February 28, 2007

A Line In The Sand At Ace of Spades
— Ace

So, Dean Esmay is getting a lot more traffic than usual in his normal fashion. Usually he's a preening horse's ass, but every once in a while he feels he's not getting all the attention he deserves, and he cranks the preening horse's ass act up to 11.

But a couple of days ago he scratched the numbers off the amp and re-wrote them so they go up to 12. 12! Answering the age-old question, "What do you do when you've got your nitwit jagoff amps turned up all the way to eleven, but you just need a little more kick?"

Well, you announce a new "litmus test" for all of your cobloggers, telling them, basically, it is now off-limits to criticize our friends the Muslims at all, a diktat which seems like it applies to comments as well.

And not only do two of your cobloggers leave, your own wife, an inactive coblogger, decides she can no longer live under your Mr. Bossyblog rules anymore either. (I mean, she leaves the blog, not Esmay.)

Why am I posting this? I haven't linked Dean Esmay more than once or twice in my life, after all.

No, I'm posting it because, well, if you think I'm a preening prick, well! Get a load of this douche-tool!

But I sort of also want this sort of spike in traffic Dean gets to his somewhat irrelevant blog by just acting like a cockmonkey every month. Or more like... every twenty eight days. Usually lasting for three or four days. That sort of cycle.

So, I hereby am enacting my own litmus test. All cobloggers and commenters and, frankly, even emailers are required to obey these rules forthwith or be banned forevermore.

1. You jerkoffs will no longer call me a homo. It is imperative in a pluralistic, liberal society that all men of goodwill respect my right to not be called a homo in every other friggin' thread.

My mom reads this blog, you fucking retards. Every month she calls me up and asks me when she's going to get to meet my "life partner." I'm sick of her asking me if I'm "being safe" when I go out "clubbing," if I've found any "adorable endtables" when I go out "'tiquing," and if I'm "bobbling the boy-beans" when I'm "sucking cock."

Seriously. The woman is already worried sick about my rather bizarre career choices. Are you trying to give her a heart attack?

You may, however, continue calling Bart gay as much as possible. You can also call Allah a homo. You can put them together in whatever preverted fantasies you like, just leave my ass out of it.

2. JackM. may no longer write poetry of any sort in honor of Mary Katherine Ham, or whatever other slice of tasty blogcake he's hungry for this week.

Actually, this isn't my rule. It's a court order. Mary Katherine slapped me with a TRO last week.

JackM, you have to learn there's a thin line between "grand romantic gesture" and "aggravated stalking."

3. Rightwingsparkle is no longer permitted to give John McCain hand-love in more than one thread per week.

As always, this rule is subject to the exception, "unless she's brought enough for the whole class."

4. This one's pretty important: No one can ever fucking tell me "It's fucking Old" ever fucking again.

Only exception? When I post a "new article" about "news" that happens to be from January of last year.

5. All further spelling and factual corrections shall come discretely via a polite email, and there shall be no public mocking of my stupidity.

Anyone who violates this rule will not be banned, but will, however, be required to post under the handle "Professor Persnickety McPedantfairy" for a full month.

6. WickedPinto must give a CONTENT WARNING announcing "I'm about to get seriously weird here, guys" before launching into one of his six thousand word opuses on banging Okinawan whores while simultaneously installing an air-ram on his 1964 Chevy Chevelle.

7. LauraW: Enough with the cats already.

Oh, I'm sure you thought you were helping me build brand-identity by sticking your stupid kitten posts right under my Ace of Spades logo. Because that's really the image I'm going for. "Oh, Ace of Spades? I think it's about politics and sex. And also adorable tabbies, I'm pretty sure."

Seriously, thanks so much for your efforts in this regard, but I think you've done quite enough.

8. Lastly: To make up for the banning of the terms "dhimmitude" and "taq'iya" at Dean's World, all commenters are required to work them into at least one (1) comment per day.

I apologize if these guidelines seem heavy-handed, but I'm afraid I must follow the example of William F. Buckley, who stormed into the offices of the National Review one day and laid down the law to his fellow writers: "Stop calling me a fancyboy!"

Is this a litmus test of ideological purity? Why yes. Yes it is.

PS, Dean?

You beclowned yourself with this whole jagoff jihad.

But we'll have to invent a new term to describe the hyperdimensional lunacy of comparing yourself to William F. Buckley.

One difference, just for starters: I'm pretty sure William F. Buckley knows how to correctly spell "inherent," and would probably not keep spelling the word incorrectly as "inherant" as he repeatedly cited it (in quotes, no less) as a key term in his new diktat.

Are you on the crack, Son?

Maybe it would be best if you tried it.

Oh: Via HotAir, which also notes Andrew Sullivan's discovery of a new Gospel in which Jesus commands, "Judge not terrorists such as Jose Padilla, lest ye be judged unfit to attend Madonna-concert after-parties."

WWWFBW? (What Would William F. Buckley Write?): From Dean's Super Happy Fun Blog:

If you cannot accept, wholeheartedly, all of the above 5 assertions--without exception or weasel-wording--then if you are a front page Dean's World contributor you should turn in your keys and say goodbye. You can do it gracefully or ingracefully.

"Ingracefully"? That's a rather nonfluiditudinous word, isn't it?

I might misspell words, but when I do, at least I'm actually trying to write actual words.

You morons keep that in mind the next time you want to point fingers and jump around like a bunch of circus monkeys.

Posted by: Ace at 08:18 PM | Comments (164)
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AP: Surge Achieves "One Small Success:" A 50% Reduction In Killings In Just Three Weeks
— Ace

Let me see if I have this straight. The spiralling sectarian violence was proof of the Iraq mission's utter failure, but reducing the number of deaths in Baghdad by a full 50% is "a small success."

Bodycount politics are fun, aren't they? US casualties are always trumpeted as a sign of failure; but Al Qaeda casualties are strangely absent from the pages of the big MSM papers or the nightly newscasts.

Why, it's almost as if the MSM seems to believe that no matter what the metrics and facts may show, we're always losing.

Anyway. The first three weeks of surge: a small success.

The Baghdad security operation has been under way less than three weeks but has already registered one small success: a sharp drop in the number of bullet-riddled bodies found in the streets — victims of sectarian death squads.

The number of bodies found so far this month in Baghdad — most riddled with bullets and showing signs of torture — has dropped by nearly 50 percent to 494 as of Monday night, compared with 954 in January and 1,222 in December, according to figures compiled by The Associated Press.

Since the crackdown was formally launched Feb. 14, a total 164 bodies had been found in the capital as of Monday, according to AP figures, which are compiled from police reports. The AP count showed 390 bodies were discovered during the same period in January.

In related news, the American rebels are believed to have managed "a small success" at Yorktown.

Thanks to JackStraw.

Posted by: Ace at 06:26 PM | Comments (44)
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Indian Police Rescue 29 Underage Girls From Whorehouses; But Then Return Them To Their Whoremasters, Because It Wouldn't Be Proper To Keep Young Girls In Jail Over Night
— Ace

See, they thought the girls would all just come back in the morning for processing/social services.

Not so much. Before dawn broke they'd already been "spirited away," presumably to other whorehouses.

What is the world coming to when you cannot even trust a child-whore's procurer/imprisoner?

When Newsline asked Kamla Market SHO Rakesh Giri about the turn of events, he said:”We had thought that we would go back and pick them up in the morning. I have already told these kothawallas [brothel-masters] they cannot deceive us and we are exerting pressure on them. They will all come back. I’m sure.”

Yeah, I'm sure too.

Thanks again to dri.

Posted by: Ace at 03:28 PM | Comments (26)
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Top Twenty Most Eligible Bachelorettes
— Ace

Ehhh... Mixed in with the Squinch Trinity (Lindsey, Britney, Paris) are some worthies.

Thanks to dri.

Posted by: Ace at 03:23 PM | Comments (65)
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This Is Why I Quit Hoist The Black Flag
— Ace

Content warning for language and homophobia and general Jerky Boyz behavior.

It's the cumulative effect. Not to give it away, but crank callers keep calling in to call him a homo, but they usually start off with reasonable-sounding preambles... and you're just waiting for them to say "cocksucker." And they always do.

He's pretty unflappable. One guy begins asking a question before screaming "FUCK YOU YA COCKSUCKER!," and yet the host just hangs up on him but continues answering the question, as if Mr. Fuck You Ya Cocksucker Guy really wanted his opinion on the matter, but was just overtaken by Tourette's before he could receive his full wisdom.

Thanks to the guy who cries himself to sleep wishing he could post crap like this over at Michelle Malkin's other blog.

Posted by: Ace at 02:32 PM | Comments (37)
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Horrors! Mitt Romney's Great-Grandfather Was a Polygamist!
— Ace

The media does love bashing on religions they don't like. Especially when they see an opportunity to alienate Christian voters from a social conservative's campaign.

hile Mitt Romney condemns polygamy and its prior practice by his Mormon church, the Republican presidential candidate's great-grandfather had five wives and at least one of his great-great grandfathers had 12.

Polygamy was not just a historical footnote, but a prominent element in the family tree of the former Massachusetts governor now seeking to become the first Mormon president.

Romney's great-grandfather, Miles Park Romney, married his fifth wife in 1897. That was more than six years after Mormon leaders banned polygamy and more than three decades after a federal law barred the practice.

Romney's great-grandmother, Hannah Hood Hill, was the daughter of polygamists. She wrote vividly in her autobiography about how she "used to walk the floor and shed tears of sorrow" over her own husband's multiple marriages.

Hmmm... maybe a reason to vote against Romney?

Well, perhaps. And yet the media doesn't seem as interested in another candidate's closer proximity to a polygamist ancestor.

We have discovered that his father was not just a deeply flawed individual but an abusive bigamist and an egomaniac, whose life was ruined not by racism or corruption but his own weaknesses.

And, devastatingly, the testimony has come from Mr Obama's own relatives and family friends.

By the way, Obama's dad was already married when he married Obama's mom, then left them to marry a third woman, making him not a bigamist but a polygamist. (Or, at least, a trigamist.)

Well, you know-- the sins of the father shouldn't be visited upon the son and all that.

The sins of the great-grandfather, on the other hand -- well, the apple doesn't fall far from the generational-spanning tree, now does it?

Thanks to sherlock.

Posted by: Ace at 01:50 PM | Comments (53)
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BREAKING: Blacks Shift Support To Barack Obama!
— Ace

Who could have seen this coming?

Well, pretty much everyone except for Washinton pundits with a weekly deadline to meet who decided to pretend that Barack Obama might not be "black" enough for black voters, and so couldn't necessarily count on their support.

Not black enough? Well, he's no Wesley "Always bet on black" Snipes, I admit, but he does seem blacker than, say, Dennis Kucinich.

Please. Was there ever any real doubt? Sure, blacks seem more attached to Hillary! in the early going -- she having been married to the first Black president and all -- but come on.

This is Hillary's problem, as many have noted. Her success depended almost entirely upon her perceived inevitability, and the idea (a quite crackpot one) that she was the most "electable" Democrat out there.

That notion would seem to conflate name recognition with electability. Her positive/negative differential was, is, and always shall be woeful. Even indendents don't like her -- they don't know much, but they know they don't like her.

So along comes this Obama guy. The media gushes. He seems, at first blush, like a normal kind of guy. Even I have trouble objecting to him on a purely gut-level, do-I-like-this-guy-or-hate-this-guy sort of way. He has no obvious weird psychological defects like Al Gore, John Kerry, and Hillary!

And two major constituencies are going for him -- blacks and Hollywood -- and suddenly Hillary! isn't looking so inevitable as she once did.

And without Hillary's inEVITAbility, what is she? A stuffed suit -- well, a stuffed pantsuit, more accurately -- and nothing more. Not even her supporters actually like her. The left despises her, the liberal establishment disdains her, the center is creeped out by her, and the right loathes her (but, truly, our opinion hardly matters as far as the Dem nomination goes).

Without inEVITAbility, what, precisely, does Hillary! have going for her? A winning personality? Charm? A melodious, pleasant voice and inspiring speaking style? An interesting, innovative policy platform? "Maverick" positions that interest goo-goos (good government types)?

A real promise of healing this nation's partisan rifts?


So what does she have in her favor, then? What other than the gratitude Democrats have for her being a good little enabler and "standing by her man" during the Impeachment Wars?

Yes, she has the money; she has most of the big players in the Democratic permanent political establishment on her team. But what's gotten her that?

Only her inEVITAbility. What happens when she's no longer perceived as inEVITAble?

InEVITAbility only takes one so far. Basically, it takes you all the way to the point where people realize you're not inEVITAble. And then the ride stops abruptly.

I think she's toast; and I think that's too bad, because I consider her a much easier opponent than Barack Obama, who I think is now the actual frontrunner in the race.

Making it all the more crucial we nominate someone with electability and a bit of cross-over appeal ourselves. Which is a calculation many Republicans seem to be making:

In the Republican race, former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani, who recently made clear his intentions to seek the presidency, has expanded his lead over Sen. John McCain of Arizona. Giuliani holds a 2 to 1 advantage over McCain among Republicans, according to the poll, more than tripling his margin of a month ago.

The principal reason was a shift among white evangelical Protestants, who now clearly favor Giuliani over McCain. Giuliani is doing well among this group of Americans despite his support of abortion rights and gay rights, two issues of great importance to religious conservatives. McCain opposes abortion rights.

He'd better get right on guns and immigration, though, unless he wants to blow his chances -- and ours -- for capturing the White House.

Romney Has High Unfavorables Despite A Low Name Recognition: I think he's getting a very bad rap, but the numbers don't lie. (Well, of course numbers lie. But, look, they're numbers.)

Is it the flip-flopper thing? The Mormon thing? That he governed Taxachusetts (even while he held down taxes)?

Who knows, maybe it's fallout from the Big Dig.

I don't know why an attractive, articulate (am I allowed to say that about a religious minority?), conservative (well, conservative recently) candidate is getting so little love from the GOP, but that seems to be the case.

I think Romney should be taken more seriously, but the fact is, at the moment, he's not being taken very seriously by too many people.

I think it's the rock star thing. George W. Bush was, believe it or not, a rock star when he ran for President. (Well, a lower-level rock star, like the guitarist from Foghat, but still a rock star.) I remember reading, way back in 1999, a reporter being surprised at how much he'd light up a room when he met supporters in their homes, and how he was perceived as having a "touch of Elvis" in him. The reporter concluded that while people who hadn't attended such intimate-setting fundraisers might not get the whole GWB thing, or attribute his appeal solely to name recognition, anyone who saw him in action could easily see why he was generating enthusiasm.

Barack Obama is a rock star.

Rudy Giuliani is a rock star.

John McCain was a rock star, but a rock star who fronted a band you never much liked, like the Jefferson Starship, and then really pissed you off when he changed the band to just "Starship" and recorded We Built This City (On Rock and Roll).

Mitt Romney isn't a rock star. He's solid, he's got some charisma, he says the right things. But rock star? No. Maybe a sessions keyboardist for Mister Mister.

This may seem like a silly analysis, but really, we're electing a President here, the most powerful man on the face of the earth, and it's hard to imagine most men assuming such a role. A candidate needs to be perceived as nearly a Superman of sorts in order for people to be comfortable putting our very lives in his hands. Some guys seem to have that; other guys seem to not have it.

Michael Dukakis was decidedly not a rock star, for example. Contra Mojo Nixon, it was Michael Dukakis who was actually the Anti-Elvis.

A hidden strength of Guiliani's, by the way, is his personal warmth. That may surprise people who know him, just from the papers, as the hard-charging, my-way-or-the-FDR-highway mayor of unruly NYC, but anyone who saw him speak at the RNC knows he has a warm, reassuring, avuncular manner about him. He seems like a cool, wise uncle, the one who made it big, and isn't unwilling to lend you a couple hundred bucks here or there as long as you promise you won't spend it on crack.

He also used to host a rightwing radio show in NYC. Well, it wasn't quite Rush Limbaugh, but it was a call in show where people got to complain to Mayor, and he was pretty engaging, and very even-tempered and likable, even while fielding phone calls from people calling him a fascist.

So he's not afraid of communicating with the public, and, like Reagan, seems to actually relish it. He likes arguing, but manages to not be disagreeable even while disagreeing.

Not just a mayor-- a rightwing talk show host.

Again, maybe not Rush Limbaugh, but how many public figures are willing to take tough questions from the public a couple of times a week?

Part of what will hurt the supposedly-inEVITAble Hillary! is the public's weariness from the partisan warfare of the past -- well, at least ten years now, right? True, these issues are important, and we can't paper over them just to have a "nicer" and "more civil" political culture. But I think the public wants to be tricked into thinking we can have a bit of that, and they may be so tricked by Giuliani's warm manner and his post-9/11 hero status.

And as Reagan proved, you can fight pretty hard as a partisan without the public really thinking you're a nasty partisan idealogue. Bush couldn't manage ithat trick, though Lord he tries (and many of us would like him to stop trying, as it buys him no goodwill); but maybe Giuliani can.

Posted by: Ace at 11:49 AM | Comments (131)
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A Sheepish Attempt At Fundraising
— Ace

Well! After pissing off half my readers, what a perfect time to ask them for some money!

I had really hoped not to go blegging again, but ad revenues are absolute crap for the past three months. Plus, I'd really like to head down to CPAC. I had thought I wouldn't go, but now that Rudy's giving his Coming Out speech among a very conservative crowd, I really want to.

Sorry to rattle the tinternet cup. But if you've got some extra money you were just planning on spending on silly shit like your children's health care or something, I'm sure I could put it to better use.

The donation buttons are in the sidebar-- the PayPal one is preferred (money comes in faster) but Amazon's fine too. I'd link them here, but it never works.

Anyway, thanks for the support you've given me over the years in enabling me in this dead-end "job" of mine. Not sure if you really feel like continuing to subsidize my lazy no-account ass, but if you do, I appreciate it.

Posted by: Ace at 11:27 AM | Comments (77)
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Early Exit For John McCain?
— Ace

From Dick Morris. And Eileen McGann, who always co-writes these things, but I never mention her. Sexist of me. (Well, more popularist, since everyone knows Dick Morris and few know of Eileen McGann.)



Published on NewsMax.com on February 27, 2007.

The John McCain candidacy, launched amid much hope, fanfare, and high expectations, may be dying before our eyes.

Even worse, it may go out with a whimper instead of a bang.

It may not end in an Armageddon style primary defeat, but just dry up from lack of support, money, or interest.

Throughout all of 2006, McCain sat atop the polls right next to Rudy Giuliani. In the Fox News survey of December, 2006, he was getting 27 percent of the Republican primary vote to Rudy's 31 percent. But, after Giuliani announced that he was running, the Arizona senator fell to 24 percent while Rudy soared into the stratosphere at 41 percent of the primary voters. But even when McCain was polling well, he wasn't raising the money he needs for this campaign.

In the last quarter of 2006, during a time when he was tied for front-runner status in the GOP and doing well in general election matchups against likely Democratic rivals like Hillary Clinton, he raised only $1.7 million according to his filing with the Federal Elections Commission.

Even worse, he had less than $500,000 on hand, pocket change in a presidential race and barely adequate for a run for Congress.

Part of McCain's problem was that he wasn't raising money. But the other part has been that he is spending money too rapidly — and not on reaching voters but on paying political consultants. One top Republican operative from the old Reagan campaign commented, "McCain has hired every consultant he can find. He has all the top names, but no money."

What is McCain's problem?

Why did he go from the most exciting candidate in the race a year ago to the verge of oblivion today?

Fundamentally, he failed to heed the Shakespeare's admonition "to thine own self be true." The John McCain of the 2000 campaign is nowhere in evidence in 2007.

Instead of challenging the party establishment, he pathetically waits at its door, hoping to be invited. Where he used to challenge the religious right, he now panders to them. Once he led the battle against big tobacco, for corporate governance reform, in favor of campaign financing changes, and in support of action against global warming.

Now he has been identified with two issues, neither popular in the Republican Party: The Iraqi troop surge and amnesty for illegal aliens.

Rather than stake out an independent voic e apart from the Bush administration, he has become the last survivor at Custer's Last Stand in its support of its policies.

Republican strategist and Reagan campaign manager Ed Rollins makes an interesting point about McCain: He has switched roles. He has gone from being the McCain of the 2000 race, challenging the party orthodoxy, offering new ideas, and demanding reforms and changes to the Bush of the 2000, toeing the party line and only timidly venturing different ideas if he advances them at all. And this is no way to win the presidency or even the Republican nomination. But where it has counted, on the two core issues that move Republican voters these days — tax cuts and immigration — McCain is badly out of step with the GOP base.

I'm not sure Morris' (and McGann's) analsis is even close to correct -- while Republicans are pessimistic on Iraq, the main reason they are willing to give Giuliani a pass on the social issues is that they think he'll fight the War on Terror, including the War in Iraq, harder and more effectively than Bush -- but it is interesting to see that conventional wisdom now sniffs the stink of debacle on McCain.

Some people attribute this to McCain-Feingold. I think Instapundit pushes that angle. I doubt that myself -- "normal" people, largely disengaged about politics, really don't care about such inside-baseball stuff, I don't think.

I think it's just the cumulative effect of all these "maverick" positions, most of which are, frankly, liberal. McCain rarely offers a "maverick" position that discomfits his most enthusiastic supporters, the liberal media.

Give him one thing: He's been mostly solid on the War on Terror -- one thing that the MSM doesn't like -- but he undermines that by being overly solicitous of terrorists' rights.

70% of politics is gut, 20% is proxy issues, and 10% is actual positions. In our guts, we just don't trust him, nor consider him one of us (largely because he's been quite ostentatious about tell us he isn't one of us, and would rather not associate himself with us rabble). On proxy issues? Well, you take a bunch of issues where he keeps sticking his thumb in your eye and you read into that that he's pretty much opposed to you on most of the other issues as well.

And the 10% of his actual, stated positions? Means little, because people, properly, don't put much stock in a politician's claimed positions. He's pro-life? Well, whatever. So's Mitt Romney. George Bush seems to be, but he wasn't when he first ran for Congress, and he's not exactly a bear on the issue. Etc.

I think there are few in the upper eschelons of the political class -- being mostly of the bicoastal liberal blue state social culture, no matter what their stated politics or party affiliation -- who are truly pro-life as most take that to mean. (I think that conservatives should brace for disappointment on Roberts and/or Alito -- they're conservative, yes, but they're also married, I'm guessing, to blue-state type wives, and such women tend to be pro-choice no matter what their general politics. And yes, even thuggish, rape-crazy rightwing troglodytes actually listen to their wives.)

At any rate, McCain has some stated conservative stances which few of us believe he actually believes in, and a lot of stated liberal stances which most of us figure he strongly believes in.

I'll vote for McCain, if I must, and I encourage others to drop their "Anyone But McCain" position. The worst Republican is better than the best Democrat, especially this cycle, when the nutroots are forcing Democrats further to the left than they've been since 1972.

President McCain would appoint justices like Kennedy and even Souter to the Supreme Court. President Hillary! or, more likely, President Obama would appoint Ginsburgs and Stevens. That's an unpleasant choice, but ultimately an easy one to make.

Related: Hannity and Colmes, and Taranto and Powers, on pro-assassination Death Wish Democrats.

Taranto recounts the story of professor at a prestigious university telling him, at a party, back in 1993 that someone needed to "assassinate" Rudy Giuliani.

If he drives liberals that sort of batshit, pro-assassination crazy, he can't be that liberal, can he?

There was a Giuliani Derangement Syndrome in NYC through the nineties. That fact alone should be somewhat comforting to conservatives fearing his nomination.

He may not be your dream candidate -- and, as I've written lately, his stubborness in refusing to move further to the right has made him no longer my dream candidate, either -- but I think he'd be a good President. Half of a loaf is always better than no bread at all.

Posted by: Ace at 10:33 AM | Comments (132)
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These Bots Were Made For Walkin'
— Ace

As this guy says, "walking" robots aren't really big shakes now. But he points out that previous "walkers" were following a pre-programmed route, unable to balance on the fly as they encountered surfaces they hadn't been specifically programmed to navigate.

This one balances dynamically, and so could just walk wherever he likes. Um, as long as it's not too tricky.

And assuming he's got an hour or so to cover 100 feet.

We're getting there, though.

Thanks to George.

And thanks to Sinistar for the headline.

Posted by: Ace at 09:22 AM | Comments (36)
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Glenn Beck Slaps Up Keith Olbermann
— Ace

Olbermann insists his staff communicate with him via a mailbox outside his office?

Huh. It's good to be the king of bottom-dwelling partisan newscasts.

Allah drops a theory regarding the 1/2 Hour Comedy Hour there. He suggests that conservatives would like the show more if it were either funnier or more savage in cutting up liberals.

Or, of course, both at the same time, though I imagine that's a tricky thing to manage.

So it's a balancing act -- good-natured ribbing vs. savage attacks with less humor value but a whole lot of red-meat catharsis. If that's the case (and it just might be), it's hard to "objectively" pan the show, as it's attempting to find the sweet spot for a broad audience, and any particular person's idea of the sweet spot may be very different from the average.

Maybe that's the case. Though stuff like "B.O." magazine is neither funny nor a cutting attack.

Posted by: Ace at 09:12 AM | Comments (58)
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Strange Maps
— Ace

Funny little blog about cryptogeography.

Odd facts about forgotten places, like the late lamented "Free and Indpendent State of West Florida" and the still-existing state of East Germany (a Cuban island was given over to the DDR, and still is legally owned by East Germany, despite the fact East Germany doesn't even own East Germany anymore).

California as an island? An old misconception. But the old cartographers may have just been ahead of their time; we'll see what happens after the Big One hits.

Good stuff.

Thanks to steve_in_hb.

Posted by: Ace at 08:41 AM | Comments (14)
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Hump Day AOSHQ Lifestyle™ Enhancement
— LauraW.

Better living through technology.

Thanks to Eddiebear.
Open thread.

Posted by: LauraW. at 07:57 AM | Comments (32)
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February 27, 2007

Glenn's Magic Boyfriend Must Be Posting For Him Again
— Ace

Otherwise, how to explain "his" claim that citing the pro-assassination comments at the Huffington Post is a "transparent" and "flimsy" smear tactic, when Glenn Greenwald has quite the career of engaging in the same "transparent" and "flimsy" smears?

Obviously, that damned Magic Boyfriend is causing problems for him again. Plainly, no sane person could hold such wildly contradictory thoughts simultaneously.

When will Gleen finally enable that password-protection feature on his computer?

Just Curious: As Gleen claims it's the Magic Boyfriend posting on his behalf at least some of the time, how do we know his blog's "meteoric rise" is actually due to his own efforts?

How can we be sure those famous passages read (on the Senate floor!) by Russ Feingold weren't in fact written by the Magic Boyfriend?

How does Andrew Sullivan know if he should be crawling up Gleen's ass, or the Magic Boyfriend's? Perhaps it really doesn't matter. It's all good.

Another Book Deal For Gleen... an autobiography, it seems, likely to be ghost written by Thomas Ellers.

Wait-- can someone else write your autobiography?


Posted by: Ace at 11:11 PM | Comments (48)
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Eric Alterman Wants A "Council Of Bloggers" To Patrol For Bad Blogger-Citizenship
— Ace

Which is dumb, but that's not why I'm linking this.

It's for this homophobic attack on Andrew Sullivan:

Alterman complains that bloggers mix too much about their personal lives into their political opinions, as if they think the personal information bolsters the argument: "Tom Paine didn't say 'Common Sense' is a good idea because I'm such a hip guy." But of course, Tom Paine would have blogged, and he probably would have come across as a cool guy, and we would perceive that as bolstering his argument.

Eric is especially perturbed by Andrew Sullivan's personal revelations, notably his description of curling up with his boyfriend in bed on Valentine's Day.

And Sullivan didn't even actually say that! The homophobe Alterman just took a brief post about "being in love" on Valentine's Day and read into it "curling up with his boyfriend in bed!"

I'd accuse Alterman of gay bashing, but I really think he's got too big an ego to allow such self-excortiation.

One thing I agree with: The personal stuff on blogs? I know a lot of people consider blogs to be partly a personal journal, but I've always had a major "ick" reaction to that. Not just Sullivan's beagles, boyfriend, and bronchitis stuff, but personal stuff from anyone.

Who cares?

I try to avoid that myself under the "who cares" principle.

I guess a lot of people do care, but it always seemed like oversharing to me.

Eric Alterman Is High-Pitch Eric?


I don't know if Eric Alterman is that high pitched, but he sure does sound effeminate and screechy when he talks.

Maybe he butches up for his occasional media appearances.

Thanks to Phinn for the pic.

The Conspiracy Widens: "HEY! I'm not widening, you Jew!"

Posted by: Ace at 06:43 PM | Comments (81)
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HPV Infects One Quarter of US Women
— Ace

Sexual restraint isn't going to protect you when 25% of the population carries a bug. It only takes one time. Or one marriage, for that matter.

More than a quarter of U.S. girls and women ages 14 to 59 are infected with the sexually transmitted human wart virus, which causes most cases of cervical cancer, U.S. health officials estimated on Tuesday.

That means human papillomavirus or HPV infection is more common than previously thought, particularly among younger age groups, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researchers said. Its prevalence was highest among those 20 to 24, with 44.8 percent infected, and nearly a quarter of teenagers aged 14 to 19.

Using data from a nationally representative group of 1,921 girls and women ages 14 to 49 who provided vaginal swabs in 2003 and 2004, researchers led by the CDC's Dr. Eileen Dunne found that 26.8 percent were infected with any type of this virus.


HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the United States. High-risk HPV types can cause cervical, anal, penile and other genital cancers.


HPV infects about half of sexually active adults at some time, but usually is harmless. About 90 percent of infections clear within two years.

But the virus can cause abnormal cells in the cervix lining that can turn cancerous. Cancer of the cervix kills about 300,000 women worldwide annually, including about 4,000 in the United States.

Penile cancers too. Terrific. Since I fear vaginas, the cervical cancer stuff of course bothers me little (the enemy of my enemy is my friend), but now we're talking about my junk.

"Behavior has consequences," some say. So it does. But shouldn't the behavior of the US medical/pharmacological establishment -- working diligently to mostly eliminate a cancer caused by a common virus -- have consequences, too?

If God granted humans dominion over the animals, for us to hunt and eat, wouldn't He also be in favor of hunting down potentially lethal diseases?

Not to engage in cheap shots, but allow me one. It's not meant as a cheap shot, really. Just an analogy.

Why is it that some chuckle over the idea of reducing human happiness to save the snail darter, but there's a gut-level reluctance out there to wipe out a murderous virus?

I know the argument usually isn't put in that way, that is, affirmatively protecting the natural wetlands habitat of the human papillloma virus, but rather in terms of personal choice and parental authority.

Still, I guess I'm still not sure what the real "choice" is here -- choosing between eliminating a cancer risk, or choosing to keep that risk alive? Is that really a choice?

I just don't see the easy way out here. One can't say that simply abstaining until marriage will protect one from the risks of HPV (as well as the risks, if any, from the vaccine), given that a quarter of the population carries the virus. The only real non-medical protection isn't sexual restraint, but nearly absolute celibacy -- with testing prior to marriage to determine if either party's been infected, and, I suppose, calling off the marriage if turns out, as is likely, that one party's infected. And then back to the dating circuit hoping for a non-infected lifemate.

It Ain't HIV: I think some people don't accept these figures because they're analogizing it to HIV. HIV only infects a small fraction of the population; HIV is a sexually transmitted virus; as HPV is also a sexually transmitted virus, ergo it also must only infect a tiny fraction of the population.

That assumes that a virus is fairly difficult to spread -- as HIV is -- simply because it's chiefly transmitted through sex. Not necessarily so. A lot of viruses are extremely easy to catch -- anyone doubt they've been exposed to countless viruses in the past?

HIV isn't the "rule." It's an exception. We got, comparatively, lucky on that one -- it's lethal but, thankfully, also rather difficult to transmit. It was also, at least in its breakout period, self-limiting to a degree because it was so lethal -- it incapacitated its hosts with sickness, and then killed them, too quickly for it to spread further.

People shouldn't assume that all viruses are similarly courteous enough to be difficult to spread if they're potentially deadly.

Posted by: Ace at 03:39 PM | Comments (293)
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"Action On All Fronts," Especially The Syrian And Iranian Fronts, Demanded By Rightwing Chickenhawk Warmonger
— Ace

Who goes by the name of Carl Levin, Democratic Senator.

Welcome to the real reality-based community, pal.

Posted by: Ace at 03:18 PM | Comments (19)
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The Dick Cheney Vengeance Thread
— Ace

How will he respond? Speculate here.


BTW, thanks to the many, many, many people who've sent me that over the past year. Or two. Sorry for not thanking you at the time-- but I get that tip about once a week. It is, as Dave says, quite old. But funny.

Posted by: Ace at 02:39 PM | Comments (46)
Post contains 60 words, total size 1 kb.

Proposed Headline: The Dow plunged today to levels not seen since early December
— Ace

EricJ's contribution.

Man, you guys are funny. You should have blogs or somethin'.

Posted by: Ace at 02:34 PM | Comments (22)
Post contains 39 words, total size 1 kb.

Seixon Retires
— Ace

He will be missed. By Larry Johnson, for one, who tells Seixon no one cares about what he thinks while frantically hitting the refesh button.

I know how he feels. Well, not really. He's got a sweet job lined up.

Thanks to Allah for that.

Posted by: Ace at 02:29 PM | Comments (17)
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