September 28, 2006

Hippies FTW!

It must have ben a sign: the great guys over at Microcosm Publishing- whom I affectionately refer to as "those hippies in Oregon"- were featured this morning in the Washington Post. Lo and behold, when I came home to my apartment just now, awaiting me was a package from the crafty elves of the Microcosm button-making department.

That's right, fans, pins are back in stock, and they'll be back for sale on the merch page by this weekend! They will also be available at SPX, where I will be tabling and representin' Cartoonists With Attitude. Holla.

That's right, McFadden. I associate with hippies. Hippies who make pins and hate automobiles so much they bring them to the post office on bikes. Made of hemp. Deal with it.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 9:21 PM

September 27, 2006

Giant bowls of Marshmallow Fluff: My Enchanted Evening with Pajamas Media

So I’m at a panel-slash-conservative happy hour hosted and attended by the A-list of DC’s right-wing blogosphere, and the first person I see as I walk in the door is Jeff Gannon. Awesome; six seconds in and I’ve met my first porn star.

Thanks (?) to a generous heads-up from Tom Tomorrow I had the chance to attend a panel at the National Press Club sponsored by Pajamas Media entitled “How Partisan is Too Partisan?” For the uninitiated, Pajamas Media is a collective of several dozen bloggers, almost all of which are right-wing conservatives. Their lineup includes co-founder Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs, a weblog containing so much vitriol against the Arab world it’s often considered a hate site, and professional racist Michelle Malkin. So you can of course imagine who's going to end up being blamed for partisanship in the media.

To their credit, PJM is smart enough to keep their big-name hyper-partisans out of the public eye. Glenn "Instapundit" Reynolds, notorious for his self-proclaimed "moderate" position by way of merely linking to right-wing blogs on a daily basis instead of offering the viewpoints himself, served as moderator (Reynolds' money quote of the evening was his description of his nonpartisanship: "My dream is a world where happily married gay couples have closets full of assault weapons," which... yes, I believe is still frightening.) The extremists who might have, you know, made the hypocrisy of the event’s premise embarrassingly blatant were kept in the shadows- or the audience, as proven by Pamela of Atlas Shrugs, who volunteered as the event cheerleader, responding to the panel and various answers with ecstatic cheers throughout the evening- think a typical audience member on TRL, then add thirty years, two drinks and an intense hatred of Muslims.

As you can expect, the answer to the question “how partisan is too partisan?” involved that pesky specter of conservative hatred known as “the MSM,” otherwise known as “The New York Times.” Seriously, the Times being partisan and detrimental to media in general was one of the two recurring themes of the event- the other was the mantra of “yes, but liberals are worse.” For some reason, any attempt to note that conservatives are also partisan writers was paired with an aside that they’re not as bad as the left: after all, as noted by panelist and former RNC communications director Cliff May, “because the MSM is liberal and won’t admit it, conservative have had to face liberal opinion, whereas liberals can ghettoize themselves.” Much like the Fox News concept that a perceived left-wing bias in media means a blatant right-wing bias on their network makes them “balanced,” May and his fellow Pajamhadeen (their term, not mine) bemoan a form of “partisanship” that means perceived leftist media makes their right-wing rhetoric the voice of moderation.

Speaking of which, the voice of moderation at the panel ironically was Fox News’ Jane Hall, who varied from the other panelists with radical, outrageous ideas such as not believing every writer at the Times has a hidden motive, and requesting that panelist Michael Barone actually provide evidence of his claim that 90% of all college professors are “avowed leftists.” Continuing the "New York Times is partisan" mantra, May exclaimed the problem with partisanship isn't Fox News or bloggers, but the "MSM" (again, meaning the New York Times) because "it is partisan but doesn't admit it." May explained that he would prefer media that admits partisanship rather than one that "pretends." You are more than welcome to take five seconds to scroll up the page and re-read what the intended purpose of the evening's panel was supposed to be about, then return to bat your eyes a few dozen times at that one. Go ahead, I'll wait.

As I said before, PJM's backers are smart enough to keep their extremist draws out of the media spotlight, which is ultimately why the cocktail hour preceding the event drew more partisan snark and swipes at "the left" than the actual panel. Luckily, the right-wing blogosphere has these level-headed pseudo-intellectuals to wrangle them all- a benefit not granted to us rowdy leftists, as I gathered from an overhead comment by Michael Totten to Pamela: "these liberal kids, they go from job to job, and they have no time to study... no wonder they have no idea about spreading democracy."

The whole evening, there's a small dessert table, with the prominent feature a gigantic, heaping bowl of Marshmallow Fluff. I'm thinking it might be PJM's new mascot.

Cross-posted at Campus Progress

Posted by August J. Pollak at 9:44 AM

September 26, 2006

Eyes on the Prize

"Eyes on the Prize" is an amazing documentary on the Civil Rights movement. It hasn't been aired on television in over ten years, and will finally again see the light of day this weekend on PBS.

However, if you live in the DC area, you can check out part of the series tonight at the E Street Cinema, courtesy of Campus Progress.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 10:58 AM


If we don't give school principals the right to strip-search students, the terrorists have won.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 10:44 AM

September 25, 2006

Well, I'm sure there's no racist undertone to this at all

A Texas radio host who owns a gun shop decided to promote both his jobs at the same time by ranting on the air about the need to "arm yourself" against... that's right... those dangerous Katrina evacuees.

Katrina evacuees were suspects or victims in 59 of Houston's 262 homicides between Jan. 1 and Aug. 26. Residents in West Houston have blamed evacuees for violent crime rates, which have increased almost 14 percent in one district and homicides, which have nearly doubled in another.

This month, the FBI reported that violent crime in Houston jumped 2.4 percent last year, slightly above the national figure of 2.3 percent.

Pruett's radio ad says, "When the 'Katricians' themselves are quoted as saying the crime rate is gonna go up if they don't get more free rent, then it's time to get your concealed-handgun license."

Department of Public Safety statistics show that from January to Sept. 1, the number of concealed-carry permits issued for handguns has risen almost 25 percent in Harris County, which includes Houston. Texas has no other gun registration laws. Houston welcomed at least 250,000 evacuees after Katrina swamped New Orleans last year, and as many as 120,000 remain.

Yep, the neighborhood was all nice and purty until those types showed up.

Quick Martha, get more guns. The negroes are coming.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 11:52 PM

Latest comic!

"We call it life"

The scoops. Yes.

Anyone can simply not care about global warming, but a lot of people actually make a conscious effort to rationalize not caring about it instead of just saying they don't care and frankly, it's kind of annoying. Let's face it: we're literally killing the planet, we have more evidence to prove it than most prosecutors have in criminal court cases, and yet the response from the big industries causing a lot of it are to say that it's okay to still do it as long as they make token gestures to pretend they'll one day stop doing it. Great.

So yeah, I imagine if the Soylent Corporation was actually around, they'd have an ample team of spin doctors ready to explain why it would be financially infeasable to stop incorporating humans into their manufacturing process. Missing for space reasons is the panel where the corporate executive explains how as duty to the shareholders, it would be immoral for him not to eat babies.

Eh. Buy some crap. Most of it is only made out of sea lions.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 12:28 AM

September 24, 2006

The lament of the original Some Guy With a Website

Shorter Brendan Nyhan: Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!

Just to recap: After being humilated for writing something blatantly wrong about Atrios for no reason other than his Spinsanity-era style of attacking liberals for the sake of personal amusement, Nyhan sees this as a sign of liberals being unable to "deal with" his Spinsanity-era style of god-like proclamations blessed upon him by the higher authority that is the ability to pay $8.95/month for bandwidth. Nyhan is asked by the editors of the left-leaning online publication that hired him to actually be a left-leaning writer, and realizing he isn't going to be paid to bitch about more popular liberals while pretending to be one he quits, then proceeds to whine about it on the blog- a bastion of political intellect so shown by its hiring of Ana Marie Cox, the woman who knows absolutely nothing about actual politics, and Andrew Sullivan, the man who has been absolutely wrong about everything for the last four and a half years. In this auspicious venue, he laments the actions of major publications not taking political writing seriously. For an encore, Nyhan suggests the American Prospect has nowhere near the credibility of The New Republic, which has seen the departure of multiple writers and editors in recent years for various major infractions of journalistic ethics.

All in all, it really makes you wonder how the Prospect could have let a catch like that slip through their hands.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 5:32 PM