Saturday, October 28, 2006

Raging Vortex of Weirdness

The raging vortex of weirdness descended today upon the place I work part-time for a little extra cash. First, a truck went through our carwash. Apparently the goof driving didn't expect the storm windows lying in the bed to fall out onto the carwash tracks and cause it to be out-of-order for two hours.

Then, the ATM went off-line.

Then, three gas pumps rejected credit cards simultaneously ... and refused to take them even though later inside they were found to be good.

Later, after the car wash had been fixed, a bolt snapped on a counter-weight bar and 400 pounds of weights landed on the car wash floor, leaving an indentation that my co-worker described thusly, "Like the depression in the ground where Superman lands after being pummeled by some huge space creature."

Then I actually won $15 in scratch-offs.

I'm home now. Fortunately for me and my wife, she's already seven months pregnant ... no longer any chance for twins.

Friday, October 27, 2006

It is Bullshit!

Tom Tomorrow is spot on.

The depravity of conservatives, and the willingness of the media to indulge it, never ceases to amaze me. In a rational society, when a drug-addled gasbag radio host mocks an actor with a debilitating disease, the ensuing discussion would revolve around said drug-addled gasbag’s many, many faults as a human being, not least of which being his ready willingness to mock the handicapped. Rather than treating his uninformed speculation as beneath contempt, however, people are actually discussing whether Michael J. Fox’s symptoms are as bad as they look in these campaign commercials. I know that the media are amoral predators, constantly alert for any hint of blood in the water, but I guess I’m still naive enough to wish that occasionally Keith Olbermann wouldn’t be the only person in the entire industry willing to call bullshit when the odor is rank enough to make you gag.

But I’m also naive enough to imagine that this will backfire as spectacularly as the Terry Schiavo circus did. Seriously, Republicans — you want to rally around the drug-addled gasbag hatemonger in his war against the beloved actor with the debilitating disease — please, by all means, go for it.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Dueling Sad Songs

Having just finished listening to The Dears at Pundit Nation, I offer this sad song for my listener. This YouTube effort includes some sappy pictures, but the music is pure Prine.

Conservatism: A Definition

“The modern conservative is engaged in one of man’s oldest exercises in moral philosophy: that is the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness.”

-- John Kenneth Galbraith

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


This is powerful ... by Keith Olberman. Any Republican or conservative who still supports this administration is just as culpable in the Bush administration's continuing effort to frighten and terrorize its fellow citizens.

It's Our Home

Listen to the wombat.

h/t Bob Harris

The Other Shoe

The Republican National Committee today announced a new series of ads with Rush Limbaugh as the centerpiece. The ads will feature Limbaugh speaking about the need to increase funding for rehab centers for wealthy Republican donors and politicians.

A pre-screening of one of the ads was shown to media representatives on the east and west coasts. Most shocking about the ads was the vision of Limbaugh drooling puddles on his lap. He also fell off his chair twice. The second time he fell while apparently trying to push away from, what was later determined to be, killer butterflys wearing Cubs hats. He also mumbled something about the where-a-bouts of his personal physician or physicians. It was hard to discern.

There was also a question whether the audio was a voice over, and not truly Limbaugh’s voice … considering his mouth was full of saliva and tiny round and white objects, there is some credence to that.

Republicans immediately attacked the media for distorting the ad and ignoring the important message that Limbaugh had to convey. When confronted with the fact the only possible message that could be garnered from the ad was “Don’t take drugs,” and “Rush Limbaugh is a drug-addled sot,” Republican objections soon faded away. However, Democratic candidates across the nation asked for permission to air the ads. As one high-profile candidate said, "We're all for exposing the need for rehab centers."

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

With Friends Like These ....

Want to know who Big Oil likes the most. Ask Jim Jubak.

Think it's a matter of chance that we don't have a meaningful national energy policy? Wondering why oil and gas companies don't pay higher royalties to the Treasury now that oil is over $55 a barrel? Amazed that Washington loves to talk about energy research with promise 15 years down the road, but won't put significant money into alternative technologies that could reduce energy consumption now?

For answers to all those questions and more, just follow the money. Nothing about U.S. energy policy should be a surprise if you know where the money's been going and which legislators have taken the biggest payouts from the energy industry. So don't miss your only chance in the next two years -- the Nov. 7 election -- to tell Congress what you think of its sellout to the energy companies.
And here's the list of Big Oil's 10 favorite Congress members:

1 - Hutchison, Kay Bailey, R-Texas - Senate - $258,361
2 - Burns, Conrad, R-Mont. - Senate - $188,775
3 - Santorum, Rick, R-Pa. - Senate - $188,120
4 - Bode, Denise, R-Okla. - House $153,650
5 - Allen, George, R-Va. - Senate - $148,600
6 - Talent, James M., R-Mo. - Senate - $147,470
7 - Cornyn, John, R-Texas - Senate - $142,750
8 - Barton, Joe, R-Texas - House - $138,450
9 - Hastert, Dennis, R-Ill. - House - $122,200
10 - Pombo, Richard, R-Calif. - House - $121,340

Data from the FEC as of Sept. 11, 2006. Compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics.

As Gomer Pyle was often heard to say: “Surprise, surprise, surprise.”


This about Jim Jubak:

Jim Jubak is senior markets editor for MSN Money. Previously, he served as senior financial editor at Worth magazine and as editor of Venture magazine. Jubak was a Bagehot Business Journalism Fellow at Columbia University and has written two books: "The Worth Guide to Electronic Investing" and "In the Image of the Brain: Breaking the Barrier Between the Human Mind and Intelligent Machines." As an investor, he says he believes the conventional wisdom is always wrong -- but that he will nonetheless go with the herd if he believes there's a profit to be made. His column Jubak's Journal appears on MSN Money every Tuesday and Friday. He lives in New York.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Gomer Pyle Does the White Album

A friend e-mailed this to me. I managed to make it half way through before the urge to chew off my arms began to overwhelm me. I offer this Jim Nabors and Leslie Uggams duet from her early 1970s replacement show, for those who are stronger.

No Friend of the Death Penalty

I have been contemplating a post regarding the referendum vote this Novemeber 7 on the death penalty and whether it should be reinstated in Wisconsin. My argument has always been twofold: We should not place ourselves in the role of god (or God, for those annoyed by the small "g") and what if an innocent is executed? There is no going back.

I asked a person I know (staunchly conservative) the question about innocence some time ago and his response was a cold-hearted, "So What. Accidents happen." The answer and its callousness astounded me. I guess I should not have been surprised. Like chickenhawk conservatives who support the fiasco in Iraq from afar, though they could serve, too many conservatives are ready to throw the switch ... damn the consequences.

James Wigderson, author of Wigderson Library & Pub, is different. He has written an excellent piece in the Waukesha Freeman on the demerits of reinstating the death penalty. I initially thought it odd that James would be on the con side of this debate, considering he is a staunch conservative. But thinking it over, his being against the death penalty is consistent with his views, and if there is one thing I know about James it's he is consistent.

How is James consistent? James is consistent in his views on abortion and the death penalty ... in both cases, his belief is to stand with life. Without getting into an abortion debate (we disagree about abortion, though I suspect we have more in common that we think) his consistency is admirable ... an area, in my opinion, in which far too many conservative fall short.

And, to be fair, some liberals.

Who Does He Think He Is? Gandalf?

This is weird. From Jonathan Schwarz at This Modern World.

A short letter to Pennsylvania

Dear Pennsylvania,

Please do not reelect this man to the Senate:

Embattled U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum said America has avoided a second terrorist attack for five years because the “Eye of Mordor” has been drawn to Iraq instead.

Santorum used the analogy from one of his favorite books, J.R.R. Tolkien’s 1950s fantasy classic “Lord of the Rings,” to put an increasingly unpopular war in Iraq into terms any school kid could easily understand.

“As the hobbits are going up Mount Doom, the Eye of Mordor is being drawn somewhere else,” Santorum said, describing the tool the evil Lord Sauron used in search of the magical ring that would consolidate his power over Middle-earth.

“It’s being drawn to Iraq and it’s not being drawn to the U.S.,” Santorum continued. “You know what? I want to keep it on Iraq. I don’t want the Eye to come back here to the United States.”

Thank you.

your friend,Jon