Monthly Archives: September 2011

In Which Dave Weigel Pimps For Joe McGinniss

Dave Weigel wants to pretend that Joe McGinniss’s highly unflattering novel non-fiction work about Sarah Palin, The Rogue is selling well with first week sales of 6,000 and I guess by some standards it is. I mean, it’s definitely selling better than the one I haven’t written yet. It’s also selling better than another Palin-basher, Deer in the Headlights, by that rising literary star and high school drop-out, Levi Johnston but – WOW – talk about setting a low bar!

So let’s compare it to a book that had awesome sales it’s first week, Going Rogue: An American Life by Sarah Palin. Going Rogue sold over 700,000 copies it’s first week. Even Palin’s second book, America by Heart, the sales of which The Washington Post described as “lackluster” sold nearly 145,000 in it’s first three weeks (sorry, I couldn’t find the first week number) and I’m thinking that probably works out to “a few” more than 6,000 in the first week.

So I guess Weigel can try to spin it any way he wants but for a prominent author like McGinniss and a subject as provocative as Sarah Palin, I’d say The Rogue is a bomb.

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Filed under Books, Media

What Do Joe McGuiness And The Chevy Volt Have In Common?

I’m not sure, but I think this makes Joe McGinnis the Chevy Volt of authors; over-hyped and not nearly as eagerly anticipated as we were led to believe. I’m sure McGinnis will find some way to blame this on Sarah Palin because, well, why not? I mean, this is a guy is a creepy stalker who moved in next door to his victims, forcing them to build a 14 foot fence to stop him from peering into their daughter’s bedroom, then had the nerve to complain that people were hanging around outside his rental house, snapping pictures of him. So I’m thinking there’s no reason to expect rational thought.

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Filed under Media, Washington

Understanding The Budget Crisis In Under 60 Seconds

For those, like me, who are number challenged (yes, I did ask on Twitter yesterday for someone to please tell me what $50,000,000,000 was “in words”), this simple illustration should bring the budget crisis “home.”

Here are the big numbers:

• United States Tax revenue: $2,170,000,000,000
• Fed budget: $3,820,000,000,000
• New debt: $ 1,650,000,000,000
• National debt: $14,271,000,000,000
• Recent budget cut: $ 38,500,000,000

Now, remove 8 zeros and pretend it’s a household budget:

• Annual family income: $21,700
• Money the family spent: $38,200
• New debt on the credit card: $16,500
• Outstanding balance on credit card: $142,710
• Total budget cuts: $385

Got it?

(I lifted this from a Facebook friend. I haven’t verified the numbers but even if they’re not entirely accurate, they still paint a pretty clear picture)

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Filed under Washington

Why Does Barack Obama Hate Your Privacy? (Or, A Tempest In A Teapot)

See updates below.

And why does Facebook not care?

While conservatives have been exercising their right to mock over the Obama campaign’s Attack Watch Twitter account, something more insidious and infinitely more creepy is going on over at Facebook.

For those of you who know me, it will come as no surprise to hear that I loathe Facebook. I use it, yes, to keep up with far-flung friends and family but the place is a hot mess and there are ongoing privacy concerns. Then today, I happened to see this post over on Google+ and went to check it out. As it turns out it’s true! The Facebook page operated by Obama for America’s 2012 campaign compiles Obama-related updates from all over Facebook to this page…even updates from private and secret groups!

If  you scroll through the page (I’m not linking the page here because, even though it’s a public page, I feel like I would be invading people’s privacy by doing so), you can see that many if not most of the posts are, how shall I say this, not complimentary to the President. So while conservatives have been freaking out on Twitter over Attack Watch, OFA has been compiling a sweet little enemies list, unbeknownst to all. Or at least to me and quite a few others.

Update 1: As it turns out, I should have titled my post, Why Does Facebook Hate Your Privacy, but that wouldn’t have been news, now, would it?

This shocking breach of privacy isn’t a special privilege granted to the Obama campaign or some kind of clever hack on their part. No, it’s a Facebook “feature.” Although I’m admitting, it escapes me why Facebook’s developers would think people would want their content randomly distributed on pages they may or may not have “liked” or perhaps aren’t even aware of.

Even so, for the most part this is probably harmless, but when the page or pages in question are administered by elected officials, it does still have a Big Brother feel to it. So while it may not be intentional on the part of the Obama campaign (or any other elected official with a Facebook page), it’s still a neat way to “keep your enemies closer,” courtesy of Facebook.

FYI, as far as I can tell, the only way to ensure  your content doesn’t pop up in random places around Facebook is to avoid mentioning anyone of consequence. Ever. Or close your Facebook account.

Update 2: Okay, okay…I think I have this straight now. When you go to a page such as Barack Obama and click the “Friend Activity” link, Facebook assembles a list of what your friends are saying about (in this case) Barack Obama on the fly so everyone sees something different. Even the page admin sees only what he would otherwise have access to via his friends, groups and pages. Or so it’s been explained to me. So I now have no qualms about invading people’s privacy when linking the page that started it all. I’m feeling pretty confident that everyone’s privacy is being protected…at least in this instance. Barack Obama may hate your privacy and Facebook may mock your feeble attempts at feeding your information only to those you want to have it, but this is not a case of either. It is, however, a perfect example of Facebook being counter-intuitive to the user and how applications that grow over time can become so awkward they out-live their own usefulness.


Filed under 2012 Presidential Race, Barack Obama

Why Does Maria Cantwell Hate Jobs For Americans?

Yet another example of using the EPA to beat American businesses bloody and senseless.

Last week, Washington State junior U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell joined in the Obama administration’s curious war on American jobs. The newest target in Cantwell’s sights is a large proposed project in a sparsely populated corner of Southwest Alaska called the Pebble Mine, an undertaking to unearth rare natural resources that could provide thousands of well-paid jobs and millions in tax revenue to an area that is currently impoverished.

Even before the project has applied for permits, while plans for the Pebble Mine are being worked on and costly studies conducted, Cantwell has already requested the Environmental Protection Administration invoke subsection 404(c) of the Clean Water Act. Subsection 404(c) denies the disposal of dredge spoils or fill onto any land potentially draining into the nearby Kvichak and Nushagak Rivers.


The Pebble Partnership has already invested more than $120 million on environmental and socioeconomic studies associated with the Pebble Mine proposal, research that would be open to the scrutiny of the EPA, the Congress, environmental activists, and the public, if it were not for Cantwell’s move to preempt. They anticipate spending several times that amount by the time the 70 required state and federal permits have been obtained for the project. (Emphasis mine.)

How many millions can job creators be asked to forfeit before they take their toys and go somewhere else to play?


Filed under 2012 Senate Races, Maria Cantwell

Ten Ass-Kicking Girls From Movies and TV

I’m not ashamed to admit that one of my fantasies is to be dangerous. Not in a bad way but more of a “Yo! Don’t mess with me or Ima kick yo ass” sort of way. Here are ten girls (twelve, really…you’ll see why) who can really kick some ass.

(I apologize in advance for the music but if you even think about complaining, Ima kick yo ass.)

#10  Xena (Lucy Lawless) – Xena, Warrior Princess

Xena used to be an outlaw…how bad is that! But now she uses her outlaw skills to kick evil’s ass. She wears a metal bustier and a sword…and she knows how to use both of them. Need I say more?

#9  Samantha Carter – Amanda Tapping, Stargate: SG-1 and Stargate: Atlantis

A U.S. Air Force officer (Major, Captain, Colonel, depending on the season), Sam Carter is the brains of Stargate Commands top team, SG-1. So, yeah, she’s pretty good with her gun-thingy, but her cool thinking under pressure and super brain power are what really set her apart. I mean, how many of the other girls here could blow up a star?

#8  Teyla Emmagen (Rachel Luttrell) – Stargate: Atlantis

Teyla is a leader among her people but you’re never quite sure if it’s because she’s wise beyond her years or her uncanny ability to kick ass while wearing a lace-up bustier and a long skirt made entirely of fringe. (I know I’ve already apologized for the music but it bears repeating. I recommend muting your speakers.)

[I’m sorry, this video has been removed. You’re just going to have to take my word for it. Or watch some episodes of Stargate: Atlantis.]

#7  Ziva David (Cote de Pablo) – NCIS

As a Mossad-trained assassin, Ziva David is willing and able to kick ass in the line of duty. She specializes in “enhanced” interrogation techniques.

#6  Yu Shu Lien (Michelle Yeoh) and Jiao Long (Ziyi Zhang) – Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

A double entry. One of the best and most realistic fighting scenes from a martial arts movie I’ve ever seen. And I’ve seen, oh, quite a lot. Most of them against my will, but, yeah, I still saw them.

#5  Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton) – Terminator 2, Judgment Day

Sarah Connor transforms herself from the original movie’s simpering damsel in distress into one tough mama who can really kick some ass. She makes us wonder, do we have what it takes?

#4  Trinity (Carrie Ann Moss) – The Matrix

A computer programmer, hacker and martial arts expert, Trinity is a double threat; she kicks ass using her body and her brain!

#3  Flying Snow (Maggie Cheung) and Moon (Ziyi Zhang) – Hero

Another double entry. The fighting is definitely kick-ass (and – HELLO – they can fly) but forget that, this scene is visually stunning.

#2  Buffy Summers (Sarah Michelle Gellar) – Buffy the Vampire Slayer

“Into every generation she is born: one girl in all the world, a chosen one. She alone will wield the strength and skill to fight the vampires, demons, and the forces of darkness; to stop the spread of their evil and the swell of their number. She is the ass-kicking Slayer.”

#1  River Tam (Summer Glau) – Serenity

River Tam was tortured nearly to the point of insanity and programmed as an assassin by the Alliance. As the movie nears its climax, River is trapped in a compartment with a crowd of Reavers – humans who were accidentally reduced to a state of depravity when an Alliance experiment in behavior control went disastrously wrong. Reavers do unspeakable things to their captives before killing and eating them. Or maybe they eat them before killing them. It’s hard to say; it’s not as though there have ever been any survivors. Starting with nothing but her bare hands, River kicks some serious Reaver ass and emerges unscathed.

Who did I miss? Make your nominations in the comments.


Filed under Movies and TV

Consider The Irony

See update below.

Consider the irony of a man who would freak out if anyone were to dare to judge his sexual behavior…judging the sexual behavior of others and casually tossing out sexual slurs as if there would be no consequences. (And judging from the other bar patrons, there would have been none had Bristol not chosen to respond.)

More on this from The Other McCain.

Update 1: Ace and I, we’re on the same page. Yeah, we’re tight.

So it seems this loser has issued an apology, spoken like the true lawyer he is; all the right words, no real sense of human emotion. The Blaze thinks he bucked under media pressure; I think his mother got on YouTube.

Also, Bristol has something to say about the matter.


Filed under Hypocrisy