Saturday, October 17, 2009

Dick With A Box

First we had SNL's Dick In A Box skit, and now this.

Richard Heene, whose six-year-old son Falcon was feared to have floated away in a home-made helium balloon on Thursday before being found alive at the home, had earlier on Saturday said he planned a "big announcement".

But the eccentric amateur scientist instead emerged from his Fort Collins house carrying a cardboard box which he asked reporters to put written questions for his consideration.

What. A. Douchebag.

Piano Stairs

I'd be late for work EVERY DAY!

Must Reads

A Candid World: CHALLENGE: Why Did Arafat Receive A Nobel Prize, And Not Reagan?

The Rude Pundit: Cal Thomas Says That Gays Will Redecorate the Military

Robert Reich: More Desperation From The Right

Michael Winship: The Nobel Prize with an Asterisk

Paul Krugman: A Hatchet Job So Bad It's Good

Mark Morford: The Gang Rape and The Republicans - Behold, 30 U.S. senators who don't give a damn about battered women

Jeremy Scahill: The ACORN Standard

Jacob Weisberg: Ignore Fox - Obama's right. It's time to stop taking the network's skewed news seriously.

President Obama's Weekly Address - October 17, 2009

Taking the Insurance Companies on Down the Stretch

Friday, October 16, 2009

Scariest iPhone App Ever

SURPRISE! (Not.) Balloon Boy Hoax

Falcon Heene: "You guys said that we did it for the show."

When I found out about Balloon Boy, my first instinct after I heard he wasn't on the balloon after it had landed was that he had untethered it, and fearing the wrath of mommy and daddy, decided to hide out. When I found out that these people were on ABC's Wife Swap, my cynical side immediately took over and I thought mom and dad might be attention hounds or that it might be a publicity stunt. Luckily for us, six-year olds are too honest when under pressure, you know, like during a live TV interview.

I wonder if Mr. Heene is going to get a nice, fat invoice for the emergency resources that were used in searching for a child that wasn't lost?

Thursday, October 15, 2009

The World Stops When Bizarre Things Happen

How else do you explain the nonstop coverage of today's story about a runaway balloon allegedly with a six-year old boy along for the ride? Once the balloon landed, and no boy was found, the very first thing I thought was that the boy let the balloon go and realizing how stupid it was, decided to hide for fear of getting in major trouble. If I were six years old and did something as asinine, I'd hide too!

The story has a "happy" ending. Despite horrid thoughts and speculation by bearded CNN pundits of a box or basket that was attached to the balloon in which the little fly boy hopped in and eventually plummeted to his death while 10,000 feet high, he was eventually found hiding in his attic, scared shitless of the Major League trouble he would be in.

And yet, hours after the homemade weather balloon landed two counties away sans kid, we were forced to watch speculators and and pseudo-pundits trying to figure out how high the balloon got, if it could handle the weight of a child and the basket he was supposedly in, all while watching the same 30 seconds of footage of the flying balloon, followed by 30 seconds of the balloon landing, followed by 30 seconds of the flying balloon that we'd just seen.

The world stopped while this balloon was in the air. Nothing else was happening. At least not according to the 24/7 news media outlets. And even after the boy was found, they kept talking about it! Nothing happened on the health care front. Everyone forgot to criticize President Obama's trip to New Orleans. Yet we were mesmerized by the balloon story. That silver, mylar, flying saucer shaped balloon put most of us in a trance even when there was NO NEW NEWS to report for hours.

This is the problem with 24 hour news outlets. When does breaking news stop becoming breaking news? Even when the story is long over, it's still "Breaking News" and real news gets ignored. Sensationalism is only sensational when something sensational happens, whether it be the balloon boy, or Natalee Halloway or Anna Nicole Smith or Michael Jackson. I wish someone would let cable news producers in on that little tidbit of information.

Rush Blames Liberal Media For His Racist Views

This is truly classic. Rush Limbaugh, syndicated right wing talk show host and all around asshole, has been dropped from the group of investors bidding for a minority stake in the St. Louis Rams. Doesn't that give you a nice, warm, fuzzy feeling?

Of course, Limbaugh, who has always insisted that liberal and progressive media doesn't have an audience is now blaming liberal and progressive media for his demise. And while yesterday he ranted that he would sue anyone that was maligning him for his past statements he deemed false, he hasn't said a word about it today. I suppose his lawyers made it known you can't deny something you said when there is audio and video evidence.

Imbeciles like Sarah Palin's lap dog, John Ziegler are moaning about Limbaugh's 1st Amendment rights. News flash, Ziegler: Rush can say any damned thing he wants, but that doesn't mean he can't be held accountable for it.

You know, things like,

"I think what we've had here is a little social concern in the NFL. The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well. There is a little hope invested in McNabb, and he got a lot of credit for the performance of this team that he didn't deserve. The defense carried this team."
"Look it, let me put it to you this way. The NFL all too often looks like a game between the Bloods and the Crips without any weapons. There I said it."
And who can forget...
"What do you spend the money on to fight gang violence? Afterschool program -- don't we already have afterschool programs? Don't we already have -- what do you call it, extracurricular events? Midnight basketball -- I mean, we've done it all. We've taken the favorite sport of gangs, and we put it at midnight to get them on the basketball court."
And this is just pertaining to sports. This doesn't even begin to mention his screeds on President Obama. Such hits as "Barack, The Magic Negro," or "Halfrican-American," or "[I]n Obama's America, the white kids now get beat up with the black kids cheering" or on the Gates controversy: "Here you have a black president trying to destroy a white policeman."

So now the free market capitalists that conservatives love to espouse so much have decided that their business is too important for them to have a scumbag like Limbaugh ruining their image. Suck on it, Rush.

*Artwork couresty of

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Dow Closes Above 10,000...

... for the first time in over a year.

Remember this?
March 2nd, 2009 - Let’s look at the key dates in Barack Obama’s Administration so far and see what the stock market did around those dates:
November 3, 2008: Obama is Elected
November 3, 2008: 9326.04 Open
November 4, 2008: 9139.28 Close
So far, not that bad, right? However, if investors believed in Obama’s message of hope they would buy, instead of sell, around that time.
January 20, 2009: Obama is Inaugurated
January 20, 2009: 8,279.63 Open
January 20, 2009: 7,920.66 Close
Obama’s inauguration didn’t exactly make investors celebrate. Also note, between Obama’s election and inauguration, the stock market dropped 1200 points. If they believed in Obama, the stock market probably would have inched upward, even in a down economy.
February 17, 2009: Obama signs stimulus package into law.
February 17, 2009: 7,845.63 Open
February 17, 2009: 7,502.59 Close
The stimulus package clearly did not stimulate any investors into buying. Note that as of February 17, there was a 1800 point drop since the election, and a 400 point drop since inauguration.
February 27, 2009: Obama announces budget
Febraury 27, 2009: 7,180.97 Open
March 2, 2009: 6763.29 Close
As of today’s close, Obama has overseen the worst stock market performance in the history of America for a new president. It’s an unprecedented 28% drop from Obama’s election to today. If you don’t believe my numbers, you can check the historical data here.

Today: *criket*...*cricket*... *cricket*

Attention As of today's close, the Dow Jones has increased 33% in the last six months (while President Obama was actually in office) since your ridiculous post. Care to credit Obama for that?

Rahm Meeting With Reid About Senate Health Care Bill

This is going to be a very telling meeting.

TPM: At 2:30 this afternoon, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid will host Sen. Chris Dodd (D-CT), Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), and White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel in the first of several meetings presaging the merger of two major health care bills. The foursome is expected to discuss key issues at the heart of the reform process--affordability, Medicare, the public option, revenues--but no decisions are expected today.
The talk has been about Reid and how he'd better not exclude a public option in the bill they are proposing, but just a couple of hours ago I heard Ed Shultz on his radio show saying he trusted Reid and quoting him as saying this on the Senate Judiciary Committee floor:
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) joined the push to eliminate the [insurance industry's anti-trust] exemption Wednesday morning, saying at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, “It’s something that should have been done a long time ago.”
As for insurance companies, “There isn’t anything we could do to satisfy them in this health care bill. Nothing,” Reid said. “They are so anti-competitive. Why? Because they make more money than any other business in America today. . . .What a sweet deal they have.”
So it would seem that Harry Reid, being in favor of revoking anti-trust exemption laws favoring the insurance companies, would have no trouble increasing competition and adding a public option to the bill. Unless Rahm helps him changed his mind.

Music Break! Jon Faddis

Here's That Rainy Day

How Did Fox Miss This Story?

Jon Stewart is awesome.

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Queer and Loathing in D.C.
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorRon Paul Interview

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

This Is Perfect

Booman (Via Cesca): "Yesterday was probably the most embarrassing day yet for the progressive blogosphere during the short reign of the Obama administration. So, now is probably a good time to just let loose and register my disgust with the movement I've been a part of for the last five years.

If you supported Obama during the primaries, you know who you are and this does not necessarily apply to you. For the rest of you, you spent the primaries either shilling for Clinton and telling us our guy was all talk and no show, or you spent them bitching that David Plouffe wouldn't respond to and obey your emailed wisdom. As soon as he won the presidency, you started bitching about his appointments. As soon as he became president, you started bitching about his messaging, his framing, his agenda, and his lack of deference to your opinion. I want to know
where the point was in this process when Obama was supposed to conclude that you were his allies and that you were responsible for his victory. When was he supposed to conclude that he owed you something, or that you had any respect for him, or that you credited his good intentions, or that you understood the myriad responsibilities of the job might mean that your pet issues might have to wait six months, a year, or two years to get to the top of his agenda.

You call him a warmonger, but he gets the Nobel Peace Prize. He ends torture and allows his Attorney General to investigate it, and you call him a torturer. He tries to enact health care reform with a robust public option and you accuse him of seeking every opportunity to sell-out to the insurance industry. He bails out the cratering financial services industry and prevents a second Great Depression, and you accuse him of selling his soul to corporate CEO's. I'm not saying that all of these criticisms lack validity. I'm not saying that people shouldn't advocate for the things they care about passionately. I just want to know where you get the fucking idea that an anonymous White House staffer who gets asked about all this criticism would feel obligated to show you deference and respect."
I've increasingly felt this way for the last few months now, very early on with DADT and DOMA, and now with the health care reform debate. It seems to me that everyone has their billy clubs out ready to pounce on any perceived slight by the White House, whether on the right (which is expected) or the left (which is surprising and depressing).

We're 9½ months into a new administration that started in the deepest of ditches on January 20th. Think about it: you really couldn't get handed something much worse. And despite some of the accomplishments that President Obama and his administration have succeeded on in just 9 months, there's been nothing but the feeling of "it's not good enough, or fast enough" when it comes to a specific issue that any one person can have.

Even now I look into health care debates online where some of the Progressive commenters who support single payer say, "Obama is worse than Bush." Really? Did you just say that George W. Bush could do a better job than President Obama when it comes to health care reform? The guy that cut S-CHIP? That George Bush? The guy who signed Medicare Part D into law without the means to pay for it? Is that the Bush you're talking about? And that's just on the health care front.

All the talk lately was about how Obama had too many balls in the air all at once, but if one of those balls wasn't Medicare for All or repealing DADT immediately, it wasn't good enough.

So yes, I am in agreement with Booman and Bob Cesca. You have every right to voice your opinion and feel passionate about the issues that mean something to you. But if it isn't 100% to your liking or it isn't fast enough for you, just take a deep breath and think about what the alternative might have been.

Meet the new boss, DEFINITELY not the same as the old boss.

Friedman Jacks Off On The Military

I really run hot and cold with Tom Friedman. Mostly cold. I'd like to dismiss him altogether but even a broken journalist is right twice a day, as in the case of his analysis on the current political climate of Obama hate coming from the far right.

But Friedman's latest column in which he suggests that President Obama embarrass the Nobel Committee by accepting the Peace Prize not on his behalf but instead on behalf of all the US military who have ever fought because they are the true peace keepers is a little over the top. Well, it would only be a little over the top if he'd just left it at that. What drives him over the Thelma and Louise egde is going on and on and writing an Obama speech in which the President stands before the US military, drops trou and proceeds to give them all a pearl necklace because of how fucking awesome they are. He then leaves a medal with Alfred Nobel's portrait on the side table and tells them he'll see them in Afghanistan.
Friedman seems to confuse empty Sarah Palin style military rhetoric with anything our President has ever said. That's where Friedman blew it, and his load, on this one.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Your 99th-Percentile Baby: "Too Fat" for Health Care

Posted by Fraulein

This is utterly reprehensible:

Because of his size, Baby Alex was turned down for health insurance. His height and weight put him in the 99th percentile according to CDC guidelines.
This child is four months old and breastfed. Meaning, as every parent knows, that his current size is completely arbitrary. There is no such concept as "obesity" when it comes to INFANTS. He's as big as he's supposed to be. You cannot put an infant on a diet. The "99th percentile" thing means that (going by averages that were probably set 30 or 40 years ago) if a baby's height and weight measure over a certain amount, in theory he or she is larger than 99 percent of the other babies the same age.

When my Peanut was a couple of months old, she measured in the upper percentiles for weight and height. She just ate a ton. She did not appear, visually, to be of a freakish size. She was pretty much the same size as most of the other babies we knew at the time who were a similar age.

This sad situation is just one more reason why health care reform is so desparately necessary. The insurance companies will grab onto any excuse, no matter how pathetic, to deny coverage. This time it's these unfortunate people. Next time it could be you.

Oh, Marge...

Who's idea was this?

Maddow Named Best Talk Show Host in America by UK

No, it's not an official title. But it is interesting that a foreign newspaper would notice.

"...what really endears her to American liberals is the way she takes her job and the authority it gives her seriously. Maddow is less interested in the shouting fests that dominate most cable news and instead favours in-depth interviews with experts who are permitted to show their expertise on air without being interrupted. Hers may be the only show on cable news were feminists come on air to speak their minds without being paired off with belligerent sexists who dominate the conversation by yelling over their points.
But Maddow isn't opposed to fair-mindedness. She often brings on conservatives for the same kind of in-depth interviews, and even when she strongly disagrees, she always gives them a chance to air their views (and generally hang themselves with those views). Her show is the exact opposite of Bill O'Reilly's show. Where he cuts people off for saying things he doesn't like, Maddow digs in deeper."
Suck it, Bill-O.