Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #9559

Next on What If?: What If Jesus Christ Had Read Ayn Rand?

"Die for everybody else's sins?!? What the HELL was I thinking?"

Stay tuned.

(Image originally uploaded by nicolettesara; Random Flickr Blogging originally invented by Tom Hilton.)


Monday, August 30, 2010

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #9970

"Oh, the things I do for The Nation," sighed Katrina Vanden Heuvel as she began her fan dance.

*Katha Pollitt looks on disapprovingly*

*Rich Lowry starbursts uncontrollably*

(Image originally uploaded by Bokehjo; Random Flickr Blogging originally invented by Tom Hilton.)


My Ears! The Initials Mean Nothing!

Interesting detail from Harry Shearer on today's Democracy Now!:

ANJALI KAMAT: Harry Shearer, talk about the distribution of your film [The Big Uneasy, about the governmental and engineering failures involved in Katrina's destructiveness]. And your...recent post on Huffington Post [here] talks about "NPR—The Initials Stand for Nothing." Explain what you mean.

HARRY SHEARER: Well, NPR announced recently that they’re no longer National Public Radio, that the initials stand for, NPR. After I found out that they were not going to do a story about this film on either All Things Considered or Morning Edition, I decided to buy some time—you know, those enhanced underwriting announcements at the end of each half-hour. And NPR legal told me this language was unacceptable, quote, "documentary about why New Orleans flooded." The only language that they found acceptable was "documentary about New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina." And when I told them it’s not about a hurricane, that was the end of the conversation.

NPR: where even the underwriting is sanitized...for your protection.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #7544

The Annunciation of Leon Redbone might have attracted more theological notice had it not occurred in a such a laid-back, anachronistic 2/4 time.
(Image originally uploaded by Young Folks.; Random Flickr Blogging originally invented by Tom Hilton.)


Like I Said

Today Krugssandra recalls a premonition of today from two years ago:

Something very ugly is taking shape on the political scene: as McCain’s chances fade, the crowds at his rallies are, by all accounts, increasingly gripped by insane rage. It’s not just a mob phenomenon — it’s visible in the right-wing media, and to some extent in the speeches of McCain and Palin.

We’ve seen this before. One thing that has been sort of written out of the mainstream history of politics is the sheer insanity of the attacks on the Clintons — they were drug smugglers, they murdered Vince Foster (and lots of other people), they were in league with foreign powers. And this stuff didn’t just show up in fringe publications — it was discussed in Congress, given props by the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal, and so on.

What it came down to was that a significant fraction of the American population, backed by a lot of money and political influence, simply does not consider government by liberals (even very moderate liberals) legitimate. Ronald Reagan was supposed to have settled that once and for all.

What happens when Obama is elected? It will be even worse than it was in the Clinton years. For sure there will be crazy accusations, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see some violence.

The next few years are going to be very, very tough.

*ding ding ding ding*

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #1777

The Delilah of Dalton Street played havoc with the Hipsters of Hampton Avenue.
(Image originally uploaded by sangderenard; Random Flickr Blogging originally invented by Tom Hilton.)


"This is going to be almost inconceivably ugly."

"All signs are that the next few years will be a combination of economic stagnation and political witch-hunt," says Krugssandra.

And I believe him.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #7639

aka Sean Hannity's native form
(Image originally uploaded by CDog420; Random Flickr Blogging originally invented by Tom Hilton.)


The Education of Andrew Bacevich

This week's must-read is a very eloquent TomDispatch excerpt from Andrew Bacevich's new book Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War.

For Americans who had known Berlin only from a distance, the city existed primarily as a metaphor. Pick a date -- 1933, 1942, 1945, 1948, 1961, 1989 -- and Berlin becomes an instructive symbol of power, depravity, tragedy, defiance, endurance, or vindication.
That there is some magnificent compression. Dang Army didn't teach him to write like that.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #9186

The ladies of the Monochrome Liberation Front kill mainly with their eyes; the guns are just for backup.


(Image originally uploaded by xotai2009; Random Flickr Blogging originally invented by Tom Hilton.)


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #0192

John Cage's groundbreaking Études for Prepared Organ got their start when a nearsighted mother bird began regurgitating into the organ pipes.
(Image originally uploaded by Lilufan; Random Flickr Blogging originally invented by Tom Hilton.)


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #9212

*knife quietly hums "Don't Fear the Reaper"*
(Image originally uploaded by katespace; Random Flickr Blogging originally invented by Tom Hilton.)


Monday, August 23, 2010

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #2248

Argentina is the only country that has hundreds of doctors specializing in tango-related injuries because...well...


(Image originally uploaded by will.huen; Random Flickr Blogging originally invented by Tom Hilton.)


Great Words from a Veteran

Matt Osborne at C&L on the Not-a-Monument Not-a-Mosque Not-at-Ground-Zero hate object:

Which brings me back to my toes and my spine and the distance (or lack thereof) that lends excuse to the hatemongers. From the outer perimeter of the holier-than-thou-of-holies to 45 and 51 Park Place is almost exactly 99 strides at a marching pace, which makes me want to visit New York City and ask the haters if one more step is far enough for a disabled vet to pray in peace. Even if I'm not Muslim, I suffered injury defending the right of every American to pray (or not) as their god moves them (or not), and I will remain forever inflexible on this point.
As the son of a disabled vet who I'm sure would have felt the same damn way, I say "preach on, brother."

I salute you.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #9093

The Olmecs delighted audiences with their antics for many years until the Maize Deity's departure for his spinoff brought the fourteenth cosmic cycle to a close.

Worst. Apocalypse. Ever.

(Image originally uploaded by wyliepoon; Random Flickr Blogging originally invented by Tom Hilton.)


Saturday, August 21, 2010

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #2354

When Jason came storming back to ConHugeCo after the layoffs, people were relieved to find that he was not disgruntled, just weird.
(Image originally uploaded by TailinLaer; Random Flickr Blogging originally invented by Tom Hilton.)


Keep Looking Up

Aw, jeez: RIP Jack Horkheimer. I for one will miss his wide-eyed, infectious enthusiasm for all things skyward.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #6683

"Honey, do these stripes make me look defined?" "Oh darling, I'd love you even if you had depth."
(Image originally uploaded by Andreas Helke; Random Flickr Blogging originally invented by Tom Hilton. That there's a Matisse, y'know.)


Murder Caps


The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

Now that's some damn fine satire.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #4819

Aircraft restoration students are the only ones who don't mind getting Zeros on assignments.
(Image originally uploaded by AlainG; Random Flickr Blogging originally invented by Tom Hilton. Seriously, that is one gorgeous airplane.)


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #4058

Explorers are miniaturized and sent into Laura Ingraham's vagina, film at eleven.
(Image originally uploaded by drayy; Random Flickr Blogging originally invented by Tom Hilton.)


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #7225

It turns out that there is such a thing as being "very pregnant." "Who's a little adverb? You're a little adverb. You are, oh yes you are. A booga booga booga."
(Image originally uploaded by abbybatchelder; Random Flickr Blogging originally invented by Tom Hilton.)


It Hehs Into Thee

Man, I would forgive the Democratic leadership many things if one day one of 'em stood up in public and said this of their opposition:

These people don't know what the fuck they're talking about, and they want you to follow them into the abyss.
But no, that's just Roy.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #3274

"DON'T talk about the hatchlings, Martha."
(Image originally uploaded by darcy988; Random Flickr Blogging originally invented by Tom Hilton.)


Many Pundits in Search of a Burping

Nicole Belle, with the best description of the Sunday bloviators ever:

I've been hanging out with my 3 year-old niece this week, awaiting the birth of her new baby brother or sister. While the little one remains stubbornly coy about meeting his or her family, I've had the chance to observe my niece and her friends on various playdates and it occurred to me that the Beltway Bubble is a lot like dealing with a toddler: they crave structure and consistency, yet think they are the center of the universe. They are afraid of change, strangers and threats to the power structure as they understand it, although paradoxically they tend to be enthralled with whomever is louder than they are. When anything happens that they feel jeopardizes their protected little world, they melt down. They act out. And they generally make life miserable for all the adults just trying to get things done.

So all this sturm und drang about the "professional left" and the dismissal of attempts at real change is all about the Beltway status quo doing their best toddler-esque meltdown in the face of the unfamiliar. It's also why it's just the same people week after week on these Sunday shows. New voices, different points of view are threatening.

Fetch young Master Wallace his juice box, chop-chop.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #7556

Oh my, yes, Red-Headed Tanager is my favorite Willie Nelson album, too.
(Image originally uploaded by Flávio Cruvinel Brandão; Random Flickr Blogging originally invented by Tom Hilton.)


Hey, Leave the Unspeakable Menages to Me, Buddy

Dennis Hartley on the utterly-uninteresting-to-me new Julia Roberts vehicle Urgh Grunt Splash Eat Pray Love:

It’s like randomly surfing between Lifetime, The Food Network and The Travel Channel.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #6150

The Jesus Spaniel can retrieve game from pretty much anywhere but has an unfortunate habit of also bringing it back to life.
(Image originally uploaded by LeeLeFever; Random Flickr Blogging originally invented by Tom Hilton.)


Digby vs. Dr. Laura

I confess to being baffled as to why anybody would turn to Dr. Laura for advice about anything, but I must say that digby's sensitive, insightful comments about her and "passive-aggressive racism" make me think that digby would make a far better radio therapist. Go read.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #9350

Product of an unspeakable ménage à trois between Joe Pesci, Sean Penn, and Charles Bronson.

The guy, I mean.

(Image originally uploaded by wesolson; Random Flickr Blogging originally invented by Tom Hilton.)


Proving a Negative

Hey, look: Not a week before the Obama Administration decided to rag on the troop-hating, Canadian-healthcare-loving, perpetually unsatisfied professional leftists tromping through its imagination, Robert Reich reviewed the administration's achievements and had this to say:

Reasonable people disagree about whether these initiatives should have been more or less ambitious, but almost everyone falls into one of these camps. And that’s precisely the political problem Democrats now face.

A stimulus too small to significantly reduce unemployment, a TARP that didn’t trickle down to Main Street, financial reform that doesn’t fundamentally restructure Wall Street, and health-care reforms that don’t promise to bring down health-care costs have all created an enthusiasm gap. They’ve fired up the right, demoralized the left, and generated unease among the general population.

This leaves the Democrats in a difficult position. They have to prove a negative proposition—that although these initiatives cost lots of money or require many new regulations, conditions would be or will be a lot worse without them.

And faced with this problem, they chose to slap around Dennis Kucinich. Real confidence-builder, that.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #5681

"Hell of a time to get the mumps."
(Image originally uploaded by tanci; Random Flickr Blogging originally invented by Tom Hilton.)


Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Happy St. Satchmo Day

I confess: One of my favorite things about the internet is that it's given me the opportunity to adore TBogg's bassets from afar. Today, he may make you cry just a little bit.

Happy St. Satchmo Day, indeed.

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #2449

Won't future archaeologists be puzzled by the Ethel Merman of Willendorf.
(Image originally uploaded by Camberwell-Chelsea-Wimbledon; Random Flickr Blogging originally invented by Tom Hilton.)


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Holy Crap! It's a Building-Shaped Building!

Sometimes Media Matters is fracking hilarious.

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #9239

ENEOS was the first supercomputer to have his own cheering section.
(Image originally uploaded by calvin_y; Random Flickr Blogging originally invented by Tom Hilton.)


Can't Be Satisfied

Jeez, three weeks after they fall like fools for a Breitbart punking, they say this sh*t about their own supposed base (h/t Balloon Juice):

The press secretary dismissed the “professional left” in terms very similar to those used by their opponents on the ideological right, saying, “They will be satisfied when we have Canadian healthcare and we’ve eliminated the Pentagon. That’s not reality.”

Of those who complain that Obama caved to centrists on issues such as healthcare reform, Gibbs said: “They wouldn’t be satisfied if Dennis Kucinich was president.”

Yeah, we all want to abolish the armed forces and rely on flower power to protect us. He's got our number, all right. F*cking idiot.

GG says it best: In 18 short months, we went from "hold me accountable" to "get drug tested." This, the Breitbart punking, the extension of Bush-Cheney wars and civil liberties degradations—boy, is there an ugly pattern here. I guess they're figuring that whoever rises to the top of the Republican heap in 2012 will be so scary that we'll all come running back to the Hope and Change administration out of necessity. "He's Not Sarah Palin" doesn't strike me as a very inspiring campaign slogan, but hey, if they finally want to stop pretending that they're anything more than the lesser of two evils, I guess we can call it a victory for honesty.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #7924

Dammit, I suck at Name That Genre!

Uh...uh...Macedonian Folk Blues?

Neo-Slavic Retro Ethnofusion?

Pan-Balkan Acoustic Revivalism?

Oh, f*ck it. *reaches for Ramones CD*

(Image originally uploaded by shimmyblisster; Random Flickr Blogging originally invented by Tom Hilton.)


Make the Music Pretty and Sad

God, this song speaks to me tonight. Never mind why.

"Could tell you a lot, but you've got to be true to your code."

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #1684

Commedia Dell'artYAY! did okay in Topeka but barely got out of Oklahoma City ahead of the angry mob.
(Image originally uploaded by Loadhan; Random Flickr Blogging originally invented by Tom Hilton.)


Saturday, August 07, 2010

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #3323

"Casual Day" means different things in different places.
(Image originally uploaded by Ring.Chang; Random Flickr Blogging originally invented by Tom Hilton.)


The New York Times vs. The Greedy Working Classes

Go, Dean Baker, go!

It is more than a little bizarre, and arguably more than a little offensive, that the NYT would publish an explicit call for an attack on the pensions of millions of workers who never earned more than $40,000 or $50,000 a year. This is in a country where people like Erskine Bowles (the co-chair of President Obama's deficit commission) get $350,000 a year serving as a director of a company (Morgan Stanley) that only exists today because of the generosity of the Fed and the taxpayers when they rescued it in its time of need. (What does a director of Morgan Stanley do to get $350,000 a year?) Of course, the full-time Wall Streeters can pocket 100 times as much.

Mr. Lieber obviously wants to direct public anger at school teachers and custodians rather than the people who hold real power and wealth in this country. It is a pathetic and disgusting exercise and the NYT should be embarrassed to provide Mr. Lieber with the ink and electrons for this effort.

Apropos of this Ron Lieber column. Yeah, God forbid that public employees get the compensation they were promised. It's not like they do anything useful, like moving abstractions around in cyberspace.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #7758

"Hey, Frank. How are those granules helping with the chinch bugs? Sweet."
(Image originally uploaded by MarkAndMarina; Random Flickr Blogging originally invented by Tom Hilton.)


Thursday, August 05, 2010


Wow. If you haven't read up on Dr. Kevin Pezzi—genius, inventor, math whiz, Katic Couric spurner, cancer curer, penis enlarger, vagina tightener, sex book flogger, MySpace creeper, etc. etc. etc.—you owe it to yourself not to miss the spectacle. MediaMatters thinks he's "quite clearly a huckster," but just watch: he'll turn out to be Andy Kaufman.

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #8373

Paul McCartney's junk drawer.
(Image originally uploaded by Chris & Grace; Random Flickr Blogging originally invented by Tom Hilton.)


International Beer Day?

Well, then. Let me use the occasion to recommend Old Rasputin Imperial Stout:

"I may not go down easily, but it certainly will."

Quite possibly the single best beer I have ever tasted. The czars' private stash ain't private anymore!

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #9274

Garrison Keillor: The Missing Years
(Image originally uploaded by h_u_t_gerhard; Random Flickr Blogging originally invented by Tom Hilton.)


Let's All Go to the Stoning

David Corn's interview with outgoing Representative Bob Inglis (R-South Carolina)—outgoing as in lost his primary to a wingnuttier-than-thou teabagger candidate—has been making the rounds; it's well worth a read. Inglis seems genuinely frightened by the behavior he's seeing both from Tea Partiers and from the Republican establishment.

Inglis found that ideological extremism is not only the realm of the tea party; it also has infected the official circles of his Republican Party. In early 2009, he attended a meeting of the GOP's Greenville County executive committee. At the time, Republicans were feeling discouraged. Obama was in the White House; the Democrats had enlarged their majorities in the House and Senate. The GOP seemed to be in tatters. But Inglis had what he considered good news. He put up a slide he had first seen at a GOP retreat. It was based on exit polling conducted during the November 2008 election. The slide, according to Inglis, showed that when American voters were asked to place themselves on an ideological spectrum—1 being liberal, 10 being conservative—the average ended up at about 5.6. The voters placed House Republicans at about 6.5 and House Democrats at about 4.3. Inglis told his fellow Republicans, "This is great news," explaining it meant that the GOP was still closer to the American public than the Democrats. The key, he said, was for the party to keep to the right, without driving off the road.

Inglis was met, he says with "stony" faces: "There's a short story by Shirley Jackson, 'The Lottery.'" The tale describes a town where the residents stone a neighbor who is chosen randomly. "That's what the crowd looked like. I got home that night and said to my wife, 'You can't believe how they looked back at me.' It was really frightening." The next speaker, he recalls, said, "'On Bob's ideological spectrum up there, I'm a 10,' and the crowd went wild. That was what I was dealing with."

Jeez, for all my pessimism about American politics, even I hadn't gotten around to thinking in Shirley Jackson terms. Until now. Thanks, man.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #6353

I've heard it said that music "makes the world go away," but I didn't think that meant "creates a barren existential void."

Best place for Lady Gaga, though, really.

(Image originally uploaded by mibevollh; Random Flickr Blogging originally invented by Tom Hilton.)


David "Not Bobo" Brooks

The Colbert Report's takedown of this guy is a small masterpiece—better than its squalid subject deserves, probably, but oh well:

The Colbert ReportMon - Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Alpha Dog of the Week - David H. Brooks
Colbert Report Full Episodes2010 ElectionFox News

In other news, Jimmy Cliff!

Monday, August 02, 2010

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #4281

His marriage was not the only casualty once the details of Senator Haley's proclivities went public: thanks to his choice of safewords, no American could ever say "filibuster" again without giggling.
(Image originally uploaded by steevithak; Random Flickr Blogging originally invented by Tom Hilton.)


State TV

Peter Hart at FAIR watches the big weekend talking-heads shows and asks a great question:

The Afghanistan documents posted by WikiLeaks were obviously the big story of the week. So how did the network Sunday shows react to these disclosures, which have the potential to open up a real debate about the Afghan War?

NBC's Meet the Press interviewed chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen.

ABC's This Week featured an interview with Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

On CBS, Face The Nation had Mike Mullen.

What would state broadcasting look like again?

Yeah, the diversity of viewpoints in our glorious free media is dizzying, ain't it?

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Daily Random Flickr Blogging, #5902

Products of unspeakable ménages à trois between George Clooney, Gregory Peck, Jim Nabors, Giovanni Ribisi, Joe Jackson, and Rowan Atkinson.

Precise unspeakable details are left as an exercise for the reader.

(Image originally uploaded by Abhorsen The Final Death; Random Flickr Blogging originally invented by Tom Hilton.)


Baker vs. Brooks

As I think I've said before, there is no pundit I despise more than I despise David Brooks. Enjoy as Dean Baker takes a break from slapping around the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal to slap Bobo around instead.

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