November 29, 2003

In case you were also wasting three hours of your life

Anyone who tuned in to NBC's special airing of the Nicolas Cage / Tea Leoni film The Family Man tonight can enjoy a special fun fact relative to your humble narrator and cartoonist: the suburban scenes were filmed in Teaneck, New Jersey, about seven blocks away from where I'm currently typing this.

This does not, however, in any way alter the fact that the movie is horrible. You know, with all the strife in the Middle East, wars, famines, and so forth, I'm really hard-pressed to enjoy cinematic themes in which God and his respective angels have apparently nothing better to do than alter space-time for the purpose of making a billionaire regret not marrying his college girlfriend.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 10:04 PM

November 28, 2003

Have you hugged your Abby today?

Dear Abby holds her ground in defense of Planned Parenthood. My favorite line of her column is the last one: I would advise women to go to Crisis Pregnancy Centers if I were convinced they wouldn't be forced to watch color videos of aborted fetuses. Somewhere in Middle America readers realize there's a little bit of BMF left in this lady.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 11:32 PM

Point.

The point made by Kos in his post about Bush's surprise Thanksgiving visit to a group of troops in Iraq probably went right to my top ten list of all-time greatest snarky rhetorical concepts:

Considering how all the warbloggers seem to keep telling me that I need to go visit Iraq and look at the new schools being built there, isn't it interesting how the President didn't bother to take a look at them himself?

For someone who needed to show up in Baghdad to emphasize how the United States will never "cut and run before a gang of thugs and bullies" he certainly hauled ass the hell out of there the minute his taxpayer-funded campaign video clip-gathering excursion ended.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 1:59 AM

November 26, 2003

New comic - "That most wonderful time of the year"

Large Format - 800px, 100K

Small Format - 600px, 60K

Posted by August J. Pollak at 2:01 AM

Mmmmm, stupidilicious

Hey, remember how all the Republicans were raising a stink about the memo they "found" where Democrats were noting how they had partisan reasons for blocking judges as if that, say, didn't make perfect sense or something?

Well, it turns out that the memo was "found" after one of Orrin Hatch's staffers hacked Democratic Senate computer servers and rooted through their files.

Hatch, as you may or may not recall, is the senator who advocated blowing up the computers of people who used them to steal data.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 1:33 AM

November 25, 2003

A fork to stick in your chowdah

Well, it hurts me to say this because I liked the guy. Hi there. John Kerry, please.

Hi, John. You're fucked. Bye-bye.

The performance on Leno was simply ridiculous, and your performance last night in the debate was flat-out pathetic. You are not going to win Iowa. You are not going to place in the top three in Iowa. This is because you spent two hours hurling poo at Howard Dean, who shrugged it off effortlessly. Then you got to sit and watch, along with millions of other Americans, Wesley Clark dominate the debate.

I regret saying this, because unlike a lot of people still in the race, you're more than qualified to be president. You have the skills, the experience, and the leadership ability. This is why, god willing, you will make a fantastic Senate Party Leader next year when the Democrats harmfully expel Tom Daschle from his position of leadership.

But as far as 2004 goes, you don't have a chance in hell anymore. Accept it. You've lost Iowa, you're going nowhere in the south, and if Dean doesn't violate you in New England in the next few months, Clark just proved he's gonna do it.

You are a good man, Kerry. You're just running against too many people who are better.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 2:20 PM

What... I... said.

About the death penalty for John Allen Muhammed: I'm copying what I said on Oliver's site here, because it pretty much covers it all, with a few additions.

Clearly, this isn't a "hazards of the death penalty" issue. Let's be clear. He's guilty. Yeah, I know, whatever, slight chance, yada yada yada GUILTY. He's a bad, bad, bad man and he, to be blunt, deserves to die.

But he shouldn't. Just like when my personal opinion was tested with 9/11, just like with Tim McVeigh, just like with that psychopath who murdered abortion doctors, a single incident should not be used to strike emotional alteration into whether or not you feel the death penalty is wrong. It is.

What bothers me with Muhammed is how much money, like with all these other cases, is going to be wasted to make ourselves feel better about him being dead instead of locked away for life to just as easily be forgotten by most of the world. Everyone, liberal or conservative, SHOULD be concerned about the costs. It's not just a matter of "your tax dollars wasted," it's a combined factor. Executing someone costs millions more than putting them away for life. Multiplied by dozens of sentences annually, this is tens of MILLIONS of dollars that could have been spent on, among other things, better law enforcement and social welfare that could have prevented crimes from happening in the first place.

A mass-murder has been caught and will be prevented from ever killing again. How that can be seen as less of a jubilant story than whether or not we're going to eventually inject poison into his body is beyond me.

I care about stopping crimes far more than retribution for ones already committed. Killing him doesn't affect the former and removes financing from the latter. This man is a psychopath, we're not "sending a message" to all those homicidal maniacs out there. I find a bit of irony, therefore, in the death penalty being applied specifically to make rational people happy.

I hate this person, too. He's a murderous psychopath and yes, he deserves to die. But to waste so much money to, as you've pointed out above, basically make yourself feel better for a few days is detrimental to Americans both economically and socially. That's not a problem with "liberal mainstream," that's a fanaticism with Bread and Circuses.

Yes, he deserves to die. But whether or not he does is miniscule in comparison to the importance of stopping his rampage and placing him out of reach of a society he can harm. This was already accomplished with his capture. If I want to spend extra money to enjoy watching the bad guy die, I can go see a movie for a hell of a lot less than and in a lot less time than the millions or dollars and decades or two we'll spend to put this guy on Death Row.

In the long run, he's not paying for his crimes. We're paying for his sentence.

(Economic statistics on the death penalty can be found here. And here. Not to mention here.)

Posted by August J. Pollak at 2:12 PM

November 24, 2003

We love all God's creatures.

Via BBC News:

Snowflake was thought to be the world's only white gorilla.

He had been at the zoo for 37 years, popular with generations of visitors and becoming a symbol of the city.

Spanish vets had known since 2001 that Snowflake was suffering from skin cancer, but they announced in September that his illness had progressed and he had only a few months to live.

Zoo director Jordi Portabella said vets finally decided to put Snowflake down early on Monday to spare him further pain.

Officials had promised him a dignified death, and said they would not to try to extend his life in a way likely to cause him suffering.

Meanwhile, in Florida, absolutely no irony at all. Nope.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 12:13 PM

Well, if they say so, it must be good

A bit of a misleading title from today's headline: "Economists Predict Strong Growth in '04." Now, as you'll see in the article, it's technically correct, but admittedly the Bush-hatin' librul in me who obviously refuses to find anything good about anything Bush has done is going to point out the parts of this story that reflect how... well... no one cares.

The U.S. economy, primed by tax cuts and low interest rates, should grow next year at the fastest pace in two decades, but that will do little to decrease unemployment, top economic forecasters predicted Monday.

The National Association for Business Economics said the vigorous economic growth will continue to be accompanied by strong increases in productivity, as corporations under competitive pressures find more ways to expand output without hiring new workers.

The forecasting panel saw payroll employment rising by 1.1 percent, or about 1.3 million workers, not enough to replace the 2.3 million jobs that have been lost since Bush took office in January 2001.

Now, using those passages don't exactly reflect a headline like "Strong Economy," do they?

If the Right wants to pass this off as "just not wanting to accept Bush did something good for the country," fine. They can live in their own little world. Here, I'll even concede the point for them: congratulations to President Bush for his masterful moves to raise productivity and set a record-breaking GDP growth of over seven percent. This will shine a bright light on the Bush administration in the eyes of the average voter, except for the slight factor in the average voter not giving a shit.

All this spouting of projected numbers and happy projections is fluff for TV pundits and the Free Republic crowd to hawk how great the economy is doing... what I, as one of said 3 or so million unemployed, as well as most other Americans will care about, is that Bush's "improvements in growth" are not fixing unemployment, not reducing the record-setting national debt, and generally not affecting anything that most of us who don't have multi-billion dollar stock portfolios care about.

Right-wing board trolls can hawk this story as much as they want with the typical "liberals just can't stand hearing good news about America" bile, but until they can explain to America how increasing growth and domestic product is significant to them and maintaining unemployment and crippling debt isn't, then the bile is coming from their own mouths, and their own economic expectations.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 12:02 PM

A day trip to Duh, that capital city of No Shit

KFC to pull ads touting fried chicken as healthy.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 11:49 AM