tag in 1993 it was as a means of enabling teams to keep elite players from entering free agency while ensuring the player would be payed appropriately -- compensation commensurate with the top five paid players at his position. Now with the recent disappointing raft of franchise designations to what outsiders have called “…a combination of kickers, second stringers, no names, and Max Starks” the NFL is considering changing the name of its so called “franchise tag.”

“Yeah, it really has lost all meaning, hasn’t it?” a concerned NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell wondered. “It used to be a way for teams to retain world-class players for one year at an appropriate price. Now teams are just using it to lock up punters. Granted, I am referring to the Bengals, who could hardly be called a 'professional football team,' but still, do teams even know what a franchise player is? Tennessee used it on a tight end and they never throw the ball. St. Louis used theirs on a safety I never heard of and now he’ll get paid like Ed Reed and Troy Polamalu. But the most recent has to be the worst. The Steelers are giving [Offensive Tackle Max] Starks, who can only be loosely defined as a 'lineman,' $8.45 million? I think I just threw up in my mouth a little.”

“Franchise player means ‘…an athlete who is not simply the best player on their team, but a player that the team can build their franchise around for the foreseeable future.’ I fuckin’ got that from Wikipedia. Someone tell the Bengals that’s what it means,” an exasperated Goodell yelled. Throwing up his hands and sighing he finished with an angry and disappointed “C’mon!” before leaving the press conference.

While no concrete name changes have been given, league sources state that several options are on the table, including the “Best of a Bad Lot” tag, the “Oh No You Don’t” tag, the “We’ll Never Let You Leave" tag, the “Where The Fuck Do You Think You're Going?” tag, and the “We Can't Teach Another Guy Our Complex Punting System” tag. Additionally, the "Sorry, But We Forgot to Draft Someone at Your Position" tag, the "Well, We Have All This Extra Cap Space" tag and the "Simply an Average Free Agent" tag are also being kicked around the office.

He says there is a storm coming

Above: The L Train's new conductor

As of tomorrow morning, New York City's L Train, which runs from Rockaway in East Brooklyn to Chelsea in West Pompous Fuckery, will be fully controlled by computers. Sure, there will still be motormen on board the train to "take over if problems arise." You know these motormen. Think of them as the biker bar clientele at the beginning of Terminator 2, but less-educated and unionized.

On the bright side, the L Train is the primary means of access for Williamsburg residents seeking to enter Manhattan. So when the train intentionally crashes itself to signify the beginning of the revolution, I doubt many will notice, apart from the stench of charred fashion stubble and smoldering Converse rubber flowing out of the 1st Ave. stop.
Regardless, the end is extremely fucking nigh.

We still hate you Fleischer

Former Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer poked his head out of of his toad hole over the weekend to remind us that while he can not confirm or deny that he saw his shadow, he is willing to announce a six month extension for Bush officials to bitch about the war.
FLEISCHER: We were wrong about weapons of mass destruction being in Iraq. […]

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

FLEISCHER: You just scratch your head and say, “How could we be wrong?” It wasn’t just us that thought he had weapons of mass destruction. The Egyptians thought it, the French thought it, the Germans thought it the United Nations thought it, Bill Clinton’s CIA though it. We all thought it. Saddam was the big liar here.
It's all Saddam's fault. If he had the weapons we said he had, we wouldn't have been wrong. The logic would be stunning if it weren't the now standard defense of the 'no WMD' problem. Bush didn't lie about WMD's, Saddam lied about having WMD's and poor ole gullible George was suckered into a war he didn't want by that mean old arab. It's the truth. History is the new fiction. Can't wait for next month's tale of how Saddam forged the invasion order.

Krugbot was right

It turns out some in the White House aren't receptive to the idea that not only were their tactics to get the stimulus worthy of criticism, but that all their hard work went into something that, economically speaking, wasn't as useful as it could have been. Perhaps, deep down, they regret not listening to the massive brainpower of one Paul "Make the stimulus bigger for the love of Christ" Krugman and are just bitterly clinging to the fact that it got passed as some sort of affirmation of the rightness of their plan. Like Rahm Emanuel is doing!
“They have never worked the legislative process,” Emanuel said of critics like the Times columnist Paul Krugman, who argued that Obama’s concessions to Senate Republicans—in particular, the tax cuts, which will do little to stimulate the economy—produced a package that wasn’t large enough to respond to the magnitude of the recession. “How many bills has he passed?”
Now, my view is that Krugman as an economist is not wrong. But in the art of the possible, of the deal, he is wrong. He couldn’t get his legislation.”

The stimulus bill was essentially held hostage to the whims of Collins, Snowe, and Specter, but if Al Franken, the apparent winner of the disputed Minnesota Senate race, had been seated in Washington, and if Ted Kennedy, who is battling brain cancer, had been regularly available to vote, the White House would have needed only one Republican to pass the measure. “No disrespect to Paul Krugman,” Emanuel went on, “but has he figured out how to seat the Minnesota senator?” (Franken’s victory is the subject of an ongoing court challenge by his opponent, Norm Coleman, which the national Republican Party has been happy to help finance.) “Write a fucking column on how to seat the son of a bitch. I would be fascinated with that column. O.K.?” Emanuel stood up theatrically and gestured toward his seat with open palms. “Anytime they want, they can have it,” he said of those who are critical of his legislative strategies. “I give them my chair.”
Ah yes, the old "sure he was 100% right, but I'm going to act like a dick and bitch about things that wouldn't have made a difference in the outcome as if they're relevant to the discussion" gambit. Always successful. Always classy.

Fucking Krugman, with his economically astute observations, where does he get off trying to suggest a way to make sure a trillion dollars isn't misspent? The Nobel winning motherfucker can't even seat Al Franken, which while technically more the domain of say.....Harry Reid, is still a massive strike against Krugman. Don't even try and remember that Al Franken wouldn't have made 60 votes and they still would have needed to convince Republicans to join up, nor the fact that it was a couple Dem Senators that went off to play 'centrist', just keep yelling as if having a bad strategy and not getting what the country needed are the fault of a guy who suggested that maybe ceding ground at the start of the process and not even attempting to get the right bill passed weren't the smartest ideas.

For his part, Krugman resisted the urge to fire a gun over Rahm's head and yell "Princeton represent, motherfuckers!"
Eh. The question is why Obama didn't ask for what the economy needed, then bargain from there. My view is that Collins et al would have demanded $100 billion in cuts from whatever they started from; and that's not the case he answers.
Which is econo-speak for "You shit the bed by letting morons dictate the process with random numbers and desires to look like they were doing something. Don't hate a playa for pointing it out!" Here's a suggestion, next time something with the economy goes bad and Krugman starts yelling "Fire!!!" and "Abort!!!!", listen to him in the first place instead of bitching about him after you've decided to go for some half measure.

Fiscal Summit!!!!!

Don't worry everyone, all our problems are solved. President Obama is going to get together with a group of wizened elders to talk about our fiscal problems and brainstrom about solutions to our new life as a debtocracy. Not only is he bringing in experts, financial wizards, and money trolls, he's also bringing in political adversaries, just to make sure nothing important gets done or discussed. At least he's going for small solutions, first on the docket: Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.
President Barack Obama is bringing together dozens of advisers and adversaries to discuss how to curb a burgeoning federal deficit laden with Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid obligations.

Obama's summit at the White House on Monday is the first meeting toward a strategy to address the long-term fiscal health of the nation. The gathering also comes as Obama prepares ambitious plans to cut the federal deficit by half within four years.

"It will require doing all we can to get exploding deficits under control as our economy begins to recover," Obama said in his weekend Internet and radio address. "That work begins on Monday, when I will convene a fiscal summit of independent experts and unions, advocacy groups and members of Congress to discuss how we can cut the trillion-dollar deficit that we've inherited."
Cutting the deficit, step one: don't be in the worst economic crisis since the depression. Step two: don't be in a position where you have to bail out any company with a net worth over $20 bucks, lest their collapse throw you into the stone ages. Step three: some sort of magic, or technology so advanced that it's like magic to us, that fixes the first two problems. Step four: political consensus on deficit cutting.

Of those #4 is the most fantastical, but we'll let Barry figure that out if by some miracle the economy is fixed in the next four years so he can get to his plan of cutting the deficit. This is especially true since part of his big ass plan to reduce the cost of Medicare and Medicaid is a big heaping dose of government run communistical medicine and people have become more popular by shooting orphans in the face than by trying to 'fix' Social Security. But hey, they're all going to get together and talk, I'm sure we'll have a plan hashed out by afternoon tea.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Coming to a Saturday morning near you

From Chip Zdarsky, via Warren Ellis.

He also did this


In a baffling decision, not only did the US Mint decide to keep making pennies, which no one needs and cost more to make than they are worth, but to spruce them up with depictions of Abe Lincoln's life. Pictured are the log cabin he grew up in, reading on a log with his trusty skull bashing mallet at his side, posing for a statue outside the Illinois capitol, and the unfinished US capitol, which was unfinished either because Lincoln destroyed it for laughs or because he was the one who finished building it with his own goddamn bare hands.

The pennies are being put into circulation for Abe's 200th birthday celebration. How about we find another way to honor him, like not making him be on the most useless piece of metal in the US. Maybe have him with his arm around Sacajawea and flashing the peace sign on the dollar coin, or giving Franklin a noogie on the $100, or maybe put two Lincoln's on the five, high fiving. Maybe the second Lincoln is copper colored and they're high fiving because he's finally moved on up off of the penny, I'll let the Mint figure that one out.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Thanks for the breaking news, science

Ladies, I'm sorry to tell you that science has gone out a proven something you probably already knew: men like boobies. Not only that, but a glimpse of them causes the part of our brain that is usually reserved for tool use and first-person action verbs. Action verbs! In an even creepier finding of the study, people who are classified as "hostile sexists" don't even register scantily clad women as humans with thoughts or intentions.

Bikinis Make Men See Women as Objects, Scans Confirm
Brain scans revealed that when men are shown pictures of scantily clad women, the region of the brain associated with tool use lights up.

Men were also more likely to associate images of sexualized women with first-person action verbs such as "I push, I grasp, I handle," said lead researcher Susan Fiske, a psychologist at Princeton University.

And in a "shocking" finding, Fiske noted, some of the men studied showed no activity in the part of the brain that usually responds when a person ponders another's intentions.

This means that these men see women "as sexually inviting, but they are not thinking about their minds," Fiske said. "The lack of activation in this social cognition area is really odd, because it hardly ever happens."
Yeah...uh...about that...uh.....sorry. Yeah, on behalf of men as a gender, sorry. In fairness, it's only some men....and Sean, not all or even most. Our brains make us do it...or the patriarchy, I'm not totally sure on this one. Or, judging by the NG headline, the bikinis themselves make us do it, because clothing is self-aware and has power over thought now. It has something to do with patterns, fabric material, particles, tachyons, and mind control. Bikinis are evidently Skynet.

Again, sorry, and if you...IT'S ALL SEAN'S FAULT!!! I TOLD HIM NOT TO OBJECTIFY WOMEN IN THE MEDIA AND SOCIETY BUT HE DID ANYWAY!!! *sound of running, frantic opening of car door, car engine starting, and screeching tires*

Eat up, America

The Double Bacon Hamburger Fatty Melt: Three bacon-stuffed grilled cheese sandwichs for buns, cheese, bacon and two four-ounce beefs patties.
12 Bird True Love Roast: Contains 12 different kinds of bird: large turkey filled with goose, chicken, pheasant, aylesbury and barbary duck, poussin and guinea fowl, partridge, pigeon squab, quail and mallard duck. Breast meat from 48 different birds + 8 types of stuffing.

Behold the greatest site in the world, This is why you're fat, a collection of the most heart attack inducing items this great nation has to offer. In fact just viewing this page may result in a triple bypass. Just look through the site and try to tell me you didn't classify everything you saw into two categories: things you want to eat right now and things you would step over your dying mother to eat right now. You can't.

Go find a flag and salute it, this is what America is about, not freedom and liberty and shit.

This is the part where we agree with the New York Post

Yeah, I said it. And you read it correctly. While I'm disinclined to perpetuate talk of any kind about the outrage conjured -- and as Matthew noted, it was conjured, out of thin air -- over the Chimp/Stimulus cartoon the Post ran this week, I have to link to the response. If only because you so rarely see such a pithy "shut the fuck up" in editorial form. Even in the New York Post.

My only gripe is that it doesn't begin "Dear Rev. Sharpton..."

Bird found, enjoyed by all

The bird, as it appears on your menu
"Extinct" Bird Seen, Eaten
A rare quail from the Philippines was photographed for the first time before being sold as food at a poultry market, experts say.

Found only on the island of Luzon, Worcester's buttonquail was known solely through drawings based on dated museum specimens collected several decades ago.

Scientists had suspected the species—listed as "data deficient" on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's 2008 Red List—was extinct.
I know that's my first experience when finding rare or previously thought to be extinct animals: document the discovery, then decide on broiling or frying. But there was a benefit to this. People only thought the bird existed, now they know it did/does AND they know it was delicious. A classic win/win if I ever heard of it.

Now someone find out if those Chinese River Dolphins still exist and whether they should be broiled or smoked and served with red or white wine.

Good news in foreign policy

Iran holds enough uranium for bomb
In a development that comes as the Obama administration is drawing up its policy on negotiations with Tehran over its nuclear programme, UN officials said Iran had produced more nuclear material than previously thought.

They said Iran had accumulated more than one tonne of low enriched uranium hexafluoride at a facility in Natanz.

If such a quantity were further enriched it could produce more than 20kg of fissile material – enough for a bomb.
Wait, now you're going to tell me that years of bellicose rhetoric and diplomatic shunning from the Bush Administration didn't have any effect on the nuclear program of Iran? Color me stunned. But good for the UN for keeping tabs on their progress for us. Just one question: more than previously thought? Were you running inspections and missed a pile of uranium behind two fat Iranians? Didn't think they were serious? Found out they stopped giving away uranium as gifts and kept more for themselves? Thought Bush was actually effective? The good news is that countries usually wait to build a nuke when they have the material for multiple bombs, not just one. danger then.

Before Clinton's South Korea Visit, North Korea Steps Up War Rhetoric
North Korea stepped up its war rhetoric Thursday, saying its troops are "fully ready" for war with South Korea, just hours before a visit to Seoul by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

The North's military accused South Korean President Lee Myung-bak of using "nonexistent" nuclear and missile threats as a pretext for an invasion and warned it was prepared for an "all-out confrontation."

The strident statement carried on state-run media comes amid reports that the North is preparing to test-fire a long-range missile and as Clinton heads to Seoul for talks Friday that are expected to focus on North Korea.
Look who decided to get back in the game! Threatening war and invasion while test firing a missile while Hill-dawg parties diplomatic-style in Seoul. We missed you. Of course all your missiles can do is get test fired into the ocean and, barring you finding actual food to feed your people, I doubt your army even has the strength to fight, let alone the weaponry. But hey, good news, Kim Jong-Il had a stroke and is almost dead, so I'm sure we won't have to find any of these things out before there's a massive power struggle for his throne and shoes with the 5 inch lifts.

Jesus hates the stimulus

This is the ad currently being run by the American Issues Project, you might remember them as the classy group that ran Obama/Ayers ads referencing 9/11. Now they've brought Jesus along for the ride, because we all know how much He hated deficit spending. But I think it's cute that in an ad using Jesus they still took the time to reference a fake CBO report, and lie about the fact that the actual spending in the bill is actually much less than the number of days since the birth of Jesus. I guess to Jesus, tax cuts are the same as spending. But why quibble over details, didn't Jesus preach that lying is OK, as long as the ends justify the means? They also don't seem to understand the concept of spending creating jobs and spending them on projects like fish hatcheries creates jobs as well as getting useful things done. But as our blue eyed, blonde haired Lord said: "one dost not have to know about something before one spouts off about it, lest it may hinder and effort to help those who art conservative."

Frankly I'm just mad they couldn't wedge a 9/11 reference in there. "Over $780 billion spent and not one dollar to honor those who perished on 9/11! President Obama and Congressional liberals, have you no shame?" Maybe ad #2.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Us and our wars

On drugs and crime and, sure, piracy...
Stockholm, Sweden - The website of the international record label trade group IFPI was hacked on Thursday, with hackers posting a message on the site decrying the group's involvement in the case against Swedish file-sharing hub The Pirate Bay, which entered its fourth day of proceedings in court, Billboard reported.

"The ruthless hunt conducted by the IFPI, Anti-Piracy Office, Warner Bros., and all the other companies with a pawn in the game now resulted in a trial in which four innocent men are accused of copyright infringement. This is a declaration of war against anti-piracy outfits and the industry players behind them," read the note left by hackers.
So... when the means by which you enforce your notion of right-and-wrong are compromised, what exactly do you do? How do you address this, in my opinion, fucking hilarious exercise of collective intellectual will?

I'm assuming it will involve lawsuits and former high school football stars with body armor and shotguns.

For drinks or for killing without a trace

Ever wish you had a method of not only killing your enemies without a trace while also at the same time providing a nice cool down on a hot summer day? We all have, and thanks to the fine people at Find me a we now have that capability. Use them wisely.

h/t Like Cool

Stay classy, Rush

It's not been the best of weeks for one Rush Limbaugh. Oxycontin prices go through the roof and then he dropped his meatball sub and it rolled under the couch. Then this happened:
So you don't subscribe to Rush Limbaugh's "I hope he fails" school of thought?

That was a terrible thing to say. I mean, he's the president of all the country. If he succeeds, the country succeeds. And if he doesn't, it hurts us all. Anybody who would pull against our president is not exactly thinking rationally.
The man who surmised Rush wasn't rational? Pat Robertson, a man who claimed he could leg press 2000 pounds with the power of Jesus, claims acceptance of evolution is rejection of God, called for the assassination of Hugo Chavez, and claimed Scotland was a "dark land" overrun by homosexuals, thought Rush was going to far in openly wishing for the collapse of this country.

But that didn't deter Rush, no he's too smart to become wary when nutball evangelicals start distancing themselves from him, he decided to riff today on Democrats:
At this point, at this point Gretchen, I don't care about the why. They're not going to leave. They're trying to control it. At this point, the only thing is they must be stopped!
Within the confines of our Constitution, and the political arena of ideas, they must be stopped. I don't care why they see this country the way they see it. I don't care why a murderer does it. I don't care why a rapist does it.
Democrats are just like rapists and murderers. Wonderful as always Rush. Keep it up, the Republican party needs your wisdom and brilliant ideas.

Bismark: Where a woman's rights go to die

Above: A North Dakotan

In their defense, I can't see there being much else to do in North Dakota beyond arguing over legislation that would grant a zygote the same rights I have.
BISMARCK, N.D. -- A measure approved by the North Dakota House gives a fertilized human egg the legal rights of a human being, a step that would essentially ban abortion in the state.

The bill is a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court decision that extended abortion rights nationwide, supporters of the legislation said.

Representatives voted 51-41 to approve the measure Tuesday. It now moves to the North Dakota Senate for its review.
Eh, I'm in a good mood today, so I'll accentuate the positive. How nice is it to learn that there are 41 people in the North Dakota House who realize how fucking stupid this is? Surprising, yeah?

Dinosaurs 'special hugging' robots

From Team Tiger Awesome comes the new bizarre internet meme that's sweeping the nation: Dinosaurs Fucking Robots.
\\A showcase where artists and comedians can come together and make pictures of... dinosaurs fucking robots... with inspirational phrases.\\
Believe in yourself.

The Republican makeover

There are times when you hate the Republican party, scientists call those "most times", but then there are times when you are glad for their very existence. Such as the times they say stuff like this with a straight face:
"We need messengers to really capture that region - young, Hispanic, black, a cross section ... We want to convey that the modern-day GOP looks like the conservative party that stands on principles. But we want to apply them to urban-surburban hip-hop settings."
Steele recently said that President Obama's stimulus was just "bling bling."
As to applying GOP principles to "hip-hop settings", what else can you do? Your members are rich, flaunt wealth, horde guns, and are always in trouble with the law. That's a rhyming couplet away from being T.I. I know it's tough being unliked and unhip and reduced to trumpeting uniform opposition as an achievement. But for the love of God don't go down this path:

No one wins when political parties try to "rap" with "the kids".