March 01, 2013
— Ace Iowahawk said something yesterday (which he's said before, but he reminded me of it yesterday) about The New Yorker's cartoons.
You know those drab, vague watercolor black-and-white cartoons skewered on Seinfeld for never making any sense?
Iowahawk proposed that every New Yorker cartoon -- every one -- could be made funnier by replacing its caption with:
Is it true? Well let's test this proposition under strict laboratory conditions. Let's do Science. more...
— Ace Andy Borowitz is not funny.
In fact, Andy Borowitz is legendarily unfunny. Andy Borowitz is so unfunny that, despite being a liberal who makes all the right liberal jokes about all the right conservative targets, a guy at Salon named Alex Pareene who is himself unfunny still called Andy Borowitz out for not being funny:
Andy Borowitz makes dad jokes for self-satisfied liberals. If you think Sarah Palin is stupid and Mitt Romney is rich, Andy Borowitz has some jokes that will decidedly not challenge a single one of your prior assumptions!
This material is designed to elicit a smirk of recognition and agreement from your average polite NPR listener.
Heres the patented Andy Borowitz Joke-Generation Formula: Step 1: Take the single most obvious and most commonly remarked-upon trait of a public figure. Step 2: Lightly tweak figure for said trait. Take, for example, this vintage Borowitz Report laffer from 2004: Flip-flopping may have injured Kerrys shoulder. Haha, get it? Oh, sometimes there is a Step 3: Mash up the news figure story with a popular culture reference, for added hilarity. Like, what if Saddam Hussein had a brother named Jermaine who defended him on The Larry King Show??
Andy Levy horrified people yesterday when he Tweeted, without warning, an Andy Borowitz "humor" piece from the New Yorker, just because he's a dirty son of a bitch and wants you to hate your life as much as he hates his own.
The piece is about the Pope. It's irreverent, but I wouldn't say it's cruel to the Pope. But what is is offensive, because it is gratuitously, nearly pornographically unfunny.
Oakland Rapper Pope Emeritus Threatens Lawsuit
Posted by Andy Borowitz
OAKLAND (The Borowitz Report)
The Vaticans plan to call the retiring pontiff Benedict XVI Pope Emeritus hit a snag today, in the form of a threatened lawsuit by an Oakland-based rapper who has been recording under that name since 2006.
I dont care who he is, I aint let nobody mess with my brand, said Mr. Emeritus, who prior to 2006 recorded under the name Notorious P.O.P.E.
While the Vatican said it was unaware that Mr. Emeritus had already claimed the name seven years ago, the Oakland rapper scoffed at that idea: They should have done what I did before I picked it out: Google it.
Furious at what he is calling a clear case of trademark infringement, Mr. Emeritus said that he has no intention of stepping aside for the former pontiff: Hes the one who should step aside. Call himself P. Biddy or something. This is wack, yo.
Well, I mean, you can imagine the possibilities that flow from that kernel of a comedic premise. Here's the Pope saying "This is wack, yo." I mean, that's funny, because the Pope don't talk like that at all! In fact he mostly speaks in German and Latin.
So it's a mischievous juxtaposition of two incongruous things! And that's funny!!!
Or not. Note by the way how much he plasters his name and "The Borowitz Report" all over this. He wouldn't want anyone stealing his funny jokes.
Iowahawk started something called "BorowitzComedySkool," tweeting Borowitz-like comedy bits, and I joined, as did others. I'll just quote mine and direct you to Twitchy for the rest.
I can't just send you to Twitchy because they censored me, the Monsters.
Though I can understand why. You'll understand their reasoning. more...
— Ace Today is the anniversary of Andrew's death.
Arlene was a loving and devoted wife, mother, grandmother and friend. She was also a pioneer, having been the first female trust officer made vice president at Bank of America.
A year of loss for the Breitbart family. I'm not a praying man but I'll make an exception.
Andrew was fond of telling me he "only read the comments" here. He liked me, but he loved you guys.
The largest compliment Breitbart could give someone was, "He's a warrior." All men respect guts, and Breitbart more than most men.
I think on this anniversary of his death we should honor him -- and ourselves -- by seeking to be Warriors. And not just in politics, though certainly that was where Breitbart encouraged it the most frequently.
Breitbart himself lived a brave life, confident in himself, always questioning and always questing. He made himself bigger than life by living as outrageously as he could.
He always had big plans -- Breitbart notoriously had five other plans cooking on his stove when he was talking to you about one -- and I think he had an idea, intuitively perhaps, but perhaps arrived at by conscious probing, that there's more to life that what we're given.
Politically he revolted openly at the media-Democratic prison -- he wasn't here to meekly take the scraps the media-Democratic complex had seen fit to offer, he was here to demand his right to a proper meal.
And I think that sense informed every part of him. He wasn't on this earth to take what little the material world was offering him; he was here to insist upon more.
He was a big man, but his spirit was gigantic.
There aren't many like him. The world couldn't hold too many like him.
I like to imagine that somewhere in the next world, Andrew's causing someone some amount of trouble.
— Ace Without bothering to link the article, their headline is:
Anonymous Source Informs Bob Woodward He Hasn't Been Relevant In 40 Years
I can think of someone else of declining relevance.
Anyone remember the last time you got sent an Onion article or video?
The last time you saw them linked on a blog?
Been a little while, eh?
I don't keep up with such things but a while ago someone commented on their decline, telling me it was his belief that a lot of the funnier writers chose not to move to Chicago, preferring to stay in New York, back when they moved offices to reduce costs.
It's been a long time since they were funny. The Onion's not even on my radar anymore. You know what part of the Onion I read? The AV Club. To see what I missed on a TV show.
That said, they annoyed me, so I wrote these.
Top Ten Headlines Rejected By The Onion
10. The Onion's Management Reports "Modest Success" with New Non-Humor Format
9. Area Man Remembers Last Funny Onion Article He Read, Then Remembers It Was Actually Something His Brother Said About Either Boobs or Mexicans
8. The Onion Losing Top Writers to Poaching By Reddit, Etsy, and the United States Postal Service
7. Producer Admits That Shelved Idea of an "Onion TV Show" Now Seems "Pretty Fucking Stupid, When You Think About It"
6. The Onion Staff Said To Handle Declining Career Prospects with Grace, Prescription Back Medication
5. Local Editor at The Onion Really Thinking About Getting His Real Estate License "or Just Taking to the Rails to Really See America"
4. Embarrassed Onion Writer Explains to Friend "All My Really Good Stuff Goes Into My Novel & Pinterest Account"
3. The Onion Publishing Imprint Proudly Announces Coming Book, "The Idiot's Guide to Total Creative Exhaustion"
2. Bitter Onion Writer Overheard Muttering Darkly About Being "Led Astray" by Alcohol, Clown College
...and the Number One Headline Rejected by the Onion...
1. Local Man Informed He Will Die of AIDS Unless He Reads the Last Three Years of The Onion Cover-to-Cover
UPDATE: Local Man Dies of AIDS
February 28, 2013
Because the ONT's principal weapon is surprise and a fanatical devotion to the clock.
I did one of these town-hall meetings on the Internet and one guy said, "Well, what happens when the end days come? What happens when there's the earthquake? I live in California, and I have to protect myself."
I said, "Well, you know, my shotgun will do better for you than your AR-15, because you want to keep someone away from your house, just fire the shotgun through the door."
Yes this is the man that Obama picked to be his second in command. Should the unthinkable happen I'm guessing that a President Biden would soon make history as the first president to be impeached for sheer stupidity.
— Ace ...and he's doing that, of course, because when the sequester comes, and yet the sun still rises, he'll take a hit to his credibility.
— CAC Meet Kenneth Fulmer:
A man with a slight drinking problem and anger issues, who proved I posted this week's guess-the-crime too early. To celebrate his birthday, his father went out and bought a cake.
Mr. Fulmer didn't take kindly to the gesture, as The Smoking Gun reports:
...when Fulmer returned home drunk, he began arguing with his father and subsequently battered the pensioner with a cookie cake, according to a sheriffs report.
Specifically, investigators charge, Fulmer smashed the cake over the head of his father, who was covered in the cookie cake when Deputy Heath Balkom arrived at the home in response to a disorderly person call.
I wish I had something with more comedic potential, but hey. There you go.
— Ace ...but Obama has changed his opinion on gay marriage again, and again in the leftwing direction, towards that 1995 questionnaire position he's always claimed he never really believed.
Just a few months ago, he said he wanted to leave the issue to the states; now that he's past the election, he wants it federalized, and imposed on the states.
It's a 30 minute long filmed seizure of an epileptic who isn't funny.
End of file. more...
— Ace Oh, so it's usually worse?
NBC, huh? Delta House of Obama Propaganda.
Mark Murray, NBC News senior political editor, appeared on MSNBC with Craig Melvin in Thursday where he offered his thoughts on the ongoing war between Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward and the White House. Murray said the letter that Woodward received was, in his experience, one of the nicest brushback emails a reporter has ever received. It wasnt much of a threat at all, he opined.
Noah C. Rothman wrote an excellent essay on this matter, and suggests that Woodward had ever reason to take the White House's threat as a threat, because they'd similarly gone to war against FoxNews.
So when they say "You'll regret this," they are not speaking abstractly. They have a plan they put into place when someone reports something they don't like.
Now, the media of course said nothing about the War on Fox, but perhaps that's excusable, as, being archliberals, they buy the spin that Fox News is a propaganda arm for conservatives.
But now this same battleplan is being used against Bob Woodward. One cannot help but think it's not the "conservative bias" that so incenses the White House -- it's simply that a reporter reports a Fact they White House doesn't want the public to know.
And will the media come to Woodward's defense? He says No, and I've been saying the same thing.
Who came up with the sequester and when does not enjoy quite the scandalous magnitude that the Watergate break in did. Secondly, Woodward will need powerful and influential allies in traditional media to speak up for his integrity. He will not find them.
Without a doubt, Woodwards status as a canonized saint of modern journalism will impose a crisis of conscience on Americas Fourth Estate. He is holding up a mirror to the institution of journalism, and the reflection is an ugly one. It is one that Americas reporters will turn from the truth is too painful.
When they came for Fox, they did not stand up because they did not work for Fox. The medias lot is now well and truly cast with the administration their fates are linked. Whatever his contribution to journalism, Bob Woodward will soon find that no single reporter is irreplaceable. "
The penny-ante leukocytes, the no-account Warrior Cells of the liberal governmental-media Hive-Body have surrounded the impurity in the system and are in the process of destroying it.
Apparently there was no threat, and yet the threat has been executed nevertheless.
And Let's Not Forget the Primary Lie That Prompted the Secondary Threat: Brit Hume: Woodward's sin was exposing "big whoppers" the Administration told on the sequester.
There are several lies Woodward has exposed:
1. Obama, despite the media blitz to blame the GOP, actually conceived of and proposed the sequester.
2. Obama, despite now claiming that tax increases must be part of the deal to avoid the sequester, agreed last year that only spending cuts would constitute the plan to avoid the sequester. Thus, he's "moved goalposts" yet again.
3. Obama does not in fact have to release illegal aliens or cancel ship deployments due to the sequester -- he's doing these things by choice, for political purposes.
— Ace Remember their standard defense against bias: They are not politically biased, they are simply calling balls and strikes as the see them.
But note what happens the moment a legendary reporter calls a strike against Obama. Now suddenly the claim of presumption of fair pitch-calling no longer holds.
Chuck Todd, you will remember, worked for the political campaign of ultra-liberal Senator Tom Harkin and then, as they do, assimilated himself seamlessly into liberal reportage.
Here, he concedes the premise that someone who pushes one party's side of things is a "spokesman" for that party -- however, notice this rule will never apply to himself or his gaggle of liberal hacks at MSNBC.
Because, you see, "Reality has a liberal bias."
And consider too that Chuck Todd has just also joined in the White House-coordinate scheme to discredit Bob Woodward. Even as they claim there was no threat, they execute the actual threat!
And it's not even 2:30 PM in the east. more...
— andy Maxine Waters really amped up the sequester scare tactics today:
... We dont need to be having something like sequestration thats going to cause these jobs losses, over 170 million jobs that could be lost ...
Per the BLS, as of January 2013 there were 143.3 million people employed in the US. The total civilian workforce is 155.7 million people.
Looking at the bright side, though ... to lose over 170 million jobs, we must briefly go to 109% of the workforce being employed first. So there's that.
(h/t John E.) more...
— Ace Reporters say they just want to report the facts, but the dirty little secret is that they're chiefly interested in Reporting Themselves. They wish to advance in the pack; they wish to be the stars -- rather than the recorders -- of their stories; and they desperately, desperately wish to not merely report to you the facts but to insist upon what you should believe the facts mean.
There are too many examples of this to recount. Here's one that just caught my eye.
It's pretty clear to me Michael Scherer thinks he's a STAR...!!! and stars streak across the sky, baby.
Social media is like alcohol. It's addictive, and it reveals who you really are.
Michael Scherer can walk back and "add context" and "explain what he meant" all he likes. But he's revealed himself; he is firmly on Team Leftwing and when he's not working, he's snarking about Republicans.
Yes, his idea of "time off" is to snark about Republicans. That's not his job; that's what he does in his pleasure-time.
His point, of course, is stupid. Jindal is pointing out that rather than solve the problem, Obama is focused -- as usual -- on solving the PR problem; and Jindal, as both a high official, a politically invested analyst, and a governor of a state which will be affected by the sequester, is right to criticize Obama.
But does that mean Obama should ignore the actual problems of governance and instead focus solely on his PR pass-the-buck strategy? In Michael Scherer's world, it means exactly that, because he is engaged in the mythmaking function of fiction, and fiction has Designated Heroes and Designated Villains.
— Ace One for the girls and one for the boys but really for both.
This may be a very early open thread. I'm bushed. I'm also tired.
via @emergencypuppy and @jonahNRO more...
March 03, 2013
— Open Blogger Some wine is great. Some wine tastes like crap (literally). Some wine is cheap, and some wine is really, really expensive. Unfortunately the correlation between price and quality is pretty much 0 -- as in; there is almost no relationship.
February 28, 2013
— Ace Benediction.
Benedict XVI's helicopter is circling over St. Peter's Square before heading to Castel Gandolfo, where he will make his final appearance as pope. Spectators around the helipad are hanging out signs that read, "Thank you."
The Anchoress has some thoughts on the departure of the Pope.
— DrewM The Senate passed a version of the Violence Against Women Act that House Republicans don't like. Clearly that means it's dead, right? I mean the whole argument is, sure you can't force things like entitlement reform with just the House but you can stop bad things from passing.
No, Boehner brought it up and it passed.
House approves Senate version of Violence Against Women Act, 286-138. All nays came from R's. There were only 87 GOP yeas.— Chad Pergram (@ChadPergram) February 28, 2013
The process took some Republicans by surprise.
When the House votes Thursday to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, ending a drawn-out fight over whether some groups should be afforded protections under the bill, the measure will likely pass with a minority of Republicans supporting it.
House leaders reached the decision to pitch the Senate bill late Tuesday, only once it became clear a House version of the measure could not pass. At a meeting earlier in the evening among members of the Whip team, which counts votes, the contingency of the Senate bill coming to the floor was not even raised.
"You would have never thought that had the slightest possibility of happening based on the discussions," one House Republican aide familiar with the meeting said. The member of Congress for whom the aide works only learned that the House would vote on the Senate version of VAWA later from Politico.
Does Beohner know that he doesn't have to bring up every bill the Senate sends over? Because if he's unclear on how this works, he could just look at how Harry Reid sits on Republican bills all the time.
What happened to the promises of regular order (each house passes a bill and then conference) and no more violating the Hasteret rule (you need a majority of the majority to pass a bill) after he did this with the fiscal cliff and Sandy relief bills? Yeah, about that taste in your mouth.
But hey, don't worry, there's no chance of the House caving on sequestration, guns or immigration once the Senate passes a bill.
I get the bill has a scary title, "The Violence Against Women Act" but it's not like the GOP is suddenly going to stop getting called anti-women because of this. It's not like Harry Reid is suddenly going to let the GOP pass a bill in the Senate just to show some good faith.
No, the Democrats will laugh all the way to the bank knowing that they don't have to give Boehner anything. Just apply enough pressure and he'll give it all to them with the help of House Democrats.
Why are you still a Republican?
— Ace Last night, watching Obama's Valkyries swoop into attack mode to defend their Siegfried, I speculated on Twitter:
I think there is a push to kill this story before other reporters realize they have a story if they report their own experiences.— DepressiveBlogger69 (@AceofSpadesHQ) February 28, 2013
Younger reporters were tweeting last night that they get angry e-mails from political flacks all the time and that its no big deal, which is a nifty way to humblebrag about how theyve upset Power by speaking Truth while also serving the liberal cause du jour of discrediting Bob Woodward. (Some serve more bravely than others.)
He quotes there a USA Today reporter who seems to me to be doing the humblebrag/we get this all the time thing:
All we can say is: We know more than a few reporters have received similar e-mails from White House officials. Yelling has also been known to happen.
Tension between presidents, presidential aides, and the people who cover them is inherent and has been around as the government itself.
But I thought Ari Fleisher cautioning people to observe the general rules of political correctness ("We have to watch what we say") created a "chilling effect" on the press which the Republic could not abide. Now it turns out it happens every day.
The things you learn.
A day after Woodward's claim that a senior White House official had told him he would "regret" writing a column criticizing President Obama's stance on the sequester, Lanny Davis, a longtime close advisor to President Bill Clinton, told WMAL's Mornings on the Mall Thursday he had received similar threats for newspaper columns he had written about Obama in the Washington Times.
Davis told WMAL that his editor, John Solomon, "received a phone call from a senior Obama White House official who didn't like some of my columns, even though I'm a supporter of Obama. I couldn't imagine why this call was made." Davis says the Obama aide told Solomon, "that if he continued to run my columns, he would lose, or his reporters would lose their White House credentials."
Bonus: Obama hatchet man David Pflouffe works energetically to spread the word that Woodward is an old horse who should be put down for glue.
Watching Woodward last 2 days is like imagining my idol Mike Schmidt facing live pitching again. Perfection gained once is rarely repeated.— David Plouffe (@davidplouffe) February 28, 2013
Well there is surely in no way a campaign afoot to make sure Woodward "regrets" his reporting that Obama conceived and created the sequester.
I mean, that's just silly.
Ron Fournier: I Got The Same Threat. Yup, that's what they do.
— Open Blogger The rules are simple: identify the food and cooking technique. First correct answer receives a one year Double-Platinum AOSHQ membership with the optional ampersand utility.
[Winner is named in comment #96]
— Pixy Misa
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