Saturday, November 05, 2005

Boo ABC!

Despite the far-reaching importance of this afternoon's Penn State-Wisconsin game - importance for the teams, for the conference, and for the BCS - ABC affiliates in my area have been instructed to broadcast NC State-Florida State in that timeslot. Accordingly, I hereby ask my loyal readers (ha!) to join me in a boycott of all Disney-owned television consumption. This specifically includes: ABC, ABC Family, ABC Family Values, ABC Loves Jesus, ABCGOD, Disney, and ESPN. So please, loyal readers: let's show these Hollywood liberals that if God had meant us to slavishly watch whatever crappy game they decide to dole out to us, He wouldn't have given us the gifts of free will and digital cable. Amen!

Note 1: Boycott ends at 7:45 this evening, when the Miami-VA Tech game starts on ESPN.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Says Jimmy Carter:

"I have a commitment to worship the prince of peace, not the prince of pre-emptive war."

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Republican pundits (Repundits?) continue to call for Karl Rove's resignation, amidst new Rove-related questions from Patrick Fitzgerald. Could the Brain be on his way out after all?

William A. Niskanen, chairman of the libertarian Cato Institute, told Reuters on Tuesday that Bush has to "sacrifice" some top aides starting with Rove, who he said has given good campaign advice but poor guidance on getting legislation passed.

Sen. Trent ["The Best Man, Woman, or Minority"] Lott (R-Miss.) said on MSNBC's "Hardball" the same day, "The question is, should he be the deputy chief of staff for policy under the current circumstances?"
William Niskanen, Trent Lott, and every liberal in the country. Now that's a braintrust!

I know this is totally unfounded, by I'm decidedly heartened by the fact that Sam Alito is a baseball nut:

In recent years, Alito insisted on wearing a baseball uniform while coaching Little League. As an appellate judge, he hung in his chambers a large poster of former Philadelphia Phillies baseball star Mike Schmidt. He went to baseball fantasy camp and had a baseball card made of himself.
I like baseball. He likes baseball. What else could possibly matter?

(The rest of that column, by the way, is pretty good, and contains the admirable line, "Washington is a town of geeks and misfits who, for the most part, suppress their inner dorks much of the time.")

Republicans got to remove a judge from the DeLay trial, so Democrats get to, also. It's only fair.

Pennsylvania legislators repeal the raise they granted themselves in July. Giant pigs rejoice.

Well I'll be a monkey's liberal uncle. Seems Undergrad Sam Alito wasn't quite as quick to stomp on the right to privacy as Judge Sam Alito has been:

In college, senior Samuel Alito led a student conference that urged legalization of sodomy and curbs on domestic intelligence -- a sweeping defense of privacy rights he said were under threat by the government and the dawning computer age.

Rep. Charlie Melancon (D-La.) takes apart Mike Brown's pre-resignation email. I haven't read anything this funny on a Member of Congress's website since the days of Jim Traficant. A quick excerpt:

Some of these e-mails from Mr. Brown convey the impression that he may have been overwhelmed by his responsibilities. In his e-mail to Ms. Taylor on the morning the hurricane struck, Mr. Brown wrote, "Can I quit now? Can I come home?" A few days later, Mr. Brown wrote to an acquaintance, "I’m trapped now, please rescue me."
At least he was able to maintain some perspective.

Some of my favorite posts from the past couple of years. To be updated sporadically and without any discernable pattern.

Some favorite posts:
The general qualification here: posts that made me laugh when I went back and re-read them.

7.26.04. Diddy inspires! A funny quote (not mine) about Nelly's political experience.
7.28.04. Odds: Some last-minute odds for the Democratic National Convention speakers.
7.28.04. A short excerpt from Obama's Convention speech. Not funny, but well-worth linking to again.
8.11.04. How many Reform Parties are you worth? (With a table!)
8.11.04. The deep thoughts inspired by an encounter with a 50-pound cabbage.
8.13.04. The Humorous CBO Statistic of the Day. (With a table!)
8.19.04. The John Madden (TM) Dumbass Headline of the Week.
8.23.04. GovOps 101.
9.1.04. Alan Keyes sticks to his guns... and then doesn't.
9.2.04. Republican National Convention wrap-up.
9.3.04. Some thoughts on the Swift Boat Vets.
9.21.04. Tom Harkin makes me laugh.
9.24.04. The Rhyming Justice and the Case of the Drunken Horserider.
9.30.04. Odds: Odds for the first debate.
9.30.04. Wrap-up from the first debate.
10.9.04. Wrap-up from the second debate.
10.12.04. Tom Coburn's famous lesbians-in-our-schools comment.
10.14.04. Wrap-up from the third debate.
11.13.04. Pitt quarterback uses expletive during postgame; world: shocked.
12.3.04. Tommy Thompson makes it 8 of 15 cabinet secretaries to resign at the beginning of Bush II. (With a table!)
12.3.04. The Buffalo Beast's Top Ten Campaign Hacks.
1.6.05. Steven Breyer shows up for jury duty.
2.8.05. FOX fears damnation.
3.3.05. The Bible diet.
6.28.05. Richard Cohen rips The Truth About Hillary.
6.28.05. Explaining my lack of posting between December and June.
6.30.05. TNR on "throes."
7.6.05. Thoughts on voting for Supreme Court nominees.
7.20.05. An excellent debunking of the supposed differences between "strict constructionist," "textualist," and so forth.
9.21.05. Kerry's speechwriter goes berserk.
9.27.05. Mitt Romney goes water-skiing. (Links to video!)
9.29.05. Excellent profile of Rick Santorum.
10.6.05. Howard Dean plays "hide-the-salami."
10.9.05. Could Roy Moore really be crazier than Rick Santorum?
10.13.05. The only thing I read about Miers that I actually liked.
10.15.05. A scandalog, in pictures (or more accurately: a scandalog, in links).
10.18.05. Is Jeanine Pirro actually an employee of the Clinton family?
10.20.05. Specter and Leahy go "insane."
10.21.05. How many Supreme Court justices have actually had prior judicial experience? (With a table!)
10.22.05. Amusing profile of Patrick Fitzgerald.
10.22.05. The Sports Guy on Ricky Williams.
10.23.05. Thoughts on Sportscenter.
10.26.05. Alec Baldwin 1, Kay Bailey Hutchison 0.
10.26.05. Al Gore makes me laugh.
10.27.05. Supreme Court nominee suggestions (post-Miers, pre-Alito).
10.28.05. Thoughts on the Libby indictment.

Some favorite pictures:
The best of my very limited number of image-posts.

8.13.04. Separated at birth: Alan Colmes/Skeletor.
9.12.04. Separated at birth: Bob Shrum/Peter Pettigrew.
9.14.04. Clothing label: "We are sorry our president is an idiot."
11.6.04. Time magazine: "We are fucked."
11.16.04. Election maps.
12.11.04. Jason "Rudolph" Giuliambi (a little Photoshoppin').
2.17.05. Separated at birth: Jeff Gannon/Jeff Garcia.
10.19.05. Separated at birth: Porter Goss/Bob Woodward. (This one is eerie.)

Some favorite pithy headers:
No real substance here; I just thought my headlines were funny.

7.20.04. "Jimmy Carter, Mikhail Gorbachev, and a Catholic bishop walk into a bar..."
7.22.04. PETA hires Playmates to give out free hot dogs. Newt-ity ensues.
8.12.04. Lazy monkeys turned diligent through the magic of science. There's hope for me yet!
9.10.04. Kerry, in a misguided attempt to connect with the voters, uses the phrase "heavens to Betsy." Within hours, InstaPoll results nationwide show his likeability rating dropping by as much as 65 points.
9.16.04. Less than a month after his acquittal for fondling-while-Tigger, Michael Chartrand was suspended again from Disney World, where he still works, for assaulting two employees. Quoth his lawyer, perhaps ironically: "He just can't catch a break."
11.3.04. Kerry concedes. Millions mourn. "In American elections, there are no losers." That's true, John, that's true. Unless we count, you know... you.
12.10.04. "You might be a (bad) redneck if..."
12.17.04. Mary Beth Cahill regrets underestimating the Swift Boat Vets. In other news, obvious things happened.
3.1.05. Terrorism: solved.
9.4.05. William Rehnquist dies, two days before the John Roberts hearings begin. Among those saddened: his family, liberals (who Know What This Means), and the collected staff of the eighteen members of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
9.21.05. "Oh, it's already been broughten!"
9.22.05. Added Santorum, "I'm crazy!"

Some favorite jokes:
Funny lines from people other than myself. (The short ones are posted here; the long ones are linked.)

7.15.04. Kilborn: "Legendary football coach and erection enthusiast Mike Ditka is weighing a run to the United States Senate from Illinois. If he runs, Ditka will have to answer tough questions such as, 'Coach, why do you look so much like a wolf?'"
7.20.04. Kimmel: "As you can imagine, some people are upset about this girlie man thing. It's ridiculous. It's like complaining the Phoenix Suns Gorilla threw a banana at you. Of course he's Arnold Schwarzenegger. Of course he will say dumb things. He's a big dumb foreign guy."
7.21.04 Conan: [Ahnold defends his remarks, disparages John Kerry, remembers the Predator.]
8.3.04. Daily Show: "This amid rumors that [Ridge] will be retiring after the election.... Colleagues say he wants to spend more time at home scaring his family."
8.10.04. Kilborn: [On My Life's translation into Chinese.]
8.12.04. Kilborn: "Last night, while campaigning in Arizona, John Kerry and his wife Teresa got into a big fight and a group of Vietnam vets said he wasn't even in the area when the fight started."
8.24.04. The Onion: [John Ashcroft is favored to take home the coveted Golden Elephant at the quadrennial RNC "Trick Shootin' Showcase."]
9.14.04. Conan: "Florida is getting ready for its third big hurricane in one month. They've already been hit by Hurricane Charley and Hurricane Frances. Apparently, this third one is called Hurricane Move Out of Florida, Dumbass."
9.22.04. Daily Show: [Steven Colbert calls for Dan Rather's resignation.]
9.24.04. Letterman: [The Top Ten Ways CBS Can Improve Its Reputation.]
9.28.04. Letterman: [From the Top Ten George W. Bush Debate Strategies] "2. If Kerry makes a good point, distract him with some chaw spit in the eye."
10.5.04. SNL: [Great spoof of the Bush-Lehrer interaction during the first debate.]
10.28.04. The Onion: "Republicans Urge Minorities to Get Out and Vote on Nov. 3."
10.30.04. South Park: [Diddy makes a guest appearance.]
12.15.04. Last Call: [Shot and Chaser on Tenet's Presidential Medal of Freedom.]
7.7.05. Last Call: [Shot and Chaser on Giuliani in London.]
10.20.05. Last Call: [Shot and Chaser on Bush's thoughts on the Miers questionnaire.]
10.31.05. Assorted: [SNL on Fitgerald; SNL on Miers; Maher on Libby; a joke I heard.]

Some favorite linked sites:
Worthy of re-linking.

Bush dress-up. Post-election vitriol.
Who Am I? Congressional trivia.
Bob Odom's campaign site. With a jingle.
Bill for First Lady.
"Harriet Miers's" blog.
"Sam Alito's" blog.
Shakespearean insult generator.
Video: Acrobatic ping pong. This is just neat.
Video: "Asshole." Anti-Bush music video.
Video: "Harlan McCraney, Presidential Speechalist."

Bill Frist to Harry Reid: "You're dead to me!"

In the end, Republicans agreed to have a group of senators look into the investigation's progress and report back in two weeks. Democrats cheered the move. "I have no regret," Reid said. "This is a victory for the American people."

Republicans said the outcome was not newsworthy. "We have agreed to do what we've already agreed to do," said Sen. Pat Roberts, Intelligence Committee chairman. And their Senate leader is bitter. "It means from now on, for the next year and a half, I can't trust Sen. Reid," Majority Leader Bill Frist said.

Sam Alito's Princeton thesis goes missing, prompting his early-1970s advisor to make a statement (via the Washington Post):

"I confess surprise that a man so dreadfully intellectually and morally challenged as George W. Bush would want a person as intellectually gifted, independent and morally principled as Sam Alito on the bench."

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Tom DeLay's MoveOn-donatin' judge has been removed from the case. Ronnie Earle: sad.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Democrats "hijacked" (to quote Bill Frist) the Senate this afternoon, forcing the body into a rare closed session and infuriating Senate Republicans:

Taken by surprise, Republicans derided the move as a political stunt.
A political stunt? In the Senate? Surely not!

The closed session, which came as the Senate debated a deficit-reduction bill, gave Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Crazy) a chance to get in an admittedly-amusing comment:

"They'll go to any extent to try to avoid ... any discussion about shrinking the size of government. Being more responsible with the taxpayers' dollars is just so painful that they had to go into private session to recoup and come out again hopefully soon so we can get back to the business at hand," said Santorum.

Popular Science names "Kansas biology teacher" the third worst job in science (after manure inspector and human lab rat). Thousands of human lab rats sympathetically beg to differ.

I know that a lot of people are uncomfortable with the Vietnam-Iraq comparisons, but this is uncanny:

The National Security Agency has kept secret since 2001 a finding by an agency historian that during the Tonkin Gulf episode, which helped precipitate the Vietnam War, N.S.A. officers deliberately distorted critical intelligence to cover up their mistakes, two people familiar with the historian's work say.
"Rather than come clean about their mistake, they helped launch the United States into a bloody war that would last for 10 years," [historian Matthew] Aid said.
Robert S. McNamara, who as defense secretary played a central role in the Tonkin Gulf affair, said in an interview last week that he believed the intelligence reports had played a decisive role in the war's expansion. "I think it's wrong to believe that Johnson wanted war," Mr. McNamara said. "But we thought we had evidence that North Vietnam was escalating."
Like I said: uncanny.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Hotline's Last Call asks, in reference to this picture: "Does Alito's daughter look pissed because Clinton's touching her?"

I hesitated to link to this, because it's awfully juvenile even for me, but Christ, it's just too good to pass up: the Arkansas football coach (Houston Nutt) has decided to bench his current quarterback (Robert Johnson) in favor of a red-shirted freshman (Casey Dick) for this coming Saturday's game against South Carolina (the Gamecocks). Sounds like an April Fools' Day joke, doesn't it?

Some funny lines from this weekend's comedians (all courtesy, naturally, of The Hotline):

Darrell Hammond (as Bill O'Reilly): "Where I come from, we don't need our juries to be grand, and we sure as heck don't need our prosecutors to be special. 'Talking Points' once again invites this jury to come on 'The Factor' and explain what makes this jury so grand, and until you do, jury, you're a coward."

Amy Poehler (Weekend Update): "Shocking many on Thursday, the religious right participated in a second-term abortion."

Bill Maher: "They say Libby could finish Cheney's sentences, and now he's going to. At Leavenworth."

Also, in the spirit of all these, here's a joke I recently enjoyed:
President Bush was receiving his daily intelligence briefing. Coming to the subject of Iraq, the briefer said, "Mr. President, I'm sorry to inform you that three Brazilian soldiers died this afternoon." There was a pause, then the President let out a wail and began to sob. His briefing staff, unused to such displays of emotion, waited awkwardly until finally Bush managed to get himself under control. With tears running down his face, he looked up and asked, lips quavering, "How many is a Brazilian?"

In light of equal time requirements (self being unquestionably a member of the media), and since I linked to Harriet Miers's blog a few weeks ago: The Right Honorable Samuel A. Alito, Jr.

Sam Alito's 1972 Princeton yearbook entry, which says, believe it or not, that Alito "intends... eventually to warm a seat on the Supreme Court."

I'm not thrilled about the Alito nomination, obviously, but I have to admit that the 33-years-ahead-of-its-time prediction is pretty neat.

The New Yorker's Lauren Collins parses the sex scenes in Scooter Libby's titillating 1995 novel, The Apprentice:

So, how does Libby stack up against the competition? This question was put to Nancy Sladek, the editor of Britain’s Literary Review, which, each year, holds a contest for bad sex writing in fiction. (In 1998, someone nominated the Starr Report.) Sladek agreed to review a few passages from Libby. "That's a bit depraved, isn't it, this kind of thing about bears and young girls? That's particularly nasty, and the other ones are just boring," she said. "God, they’re an odd bunch, these Republicans." Unlike their American counterparts, she said, Tories haven’t taken much to sex writing. "They usually just get caught," she said.
Terrific. Highly recommended reading. (The article, not The Apprentice.)

Poor CNN. I honestly believe that they do sometimes (not always, but sometimes) try to function as a legitimate newsgathering organization, but I swear, lately, even during those limited times, their credibility is all-too-frequently sapped by vapid stupidity. Whether that stupidity is the fault of the production staff or the mind-numbing mid-day anchors (hereinafter "hairdos"), I do not know. Probably both. But it is disheartening.

To wit: Kyra Phillips, introducing a guest to talk about the Alito nomination, just asked, "Just who is Samuel Alito? Is he a conservative, as some critics contend?" Give me a break. Talk about missing the point. That's like asking, "Is he a white man, as some people have pointed out?" Of course he's conservative. It's not critics contending he's conservative, it's everyone contending he's conservative.

So what should Phillips be asking instead? "Is he qualified? Is he intelligent? Is he crazy? Has he ever rented 'A Day at the Races'? Does he know Anita Hill?"

Patridiot Watch (with the excellent headline "Trenton Makes, the Supreme Court Takes...") points out that with Alito's confirmation, fully 22% of the justices of the Supreme Court will be Trenton-born. (Via On Call.)

Think Progress has some excellent talking points. The headers:

1. Alito would overturn Roe v. Wade.
2. Alito would allow race-based discrimination.
3. Alito would allow disability-based discrimination.
4. Alito would strike down the Family and Medical Leave Act.
5. Alito supports unauthorized strip searches.
6. Alito hostile toward immigrants.
Sounds like my kind of guy.

Bush nominates Sam "Scalito" Alito. Sam Brownback succumbs to the Rapture.

Happy Halloween.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Lanny Davis makes a couple of Clinton-based suggestions for the Bush White House:

Now President Bush must do something that for him, it seems, is the most difficult task: admit a mistake. First, he must send his press secretary, Scott McClellan, into the White House press room to apologize for his misleading the American people - probably based on incomplete or inaccurate information he was given - when he denied involvement by White House officials in the disclosure that Valerie Wilson was a C.I.A. officer.

More important, President Bush should follow the ultimate rule of White House damage control: the buck stops here. He should admit that this entire mess could have been avoided had the White House, including the vice president, criticized Ambassador Joseph Wilson openly and directly, rather than whispering "on background" into the ears of certain reporters that his wife was responsible for sending him to investigate possible Iraqi attempts to buy uranium in Niger.

And then, after reminding everyone that Mr. Libby is entitled to the presumption of innocence, Mr. Bush should focus on the people's business and the far more serious problems facing America.

I think one of the reasons that these suggestions seem so striking is that the first one - having Scott "I Don't Know What the Hell You're Talking About, Liberal Media" McClellan actually apologize for something - seems completely antithetical to everything this White House has ever done.

The New York Times previews the upcoming nomination fight, which can apparently be concisely summarized by the following two statements:

1. If Bush nominates anything less than a frothing-at-the-mouth conservative, the right will never support him in anything ever again.
2. If Bush nominates a frothing-at-the-mouth conservative, the left will never support him in anything ever again.

The long and short of it: somebody's going to be seriously pissed off.

Sherlock; Marlowe; Ace Ventura; me. The common thread? Great detectives, obviously.

Following an extensive Purple State investigation,* I can now exclusively reveal the true motivation for the selection of Ben Bernanke as Fed Chair: the Bush administration has always wondered how it would feel to be praised by Paul Krugman.

Obviously I'm pleased, too. Full disclosure: Mr. Bernanke was chairman of the Princeton economics department before moving to Washington, and he made the job offer that brought me to Princeton.
According to one of my investigators, Bush's first choice was Krugman's mom, but she didn't want the job.

* - Read: no investigation whatsoever.

An amusing summary of the Plame Affair (which I missed when it was published on Friday) by Post columnist Michael Kinsley. From the early bits:

You can't knock the names, though. Above all, there is the wonderfully Pynchonesque Valerie Plame. ... Then there is the aide to the vice president who answers to the call of "Snooker." Or is it Smoky? Or maybe Sunshine?