when the status quo frustrates.

Well, that’s it then. All Hail the GOP, the true party of righteousness!

Wednesday, November 4th, 2009

The last three times I’ve opened a browser window, the top news headlines have been variations on the above theme. Yep, folks, the brief insanity of the American people in both electing Barack Obama to the White House and purging Congress of its Republican majority has ended! The tide is turning! And here’s the proof!

By seizing gubernatorial seats in Virginia and New Jersey, Republicans on Tuesday dispelled any notion of President Obama’s electoral invincibility, giving the GOP a lift and offering warning signs to Democrats ahead of the 2010 midterm elections.

Wow. A Republican governor in Virginia! When we have a Democrat as president! Because one thing Virginian voters sure are known for is–!

List of Virginia governors, 1982-present

Charles S. Robb (Democrat) 1982-1986 President at time of election: Ronald Reagan (Republican)
Gerald L. Baliles (Democrat) 1986 -1990 President at time of election: Ronald Reagan (Republican)
L. Douglas Wilder (Democrat) 1990-1994 President at time of election: George H.W. Bush (Republican)
George F. Allen (Republican) 1994-1998 President at time of election: Bill Clinton (Democrat)
James (Jim) Gilmore III (Republican) 1998-2002 President at time of election: Bill Clinton (Democrat)
Mark Warner (Democrat) 2002-2006 President at time of election: George W. Bush (Republican)
Tim Kaine (Democrat) 2006-2010 President at time of election: George W. Bush (Republican)

–consistently electing a governor of the opposite party of the sitting president. And nope, it’s not a coincidence; for one, in Virginia, the incumbent governor is barred by law from seeking reelection, and two, Virginia has a large number of voters registered as “Independent” (about a third of all voters), the majority of whom consider themselves “Moderate.” Which means, that whatever direction they percieve themselves as being pushed…say, by the ideology of the Commander-in-Chief of the United States…they will dig their heels in and lean the other way. As you see above.

Now, I already knew all this from simply living smack up against Virginia for about sixteen years now (which is why I engaged in some heavy eye-rolling after the third or fourth repetition in the news of the title meme of this post); however, I can’t claim the same level of familiarity with New Jersey governors and voters–maybe it has some sort of grandiose meaning. But as far as Virginia goes…well, no. Sorry, folks.

Your elitism is showing–! Here, let me tuck that back down into your collar for you. I’m shocked your valet let you out the door like that!

Sunday, October 11th, 2009

This article is so transparent it’s hard to believe we’re expected to take it seriously, but I suspect we are–much like when John Kerry, during his failed presidential bid some years ago, movingly asked, “And who among us doesn’t like NASCAR?”*

It’s pretty much a fail from the get-go; what amazes me is that anyone bothered to write this article at all.

A Recipe for Riches
by Duncan Greenberg
Friday, October 9, 2009

Want to become a tech titan or hedge fund tycoon?

Well yes, of course, who wouldn’t? And it’s really an option for all you Joe and Jane Sixpacks too—

Up your chances by dropping out of college

!!!! See?!? Most of you already got that part covered, don’tcha?

(and in a mumble)

or going to Harvard and working at Goldman Sachs.

(Oh yeah, those too! But let’s speed rapidly on past those parts—)


This is a news story?

Saturday, June 27th, 2009

CNN headline!

Jackson’s body moved from coroner’s office

Lest you think that there is actually some serious, exciting, unusual, even criminal! even remotely suspicious! action that is about to be breathlessly revealed:

LOS ANGELES, California (CNN) — Michael Jackson’s body was moved from a Los Angeles, California, coroner’s office to a mortuary Friday evening, a coroner said.

Er. Yeah, I think that’s what they usually do with corpses.

Look…I understand that Michael Jackson was one of the most famous celebrities of our time…that he had a huge cultural impact on the pop music scene…that his scandals and strangenesses were even more piquant that your usual run-of-the-mill celebrity trainwrecks…

…but please. Have mercy. NOT tomorrow’s headline: “Mortician begins to pump embalming fluid through Jackson’s veins” or “Suit chosen to dress Michael’s corpse in” or–

Yet more media FAIL

Friday, June 26th, 2009

“Ryan O’Neal recently told People magazine that the sex symbol was declining”

…okay, I know I’ve been out of the loop for a while in terms of current events and suchlike, but I’m completely positive that Ryan O’Neal isn’t a sociologist, and I’m just not connecting with a scene where a reporter from People magazine asks him how his wife and her terminal cancer are doing and he replies Oh yes, the sex symbol…well, she’s declining.

Reminds me of the Somali pirate news. :)

(I promise, longer and more thoughtful blog posts will be forthcoming.)

Uh, Headline FAIL

Thursday, April 9th, 2009

From CNN American Morning:

Pirates are holding a U.S. captain hostage at sea. The Navy is watching everything that happens. So what is supposed to happen next? We talked to someone who knows a thing or two about the pirates and has experience covering them in Somalia. Kaj Larsen, former U.S. Navy SEAL, spoke to T.J. Holmes on CNN’s American Morning Thursday.

And indeed, that is what the article is about. It discusses in some detail the ransom money the pirates have taken, why Somali piracy has become a real problem and what possible solutions there might be to this problem.

So what IS the headline, again..?

Somali women flocking to ports in hope of marrying pirates

Well, that topic does take up 20 out of the approximately 600 words that the article is constructed out of. It is mentioned that once, about halfway through, even if it’s never alluded to again in the entire rest of the article.

Basic expository writing skills, people…you’re supposed to be a professional writer, right..? Come on, now…

Sometimes You Just Have To Let Other People Speak For You

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

It isn’t plagiarism when the source is credited, dammit! Honestly, it’s just that PZ managed to sum up the meat of what aggravated me the most about this little “poll” with a succinct little comparison. Why reinvent the perfect wheel?


As PZ says:


I believe that next week they’ll have a question about Barack Obama’s, Colin Powell’s, Al Sharpton’s, and Jesse Jackson’s hypothetical fried chicken stands.

Oh, good God

Friday, February 20th, 2009

When I wrote this post, I wasn’t actually predicting that those two ladies would ever be juxtapositioned anywhere outside the confines of my own head. However, apparently, somebody in the journalistic world thought it would be piquant to get the feelings of that societally-approved chronic uterus self-abuser (aka, Michelle Duggar) about the recent activities of the societally-reviled version of heself, Nadya Suleman.

Joy Behar, guest host Thursday night on “Larry King Live: …at least you guys enjoyed having the babies, you went through the sex then the giving birth. This woman didn’t have any of that, except the giving birth, which must have been rough, don’t you think?

Michelle Duggar: Oh, my, I can’t imagine. I had twins, but I have — I just can’t imagine having eight at once and the responsibility that that brings.

Behar: Why do you suppose this woman has provoked such negativity? They have a “USA Today” Gallup poll saying 70 percent of those surveyed are unsympathetic to this woman. What is going on?

Michelle Duggar: Well, you know, I feel like probably more than anything it’s just the fact of the responsibility issues from their perspective, and I, you know, I imagine that’s probably more of the animosity that’s out there. And so — but I do — I just can’t imagine, you know, her — how she’s going to handle that many little ones under the age of 8. That’s a lot of little ones all at once.

Yes, having them serially gives you the invaluable option of built-in babysitters at each developmental stage by the time the sheer kid-volume starts to get unwieldy! You’re one smart broad, Michelle!

The Duggars are surprisingly restrained on the subject of Nadya, in spite of the blatant attempts by the interviewer to suss out a negative opinion from them towards her, given how loudly they generally wax on about the glories of having a traditional, Christian-American family…which clearly and unequivocably requires a man and woman united in unholy matrimony. I suspect they’re a little nervous about saying anything that might possibly, possibly ever be taken as casting even the slightest negative connotation on the idea of reproducing as massively as possible, given the fragility of their own glass house on that subject.

Watching Bristol Palin Make It Pretty Clear (without actually having to SAY so outright and REALLY piss her mother off) That Not Only Is It Ridiculous to Imagine that Teens Won’t Be Screwing Even If You Tell Them Not To, They Should Really Use Contraception When They Do

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009

Video here.*

It’s also quite the mystery why she hasn’t married good old Levi yet. Her lack of enthusiasm for that eventuality pretty much oozes out of the screen, and the only time she ever brings him up is when the interviewer directly asks her about him. Otherwise, when she talks about her daily life as a mom and student, it’s all about her family. Particularly stupid question from the interviewer: “So you had no idea what raising a baby would be like?” Bristol stares at her and then clarifies that no, what she had no idea like was what it would feel like to have to change her own personal priorities to include how they would affect her son during his upbringing. When the interviewer returns to that theme again later in the interview, Bristol basically reminds her that not only has she been Mother’s little helper in terms of her younger siblings as far back as she can remember, her mother just gave birth to yet another child not too long before she got knocked up herself–so yeah, she really knew her way around a “onesie” already.

Interesting interview. Lots of nuance.

*Faux News has a, er, helpful feature under its embedded videos, described as “Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate).” Wow, it’s a good thing they include that disclaimer! Though you can have lots of fun with it–here’s a small sample of Bristol Palin talking about being a new mother:

“That’s what I expected. It’s just — different. He had no hint of led the short of the demands have been in Atlanta but not just that they — it’s just like I’m not living for myself meaning like flake. For another person that’s different. If you — talking a year ago and I said that — gonna happen in line with the UN told me.”

What the Bloody Fuck is Wrong With Burger King?

Wednesday, December 10th, 2008

I haven’t eaten at Burger King ever since their “Man Food” commercials, (which wasn’t exactly a huge imposition since I didn’t think their food was that great in the first place); but if I ate there, this would be enough for me to kill it again.

Their newest ad campaign apparently decided that sexism wasn’t selling, so they went for the racism angle. The premise of it is this: they go to “remote” third-world villages, and give the people there a Burger King Whopper or a McDonald’s for the world’s “purest taste test”.

Burger King

(My own Transcript after the Fold)

The Revised Church of Homophobia

Thursday, December 4th, 2008

I am tired of the tiptoeing around and kid glove treatment that these assholes automatically get because they associate themselves with Jesus. Spare me this holiday season–please?

No? Well, let me help you, then.

The Pope’s Christmas Gift: A Tough Line on Church Doctrine Vigorous Support of Ten Years to Life in Prison For Teh Homos*


Split in Episcopal Church hits new level
Conservatives who fled liberal views of Scripture believe that Teh Homos should be publicly reviled and burn in Hell have formed a breakaway church in North America.

There–much more accurate. Don’t they want their message gotten across more clearly? I’m sure they do!

*The pope also says, Stop touching each other before Mass–we can’t tell which of you are Teh Homos when you do that!

William Saletan makes me sick.

Thursday, November 13th, 2008

I’m not kidding. Every week, day in and day out, I see his articles on Slate; I usually manage to restrain myself from clicking on them—on the rare occasions I fail to do so, I’m almost always sorry. Past failures of cognition on his part have included this fine series on how black people are genetically stupider than white people and how wrong it is to pillory scientists who take this as their conclusion and then creatively deconstruct as much data as possible to support that, for instance. Or this one, where he pooh-poohs the notion that it might be humiliating or even detrimental to your health to have your contraceptive prescription refused and praises “crisis pregnancy centers,” which have a well-known history of tricking women inside by pretending to be Planned Parenthood and offering both medically unnecessary ultrasounds and no trained medical advice whatsoever.

What I’m saying is, I knew better but I clicked on the link to his latest masterpiece (entitled “Rethinking the age of sexual consent”) anyway. And yep, barely got into the thing before I happened across this gem:

The original age of consent, codified in English common law and later adopted by the American colonies, ranged from 10 to 12. In 1885, Britain and the states began raising the age to 16, ostensibly to protect girls’ natural innocence.

Let me be blunt, Mr. Saletan: It’s not only a shame that a dumbass like you actually gets paid to write articles, it’s unbelievable. Do you ever conduct any research outside of the confines of your tiny brain? Here, let me do your work for you–and oh, my God, I have to say, as a working journalist (which I am not! yet I knew about it) you really, really ought to have heard about this at least one time in the whole course of your professional life.


Poll Mocking!

Saturday, November 1st, 2008

From Slate.

Of 20 new statewide polls, 15 show a shift in McCain’s direction. The biggest comes from a SurveyUSA poll in Kansas

Again, please–


Yeah. This is newsworthy. Other than once in 1964 when they were guilted into it by JFK’s assassination, Kansas hasn’t put a Democrat in the White House since Franklin Delano Roosevelt. I grew up in the Armpit Waves of Grain; I know what they’re like.

CNN/Time/Opinion Research Corp. and Quinnipiac polls in Florida showed shifts toward McCain of one and three points, respectively, though both polls still show Obama ahead. The same CNN/Time poll in Missouri shows a one-point shift—within the margin of error—to McCain

Missouri = right next to Kansas. In the fourth grade we used to play kickball next to the state line and if you could knock that sucker into Missouri (pronounced “mizz-ooo-rah” by the native savages) you got an automatic “home run.”

The largest shift to Obama was in a SurveyUSA poll in Delaware, where he increased his lead from nine points to 30 points. The previous survey was conducted in February

Gad, what a mystery! Wonder what coulda possibly happened in the Obama campaign between now and last February that might have influenced the Delaware vote?