WaPo with teh funnee

From the WaPo:

We in the media are sometimes accused of letting liberal bias subtly slip into our writing and reporting. That accusation is calumny. We are dispassionate observers and seekers of truth. All we do is ask questions.

Today’s question: Is George W. Bush the worst president in American history?

from the last paragraph:

About the president’s mangling of the English language: “It reminds me of stale bean soup, of college yells, of dogs barking idiotically through endless nights. It is so bad that a sort of grandeur creeps into it . . . It is rumble and bumble. It is flap and doodle. It is balder and dash.”

That’s HL Mencken writing about Warren G Harding. The more things change…

What we get for our trouble, pt 2

Alterman, in the column that may have gotten him fired:

Who would have imagined in their worst nightmares that these political usurpers would employ the human catastrophe of 9/11 to continue the terrorists work for them? Who would have imagined that they would embark on a course that would eventually kill more Americans than died on 9/11 in wars that do nothing to ensure the nation’s security but much to inspire more Arabs to hate us and wish to attack us? Who would have imagined they would dissipate the global solidarity and support the world had offered us? Who would have imagined that, having ignored all of the signs of a certain attack, they would continue to ignore the most obvious steps to protect us against future catastrophe, leaving our ports, our nuclear facilities, our chemical facilities invitingly unguarded? Who would have imagined that they would willingly allow bin-Laden to escape? Who would have imagined they would lie to the rescue workers about the health effects of the air they were breathing. Who would have imagined that they would put the fate of the nation in the hands of a group of lying, conniving, rats like “curveball,” Ahmad Chalabi and the INC? Who would have imagined a political campaign in which a man like Max Cleland, a man who lost three limbs in Vietnam, would be branded as insufficiently patriotic by right-wing politicians and pundits who never sacrificed so much as a chicken dinner for their country? Who would have imagined they would use homeland security as pure pork money, doling out millions for Red State fire houses while leaving tens of millions who live near obvious targets—and were attacked last time—unprotected? Who would have imagined they would emulate our enemies, employing methods of torture and massacre? Who would imagine they would force our brave soldiers to die fighting phantoms, without even proper body armor? Who would have imagined they would outlaw photographs of military funerals, or that the president could not find time to attend a single one of them? Who would have imagined they would use the attacks to create a domestic spying regime, a series of secret prisons and tribunals, and the declare the right to abrogate any and all American civil liberties whenever it struck their fancy? Who would have imagined, in other words, that they would exploit these tragic deaths to seek to undermine our Constitution, our Bill of Rights, indeed the very foundations of the same “freedom” that allegedly inspired the terrorists in the first place? And finally, who would have imagined that our vaunted “liberal media” and nonpartisan political establishment would cheer them along the way, failing to ask the difficult questions and attacking the patriotism and even sanity of those with the courage and foresight to do so?

What we get for our trouble

Five years after 9/11, and this is the White House’s gift to the country, via Billmon:

So we would appear to be set for a classic showdown this fall: The Rovian propaganda-based reality versus the rest of the world’s reality-based reality, with the voters as the judges and the corporate media elites as the referees-on-the-take. The last few rounds should be bloody, and most likely downright vicious, in the Mike Tyson, bite-off-your-opponent’s-ear sense of the word.

Shame is a liability in the pursuit of absolute power. Clearly that’s a lesson that Democrats (thankfully, I guess) can’t seem to remember, and the Rove-right never forget.

Happy 9/11 Day, America. Had enough?

Not Sucking up to Sasha

I actually really, really like his band, though I must admit that I am little sad that James Lo no longer plays with them. James Lo was in the band Chavez, of whom I was a huge fan.

Sasha’s band is called The Sands, and they actually seem to me to have some elements of Built to Spill, only with several years of living in The City to toughen them up a little.

Good stuff- challenging but not annoyingly esoteric.

If any Sands members happen to read this, When’s the tour?

David Horowitz, we’ve found your soul twin

From CNN:

Iran’s hard-line president urged students Tuesday to push for a purge of liberal and secular university teachers, another sign of his determination to strengthen Islamic fundamentalism in the country.

With his call echoing the rhetoric of the nation’s 1979 Islamic revolution, Ahmadinejad appears determined to remake Iran by reviving the fundamentalist goals pursued under the republic’s late founder, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.

Ahmadinejad’s call was not a surprise — since taking office a year ago, he also has moved to replace pragmatic veterans in the government and diplomatic corps with former military commanders and inexperienced religious hard-liners.

Iran still has strong moderate factions but Ahmadinejad’s administration also has launched crackdowns on independent journalists, Web sites and bloggers.

Speaking to a group of students Tuesday, Ahmadinejad called on them to pressure his administration to keep driving out moderate instructors, a process that began earlier this year.

Dozens of liberal university professors and teachers were sent into retirement this year after Ahmadinejad’s administration named the first cleric to head Tehran University, sparking strong protests from students.

Purging Universities of Liberal Faculty? Who ever HEARD of such a thing? Yet another indication that Ahmadinejad is an ideologue- an enemy of freedom of expression and academic inquiry! The man must be stopped!

When we do it here, it’s different!

It’s the little things that get me excited

This photo is a story-

first, there’s a 35 pound watermelon. Yes, that’s 35 ACTUAL pounds of melon. I don’t know how I am going to chill a melon that large. I am probably gonna have to get some sort of washtub or something and 40 pounds of ice.

In this photo is my 50 pound bird dog and my finger, because I was so ridiculously excited that I shot this photo with my phone, something I almost never do, so I was kind of a clumsy dork about it.

Thanks, Neil, for the seeds. I have five more of these melons, too, btw. I think we’re going to have to throw a watermelon and homemade ice cream party this weekend.

Country living… it ain’t too fast, but it’s not too bad, either.

While I am sharing videos

I discovered this today:
There is a song by French hip hop artist Disiz Le Peste called “J’Pete les Plombs.”

‘J’Pète Les Plombs’ means, literally, “I pop the lead,” which is French slang for “I am blowing a fuse,” since the element of the old style fuses was made of lead, and was designed to burn out before a surge of current gets into the house and burns up all the wires and/or the whole house. It’s something that some French people say meaning “I am about to lose my mind,” and it is also the title of the current Disiz la Peste album, probably the best French hip hop record of 2005.

here is the video for ‘J’Pete Les Plombs,’ which you will notice is a parody of the film ‘Falling Down.’

I was writing to a friend in the UK today and explaining the phrase “J’Pete Les Plombs” and that’s how I ran across this. (Thanks, Google!)

Big ol’ fascinating world, isn’t it?

hey, I know that backup singer!!

I think that’s Kelly Hogan, formerly of An Evening with the Garbage Man and The Jody Grind, singing backup vocals with Neko Case on Letterman-

Kickass. Go, Kelly!

Nice to see old friends doing well.

You want to talk about people who “speak dog,” Kelly was one of the best dog owners I have ever known. She had a pit bull terrier named Chainsaw (who was the sweetest little puddle of dog you ever met) and some sort of Jack Russell mix named Augie in the years after Chainsaw passed. They were great dogs and she doted on them.

She likes to do a little fishing, too, as I recall.