Saturday, July 01, 2006

Bobo attempts science

Bobo attempts to explain human bonding. With predictable results.
If I had $37 billion to give to charity, I'd give some of it to a foundation that would invent an Oxytocin Meter. That way we could predict who is headed for success and who for failure.


I figure if we can hang Oxytocin Meters around people's necks, we can tell who is involved in healthy relationships and who isn't. If you walked into an office where nobody is having an oxytocin moment, then you'd know you're in a dysfunctional organization and it's time to get out of there.

Because, of course, everyone who isn't in a healthy relationship is doomed to failure. Bobo has the analytical skills of roadkill.

If I had $37 billion, I'd build a rocket and shoot Bobo into the sun.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Teh cute

Litz's kitty Jolene. What a little scamp.

On Hamdan

Billmon has a must read post up on the Hamdan v. Rumsfeld decision. Crime and Punishment. It's long, but well worth your time:
In a civilized world, George W. Bush and Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney would all be working the phones right now trying to scare up some really good criminal attorneys – preferably ones with a hands-on experience in international war crimes litigation.

Who knows? Now that Milosevic is dead, maybe some of his old mouthpieces are available.

But of course, this is not a civilized world, which means the odds the Republican Guard (ours, I mean) will ever face trial are only slightly shorter than the chances Osama bin Laden and his sidekick Dr. Zawahiri will someday be called to account in a court of law for their crimes against humanity. This picture, I’m afraid, is probably going to remain only a scene we’d like to see.

Nevertheless, the Cheney Administration’s top officials have been formally notified that they face potentially enormous personal legal liabilities as a result of their actions in the war against Al Qaeda. They are, as the corporate lawyers like to say, exposed. At least this seems to be the conclusion some of the county’s better legal minds have drawn from Judge Stevens’s opinion in the Hamdan case.

Cheney and Bush in the dock for war crimes. Has a nice ring to it, doesn't it? I agree with Billmon though. It's not likely to happen.

Froomkin weighs in today as well, Overreach Overturned.
And in reasserting the rule of law, the high court has opened the way to what could be major legal action over other executive branch violations of established statutes -- about domestic spying, for instance. The ruling even raises the possibility that U.S. forces and Bush administration officials could be tried for war crimes.

The rousing of the legislative and judicial branches is the ultimate nightmare of the unilateralists within Bush's inner circle, most notably Vice President Cheney and his chief of staff, David S. Addington. They had argued that nothing -- not Congress, not the courts, not traditional notions of basic human rights -- should limit the president from pursuing the nation's enemies however he saw fit.

The legislature roused? Yeah, I'm sure they're going to rouse themselves to pass legislation giving Bush the authority to do whatever the hell he wants.

I don't see him complying with this. And the chorus of "Judicial activism!!" is already in full throat. I have to ask though, did none of these wingnuts take civics in high school or college?

As Eugene Robinson asks, what part of "rule of law" don't they understand?

Overlord with minion

Because Flory was worried that lion kitty Maxx had killed his minon.

Your blogofascist overlord

Kneel, mere mortals!! and welcome your feline overlord.

Thursday, June 29, 2006


The NY Times editorial board gets it right on yesterday's redistrictinig decision, A Loss for Competitive Elections
The Supreme Court, in a badly fractured decision yesterday, largely upheld Tom DeLay's gerrymandering of the Texas Congressional districts. Instead of standing up for a fair electoral landscape, the court produced a ruling that did little to ensure the vibrancy of American democracy, and that itself had an unfortunate whiff of partisanship.

Given the strong negative feelings that voters have about Congress — in a recent Times poll, just 23 percent of those surveyed approved of the job lawmakers were doing — it is startling how few races are expected to be competitive this fall. This is largely because of increasingly sophisticated partisan gerrymandering that uses high-powered computers to draw lines that in many cases make voters all but irrelevant.

That's me, irrelevant, white, democratic voter. Where is my equal protection?

I would like to see a constitutional amendment that mandates fair election maps and mandates protection of voter rights and fair and auditable elections. The court should be embarrassed by their decision yesterday. The decision basically said that extreme gerrymandering for partisan reasons that specifically intends to dilute or erase votes from the opposition is constitutional.

And that is outrageous.

Mid day Maxx

Busy day for me, but Maxx will keep you company. And Peepers too.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Bobo on art

Bobo Brooks has a few things to say about American art. (Not that anyone gives a fuck) One Nation, Under One Roof:
That's because around 1960 the art world and much of the intellectual world lost faith in the idea that history has a storyline and that America has a distinct role in it. This week, Blake Gopnik spoke for the art establishment in his review of the museums in The Washington Post, arguing that there is no essentially American culture — no transcendent thing we Americans share simply because we happen to inhabit the same nation-state.

So the artists have gone off to have a conversation about themselves.

Huh? I think Pearl hit him in the head too many times.
And today, when America is unpopular and the whole concept of Americanness is encrusted with clichés and conspiracy theories, they'll feel thrilled to get back and touch the real America, the real conversation, which has been so triumphantly presented in the old Patent Office Building in downtown D.C.

Perhaps we could all celebrate with a trip to Red Lobster. After we get through un-crusting our clichés.

late night extra plush

Maxx's fans are so demanding.

tiger babies

For absolutely no reason at all. Except that they're Watertiger's pipples.

9/11 Changed History

Via Attaturk, past sound bites updated for chimpy's america. 9/11 Really has changed everything.

A sampling:

"Fuck Liberty, I want to live!!!"
--Patrick Henry

Go see the rest.

Political Gerrymandering is Just Swell

The Supreme assholes have said that it's perfectly okay for political parties to gerrymander election maps even though they're plainly designed to marginalize and effectively eliminate votes of the opposition party. Justices Back Most GOP Changes to Texas Districts.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld most of the Texas congressional map engineered by former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay but threw out part, saying some of the new boundaries failed to protect minority voting rights.

The fractured decision was a small victory for Democratic and minority groups who accused Republicans of an unconstitutional power grab in drawing boundaries that booted four Democratic incumbents out of office.

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, writing for the majority, said Hispanics do not have a chance to elect a candidate of their choosing under the plan.

Guess what, as a democrat living in Austin, TX, I don't have a chance to elect a candidate of my choosing either. The justices may be right under the law, but they're morally wrong. When the texas GOP carved up the Austin democratic voting block and plunked those voters into republican districts they effectively wiped out my vote and denied me the representation of my choice.

Gerrymandering is wrong whichever party does it. Districts in every state should be drawn on demographics without regard to party affiliation. I suppose that would put too much power in the hands of the voters, eh? Can't have that.

Feh, a pox on all of them.

Maxx and his minion

Lion kitty Maxx and his minion "Peeper" continue their blogofascist assault on the Eiffel Tower. Oh, the perfidity!!

Bad Treason!! Bad!!

Billmon helpfully explains the difference between Good treason and bad.
The National Review on the bad treason:

President Bush, who said on Monday morning that the exposure “does great harm to the United States of America,” must demand that the New York Times pay a price for its costly, arrogant defiance . . . Publications such as the Times, which act irresponsibly when given access to secrets on which national security depends, should have their access to government reduced. Their press credentials should be withdrawn. Reporting is surely a right, but press credentials are a privilege. This kind of conduct ought not be rewarded with privileged access.

And the National Review on the good treason:

The cable was classified, but contained nothing sensitive to national security, just a politically embarrassing policy recommendation. A whistleblower leaked the cable to Mr. Mowbray. He reported on the memo on National Review Online on Wednesday morning . . . [When detained] Mowbray appropriately refused to identify the whistle-blower who had given him the document in the interest of having the public fully informed . . .
The only reason, then, to hold Mr. Mowbray against his will in the building must have been to intimidate a young reporter who had made your life difficult. I regret to say that I have found your conduct in this entire visa controversy, slipshod, deceptive, and, now, even thuggish.

I ask for a personal assurance from you that Mr. Mowbray will be allowed to continue his reporting at the State Department with no risk of similar incidents in the future, and indeed without any harassment at all.

Any questions?

Well, no. Glad we cleared that up.

I wish someone would explain to TNR about electronic archives.

Help America Not Vote

It's pretty much as we thought- a new study concludes that electronic voting systems are fairly easy to hack, and without paper ballots and regular audits, the hack will be undetectable. The WAPO has the details, A Single Person Could Swing An Election:
To determine what it would take to hack a U.S. election, a team of cybersecurity experts turned to a fictional battleground state called Pennasota and a fictional gubernatorial race between Tom Jefferson and Johnny Adams. It's the year 2007, and the state uses electronic voting machines.

Jefferson was forecast to win the race by about 80,000 votes, or 2.3 percent of the vote. Adams's conspirators thought, "How easily can we manipulate the election results?"

The experts thought about all the ways to do it. And they concluded in a report issued yesterday that it would take only one person, with a sophisticated technical knowledge and timely access to the software that runs the voting machines, to change the outcome.

The report, which was unveiled at a Capitol Hill news conference by New York University's Brennan Center for Justice and billed as the most authoritative to date, tackles some of the most contentious questions about the security of electronic voting.

The report concluded that the three major electronic voting systems in use have significant security and reliability vulnerabilities. But it added that most of these vulnerabilities can be overcome by auditing printed voting records to spot irregularities. And while 26 states require paper records of votes, fewer than half of those require regular audits.

No wonder the republicans fight this issue so hard.

If democrats don't get on the ball and make this a national issue, we can kiss honest elections in this country goodbye. Forever. That is, if we haven't already.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Little socialist squirrel

This little liberal accosted me and demanded a free meal.

The Face of blogofacism

The horror!! Look at the narrowed eyes, the cruel paws, the way he has crushed the peep beneath him! No wonder the right wing is all a-twitter!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Other species plush

AFP/Valentina Petrova

"Arny and Bessie : A one month old Eurasian Lynx named Arny (L) cuddles up to her mother Bessy at the Sofia Zoo, in Sofia. Arny is the first Lynx born in the Bulgarian Zoo."

Teh cute.

Polar Bear Porn™

AFP/Maxim Marmur

My, my. What will we tell the children?

Monday plush

By request.

How much is enough?

Frank Herbert has a question in his column today (sadly, subscription required), Playing Politics With Iraq:
I wonder whether Americans will ever become fed up with the loathsome politicking, the fear-mongering, the dissembling and the gruesome incompetence of this crowd. From the Bush-Rove perspective, General Casey's plan is not a serious strategic proposal. It's a straw in the political wind.

I wonder too. He goes on:
We've had enough clownish debates on the Senate floor and elsewhere. We've had enough muscle-flexing in the White House and on Capitol Hill by guys who ran and hid when they were young and their country was at war. And it's time to stop using generals and their forces under fire in the field for cheap partisan political purposes.

The question that needs to be answered, honestly and urgently (and without regard to partisan politics), is how best to extricate overstretched American troops — some of them serving their third or fourth tours — from the flaming quicksand of an unwinnable war.

He's right, the country has had more than enough of these clowns. I fervently hope that the country has finally wised up to their antics and will throw the mofos out.

OT, but how can a newspaper that has the brilliant columnists Frank Herbert and Frank Rich give space to a nimrod like Bobo?

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Perhaps a mummy ate it

I despair that Billmon will ever take pity on me and post the conclusion of his adventures in Luxor.

Woe is me.

Okay, so I'm whining. But don't we need some distractions this summer? I know I do.


Billmon has an interesting post up about how the AP is trying to report on reality, while not straying too far from the approved narrative of, "Bush had a really good two weeks!! huzzah!!" Making the News Fit the Spin. The important part of the post comes at the end, where Billmon sums up just what is wrong with our media.
My purpose here is not to rag on the AP, or the reporter in question, who's far from the worst of the bunch. As Juan Cole says, he is trying to correct the record -- he's just not being very direct about it. But all that only goes to show how thoroughly the official propaganda continues to shape the coverage -- even when the journalists involved understand that the propaganda is misleading or flat wrong.

Breaking the cycle would require the herd to challenge the spin and disinformation they're being fed, instead of letting it become the baseline that has to be timidly corrected later as the facts come to light. The burden of proof, in other words, would have to be put on the spinners, instead of reality. And it would have to be put there by the journalistic herd as a whole -- or at least, by the dominant group within the herd -- and not just by a few mavericks and dissidents.

But of course we no longer have that kind of journalism in this country -- and never really did, other than for a few brief years after Vietnam and Watergate. An experiment in journalistic truth telling (or at least, lie debunking) that today's corporate media bosses and the watchdogs of the authoritarian right are both determined never to allow again.

I suspect he's right. Depressing, isn't it?

Wankiferousness of the highest sort

So Jason Zengerle admits that his source fed him a bogus email and yet he refuses to divulge who the source is.
Steve Gilliard claims that he did not write the email I attributed to him in this post. After doing some further investigating, I'm afraid to say that he is correct. He did not write that email. I apologize to Gilliard for not checking with him before publishing my post, and I regret the error.

Gee, damn fine journamalism ya go going there. You guys got spun, and badly. You participated in a smear campaign and the best you can say is, "so sorry, old chaps. Nothing to see here, move along"?

Regretting the error isn't good enough. You may think this is a "minor error" but we do not. Either tell us all or get the fuck out of journalism. That goes for your editor, Franklin Foer, as well. (Frankly, I expect better of him.) Your whole operation is an embarrassment.

(Via Atrios)

By popular demand

....your saturday night plush.