Josh on fire today

Max, 2008/08/31 

Josh Marshall at TPM has a couple of very well written pieces today; one on TrooperGate that does a great job of explaining what really happened and destroys the growing CW that this was no biggie because she was trying to get a really bad guy fired. What happened is she fired a really good guy for not firing a bad guy. If the facts bear out his interpretation she clearly abused her powers as governor.

Getting Real About Palin

The second piece is on the big picture and what this really says about McCain’s judgment. The big story here is not that Palin is unfit for the office of VP- though that seems obvious- but that McCain has again demonstrated that he lacks the judgment for the top spot.

Big Picture

F the French

Max, 2008/08/30 

It’s nice I’m not looking for a job anymore so I can put shit like this on my blog.

McCain Chooses Palin as Running Mate

raison detre, 2008/08/29 

there goes a portion of the hillary vote.  silly women.

Brin on The Speech

Max, 2008/08/28 

More from favorite Kossack of late:

It truly was a pivotal moment in American politics. About half of my (minor) reservations about BHO were settled by this speech — and by the way he handled the entire convention. For example, I counted six times that he referred to science and technology as pressing national needs. Once, my friends, is perfunctory. Twice is policy. Six times is a call to action. That wasn’t for political impact — (what fraction of the TV audience cared?) — but an expression of perceived importance.

My remaining quibbles are mere motes that I can wave aside for other times, after the republic is saved and conditions return for normal argument. What matters is that I know this fellow will do the basic things that I want and need, simply by ejecting knaves and traitors and thieves from their grip over our throats and wallets, and allowing civil servants and officers to do the jobs we hired them to do.

That, alone, would expose most of our wounds to cleansing air and light. Even just that would save us. (And why wouldn’t he unleash professionals from the oppression of political hacks? One aspect of Obama that no pundit has mentioned: he has probably the shortest list of political IOUs in the history of the nation. I mean, whom does he owe? However long a list you make, any other pol will have one many dozens of times as long.)

All the rest — the policy corrections, the return to international sanity and resumed faith in negotiation (international and domestic), a soothing of division and a return to ambition for new endeavors — all of that is just frosting to me.

Still, the prospect of a genius — without JFK’s or Clinton’s flaws — might be an alluring one. If I let myself believe…

The Dalai Lama on Change


For our dispirited Republican friends…

In order to find happiness you must realise that everything is transient. Simply put: everything will pass away or change. That is what life is: change. We have a choice when it comes to dealing with change. We can either accept it or not accept it. If we choose the first option we take life as it comes, look at this moment and see the facts, our mind state and our feelings that are before us and move on from there. If we resist we do not accept the situation, mind state and our feelings and we go against what is (reality). This brings suffering.

The choice is clear. Obama or suffering.

Worth a repost. Yes We Can.


A truly inspiring moment deserves a truly inspiring piece of art. As much artistry as there is in the performances and editing of this video, it is all built on the back of a great piece of art in the original speech that helped to propel this movement. You can say a lot of things about Obama, but one thing that is rarely heard is that the man is a true artist. Yes. We. Can.

Strange Clouds At The Edge Of Space.


Nasa, by way of ndoc2:

August 25, 2008: When in space, keep an eye on the window. You never know what you might see.

Last month, astronauts on board the International Space Station (ISS) witnessed a beautiful display of noctilucent or “night-shining” clouds. The station was located about 340 km over western Mongolia on July 22nd when the crew snapped this picture:


Atmospheric scientist Gary Thomas of the University of Colorado has seen thousands of noctilucent cloud (NLC) photos, and he ranks this one among the best. “It’s lovely,” he says. “And it shows just how high these clouds really are–at the very edge of space.”

He estimates the electric-blue band was 83 km above Earth’s surface, higher than 99.999% of our planet’s atmosphere. The sky at that altitude is space-black. It is the realm of meteors, high-energy auroras and decaying satellites.

What are clouds doing up there? “That’s what we’re trying to find out,” says Thomas.

People first noticed NLCs at the end of the 19th century after the 1883 eruption of Krakatoa. The Indonesian supervolcano hurled plumes of ash more than 50 km high in Earth’s atmosphere. This produced spectacular sunsets and, for a while, turned twilight sky watching into a worldwide pastime. One evening in July 1885, Robert Leslie of Southampton, England, saw wispy blue filaments in the darkening sky. He published his observations in the journal Nature and is now credited with the discovery of noctilucent clouds.

Scientists of the 19th century figured the clouds were some curious manifestation of volcanic ash. Yet long after Krakatoa’s ash settled, NLCs remained.

“It’s a puzzle,” says Thomas. “Noctilucent clouds have not only persisted, but also spread.” In the beginning, the clouds were confined to latitudes above 50o; you had to go to places like Scandinavia, Siberia and Scotland to see them. In recent years, however, they have been sighted from mid-latitudes such as Washington, Oregon, Turkey and Iran:



Dark Knight PSA’s.

byronius, 2008/08/27 

Batman and his best buddy, the Joker, talk about bike safety.

Watch the whole series. These are great.

Thanks For This, Alex.


This gentleman is loud and proud, and he doesn’t stop, not once. I don’t agree with everything he says — but a lot of what he says is absolutely true, and the rage boiling over concerning the right wing’s nonchalance about the torture of children roils within me as well. Michelle Malkin is a poisonous voice spreading darkness, and I’m pleased to see her being called to account for it, publicly. She deserves every bit.

Rush “The Conscience of the Republican Party” Limbaugh needs a good dose of this as well. His calls for riots in the streets of Denver would be actionable offenses if not for the cover the Bush Justice Department (Not) provides for a vast array of illegal GOP activites.

Malkin’s calling for the military’s arrest and internment of liberals is not illegal — but the backlash is apparently discomfitting.

More to come.

Sadly, No!

At The Quicky Mart.

byronius, 2008/08/25 


I just want to relate this; I think the point, speaks for itself.

I was at our local Quicky mart today, in line to pay for my gas. There was a fairly long line, and as I often do waiting in long lines, I grew bored. I checked out the candy on the isle next to me, noting the new ‘Pop Rocks Chocolate Bar’ while casually wondering how the hell they came up with that, when I noticed the woman in line in front of me had a pin on her bag that said “Obama/Biden ’08.”

I should preface this by stating that I live in a small southern Midwest town, there is a church on every other corner, and it is a rather Republican/conservative leaning area. We’re not quite the ‘South’ – but close.

Anyway, Biden was only announced as Obama’s VP pick yesterday, so I wondered how she got the button so fast – was she psychic, perhaps? I quickly decided that probably, she was not, so I went ahead and asked her.

“Hey, where’d you get your button? I want one!”

“I made it myself – they sell a kit at Walmart in the crafts section.”

“Cool!” I said. “I might have to pick one of those up myself.”

We started chatting about what a great pick Biden was, when the two of them walked into the store like a foul breeze, cutting right through the line without so much as an ‘excuse me,’ and made their way towards the soda coolers at the back of the store.

A nice looking couple, probably early 40’s, well dressed – I’ll just refer to them as ‘Ken’ and ‘Barbie.’ Right as they were barging through the line, I was saying to the woman with the button, “I am really excited about Obama – I can’t wait to see what he does once he takes office!”

Hearing this, Ken turned his eyes on me and snorted in disgust. Not one to back down from a challenge, I said, somewhat haughtily, “What – you have a problem with Obama?”

He stopped walking, turned on his heel, fixed me with a withering gaze, and said, rather loudly, “Like we’d ever elect a black guy as President.” He promptly turned on his heel, and stomped off towards Barbie.

I was only third in line at this point, and when the man said this, the line in front of me, and behind me, stirred a bit. No one said anything, and we could hear Ken and Barbie mumbling to each other over at the coolers.

It was then that I noticed the clerk. His eyes were smoldering, his mouth set tightly. He excused himself from the customer in front of him, and walked to the back of the store.

I don’t know what he said to Ken and Barbie, as he kept his voice low. But they left without buying anything, hackles up, and squealed their tires when they pulled out of the parking lot.

The clerk came back to the counter and resumed his duties. None of us in line said anything.

When I got in front of him, I commented about how rude Ken and barbie had been, and gently asked him what he said to them.

He said, “I told them to get out of my store.” He took my cash and rang in my purchase. “I own this place; I’m covering for an employee who couldn’t work today. And I don’t tolerate racism in my store.” He handed me my change, advised me to have a nice day, and turned his attention to the next customer, giving me the impression he did not want to talk politics.

I’ve thought about this all day, and I can’t decide if Ken and Barbie just didn’t notice that the man behind the counter was African-American, or if they felt so powerful and righteous that they didn’t care, and said what they said totally on purpose. Either way, it was quite nice to see them put in their place…just wish I’d have done it…

I expect to see more and more of this as the election nears. I’m being tailgated and swerved at and glared at for my bumper stickers far more than in past elections; I sense a deep fear within the ranks of racists. This election appears guaranteed to bring out the worst in the troglodytes among us.

Part of me is just astonished that they’re all still walking around.

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