Wednesday, October 25, 2006

NJ Allows Civil Unions. Responds.

The New Jersey Supreme Court held today that the New Jersey state constitution requires that the state permit civil unions.'s domestic edition was ready for the challenge.

"Hey Ernie, run that picture of those three homely gay people marrying that child."

"Sure thing, Boss."

Although consistency has suddenly become irrelevant for Republicans, President Bush used to think that civil unions of this sort were OK:

I don’t think we should deny people rights to a civil union, a legal arrangement, if that’s what a state chooses to do so. … I strongly believe that marriage ought to be defined as between a union between a man and a woman. Now, having said that, states ought to be able to have the right to pass laws that enable people to be able to have rights like others.
I guess we'll just have to wait and see what his handlers tell him to think now.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

The Things People Care About

Frustrated with the Christianist turn that his party has taken, former Republican House majority leader Dick Armey recently complained "The Republicans are talking about things like gay marriage and so forth, and the Democrats are talking about the things people care about, like how do I pay my bills?"

In these last days before the election, here's hoping that Americans faced with everyday problems can look past the various Republican smokescreens — whether it be fears about gay marriage, the unproven and unceasing claim that Republicans are somehow better at the War on Tara then their vilified Defeatocrats, or the administration's recent and shocking assertion that their Iraq strategy has never been a stay the course strategy — and can focus on their everyday concerns.

Democrats, for their part, should be simplifying their message — allowing the remaining undecideds to come to their senses on Election Day. Based on her most recent campaign ad (which premiered during Game 1 of the World Series), Claire McCaskill (the Democratic nominee in Missouri for Senate) gets this:
Keep it simple.
Focus on your message, then highlight the stark between you and your opponent.
Win on November 7th.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Google Earthy-mander

(Crossposted from the American Constitution Society :: Columbia Law School)

Google has just added a bevy of election information to its fantastic Google Earth product.

Users of Google Earth will notice a new layer called "2006 US Election Guide." Once activated this layer displays red lines to indicate our various Congressional districts, along with information regarding candidates purusing these seats this November.

Below is a snapshot of those candidates pursuing Tom DeLay's vacated 22nd District, Texas seat.

Far more interesting than the information available about candidates is this easy birds-eye view of the gerrymandering that has captured our system. Click on any of the cities below to see the monsters that Safe Seat congressional districting has created:

Los AngelesNew York City

Dallas/Ft. WorthPhiladelphia

You can download Google Earth for free here.

Thanks, Don!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Found On The Internets: I Never Mastered the Hand + Eye + Beer Coordination

I'm always a little amazed when I see truly stellar billiards or dart play, as practitioners of both arts are generally self-handicapped by years of training with the obligatory brew in hand.

Nice collection of trick shots below.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Found On The Internets: Constructing the Spokesmodel

Here's a nice Dove ad on how our the cosmetics/glamor industry helps manufacture our views on beauty:

Why Are Republicans Better Sloganeers if Most Advertising Executives are Democrats?

As far as a slogan characterizing the current progressive domestic agenda (they say "governing philosophy"), I like the sound of Securing the Common Good:

Message details are available at ThinkProgress.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Holy Tango Anthology of Literature

In the Holy Tango Anthology of Literature, Francis Heaney explores the important question of "what would happen if poets and playwrights wrote works whose titles were anagrams of their names."

Some choice bits:


I will be alarming
the Islamic owls
that are in
the barn

and which
you warned me
are very jittery
and susceptible to loud noises

Forgive me
they see so well in the dark
so feathery
and so dedicated to Allah

nice smug me
e. e. cummings

this here verse’s
     i used to
     stick to regular metered
now i write onetwothreefourfive poemsjustlikethat

but this is simple work
            and what i want to know is
how much am i going to get paid for this
mister editor

Thanks, Jon!

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Intolerable Leadership

Today — the same day that a study was released claiming that 655,000 Iraqi deaths (fully 2.5% of the pre-war Iraqi population) — have occurred as a result of our war in Iraq, President Bush said:

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN: Thank you, Mr. President. Back on Iraq, a group of American and Iraqi health officials today released a report saying that 655,000 Iraqis have died since the Iraq war. That figure is 20 times the figure that you cited in December at 30,000. Do you care to amend or update your figure and do you consider this a credible report?

PRESIDENT BUSH: No, I don’t consider it a credible report, neither does General Casey and neither do Iraqi officials. I do know that a lot of innocent people have died and it troubles me and grieves me. And I applaud the Iraqis for their courage in the face of violence. I am, you know, amazed that this is a society which so wants to be free that they’re willing to — you know, that there’s a level of violence that they tolerate.

I wonder, what would Iraqi intolerance of this horrific violence look like? Would we ever hear about it? What option does the ordinary Iraqi civilian have? How could they express this intolerance?

I hope Bush's response to the reporter's question is just more of his typical verbal miscommunication. The alternative, that he is spinning massive amounts of violence on Iraqi civilians as something positive — perhaps evidence of everyday Iraqis' hunger for democracy, is a hucksterish strategy simply too cynical for me to stomach.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

These Buffaloes Are Ready for the NFL

Staying ahead in business requires constant innovation — finding new ways to make money before the other guy beats you to it.

For the mob, sometimes this means finding new illegal things to do to help the Don's bottom line. For the Camorra mafia, this means feeding buffaloes with steroids to produce more milk for making mozzarella cheese.

Monday, October 09, 2006


Here's the USGS Earthquake Hazards Program page on the 4.2 earthquake caused by the apparent North Korean nuclear test.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

It's The Don't Blame Me Tango

Step #1: The Link to the Article Says This

Step #2: The Headline of the Article Says This

Step #3: The First Paragraph of the Article Says This

Viola! You've shirked responsibility with the Don't Blame Me Tango.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

I Hear the Chicken Dance Is Next

I was unaware that Pope Benedict XVI had the authority to abolish limbo, but apparently he does.

Without limbo, how will the remarkably flexible show off in public?