Friday, November 28, 2008

Mumbai bombings

Mark Kleinman with some sane words on the bombings in India. Time to separate the sheep from the goats there. Since we have a tradition of backing goats, this might have the effect of thumping Pakistan a bit, but I've always held that we need to maintain a tough love approach to our suckling friends.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Bad sex (writing)

Fascinating (and somewhat disturbing) what some writers think is arousing writing.

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt halts new book acquisitions

Apparently this includes trade and references divisions of this huge company.

I suppose the feds might be taking notes on this. I would have hoped that the merger between Harcourt and Houghton Mifflin would have raised the same red flags that Cengage's acquisition of Houghton Mifflin's College Division did.

Thank you, God

Ann Coulter's jaws wired shut.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Regular movies recut as horror movie trailers

I love these. Here's a collection.

An answer to Citi?

Andrew Sullivan points to the ultimate hostile takeover.

Blogging blues...

Don't you just hate it when you have a decent idea for a blog post and don't get a chance to post it, then a nationally-known blogger posts about it a few days later?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Elected officials fail basic history test

Take the test first before you read the Yahoo story.

It takes some thinking, but 10 minutes on this should get at least a 60% score.

[Missed 3 myself]

Friday, November 21, 2008

Worst nicknames entry

Obituary in the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Juror stands up to judge's effort to seal Anna Politkovskaya murder trial

The whole thing didn't pass the smell test, but the courage of one juror brings to light an effort by the judge to keep the public away from the trial. Good for him.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Another timewaster

Hot Chicks with Douchebags

Don't know if I'm sad or creepified.

Private jets??

Auto CEOs take private jets to Washington to ask for bailout money

"There is a delicious irony in seeing private luxury jets flying into Washington, D.C., and people coming off of them with tin cups in their hand, saying that they're going to be trimming down and streamlining their businesses," Rep. Gary Ackerman, D-New York, told the chief executive officers of Ford, Chrysler and General Motors at a hearing of the House Financial Services Committee.


Let them fail, if that's what it takes.

Bush's midnight dance of death...

Here's a sample:

-Truck drivers can stay on the road longer

-EPA doesn't have to regulate a rocket fuel contaminant in drinking water

-even more expansion of domestic surveillance

-the opening up of more parkland for oil leases (without the benefit of Park Service comment)

More here and here.

The Bush Administration long ago became that which it criticized. And it is going out the same way.

Politico asks if the rules are reversible (the answer: Maybe, but some might be hard to do).

Obama supporters uninformed?

Nate Silver interviews the pollster in question.

A bit defensive, he seems to me. Comes from trying to blame anyone (except himself) for the election.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


I've been a recent convert to The List Universe. The word "quirky" doesn't begin to do it justice. Here are a few recent lists:

30 Brilliantly Timed Sports Photos

Top 10 Least Densely Populated Nations

10 People Made Famous By Their Deaths

You're welcome. See you next week.

Andrew Sullivan, going to town on the HRC

It isn't exactly a feud, but Andrew once again points out (quite accurately, IMO) the failings of the Human Rights Campaign. While Andrew is quite right that the HRC is simply an ineffective political organization (and, because of this, sucks up time and effort that could be put to use in other ways), Andrew seems to have fallen for some of the same shortcomings that all radicals do: He doesn't propose any alternative mechanism.

It would be one thing if there was a fledgling gay rights political organization that Andrew (and other HRC critics) are urging people to start getting behind. But that's not happening. So Andrew is essentially proposing a leadership vacuum in the hopes that from this vacuum an effective leadership will emerge (an argument that he is also proposing for the conservative movement in general, I should point out).

So my suggestion to Andrew is to help put into place the mechanism for a new political leadership first. Maybe that means a new organization entirely, or taking one already in place and promoting the hell out of it as the new leadership of these important civil rights. I realize that, despite his Catholicism, Andrew isn't ready to work within the HRC structure or try to reform it from within. But leaving gays without any real central political representation at this point is just silly, and is more a product of frustration with the HRC than any hope that having no centralized political voice is somehow going to advance the cause better.

In fact, a politically self-destructive gay rights movement, while mirroring the one the GOP is now undergoing, is far more likely to cause real damage to real people. So the approach needs to be much more positive. And I'm not seeing that from Andrew Sullivan.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Want a job in the Obama Administration?

The 2008 Plum Book was just released. Go at it!

The online Right's derangement

Average Joe struggles with finding a sane voice on the Right.

Many on the Right have been pushed (or willingly gone) to the fringes, which is what you might expect after having a series of talking points over the last few months which have been increasingly unhinged. Many are now holding forth on watching for marxist-like moves by Obama, hoping to salvage some sort of pride out of what has been just an embarrasing list of proclamations by rightwing bloggers.

Even their singular achievement this last election (Prop 8 in California) has been under fire. I'll write more about this particular issue (and how many anti-Prop 8 folks are playing right into the hands of those who argued for its passage). But the Right, by and large, have marginalized themselves into a mixed up mumbling, grumbling, whiny group without any central guiding force other than the demands of their own self-certified crankiness.

RIP moderate Republicans. I suspect that some will come over to the Democratic Party (later rather than sooner) as people realize that Obama simply isn't a foam-mouthed marxist baby-killer, and never was.

They still make a pot of money

Spammers get extremely low response rates, but still make lots of money at it.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Herb Score

The Indians lost a good one.

Growing, the voice of Herb Score (along with Joe Tait) were the voice of the Indians. I grew up mostly in Lorain County, so I didn't get to many actual games at the Stadium, but listened as much as I could on the radio, through some awful teams in the 70's and early 80's.


Monday, November 10, 2008

Why are most Christians stingy?

Ron Sider with a review of a book study on the wide gap in Christian giving:

Many have lamented the meager giving of American Christians. Others have questioned the data on which this criticism was based or pointed out that American Christians give more than those in most other nations. Now we have a careful, scholarly analysis of how much—i.e., how little—American Christians give, plus a sophisticated sociological analysis of why.


Chapter 1 hits the reader like a ton of bricks, spelling out in detail what American Christians could accomplish if they would tithe. If just the "committed Christians" (defined as those who attend church at least a few times a month or profess to be "strong" or "very strong" Christians) would tithe, there would be an extra 46 billion dollars a year available for kingdom work

In my own church, I see the same small number of people doing a lot of work; giving of their time all the time (teaching the children, doing readings, coordinating fundraising for the bell tower, etc). I have the sense that these same relatively small number of people are also the ones who donate the most.

This book looks to be worth a look.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Michael Schiavo responds to emails for the other Michael Schiavo

At least he's got a sense of humor about it.

There are some fundamental differences between Michael Schiavo and Michael Schiavo. For example, Michael Schiavo has a moustache. Michael Schiavo does not. In fact, Michael Schiavo would not look good with a moustache. Some people, like Michael Schiavo, can pull off a moustache. Not Michael Schiavo; he looks pretty skuzzy with one.


From the "Getting Ahead of Ourselves" file:

Impeach Obama!

HT: Ben Smith

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Poll "tightening" and cell phones

Notice anything interesting about this chart?

All the yellow polls include cell phone users. Maybe it isn't so much a "tightening" as the old poll techniques beginning to fracture from reality a bit.