Archive for November, 2008

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LGF Gets Punked

November 27, 2008

As a former member who was unceremoniously shown the door, there was quite a temptation to go with the nuclear option once I discovered that I had access to LGF’s precious dictionary.  But alas, I couldn’t bring myself to do something quite that assholish, so I decided to have some mercy and go for a simple prank instead. 

And since the enigmatic Zombie holds the primary key to the site, I know that my handiwork will only remain posted for so long.  So, I figure that I should probably document everything with a few screengrabs, just for chuckles:

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click to watch vid

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Banning netizens has a way of coming back and biting one in the ass, eh? 

So, I left the blog standing, but is anyone wondering where the dictionary itself went?  To the nervous lizardoid horde, I say not to worry, ’cause I kept it fully intact….here.

Update:  There are LGFers claiming that I “hacked” the dictionary.  Since I predicted that this might happen, I decided to snip another ‘grab while I was in there (email addys redacted):

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See, I was a user with administrator status.  And anyone who knows anything about how a wordpress.com blog works can tell you that someone doesn’t become an administrator unless they’re invited

No hacking. Not my thing. Just thought I’d clear that up.

Update: Well, I thought perhaps CJ would let pride get in the way of saying anything about it, but here it is:

ChenZhen proved why he was banned in the first place, and showed the world that he’s a true creep who should never be trusted with anything.

“True Creep”?  C’mon Charles!  That hurts. 

Fair enough though, ’cause everyone is entitled to their opinion.   But speaking of opinions and “showing the world”, I couldn’t help but notice that 54% of CJ’s peers thought he’s worthy of the “Pro-Censorship Ass-Hat Award“.  This is an honor that, from a certain point of view, was “proved” to be deserved based on the fact that even the “trusted” guardians of the LGF Dictionary have turned on him, looked to a seasoned master of the fine art of the flame war, and allowed this punking to transpire.

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Brainstorming Alternatives To A Bailout

November 20, 2008

OK, I’ve been holding off on commenting on this for about a week now, as I’ve taken the time to absorb all the arguments from the pundits, pols, and players.  I probably should have posted something up right away, because as a blogger who is in real life employed in the auto industry (and at a GM dealership specifically), the outcome would certainly be something that directly impacts my life (which is not really the case with the debate over Iraq, gay marriage, or the myriad of other things that get debated over the pages of memeorandum).  I’ll state right up front that macroeconomics isn’t exactly my strong suit, but here goes anyway…

The paradigms of the debate, from what I’ve seen, fall into two main categories.  On the one side, you have those who approach the bailout question from the perspective of capitalistic purity and the role of the federal government, and that the whole thing should be endorsed or opposed strictly on principle.  On the other, you have those who chose to ignore all that (intentionally or not), and instead go back and forth over whether a bailout will actually help the situation or hurt it.  For the time being, I’m going to work within the realm of the latter camp.

Also, after a week of seeing this play out on the web, TV, and on the showroom floor, the one thing that strikes me as frustrating about the debate itself is this sort of dichotomy where you have choice A) give the “big 3” billions of dollars, presumably on loan, and B) do nothing, let the giants fend for themselves and/or let them go bankrupt.  

Is there a choice C?  Or, for that matter, a D), E) or F)?   We’ll get to that in a second, but perhaps I should offer a few thoughts on the debate over A) and B) first….

The problem with throwing money at the problem, as I’ve seen argued, is that it does nothing to address the issue at its core.  2003-pontiac-aztekIn short, the Big 3 would still employ the same incompetent management, struggle under the constraints of the same rules of unions, CAFE standards, health-care and pension costs, and ultimately churn out a lot of the same inferior vehicles (at a loss, to boot).    Funneling in more money just delays the inevitable, unless we’re prepared to do what would certainly be untenable, i.e. keep bailing them out indefinitely.  But proponents of the action would argue that the U.S. auto industry is a “special case”, and the adherence to the principles of free market capitalism can be discarded in the interests of the greater good.  We’d presumably do it, and hope for the best.

Of course, that alternative of doing nothing to help, rolling the dice, and letting the free market and bankruptcy legislation do its thing scares the heck out of a lot of people (including myself).  The fear of a disastrous ripple effect through the rest of an economy that is already on life support is what pushed the prospect of a federal bailout into mainstream debate in the first place, and even if people opine on the scope of the repercussions, one might be confident in saying that “bad” would be an understatement.

Given these two choices, one might assume that someone like myself would vote in favor in the interests of my own preservation, and welcome the handout.  But I can’t say that I do, and I say that after looking at the situation from both of the aforementioned paradigms.   So, I feel obliged to come full circle here and wonder aloud if there is an option C), and what that might be.  Specifically, I’m interested in ways Washington can intervene that addresses the dynamics of the underlying problems, but isn’t simply a blank check. 

This is where I kick off the Chamber brainstorm, with the intention of adding to the thread as ideas come to me (or anyone else).  I’ll start it with two words:

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I Voted For Franken

November 10, 2008

Just in case anyone was wondering.

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click for sample ballot (pdf)

As a resident here in MN, I had the *ahem* privilege to see the nastiest campaign in history play out over the last few months.  The sheer volume of ads was, quite frankly, dizzying.  And I must say, toward the end there it had gotten to the point where it was almost comical (in a dark comedy sort of way), as they had given up addressing policy altogether, instead lowering the “discourse” to a tit-for-tat rebuttal of each other’s ads. 

Anyway, I just figured that it worth noting, since it appears that my ballot will soon be in someone’s hands for the big recount of 2.8 million plus.  Here’s the latest tally:

The latest figures reported to the secretary of state give incumbent Coleman a lead over Franken of only 204 votes Monday morning.

That’s down 17 votes from the margin reported last week in tallies that are still considered unofficial. The difference of only about one-hundredth of 1 percent between the two candidates will trigger an automatic recount next week.

And the odds that Franken can come away victorious?  Well, Mr. Silver at 538.com has a great analysis, and Franken’s chances are both good and bad, depending how you look at it.   Let’s just say that the next few weeks will be pretty interesting here in the Land of 10K Lakes, ’cause as ugly as the campaign itself was, the recount process could prove to be even uglier.  In the very least, I’m curious to see just how many people were careless enough to screw up their ballots.  I mean, look at it.  It ain’t that tough.

Exit question:  If Franken does wind up winning, and it’s the dummies that put him over the top, what does that say?

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Update: Just for giggles, I’ll explore some possible examples of an under/over vote:

Read the rest of this entry ?

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Super Obama World

November 7, 2008

Courtesy of a tip from MSNBC, I present you….

superobamaworld

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The setting is Alaska, and you get to play as Obama as he invades Palin’s home turf. The game is kinda addicting, and it’s complete with lipstick-wearing pigs, flag pins, a bridge to nowhere, crazy Nieman Marcus salespeople (?), and some dudes holding bags of cash (special interests guys?*).

*Acutally, if you can guess what those guys are supposed to be, let me know in the comments.

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Why The McCain Camp Didn’t Want To “Free Sarah”

November 6, 2008

Hopefully, this will be the very last Chamber post about Sarah Palin….

The election is over, and Obama won, so I acknowledge that the subject matter around here should probably be covering things that involve looking ahead.  But I couldn’t help but be struck by some of the stories that are surfacing today about McCain’s choice of VP.  In short, the narrative goes that Sarah Palin is even more clueless than parodied by Tina Fey.

Before I link to that stuff, however, I’d like to revisit something I read right after Palin’s disastrous interview with Katie Couric:  Kathryn Jean Lopez: Free Sarah Palin! A plea for authenticity in the veepstakes

My guess — based on nothing but hope for a change — is that Sarah Palin just needs some freedom. I don’t know who is holding her back but if John McCain wants to win this thing it had better not be him and his staff. When I watch these interviews, I see a woman who looks like she’s stayed up all night studying and is trying to remember the jurisprudential chronology of privacy vis-a-vis reproduction, the war on terror, and public figures (add 12 more things, described in the most complicated way possible, to the list to be more accurate). She looks like a woman who’s been cramming talking points and great Matt Scully lines and Mark Salter-McCain war stories and Steve Schmidt marching orders into her head since that first plane ride from Alaska. She looks like a woman who has ceased being the confident, successful executive who got herself elected governor of Alaska without the full force of her party behind her and managed to have an approval rating of which most can’t even dream.

Starting with the Gibson interview, it sure did seem like Palin was simply regurgitating talking points that someone had crammed into her head.  Much of the rhetoric didn’t have anything to do with the question that was being asked.  Like Lopez, I thought that she was being “handled” because the McCain camp wanted to be certain that she stuck to the officially approved talking points.  There were some cringe-worthy parts, sure (like the “Bush Doctrine” thing), but I didn’t really think that she was exceedingly ignorant.

As the weeks passed, however, there were certain statements that Palin made that made me think that she just might be breathtakingly clueless.  One of the most notable was something that I didn’t take the time to mention here in the Chamber (opting instead to roam to other blogs that had brought it up), which was the fact that Palin didn’t seem to understand the meaning of “negative campaigning” and, even more concerning, the First Amendment:

 “If [the media] convince enough voters that that is negative campaigning, for me to call Barack Obama out on his associations,” Palin told host Chris Plante, “then I don’t know what the future of our country would be in terms of First Amendment rights and our ability to ask questions without fear of attacks by the mainstream media.”

That’s enough to give someone the ol’ dolor de cabeza. 

And now, with McCain’s succession, the campaign insiders apparently can’t contain their frustration with Palin any longer.  Just get a load of this:

Could it be that Palin was given a list of talking points to cover any and all interview questions simply because the alternative was worse?   Sounds pretty likely, all things considered.  It isn’t hard to imagine the staffers running through trial interviews with her behind the scenes, having a huddle, and coming back to her with a little “Um… yea.  On second thought, just read this.”  If she refused the help, it would make sense that the Couric interview was a hodgepodge of the talking points, cluelessness, and of course, plenty of “also”.

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Update: For those who like to roam to other blogs discussing the subject, here’s the memeorandum link.

UpdateAs the world turns…The leaks from the anonymous McCain staffers have been flowing for the last few days now, and naturally, pro-McCain blogs like Hot Air are wondering aloud why the heck The Maverick isn’t jumping in to defend his VP pick.

Update (11/12):  Amazing.  Palin still hasn’t looked up the definition of “negative campaigning”:

BLITZER: So looking back, you don’t regret that tough language during the campaign?

PALIN: No, and I do not think that it is off-base nor mean-spirited, nor negative campaigning to call someone out on their associations and on their record. And that’s why I did it.

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Chamber Election Day Thread

November 4, 2008

Well, it felt like this day would never come, but here it is.  Get out there and vote everyone!

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I’ll be stuck at work the whole day, so I’ll have to get my election result updates via CNN’s twitter feed (hopefully they’ll txt me state-by-state results as they come in).

I guess I’ll hesitantly take the opportunity to offer up a prediction, and say that Obama will win by a healthy margin. L-Word, even.  I’m predictably basing this on the analysis of the latest polls and election maps, but especially on the hints that the so-called “cell phone only” numbers reveal.  But I’m keeping the beer on ice ’till the fat lady sings.

So here it is, the obligatory thread for the big day. 

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The Rightosphere’s Grand Finale

November 2, 2008

As a Brave Nomadic Warrior of the Political Web™, I’ve noticed some insanely desperate attempts to change the course of the race over the last year or so.  From the idea that it was Ayers who secretly wrote Obama’s book, to the elusive Michelle Obama “whitey” tape, to allegations that Barack forged his birth certificate, the width and breadth of the assertions seemed to be limited only to the boundaries of the human imagination (an absolutely hilarious rundown of these “greatest moments” was penned in a classic post by Jon Swift here). 

But now as we enter the final moments of this long campaign, the rightosphere is faced with the reality that McCain’s chances are slim.  So, I’m going to take the opportunity to use the end of a 4th of July fireworks production as a metaphor, and document the components of the flurry as I stumble upon them.  And believe me, there are some definite oohs and ahhs here (just in the last 24 hrs or so):

-Barack Obama Malcolm X’s secret love child?

Kidding!

….not:

Tom Mboya, and Philip Ochieng, all share common physical features of the Kenyan Luo tribe: Modest stature under six feet, round faces, small chins, wide set eyes, slanted back foreheads, and retracted hairlines…none of these features are shared by Malcolm X and Barack Hussein Obama Jr.

(That one earned Pamela a Countdown “worst person” award)

The Weather Underground and Obama’s campaign both feature a logo that is circular!

Do you see the connection?  I don’t.  Then again, I assumed that the Obama logo was designed by some outside group anyway.  As it turns out, I was right.  In any case, go ahead and click the link, as the other suggestions of Obama/WU correlation in the post are just as flimsy.

Update:  Good grief:

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OK, so they knew it was a dishonest smear.  I’m not sure if that makes them better or worse.

The Obamas have no pets!

That one may actually be fact, but the stab at spinning it into a game-changer earns a spot here.

DID VERA BAKER ABORT OBAMA’S BABY? IS OBAMA BEING BLACKMAILED BY HER? BY OTHERS? DID OBAMA RIDE HER DIRTY?

??????

-An Examination of Obama’s Use of Hidden Hypnosis Techniques in His Speeches

This one comes to us in the form of a 67-page pdf!

I’ll continue to highlight more eruptions as we march towards the finish line, since we still may have yet to witness the most spectacular example.  You can almost hear the groaning sound as these people grasp at straws, desperately hurling anything and everything they can think of, as soon as they think of it.   In a way, this is a more extreme shadow of what the McCain campaign has done, so I have to wonder that it never occurred to any of these people that all this crap might have done more harm than good. 

Oh well, let’s enjoy the fireworks!

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Update: I should probably rethink the title for this thread, as I totally forgot about the PUMA’s: *Breaking* Ayers Advises Obama on a Regular Basis (source)

Ah yes. *Breaking*, the day before the election.

Update:  Speaking of which, Drudge finds his inner PUMA:

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The screenshot of the middle finger scratch, again!  LOL