March 28, 2009

More Cloris... much more... shall I blot my lipstick first?

The marriage proposal — an example.

The new school "no tolerance" policy: no touching!

"They said the new policy means no high-fives and hugs, as well as horseplay of any kind."

"All hail Althouse!"

I'm #1... if you count it like this.

"You might be smart enough to play chez Althouse, but you have got to try much harder. Get out of the boys' club..."

"... and see if you have what it takes. Don't be a pussy."

I'm stirring up the comments over at Bloggingheads. Thought you'd like to know.

Cloris Leachman had epic sex with Gene Hackman and would have had sex with Ed Asner if he'd lost 3 more pounds.

The secrets, revealed at long last.

And by the way:


via videosift.com

Spam.

The comment spam has been awful these last 2 days. I'm talking about robotic commercial spam — in Chinese characters linking to commercial websites — not annoying trolls or anything. I hate to turn on comments moderation, because it disrupts the flow, but I may have to. I can't spend an hour a day deleting comments.

ADDED: I saw that it's possible to turn on moderation just for older posts, which is where the problem is, so this is a great solution for now.

The compact fluorescent bulbs scam.

At some point the light bulb over your head should go on.

Incandescently.

"I inhaled. Frequently. That was the point."

Here's a folky political protest song (via Nick Gillespie, who's not amused by Obama's flippant response to the marijuana question the other day):

In Britain, police target 200 children as potential terrorists.

Outrageous or quite justified?
The ["Channel project"]... asks teachers, parents and other community figures to be vigilant for signs that may indicate an attraction to extreme views or susceptibility to being "groomed" by radicalisers....

"One of the four bombers of 7 July was, on the face of it, a model student. He had never been in trouble with the police, was the son of a well-established family and was employed and integrated into society.

"But when we went back to his teachers they remarked on the things he used to write. In his exercise books he had written comments praising al-Qa'ida. That was not seen at the time as being substantive. Now we would hope that teachers might intervene, speak to the child's family or perhaps the local imam who could then speak to the young man."...

Once identified the children are subject to a "programme of intervention tailored to the needs of the individual". Sir Norman said this could involve discussions with family, outreach workers or the local imam, but he added that "a handful have had intervention directly by the police"...

"We are targeting criminals and would-be terrorists who happen to be cloaking themselves in Islamic rhetoric. That is not the same as targeting the Muslim community."

"It's an unnatural act for a human being."

"When you see Shane jump off a cliff it's impossible not to be overwhelmed by it."

"Lost ... control of the van"? I don't think so.

"A 29-year-old pregnant woman [Ysemny Ramos] was killed Friday in Manhattan when a van driver who was catcalling her and a co-worker lost control and plowed into them, police sources and witnesses said.... Cops arrested Keston Brown, 27, of the Bronx, and charged him with driving while intoxicated and possession of marijuana. Sources said Brown... was flirting with the women while driving by them. When they spurned him, he lost his temper — and control of the van, they said."

March 27, 2009

Harry Reid just called Chief Justice John Roberts a liar.

"Roberts didn’t tell us the truth. At least Alito told us who he was. But we’re stuck with those two young men, and we’ll try to change by having some moderates in the federal courts system as time goes on — I think that will happen."

***

1. Senator Reid, you need to quote the transcript of Roberts's confirmation hearings. What, exactly, are the lies you are talking about? I want citations, so I can check your assertion that Roberts was deceptive. Until I see the relevant quoates, my position is that you, Senator Reid, are the liar.

2. Apparently, the judges whose opinions track your political positions are, in your book, the "moderates." That is the lesson I think you are trying to teach people. It is a lesson that undermines the integrity of law. It goes right along with Barney Frank's recent, despicable assertion that Justice Scalia is a homophobe.

3. We're stuck with Harry Reid.

IN THE COMMENTS: Chip Ahoy said:
This post moves me to open Photoshop like a force of nature asserting itself as it does in Fargo, inexorably, ineluctably, unrelentingly, compellingly. Goth Reid:

Tweeted out.

Tired of Twitter. I find I haven't tweeted in a while, and I'm not going to force myself. This was probably my last tweet:
I think I may have stopped tweeting. I'm a blogger not a tweeter.
Responses:
OrinocoPat@annalthouse Obviously

drawncutlass@annalthouse Shades of Dr. McCoy! Damnit, Jim, I'm a blogger, not a tweeter!

rhymeswithwhen@annalthouse Truly a distinction, I think. I can tweet all day long, but blogging wears me out.

Lawyer_Tom@annalthouse Quitters never win, Ann. We are like your tweets. Don't go!
I'm not a twitterer. I'm a quitterer.

And what do you mean, you are like my tweets? You are infrequent and short? Sporadic and stingy?

To blog is to create a place for people to visit. I love that feeling. I have many visitors. Come into this room that is my new post and say what you like. Be interesting. Hang out with us!

On Twitter, there's just an endless trickle of trivia and that vague feeling of obligation to dribble into the trickle from time to time. But what is it to me? It's not a place where I am. It's that thing over there.

I want to be here.

ADDED: "The trouble with Twitter":
James T. Kirk: SPOCK! WHAT IS GOING ON HERE!

Spock: It appears that your computer has been infected and overrun by twitters.

Dr. Leonard McCoy: What in blue blazes is a twitter!

Spock: It was a primitive form of communication in the early twenty first century normally engaged in by adolescent boys in the basement of their parent’s homes....
More at the link.

Have some.

DSC_0008

(Thanks to Irene and Ray.)

(Candinas Chocolatier.)

Justine Lai paints herself having sex with each of the Presidents, beginning with George Washington.

"I am interested in humanizing and demythologizing the Presidents by addressing their public legacies and private lives. The presidency itself is a seemingly immortal and impenetrable institution; by inserting myself in its timeline, I attempt to locate something intimate and mortal. I use this intimacy to subvert authority, but it demands that I make myself vulnerable along with the Presidents. A power lies in rendering these patriarchal figures the possible object of shame, ridicule and desire, but it is a power that is constantly negotiated."

"Not only is the Obama administration planning on freeing some detainees on U.S. soil..."

"... it is also going to pay them to live here."

Oops.

Good.

If you were getting married, would you want a wedding?

If you had a wedding in the past, do you wish you'd skipped it? Do you wish you'd scaled it way down? OhioAnne thought I should ask — a propos of my impending — to use the word everyone seems to want to use — nuptials:
How many would do what they did again if given the choice? How many wanted to do it in the first place?

Personally, the last thing I want to have to think about on such a day is whether the DJ showed up or not. I would opt for my fiancee, the minimum witnesses required by law and the officiator. (I have no kids, but, if I did, I would add them - especially if they could function as the witnesses.)

Then I would go on an extended honeymoon in a warm location.

Six months or later, I would have a party for the masses to thank them for the well wishes. Hopefully, it could double as a housewarming party.

I love my family, but the focus on the day should be on two becoming one — not on making some nameless relative happy about who they are seated next to on the occasion.
I think honeymoons should be questioned as well. So much pressure! And you're exiling yourself in a strange place, away from everyone you know, wondering whether you chose a resort with the ideal romantic scenery and obsequious staff. Personally, I love normal life, really seeing and experiencing the details of it, and the cool thing about being married should be that you are sharing it with the one you love.

As for that wedding, we're talking about a second marriage for both of us, and we're pretty old. I don't think I could put on a good enough show to justify forcing a lot of people to travel, dress up, and celebrate or give the impression of celebrating, and I don't see the fun in putting myself in the position of wondering whether I need to fret about whether I can. Some people who read my blog (or watch me on Bloggingheads) might think I'm a glutton for attention, but why do you think I've found such satisfaction in on-line expression? Putting classroom teaching to the side, I'm no exhibitionist. I live a very private and unusually secluded life here in my remote outpost in Madison, Wisconsin.

A sign in the law school...

DSC00006

March 26, 2009

Natural breast appreciation art.

In China.

The crusader.

Crusader

(Another pic from Ted's Toys.)

IN THE COMMENTS: Joan said:
I looked it up, wondering if it might be a suitable stand-in for Jeanne d'Arc, but that's too much of a stretch. If it had been closer, I would've asked if I could borrow it for my profile picture.

Chip Ahoy says:
Photoshop for you, crusader figurine Jeanneified.

"She is hot in the way she is not detached, shows her emotions, seems often to say whatever comes into her mind..."

"...gets publicly and quickly agitated, yet at the same time in the midst of this hotness, keeps cooly her private self to herself, reveals only what she wants to reveal, does not make a complete exhibition of herself, and is, I believe, both calculated and spontaneous, if that’s possible, about her outbursts and her feuds. An example of that is her going teasingly public about her pending marriage yet being selectively guarded about her fiancée. That hot cold tension is consistent with her apparent openness to getting *married* on this site, where a fairly meaningless (to her) ceremony and a site on the blogosphere beget each other, and she can maintain her commitment to a certain measured trashing of public/private distinctions, such as in vouching for increased public kissing."

From an interesting comment on that Bloggingheads called "Love in the Time of Commenters." Written by one Itzik Basman, who — for good or ill — has partaken of the media philosophy of Marshall McLuhan.

Mickey Kaus leaks a JournoList thread.

We've discussed JournoList here before. (Remember? It seemed to trigger Ezra Klein's bizarre tweet that there were "a lot" of anti-Semitic commenters on my blog.) There are 300 journalists hanging out with each other on the list. Is that a bad thing? Are they coordinating their stories, losing their independence and sharp edge? Well, they aren't so coordinated that they can all keep the list secret, and here's what Mickey got hold of. They seem pretty tedious and unattractive. I don't mind if they keep it private, very private. That said, if there's anything on the JournoList about me — some scurrilous charge of anti-Semitism, perhaps — please pass it on.

ADDED: "The JournoList Sure Has A Lot Of Anti-Semitic Commenters."

"I love you Barack Obama!" exclaims Stevie Wonder...

... in the middle of a cool medley on "American Idol." He also exclaims: "I love you 'American Idol!'" What song was that? Need to Google some words. Something about taking a pill that would make us sisters and brothers? I find this Popular Science "Geek Musician" interview:
I have this song that I wrote which is called All About the Love Again… And it says:

What if someone made a soda that caused everyone to love each other.
Ummm, oh yeah, sounds good, so good to me
And if just a tiny pill would make us see that we're all truly sisters and brothers
Ummm, oh yeah that sounds so nice to me

POPSCI: Is there anything you would ask president Obama to make a priority?

WONDER: You know, obviously there are so many things going on in the world and so many people coming at him about everything, because they think that it can all happen just like that.

So I'm just taking a low profile…And at the right time, I will give him the information that I have to share and introduce him to the people who reaching out to make a better condition for those who are physically challenged--whether they are blind, deaf or paraplegic or quadriplegic or whatever that might be.

"An 18-year-old has secretly painted a 60ft drawing of a phallus on the roof of his parents' £1million mansion in Berkshire."

"It was there for a year before his parents found out. They say he'll have to scrub it off when he gets back from travelling."

Marijuana "ranked fairly high," says Obama, who was presumably not high...

... when he said: "I have to say that there was one question that was voted on that ranked fairly high, and that was whether legalizing marijuana would improve the economy and job creation. And I don't know what this says about the online audience..."

And you must be high if you think Obama will legalize marijuana.

***

Famous old quote: "Pot had helped, and booze; maybe a little blow when you could afford it. Not smack, though."

The 3 Stooges movie will have the perfect Larry.

Sean Penn!

(Jim Carrey is Curly and Benicio Del Toro is Moe.)

IN THE COMMENTS: Balfegor said:
Why would someone even think a 3 Stooges remake would be a good idea? It would be like remaking something by Buster Keaton, or Charlie Chaplin -- the pleasure isn't in the concept or the plot or witty dialogue, it's in who's doing it, and their skill at slapstick and physical comedy, no?

Well, now, wait. What about this?



The original:

"This is an experiment... an exciting opportunity for me to look at a computer and get a snapshot of what Americans across the country care about."

Obama and his computer and us.
As of Thursday morning, more than 71,000 people had submitted more than 77,000 questions. Taking a page, perhaps, from reality television shows like American Idol, the White House has asked Americans to vote on their favorite questions; nearly 3 million votes have already been cast.

I have some questions: How can we make government more like "American Idol"? What other reality TV shows could government be patterned after? Could we — "Survivor"-style — be empowered to vote one person out of Washington D.C. each week?

It was a long journey.

IMG_2405

(Thanks to Bill Korte for sending me this picture of Meade. It's really him. In 2005.)

"He makes you see what you take for granted. And we do that in our houses. We do that in our marriages. We do that with our children."

"He has ability to stop time and let you see it and to remember why you fell in love with it."

Adam Lambert sings "The Tracks of My Tears."

Discuss: the Elvisification, the falsetto...

ADDED: I love Smokey at 0:38 going "America! Look at my face!"

Should the President be working harder?

Excuse me if I don't find this as charmingly cute as the NYT does.

IN THE COMMENTS: Freeman Hunt said:
"Mrs. Obama and her staff also visited Miriam’s Kitchen, a soup kitchen, where the first lady bumped into Bill Richardson, a 46-year-old homeless man. Mr. Richardson was so stunned that he could barely stammer thank you as Mrs. Obama scooped a helping of mushroom risotto onto his plate this month."

LOL Okay, so it's not that Bill Richardson, but the mental image was still funny.

AND: Glenn Reynolds answers my question — Should the President be working harder? — "I think he should take as much time off as he wants."

Rodrigo Díaz says:

Can you imagine the OUTRAGE, had GWB been this person with the brewski? The country is going to hell… This ass hat at a B-Ball game.

"You probably shouldn’t generalize from a single data point."

Indeed.

How bad and good can one man's luck be?

March 25, 2009

"Woman called Nutt over-run by squirrels."

Oonagh Nutt says: "Up close they are quite frightening - they look like puppy dogs with big hands, they growl and bark at you, they're vicious things. They'll go for you."

"Love in the Time of Commenters."

On Bloggingheads, Bob Wright wants to know all about what's been going on. Topics:
Ann gets engaged to one of her blog’s commenters
Is the internet full of shy, lonely men?
Are women always in it for the man’s money?
Ann accuses Obama of excessive frivolity
Should we be more freaked out about the economy?
Reviving the Althouse vs. BhTV commenter rivalry
I'll update with some juicy clips soon.

ADDED: The first clip, in which Bob speculates that Meade might be my sockpuppet. The clip ends with a surprising offer.



AND: I shock Bob with a very personal revelation:



AND: "All your commenters woo you, Ann."



AND: The test for how much you need to kiss in public:



IN THE COMMENTS: Mortimer Brezny said:
See? This is why Mortimer Brezny stopped blogging. He came on this damn blog to woo Ann into marrying him and all it got him was mockery from Trooper York and into flame wars with Simon Dodd. (For which I apologize, Simon.) Then some other commenter steals Mr. Brezny's idea and succeeds. I mean, all the defending I did of Ann was totally just a vain and pitiable attempt to get in the knickerbockers! Who cares about what Ron Bailey thinks! And it's Meade! Oh man, I could have put in so much less blogging effort! Gaaah! I mean, I threw Jessica Valenti through a plate glass window for Ann! And I broke her leg with a pipe! I mean, talk about full frontal feminism!

But at least this bloggingheads diavlog clears some things up. Ann is not dominant in her personal relationships. I guess that kills it, Simon. It kills it for me. I mean, I had fantasies, man. Mortimer had dirty, filthy fantasies. Mortimer came to the meetups to score, man! It hurts! The wooing I did here! The hardcore woo action that I put out here! I was devoting it up in here. I am fulminating with rage! Rage and fulmination and fire and brimstone! I mean, if I can't have Ann, no one else should! That is the cosmic rule, doesn't everyone KNOW that?

Anyway, I'm not a shy guy. I don't have any problems meeting women. I just use e-harmony. That's where the real sluts are. But, truly heartbroken. I am. Truly.

So: congratulations and stuff. To the happy couple. This post has all been performance art. Now I must go weep. And, I better get frontpaged for this crap.

Barney Frank: Justice Scalia "makes it very clear that he's angry, frankly, about the existence of gay people."

"If you read his opinion [in Lawrence v. Texas], he thinks it's a good idea for two consenting adults who happen to be gay to be locked up because he is so disapproving of gay people."

Well, Barney, I have read that opinion many times, and I know that you are either lying about having read it, lying about what Scalia wrote, or an embarrassingly incompetent reader. Here is the key passage:
Let me be clear that I have nothing against homosexuals, or any other group, promoting their agenda through normal democratic means. Social perceptions of sexual and other morality change over time, and every group has the right to persuade its fellow citizens that its view of such matters is the best. That homosexuals have achieved some success in that enterprise is attested to by the fact that Texas is one of the few remaining States that criminalize private, consensual homosexual acts. But persuading one’s fellow citizens is one thing, and imposing one’s views in absence of democratic majority will is something else. I would no more require a State to criminalize homosexual acts–or, for that matter, display any moral disapprobation of them–than I would forbid it to do so. What Texas has chosen to do is well within the range of traditional democratic action, and its hand should not be stayed through the invention of a brand-new “constitutional right” by a Court that is impatient of democratic change. It is indeed true that “later generations can see that laws once thought necessary and proper in fact serve only to oppress,”... and when that happens, later generations can repeal those laws. But it is the premise of our system that those judgments are to be made by the people, and not imposed by a governing caste that knows best.
That's plain old deference to the democratic process and a resistance to creative interpretation of constitutional text. There is nothing — absolutely nothing — to support the proposition that Scalia thinks it's a good idea to lock up gay people. It's the usual notion that judges shouldn't be basing their decisions on whether they think a statute is a good idea or not. It's the same point made by Justice Thomas (who, Frank says, is not a homophobe):
I write separately to note that the law before the Court today “is … uncommonly silly.” Griswold v. Connecticut, 381 U.S. 479, 527 (1965) (Stewart, J., dissenting). If I were a member of the Texas Legislature, I would vote to repeal it. Punishing someone for expressing his sexual preference through noncommercial consensual conduct with another adult does not appear to be a worthy way to expend valuable law enforcement resources.

Notwithstanding this, I recognize that as a member of this Court I am not empowered to help petitioners and others similarly situated. My duty, rather, is to “decide cases ‘agreeably to the Constitution and laws of the United States.’ ” And, just like Justice Stewart, I “can find [neither in the Bill of Rights nor any other part of the Constitution a] general right of privacy,” ibid., or as the Court terms it today, the “liberty of the person both in its spatial and more transcendent dimensions,” ante, at 1.

Did you watch the Obama press conference? Me neither.

I'd had a busy day and wanted some trashy TV. I was irked that the Prez preempted "American Idol." So I watched last week's "Idol," which I'd missed when I was off on Spring Break. Today, the transcript is printed, for easy skimming, in the Washington Post. Skim along with me. Or let me skim for you:
... no quick fixes... no silver bullets... comprehensive strategy... jump-start job creation and put money in people's pockets... yesterday, I met with a man ... a tax cut to 95 percent of all working families... renewable sources of energy... there was a lot of outrage and finger-pointing last week... I'm as angry as anybody... the rest of us can't afford to demonize every investor or entrepreneur... We'll recover from this recession, but it will take time... let's look towards the future.... we're doing everything we can to reduce that deficit... All right? Thank you, everybody.

Crushed by Madoff: a dream of immortality through architecture.

Arakawa and Madeline Gins believed "that people degenerate and die in part because they live in spaces that are too comfortable. The artists' solution: construct abodes that leave people disoriented, challenged and feeling anything but comfortable." But they're victims of the Bernie Madoff scam, and they've had to close up shop.
They build buildings with no doors inside. They place rooms far apart. They put windows near the ceiling or near the floor. Between rooms are sloping, bumpy moonscape-like floors designed to throw occupants off balance. These features, they argue, stimulate the body and mind, thus prolonging life. "You become like a baby," says Mr. Arakawa....

Nobutaka Yamaoka, who moved [into a Gins-designed apartement] with his wife and two children about two years ago, says he has lost more than 20 pounds and no longer suffers from hay fever, though he isn't sure whether it was cured by the loft.

There is no closet, and Mr. Yamaoka can't buy furniture for the living room or kitchen because the floor is too uneven, but he relishes the lifestyle. "I feel a completely different kind of comfort here," says the 43-year-old video director. His wife, however, complains that the apartment is too cold. Also, the window to the balcony is near the floor, and she keeps bumping her head against the frame when she crawls out to hang up laundry, he says. ("That's one of the exercises," says Ms. Gins.)
Reminds me a little of this:



Anyway, is your life too comfortable? Is your comfy home aging you a bit too rapidly? Do you need a confusing building to drag you back to the challenges of babyhood?

Financial security is also a comfort of modern life. Perhaps it too is making you old.

Arakawa and Madeline: Why don't you welcome the discomfort wrought by Bernie Madoff? Why not rejoice at the rejuvenation?

And everyone: Revel in whatever disorientation comes your way.

"Wipe that f-----g s--t off your face."

Said the manager of the New York Palace Hotel to the bell captain on Ash Wednesday.

March 24, 2009

"Barack Obama extended the olive branch to Iran's leaders last Friday in a videotaped message praising a 'great civilization'..."

"... for 'accomplishments' that 'have earned the respect of the United States and the world.' The death of Iranian blogger Omid-Reza Mirsayafi in Tehran's Evin prison two days earlier was, presumably, not among the accomplishments the president had in mind."

"I cannot for the life of me understand why anyone who ever read her blog would want to meet her in person let alone marry her..."

A commenter over at Roy's place. Roy himself is being okay.

"When the argument turned to such First Amendment horrors as banning books..."

"... banning Internet expression, and banning even Amazon’s book-downloading technology, Kindle, the members of the Court seemed instantly to recoil from the sweep of arguments made by Deputy Solicitor General Malcolm L. Stewart."

I can't wait to read the transcript of the argument in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission. It sounds as though Stewart may have made an advocacy blunder of historic proportion.

***

And how cool that Kindle got into the argument! I don't like my Kindle — because I need a sharper contrast (black on white) screen to feel good about it — but I love the technology of downloading books and want it to succeed. I would love to see this kind of technology unlock the Court's thinking and send it in the direction of greater freedom of speech.

ADDED: Here's the transcript (PDF). Justice Kennedy brings up the Kindle:
And I suppose it could even, is it the Kindle where you can read a book? I take it that's from a satellite. So the existing statute would probably prohibit that under your view?... Just to make it clear, it's the government's position that under the statute, if this Kindle device where you can read a book which is campaign advocacy, within the 60-30 day period, if it comes from a satellite, it's under -- it can be prohibited under the Constitution and perhaps under this statute?
And here's the NYT report on the argument:
The [government's] lawyer, Malcolm L. Stewart, said Congress has the power to ban political books, signs and Internet videos, if they are paid for by corporations and distributed not long before an election.

Mr. Stewart added that there was no difference in principle between the 90-minute documentary about Mrs. Clinton, “Hillary: The Movie,” and a 30-second television advertisement.

Justice Anthony M. Kennedy said the government’s uncompromising position could have dire consequences for the McCain-Feingold law.

“If we think that the application of this to a 90-minute film is unconstitutional,” Justice Kennedy said, “then the whole statute should fall under your view because there’s no distinction between the two?”

Mr. Stewart said the two kinds of communications should rise or fall together, so long as each satisfied a test set out by the court in a decision in 2007. That decision said restrictions in the McCain-Feingold law applied only to communications “susceptible of no reasonable interpretation other than as an appeal to vote for or against a specific candidate.”...

Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. asked... whether a campaign biography in book form could be banned. Mr. Stewart said yes, so long as it was paid for with a corporation’s general treasury money, as opposed to its political action committee.

“That’s pretty incredible,” Justice Alito said.

Justice Alito replaced Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, an author of the 5-to-4 decision upholding the McCain-Feingold law in 2003.
So then, the question, I presume, is: How badly will the government lose?

AND: From Dahlia Lithwick:
Oh, Malcolm Stewart. Malcolm Stewart. With your Macbeth-y first name and your Macbeth-ier last name. You did not just say the government might engage in a teensy little bit of judicious, narrowly tailored book-banning, did you?

... Stewart clarifies that it wouldn't be banned, but a corporation could be barred from using its general treasury funds to publish such a book and would be required to publish it through a PAC.

The chief justice seeks to clarify that this would be so even in a 500-page book with only one sentence that contained express advocacy. Stewart cheerfully agrees. The chief justice wonders whether this would apply even "to a sign held up in Lafayette Park saying vote for so-and-so." Stewart doesn't quite say no.

A picture I didn't take.

mail-1

Cool. Wow. Thanks.

"I look up, waiting for my friend, the one infused with love. There she is. See the tip of her blond head?"

"Oh, but wait, there’s another couple in love. Wow. It’s everywhere."

***

I love kissing in public. Come on, everyone! Do it today! Do it until somebody yells "Get a room!"

"As a general proposition, I think you certainly don’t want to use the tax code … to punish people."

Doesn't Obama deserve some points for moderation on this one?

IN THE COMMENTS: Jason (the commenter) wrote:
That's not what Obama said.

"And as a general proposition, I think you certainly don't wanna use the tax code to punish people."

Note that the ellipsis in the article seems to be indicating a confused pause. It does not indicate that part of the statement is missing.

Also, look at what Obama is saying.

"And" (there was a whole bunch more before we came to this statement)

"as a general proposition" (qualifying statement)

"I think" (qualifying statement)

"you" (not "I")

"certainly" (a double qualified certainly)

"don't wanna" (we often have to do things we don't WANT to do)

"use the tax code to punish people" (way at the end)

Drudge vs. Obama.

This is a particularly sharp composition of photo and headline. Drudge at his best.

The scourge of bachelorette parties in gay bars.

"The gay men are there because, well, they don't want to be around a lot of women"/"Gay men don't go to gay bars because we don't want to be around women."

Hey, Dan, he said "a lot."

***

Do I need to make an "a lot" tag?

***

Thanks to Peter Hoh for emailing that link.

"Obscene, but absolutely hilarious."

According to Right Wing News.

Okay, now I know what's right-wing hilarious. And I'm a little scared.

Especially the part that got me thinking about egg salad.

IN THE COMMENTS: The wonderful Bissage:
I can’t watch the video right now. I’m probably not the only one, so let’s see if something else might suffice:

Bill Bennett walks into an upscale D.C. nightspot and is surprised to see Pat Buchanan sitting at the bar eating an entire chicken. He watches in amazement as Mr. Buchanan tears into the hapless bird and doesn’t stop until all that remains is one chicken wing.

Mr. Bennett says, “You know, Pat, I can’t help but notice you ate that entire bird except for the right wing.”

Mr. Buchanan wipes the slobber and chicken bits from his face and says, “Well, there’s a reason for that but it has nothing to do with my right-wing political inclinations.”

And with that, the ghost of William F. Buckley appears out of thin air and kicks them both in the balls. They double over in agony and fall to the floor. Mr. Buckley sits down at the bar and orders an egg salad sandwich.

The End.

March 23, 2009

The Spring Break Nostalgia Café.

DSC00014

"Are you punch-drunk?"

Asks Steve Kroft as Obama keeps giggling.

(And what's wrong with Kroft? He sounds drunk.)

"It’s complex decisions, the ones that involve lots of information, that benefit the most from unconscious emotional processing."

"The conscious brain can only handle a very limited amount of information at one time — seven digits, plus or minus two. Unconsciously, however, you can process tons of information. It’s these complex decisions — like choosing a car, an apartment, or a leather couch — that often require the rational brain to turn off to some degree."

Jonah Lehrer on how we decide.

Could he do a Bloggingheads with Justice Scalia?

***

And here's the Bush/Obama part:

So if our gut is best at weighty decisions, a leader ought to think, “Should we go to war? Yeah, I’m feeling pretty good about this”?

Well, here’s the big caveat, and this is maybe the main distinction between Obama and Bush. There’s been extensive research over the last few decades about the danger of certainty, about believing you’re right. What that causes the brain to do is ignore all the evidence that suggests you’re wrong. We clearly tend to filter the world to conform to our ideology, to our preconceived notions. So if I had to identify one flaw of the Bush administration, it’s not that simply Bush trusted his gut instincts or that he was a “decider.” It was that he and his entire administration fell victim to the certainty trap. And I think you saw that very clearly with the Iraq war and WMDs. They believed they knew that Saddam Hussein had them. And so they ignored lots of relevant evidence and dissenting voices telling them that there were no WMDs. It wasn’t simply his gut instincts that led him astray, it was the fact that he didn’t seek out those dissident voices. And that’s a very natural human flaw, one of the frailties of the human brain. It’s also why liberals watch MSNBC and conservatives watch Fox News. It’s nice to have one’s beliefs reinforced. But it’s dangerous when leading a country.

"From the Mixed Up Twitter Files of Ashton E. Kutcher."

More evidence that — as previously noted — Twitter screws with your ethics.

Andrew Sullivan: "There’s a case for feeling that Obama is floundering."

"[T]wo months after a president has taken office in the middle of a global financial and economic crisis, as he grapples with two unending wars and a battered constitution, the whole idea of a definitive judgment is loopy. It’s also likely to be wrong."

Obama's immensely exuberant fan struggles as his idol deflates. Steady now. Obama was always only a man...

Does Obama not know who's president of France? Or is he intentionally insulting Sarkozy?

"'I am certain that we will be able to work together, in the coming four years, in a spirit of peace and friendship to build a safer world."

Written to Jacques Chirac.

The suicide's baby commits suicide (at the age of 47).

"[Sylvia] Plath’s suicide in effect froze her children in time so that in the public memory they remained a one-year-old and a two-year-old lying in their cots, carefully sealed off from the gas leaking over their mother in the room next door. [Ted] Hughes did everything that he could to shield them from the increasingly lurid interest in their mother and did not tell them that she had killed herself until they were teenagers."

Self-murder and its aftereffects.

"While this crisis was caused by banks taking too much risk, the danger now is that they will take too little."

Geithner's plan.

ADDED at 8:52 a.m. Central Time: Politico:
Overheard: A conversation between two reporters at the White House after Tim Geithner's morning pen and pad briefing.

"I survived Geithner. I can survive anything," one reporter said.

"He didn't exactly instill confidence, did he?" the other responded

But the stock market is up. Right now at least.

For the annals of anti-Althousiana.

It's Jesse at Pandagon. I clicked his profile. Jesse Taylor. But no picture. I wanted a picture because it seemed really relevant to the issue at hand. So I did a Google image search and came up with this:



Not so sure I want to pick a fight with him.

ADDED: Actually, the blogger Jesse Taylor looks like this. You can do your own snark. I'm living on love.

Looking ahead.

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It's better with 2:

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Lucky 13.

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Has Friday the 13th been good to you this year?

March 22, 2009

500 miles later, I'm back in Madison.

Did you understand the previous post? If not, the answer — along with much congratulations and debate — appears in the comments, notably here. Let there be no doubt about it: A blogger — Althouse — is engaged to be married to a man who began his connection to her as a commenter on her blog. After 4+ years of writing at each other, we met in real life and found real love.

ADDED: Here I am on July 25, 2008, expressing a near obsession with solitude:



IN THE COMMENTS: An Edjamikated Redneck says:
My congratulations to you both!

My only concern is whether Ohio has gained a Law Professor, or has Wisconsin gained a good Ohio man?

Or has Indiana gained the betrothed?

Although 250 miles one way is a long commute.

Later, he says:
I just heard that Xavier (in Cincinnati, but no law school) beat Wisconsin in the NCAA.

Guess that answers my question!

Goodbye to Cincinnati.

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It's been lovely.

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Scenic.

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Beautiful.

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Classic.

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"Why Do Liberals Hate Ann Althouse?"

The conservative GayPatriot asks:
The thing I don’t get about this hatred of Althouse is that she is kind of like the South Park of blogging. She’s witty, directing her snark at pretty much anything she finds amusing. Is is that leftists in the blogosphere today are so humorless so self-righteous that they can’t abide the least bit of mockery, criticism or a combination of both?

Or, maybe it’s since they don’t have George W. Bush to kick around any more, they’ve decided to start going after prominent blogresses?

Perhaps it’s something else. Maybe Klein has a case of ADS (Althouse Derangement Syndrome), a syndrome afflicting partisans who can’t understand how a blogress can gain a following without subscribing to any ideology.
What they don't get is that I am a pure blogger, really a blogger, showing you what blogging is. I don't think they really are bloggers. I don't think they really are journalists either. I'm called deranged or whatever when I'm riffing in a bloggerly style that they obviously don't understand or appreciate. They are journalists posing as bloggers, mucking up their journalism and simultaneously writing dull blogs.

"Unless and until Barack Obama addresses the full depth of Americans’ anger with his full arsenal of policy smarts and political gifts..."

"... his presidency and, worse, our economy will be paralyzed."

Frank Rich says Obama's "Katrina moment" is here.

"An intense, 6-month campaign of Predator strikes in Pakistan has taken such a toll on Al Qaeda..."

"... that militants have begun turning violently on one another out of confusion and distrust... The pace of the Predator attacks has accelerated dramatically since August, when the Bush administration made a previously undisclosed decision to abandon the practice of obtaining permission from the Pakistani government before launching missiles from the unmanned aircraft. Because of its success, the Obama administration is set to continue the accelerated campaign despite civilian casualties that have fueled anti-U.S. sentiment and prompted protests from the Pakistani government."

Another opportunity for me to use my "Obama is like Bush" tag. Would Obama have initiated this, or does he simply have the sense to continue it?

"The media have exploited her and she has exploited them, and it seems to have worked very well for both of them."

The reality TV star, Jade Goody — dead at 27.

"Meta question. Is a tweet the equal of a blog post as cause for offense to be taken?"

"For a tweet, it's pretty normal to mention an association that pops into your head, while for a post one would want to conduct some research." Asks Ben Masel.

So Twitter is a special place for bullshit and lies?