January 13, 2006

Posted by August J. Pollak at 11:04 AM

January 12, 2006

Green Eggs and Ham

Scientists create green pigs that glow in the dark. I guess, oh I don't know, because they were smoking crack.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 11:10 PM

The real good deal

The Maryland Legislature overrode Gov. Ehrlich's veto today to become the first state requiring giant corporations that refuse to pay for employee health care to pay into the state health care system. As the only employer in Maryland with over 10,000 employees, the bill affects one company right now: Wal-Mart. (As if you had to ask) And it's a great sight to see the king of all sneaky companies stuck with this law.

Unlike their historic moves to prevent anything that would require treating workers fairly, such as closing stores where unions were formed or eliminating departments requiring better health care, Wal-Mart really doesn't have much of an option here. They emply 17,000 workers in Maryland; axing half their staff would require closing more than a few stores. Skipping the border won't help either, unless they somehow feel not having stores in Baltimore or Annapolis will be a great financial move.

And even if they do, note the part about thirty other states having this in the queue. The writing on the wall is clear: state governments are starting to realize that there's no financial, or humanitarian, incentive in letting a giant company exploit government health care for profit.

Update: Hilarious. That didn't take long at all, did it?

Posted by August J. Pollak at 10:31 PM

Hyarrrrrrrrgh

I will never understand rugby, but by god is it magnificent.

I think the greatest part of this clip is how the audience explodes into applause at the end. They just flipped out and pumped up forty thousand people.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 9:52 PM

Kaboom

While everyone's busy arguing over how much we're allowed to make the wife of a Supreme Court nominee cry, there's what I would deem a slightly more important issue happening right now regarding Iran's announcement that they're going nuclear.

Similar to the Senate hearings, though, is the silliness in which everyone wants to avoid the obvious reality of this situation: well, of course Iran is lying. They're building a nuclear program because they plan to construct nuclear weapons. The entire fuel argument is ludicrous. They might as well say they're breeding golden egg-laying geese because they want to become a superpower in the pillow production world.

The issue at hand then, other than OH JESUS TAP-DANCING CHRIST IRAN HAS NUCLEAR WEAPONS, of course, is what exactly the U.S. and the U.N. can do about it diplomatically. And yet another answer everyone seems to pretend isn't obvious is: not damn much.

The setup of the U.N. Security Council, and the precendent established by America, is going to bite us right back over the Iran issue. (Yes, brace yourselves because here comes Yet Another Liberal Whining About Israel Again.)

Israel is a precedent in two cases here: for one thing, they have a clandestine nuclear program that subverts pretty much every anti-nuclear doctrine established by the U.N. The Arab world laughs at any rhetoric from the United States about not allowing Middle Eastern nations to posess atomic weapons.

Second, the U.S. has established itself as the out clause for any possible instance of Israel's ducking of international regulations coming before the Security Council. There are without a doubt too many accusations hurled at Israel, and the U.N. is in desperate need of reform along the lines of Arab, European, and Western antisemitism. But turnabout is, well, equally unfair play: Russia and China are both permanent members of the Security Council as well. They are both deeply connected with Iran's nuclear program. Both will veto sanctions related to it.

Unlike right-wing pundits braying incessantly about the need to carpet-bomb Iran right now, I'll actually admit I have no idea how to solve this devestating issue. But I do know, unlike them, that pretending there aren't some hard realities about the situation we're in right now has about as much a chance of leading to success as hauling Iran before the Security Council.

Update: Diamond LeGrande responds:

Well, the only solution of which I can think involves everyone sitting down like adults and both Iran and Israel agreeing for the good of humanity to give up their nuclear weapons programs. With Bush running the show, I'm not holding my breath for this.

On the "blame Israel" meme, I'll add another point -- the Iranians are going nuclear in part because they're scared shitless of the Israeli nukes. With sane right-wing thug Ariel Sharon on his death bed and insane right-wing prick Bibi Netenyahu looking to regain power, you'd be scared too. And the US invaded Iraq, which everyone knew did not have nukes in 2002, and not North Korea, which was advertising its nuclear program to anyone who was within earshot, teaching Iran and other similar regimes a lesson -- arm yourselves, or you'll wind up like Iraq.

But the real fear ... Iran is scared of Israel and America, and Saudi Arabia will be scared of Iran. Saudi Arabia has a huge Shia population in the north by the oilfields, and can't have them revolting. This population is right by Shia dominated Iraq, which also scares the Saudis. And, of course, the Saudis, true to a bad prisoner's dilemma, are looking at nukes. And if there's political trouble in Saudi Arabia -- and with the House of Saud already being so revolting, who could blame someone else for revolting? -- there's a Saudi fellow who could well slip into the mix. But George has already said he isn't worried about him, even after he murdered three thousand Americans. He would love nukes.

It would be irony if invading Iraq to avoid the "mushroom cloud" lead to that same cloud. I might smile if we survive.



Posted by August J. Pollak at 10:59 AM

January 11, 2006

Sam Alito, Sam Alito, the Amazing Chocolatier!

Long ago there was a Supreme Court that interpreted laws and justice for all the people of America to enjoy. But one day, an announcement was made. On blogs and cable news stations everywhere, the letter was posted:

�I, George W. Bush, have declared Samuel Alito as my new nominee. And I have asked the Judiciary Committee staff to distribute golden tickets to those lucky children who might wish to see the splendor of my new Supreme Court, where Supreme Court Justices are made.�

Oh, such amazement in the eyes of the pundits and readers! The children woke in the wee hours of the morning and rushed to the lineup where they feverishly received their golden tickets! The crowds gathered in amazement as the lucky few hundred people were allowed entrance into the magical law factory, adorned with elaborate marble carvings and animatronic robots, one of which later turned out to be Arlen Specter.

And standing outside the court were the magical Oompa Loompas, adorned in colorful t-shirts and singing their magical songs, all of which involved the central theme of God being a very nice person indeed, and that many of us were going to go to Hell for slaughtering infants. Or something.

Mind you, the magical Supreme Court is a place rife with peril as it is splendor. It is a very dangerous place for naughty and disruptive children. �Look at me, Daddy! Look at me!� screamed John Roberts� son, dancing and flailing before the cameras. He was the first to go after slipping and falling into a river of chocolate. �Perhaps I should have supported workplace safety regulations a little harder,� his father thought. But that�s a story for another time.

Join us later as the Senate confirmation panel continues, and beloved Senator Biden begins to ramble on pointlessly until he turns blue and rolls out of the Hart building.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 9:41 AM

January 10, 2006

Alito

The lack of posting about Alito is in no way a sign that I'm not following it. In fact, it's of great concern to me and everyone at Campus Progress. While I'm doing a lot of work along with the rest of the team on Alito's America, there's a great group of bloggers covering the hearings and the events at our AlitoBlog. Go check it out.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 10:51 PM

Taking it to the next level

Kitten-Off is going to be expanded to a real-life, but fun, project. Here's where you can help:

I'm a little behind on actually reading a lot of right-wing blogs. What I need is to start gathering contact info for right-wing and/or Bush-supporting bloggers who have publicly defended his actions on torture and/or the illegal wiretapping issue.

Why? Because I'm going to start doing a survey: I'm going to ask them if they'd be okay with Bush killing a kitten with a hammer.

This is for real. I need contacts. Send me bloggers you know support Bush's actions unwaveringly (with cites, if possible) at .

Posted by August J. Pollak at 12:55 PM

January 9, 2006

Newest comic - "Kitten-Off redux"

For those of you who are, as they say on the streets, XO 4 Life, you'll recall the original Kitten-Off strip back in the day when we were still all so young and naive. By naive, as the strip today notes, I of course mean when we actually thought there was a number of smashed kittens that would upset people. We are very, very foolish.

Now buy some crap.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 12:17 AM