Posted by: on Aug 26, 2004 | 3 Comments

Guess who’s going to the RNC?
Oh yeah, baby, ME!
Actually, I have to be in NYC next week for other reasons, but the irony certainly is not lost. I’m open for suggestions on how to crash the party, or at least piss off some wingnuts. Maybe I can get on TV humping Candy Crowley’s leg or something… okay, maybe not that, but dammit, the temptation is just too great. So what should I do, besides yelling FUGGEDABOUTDIT out the window?

Wolf Sucks

Posted by: on Aug 24, 2004 | One Comment

Had a ridiculous fluff piece on this morning with Ann Veneman, Agriculture Secretary, about “good nutrition” for our school kids and all the love of the government school breakfast and lunch programs. Not once did Wolf ask, “Why did the USDA under the Bush administration almost immediately reverse food safety rules enacted by the Clinton administration testing for E.Coli and other dangerous food-borne illness in the meat supply fed at our schools, which I may add, kills 5,000 American children each year?”
Let’s take a closer look at Veneman:
Common Dreams:

Veneman has served as a key member of the Reagan and Bush administration farm teams, as director of the California Department of Food and Agriculture during the gubernatorial administration of agribusiness favorite Pete Wilson, as an agribusiness lawyer and as a member of the national steering committee of Farmers and Ranchers for Bush. In those positions she has rarely missed an opportunity to promote a free-trade regimen that advances the interests of international food production and processing conglomerates, to encourage policies that lead to the displacement of family farms with huge factory farms, to open public lands for mineral extraction and timbering, to support genetic modification of food and to defend biotech experimentation with agriculture. Indeed, Veneman is a biotech absolutist who served on the board of Calgene, the corporation that launched the first genetically engineered food in 1994. Veneman told a forum last year, “We simply will not be able to feed the world without biotechnology.”
In addition, she was actively involved in negotiating the U.S.-Canada Free Trade Agreement and the North American Free Trade Agreement. So determined is Veneman to advance the free-trade agenda that Bush transition team aides briefly considered her as a candidate for the position of U.S. trade representative before handing the keys to the Department of Agriculture, with its 100,000-member staff and $100 billion budget, to the woman who has already proven her willingness to sacrifice the interests of American farmers on the altar of trade liberalization. Even as family farmers from Wisconsin and Minnesota were marching in the streets of Seattle to protest WTO interference with agricultural supports and food safety standards, Veneman was in Seattle to tell the WTO to move more aggressively to remove so-called “technical barriers to trade.”

And from Disinfopedia:

Ann Veneman served on the board of directors for Calgene Inc. In 1994, Calgene became the first company to bring genetically-engineered food, the Flavr Savr tomato, to supermarket shelves. Calgene was bought out by Monsanto, the nation

Gitmo and Abu Gharib

Posted by: on Aug 24, 2004 | No Comments

Gitmo “commission” begins today, and Abuse Panel nails the DoD brass. Somewhat. Short version: First it was “just 7” soldiers, now it’s “just 28,” and Rummy seems safe for now…. grrr…
Picked this up a few months ago — somewhere (Jesus’ General?) — but it’s just perfectly apt:

Kerry on Stewart

Posted by: on Aug 24, 2004 | No Comments

Make sure to watch tonight. Should be funny…
Last night on The Daily Show:

…and tomorrow night of course, Senator John Kerry will be our guest.
[ooooohhhhs from the audience]
You don’t… You don’t believe me? He actually will be our guest. Our audiences’ disbelief not-with-standing.
[audience laughs]
And from what I understand, I could be being punk’d. They said he was gonna be here. And, and the audience that night gets a free bike. John Kerry and a free bike! AND… AND… Massage with release! for the whole audience! That’s tomorrow night, tomorrow night… Tonight the audience will exit through a gauntlet of fire.

Battleground States

Posted by: on Aug 24, 2004 | No Comments

Saw this over at the WSJ, and we all know blue is your favorite color…
(No, I wasn’t reading from the White House Propaganda Department, er, uh, Journal op-ed page…)

Swift Liars

Posted by: on Aug 24, 2004 | No Comments

God our media sucks. Why doesn’t Wolf bring this up?
Look, The MoveOn Voter Fund is real 527, a registered PAC with a large number of contributors which abides by all the laws of the 2002 Campaign Reform Act. The Swift Vets do not. They claim to not be a “PAC,” and therefore are skirting the PAC label requiring contribution limitations and public reporting of all donations over $200. Go see for yourself at the FEC.
Isn’t that just the tiniest bit shady? We need to stop this crap comparing the progressive 527’s to the Swift Vets as being birds of feather.
Disinfopedia has an exhaustive page on the subject.

The TiVo Dilemma

Posted by: on Aug 20, 2004 | 2 Comments

As TiVo stock continues to tumble, a lot is being said about the future of the company amongst an onslaught of cheap cable- and sat-based offerings. Will it boutique itself ala Apple and become an obscure fascination of elite geekboys, or will it take the software approach with the acquisition of Strangeberry and its’ buffet o’ patents? The latter seems to be the current approach, smart considering the notoriously harsh and painfully thin margins of the hardware business.
But the reality on the ground today is summed up beautifully in BoingBoing:

I can’t begin to say how much I despise the Explorer 8000 digital video recorder made by Scientific-Atlanta. That’s the system Time-Warner gave us when my wife signed us up for cable service a few weeks ago. I was out of town on the day they were scheduled to install it, so I told my wife to make sure the DVR was real TiVo, because I’d played with a TiVo belonging to my friend, and thought it was just about perfect. The service tech came and told her it was real TiVo. When I got back and saw that the ugly box didn’t have a happy bipedal TV set logo on it, I was disappointed, but willing to give it a try. The first thing I noticed was the crappy user interface…
This last flaw hit home when the machine suddenly stopped recording shows. I tried everything I could to get it to work, including rebooting the system and calling Time Warner Cable customer service. They told me that they’d have to replace the unit, which would take five days.
Five days later a service technician came with a new box. I asked him if this problem was common, because Google returns a lot of pages from people who think the Explorer 8000 is a piece of junk. He said the system is fine as long as you didn’t store too many shows on it. If you fill up the hard drive, the system freezes up, and there’s no way a user can undo it. But how do you know when the disk is close to being full if there’s no gage to tell you? The service tech’s answer: “don’t keep very many shows on the hard drive.” That pretty much defeats the purpose of a DVR, doesn’t it?
He also warned me not to put anything on top of it, as it was notorious for overheating and seizing up. I told him I was considering TiVo, but he insisted the Explorer 8000 was better than TiVo. How so, I asked? “We will give you a new one if it breaks,” he said.
Yesterday I was at Best Buy, and I noticed that 40-hour TiVos were on sale for $50 after rebate. I bought one and set it up. What a difference! If TiVo were a beverage, it’d be a tall glass of Jamaican ginger beer with chipped ice and a lime wedge, while the Explorer 800 would be a paper cup of warm fake lemonade stirred with the finger of a nose-picking six-year-old.
I can’t wait to get the Explorer 8000 out of my house. Why did Time Warner make a deal with this company?

Feel the Love

Posted by: on Aug 19, 2004 | 3 Comments

Ann Coulter spreads the love in the UK:

Meet Ann Coulter. In her opinion, “liberals are racists”, the French are “a bunch of faggots”, only property owners should be allowed to vote, and anyone who disagrees with her is a “fatuous idiot” or “evil”. In liberal Europe, such propositions are seldom aired, even in the most right-wing salons. In America, however, Coulter – blonde, fortysomething – is a regular guest commentator on news and talk shows such as Good Morning America, Hannity and Colmes, At Large with Geraldo Rivera and The O’Reilly Factor.

How we love ye Ann.
Thankfully, she’s not alone in her nutosphere. Witness Brent Bozell on the O’Reilly Factor, a show (well, network) not exactly know for its non-partisan viewpoint. The subject: the “Swift Boat Vets” ad with token liberal Paul Waldman of The Gadflyer. And this comes after the show in the “green room:”

But alas, it was not to be. The moment I walked in, Bozell looked at me angrily and said, “That was horseshit, what you said!” I reconstruct here the rest of the discussion as best I can recall. Although I wrote it down on the way home, a word here or there may be less than precise. Rest assured, though, the nasty parts from Bozell are verbatim:
WALDMAN: What part of it?
BOZELL: You’re a liar!
WALDMAN: What are you talking about?
BOZELL: That stuff about Kerry!
WALDMAN: What, about atrocities?
BOZELL: He called them war criminals!
WALDMAN: He didn’t accuse any individuals of anything.
BOZELL: You’re a liar!
WALDMAN: He never accused those guys of anything.
BOZELL: John Kerry is a liar, and you’re a liar!
WALDMAN: What are you talking about?
BOZELL: Fuck you!
At that, Bozell stormed out. I should note that throughout this little argument, I remained calm, partly in an attempt to diffuse Bozell’s boiling rage, but also because I was genuinely having a hard time figuring out what he was trying to get across. Bozell, in contrast, looked as though his head was about to explode, his voice growing louder and his face redder. I would say that I was afraid he was going to take a swing at me, but I don’t think “afraid” is quite the right word. I’m quite a few years younger than Bozell, and though I suspect he fights dirty, I have a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, so I’m pretty sure I could take him. Fortunately, it didn’t come to that.

Well, at least kudos to the UK media for framing Coulter as respectfully as a totally complete nutjob can be framed. Those English, so polite… 🙂


Posted by: on Aug 12, 2004 | No Comments

Amazon’s Phabulous Pheature with the Phunny Name has been relegated to the backseat. I previously lamented their lame-o take on blogs, and they’ve been moved off the front page to a link at the top of the page.
Perhaps premature, but Plogs, god-willing, are headed for the trash bin. And good riddance…
Unfortunately, links to Glenn Reynolds and James Lileks are now 2 clicks off the main page vs. the previous 1. Idiocy should not be so prominent, but maybe they’re smarter than I as that vicious hack piece against Kerry’s Vietnam record is currently #1 in books. (I recommend #5, Maureen Dowd’s Bushworld)
Oh, and hi Tim!