Sunday, February 15, 2009

Fair And Unbalanced: A Slightly Tipsy View Of The News And World Events; Just Trying To Make Sense Of All Anyway I Can…It’s Hard.


Fair And Unbalanced: A Slightly Tipsy View Of The News And World Events; Just Trying To Make Sense Of All Anyway I Can…It’s Hard.





Statistical Sense Finally Something That Does Make Sense!


CNN's Yellin claimed census was a "big issue" for Gregg after Gregg said it was not

CNN's Jessica Yellin stated that the Obama administration's decision to strengthen White House oversight of the census was one of "two big issues" leading Sen. Judd Gregg to end his nomination for secretary of commerce. In fact, Gregg has said that the "census was only a slight catalyzing issue," and "not a major issue." He also called it a "slight issue" and said "[i]t wasn't a big enough issue for me to even discuss what the issue was." Read More


Wash. Times falsely suggested 1999 Supreme Court case decided Constitution bars use of sampling in congressional apportionment
The Washington Times
 falsely suggested that a 1999 Supreme Court case decided that the Constitution barred the government from using statistical sampling to apportion congressional seats. In fact, the Supreme Court concluded that "the Census Act" -- a congressional statute -- "prohibits the proposed uses of statistical sampling in calculating the population for purposes of apportionment. Because we so conclude, we find it unnecessary to reach the constitutional question presented." Read More


(I Would Have Paid An Admission Fee For This One!)

Justice Dept. Lawyers in Contempt for Withholding Stevens Documents 

An angry federal judge held Justice Department lawyers in contempt yesterday for failing to deliver documents to former senator Ted Stevens's legal team, as he had ordered.  (By Nedra Pickler, The Washington Post)


An angry federal judge held Justice Department lawyers in contempt yesterday for failing to deliver documents to former senator  Ted Stevens's legal team, as he had ordered.


U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan called it "outrageous" that government lawyers would ignore his deadline for turning over documents.


During yesterday's hearing, Sullivan repeatedly asked three Justice Department lawyers sitting at the prosecution's table whether they had some reason not to turn over the documents. They finally acknowledged they did not, and Sullivan exploded in anger.


"That was a court order," he bellowed. "That wasn't a request. I didn't ask for them out of the kindness of your hearts. . . . Isn't the Department of Justice taking court orders seriously these days?"


He said he did not want to get "sidetracked" by deciding a sanction immediately and would deal with their punishment later. But he ordered them to produce the material by the end of the day.


"That's outrageous for the Department of Justice -- the largest law firm on the planet," he said. "That is not acceptable in this court." (There’s More…)


It's Fun to Watch Obama Driving These Republicans So Crazy

Posted by Bob Cesca, Huffington Post 


Obama's deft political moves this week have the right-wingers frothing at the mouth, screaming like fools in all directions.


The historical record of far-right ridiculousness has been well-documented here and throughout the blogosphere.


Who can forget Michelle Malkin's inspired cheerleader skit? Or when Rush Limbaugh mocked a guy's Parkinson's disease tremors. What about John Boehner's public sobbing jags? Pat Robertson insisting he could leg-press 2,000 pounds. Sarah Palin's turkey geeker photo op. George W. Bush telling us that Iraq is a "peeance freeance." Remember when Bill O'Reillyshouted down the son of a 9/11 victim?


Already, we're talking about a mélange of weirdness and upside-down logic suitable for the ages, and that's all prior to Jan. 20, 2009.


But I don't think we ever anticipated that the presidency of Barack Obama would, among other things, send the far-right into a freakazoid display of shockingly deranged conniptions and outright crazy talk -- their manic hyperdrive engines, fueled by Rush Limbaugh's gesticulating arm flab, blasting them out of their political Mos Eisley cantina scene and expelling them a thousand parsecs beyond the zero barrier of insanity.


Too much?


Just to be clear, I'm not talking about the lies or distortions or their utter lack of credibility (zero cred) on broad-ranging issues like, you know, foreign policy and the economy.


What we have here is the equivalent level of chaos as, say, the first group-therapy scene from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. In other words: a total berserker meltdown.


Seriously, have you ever seen the Republicans more twisted and kerfuffled than they are today? Movie metaphors aside, I've been hard pressed to find greater examples of insanity from the far-right than have been exhibited in the past week alone.


Here we have a Republican Party that's been discredited and bloodied, and yet in the face of an enormously popular president who is confounding conventional wisdom while building a working consensus among American voters, the Republicans appear to be reflexively coughing up the most intellectually violent chunks of hooey on record.


They're screaming about fear-mongering, even though we had eight years of this.


They're screaming about fiscal responsibility, even though we had eight years of this.


They're screaming about free speech, even though we had eight years of this and this and this.


They're honest to God screaming about fascism, even though we had eight years of this and this and this.


Yes, the Republicans have claimed to have "found their voice." If this is true, then their "voice" sounds exactly like Limbaugh, Matt Drudge and Malkin, depending on the day.


So what are these voices saying exactly?


For starters, Limbaugh -- the de facto leader of the Republican Party -- said on his show Tuesday that the entire economic meltdown was actually precipitated by a conspiracy between George Soros and a cabal of billionaire liberals who deliberately sought to sabotage the world economy in order to get Obama elected.


He, of course, has no real evidence for this, other than what the shadow people told him while he was tweaking his TV remotes.


OK, so I made up the part about the shadow people, but the rest is seriously what Limbaugh was telling his audience of dittoheads yesterday. What Limbaugh doesn't know, however, is that Soros is actually a hobbit who's conspiring with Elvis to fake another Moon landing. (Shh!)


Confined to its own phantom zone of crazy, there's only so much harm this can do. After all, Limbaugh's puffy melon has been bombarded with a mountain of hillbilly heroin large enough to crush God. But I wish I could report that this was wholly the product of Limbaugh's condition.


It's a theory that was also repeated by Donald Luskin: a seriously wrongheaded economist and, go figure, former economic advisor to Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.


Speaking of McCain, he was pilfering extra helpings of rich, creamery crazy from Malkin this week. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., and Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, were doing it, too. Last month, Malkin nicknamed the president's recovery bill the "generational theft" bill, arguing that the debt it would create will serve to rob future generations.


This, naturally, disregards the nearly doubled national debt and record-breaking deficits created by George W. Bush with programs that, when taken individually, were enthusiastically endorsed by Malkin (Iraq, tax cuts and so on). But there was McCain on Face the Nation on Sunday talking about "generational theft." Whatever, senator, the fundamentals are strong so what's does it matter, right?


Meanwhile, Michael Steele, the newly elected head of the Republican National Committee and pre-emptive excuse for the next time a Republican talk-radio host blurts out a racist remark,tried to tell a national television viewing audience that the government has never in the history of the United States created a job -- only "work." Yep.


Do I really need to outline why this is crazy?


Former White House chief of staff Andy Card, meanwhile, attacked Obama for violating a nonexistent Oval Office dress code.


Republican columnist Fred Barnes cited a former Limbaugh producer named Marc Morano as his "scientific" source on global warming.


Fox News is reading Republican talking points verbatim and passing them off as news copy -- typos and all.


And after eight years of the smirking frat boy named George W. Bush, Malkin went so far as to accuse Obama of being "snippy" during his prime-time press conference.


Elsewhere, another far-right blogger is vowing to never again fist-bump with her friends at her tennis club. And when she's at the grocery store and is confronted by magazines with the president's face in the checkout line, she turns the magazines backward. All of them. I'm not making this up.


They have indeed totally lost their shpadoinkle, and despite purely involuntary spikes in my blood pressure, it's so much fun to watch.


By successfully debunking their lies, rising above their bait and merely presenting a contrast of character, Obama is making the Republican A-Listers appear small, petty and absolutely befuddled.


They're frantically struggling to figure out how to counterpunch, so they're grabbing, borrowing or downright plagiarizing ideas from anywhere, irrespective of the general quality of the idea.


And if the Republicans are at all interested in continued survival, someone they respect should probably smack their hands and scold: Drop that filthy Limbaugh quote! You don't know where it's been!


But if this is their "voice," and they're satisfied with it, I for one welcome the new Republican "voice" and wish them a hearty and very sincere: Good luck with that.


Why Using Sex Toys, Watching Porn, and Going Green Is an Easy Fit

By Liz LangleyAlterNet. Posted February 13, 2009.


On Friday the 13th of August 2004, Florida got the first of a series of hurricanes that would knock us even more senseless than we usually are. Crazy, dangerous days followed Hurricane Charley here in Orlando -- days with power lines littering the streets, Red Cross trucks bringing us ice and in the dark, sweltering nights without power. All news and light was dependent on batteries. I had batteries. Within 36 hours I used them all up in my vibrator.


I was not the only one. Nine months after the hurricanes, births in some central Florida hospitals shot up 21 to 26 percentaccording to USA Today.


Conservative Republicans who live in fear that someone, somewhere is having an orgasm, might do well to note this. People who don't have anything to do -- like work or spend money -- are free to have tons of wild, working-class sex. Sometimes the only optimistic thing in your life is an erection.


So it was a stroke of genius when Larry Flynt of Hustler and Joe Francis of Girls Gone Wildasked Congress for a $5 billion bailout for the porn industry. It was the first and only laugh anyone has provided in regard to the economy thus far, with two generations of porn kings pointing out that the emperor had no clothes. Some of us thought -- well I thought -- for the first time -- "Hey, yeah! WTF? Why do they get a bailout? Where's everyone else's bailout? Where's my bailout?"


Flynt has since owned up to the joke (remember, this is a guy whose use of satire got him sued -- unsuccessfully -- by Jerry Falwell in a landmark First Amendment case). He told the crowd at the XBiz State of the Industry conference that he's "anti-stimulus and anti-bailout," but also "I think we all need to support Obama," and. "There are people out there who are really hurting."


Dang! And we had the perfect plan to put the adult industry in the pink: having it go green.


"Obama has touted green energy as a way to create jobs and reduce the country's dependence on fossil fuels. The stimulus includes money to boost alternative-energy products and increase efficiencies in buildings," says an Associated Press story on the stimulus plan.


With a president keen on the fact that renewable is do-able and a country keen to embrace green as the new black (if only because reduce, reuse, recycle is a cheaper way to live), we looked for some ways in which the adult industry can -- and already is -- making our sexual world and the world of adult entertainment as green as the Grinch's ass.


Green Filmmaking


"You can, in any line of work, bring in green thinking," actor and independent filmmaker Larry Fessenden (Wendigo, Habit) says in a phone interview. Fessenden was far ahead of the eco-friendly curve when he wrote Low Impact Filmmaking, A Practical Guide to Environmentally Sound Film & Video Production in 1992, a book that is now, appropriately enough, available online.


"Even something as simple as printing a script on both sides of the page," can make a difference, he says. And adult films are already a model of the industry. "There's a certain minimalism to porn," Fessenden says. "There's no large emphasis on the script, so not a lot of paper waste ... not a lot of effort made in terms of location or set building. Or costumes." He's joking ... somewhat.


"Another thing about porn ... it's found primarily on the Internet, which is the most eco-friendly delivery system of entertainment, as opposed to manufacturing and shipping DVDs." Some of Fessenden’s advice for Flynt and friends to go eco includes "make sure there's a good recycling program for his magazines," and when asked if passing them around would work, he goes me one further and suggests having them bound for future generations to enjoy. "Pick up green advertising," he says, and feature "more nude recyclers ... nude people building wind farms."

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California vintners in the Napa Valley area, which primarily produce Pinot  Blanc, Pinot Noir and Pinot Grigio wines, have developed a new  hybrid grape that acts as an anti-diuretic.

It is expected to reduce the number of trips older people have to make to the bathroom during the night. 

The new wine will be marketed as:




Just Trying To Make Sense

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