Archive for March, 2009



24
Mar
09

My ♥(-On) For Andrew Cuomo Grows 50 Million Sizes This Day

Just yesterday I was at the U.S. Embassy here in Madrid. While waiting there for a looong time is a usual thing, I’m usually greeted at the end of it by a smiling Spanish face. Yesterday, the U.S. government employee loomed large (and less friendly), and the whole thing brought back memories of going to the Post Office in New York on April 15. Suffice to say that I was all fired up and anti-government-employee when I got into work today. Then I saw this:

Andrew Cuomo has gotten most of the huge AIG bonuses back.

Yup, the American recipients of the horrifyingly disgusting super-bad no-good bonuses at AIG have surrendered them to Cuomo, after he made them an offer they couldn’t refuse.

The attorney general noted that about 47 percent of $165 million in retention bonuses was awarded to Americans, accounting for nearly $80 million. All told, Mr. Cuomo said, A.I.G. employees have agreed to return about $50 million in bonuses.

Mr. Cuomo acknowledged that some bonus recipients declined to give back bonuses, especially those overseas who are outside the jurisdiction of New York State…

A.I.G.’s chief executive, Edward M. Liddy, told Congress last week that he had asked employees to give back half of their bonuses. Mr. Cuomo responded that this was inadequate.

Oh, Congress, this is how it’s done. Use legal means (meaning: Don’t fuck around with words like “attainder” and “post-facto”) to get their names, then give them 2 options: Give it back, or those bus tours terrorizing AIG houses will be parked outside your door in the morning.

24
Mar
09

Bill O’Reilly Stalks Women To Tell Them How Important Their Safety Is To Him

This is really…Hypocritical? Hilarious? Terrifyingly creepy?

After some poor female blogger pointed out that Bill O’Reilly’s upcoming speech at a rape victims’ convention is kind of odd, considering his notable history of calling a rape victim “stupid,” he had one of his goons accost said blogger on the street. That didn’t sate his appetite for womyn’s rights, though, so he had some people follow her on vacation to deMAND she apologize to victims of…well, stalking and rape.

The Stalking: Watters and his camera man accosted me at approximately 3:45 p.m. on Saturday, March 21, in Winchester, VA, which is a two-hour drive from Washington, DC. My friend and I were in this small town for a short weekend vacation and had told no one about where we were going. I can only infer that the two men staked out my apartment and then followed me for two hours. Looking back, my friend and I remember seeing their tan SUV following us for much of the trip…

The Evasion: I said that it was inappropriate for O’Reilly to imply that just because a woman may be drunk and/or dressed in a certain way, she should expect to be raped. Watters asked me whether I had listened to the interview (which I had) and claimed that O’Reilly had made the comments in the context of a commentary on Mel Gibson/drunkenness…

The blogger asked why Think Progress was being targeted here (and got the hilarious answer that it’s because they’re part of the “smear machine” that is after poor ol’ Billy Boy), but I think that’s beside the point. Keith Olbermann is part of that same machine, and he’s been harping on this bit o’ hypocrisy for a good while now. Why, then, did they target this woman?

This is part of a trend with O’Reilly. In the footage I’ve seen of his producers accosting people, I have only seen his people accost those with vaginas in private, intimate settings (at home or on vacation, rather than on the street or on a bus). One might say this behavior is…erm, predatory and plays on these women’s fears of being attacked (and might, therefore, help the producer’s elicit an apology from said woman).

Then again, just look at what Cynthia Tucker was wearing while at home checking her mail. She was totes asking for it.

tof-tucker

24
Mar
09

Special Wingnut Report: Obama Is Laughing At Your Suffering!!! ZOMG He’s SOOOO Mean!1!!

‘Kay, so Politico is full of asshats owned by Karl Rove. Really, it’s true! You can look it up on the internets which never lie! Anyway, they were being typically asshatty yesterday in saying that Obama’s “awkward” laughter during a moment of genuine ridiculosity (see, I can make up words too, Dubya!) on 60 Minutes Sunday highlights his big problem with the Amurkin people: He’s too cool and detached. Right. His big problem is that people don’t like him. And yet he’s a cult leader. Gotcha.

Anyhow, so here’s the clip of him being horribly awkward and cavalier about our impending doom. And a Muslim socialist. Also.

So, first everyone tells him to lighten up. Now everyone tells him to forego the “gallows humor” because it’s inappropriate and serves only to show everyone how too-cool-for-school he is. Christ, man, why does anyone want this job?

For the record, the people in the world with the highest levels of stress at their professions (surgeons, air traffic controllers, members of the military) tend to have the most off-color sense of humor of anyone on the planet. Seriously, in the words of one of my friends who’s a doctor: The reason they give you the full anesthetic a lot of times is just so you don’t hear what they’re saying about you. It’s a coping mechanism, and it helps these people concentrate in otherwise distractingly-dire circumstances.

And since it is definitely one of the ways our men in uniform deal with their day, this latest bout of Freeper rage is making me wonder: Why do they hate our troops???

24
Mar
09

Colbert Stuffs NASA Into Metaphorical Locker With Space Station Contest Win

Oh, God, poor NASA. The geeks running the show there thought it’d be really cool to get people to vote on the name of the new space station. Worse: They thought it would heighten public awareness and excitement about said station if they included a “suggest your own” button. And Colbert got wind of it, called on his peeps to get shit done, and they did. So now NASA’s stuck. Why? They’re just not that cool.

For months now, people have been naming stuff after Stephen Colbert, something I highly endorse. Why not name a spider or turtle or what not after somebody who will definitely mention it to the hipster generation? It might actually drum up some excitement about your geeky little scientific project, at best, and, at worst, it…umm…may sound silly to future generations? Really, the down sides are few and far between, and I was allllmost so happy to hear about the space station naming contest. Until I heard who’s running it. *sigh*

So here’s the thing about NASA. They’re a great organization. Really. But, at the administrative level, they’re not the bastion of ironically-geeky intelligencia that is the astrophysics community in general. Don’t titter; I’m being serious. Remember the guy who kept phoning in from orbit to talk to Colbert? Or the guy who got piped in from the South Pole? Those are both the kinds of people I tend to work with. They’re funny, they lovelovelove snark, and, above all, they adore internet prankdom.

However…

Once you go higher up the food chain in someplace like NASA, what you tend to find are less the Weezer-type geeks and more the quotes-Asimov-as-his-opening-line-type geeks. During my internship there, I encountered a lot of really, really nice guys. But they’re the real deal, nerd-wise. Like, even I was tempted to take their lunch money sometimes. Put it this way: These are the guys who get all hot and bothered about the idea of ROBOTS!!! ON THE MOON!!! DOING STUFF!!!! Not because it has any probative scientific value really; they just like robots. And they should: Their job is to sell America on Astrophysics as a worthwhile pursuit. And, let’s face it: Sci-fi-based crap is highly saleable to the American public. Jesus, über-cool Jack Kennedy even made walking on the moon a cornerstone of his campaign because of that. It sold then, and it still does.

So, yeah…catching the interview Colbert just did with the guy from NASA brought back memories. And seeing this morning that he’s won the contest just makes me feel sorry for these guys. Now they’re in the uncomfortable position of either going with a name they will hate, so as not to seem “uncool” (Make no mistake: They were hoping for some kind of H.P.-Lovecraft-inspired dreamy little name suggestion, if anything) or not doing so, and being catapulted back into high-school-era mockery for their epic nerd move.

For those about to be outed as horrifyingly socially-awkward geeks, I salute you.

24
Mar
09

Bachmann Turns Up Overdrive: Gotta Revolution! Gotta Revolution!

(OK, OK, so I know the song is “Got a Revolution” and that it’s by Jefferson Airplane, but it didn’t sound as cool.)

Egads, man, I never thought I’d say this: Michele Bachmann is saying exactly what I said. Only I said it eight years ago.

I love her touting Jefferson’s words of wisdom. Because she understands him so. Wait…does this mean she also has illegitimate black children? Alert Karl Rove!

18
Mar
09

No, Meghan McCain, This Is What Socially-Accepted Prejudice Looks Like

I recently read Meghan McCain’s idiotic blog responding to Laura Ingraham and her attack on overweight women. No, I don’t think it’s idiotic because it’s saying the attack was unwarranted and juvenile, since that’s obviously true. And, no, I don’t think it’s idiotic because it, like all her other posts, reads as though a 9-year-old wrote it. Mostly, it was this line that I objected to: Today, taking shots at a woman’s weight has become one of the last frontiers in socially accepted prejudice.

Inferring that you’re chunky is not a socially-accepted prejudice. Don’t believe me? Try reading the numerous responses written and spoken (including here) about Ingraham’s remark, all of which deem it out of line (even Bill O’Reilly admitted that). That’s not social acceptance of said prejudice; that’s a rightful repudiation.

What is socially-accepted prejudice, then? How about the kind of prejudice that rescinds 10% of the American population’s basic civil rights to live and love as they please? How about a new and growing trend in South Africa to “cure” some of these people by engaging in “corrective rape”? How about it seeming like a slur to imply our President was possibly once maybe connected to someone who might be a Muslim?

That, my poor dear, is what hate look like. And it’s nothing whatsoever like implying that Jessica Simpson was wearing something mind-bogglingly unflattering that undercut her image as a sex symbol (one, by the by, that she and her father hand-crafted and topped off with a video of her washing a car in a string bikini).

This is not to say that, seeing as weight is still a social and not a health concern in American culture, it’s not difficult for you to hear someone lambaste yours. Especially when your social circle is largely, I’m supposing, composed of wealthy women who love nothing more than to snark at anyone approaching a double-digit dress size whenever possible (my high school memories are all coming back to me now). All I’m saying is it would behoove you to show some perspective, and some respect, for people who have to somehow survive and cope with the real deal.

18
Mar
09

Grassley Talks About Tit-Sucking Like It’s A Bad Thing

At first, I was wondering why this guy’s trying to emblazon a scurrilous association between tit-sucking and those rat bastards at AIG into the national consciousness. And then I saw his political affiliation. Methinks Representative Chuck Grassley (R-IA) may be hiding the same secret that many, many other GOP members are…

Regardless of his aversion to boobies, this is just funny. Period.

18
Mar
09

Health Care For All Except The Vets? Huh?

Oh, Barry, please clarify this shit while you’re on Letterman or Leno or whatever P.R. you’re doing today. Because, from what I just read, it sounds like your White House is proposing that our veterans will have to use private health insurance to pay for their injuries once they come home.

Democrats in Congress are organizing to squash a White House proposal that would require veterans to use private insurance to pay for treatment of their combat and service-related injuries…

“While we strongly support your plans to increase funding for the VA by $25 billion over the next five years,” the letter reads, “it is with equal conviction that we oppose the proposal to bill veterans’ private health insurance plans for care and treatment of service-connected injuries or disabilities.”…

Additionally, in a statement to the Huffington Post, Virginia Sen. Jim Webb, one of the foremost champions of veterans’ concerns in the Senate, called the issue of outsourcing health coverage from the VA a non-starter.

“Treatment for service-connected injuries is clearly within the responsibility of the U.S. government through the Department of Veterans Affairs — period,” Webb said.

The Obama administration has insisted that they are non-committal when it comes to a final decision on the actual policy, and White House officials will meet for the second time with veterans groups on Wednesday.

This proposal is just…wrong. Seriously, disturbingly, horribly wrong. And it doesn’t jibe at all with your claim to bring health care to all Americans.

‘Splain, please. Cause I just am not quite ready to hate you yet. KTHXBAI.

17
Mar
09

Is Glenn Beck…Erm, OK?

Punditry seems to entail a certain degree of losing one’s mind on the air (unless you’re Rachel Maddow).  Say what you will, but ranting “like a man who saves his own urine gets viewers. With that in mind, I figured Glenn Beck was a bit quirky with his opening-night creepy eye cam. Fine. It got noticed. And now this:

It’s one thing to pull stunts to get you noticed because you want viewers to hear your content (O’Reilly, Olbermann, Matthews, Hannity…they all do it), but doing things to get noticed in spite and/or to the detriment of your content (since they make you seem creepy at best and totally unhinged at worst) is just nuts. Which is why I pose the question to members of Glenn Beck’s inner circle: Is he OK? Has he run out of medications? Does he need a quick trip to the hospital for “exhaustion”? Is he mocking Hillary Clinton’s waterworks over the same subject? What in blazes is going on in his noggin???

17
Mar
09

Barney Is Frank-ly Adorable. Again.

Every once in a while, I wonder why I love Barney Frank so much. Is it the fact he seems like he’d look adorable in a bowtie? Maybe. Is it the fact that his cheek fat makes him look like a smiling child cartoon? Kinda. Is it that his voice sounds like a character from Hanna Barbara? Yes, that’s definitely part of it.

But stuff like this is really why:

Rep. Barney Frank charged Monday that a decision by financially strapped insurance giant AIG to pay millions in executive bonuses amounts to “rewarding incompetence.”

Echoing outrage expressed on both sides of the political aisle in the wake of revelations that American International Group will pay roughly $165 million in bonuses, Frank said he believes it’s time to shake up the company.

“These people may have a right to their bonuses. They don’t have a right to their jobs forever,” said Frank, a Massachusetts Democrat who is chairman of the House Financial Services Committee.

He’s also sarcastic, smart, and (seemingly) principled as hell.

* With regard to anti-choice Republicans, who were advocating cuts in health care programs that benefited women and children, Frank commented “conservatives believe that from the standpoint of the federal government, life begins at conception and ends at birth.”

* When Frank supported raising the speed limit to 65 m.p.h., he told liberals who disagreed with him that he would “only listen to people on this issue who actually drive 55 m.p.h.”

* “I’m used to being in the minority. I’m a left-handed, gay Jew. I’ve never felt, automatically, a member of any majority.”

* “Rather than the boy who cried wolf, George Bush is the reverse. He claims that there is nothing wrong when there is. He’s the boy who cried, ‘Nice doggie.’” — Frank, critiquing President Bush, whom he said has been unable to face the reality of the war in Iraq and the nation’s economy.

(and updates!)

When Senator John McCain tried to avert attention from his sagging poll numbers and trainwreck of a running mate insert himself into the financial bailout negotiations by “suspending his campaign,” Barney Frank called out the raw political stunt:

“It’s the longest Hail Mary pass in the history of either football or Marys.”

“McCain is Andy Kaufman in his Mighty Mouse costume – ‘Here I Come to Save the Day,’” Frank said as he left a Thursday morning caucus meeting with House Democrats, saying the Republican presidential candidate’s decision to enter the mix “is not helpful.” “He hasn’t been involved,” Frank said. “He doesn’t know anything about it.”

Frank also mocked the idea that McCain could help with the details, quipping, “I guess if I wanted expertise there, I’d ask Sarah Palin.”




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