Friday, May 28, 2010

Pot Meet Kettle

Andrew Sullivan called Peggy Noonan "unhinged" for her Wall Street Journal piece taking the Obama administration to task over their handling of the BP oil spill. Frankly anyone (like Sullivan) who is still spreading the rumor about Trig Palin being Sarah Palin's illegitimate grandchild shouldn't be calling anyone else "unhinged."

But, I digress...

After cherry picking one sentence out of Noonan's piece, Sullivan characterizes it way:
The premise of Noonan's moronic column is that the federal government, especially the president, should be capable of ending an oil-pipe rupture owned and operated by private companies, using technology that only deep-sea oil companies deploy or understand.
Bullshit. Sullivan is the one who sounds moronic by pushing his own "tangle of prejudices and feelings wrapped up in hyperbole." I read her column and Noonan's premise is clearly NOT what Sullivan describes.

Noonan says (bold added):

...I wonder if the president knows what a disaster this is not only for him but for his political assumptions. His philosophy is that it is appropriate for the federal government to occupy a more burly, significant and powerful place in America—confronting its problems of need, injustice, inequality. But in a way, and inevitably, this is always boiled down to a promise: "Trust us here in Washington, we will prove worthy of your trust." Then the oil spill came and government could not do the job, could not meet the need, in fact seemed faraway and incapable: "We pay so much for the government and it can't cap an undersea oil well!"

This is what happened with Katrina, and Katrina did at least two big things politically. The first was draw together everything people didn't like about the Bush administration, everything it didn't like about two wars and high spending and illegal immigration, and brought those strands into a heavy knot that just sat there, soggily, and came to symbolize Bushism. The second was illustrate that even though the federal government in our time has continually taken on new missions and responsibilities, the more it took on, the less it seemed capable of performing even its most essential jobs.
Her point, in other words, is that the federal government can't solve EVERY problem. And, after getting elected promising otherwise, Obama is being hoisted on his own petard. Reasonable people can disagree with Noonan's assessment. But, she's hardly over-the-top as Sullivan suggests.

FWIW, in response to an email he received criticizing Obama's slowness in organizing a clean-up, Sullivan says:

My reader has a point. Not being glued to cable, I wasn't thinking of the clean-up. But I need to look into it further before I concede the point.
He doesn't have an opinion because he's not "glued to cable?" Sounds more like Sullivan is the unhinged one.
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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Step 1: Come Up With a Better Name for Plan

If this fails, BP is going to try using golf balls and scraps of rubber tires to clog the leak (I'm totally serious).

From USA Today:

BP starts 'top kill' plan

British energy giant BP said in a news release Wednesday that the "top kill" maneuver to try to stop the gushing oil from a rig in the Gulf has started, but the move has never been tried before, and company officials say it could be a couple of days before they know whether it is working.

Engineers will try to pump enough mud into the gusher to overcome the flow of the well and plan to follow up the mud with cement they hope will permanently seal the well.

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Monday, May 24, 2010

Shear Nonsense

The New Yorker's Cartoon Caption Contest (#240) left me feeling clipped.

I actually liked mine best:
"Norm, I left another message with the pharmacist about your Cialis dosage."
The winners, on the other hand, tried too hard (pun intended):
  • "That's it. I'm returning those narciscissors today!" - ha ha, what a cut-up (NOT)

  • "Keep going—it's starting to turn me on." - eh

  • "I wish you’d go back to doing self-portraits." - isn't that what he is doing?

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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Get Outta There

They left out Kirk's famous "Let's get the hell out of here" from "The City on the Edge of Forever," but a pretty neat compilation nonetheless.

(H/T The Hot Blog)

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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Cosa Nancy

I'm about a third of the way through 2006's "The Godfather's Revenge" -- Mark Winegardner's continuation of Mario Puzo's famous saga. The novel is set between the events depicted in "The Godfather II" and "III."

I'm not quite sold on it yet. There have already been two or three references to oranges and, frankly, the motif is getting tired.

But, Winegardner does throw in neat bits like a scene with the Johnny Fontane character and his daughter. While marching in a Columbus Day parade, the daughter complains about her feet hurting from the high-heel boots she's wearing. If Fontane is meant to be Frank Sinatra, then his daughter is Nancy Sinatra. Thus, it's not too far fetched to suggest that Winegardner is making a sly reference to her big hit song "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'." Only, in this case, they're not.
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Friday, May 14, 2010

Rut Roh!!!

I'll have the "Alan Shepard" with fries.

From The Telegraph (UK):

Dog on the menu for Chinese astronauts

China's first man in space has said that Chinese astronauts eat dog meat to keep their strength up as they orbit around the earth.

Yang Liwei, the 44-year-old military pilot who commanded the Shenzhou Five mission in 2003, revealed the menu on-board the spacecraft in his autobiography, The Nine Levels between Heaven and Earth.

...He listed a menu including braised chicken, steamed fish and dog meat from Huajiang county in Guangdong, which is famed for its nutritional benefits in China.

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Lost and Found and Lost

The most inspirational video on YouTube AND a spirited rebuttal both done as palindromes. Expect to see more and more of these as they replace the "bible code" and sudoku as the next BIG thing in word play fun.

Lost Generation:

Lost Generation Sucks:

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The New Yorkers 238th "Cartoon Caption Content" didn't light my fire.

While my entry may have been fair, it was culturally current:
"This would be much more exciting in 3-D."
The winners, as usual IMHO, weren't all that better:
  • I told you the matinée wouldn't be crowded. - I have reservations about this one

  • And I have him booked right through the Iron Age. - check please

  • Before we got fire, we used to talk to each other. - doesn't do a thing for me...which means it will win

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Saturday, May 08, 2010

Lest We Forget

Today is the 65th anniversary of the Allies victory in Europe.

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Friday, May 07, 2010

The Name Game

Since Mad Men and Breaking Bad debuted on AMC, I’ve been struck by the alliterative nature of their respective show titles.

Well, nothing succeeds like success. So, I’m pitching ideas for other ”original” series AMC could add to their programming portfolio that use similar two word alliterative titles. To make it REALLY challenging, I made a rule that the word ending in “ad” could have ONLY three letters.

Sigh. Try as I might, I could only come up with 17 out of 24. Feel free to help.

Anecdotally Aad: Set in Amsterdam, this show follows "legal" drug dealer Aad Derksen as he finds himself more involved with the lives of his clients than he wants to be. Aad narrates each episode.

CAD Con: CADTroics, a corrupt defense contractor specializing in a “computer aided design” based weapons prototyping system wheels and deals with elected officials, military officers, and lobbyists as they peddle their own high-tech version of the “$500 Pentagon hammer.”

Designated Dad: A deadbeat dad is tracked down thirty years after abandoning his wife and now adult daughter. In lieu of back child support and/or prison time, the mom and daughter convince a judge to sentence the man to be a foster father to a mom and daughter who are the same age now as when he went AWOL.

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Thursday, May 06, 2010

Private Eyes, They're Watching You

Does anyone feel exploited?

From BBC News:

Facebook fixes embarrassing security flaw

Facebook has rushed to fix a security flaw that allowed users to eavesdrop on the live chats of their friends and see their pending friend requests.

The exploit used the site's privacy features - intended to protect a user - to expose the personal information.

...The exploit - originally reported by the blog TechCrunch - worked via an option in privacy settings that allows people to preview their profiles as it would appear to their friends.

...But it was never intended to show others what their friends were actually doing.

"For a limited period of time, a bug permitted some users' chat messages and pending friend requests to be made visible to their friends by manipulating the 'preview my profile' feature of Facebook privacy settings," Facebook said in a statement.

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Wednesday, May 05, 2010

The Voice of Summer

In his 1974 autobiography, "Me and the Spitter," major league pitcher Gaylord Perry noted that when on the road, he would actually scout opposing batters (their strengths, weaknesses, tendencies, etc.) by listening to Ernie Harwell broadcasts. That speaks volumes.

Godspeed Ernie.

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Sunday, May 02, 2010

Rifled Beer Neck

Miller Vortex: For beer drinkers who crave that "fresh from the toilet" taste.

MillerCoors execs met with wholesalers last week in Las Vegas to show off some of the new campaigns and products. Chief among the new innovations is something called Miller Vortex, a bottle with specially designed interior grooves that “create a vortex as you’re pouring the beer,” according to a rep, who explained that the brand’s goal is to “create buzz and excitement and give consumers another reason to choose Miller.”

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Saturday, May 01, 2010

May Day Surprise

I just noticed this factoid from the website regarding Michigan's Smoke Free Air Law:

"Smoking is not allowed in any indoor area as well as outdoor areas such as patios or rooftops where patrons are intended to receive service or consume food, beverages, or both."
Translation: I can't smoke a seegar OUTSIDE at my favorite coffee shop. Gov Granholm can kiss my ass (unless she bans that too).
Rant over.

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