April 29, 2005

Like I Really Need To Hype Riding The Bus With My Sister Any More
— Ace

I think they might end up surprised at the high ratings, if only they publicize the "thrillingly embarassing" review.

SondraK sent me this page, containing clips of the epic.

No lesser light than AllahPundit deems them "comedy gold" and proclaims this to be "the Super Bowl of Retard Movies."

Can't wait to watch "A New Haircut." I'm as giddy as a schoolgirl.

A retarded schoolgirl.

Oh, Man: This is horrible and sad.

The sad part is that there are mentally challenged people.

The horrible part is that Rosie O'Donnell is playing them.

What the hell is that "speech impediment" thing she's doing? It doesn't sound like a speech impediment at all. It sounds like she's doing some sort of bad Ed Grimley impersonation.

It does appear the movie is honestly named. Three quarters of the clips do, in fact, take place on a bus.

Who the hell greenlighted this abortion, and why is he snorting coke off a $3,000 hooker's ass while I'm sitting here trying to get a buzz off tearing my fingernails down to the cuticles?

Posted by: Ace at 09:53 PM | Comments (47)
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Josh Marshall & Daily Kos: Defending the Rich
— Ace

If you need any further proof that kneejerk partisanship causes deranged liberals to take a position contrary to Bush -- even when that position is one they supported 24 hours before Bush took it -- here is the final summation.

Bush is going to reduce SS benefits to the rich and Josh Marshall and the Daily "Screw 'em" Kos are fightin' mad about it!

Jackasses.

Posted by: Ace at 10:42 AM | Comments (168)
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Yet Another Celebrity With a Blog: Darth Vader
— Ace

Apparently the Dark Lord of the Sith wants you to know all about his opinions on Radiohead's Kid A vs. OK Computer.

His opinion? Both rock, but they're overrated, and Radiohead should have their brains scrambled via the Jedi Lobotomy Trick and forced to work in the megagypsum mines of Ballath'sphee.

Supposedly pretty funny, but I'm just putting it up here on the premise alone.

Thanks to Richard and to Ken Wheaton.

War's On Update: Don't be misled by Rebel lies; the Empire lives, and the war goes on.

Posted by: Ace at 09:56 AM | Comments (20)
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"Real Buried Treasure" = "Fake Buried Treasure" = "Real Stolen Money"
— Ace

The other day I pimped this very fun story about friends "finding buried treasure" in their backyard.

But I forgot the first rule of blogging: Never trust a man who says a buddy was dancing around like a "rabid monkey":

Two men who claimed in numerous national television interviews that they found buried treasure in the back yard of a home were arrested early Friday after being questioned by police, who said the money was stolen.
Investigators believe Barry Billcliff, 27, of Manchester, N.H., and Timothy Crebase, 22, of Methuen, Mass., found the old bank notes and bills while doing roofing work.

Both men were charged with receiving stolen property, conspiracy and accessory after the fact, Lt. Kevin Martin said. They were to be arraigned Friday morning.

Crebase told investigators the men found the money in the gutter of a barn they were hired to repair, police said.

Well... they did find it, right?

What the hell was all that money doing in a gutter? Maybe it's time to do some spring-cleaning. Never know what you'll find. Maybe even a shrinking machine or somethin'.

Thanks to Ken Wheaton.

War's On Update: Situation unchanged. There's still a war on, and yet we're wasting government resources apprehending thieves.

Posted by: Ace at 09:37 AM | Comments (14)
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Mind Reading Machine For Sale on E-Bay
— Ace

First, he discovered a time machine in his attic; then, a shrinking machine.

Luckily, it turns out that his attic is just full of miracle gadgets from the far future. Otherwise he wouldn't have enough money to pay next month's subscription fees for Everquest.

I'm no expert, but it looks like it probably works to me. And the vendor himself... I don't know, he just has a look that to me projects authority and credibility.

But that's not all!

If you order now, you'll also receive:

1. the mind reading machine

2. two paper print outs of peoples thoughts

3. a postcard of four guys in a old car dated 1909 chicago, with unknown writting on back.

,,,

8. a german cook book from 1954

...

11. page out of the sunday news nov 15, 1936

High bid is currently $57 or so, which, to me, sounds like a freaking steal. I'd say just the German cookbook was worth that much.

Thanks to Rocketeer67.

Posted by: Ace at 09:11 AM | Comments (23)
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Andrew Sullivan Freak-Out Advisory: Chagrined
— Ace

The president's press conference last night was, I think, perhaps his best ever. He was confident, in command of the facts, moderate in his views, engaging and appealing. It was much better than anything we've seen in a very long time; and it makes me wonder why his handlers keep him in such hermetically-sealed partisan settings. He's better than that; and it seems to me he keeps getting better in these contexts. ... I doubt it will shift the public mood, which is souring on the Republican hegemony. But it certainly reassured me that he is trying to tack away from the extreme right.

But compare with last night's:

Banning new books in public libraries that feature any gay characters or are written by gay authors? There are no theocratic tendencies among the Republicans, are there? ... The guy wanted to ban some Shakespeare. But Capote, Wilde, Auden, Proust and who knows who else will be barred. Government as the protector of souls. What are these "hysterics" worrying about "theocratic impulses" going on about?

And today's praise of Derbyshire, for being brave enough to agree with him on "theocracy:"

But I'm glad to see that not everyone at NRO has been drinking the big moral government Kool-Aid.

That's why the Sully Freak-Out Advisory can never drop below Chagrined. Even when he's reassured, he's still terribly, terribly concerned about the forces of Theocracy and Oppression.

From "Filled With Heart-Ache at Such Gobsmacking Vileness" to "Chagrined" in just 24 hours?

Well, as the title of my in-the-works TV sitcom says, That's My Sully!

The guy has more severe ups and downs than the Anaconda at Busch Gardens.

PS: There's still a war on, you know.

Posted by: Ace at 08:49 AM | Comments (23)
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Rosie's Magical Retard Epic: "Profoundly Embarassing"
— Ace

Allah (who actually tipped me to the Hitchhiker's review below, but I didn't hat-tip him, because I don't like him) tips to something even better: a NYT drubbing of Rosie's Emmy-bait droolfest.

This isn't going to be easy. ... I might ultimately tell you that your first impression [about this film] is right and that this is a profoundly embarrassing movie.



Ready? ... As Beth, Ms. O'Donnell dresses in wacky childish clothes and talks in a volume-inappropriate way and wears mismatched shoes and rides a hilarious bus around and around with her motley bus family. She annoys and enlightens the people she meets. And at times she shouts, in a voice you can probably imagine, "I am a person!"

... "Riding the Bus With My Sister," ... also shouts "first-class production" and "Emmy bid."

I just said that, of course. They ought to hire me.

And yet. As usual in movies about the mentally handicapped, the character of Beth is never given a coherent pathology; we can't tell whether she has physical problems, exactly, or cognitive ones or behavioral ones or all of these, or Down syndrome.

... Beth is mostly a constellation of misfit affectations - funny clothes, bipolar outbursts, a forced, garbled voice - and goofy physicality. Beth seems to be wrapped in a loose, superfluous layer of flesh, a symptom of some kind of metabolic disorder (she also gobbles sweets).

Rosie was quoted as saying it was this part of the script that "really spoke to her."

As a character, she doesn't make sense: she's socially awkward, but not consistently disabled. She's less poignant or tragic than merely clamorous and bothersome.

...

The viewer, meanwhile, is sure to cringe - and often. This is another inexplicable effort by an actor to overplay a slow, strange character and teach everybody lessons. The sanctimonious old stunt is not fair to viewers. This is a deeply - even thrillingly - embarrassing movie.

Set your TiVo's.

I seriously may live-blog this abortion.

Posted by: Ace at 07:54 AM | Comments (51)
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Hitchhiker's Guide: Don't Panic, It's Not Half-Bad
— Ace

An unenthusiastic but positive review of the film in the NYT.

Sad: Marvin apparently gets old fast. He was one of the funniest things in the book. Alan Rickman (!) voices him, but apparently his lines fall flat, and he becomes not funny but simply as depressing as he thinks everyone else should be.

Expected: Zaphod gets old fast. That, however, is quite true to the books. Zaphod had a couple of good moments -- arguing with his shrink, arguing with Arthur, finding out from the Total Perspective Vortex that he was the hoopiest frood in the Universe -- but he always was a bit annoying and a one-schtick pony.

Very, Very Sad: Martin Freeman, brilliant as sadsack Tim in The Office and the perfect call for sadsack Arthur Dent, doesn't really add too much to the movie. Alas... Arthur Dent was boring as hell, but that made him the most irresistable and important of the characters. The only guy you could really identify with (unless you too had lost your entire family to the Great Hrung Implosion).

Rotten Tomatoes seems to agree. The film is rated as "rotten" with a 59% favorable review rate, but it takes only 60% to get a "fresh" rating. So it seems to basically be a genial but not especially memorable movie.

So, go in with lowered expectations, expect major deviations from the book and some segments that just don't work, and... Relax.

Posted by: Ace at 07:37 AM | Comments (21)
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Reduce The Size of the Government! But Don't Touch My SS Benefits!
— Ace

It's always dangerous to get into a fight with your readers, but I have to make this point.

Conservatives have been slagging Bush for not doing anything to reduce the government's out-of-control spending.

Well, now he has. He's made a controversial proposal -- likely to drop his popularity rating by 5-8 points -- to reduce the rate of growth in our ever-escalating SS benefits.

By the way, it's been argued for years the current formula is over-generous as as sop to the super-voting elderly, as the COLA adjustments (or whatever they're called now) not only beat inflation, but do so handily, and don't take into account simple reality like cutting back on beef when beef becomes temporarily expensive. (I.e., the formulas do not take into account what all consumers actually do-- substitute one food for another when one food's prices go through a temporary spike.)

So... Bush wants to cut government spending, and in a way that will substantially shore up Social Security's solvency (although a few other steps will have to be taken; but this will take care of the lion's share of the problem), and conservatives seem... angry.

Well, which is it? Do you really want government spending reduced or not? You can't argue about reducing spending all the live-long day on blogs and forums and then complain the moment Bush actually suggests doing so.

Quite frankly, it's that sort of say-one-thing-demand-another dealio that causes such dysfunction in our political system in the first place.

Does Bush (and every other president) seem half-hearted and contradictory in his impulses?

Well, he's just reflecting the will of the electorate. And if the will of the electorate is muddled, the policies proposed by the elected officials representing the electorate will reflect those muddled wills.

Posted by: Ace at 07:27 AM | Comments (27)
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Hangin' Up the Spurs?
— Ace

Jeff and Bill seem to be making noises about quitting their radio show.

Jeff seems to be suggesting he's going to stop blogging entirely.

I hope Karol and I aren't completely awful on the Internet cough "radio."

Our basic plan is to just go in there and discover we're natural broadcasters.

We don't have a Plan B, so if Plan A goes into the shitter, we may be hangin' up our spurs two or three weeks from now, too.

Not Quite Retired Update: Jeff says he's just going to be taking it easier.

Posted by: Ace at 07:09 AM | Comments (29)
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Live! Nude! Bloggers! Unite!
— Ace

Roger Simon breaks the embargo and makes an open call for bloggers to join his (and Instapundit's, and Tim Blair's, and Belmont Club's, and etc.'s) "Pajamas Media" project.

The idea seems to be some sort of collective bargaining to secure more advertising, and higher rates for advertising, on blogs.

There is also something called the Blog News Service, which I'm not sure I really understand.

Posted by: Ace at 06:25 AM | Comments (18)
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Bush Details Social Security Plans
— Ace

Shockingly enough, Democrats attacked his plans, and yet offered no clear alternatives.

Basically, Bush wants to cut the rate of growth in benefits for the top 70% of wage earners, while allowing the bottom 30%'s benefits to grow faster.

Democrats have been clamoring for months for Bush to address the fundamental problem of the system's solvency... well, he did address it, and it turns out they weren't quite so enthused about "making hard choices" as they had previously suggested.

On Matthews' recap of the show, Democrats vaguely referred to their own plans to address the solvency issue, but refused to actually offer their details-- details, you will be shocked to learn, which include large increases in the payroll taxes.

Howard Fineman's take, I think, will be paradigmatic. Rather than praise Bush for having the guts to propose controversial solutions that we all know are necessary to fix a problem that gets worse by the day, he chose to only speak in terms of how unpopular all of this would be -- the "horserace" aspect of it, rather than the substantive policy aspect -- and chided Bush for offering America a chance to "eat their vegetables" (i.e., do something financially healthful but distasteful).

I had one hope for Clinton during his final term... I thought that, unshackled by the need to run for office again, he might actually grow a pair of balls and do the thing he'd been promising since he began campaigning for President (and do the thing that actually made me vote for him): frankly deal with the Social Security crisis, and fix the damn thing, once and for all.

He didn't, of course. As his term was running out, I remember arguing with a liberal (perhaps VonKreedon, actually), about whether Clinton would actually expend some political capital and address this growing financial crisis. The liberal maintained that in the final months of his lame-duck Presidency he would finally get around to it; I, having gotten a better idea of Clinton's priorities, said he wouldn't. I turned out to be right.

Of course.

The goo-goos ("good goverment" types) and the media generally have been whining about the need for some politician to make a brave stand and address this problem -- whatever the political fallout -- for, like, going on 20 years now.

Bush did.

And he'll get no credit for it whatsoever.

Yes... I know you're all terribly surprised about that.

On Gas Prices: The aptly nicknamed Richard "Dick" Durbin, a real partisan hack and .45 caliber pezzanovante as they might say in The Godfather, insists that Bush can lower gas prices simply by "jawboning" the Saudis, and explaining to them that it's really in their interest to make less money and exert less leverage on the West.

When Matthews suggested that Bush really can't do anything about gas prices, Durbin just asserted: "He can't only because he won't."

The Democrats are big on claiming that "diplomacy" can solve every dispute between nations. They seem to forget that there's a perfect defense to diplomacy and "jawboning": that perfect defense is the word "No," or Non, as the French say.

And that's all you have to do: say No.

But the Democrats insist that on this issue, as they insisted all through the buildup to the Iraq War, that all a President needs to do to get people on our side is "talk to them."

Have any of these guys ever been in a relationship, ever? Or are they all virgins and/or frequenters of brothels? Oprah can talk about "communication" all the live-long day, but if a girl doesn't want to do something, she ain't doin' it. And there's no sense in even arguing about it.

More on Social Security... From Meep. more...

Posted by: Ace at 06:05 AM | Comments (29)
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Islamist Update: Bin Ladin Not Quite Dead
— Ace

The website which first floated the rumor that Bin Ladin had joined the bleedin' choir invisible now says he's not dead at all.

The entry on www.islam-minbar.net Web site began by saying there was news bin Laden had died but went on to say he was alive but, as a human being, could die any time and that Muslims should be prepared for that when it happens.

The unidentified author seemed to be trying to draw readers to his posting with a headline that bin Laden was dead.

London-based Islamist activist Yasser al-Serri, who monitors Web sites, said bin Laden “is alive” and was believed to have recently recorded a new video tape which may be on its way for broadcasting.

“The headline of the posting did create confusion, but I believe the person who posted it wanted to urge Muslim youths to continue jihad (holy war) even if bin Laden died,” Serri told Reuters by telephone from London.

I'm shaken. If you can't trust Islamofascist websites and/or Reuters, who can you trust anymore?

Correction: "Choir" invisible, not "crowd" invisible, I'm instructed by geeks who probably should know.

This is the problem with running a geek-friendly moronblog. These sonsabitches know everything about everything nerdy.

No matter how nerdy you think you are, there's always someone nerdier lookin' to take your ass out. It's like the Wild West, only with very pale guys who couldn't score in a monkey whorehouse with a wheelbarrow full of bananas.

Posted by: Ace at 05:50 AM | Comments (10)
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April 28, 2005

Press Conference Thread
— Ace

I seem to have forgotten about this, and it's almost over. But you can post your reactions here.

I'll watch it later and provide my own scary-important analysis.

Posted by: Ace at 03:51 PM | Comments (23)
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Tracking Pedophiles (Even Though There's a War On)
— Ace

There are some who still hunt monsters:

Sitting in front of two computers in a blue suit and gold tie, Det. Constable Paul Krawczyk starts the day as a 13-year-old girl. Within minutes of his entering a chat room on education, and without asking for them, men are e-mailing nude pictures. "It's always the same," he says. "After two minutes, here come the body parts."

Sometimes, he can set up a meeting with a likely offender within half an hour; others take months to be drawn out.

By lunchtime, he is a pedophile conversing with a fellow "pedo" on the other side of the world about their shared interest. "R u active?" he asks, meaning do you abuse kids. "Yea," the message comes back. "Seven [years old] and 2."

The pedo describes his exploits in unprintable detail and eventually asks to exchange pictures. They negotiate for a while, and the other guy sends a dozen photos that seem to be culled from other websites.

That guy, they determined, probably wasn't a hands-on abuser, but "merely" a child-porn collector.

This is weird:

On one wall is a "Star Trek" poster with investigators' faces substituted for the Starship Enterprise crew. But even that alludes to a dark fact of their work: All but one of the offenders they have arrested in the last four years was a hard-core Trekkie.

Det. Constable Warren Bulmer slips on a Klingon sash and shield they confiscated in a recent raid. "It has something to do with a fantasy world where mutants and monsters have power and where the usual rules don't apply," Bulmer reflects. "But beyond that, I can't really explain it."

Thanks to Dennis.

And Please... I know that last bit is so weird it suggests some jokes... but I've already thought of a couple of them, and they're all in horrible taste, so let's just say there are obvious jokes there but they're not worth making and leave it at that.

Update... Kaus, linking a guy named Corrante, claims the LAT oversold the Trekkie-Pedophile connection, though there is some connection there.

Corrante actually picked up a phone and checked up on the MSM:

He claims they were misquoted, or if that figure was given it was done so jokingly. Of course, even if the figure was given jokingly, shouldn't the Times' reporter have clarified something that seems rather odd? Shouldn't her editors have questioned her sources?

Nevertheless, Detective Lamond does claim that a majority of those arrested show "at least a passing interest in Star Trek, if not a strong interest."

The MSM blew it again. Still, a "majority" of pedophiles having at least a passing interest in Star Trek... I don't know. Perhaps it could be said that the general population of America has "at least a passing interest" in Star Trek, too.

Doesn't matter to me. I've always been a Star Wars guy.

Yeah, I know: Jeffrey Dahmer. But that's just one dude.

Posted by: Ace at 11:48 AM | Comments (120)
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Nasty Andy: This Isn't Just About Gays...
— Ace

This isn't just about gays, although we've felt the sting of the movement more acutely than most. It's about science, stem cell research, the teaching of evolution, free access to medical prescriptions, the legality of living wills, abortion rights, censorship of cable and network television, and so on. The Schiavo case woke a lot of people up. I was already an insomniac on these issues.

It's not just about gays/gay "marriage"?

Oh, it's about stem cell research, too?

Funny, before Sullivan "evolved" and felt the scales fall from his eyes regarding the perfidity of "theoconservatism" -- coincidentally, over the same period his dream of gay "marriage" was thwarted by a majority of the American public -- he was against stem-cell research on moral grounds:

Consider these analogies. Federal law makes it a crime to kill or injure a bald eagle. It is also a crime to kill or injure a bald eagle's egg. We recognize that to kill one is the same as to kill the other. Similarly, I cannot remember the last time an apple farmer responded to an early frost by saying, "Never mind, we lost the fertilized blossom, but the apples will be fine." Of course, the apples won't be fine. Once the blossom is dead, the apples will never arrive. And once a blastocyst is killed, the human being coiled inexorably inside is no more. If that isn't killing, what is? And why are we more coherent when it comes to eagles than when it comes to humans?

...

Such evil cannot be morally counterbalanced by any good that medical breakthroughs might bring. This is especially true when it's possible to cultivate stem cells from other sources. Perhaps those sources are not as fecund as embryos--but that means we are confronted not by a trade-off between any research into stem cells and preserving human life, but between better, faster stem-cell research and human life. Under those conditions, it's not that close a call. After all, are we currently beset by the problem of scientific breakthroughs that aren't fast enough? Surely the opposite is true (or at least also true): We are beset by scientific breakthroughs that are occurring far faster than we have the moral language or the experience to deal with. Is a slight deceleration in that research too high a price to pay for removing even the chance that we may be taking human life?

It seems Sullivan is reversing a lot of previously-held positions lately... and all since that little decision in the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.

Question for Nasty Andy:

Back when you were against stem-cell research, were you, too, a proponent of "theocracy"? When did you realize theocracy was "bad"?

Thanks to Slublog, who really ought to stop casting these pearls before swine and blog them on his own blog, rather than in my comments.

Give him a hit, anyway. He's got interesting stuff there, too.

Posted by: Ace at 11:04 AM | Comments (22)
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Nick (Who?) Coleman vs. Ann Coulter
— Ace

It's hardly even fair, is it?

This time this silly little bitch is on about civility, and Ms. Coulter's lack thereof:

Even if you agreed with her political views -- and she has an absolute right to express them -- her manner of speech was so inflammatory and her derogatory ripostes so intimidating that both campuses she plucked last week (a total take of $50,000 or more) are still reverberating.

....

This is just what she wants: shouts, insults, angry venting, food fights.

Ahhh, civility.

Last time we were forced to deal with this nasty little shit he was thoughtfully suggesting the Powerline bloggers had small dicks.

Now that's what I call reasoned discourse.

Sounds like he subscribes to HWWNBN's school of civility-- it's okay for me to make nasty ad hominem attacks, but not for you. Because I'm special.

Posted by: Ace at 10:55 AM | Comments (14)
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Instapundit Swats Sullivan For "Constant Complaints About Theocracy"
— Ace

And that's about as sharp a rebuke as Instapundit gives out, so it should hopefully have some impact:

I do think, though, that Andrew's constant complaints about theocracy aren't helping and indeed make even his valid points less persuasive. Andrew did a wonderful job of convincing undecideds -- and even some decided-againsts -- to think positively of gay rights and gay marriage, but lately his tone has been such that I doubt it's winning many converts.

He goes on to note that, while he himself supports gay marriage, it's a minority position in the country as of yet.

He does not, however, chide Sullivan that "there's a war on."

Retiring the Acronym Update: "HWWNBN" is too confusing and it's annoying to write out.

Posted by: Ace at 10:06 AM | Comments (8)
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Frist Offers "Fair Compromise" On Judges
— Ace

And I'm not complaining about it.

In exchange for giving up filibustering judicial nominees, the Republicans would offer...

a) Guaranteed up-or-down votes on nominations for Circuit Courts of Appeals and Supreme Court nominees.

b) Guaranteed debate time of up to 100 hours for those nominees.

c) Guaranteed reporting of nominees from the Senate Judiciary Committee to the Senate floor.

d) Guaranteed protection of the legislative filibuster.

A-hem.

No comment.

NRO also prints the whole Frist speech laying out the, um, compromise.

NRO speculates that the Democrats will only consider this, errrm, compromise if the GOP agrees to withdraw some/most of its current nominees (i.e., allow the previous filibusters to succeed, forever), but Frist claims he will not budge on them.

It seems to me that with a couple of exceptions -- Janice Brown first among them -- that might not actually be a bad trade. Yes, the previous nominees are qualified and should be allowed to serve, but... if we really could end filibusters on all future nominees, that might not be a half-bad deal at all.

"There's a war on" Update: Jason reminds me that none of this is important. Why? Well, read the slugline of the update, dope. There's a war on. Or had you forgotten?

Posted by: Ace at 10:02 AM | Comments (14)
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Time Waster of the Day
— Ace

I think this is kinda of jackass (read: I'm not any good at it, and it bothers me), but Fat Kid sends Guess-the-Google, a game where sixteen images obtained by a Google keyword search are displayed and you have to guess which keyword prompted them.

Stop Playing Now Update: Jason reminds me "There's a war on." Sorry to have posted this.

Posted by: Ace at 09:48 AM | Comments (12)
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