January 12, 2008
Stupid people with vaginas and their silly ambition
See, Hillary's real problem is that she just doesn't know her role in the presidential election, which is apparently to desire the presidency the way you are supposed to desire making Bret Michaels your boyfriend.
...[D]espite the myriad reasons to feel uneasy about Clinton, the most salient one ultimately may have less to do with her emotionalism (or lack of it) than with the sharp contours of her passion.
For a lot of people, Hillary Clinton just wants this too badly. Her Achilles heel is not that she cries (or doesn't) from disappointment, but that she is visibly salivating from hunger. That may be OK for male candidates, whose appetites tend to be selling points. But if there's anything that's drilled into women's heads before we're old enough to even ask for something, it's the importance of playing hard to get, of pretending we don't want anything at all.
I know, oh my god, like, right? What's up with her, she's like, treating being president like it's the most important job in the world or something! Gaaaaaaahd.
Someone please shoot me in the skull.
January 11, 2008
Simple answers to mind-poundingly stupid questions
Unions are obviously a mixed blessing, and in any case the political obstacles to increased union power seem pretty insurmountable these days. But what's the alternative? What better institutions for workers might we construct?
Golly, this is a toughie. Let's see. Unions were needed because employers and corporations exploited workers, treated them harshly, and paid them terribly.
Well, I'm stumped. If unions exist because of working conditions, what could possibly be done to reduce the need for them? I'm going to need a few days to ponder this one.
January 10, 2008
Some animals are more equal than others
While even the less-cynical-than-usual expected this, it's becoming more and more obvious that Bush's Supreme Court is going to go ahead and annouce that every Republican-controlled state legislature has the right to restore the Poll Tax. I understand the need to have some kind of identifiable security in voter registration, but how legally requiring a form of ID that you must pay money to acquire doesn't constitute a financial requirement to vote astounds me. Amazingly, this seems to confuse the Supreme Court justices- whose sole jobs are to remember what the Constitution says- even more.
The same right-wingers who complain how totally easy it is for illegal immigrants and non-residents of a state to get a believable ID now claim that those easily-penetrable documenting procedures are the only way to guarantee a safe vote... and of course, the minor coincidence that Democratic-voting elderly and poor people who are less likely to have driver's licenses or passports, as well as less likely to have the money to pay for said documents or the original birth certificates needed to get them, or be able take time from work to acquire them, is just that... a coincidence.
As a rule, I tend to recognize that anything the conservative base tries to do in the name of "equality" and/or "freedom" means they are trying to strip rights away from people. For further reading, please see the USA PATRIOT Act, "campaign donations are free speech", repealing the estate tax, privatizing social security, "health saving accounts," and pretty much every single thing ever said or done by Grover Norquist, Ward Connerly, and/or David Horowitz in the last 30 years.
January 9, 2008
So, long story short, the true joke of my previous post required the understanding that everyone who read it saw the episode of The Simpsons where Nelson freaks out over discovering Andy Williams was playing at a concert hall him and Bart were visiting in Branson, Missouri. The episode is "Bart on the Road," and it's from the seventh season, and it quite honestly blows my mind that this episode first aired twelve years ago. Jesus.
Short story long, I've ultimately killed about four hours of my day because of this post. I understand that this is quite possibly the most awful, terrible move to make on the internet, but I'm actually going to argue what episode of The Simpsons is, in fact, the best episode ever. It's that one.
If you somehow, in ways I cannot possibly imagine, failed to ever see this episode, a certain part of your soul has been missing for the last twelve years. If you have seen this episode but simply don't remember it, let me remind you that the following Simpsons quotes all occurred in this single, 22-minute episode:
"Some days, we don't let the line move at all." "We call those weekdays."
"Ever wonder how crackers get salted?" "Do I!"
"There's purple stuff inside. Purple is a fruit."
"Now you've lost all but six hundred dollars. You got greedy, Martin."
"That's not Latin!"
"Bart! Nelson hit me!" "He sure did."
"'Yablo Canyon Two, why can't you be more like 'Yablo Canyon One?"
"We've arrived in the vast cornfields of Canada!"
"That's it, back to Winnipeg!"
"They all have humorous names and are delicious!"
"I didn't think he was going to do 'Moon River,' but then BAM! Second encore!"
"He's very quiet and enjoys puzzles."
"And with Mike's patented seminar, you will learn how to corner the real estate market through hypnosis."
"You are hearing me talk."
"But on the plus side, I knocked over the Sunsphere."
"Alright. I have thought this through. I will send Bart the money to fly home, and then I will murder him." "No! Then he'll know I told!"
"Homer.... Are you laughing at me?"
So like I said, four hours of my day were devoted, and by that I mean wasted, finding a copy of this episode, ending up watching it over and over, rendering it, and capturing a still just so I can get the screencap of Nelson watching Andy Williams, because I will defend to the death that it is the funniest single frame in the entire history of American animation.
The back page of the Washington Post Express this morning. Full-page ad.
I can offer nothing else on this. Nothing.
For the record
Kos is 100% right on this. Clinton isn't going to win on sympathy alone, but I was at a primary-watching party last night where two friends of mine sat and the bar and noted repeatedly how much they'd love to see Hillary win New Hampshire A. to piss off the media and anti-Hillary punditry, B. to piss off the people attacking her for the "crying stuff," and C. to piss off the media and anti-Hillary punditry a lot more.
I have joked for almost a year now that while Clinton is definitely not my favorite candidate, the main reason I would love to see her as president is purely out of spite. I realize that's an awful way to think about politics, but most of the country has an awful way of thinking about politics, and a lot of people are critically underestimating just how powerful a factor irrational anger can be.
January 8, 2008
Ministry of Truth
I am stunned- stunned- at why Ron Paul might be considering running as a third party.
Fox News recently excluded anti-war conservative Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX) from its New Hampshire presidential debate. Libertarian Underground reports that Fox has now edited out Ron Paul's name from an AP story posted on its website.
Look, I think Ron Paul's a lunatic who appears rational only by comparison to his own supporters. But it sort of hinders dismissing someone as a conspiracy theorist when their theories are accurate. If the timeline of events here is correct, then Fox News has literally edited a news report- inaccurately- to not only omit Paul's name but to suggest he hasn't been campaigning in a primary state. And yet these are the same people who are going to go "who, moi?" in feigned confusion over Paul's lack of interest in rallying behind the same GOP that's silencing him.
Update: Looks like it's been fixed.
We grow 'em up smart out there in NoVA.
FAIRFAX, Va. -- A 19-year-old is under arrest after allegedly impersonating a police officer and pulling over an off-duty cop.
Fairfax County Police charged Steven Rivas of Annandale with impersonating a police officer, reckless driving, use of unauthorized lights and abduction.
Rivas used flashing lights to pull over an off-duty Fairfax County on an Interstate 495 ramp on Jan. 5 around 1 a.m., police say.
Police say Rivas had been parked in a lot next to Woodburn Elementary School in a 2004 gold Ford Explorer when he pulled onto Gallows Road and followed the officer. They say he activated the vehicle's blue lights and had the officer to stop on the northbound ramp to I-495.
After Rivas allegedly identified himself as an officer, the officer identified herself and asked to see his badge and credentials. Police say Rivas drove off with his lights still flashing.
The officer wrote down Rivas' tag number and gave it to police, who later arrested Rivas at his home.
To start, my mind boggles at what you're thinking of accomplishing by pretending to be a cop and randomly pulling people over in the first place. The closest I can figure is once you pull someone over, you can then carjack them or rob them or something. Except this guy stopped someone on an active entrance ramp to the Capital Beltway, and then asked for ID.
My favorite part of this story, though, has to be the perp's brilliant getaway in the form of leaving and then being followed home by the actual police officer. I'm trying to figure out how much money I would have actually paid to have been there watching the officer explain to the parents of the 19-year-old why they're going to arrest their idiot son now. I'm floating somewhere in the $20 range right now.
January 7, 2008
The most fascinating thing (to me at least) on MyDD right now is the big, useful graphic on the left side showing the total delegate counts for all the presidential candidates. So basically, after Iowa, Clinton, Edwards, and Obama are pretty much tied with about seven-tenths of one percent each of the minimum delegates needed to secure the nomination. In other words, both the "frontrunner" Obama and the "impolding" Clinton, not to mention the "staggering" Edwards all have 0.7% more delegates to the national convention right now than, well.... a bowl of pudding. This would be something that a media might be inclined to actually point out, were it not obsessed with crafting storylines to make 24-hour coverage of a very slow process interesting.
On that note, I agree with what a few other bloggers have been saying about Obama's jump in New Hampshire and the media storm engulfing it. This isn't an argument for or against Obama, but rather an argument against New Hampshire, or any state, having guaranteed "first in the nation" status: if the candidates have spent an entire freaking year campaigning in your state because of how devoted and magical and special and committed to democracy you're supposed to be... and then you all turn around and vote en masse for the person the teevee says is now "winning," then your state deserves to be last in the candidate selection process, not first.
I'm sure we'll all be dead and rotting before this goes into anyone's heads, but voting isn't a contest, folks. You're supposed to vote for who you want to win, not who you think will win. Jesus. You people understand this when American Idol's on; why is it so hard for presidential elections?
I imagine that there must have been some point in my life where I just knew I one day wanted to draw a cartoon where the punchline was "God, I love pudding." And really, who doesn't?
It's been fun reading a lot of commentary about the Iowa caucus, not as much for all the people who are spinning being wrong but the people who are acting surprised that was was actually predicted to happen, happened. Yay for Obama and Huckabee and all that, but elsewhere, the candidates who everyone have been saying for six months are just barely going to place third... placed third.
A handful of candidates had the dignity, or rather had the financial requirement, to bow out gracefully last week. There are a few more who will probably do the same soon, but have a painfully large constituency of true believers who keep the faith. Let's laugh and point and stare at them. Oh, it is good to be back!