All articles, tagged with “go boom”

It’s On


If anyone needs me between the hours of 9pm and 3am tonight, I will be very, very drunk.

Thank you.

ah, family


“I could never tell my grandfather,” Knox allegedly replied; “It would kill him.”

The alleged speaker? Jennifer Knox, currently running for a district court judgeship in North Carolina.

The thing she can’t tell him about? That she’s living with another women.

Her grandfather, who not incidentally is campaigning for her?

Jesse Helms


Bloomberg to Little People: Drop Dead

For a good chunk of the last few years, I’ve been — relative the the standards of my general peer group, anyway — something of an apologist for the Bloomberg administration. It would be a stretch to call me a supporter, but I didn’t feel like the city was being particularly ill-served by him as a Mayor, and I even approved of a few of his initiatives. It basically boiled down to:

  • After Giuliani, anyone could appear calm and reasonable in comparison.

  • Selfishly, I like the smoking ban.

  • The NYC Democratic party ran a disgracefully incompetant campaign, and apparently still needed a wake-up call after 8 years of Giuliani.

  • …and Bloomberg campaigned as, and seemed largely to be, a Republican-in-name-only, to wit:

  • A billionaire businessman Republican who was willing to ram through a 20% property tax increase in response to a budget deficit (thus actively pissing off his natural political constituency in the name of fiscal responsibility) was my kind of billionaire businessman Republican.

Well, the last six months have been a harsh jab in the face from reality in re all that. Mayor Mike might personally be far to the left of the national Republican Party, but he’s still chosen membership in that Party, with all that it entails.

First, we had (and continue to have) the insane plans for a sports arena on the west side. We’re closing schools, raising subway fares and closing fire stations, but apparently we have half a billion dollars to hand to the New York Jets.

And then, when the Party bigwigs came to town, they didn’t even have to pull on his leash to bring him to heel, and he was more than happy to bring us the lasting shame known as Guantanamo on the Hudson. Then, to add insult to injury, it was seriously mooted to keep it open after the convention.

This is all old news, of course: I’m mostly just posting this to let a few friends know: you were right, I was wrong. Never trust the fuckers. Ever.

The thing that happened to remind me that I needed to post this was a much, much smaller issue, but one that (to my tiny trainspotting heart anyway) perfectly encapsulates the arrogant, disconnected and incompetent nature of the Bloomberg adminstration even when they are doing something nominally good:

This week, you see, was the 100th Anniversary of the New York City Subway. The MTA has been having a pretty bad year of it, what with being caught completely faking their financials and having back-to-back fare hikes. A little positive news, a little focus on the subway’s happy history would be just what the doctor ordered. And so, as part of the celebration, they briefly re-opened the famous Old City Hall Station, an architectural masterpiece that has been closed to the public for nearly sixty years…

…opened it, that is, for an un-announced-to-the-public private party of City Government figures, MTA honchos and press, who were entertained by MTA employees dressed up in 1905 period clothes. Only when the assorted dignataries had left were any mere citizens let into the station, which was held open for all of two and a half hours, closing promptly at 4:30 lest anyone with an actual job outside of the City Hall area get any silly ideas about seeing part of their city’s history and cultural heritage.

The Bloomberg ethos in a nutshell: it’s our city, you plebes just rent here.

In the 1970s, many insolvent cities faced the threat of governmental takeover by state and federal authorities if they didn’t fix their budgets. If the NYC Democratic party can’t actually get their act together enough to sweep this gang of idiots out of office in 2006, the national party should consider doing something analogous and putting the city party into receivership.

stranger than science fiction…

Everyone is now officially wondering: what’s that weird bulge on Bush’s back?

(from, click to enlarge)

Well… I think I read that book already…

Maybe that pretzel did more damage than we thought? It would certainly explain the President’s chronic balance issues.


I’ve always been unduly pleased with myself for hating Maureen Dowd before it was cool, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do it too. Don’t think of it as following the crowd, think of it as coming slightly late to a party that’s just getting started, and where everyone wants to buy you drinks.

Why does MoDo still have her job? Inquiring minds want to know, so why not ask?

(Sorry, evidence of Dowd-hatred on my part prior to 2004 not only predates this blog, it predates blogging. You’ll just have to take my word for it.)

all the news that fits…

Okay, perhaps I was too hasty. After all, I’ve worked in the news biz myself, and I know that the morning headline choice can be a dicey business: you’ve got a lot of stories to choose from, each of which represents hard labor by one or more people who have a lot invested in the lead spot. Sometimes you just blow it and make the wrong choice. Nothing to get upset over: you dust off, accept a few ribbing emails from your competitors, and fix it in the afternoon edition.

Right? Right?

Well, maybe not…

The New York Times:

The Washington Post:

The BBC News Online:

The Wall Street Journal:


And for a point of comparison, here’s Fox News, the unabashed GOP booster and administration mouthpiece:

Now admittedly it’s a bit of a tossup which story in that layout is the “lead,” but it seem to me fairly visually obvious that the big center block represents the breaking story, while the left block is “Ongoing Convention Coverage Which of Course We’re Flogging Mercilessly Because Otherwise Rupert Would Feed Us to the Alligators.”


(Incidentally, if anyone could refresh my memory as to whether CNN did this during the Democratic convention, I would be most appreciative.)

satire’s death rattle

Listening to Nixon speak sounded more like a breath of fresh air.”
— Arnold Schwarzenegger, Governor of California, live on national television last night

Snark fails. Hell, snark curled up into a ball and started sobbing just from attempting to contemplate it.

Past the cut, courtesy of the indispensible Brad DeLong, a few foul gusts of what Ahnold found to be fresh air…

Nixon:…This is what I want. I have a project that I want somebody to take it just like I took the Hiss case, the Bentley case, and the rest…. And I’ll tell you what. This takes—this takes 18 hours a day. It takes devotion and dedication and loyalty and diligence such as you’ve never seen Bob….

Nixon:… Now do you see what we need?… I really need a son of a bitch like Huston who will work his butt off and do it dishonorably. Do you see what I mean? Who will know what he’s doing and I want to know too. And I’ll direct him myself. I know how to play the game and we’re going to start playing it.

Nixon: When you get to Ehrlichman now, will you please get—I want you to find me a man by noon. I won’t be ready until 12:30—a recommendation of the man to work directly with me on this whole situation. Do you know what I mean? I’ve got to have—I’ve got to have one—I mean, I can’t have a high-minded lawyer like John Ehrlichman or, you know, Dean, or somebody like that. I want somebody just as tough as I am for a change…. These Goddamn lawyers, you know, all fighting around about, you know—I’ll never forget….

Nixon: These kids don’t understand. They have no understanding of politics. They have no understanding of public relations. John Mitchell is that way. John is always worried about: “Is it technically correct?” Do you think, for Christ’s sake, that the New York Times is worried about all the legal niceties? Those sons of bitches are killing me. I mean, thank God, I leaked to the press ?during the Hiss case??]. This is what we’ve got to get—I want you to shake these [unintelligible] up around here. Now you do it. Shake them up. Get them off their Goddamn dead asses and say, now, “That isn’t what you should be talking about.” We’re up against an enemy, a conspiracy. They’re using any means. We are going to use any means. Is that clear?

Nixon: Did they get the Brookings Institute raided last night? No? Get it done. I want it done. I want the Brookings Institute’s safe cleaned out and have it cleaned out in a way that it makes somebody else responsible….

All from Stanley L. Kutler, ed. (1997), Abuse of Power: The New Nixon Tapes (New York: Free Press: 0684841274), pp. 7-8.

We Distort. You Comply.

My morning ritual is a pretty simple one: sit down at my desk with a scone and a tall cup of iced coffee, pull down the “News” folder in my bookmark bar, and read through the headlines on half a dozen news sites.

The contrast, some mornings, is instructive. Behold, today’s crop of lead headlines:

The New York Times:

The Washington Post:

The BBC News Online:

The Wall Street Journal:


You know, I don’t lightly stop reading any news source: I’m a news junkie and not afraid to admit it. And conservative bias isn’t enough to turn me away: I happily read the Wall Street Journal and the Economist. But what I will not put up with is having my time deliberately wasted.

“President’s wife thinks he’s swell.” For this, Ted Turner got $87 Million?

Mars or Bust

Not much political commentary recently from this corner, because, well, christ, what’s to say? We’re not even three months out from the election and we’re already hip-deep and sinking in slime. What, you thought that this election might feature informed, passionate debate about the dozen or so crucially important issues facing the country right now?

Yeah, well, I did too: call it the last remaining traces of the Dean Reality Distortion Field. As a result, the last month has been one of those ones where I can barely bring myself to skim over the print news, and can’t even approach the TV: it’s the Pit of Despair, and it makes me want to throw myself out the nearest window. Swift Boats? Purple hearts? Are you fucking kidding me? Did Afghanistan and Iraq both turn into parlimentary democracies and join the EU while I was asleep? Did the budget get balanced? Was Osama captured yet? Can we just try to pretend like we’re giving a shit here?

But today? Today I am feeling better. Because I have been given the Best Pep Talk Ever, courtesy of the inimitable Atrios‘s comment section. I reproduce it for you here, verbatim, on the theory that you, my readers, could use some bucking up too.

For the best effect, imagine this in the voice of R. Lee Ermey after a six-day ether bender:

What a bunch of wussie boys. You better gird your loins: we have another 67 days of this shit. Did you forget that Bush has the office of the presidency, the ability to lie his ass off, Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, $200 million dollars, and of course the media whores?

Did you think this was going to be easy?

Put your fucking backs into it, get busy, send lawyers, guns or money. Do Something.

Mars, my little bitches!

Can I get an amen? Do I hear a “yes, Lord?”

Actually, screw the amenning, just send cold, hard cash. Send it here, here, here or here.

Mars, my little bitches!

the show that never ends

Via the evil geniuses at Crooked Timber, a link to something that I had not previously known existed:

The New York Times Election 2000 Florida Recount-O-Matic

No, seriously. It’s a little web application that lets you set your own criteria for determining elegible votes, and see who would have been counted the winner in a full, state-wide recount based on you selection.

(It is perhaps historically relevant here to mention that there never was a full, statewide recount of Florida in 2000: for tactical reasons that seem awful dumb in retrospect, the Gore campaign requested recounts in only a few select counties, and even those recounts were disrupted by organized, imported rioters. But hey, you know, water under the bridge.)

Here’s the fun part: as the CT commentator noted, if you apply the seemingly-reasonable standard of “optical ballots filled out correctly; unanimous assent by observers on recounted ballots, three corners punched out on hanging chads”, George W. Bush appears to have won Florida by…two votes. Don’t think that’s a reasonable standard? Pick your own, and have endless fun hectoring people at cocktail parties about how your standard of counting is obviously the only rational one.

In the meantime, if you yourself are a resident of Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, or any other state where the election is likely to be fully contested this year, it might be a good idea to make certain that everyone you know is registered. It would be an even better idea to wander down to your local Board of Elections and volunteer to help out come November.