Saturday, February 21, 2009


I suppose if you eat at crappy chain restaurants, this site could be useful. They're providing a good service, and the illustrations are sure fun!


Friday, February 20, 2009

The last word on George Will

I've been wanting to unload all week on George Will, much as I have unloaded on him in the past in my Axis of Evil blog of yore. Unfortunately, not having full use of my left arm makes typing strenuous, especially for this hunt-and-pecker. Lucky for me, Jamison Foster from Media Matters has a brilliant post that contains a lot of stuff I was planning to unleash, and even more.

I'll just add in this summary paragraph, and invite you to read the full article and follow the many links provided, which demonstrate the utter fraud that is George Will.

Basically, George Will routinely makes false claims large and small, holds politicians to disparate standards, and engages in ethically dubious conduct on behalf of his preferred candidates. The Washington Post can hide behind multi-layer processes all it wants, but as long as it publishes Will, it will continue to misinform its readers. The Post doesn't need to give Will a better fact-checker; it -- along with the rest of the media elite -- should instead give him a good, thorough shunning.

Seriously, George Will is a model symbol of the worst of Washington. He's an ignominious liar masquerading as an honest intellectual. He's intellectually dishonest, if anything.

Epic quote - brief yet poignant

From a well-educated atheist to some Believers in a debate over the existence of God:

"Honestly, it's like arguing with children about the monster under their bed."

More from Matt on George

I missed this post by Matt Yglesias earlier, one I think makes an even stronger case against George Will's intellectual dishonesty, and the Washington Post's professional malpractice.

Some of those people [at the Post] do bad work, which is too bad. And some of those people do good work. And unfortunately, that’s worse. It means that when good work appears in the Post it bolsters the reputation of the Post as an institution. And the Post, as an institution, has taken a stand that says it’s okay to claim that up is down. It’s okay to claim that day is night. It’s okay to claim that hot is cold. It’s okay to claim that a consensus existed when it didn’t. It’s okay to claim that George Will is a better source of authority on interpreting the ACRC’s scientific research than is the ACRC. Everyone who works at the Post, has, I think, a serious problem.

The new "N" word

I don't mean to denigrate anyone by this notion, so please don't take offense. I think, however, that progressives ought to treat the term "nationalization" as though it is the N word, and stop using it. Republiscums use the term to make the practice of the government stepping in to keep the banks from collapsing is some sort of Leftist Socialist/Communist tactic. The appropriate term to use is "receivership" which is a term commonly used positively by capitalists, and better represents what is inevitably going to happen anyway.

The key is that financial reorganization of failed companies -- whether it's receivership, or bankruptcy proceedings, or something else like it -- is textbook rule of law capitalism. TPM

Receivership is used to denote a situation in which an institution or enterprise is being held by a receiver. In law, a receiver is a person "placed in the custodial responsibility for the property of others, including tangible and intangible assets and rights."[1]

Are Republicans really lying sacks of garbage?

This Republiscum (Pete Sessions) seems to support that notion.

Good riddance, cont.

Matt Yglesias has a great post today taking the Washington Post's editorial board to task for their latest example of professional malpractice, in this case a completely dishonest and disingenuous op-ed from George Will, conservative douchebag whom has been given far too much unjustified respect.

Matt frames the pushback against Will's "post of lies" smartly, and connects it to the slow demise of print journalism, which is because perhaps people no longer trust the big newspapers anymore. As Jason Linkins at HuffPo asks:
why should anyone on the Post's op-ed page even bother to tie their opinions to ANY real-world truths? Why can't everyone just MAKE SHIT UP?
Just look back to the inane reporting in the elections last year. Or look a little further back to the media's culpability in the run up to the Iraq War. Or go even further back to how the media helped decide that Bush was the real winner of the election in 2000. Then turn and look at Fox News, and all the crap that comes out of Rupert Murdoch's media outlets.

Why should people trust the media anymore? The problem is that the media outlets don't see their role in their own demise. As Matt says:

But it's [insulation from market competition] also bread [sic] this weird arrogance where nobody in the business seems to think that the deplorably low quality of the product plays any role whatsoever in the declining relevance of these institutions. But here’s a George Will column in my paper, lying to me about global warming. Here’s Will’s editor refusing to correct the record or say anything about why he decided it would be a good idea to run a column in which George Will lies about global warming. And now here’s the very same indifferent-to-the-truth editorial team writing about global warming. And I’m supposed to read the editorial why? What value to me, as a consumer of information, do inaccurate uncorrected George Will columns offer me?

What actually sheds a little more light on this topic is this:

How will the addition of Bill Kristol to the roster increase the value of the newspaper to me as a consumer of information?

Because Kristol did such a great job at the New York Times? The decision makers at WaPo seem to be lacking in the ability to think critically.

Animal Farm Friday: Self Pity?

I'm feeling like a three-legged dog right now, but my story is trivial compared to... well, it's trivial. This story, while a little sad, is full of all kinds of hope.

As for why I missed posting last Friday, well...

Awesome Hangar

Great little discovery revealed by the folks at The News Pakistan via Wired's Danger Room blog. An old Google Earth image shows some Predator drones parked on the tarmac of an airfield in Pakistan. This image is not dated, and I am more than certain these particular drones were originally used in Afghanistan, but obviously they could still be the same drones bombing targets inside of Pakistan.

This updated image (captured this AM, but dated to 3/30/07) no longer shows the drones, but look at the awesome hangar they now have to [hide] in.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Just a thought

The Obama administration needs to learn very fast that no matter what it does to placate the GOP, it is pointless. The GOP will do everything they can to impede progress, just like they did with the Clinton administration. A successful Obama administration means bad news for Republicans, so they have no incentive to do anything that would benefit the Obama administration. They can let the country go down the tubes (as they have for the past eight years), then deflect blame to Obama. I don't get why Obama can't see the obvious. Thinking that Dems and GOP can work together towards common good is the height of naivete.

And to Obama's common refrain that "Republicans have good ideas," I ask what are they? We've had almost a decade of Republican ideas. I'm open to hearing of a single one.

Seriously. If you know of any good Republican ideas, please let me know what you think they are.

There are blogs...

...and then there are blogs like Talking Points Memo, and Glenn Greenwald's blog at Salon.

(Updated with new links.)

Like so many others, this blog is more commentary/broadcast relay - like say, Andrew Sullivan's blog. We don't do any real journalism, apart from occasionally piecing together different perspectives on stories and sometimes finding patterns that might otherwise be unseen. We're also trying to hold truth to power, and trying to keep the truth on record in this post-fact society, especially with a corporate media establishment that is still so hard wired for Republicans that it is hard to tell that they are almost an irrelevant party.

There is HuffPo, but apart from the boots-on-the-ground citizen journalists in the Off the Bus section that ran during the elections, not a whole lot more goes on there other than commentary. But not to devalue that, there are some really smart perspectives and insights in the posts at HuffPo. But again, not much actual truth digging. DailyKos is more activist, but still light on investigation, heavy on commentary.

But then there are blogs that do what so few others do, and they are my two favorite political blogs at this point. TPM, headed up by former attorney Josh Marshall, as I just mentioned, and also the blog by the tenacious and loquacious, Glenn Greenwald, former constitutional lawyer turned journalist.

These guys go above and beyond just providing perspective and commentary on the reporting of the day, they also dig deep and do their own investigations, just like real journalists used to do. TPM has been a rising star these past few years, and are blossoming in to a real journalistic outfit, with a decent sized staff that is ever growing. Even some of their alumni have gone on to prominent gigs, and some not-so-prominent (come back, Greg!). But these guys are getting into some real meaty stuff. Like this nugget that sprung up from looking deeper into that story about the mini-Madoff clown, Sir Stanford.

The forever unapologeticly liberal Glenn Greenwald is also a force to be reckoned with. A good piece of advice is to never debate him unless you are armed to the teeth with facts, and not spin. There are few bloggers or journalists out there who are as well read and well versed in the facts on any topic of interest than Glenn Greenwald. Right now he is doing the hero's work of trying to reclaim America's honor from the Constitution-shredding, immoral, torturing scumbags that were the Bush administration.

So if you are a believer in the truth, and you care about the honor and dignity of the US, but you are not reading TPM and Glenn Greenwald's blog daily, I urge you to do so.

NY Post Defends Cartoon, Slams Al Sharpton

I know from first hand experience that political cartoons can easily be misinterpreted, but as a cartoonist, I assert that either Delonas is a racist or he's an idiot. To say this is tone deaf is polite. But no matter. If he wants to make a statement with such vile imagery, let him. Free Speech and all that. But most of us can see this cartoon for what it is, despite the Post's CYA defense. As this country moves forward daily towards racial equality and justice, tabloid rags like the NY Post, and the racist, ignorant pigs working there - Delonas especially - are becoming more marginalized and more irrelevant every day.

That's the nice thing about free speech. People are free to express themselves and proudly display just how pathetic they really are.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

The Fiscal Stimulus Will Pay For Itself

The premise of this entire article is flawed because of misunderstanding the very nature of our economic problems, and from misquoting Jefferey Sachs. Mr. Sachs never said the stimulus deficit would cripple us, he said the fiscal hole we're in will. As in, the hole that we are in now is much larger than most people paying attention are willing to realize.

The stimulus will indeed help, and even if it doesn't right the US economy, at least we'll be getting some badly needed infrastructure improvements out of it. The author - and most others writing about economic matters - should have a more realistic understanding of just how bad the global economic crisis is before writing such irresponsible articles.
About Stimulus Package
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

What an emBurissment

Where has all the money gone?

Another Madoff for you, but this one looks much more colorful! What is it with Texas?

Monday, February 16, 2009

Gitcher Party On

Operating at Limited Capacity

This title is a double entendre. Firstly, it speaks to my present inability to type very well since I have almost no use of my left arm for the next few weeks. So to that end, The Low Bar will be publishing at a very limited rate.

The other intent of the title references our US government and its handling of the economy. In what capacity is it limited? How about that of sanity and reason. Never mind all of the bailouts and stimulus cluster-f***s, how about standard operating procedure. It seems the Congressional Budget Office uses some backwards accounting practices to arrive at its numbers, which are different from the method nearly every other office uses, and that of Wall Street, which is GAAP accounting.

The skinny of the problem is this: the CBO says we have a budget deficit of $455 billion, when in fact it is $5.1 trillion. But the more scary number is that, if the CBO used GAAP accounting, we would have a future projected budget shortfall og $65 trillion. That's larger than the world's GDP.

Still think we're going to pull out of this?