June 30, 2006

This is my surprised face

The former Bush aide who resigned in February just before being arrested for shoplifting and then blamed his evil twin is, brace yourselves folks, pleading guilty.

Wow. And I really thought he was telling the truth about the whole evil twin thing.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 9:43 AM

Attack of the giant Augies

I weighed 9 pounds, 12 ounces at birth- a factoid that has been mentioned too many times to count at various family gatherings.

So I'm happy to hear that there is now officially a larger baby Augie on record- thanks to Law & Order: SVU star Mariska Hargitay, who's newborn son August just arrived, a week overdue, at over ten and a half pounds.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 9:21 AM

June 29, 2006

OMFG

A centipede... that eats bats.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 9:26 AM

Just checking

For those of your keeping score, here's the current tally:

Things that are putting American soldiers in harm's way Things that are not putting American soldiers in harm's way
  • Flag burning
  • The Geneva Conventions
  • Questioning both the morality and legality of torture
  • Suggesting an eventual timetable for withdrawal
  • Disclosing numerous covert and possibly-illegal acts of spying by the U.S. Government on its own citizens
  • Requesting more body armor for troops
  • Requesting due process for prisoners of war
  • All but a handful of cable networks and publications within the entire United States news media
  • Certain song lyrics
  • Uppity librarians
  • Being in Iraq
Posted by August J. Pollak at 9:15 AM

June 28, 2006

Klein's Law: it's official

Powerline reports that ticket sales for An Inconvenient Truth have "plummeted." By "plummeted," they mean increased every week since the movie opened.

Oliver reminded us of something Ezra mentioned a while back, and I think it's official now. Joining the esteemed annals of culture shared by Murphy and Godwin, it is my proud honor to present to you Klein's Law:

Klein's Law: At any given moment, Powerline has no idea what they're talking about.
Congratulations to Ezra, and of course congratulations to the guys at Powerline, who had to work very hard to be wrong about everything at all times.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 10:22 AM

June 27, 2006

Interesting

The horrid storm that hit DC yesterday knocked down a 140-year-old elm tree at the White House, thus disrupting the accurate depiction of the front of the White House on the $20 bill.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 10:40 AM

Fools Rush in

Last night's late edition comedy special about Limbaugh's adventure with airport security is actually a great example of what's very problematic about the entire "the media is out to get (insert name here)" mantra.

To be clear, there are vast problems with the media today; especially in the way they selectively choose what to report and how to report it. But the much larger problem is what has clearly become a subconscious asumption to many that disagreeable news is somehow news that shouldn't have been reported. I don't need a degree in journalism to understand the fallacy in that; why do so many people with degrees in journalism not?

Ignoring any opinions you have of Limbaugh, try to accept the concept that he is quite famous, and quite involved in the politica arena, and therefore quite inarguably a public figure. Accept, likewise, that he was- and this is known as a matter of public record- charged with posession of illegally-acquired medication, and is currently on probation in which being caught with them again could mean jail time. Accept, once more, that being a public figure publicly known for being on probation for having illegal medication and waltzing across international borders with prescription medication that has someone else's name on it maybe, just maybe, is a really, really fucking stupid thing to do.

It's not a matter of "fair." You can argue whether or not Rush's treatment was "fair" just as much as you can argue whether or not the media had an "obligation" to report that Paul Reubens was arrested for jerking off in a porn theater. Newsmakers still make the call over whether or not it's news. As the public, you have the right not to read the news, or debate the accuracy of the news. You can attack the news for doing a shitty job; you can't attack it for its job existing.

True story: A few years ago, a high-ranking person at my high school was arrested and charged with child abuse. The response to the charge was almost instantaneous and nearly unanimous in defense of the accused person. The town, and for that matter adjacent towns, rallied behind this person, who was shortly thereafter found not guilty in a trial.

Yesterday morning, my dad send me a story reporting that this same person had just been arrested. For child abuse. Again.

I honestly have no idea what to think. There's an irony here in that I'm deliberately not saying the person's name, or even their title or gender, because I honestly want to protect their privacy. I understand that's what a lot of Limbaugh's fans feel about him.

But what I don't believe, either for Limbaugh or this other person, is that it was somehow morally wrong or vicious or selective... and it certainly wasn't irrelevant. Maybe this story wouldn't have been reported if the official hadn't been reported as being arrested before. Maybe we wouldn't be hearing about Limbaugh right now if he hadn't been reported as a drug abuser earlier. That doesn't somehow make it wrong to have reported the story retroactively. In fact, that's what made it necessary. The media wasn't "out to get" Limbaugh any more than my local paper was "out to get" this other person.

Right-wingers are whining today about the New York Times reporting about yet another covert spying operation done by the Bush administration. Their response, including from the White House iteself, is to somehow accuse the Times of treason. We ask why this kind of debate is happening, and yet we don't even look at the larger problem: for Christ's sake, people... you're wondering why right-wingers are furious about this story when they're made the news reported the news about Rush Limbaugh just because he was Rush Limbaugh?

You can it's not good news. You can say it's not worthy news. Hell, you can say it's unfair news or shitty news or partisan news... in fact, you can even say it's not news. But you can't say it's a lie, or a crime, just because it makes you sad to read it, or because it hurts someone, or because it drops someone's poll numbers by a point.

There is a lot to complain about the media... more that could ever fit in this blog or maybe even on the entire internet. But we're in a very dangerous situation when the argument has descended to whether or not the news should actually report the news just because you don't like hearing it. I silently weep for the oncoming plans to turn journalism into some twisted form of American Idol where everyone can just vote on what news they think is real.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 10:06 AM

June 26, 2006

Latest comic - "Indiana Santorum"

This is one of those strips that makes me happy and sad at the same time. Happy because, honestly, this is by far one of my favorites in a while, mainly because the opportunity is just so perfect, and the entire moment so ripe for parody. And yet, for the same reason, it's very sad that a cartoon that, if you'll forgive the self-righteousness, is so damn good will be so non-topical after about, oh I don't know, a few days or so.

Now, the chances remain very high that our beloved Rick Santorum will find yet another way to publicly make himself look like a moron, but man, you can't really top walking into the Senate and just saying you found WMDs, can you. The man just has balls. Stupid, stupid balls. So stupid.

On a side note, a special thanks to all the readers looking out for me who noted that, a mere 23 hours after last week's strip about the "America Loves Soft Fuzzy Kittens Act" was revealed to the world, The Daily Show did a joke about Congress passing a bill declaring "kittens are adorable." I'd like to believe there's a reader over there, though I'm sure it's just a very interesting coincidence... if anything, I just like it that everyone knows I thought of it first. I thought of the joke first, dammit.

Oh well, buy some crap.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 12:08 AM

June 25, 2006

Beer Battered Deep Fried Bacon Double Quarter Pounder

Yes. Oh hell yes.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 6:21 PM

All is right with the universe once again

A vitally important reminder, especially to anyone out there who actually has a ratings box:

Venture Bros. Season Two. To-freaking-NITE, folks.

Cartoon Network. 10:30 PM. That is all. You have NO EXCUSES.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 12:13 AM