August 11, 2007

You outta give Iowa a try

The Iowa Independent, and it's fantastic logo, will be covering the Ames Straw poll live all day Saturday.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 1:40 AM

August 10, 2007

General Franco trapped in mine

Look, of course what happened in Utah is a tragedy, and I totally understand how the families need nothing but sympathy and yes, hope that their families might still be alive, but the status on how far a rescue team has dug has now been the top story on every news site for the last three days.

This isn't meant to be an attack on the miners, obviously. But they're either dead or they're not. Hourly updates about how far we are to determining that are absolutely pointless. The only reason the media does this is because they're investing in a payoff of human exploitation: if the miners lived then they built up a week-long story of survival, and if they're dead then they've talked so much about them that they can force everyone watching to feel like it's a personal tragedy. Either way, far more profitable than just reporting the news.

Obviously, an update like hearing a voice or something is newsworthy. But I am literally seeing headlines now along the lines of "still no sound from trapped miners." Before 24-hour cable news existed, we had a rational majority of Americans alive who recognized that as a lack of actual news.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 8:57 AM

August 9, 2007

How to make your day instantly awesome

Step 1: have 8-foot-tall LEGO man wash up on a beach in the Netherlands.

Really. That's it.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 9:03 AM

Le sigh

At this point, stuff like this is more depressing than inspiring. I think it's really time to abandon the state of denial and accept that Al Gore's not running for president. We're five, possibly four, months away from the Iowa Caucus, there hasn't been a single national poll that puts interest in the former vice-president above 15-20%, and the idea that Gore can both raise and spend enough money to counter Hillary Clinton's Iowa and New Hampshire campaigns and lose about 30 pounds in twelve weeks or so is officially bordering ludicrous.

It was fun to dream, kids.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 7:50 AM

Minesweeper: The Movie

This was exponentially funnier than I expected it to be.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 7:42 AM

August 8, 2007

White devil's advocate

Jen at Feministing lambastes Elizabeth Edwards for saying what for the life of me I fail to understand isn't blatantly obvious:

The Web can be liberating. "It's about bypassing the sieve of the mainstream media," says Elizabeth Edwards, wife and confidant of Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards. "The idea that you have people standing between you and the voter is diminished, and the capacity to speak directly empowers candidates to trust their own voices." With Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama hogging media coverage, campaigns can push their messages without paying for ads.

"In some ways, it's the way we have to go. We can't make John black, we can't make him a woman. Those things get you a lot of press, worth a certain amount of fundraising dollars."

Now, obviously, what is desperately lacking in political debate is the white guy's perspective on something, but that said, I'm hopeful my race and/or penis isn't the arbiter here in pointing out that if you think none of the media coverage on Obama and Clinton is based on them being black and female, then you're nuts.

Both Jen's post and the one she links to are very angry in a way that to me suggests they're implying Elizabeth Edwards is somehow jealous or bitter that Obama and Hillary are black and female. If that's the case, then I fail to see that.

In fact, contrary to what's also suggested in their posts, Edwards isn't even saying Obama and Hillary are popular just because of their non-white-male status. The implication that Edwards is sitting in a room shaking his fist in the air screaming "curse it all! Damn cruel fate for a Caucasian wang!" is just unfair. She's merely implying that an advantage in media coverage is inherent because of the uniqueness of Hillary and Obama's candidacies, and that because those attriubutes are ones that aren't a choice and impossible to alter, John Edwards is lacking a similar catch for the media.

If being a white male somehow excludes me from being allowed to say this, than sorry for breaking some invidible credo, because that's absolutely true.

Obama gets press coverage because he's black. That's not the only reason he gets press coverage, but it's a reason. Hillary Clinton gets press coverage because she's a woman. That's not the only reason she gets press coverage, but it's a reason. Mitt Romney gets press coverage because he's a Mormom. That's not the only reason he gets press coverage, but it's a reason.

There have already been numerous stories in the vein of "Is American Ready For a _____________ President?" That's no fault of any candidates- and Elizabeth Edwards certainly didn't make any such accusation. But there will never be an article about "Is America ready for a rich white male lawyer president?" because that's not, you know, a press angle. That is the void John Edwards, by no natural fault of his own or of Obama's or Hillary's, has to fill. That is what Edwards was pointing out. And if it's actually considered racist or misogynist to point that out, then we are in for a long damn season of liberal infighting.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 9:34 AM

August 7, 2007

Thing happens to guy

So, some guy in the army said some stuff and Michelle Malkin got angry and now apparently, the right-wing blogs "won."

In other words, another conservative victory against the guy who did that thing.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 10:14 AM

August 6, 2007

I guess in 1992 Chelsea didn't have Facebook yet

Okay, ha-ha on Rudy Giuliani and all that, but is there any particular reason that anyone has any business whatsoever reporting on the doings of a candidate's 17-year-old daughter?

Caroline Giuliani has no connection to the Rudy 2008 campaign, and unlike situations like Alan Keyes disowning his daughter because of his strong "family values" or the law-and-order Texas Governor George W. Bush thinking his kids should get at least three byes on underage drinking, she's done absolutely nothing to merit examining her in the context of her father's political ambitions other than suggest she might not vote for him.

If she starts popping up on the campaign trail or in ads, then yeah, Caroline's fair game. But searching her Facebook profile- something that's not even open to the entire public- for dirt is maybe slightly less creepy than sending a reporter to Barack Obama's kids' next school recital.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 1:44 PM

"Assist from Congress"

Latest comic - click here!

I really, really just don't get how so many rich young celebrities get themselves in jail. When you are rich and beautiful, and especially rich and beautiful and female, while you're definitely the victim of often-uncalled-for scorn based on those factors, actually getting to the point of mandatory jail time should be foreign to them. They are, by definition in American culture, above the laws of mortal men.

The Foreman Grill now overflowing with sarcasm drippings, I'll re-address: all of these kids have personal assistants. What the hell are they doing? Their jobs- in fact, quite literally the sole thing they are paid to do- is watch over these pampered morons so they don't get in trouble. I understand, especially when we dip into Britney levels, that this is a job akin to the Buttons & Mindy segments from Animaniacs, but with your salary, not letting Lindsey or Paris get in the freaking car while they're on their stimulant of choice seems far less complicated than whatever led to the baby accidentally crawling through a construction yard. Bad dog. Bad, bad dog.

Vegas, since none of you asked, was fun as always. On the excruciatingly small chance the blackjack dealer slash Pussycat Doll from Friday night didn't just throw the card away after our conversation about the chances the Democrats have in the primaries, a special hello to Martina and I hope you enjoy the cartoons.

Buy some crap and join the list.

Posted by August J. Pollak at 12:02 AM