April 17, 2006

Neal: I’m Grumpy too.

Posted in Ha at 3:40 pm by antonello

Neal Pollack always provides me with chuckles & chortles aplenty.  He's been on a roll in the last several weeks. Here is a fantastic exchange with his son:

Also present at the Blessing Of The Animals [ed note: an event Pollack was attending with his son] were some anti-anti-immigration protesters, who I imagine will propagandize at every non-Republican public event for the next 15 years, until the current generation of bloated white racists is either dead or shitting their pants in various public warehouses for the elderly. Elijah asked me why the people were yelling, and what the signs said.

"They're mad because bad people want them to go away," I said, not knowing how to explain xenophobia to a three-year-old.

"Do you want them to go away?"

"No, I think they're fine."

"You're not a bad person."

"Thank you, son."

"Sometimes you're grumpy, though."

"Yeah, well, so are you."


More of the same

Posted in Politics at 3:34 pm by antonello

via The Washington Note, Field & Stream protests Gail Norton's latest:

The Bush Administration announced last week that the nation is no longer losing wetlands–as long as you consider golf course water hazards to be wetlands.


Thursday (March 30), Interior Secretary Gale Norton called a press conference to claim our long nightmare of wetlands loss had finally come to an end due to unprecedented gains since 1997 (click hear to read the report she cites). However, she then admitted much of that gain has been in artificially created ponds, such as golf course water hazards and farm impoundments.

The Wealth of Networks: How Social Production Transforms Markets and Freedom

Posted in Politics, Technology at 11:05 am by antonello

Via Matthew Yglesias: this looks very interesting. Must get to it. It seems like it may be my sweet spot of interest. From the introduction:

The Emergence of the Networked Information Economy

First, advanced economies have shifted from an economy based on production of physical goods and services (e.g., automobiles and textiles, mining and construction) to an economy centered on the production of information goods and services (e.g., cinema and software, legal representation and financial planning).

Second, advanced economies have shifted from a communications environment relies on an expensive centralized communicator that broadcasts to a wide audience (e.g., radio, television) to an environment that relies on a multitude of cheap processors with high computing capacity that are interconnected with one another (i.e., the Internet).

These two shifts make it possible to lessen the market’s influence over political values. The second shift allows decentralized, non-market production. The first shift means that this new form of production will play a central, rather than periphery role, in advanced economies.

Read the rest of this entry »

April 14, 2006

More Judas

Posted in Politics at 3:10 pm by antonello

From Bruce Reed on slate today:

But the most interesting 2,000-year-old news this past week was National Geographic's release of the Gospel of Judas, a Coptic text from an early Christian sect convinced that far from betraying Jesus, Judas Iscariot acted with His consent. In the modern political vernacular, Judas' followers maintained that telling the Romans about Jesus was what the Bush administration might call an authorized release of declassified intelligence.

April 13, 2006

BitTorrent to the rescue / Thought Experiment

Posted in Technology at 11:27 am by antonello

from lost remote

Imagine my surprise when I punched the "My DVR" button on the remote to watch the two most recent episodes of 24. Inexplicably, my Comcast Motorola set-top box unilaterally decided that neither episode was important. In a panic, I ran through my options. Not available on VOD. Or iTunes. Or online. I contemplate sending out an urgent email to my friends to see if anyone has TiVo'd it and can copy it off on a DVD. The best option, I decide, is to BitTorrent the episodes, but I don't want to wait. So I punch up Fox.com to find a detailed, minute-by-minute account of the last two episodes, in text. So, I'm caught up, although the phrase, "She watches helplessly as (he) falls to his death. Chloe’s eyes tear up," doesn't do it justice. Next time, it's BitTorrent. (And the networks wonder why we do it?)

Imagine if Comcast were to actually offer a variant of BitTorrent through its DVR.  Imagine if you were able to catch the last episode of Sopranos and you were able to retrieve it after it debuted, without using OnDemand, but by downloading it bit by bit, byte by byte, from other users who also happened to have recorded that episode on their DVR.  


Posted in Ha, Politics at 11:10 am by antonello

from digby on Klein's new book:

Klein criticizing the Democratic consultants is like Charlie Manson criticizing Richard Dahmer as far as I'm concerned. 

April 12, 2006

Yankees roll on

Posted in Baseball at 3:42 pm by antonello

The Bombers have kicked some offensive butt the last two days. The pitching has been more suspect. Are Wang and Chacon returning to real form or is this an aberration? Wang I think suffers from porous Yankee defense. I am more suspicious of Chacon, and he didn't do much to alleive of my concerns: 7 hits, 5 ER over 6 innings. On the good side, he seems to be striking out some more people than he did last year.

Some random notes:

  • Giambino creates the strangest lines ever. As of this morning's game, .211 BA / .500 OBP / .368 SLG / .868 OPS. He hit a couple of doubles today so his average will go up. Still a freaky dude. Maybe his eyes are taking steroids without telling him.
  • Jeter garnered praise about everything for his game-winning HR yesterday A round-up:
    • "He always had a flair for the dramatic," Bernie Williams said. "I would be surprised if he doesn't do anything." (AP)
    • "It seems when something needs to happen, he seems to be at the start of it or the end of it," Yankees manager Joe Torre said. (AP)
    • "I've seen it for years," Rivera said. "That doesn't surprise me at all." (AP)
    • "I jumped high out of the dugout," Damon said. "The guy knows how to play." (AP)
    • "I have been redeemed." A-Rod said, "My sins have been forgiven." (NYT)
    • "Damn in if Jeter didn't discover cold fusion when he won that game! He can do anything!" Abraham Lincoln (Tribune)
  • I like Jeter a lot, and he won the game. Yay! But here's a thought experiment: if A-Rod hit that HR what would the reaction be? A round-up:
    • A-Rod won the game, but it was against the Royals. He still doesn't have what it takes to win against a real team.
    • The Yankees should have been winning anyway
    • A-Rod saves his home runs for games that don't matter
    • A-Rod killed a pony
    • A-Rod broke up the Beatles
    • A-Rod refused to sign the Oslo Peace Accords

    Afterword: Larry Mahnken, like Mark Schmitt, got there first.

How Much Bull is McCain Moosin’?

Posted in Politics at 3:27 pm by antonello

Characterizing McCain as a Bull Moose Progressive is reasonable enough. The Moose himself would agree with this assessment. McCain is a fiscal conservative, and a military hawk. Social progressive is a more thorny issue.  He cannily heads up policies which are applauded in the media and are broadly popular (No global warming!  No torture! No steroids).  More than being socially progressive what McCain is politically aware.  Since his fall in South Carolina, he has built a persona of a pragmatic politician above the partisan fray.  Issues he adopts his own are unassailable and moderate because he has endorsed them.  

McCain has learned from his primary adversary and his advisors.  He realizes that it is less important what he does as how he is perceived.  He is exceedingly territorial with his powerbroker position, his moderate throne as evidenced by his reaction to Obama’s overtures several months ago.  As I write this, I am noticing that it smells an awful lot like Mark Schmitt’s article in American Prospect, so you should probably read that instead.  Mark Schmitt always seems to get there first.

wordpress most definitely keeps kicking butt

Posted in Technology at 12:10 pm by antonello

I needed to put together a blog for one of my ventures.  Easy installation + some quality plug-ins  had the site and up & running within a couple of hours.  Now that's some good eatin'

April 11, 2006

Klein’s forthcoming book about Kerry

Posted in Politics at 2:11 pm by antonello

via Tapped and Greg Sargent, the bubbling toiling double trouble of what went wrong with Kerry 04.  From Klein's article:

Perhaps the worst moment came with the Bush Administration torture scandal: How to respond to Abu Ghraib? Hold a focus group. But the civilians who volunteered for an Arkansas focus group were conflicted; ultimately, they believed the Bush Administration should do whatever was necessary to extract information from the "terrorists." The consultants were unanimous in their recommendation to the candidate: Don't talk about it. Kerry had entered American politics in the early 1970s, protesting the Vietnam War, including the atrocities committed by his fellow soldiers in Vietnam. But he followed his consultants' advice, never once mentioning Abu Ghraib — or the Justice Department memo that "broadened" accepted interrogation techniques — in his acceptance speech or, remarkably, in his three debates with Bush.

Bob Shrum not surprisingly refutes the accusations.  I don't usually see eye to eye with Klein, but I have to agree with him here.  Klein told Sargent : "And, of course, the proof is on the record: Kerry did not mention Abu Ghraib — or, equally important, the Bush Justice Department Torture Memo — in either his acceptance speech or the three debates.  I like and respect Bob [Shrum], but I find it odd that he was willing to talk to you and not to me, despite repeated requests during the writing of this book." 

Kerry shied away from directly attacking W's biggest failures again and again.  Not mentioning Bush at all during the convention and Abu Ghraib are examples of a campaign paralyzed with not fucking up so much they fucked up.  

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