Monday, July 14, 2008

Two very important announcements re. this blog

First of all, I have regretfully informed the Obama campaign that I will be unable to accept any potential offers for the vice presidency. I did so with a heavy heart, and I remain steadfast in my opinion that Senator Obama will make an outstanding president. As for my own chances, yes, there were more candidates with "experience" and "expertise" and even "knowledge" about "the issues that matter," not to mention "political ability," but I was honored to be considered.

Second, I'll be going on vacation for the next two weeks, and thus will have no significant posts until July 28. Feel free to send me emails in which you lament the effect this will have upon our nation's discourse--my email address is right over there, to the right of this post.

Friday, July 11, 2008

McCain pioneers new question-avoidance strategy: the long wistful pause, gazing into the distance

Ooooh, snap! A tricky female reporter got all up in WALNUTS'! face, asking him about a recent statement by his national chairwoman Carly Fiorina that it is unfair for health plans to cover Viagra but not birth control. WALNUTS! got pretty uncomfortable at the mere mention of Viagra, saying "I certainly don't want to talk about that," but the tricky female reporter* persisted, noting that in the past he had in fact voted against requiring health plans to cover birth control. When confronted with actual facts, McCain stood still, gazed into the distance, and got a sort of wistful look on his face, as though he really WANTS to talk about this issue, IF ONLY HE COULD REMEMBER IT. Check it out:

Got that, America? That's some straight talk! "I don't know enough about it to give you an informed answer."

*have you noticed that there is always a tricky/pushy female reporter in Tom Clancy novels, and that guys like John McCain go crazy for Tom Clancy novels? I'm just saying.

Three unreported benefits of the Bush years

Liberals out there like to act as though everything that has transpired over the past few years is just bad, for some reason. They only want to talk about gloom and doom, yet never focus on some of the positive changes we have seen in society. For example, the following:

1) When you spend $30 for gas, you spend MUCH LESS TIME in line at the gas station, thus increasing your economic productivity!
2) When the stock market drops 2.5% in a single day, it loses far fewer points than it did during the Clinton years!
3) With food prices showing such drastic price increases, more of our nation's children will go to bed hungry, thus decreasing our childhood obesity epidemic!

See? And of course, what are the odds you will see any of these great things mentioned by the LAMEstream drive-by media?


Thursday, July 10, 2008

CNN apparently believes Phil Gramm's statements are A-OK

Check out the frontpage at right now. Number of stories on John McCain's leading economic advisor saying that we're only in a "mental recession" and that we're a "nation of whiners"?


Number of stories about Jesse Jackson criticizing Barack Obama? Two.
Number of stories about Christie Brinkley's divorce? One.
Number of stories about a wild fox attacking a cop? One.


Wednesday, July 9, 2008

McCain: Social Security a "disgrace"

Woah. If Social Security is the legendary "third rail" of American politics, John McCain may have just committed suicide. Dude did not mention it in a carelessly offhand way, but flat out said that the system itself--as it functions, and as it was intended to function--is a "disgrace." Let's go to the tape:

Here's what he says: "Americans have got to understand that we are paying retirees with the taxes paid by young workers in America today. And that's a disgrace."

Really? It is? Now, I expected McCain to say something like "present day retirees get far more out of the system than they put into it," or "as our population ages, we'll have fewer employed Americans to support an increasing number of retirees." Ok, both of those statements are true, for the most part, and both can be used to support some fairly conservative policies on Social Security. But that's not what McCain said. He said the system as it functions today--which is the system as it was intended to function--is a "disgrace." I mean, uh, yeah, young workers in America pay taxes, and those taxes go to retirees. THAT'S THE WHOLE POINT!!! That is how the system was designed to work. And that's what McCain says is a "disgrace." Good lord.

Monday, July 7, 2008

"Inartful Lede of the Day" award goes to

We all the news business is in a rough spot these days. Layoffs mount at every turn, editors grow more and more frantic as they feel the hot breath of the corporate bean counters on the back of their neck, and the second-grader-on-crack attention span of the viewing public has turned every newscast into a police blotter with five minutes for weather.

That being said, however, my attention today was drawn to the remarkably hamfisted opening to a local news story turned in by one Erica Heartquist of KGW News in Portland. The story itself was simple: a local man had a heart attack, and his large, 150-pound dog decided to take out his grief by attempting to separate a neighbor from her arm. Simple story. And, pretty sad. How did KGW choose to describe these events, you ask? Witness:

A large dog attacked a Southeast Portland woman over the weekend and the dog’s owner had no way of stopping him because he was dead.
Almost breathtaking in its pull-no-punches simplicity, no?

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Really? Oklahoma City? Seriously, NBA? Oklahoma City?

Yesterday brought the sad but predictable news that the Seattle Supersonics will be moving from Seattle, bustling urban metropolis of the Pacific Northwest, to Oklahoma City, a dusty cow town primarily known for being the place where Tim McVeigh blew up a building.

Having visited Seattle, it's hard to imagine that an NBA team would want to leave that place--the city is gorgeous (although horribly clogged by traffic), close to nature, close to the massive international city of Vancouver, BC, an international player in its own right on the Pacific Rim, home to other major sports teams, home to a major research institution and world-class medical school, and home to major industries like Microsoft and Boeing. (Ok, yeah, technically Boeing is based in Chicago now, but a sizable % of its workforce is in Seattle.)

And Oklahoma City is... seriously, do they even have streetlights there? How many feed stores are located within five city blocks of the new stadium? Is the mayor's car parked on the front lawn of the mayor's house, up on cement blocks? What must it feel like to be a Sonics' fan, and see your beloved team leaving for... Oklahoma City? I'm not sure, but I imagine it would feel like whatever Elizabeth Hurley felt when she first saw Divine Brown's photo following Hugh Grant's memorable escapades. "You did this to me... for that? Have you seen me? I'm hot!" Got that? Seattle = Liz Hurley, Oklahoma City = Divine Brown. Supersonics = Hugh Grant. It works.

For real? Oklahoma City? Seriously? Yeesh.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

The item from the baseball transactions list you wish you hadn't read

I'll just let the following article do the talking:

Catcher Chris Snyder left Monday night's game after getting hit by a foul tip in the groin area. About an hour before Tuesday's game the Diamondbacks put him on the 15-day disabled list with a left testicular fracture.
Um, excuse me? Fracture? You can fracture a testicle? (Shudder.)

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Radical redesign of milk jugs proves one thing: Americans are complete and utter morons

I imagine everyone has heard this news that plastic milk jugs are being redesigned into a more square shape in order to reduce the wasted space when packing a pallet full of them. This makes sense, will reduce fuel use transporting milk, etc. Sams Club, for instance, can now stack 224 jugs in a space that could formerly only hold 80. That's impressive. Of course, however, this is America, so we have to waste a ton of time and energy complaining about the change and training people to USE THE JUGS THE CORRECT WAY.

Wal-Mart Stores is already moving down this path. But if the milk-jug example is any indication, some of the changes will take getting used to on the part of consumers. A lot of people spill milk when first using the new jugs.

"When we brought in the new milk, we were asking for feedback," said Heather Mayo, vice president for merchandising at Sam's Club, a division of Wal-Mart. "And they're saying, 'Why's it in a square jug? Why's it different? I want the same milk. What happened to my old milk?'"
Good lord.