Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Old and busted news.

So I'm behind the times a little, I know - that's what you get when I only blog once a week.
Let's rewind to last week and discuss the ABC debate debacle (alliteration points x4). In a way, the whole mess exemplified what exactly is wrong with politics in America today. For those of you who missed it, the majority of the "debate" (which I'm surrounding with quotation marks because it barely fit the definition) was, in the words of Philly Daily News columnist Will Bunch:

"focus[ed] on issues that were at best trivial wastes of valuable airtime and at worst restatements of right-wing falsehoods, punctuated by inane "issue" questions that in no way resembled the real world concerns of American voters....
You implied throughout the broadcast that you wanted to reflect the concerns of voters in Pennsylvania. Well, I'm a Pennsylvanian voter, and so are my neighbors and most of my friends and co-workers. You asked virtually nothing that reflected our everyday issues -- trying to fill our gas tanks and save for college at the same time, our crumbling bridges and inadequate mass transit, or the root causes of crime here in Philadelphia. In fact, there almost isn't enough space -- and this is cyberspace, where room is unlimited -- to list all the things you could have asked about but did not, from health care to climate change to alternative energy to our policy toward China to the deterioration of Afghanistan to veterans' benefits to improving education. You ignored virtually everything that just happened in what most historians agree is one of the worst presidencies in American history, including the condoning of torture and the trashing of the Constitution, although to be fair you also ignored the policy concerns of people on the right, like immigration issues.

You asked about gun control -- phrased to try for a "gotcha" in a state where that's such a divisive issue -- but not about what we really care about, which is how to reduce crime. You pressed and pressed on those capital gains taxes, but Senators Clinton and Obama were forced to bring up the housing crisis on their own initiative.

Instead, you wasted more than half of the debate -- a full hour -- on tabloid trivia that for the most part wasn't even that interesting, because most of it was infertile ground that has already been covered again and again and again. I'm not saying that Rev. Wright and Bosnia sniper fire and "bitter" were never newsworthy -- I myself wrote about all of these for the Philadelphia Daily News or my Attytood blog, back when they were more relevant -- but the questions were stale yet clearly intended to gin up controversy (they didn't, by the way, other than the controversy over you.) The final questions of that section, asking Obama whether he thought Rev. Wright "loved America" and then suggesting that Obama himself is somehow a hater of the American flag, or worse, were flat-out repulsive."


As the internet is wont to do, the "debate" was parodied by the folks over at the Obsidian Wings blog, put in context of the famous Lincoln/Douglas debate of 1858. Just a quick highlight, and you can click the link to get the rest:

"LINCOLN: Thank you very much, Charlie and George, and thanks to all in the audience and who are out there. I appear before you today for the purpose of discussing the leading political topics which now agitate the public mind.

We are now far into the fifth year since a policy was initiated with the avowed object, and confident promise, of putting an end to slavery agitation. Under the operation of that policy, that agitation has not only not ceased, but has constantly augmented.

STEPHANOPOULOS: I’m sorry to interrupt, but do you think Mr. Douglas loves America as much you do?

LINCOLN: Sure I do.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But who loves America more?

LINCOLN: I’d prefer to get on with my opening statement George.

STEPHANOPOULOS: If your love for America were eight apples, how many apples would Senator Douglas’s love be?



LINCOLN: In my opinion, slavery will not cease, until a crisis shall have been reached and passed. "A house divided against itself cannot stand." I believe this government cannot endure permanently half slave and half free.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Excuse me, did an Elijah H. Johnson attend your church?

LINCOLN: When I was a boy in Illinois forty years ago, yes. I think he was a deacon.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Are you aware that he regularly called Kentucky “a land of swine and whores”?

LINCOLN: Sounds right -- his ex-wife was from Kentucky.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Why did you remain in the church after hearing those statements?

LINCOLN: I was eight.

DOUGLAS: This is an important question George -- it's an issue that certainly will be raised in the fall."

And so on. Just read the rest.

Anyways, Hillary won Pennsylvania last night, despite the dream I had the night before about Obama winning and Hillary finally conceding. I don't want to get into that, so I won't.

Oh, but all the candidates made a guest appearance on WWE. Yes, that IS professional wrestling. This is what it's come to.

See more funny videos at CollegeHumor

"Okay, America...just...alright?...America?" (It's not as funny without the proper inflection, but who cares.)

Someone found my blog by Googling the phrase "Why are people from Wisconsin so passive aggressive." I find that really, really hilarious. I'm digging through the Sitemeter stats, and have come to one conclusion - people from other countries really want to find Chuck Norris riddles. Yeah, I don't get it, either.

Finally, for your entertainment:

See more funny videos at CollegeHumor

Kids are stupid. Over and out.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

I'm back - with a vengeance.

Just kidding about that last part. It's a beautiful day here in Madison, and I have to leave for work in two hours, but a couple of things have just come to my attention that I absolutely have to share with the world. (As with all of my posts, I'm still on the first cup of coffee, so give me some leeway, okay?)
Baseball season is here, and anyone with a casual eye to the game will know that this is the last year the Yankees will play in Yankee Stadium. It's a little sad (even though we all know the Yankees suck), simply because of the history there - Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, the last two games of the completely hilarious 2004 playoff collapse..
Lest I go on a tangent about how badly the Yankees suck, let's get right to the point. The new Yankee Stadium is being built, and one Red Sox fan working on the site thought it'd be absolutely hilarious to bury a David Ortiz jersey in the concrete of the new stadium. Unfortunately, the front office found about this in a hurry, and the Yankees spent five hours drilling the two-foot-thick concrete to get it out. Gossip on Sports says maybe they should have just left it in there.

Alright, enough screwing around. Here comes some news that's also funny, in a sick "wow we're screwed" sort of way.
As you've probably heard, the Pope made a visit to the White House this week. His speech focused on "the importance of democracy being informed by moral values" (from the Huffington Post). It concluded, and I kid you not, the president of the United States, the "leader of the free world" himself, said, "Thank you, Your Holiness. Awesome speech." This is not a joke - seriously, click on the link, there's a video and everything.

And, that's it from me.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Another lazy Sunday...

As the headline suggests, it's been a fairly slow weekend. I've been going out at night, but my days have been stuffed with a whole lotta nothin' - wandering around Madison (and attempting not to get lost), reading, doing the crossword puzzle - nothing seriously of interest.
My old college roommate Umaar was in town last night, and we headed over to the Local Tavern for Spotted Cow and reminiscing (can you believe I spelled that right on the first shot? Neither can I.). It was, to use a phrase favored by a couple of my coworkers, "Sconnie to the max." And all of you who've spent a significant amount of time in this state should have a grasp of what I mean by that.
In case you weren't aware, today is National Tartan Day, the red-headed stepchild of St. Patrick's Day, commemorating the signing of the Treaty of Arbroath in 1320, which "asserted Scotland's sovereignity over English territorial claims," and gave those of us with a very weak Scottish heritage connection an excuse to drink our weights in whiskey (hey, I guess it's got more in common with St. Patrick's Day than I thought!). As I've got the house to myself until Tim gets back from Canada tomorrow, I've been celebrating on my own by wearing a kilt I fashioned out of old flannel sheets. I was considering limiting my vocabulary exclusively to lines from Sean Connery movies, but didn't have the motivation (or the knowledge). Despite how little I've been out today, it'd still be pretty difficult. Like my mom would call and ask how my job was going, and I could say "In retrospect, I would rather have been a poet. Or a farmer." But the day wouldn't be complete until I gott a chance to use "You the man now, dog!", and there's not much call for that line nowadays. So, alas, my dreams remain unfulfilled.
Woot. Only...ugh...sixteen more days until the Pennsylvania primary. I'm really trying to ignore this whole debacle, but like everyone else in the blogosphere who thinks their words actually have some meaning, I feel slightly obligated to weigh in if only to voice my frustration. As the calls for Hillary's quittin' time get louder and louder (which will continue despite the expected win in PA), I really believe that the Dems are looking at a weakened party headed into November. Not to deny Sen. Clinton her constitutional right to continue as long as she wishes (although her finances have dried up to the point where her campaign has stopped paying health insurance premiums - one reason why she's such a big proponent of universal health care?), but I wish she'd just get out, already. It's time.
So I don't have to ramble on and on about this, here's a few quick videos that illustrate some of her logic:

So, there's that, and that's it.