Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween!

pumpkin jackolantern
The Official C-I-E Jack o'Lantern 2012

Monday, October 29, 2012

2012 Election Predictions: The Other Contested Seats

With the electoral college predictions out of the way, turning next to my predictions for some key Congressional races ...

Warren will be our biggest win.

MA: The race for the old Ted Kennedy seat currently held by Scott Brown is the one I'm most concerned with, so I'll start there. Elizabeth Warren should be on her way to a landslide victory, but apparently that race is still close because being a qualified, intelligent, dedicated public servant isn't as much of a leg up as you'd think when running against a half-wit, race-baiting, self-aggrandizing toady for the radical right whose chief qualifications for public office seem to be that he drives a pick up truck and is considered handsome by the ladies -- the ladies he'd like to ensure have no say in their reproductive health. 

I think Brown damaged his chances with voters of slightly below average intelligence and up, none of whom should have been considering him anyways, by sending his thugs out to get filmed doing the tomahawk chop and mouth-breathing his way through the debates, trying to get a rise out of the rubes by playing up his disdain for intellectuals and doubling down on the "she's a fake Native American" whine. It may be a photo finish, but I think Warren will pull this one out and the seat will go back to blue.
Prediction: Warren (D)

CT: Next up is the open seat in Connecticut which pits Chris Murphy against what has to be one of the weakest Senate candidates either of the major parties has ever put up in Linda McMahon. This is retiring weasel Joe Lieberman's seat, so it will be extra sweet to have a Democrat in this seat again. I know almost nothing about Murphy but, assuming he is not currently being investigated for an especially heinous crime, I can't believe the people of my home state will elect McMahon.
Prediction: Murphy (D) 

Having lived in Wisconsin for five years, I still follow the Badgers and Wisconsin politics. Tommy Thompson, who enjoyed tremendous goodwill as Governor has utterly and completely shit the bed in a way that only a former member of the Bush administration could. He's looks like a sad, desperate old man willing betray any vestige of principle for a last grab at power. The more his campaign has descended into lies and attacks, the more he isolates himself with the adult diaper-wearing wing of the Tea Party. I think Tammy Baldwin will be a strong Senator and serve Wisconsin, and the nation, well. 
Prediction: Baldwin (D)

MT: The contest between Tester and Rehberg in Montana isn't getting a lot of coverage, but it's tight and the Republican is from the House Creation Science, Climate Denialism, and Promotion of HooDoo Committee which features other noted Certified Geniuses Todd "The female body can shut that whole thing down" Akin, Paul "Science is from the pits of Hell!" Broun, Roscoe "I agree with Akin" Bartlett, and Randy "Pray the tornadoes away" Neugebauer. Tester, I fear, will be a victim of Citizens United and the Supreme Court's War on States' Rights When It Suits The Plutocrat Agenda.
Prediction: Rehberg (R)

IN: If Mourdock hadn't gone all "Rape is a gift from God," he probably would have won comfortably. Sadly, Hoosiers don't seem fazed by his woman-hating love of rape zygotes and he will now only win by slight margin. Indiana is going to have a lot to answer for if they don't get their heads on straight. 
Prediction: Mourdock (R)

MO: As long as we're talking about Republicans with wacky ideas about rape and the female half of the species, let's get the Akin/McCaskill race out of the way. I don't know if this one still considered a toss-up or not but McCaskill should win this seat after Akin managed to keep the race closer than anyone would have expected by keeping his position on "legitimate rape" quiet until he just couldn't hold it in any longer. McCaskill should win this one comfortably.
Prediction: McCaskill (D)


Just as I expect the Senate will keep it's Democratic majority, I expected the House will stay red, and am therefore so disgusted I can't bring myself to pay much attention to it. I'm going to stick with NC instead of trying guess about races in other states where a coin flip is likelier to be a better predictor than I am. Down ticket here in NC, I was actually more concerned with the NCGA contests and the court races, so you might want to keep that coin handy anyways.

We have a House seat where the forecast is shaky. NC-7 could well go the GOP challenger David Rouzer. This has been a blue seat for decades and it'll be a shame if McIntyre can't hold on. I'm picking McIntyre by a nose in this one.

NC-7 McIntyre (D)

Pitch: Albini, Sims, and Washam reunite to tour Missouri as "Legitimate Rapeman"

Rapeman - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

After this came to mind (timely as ever!) because I've been drafting another election result predition post, I thought I should google it first and, sure enough, some wag made roughly the same crack a couple months ago. Only one result for "albini 'legitimate rapeman'" returned though, so I don't feel entirely unoriginal.

Bounty crew hoping for a quicker picker-upper ...

Image via

Seventeen people aboard a replica of the HMS Bounty abandoned ship early Monday while stranded at sea off the North Carolina coast, the U.S. Coast Guard said in a press release. 
"The 17 person crew donned cold water survival suits and life jackets before launching in two 25-man lifeboats with canopies," the Coast Guard said in a statement.
Your eyes don't deceive you, it is that HMS Bounty.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

2012 Presidential Election Fearless Prediction Time!

2012 Presidential Election Interactive Map and History of the Electoral College

C-Dog Forecast

Just going on-the-record with my predictions. While I think the popular vote may be closer than the electoral college vote, I'm predicting a more-comfortable-than-many-will-have-guessed victory for Obama. I'm not overly comfortable with my NC, VA & WI predictions ... but, in the spirit of being fearless, I'll just take my lumps if I'm wrong.

Here's (what passes for) my thought process as I made my selections:

Less Rand, more Rawls.

Boston Review — Martin O’Neill and Thad Williamson: Beyond the Welfare State (John Rawls, Property-Owning Democracy)

[T]o treat Rawls simply as a defender of Democratic Party liberalism and the welfare state—as he is widely regarded—is to misread him. Rawls’s critique of contemporary capitalism—and the condition of democratic practice within American capitalism—runs much deeper. As he made especially clear in his late writings, he did not think that welfare-state capitalism could realize his theory of justice. The architecture of welfare-state capitalism, Rawls felt, enthroned the disproportionate political power of the rich and militated against a shared sense among citizens that they are bound in a common enterprise, which operates in accordance with fair rules and respects the basic interests of all.
The philosophical groundwork has been laid, what we're lacking are public intellectuals able to make the case the experiment is worth running, and progressive politicians to run the lab. I've argued before, and continue to firmly believe, we need to fix public education (kindergarten to university) before we can even have a proper public debate with a chance at yielding policies that promote justice. If we let Romney deliver us to Ryan and the Randians, who will do to public education what Bain Capital does to businesses -- extract the wealth, toss aside the withered husk left behind -- then the great majority of the next generation will be even more ignorant, therefore gullible, and incapable of understanding the problems that plague them, never mind articulate an opposition.

Leiter Reports

Friday, October 26, 2012


NC Early Voter
Yours Truly, A Voter.

My votes are cast; so, my Green for your Libertarian vote offer is officially withdrawn.

I voted for Barack Obama, not entirely without misgivings, but preferring a drone-crazed, Guantanamo-maintaining incumbent to a magical underpants-wearing, serial liar who - I suspect - would be even more drone-crazed and torture-prone than the current guy, on top of being markedly worse when it comes to ... well, everything.

I didn't realize Jill Stein wasn't even on the ballot here in NC; I would have had to write her in if I'd been taken up. That's a shame. The Libertarian candidate was on the ballot. Libertarians had candidates in several races here in NC, as a matter of fact. When government hating ideological fantasists are better at mobilizing their supporters than you are, it's a pretty clear sign there's a lot of work to do.

I voted the non-partisan races based on a perusal of all the candidates websites, reporting on their campaigns in the regular media,  and the endorsements of our local independent newspaper. An easier way to arrive at the same result would have been to take the pamphlet from the conservative knucklehead handing them out to those of us line and simply voting against each one supported by Republicans.

That Republican volunteer, by the way, was annoying and misinformed compared to the Democratic volunteer -- who was slightly annoying herself in complaining about the length of the line and asking if anybody knew if the line was shorter one town over. Still, the Republican guy, by dint of loudly, snidely wishing that Pat McCrory were Governor already so people would have to present ID to vote, was the much worse headache.

Funnily enough, he made his opinion clear when asked by someone who had accepted his voter guide if ID was required. He basically told one of his side's voters that he wished he could turn her away. At least he was consistent in the application of his rigid ideological purity in support of disenfranchisement.

Monday, October 22, 2012

I'd like to trademark "Mittens Von Clausewitz" before the pundit class seizes upon it ...

First and only result. Documenting my nicknaming of Romney based on his
tactical/geographical genius for trademark purposes.

I missed the debate, but I gather from all these g+ posts that Mittens Von Clausewitz has a brilliant plan to increase our Navy's number of amphibious assault ships so we can unload bayonet-wielding cavalrymen on dressage horses in Syria and cut off Iran's only access to the sea?

Giddy up!

Lots of this going around. I assume Mitt meant to the Mediterranean Sea? But, all the horse and map stuff is pretty funny anways.

Via Dirk Talamasca

Sunday, October 21, 2012

That crap platitude ("Show me a young Conservative ... Show me an old Liberal ...") endures because the French Revolution is still being fought. As it ever was.

454 W 23rd St New York, NY 10011—2157


It’ll come as no surprise that this phrase was coined by one of the guys who hammered the liberalization of thought won during the Revolution into a tool to serve the restored Bourbon king in 1830’s France. Nobody remembers Guizot now, but there’s something almost literally science-fictionish about the fact that his little piece of spin has continued not only to tick, but to actually infect with its bullshit people separated from his target by two hundred years.
For contemptuous contemporary purposes, the Conservative and Liberal labels are fashionable. The phrase was originally formulated:
N’être pas républicain à vingt ans est preuve d’un manque de cœur ; l’être après trente ans est preuve d’un manque de tête.  
It's as much nonsense today as it was then.

Friday, October 19, 2012

#Romnesia is a nugget-rich stream.

Twitter / Search - Romnesia

 Tony Sidaway

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

How did they find enough undecided voters to fill a Smart coupé, never mind an auditorium ?

Decision Makers by Christopher Hayes:

Undecided voters have lots of questions.
Image via TPM.
"These people," Jonah Goldberg once wrote of undecided voters, on a rare occasion when he probably spoke for the entire political class, "can't make up their minds, in all likelihood, because either they don't care or they don't know anything."
In fairness, I can can understand the undecided voter who is torn between voting for the relatively obscure candidate they really want, but who can't win, and the lesser of two evils. I can also see being on the fence about whether to vote at all given the deficiencies of both major party candidates. Those strike me as the only two possible reasons a person with a modicum of interest and a relatively clear mind could possibly be undecided about their vote at this point. We could imagine hypothetical situations involving being rescued from a desert island, recovery within the last four hours from coma that started during Clinton administration, and other borderline science-fictional scenarios, I suppose, but it shouldn't take more than a few minute of research on an internet connected device to make up your mind given the available information.

Goldberg has pretty much nailed it though when it comes to those undecided between Obama and Romney yet who are able to get themselves to a debate venue without the combined assistance of  a service monkey that detects frequent, massive, brain-addling strokes & buffalo-strength doses of anti-psychotics and ADD medication.

Look, I realize that if you place Obama and Romney on the graph that plots progressivism and conservatism from left to right on the x-axis, and authoritarianism and civil libertarianism from top to bottom on the y-axis, their two dots are both in the upper right quadrant; however, Obama's plot point is a bit lower than and to the left of Romney's, with a few key differences on issues -- like the future of Roe v. Wade, and what we can expect from what will almost certainly be the winner's ability to nominate one, if not two, or more, Supreme Court justices -- that can be used to distinguish them pretty clearly.

Are you undecided? What in the world are you undecided about‽ Yes, it's the interrobang. And, yes, it is warranted.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

TV Lists of the Moment

5 Trending TV Shows In My House

With Doctor Who off until the xmas special, Louie on hiatus until 2014, and most of the new shows and new seasons of existing shows a couple episodes deep, it seemed liked a good time to document the ones that are getting their hooks in me. With the exception of number one in the list, any of the others could still fall out of favor if they drop off any at all from what I've seen so far. But, they've drawn me in enough to have me planning to watch the next episode.

The League's Ruxin & Andre share a post-stroke, hospital room bonding moment. 
  1. The League - It's not pushing any creative envelopes, this isn't Louie folks, but for balls out hilarity, this profane live action version of an Adult Swim cartoon for the fantasy football crowd is ace.
  2. Arrow - Everybody knows superhero shows are just soap operas for dudes, right? The fact that this one is bringing in John Barrowman tells me it knows what it is and plans to deliver. Don't bother me while I'm watching my stories. 
  3. Elementary - CBS, predictably, has CBS-ified Sherlock which, I know, is not a good thing. But, it's a watchable thing that serves as kind of a lowbrow pacifier for those of us jonesing for our middlebrow dose of the seven percent solution.  
  4. Person of Interest - Amy Acker. I trust she'll be back soon, because without Acker, I'm not sure I can put much more time into this. 
  5. The Rachel Maddow Up With Chris Hayes Last Word Melissa Harris-Perry Ed Show Politics Nation Hardball Bloc of Partisan Pizzazzery - It's Election Season. Short of a functional Fourth Estate, the partisans on this side of the cultural divide satisfy my need for a political fix because they at least do some reporting, feel some degree of commitment to the truth, and at least aren't the most detestable of newscreatures: the self-important, false equivalency breathing fucknuts who pretend there's any kind of merit to the blatantly oligarchical blizzard of lies that pass for conservative thinking. 

Shows That Are Not Trending, But Might Have

  1. Last Resort - It sounded like an intriguing premise and has Andre Braugher in it to boot. TV needs more Frank Pembleton. Sadly, I was completely underwhelmed by the half hour or so I tried to watch and it completely lost my attention. 
  2. Dog With A Blog - It might have had a chance with me if (it's a very big "if") it had been an FX show instead of a Disney. It's not Wilfred With A Blog, it's Good Luck, Charlie Meets A Talking Dog. My kids like it though. 6-year-olds, what are you gonna do?
  3. The Mindy Project - Perhaps only because I haven't seen it yet and forgot to set the DVR for it. Eventually I'll catch it and see if it can give established faves Community, Parks and Rec,  & 30 Rock a run.
  4. Revolution - Is anyone watching this? Should I give it another shot? 
  5. The Walking Dead - Got hooked on a marathon last year, but find myself thinking I might watch the NLCS game tonight instead. Can wait for the next marathon when this season is over, no urgency here.

My heart is still pounding just from watching the Space Jump ...

Felix is safely on the ground now. That was gut-wrenching to watch live!

Friday, October 12, 2012

They don't call baseball "a thinking man's game" for nothing.

StubHub All Access: Data Hub

George Carlin, one of the 20th century’s most renowned comedians, was well-known for a standup bit that compared football and baseball. In it, he portrayed baseball as being an overly-soft, can’t-we-all-get-along game, while portraying football as an overly-aggressive, going-to-war game. With the presidential election coming up, we couldn’t help but notice the similarities between this comparison and the rhetoric that Republicans and Democrats are throwing at each other. Republicans accuse Democrats of being too soft. Democrats accuse Republicans of being too aggressive. It’s an obscure connection, but it brings up an old stereotype. Namely, is football a “Republican sport”? And is baseball a “Democratic sport”?

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Monday, October 8, 2012

It's Food Truck Monday! | @MaMaDukesLLC #NC #Durham #foodtruck

Are the food trucks where you are as good as they are here in the Triangle? I hope so. In my quest to try as many as I can, I ate at Mama Duke's for the first time today for lunch and it's definitely up there with some of my other recent faves.

Now, if you know me, you may know that I have one thing in common with conservative pundit Bill O'Reilly: I get excited by falafel. A key difference being, I know the difference between falafel and loofah. So, today I had a falafel burger for lunch and loved it -- it had great flavor, was hot and fresh, and was complemented by fresh lettuce and tomato. How good is it?

Guys, it's Sofa King good.
The generously sized burger with a side of cranberry slaw felt reasonably priced at $8. And I'm the guy who always whines about expensive food from food trucks is. Someone on yelp said it was a big enough burger for two to share; I wouldn't go that far though, it was a an appropriate size for one grown-ass man. Maybe two small children, or petite women, would want to split it?

Falafel Burger
Falafel burger with cranberry slaw. 

Related: Mama Dukes is apparently a Southern slang term. I'm a New Englander, had never heard it before.

Two Presidents, Smoking and Scheming | Sorkin imagines an Obama-Bartlet conversation after the debate ...

BARTLET They told you to make sure you didn’t seem condescending, right? They told you, “First, do no harm,” and in your case that means don’t appear condescending, and you bought it. ’Cause for the American right, condescension is the worst crime you can commit. 
OBAMA What’s your suggestion? 
BARTLET Appear condescending. Now it comes naturally to me —
It's not that he needs to act like he's better than Romney. He needs to make it clear he has better (even if only marginally) policies and some allegiance to truth and reality. Obama needs to call out and shame Romney when he catches him in a lie. Rub Romney's nose in it like he peed the damned rug.*

It is evident he will be a better President than Romney. Obama is no progressive, but he's closer than Romney is and, unfortunately, we are presented with two evils, the lesser of which we should prefer.


* I'm told rubbing a puppy's nose in a pee stain is not an effective housebreaking method and teaches the puppy the wrong lesson about urinating -- not to do it ever. This should by no means deter an honest man from running a liar's face in its own, figurative, pee. The wrong lesson for puppies is absolutely the right lesson for Presidential candidates: when it comes to lying, don't do it.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Justice Scalia Calls Abortion, Death Penalty Easy Issues (Because he has a moronic, debunked judicial philosophy.)

[Scalia] argued that sodomy laws don’t violate the equal protection clause. He’s also argued that laws discriminating against women don’t violate the equal protection clause. Yet in Bush v. Gore, he signed on to the idea that the Florida recount–you guessed it–violated the equal protection clause. 
The 14th amendment does not protect gay people, or women, but it does protect George W. Bush.
The other day, Scott Brown claimed Antonin Scalia is the Supreme Court justice he admires the most. Scott Brown is an idiot. Scalia is one of the worst. Ever.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Firefly's 15 Best Chinese Curses

Firefly's 15 Best Chinese Curses (and How to Say Them) - Topless Robot - Nerd news, humor and self-loathing.

2) The Explosive Diarrhea of an Elephant
大象爆炸式的拉肚子 ・ Da-shiang bao-tza shr duh lah doo-tze
Our penultimate entry is delivered by Mal, and once again, it draws its inspiration from the influence of Saffron. When Mal makes it clear that he's not interested in the accidental bond of wedlock he wound up in, Jayne, paragon of chivalry that he is, offers a perfectly reasonable deal. Jayne presents his most prized possession--a Callahan full-bore auto lock rifle with a customized trigger and double cartridge thorough-gage. He proposes an even swap, which by Jayne's reasoning is more than fair. This statement is Mal's assessment of Jayne's proposal, and really, who hasn't referenced explosive pachyderm feces when expressing complete incredulity? Happens to us all the time.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

City of Durham vs.the death penalty

City of Durham comes out for abolition of the death penalty | The Progressive Pulse

image via memecenter
(Not used by People of Faith Against
the Death Penalty, used by me.)
DURHAM, NC – Durham is now the largest city in the South on record for repealing the death penalty. 
At its meeting in City Hall this afternoon the Durham City Council unanimously passed a resolution presented by People of Faith Against the Death Penalty calling for North Carolina and the federal government and U.S. military to repeal the death penalty. The resolution suggests using the taxpayer funds that would be saved by repealing the death penalty to support programs to help murder victims’ family members and for programs to prevent violent crime.

Monday, October 1, 2012

The Return of Droney! Cartoon Challenge 2!

It's the weekly TMW pre-programmed post so I don't accidentally violate Sparky's list rules. And it's the return of the Cartoon Contest that Bret drubbed me in last week!

Here's a few panels from the cartoon that should be up by now at DailyKos to tease you into going over to check out the whole thing:

If you're up for it, see if you've got the chops to make a cartoon out of a different panel that I've stripped bare you:

Once again, I'll set a low bar ...

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