One blogger’s personal bridge to nowhere

It’s good to watch television news every once in a while…

…if only to remind myself how shockingly inane it is.  On MSNBC this evening, that dude who sits at the table with Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski sometimes the guy who replaced David Gregory on “1600” David Shuster was leading an entirely frivolous conversation about today’s luncheon with Presidents Carter, Bush, Clinton, and Bush, and President-elect Obama — or rather, about the significance of where each of them was standing in the relation to the others.  Finally, he segued into a conversation about Gaza — and how it impacted where each of them was standing in relation to the others.  He concluded with a wry observation about the implications of Clinton’s pre-photo comment to Bush 43 — that he liked the rug in the Oval Office.

It’s a good thing that I don’t watch the teevee more often — I would have too much to hate on.

(Bloggers, by the way, apparently hate lots of things.  Yglesias confirms.)


January 7, 2009 Posted by | media | , , , | Leave a comment

Meta-legislating feminism

Jessica highlights the long-overdue official change in the male-centric lingo of the House of Representatives.  A snippet of the bill:


This is indeed hugely important, but doesn’t this “meta-legislation” underscore just how dull legislation really is?

January 7, 2009 Posted by | Feminism, U.S. politics | , | 2 Comments

Palin leads Murkowski, who leads Palin

In case the polling preceding Mark Begich’s overwhelming victory sqeak-out over Ted Stevens did not affirm this truism, a current — albeit absurd — poll pitting incumbent Senator Lisa Murkowski against a pitbull Sarah Palin proves once and for all that Alaska polling is, well, extremely fucked up.

murkowskiLisa Murkowski had better hope that Sarah Palin doesn’t elect to run for the Senate in 2010. That’s because a Research 2000 poll conducted two weeks ago for Daily Kos has Murkowski trailing Palin 55-31 among Republican primary voters.

Sarah Palin had better not be so foolish as to challenge Lisa Murkowski. That’s because a Dittman Research poll for the local blog The Alaska Standard shows her losing to Murkowski 58-31 in a prospective primary matchup.

It doesn’t take a guru like Nate Silver to explain this one though; turns out the poll was conducted by a committed Murkowski-phile who makes a habit of posting anti-Palin screeds.  The maxim that anything goes in Alaska politics, however,  is clearly as robust as ever.

(image from flickr user Alaska Youth for Environmental Action under a Creative Commons license)

January 7, 2009 Posted by | U.S. politics | , , , , | 1 Comment

Red Sox fans: read the Times!

nytimesMichael Hirschorn ponders what would happen if the Old Grey Lady suffers a fate worse than death itself — banishment to the tubes of the interweb.

But what if the old media dies much more quickly? What if a hurricane comes along and obliterates the dunes entirely? Specifically, what if The New York Times goes out of business—like, this May?

I have many very serious concerns about what the downfall of the standard-bearer of traditional journalism would mean for the industry, for the way that information is disseminated, and for the Sunday morning Bohemian lifestyle loyal Times readers, but my paramount concern here is this: please make sure that someone is paying the salaries of the Boston Red Sox at least through October.

(image from flickr user Scorpions and Centaurs under a Creative Commons license)

January 7, 2009 Posted by | Baseball, media | , | 1 Comment

Pumpkin helmets

Ready to ride.

Ready to ride.

Happen to have saved and dried any carved pumpkins from Halloween?  I seriously hope not.  But if you do, try putting them on your head.

Motorcyclists in Nigeria have been wearing dried pumpkin shells on their heads to dodge new laws forcing them to wear helmets, authorities have said.

Officials in the northern city of Kano said they had stopped several people with “improvised helmets”, following this month’s introduction of the law.

I think my interest in safety should trump my interest in creative uses for pumpkins here.

(image from flickr user zizzybaloobah under a Creative Commons license)

UPDATE: By some bizarre coincidence, the fiction piece in this week’s New Yorker, by Joyce Carol Oates, is titled — what else? — “Pumpkin Head.”

January 7, 2009 Posted by | Africa, Humor | , | Leave a comment

Treason is a very scary word

The dynamics within DR Congo’s most infamous rebel group appear to be, uh, sorting themselves out:

Rebel commanders in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo have pledged their loyalty to Gen Laurent Nkunda, following claims he had been toppled.

His spokesman said those rebel officials saying he had been ousted had committed “high treason”.

Under the standards of either a notoriously rights-abusing rebel leader or his even more brutal rival — known as “the Terminator” and indicted for war crimes — “high treason” likely means only one thing: summary execution.  Human rights organizations, please pay attention.

UPDATE: My read on Bosco Ntaganda’s treason cum execution may have been a bit premature.  Well, that’s if you can trust the justice system of, um, Laurent Nkunda…

January 7, 2009 Posted by | DR Congo | , , | 1 Comment