8/30/2004 06:30:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Dispatch from planet Kos What do you make of this?
I magically found myself with an RNC Guest Pass today (moohoohoohaahaa), and so I made my way toward the Garden, herded along with many, many, hot, pissed-off New Yorkers. Eventually, security stripped away layers of the great unwashed, leaving me strolling along the sidewalk with GOP delegates and other various soul-sucking creatures from the depths of hell.

As we waited to get through the final barricade before crossing 7th and going into MSG, a man guiding a wheelchair against the crowd called out.

"Excuse me... excuse me..." he shouted "Democrat coming through."

Now, I don't know if the crippled old man in the wheelchair was an actual Democrat or not, but I do know what the asshole behind me (O'Reilly wannabe pictured at right) shouted back.

"The river's right over there. Why don't you go dump him in for us."

The author of the post uses this as proof of Republican evil. I say ... what kind of dick wheels past GOP delegates yelling "Democrat coming through"? No one's blameless in this.

|W|P|109390523208177465|W|P||W|P|8/29/2004 02:52:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Moored I think the RNC delegates are uninformed - Michael Moore is not going to raise hell while acting as our columnist. The most he's ever done to cause a ruckus has been confront Republicans (Newt Gingrich at a parade, congressmen on the Hill) and ask them flustering questions. My bet - and my hope, since I'll be at the office waiting on the columns - is that he'll use the mainstream forum to bring his ideas into the mainstream. |W|P|109380563041231336|W|P||W|P|8/29/2004 02:18:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Protests The NYC protests being broadcast on C-Span are enlightening and cool - especially because C-Span doesn't censor anyone, so you can clearly hear people enunciating their opinions on whether we should "FUCK FOX NEWS" or "FOX NEWS SUCKS." I wonder what Greg Palast would make of this, too? He's always harping on how Venezuela's dissidents are rich white folks who don't deserve our support. The crowd I'm watching now is whiter than bleached sand, and most have either digital cameras or cellphones recording the happy dissidence around them. |W|P|109380368770062964|W|P||W|P|8/27/2004 01:46:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Submit Buffy season seven available on Amazon RIGHT NOW. Possibly the worst season, but it's got sick bonus features. I use "sick" in the non-perjorative, Valley Girl sense. |W|P|109362885331302849|W|P||W|P|8/27/2004 01:32:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Best article ever This is getting to be a pattern. |W|P|109362797206071204|W|P||W|P|8/27/2004 01:31:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Best post ever As I was saying, best post ever. |W|P|109362791650798504|W|P||W|P|8/27/2004 01:23:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Nader on a roll I'm not sure what's funnier - that Nader is seen here saying what he'd do for Iraq as president, or that twenty-fucking-five people showed up to hear this. Look at the photo! I typically got audiences bigger than that when I appeared in debates at school as the editor of a weekly student paper. |W|P|109362765781532745|W|P||W|P|8/26/2004 01:38:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Nader's chances of becoming president are slim. Well, of course. But here's even more proof. As of now, Ralph is not going to appear on the ballot in some of the most populous states. That means his overall popular vote is pretty much doomed to sink below 2 percent, and more importantly, it means he is not competing in states worth a total of 218 votes. To win, you need 270. If Nader is kept off the ballot in, say, Florida, Washington, Mississippi and Kentucky, there is no scenario in fantasy or science fiction that would let him win the White House. |W|P|109354239015847764|W|P||W|P|8/26/2004 01:11:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|They suck because I want them to suck and I DON'T SUCK! I expected something embarrassing from this WSJ story on RNC bloggers after it was linked by Pandagon. Quoth Jesse:
And is it just me, or do many of them seem kind of...dickish? First, it was that all bloggers did was push gossip and innuendo. Now, it's all about how all we did in Boston was provide coverage of who we saw and the celebrities we ran into. Both were (and are) grossly unfair overgeneralizations.
Let's go to the tape!
- July 25 - Well, I'm blogging from here as Matt Stoller metapictoblogs (Jesus, the words we come up with) me writing here. It's strange to see these reporters up close, first thing. Many of them are much tinier than I thought - Wolf Blitzer is a short man. - July 26 - Okay, so as virtual nobodies, we've learned a valuable lesson. Knowing about parties does not garner you a way in to parties.

Perhaps the most important lesson of this convention, bar none. I really need to get in someone important's pants by Tuesday in order to actually meet people - at this rate, I'm going to be reduced to hoping that someone shows up at one of the events I've already been invited to. I'll even take a Utah Democrat, I swear! ...

This morning there was a blogger breakfast, one of the series of events that has been inexplicably dedicated to the awesome power of the blogger. Barack Obama and Howard Dean spoke (I even got to ask Howard a question, which I'll get to later), as well as an AP reporter now blogging and one of Kerry's old shipmates from Vietnam.

I'm just kind of spaced out now, but a few media impressions - Al Franken literally performs when he does his radio show, even with a media horde in front of him. Sean Hannity is a dick, but Jesus is he an ebullient dick - and he almost bumped into me, which might have started an incident. Actually, from an informal poll of bloggers, I really don't think anyone would have thought that reflected poorly on me. Again, we're excitable gossip-mongers, so take that as you will.

Apparently, there's an interview set up with David Brock at some point - I'm also trying to get a few reporters and Democrats on the tip. There's also some ruminations on the point of blogging at the convention, etc., but right now I just need to do this data dump. - July 27 -

Besides Googling ourselves, the main activity of the day has been trying to set up interviews with people. I was on Michael Signorile's show at about 3:15, and then tried to get over and meet with Ohio Rep. Marcy Kaptur. She didn't show, nor did Gov. Ed Rendell of PA.

It's the first "serious" day of the convention, with people showing up much earlier. So far, the list of pass-bys includes Bill Schneider, Jesse Jackson, Charlie Rangel, Sean Hannity (a-fucking-gain), Barack Obama, and Bob Graham. None of this really matters since we can't actually get anyone to speak to us yet...but we're working on it.

- July 29 -

The internet just erased my entire goddamn post on the party last night, but suffice to say that I left that party a virtual Goodwill store in footwear, because the shoes and socks were charmed off of everyone in that place.

Okay, I shouldn't say that - I never got to talk to Eric Alterman, so I think I can rest assured he left the party with his tootsies covered and warm. Everyone else was rueing me...but in a genteel, appreciative way. ...

I'll be on the Daily Show tomorrow, most likely, getting mocked by Ed Helms. That was my goal of the convention, and I accomplished it. It's me complaining a bit about the DNC and getting access to people, and basically getting mocked for being a sexless nerd who's not all that important.

In other words, I'll be on the Daily Show. And I will probably look like shit. But I'll have a lot of fun doing it.

Jesse's coverage is all in that link, and it's pretty bog standard. Not awful, but certainly too ordinary to justify a swipe at these RNC bloggers-to-be.

|W|P|109354094228172123|W|P||W|P|8/24/2004 02:43:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Tough questions Lisa di Moraes's write-up on Kerry's upcoming Daily Show appearence is a little off.
Arsenio Hall did not ask tough questions, which Stewart does, we pointed out. If Kerry wants late-night softball questions, might it not be better to book him on Jay Leno's show?

"Unlike President Bush, [Kerry] answers hard questions and, unlike Bush, he's running a positive, issues-oriented campaign and has encouraged young people to vote and not to stay home" on Election Day, the spokesman shot back.

Actually, Stewart only asks hard questions of politicians he wants to nail, like Henry Bonilla. When anti-Bush folk come on the show, Stewart is as tough as a sofa bed. Hell, the producer says they're going to ask Kerry why the media is so easy on Bush. For more tough questions, see Stewart's golly-gee Bill Clinton interview.

|W|P|109337331617887802|W|P||W|P|8/24/2004 02:19:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Bring your daughter to the slaughter A specious post by John Derbyshire had been bugging me for some time, and a search for something else turned up a blog post debunking the hell out of him. |W|P|109337169875353947|W|P||W|P|8/24/2004 12:47:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Paul Waldman is a twit Exhibit A. Exhibits B, C, D. |W|P|109336635024708416|W|P||W|P|8/23/2004 03:34:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|"True" crime After playing 2/3 of the way through it this weekend (judiciously using my breaktimes between work on a new article), I can recommend Luxoflux's True Crime: Streets of LA heartily. Basically, it's Grand Theft Auto with you cast as the cop. Same engine, same opportunities for consequence-free violence, but a plot that casts you as a badass detective on the hunt for Russian and Chinese mobsters. The game's gritty and realistic, for the most part. On the other hand ... when you progress as far as I have, you encounter a creepy Chinese drug lord and opt to enter his lair. Inside his kitchen you encounter ... a zombie. And then you descend through a series of caverns into hell, wherein you face floating demon heads, phantom concubines, and a dragon. This weirded me out. I conclude that True Crime is either 1.)a little bit silly when it comes to crimefighting realism or 2.)the first action game that sends its hero on missions after he's doused with LSD. |W|P|109329628171843417|W|P||W|P|8/23/2004 10:56:00 AM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Take care of your photos I almost didn't want to blog this, but I figured writing it down might let me get over it. About 16 months ago, I hung out with Bob Pollard of Guided by Voices after a concert. At one point I pressed him for a picture together - as I snapped it, he gave the finger in a perfectly amicable way. Later, looking over my digital pics, I saw that it was kind of blurry - distinguishable, but fuzzy. I put it on my computer anyway. This weekend, I'm remembering that I'm buying the band's new record this week and seeing them in three weeks. I check my files for that picture - nothing. Have no idea where it is. It's possible it was misnamed and deleted. My immediate reaction to this is disappointment. Of course. Pollard is probably my favorite songwriter these days - it felt like I was elevated, having a picture of us together. I'm not the type who pushes for a setlist or waits around after the show, and it seemed like I'd not get a connection to the band like this again. But on reflection, it might be an opportunity. After all, this wasn't a perfect picture. If I'd held onto it, I might have been satisfied with its quality and not stuck around after the show I'm going to see in three weeks. But losing the picture has added this sort of urgency to my fandom. Now I'm going to haunt the 9:30 club, hang out afterward, and really let go of my neuroses and get another picture. |W|P|109327353984235882|W|P||W|P|8/22/2004 12:00:00 AM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Obama'd! This is funny. Chicago Tribune poll:
Obama 65% Keyes 25%
And what if Jack Ryan was still in the race?
Obama 60% Ryan 31%
I voted for Ryan in the March primary and I'd vote for him again if he ran in a primary against Keyes. It's redundant, at this point, to discuss how dumb the IL GOP is. |W|P|109314748259070264|W|P||W|P|8/21/2004 04:48:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Movie Review: Open Water Just like being lost in the middle of the Atlantic, complete with six idiots in the 15th row who won't shut the fuck up. |W|P|109312137608984925|W|P||W|P|8/20/2004 02:33:00 AM|W|P|Dave|W|P|I'm convinced: the Mexicans must go! John Derbyshire offers incontrovertible evidence of the depravity of illegal aliens. Why, in that picture, one fellow is grabbing his crotch! And John Derbyshire doesn't support that sort of filthy behavior. |W|P|109298388225963874|W|P||W|P|8/18/2004 11:19:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Submit! You know, most Buffy fans' chief complaint about the show's final season was that it gave too much attention to the Buffy and Spike arcs, and not enough to the other characters - Willow, Anya, Xander, Dawn. They were thrown some bones in the first half of the season, then completely faded as the conclusion crept up. So what does Fox DVD put on the cover of the season collection? They're mocking us. |W|P|109288594738278388|W|P||W|P|8/18/2004 09:09:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Macomber's back Shawn Macomber returns from his honeymoon with a fine book review. Ok, one more Spectator tidbit. The editors are definitely more partisan than I am. I'm a Ron Paul conservative - thus, I take party politics with a grain of salt roughly the size of Lot's wife. If I was writing about Daily Kos candidates for David Weigel Magazine my article would have been 5000 words and included parallels to the Christian Coalition's candidate lists and analyses of the ways this stuff might really, truly tilt politics to the left in the next few years, or how conservatives might use it. But different magazines have different slants. Voila. Now let's talk about The Beatles or something. |W|P|109287834805632737|W|P||W|P|8/18/2004 12:55:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Krugerrands For David Camper Van Beethoven. New album in 8 weeks. All is well. |W|P|109284826902261175|W|P||W|P|8/18/2004 10:24:00 AM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Partisan hackery More partisan crap from the presumably Scaife-funded Fort Collins Coloradoan.

Even in a year when Colorado boasts a competitive Senate seat and John Kerry looks to claim the state in his presidential run, the 4th District has been eerily quiet.

"This remains a very safe Republican seat," Denver pollster Floyd Ciruli said of the district that sprawls across the Eastern Plains and south to the New Mexico border.

Registered Republicans outnumber Democrats by 60,000 in the district, which seemingly has moved to the right over the years.

The Coloradoan endorsed Al Gore in 2000. Anyone have internal memos on that they can send to Markos Moulitsas Zuniga?

|W|P|109283938108521318|W|P||W|P|8/17/2004 11:23:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Mine mine mine I got this for $40 today. Why haven't you? And consider - Goodfellas by its lonesome is $20. If you like that movie, you can pick up 4 others for $5 each. |W|P|109279961142382755|W|P||W|P|8/17/2004 09:23:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|And then again Kos found an dumb error in my article, which I've emailed the brass to fix. Total fuckup on my part. I attributed a quote to a guy who emailed me and missed the email's note on who the quotes should have been attributed to. Thank god this is the internet - it should be corrected immediately. UPDATE: It's been fixed. I notified the mixed-up guys in question, so all is well. The rest of Kos's post is predictable: Scaife-funded wingnut rag ... completely ignores ... regardless of what Weigel tries to imply ... partisan hack press. But he did something interesting. Kos e-mailed one of my sources and got him to reproduce the answers he gave me to my interview questions. Kos then claims I misrepesented the source, who "was quite effusive in his praise of the netroots." Now, I take it seriously when I'm told I misused a quote. What happened here? I asked if there were "seats today that the DCCC did not expect to be in play 6-8 months ago?" Bonham said yes - his examples were Diane Farrell (CT-4), Melissa Bean in (IL-8), Patty Wetterling (MN-6), Ginny Schrader (PA-8) and someone in NY-27. Kos reads this and writes:
Now look at that question and answer email again, and try to find where Bonham says or even implies the DCCC "has a different view of which candidates are running winning campaigns". Heck, we clearly have similar views regarding several campaigns, including Schrader, Lois Murphy, Richard Morrison, and Jim Stork (which Weigel completely ignores).
Only one of those candidates was mentioned by Bonham, and I didn't write about Ginny Schrader because her case is a one-off - the Republican opponent retired from Congress a few weeks ago, turning her from into a token candidate to a contender. My article was about the DKos8 - none of whom were pumped up by Bonham in this email. More to the point, my article was about some Kos and liberal blog-supported candidates who were running long-shot campaigns. Now, I might have been better off saying the DCCC "SOMETIMES has" a different view. But it's a Mr. Fantastic-style stretch to say I misrepesented Bonham's comment here. Kos is tagging me for not appraising candidates X,Y and Z when I was discussing candidates A,B, and C. I'm not happy with the tone the piece eventually took. But I wasn't writing the "blogs are awesome!" puffery that Kos et al are used to. Not gonna apologize for that. |W|P|109279368083920756|W|P||W|P|8/17/2004 05:32:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|V X-Entertainment's Matt has one of his 50,000 word exegeses on V.
Since the Visitors don't want Earth to work alone in an endeavor meant to serve them, they send down oodles and oodles of troops to help. Pretty brilliant way to get thousands of armed troops in someone else's territory without raising suspicion. Alternatively, humankind in V is 10% trusting and 90% fucking stupid.
A good read. |W|P|109277871464625671|W|P||W|P|8/17/2004 04:48:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Fighting kook with kook A Kos poster aims to dissemble my (non-existent) Scaife ties by posting to an article on the man - from the Executive Intelligence Review. What's that? Glad you asked. |W|P|109277591809973571|W|P||W|P|8/17/2004 12:07:00 AM|W|P|Dave|W|P|The forces of darkness I have a new article up at the American Spectator, on liberal internet fundraising and the unlikely candidates that are benefitting from it. The piece turned out a bit snarkier than I set out to make it, and I hope it's not dismissed for that - the campaigners I talked to were very smart and serious. But the campaigns are definitely not the type that we political junkies are used to. This leads me to my perennial gripe: I am a very green journalist with a day job. Why am I looking into these congressional races - which may have a huge impact on the next two years of politics - while "Inside Politics" and National Review and the like are salivating over national polls and Alan Keyes and the Kerry swift boat book? UPDATE: Tabin's up, too. Read it. UPUPDATE: Comment thread on Daily Kos. I didn't choose the article's title, but I think it's clear that it's a play on Jim Newberry's internet ad - where he refers to Republicans as "the forces of the night." Other than what I said above, I've got no qualms about the article. UPUPUPDATE: One of the candidates, Jeff Seemann, comments.
They dare to mock your dedication to my campaign (and many other campaigns who you have supported this cycle). They laugh and spit right in the faces of people who send my campaign 20 dollars, comparing it to throwing your money away. The people who have given my campaign a contribution did so because we share common values that will make this country a better place.....and now they're going after you, the people who encourage me to run for Congress. That's low and lacking in class.
I've got the feeling that Seemann is just ginning up his DKos donor base, which is fine. I'm also amused at my inauguration into the hate-Clinton conspiracy - I like Bill Clinton. He's a pretty smart candidate, and I'd be surprised if he doesn't run strong for this seat when Regula retires in 2006 or 2008. |W|P|109271606351318122|W|P||W|P|8/16/2004 11:19:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Monbiot on Nader Pro-misery Guardian columnist George Monbiot has predictably inane commentary on the Nader '04 campaign.
Just about everyone on the left [has] been urging the voters in swing states to choose John Kerry. Their argument, of course, is that Kerry is the only candidate who can knock George Bush off his perch. He might be about as inspiring as a parking lot on a wet Sunday in Detroit, but his vacuity is better than the president's aggressive certainties ... Under the US electoral system, which is constructed around patronage, corruption and fear of the media, there will always be exceptional circumstances, because it will always throw up dreadful candidates.
Here, finally, is an opportunity to rant about something that's been bugging me. How, in the name of all that's holy, is Ralph Nader more exciting than John Kerry? For starters, this is Ralph Nader. Holy shit! Feel the excitement! Steady yourself! Find something to lean on! My observation, as a 2000 Nader voter and veteran of two of his political rallies, is that Nader is one of the most boring men in American politics. This is not hyperbole. Here's his speech from the Madison Square Garden rally of 2000, recognized as the most thrilling moment of his electoral career.
A word about the plight of the small family farmer for New York urbanites and suburbanites.
Hot damn, hold on to something!
Our country can ill afford to lose the rural life in this country, in the small-farm economy--for our own reasons as urbanites and suburbanites, as well as small farmers.

Clinton/Gore and the Republicans have made sure that these giant agribusiness companies are squeezing the price livelihood out of these farmers who are growing wheat, corn, soybeans, and other products. Thirty, forty percent lower in prices than it was in 1996, and that's not including to us as consumers. It's accruing to build up record-setting profits and executive compensation of the Cargos, the ADMs, the Smithfield Farms, the IDPs, the giant hog farms, and the giant cattle farms that are turning our entire farm economy into peonage, into industrial factory agriculture, laced by increasing encroachments of genetic engineering and all its mischief. The Green Party stands for the preservation of the small-farm economy in this country and of rural America.

That - that - is what George Monbiot wants us to elect. He has to remember Michael Foot, who got mauled by Thatcher. Why does he think an exponentially more boring person should be the American president? Ah, there's more.
Where Bush is active, Kerry is passive.

He wants to maintain massive levels of defence spending, but, despite his efforts to assure the media that he is as mad as Bush, he would probably be more reluctant to attack other nations.

He wants to cut taxes, but he is less willing to wage war on health and education. He wants to hold down the price of oil, but doesn't want to help the corporations open up the Arctic Wildlife Refuge.

The question is whether this difference is sufficient to justify the abandonment of the only current electoral attempt to democratise the US political system.

I like that phrasing - the only attempt to break the vicious two-headed corporate political machine. Of course, there are three other third party candidates who will likely be on more state ballots than Nader - Michael Badnarik (Libertarian), David Cobb (Green), and Michael Peroutka (Constitution). Nader - and this is what really gets me - declined to run on a third party ticket, then made thief-in-the-night attempts to seize ballot lines from the minor parties. He's got the nod of the Reform Party, which recently went bankrupt, and which supports a freeze on immigration and the expulsion of all undocumented workers. My point: Nader is not really interested with providing the democracy breakthrough Monbiot, in his lifespan-loathing wisdom, thinks he need. If he was interested, he would have campaigned for the Green Party nomination and tried to build, in whatever way, a third party. He chose not to. Why isn't this getting broadcasted, and why aren't the third party candidates (who I'm not voting for) getting some of this coverage? One last point.
He won't be elected in November, of course, but that's not the point. The point is that if you want to change a system, you have to start now, rather than in some endlessly deferred future. And the better Nader does, the faster the campaign for change will grow.
Monbiot must know that this is bullshit. In his UK, there are there major parties - a right-wing Conservative party, a center-left Labour party, and a left-wing Liberal Democrat party. Now, by Monbiot's thinking, the LDs would compete in every district and "change the system." They do not: They target districts and explicitly calculate electoral majorities by trading votes with Labourites. This works, in the way that targeting every district - winning 20% of the vote, say, giving Labour 35%, and letting Tories win with 45% - would not. Monbiot has seen this work - and what? He's too shortsighted to apply the model elsewhere? It's not that I'm so in love with Kerry, exactly. It's that I can't stand bad analysis, bad journalism, and intellectually dishonest defenses of Ralph Nader.

|W|P|109271535384997397|W|P||W|P|8/15/2004 09:53:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|On the subject of Six Feet Under Why don't they get over it and change the name of the show to "Big Gay Sex Party With Some Occasional Hetero Sex Thrown In." I mean, I've never heard an episode of a tv show with so much arguing about "fucking" as the one just aired. UPDATE: Some interesting thoughts at jumptheshark.com. 20% of viewers think the show jumped with "That's My Dog," certainly the most out of sync episode in the series. Another 10% say it jumped at another point this season. |W|P|109262130397322396|W|P||W|P|8/15/2004 06:20:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Atrios, we hardly knew ye A new post on Eschaton made me laugh, because it contains a subliminal Buffy reference: "Bored now" is what Willow says when she's evil and about to kill someone. But then I remembered: Atrios used to have links to Buffy DVDs. And other stuff he liked. Nowadays it's all links to kooky Dem congressional candidates and brags about how much money he's raised. Also, his thesis here is kinda creepy. Is it BAD that reporters aren't breathlessly reporting how funny and awesome politicians are? |W|P|109260865284356407|W|P||W|P|8/13/2004 12:33:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|The moral high ground Atrios on McGreevey:
Yes, I know that putting your lover on the payroll (assuming that happened - his lover was on the payroll, though as far as I can tell it hasn't been 100% established that they were lovers before he was put on the payroll) isn't a particularly good thing for a politician to do, though that hasn't stopped many from doing it ... if everything was as it was, except Cipel was female, would McGreevey have felt the need to resign? I don't have the answer to that, but it seems to me the answer is likely "maybe not."
If a governor - who had been elected two months after 9/11, in a state that contained hundreds of victim families - had nominated his unqualified FEMALE mistress to run the state's homeland security, would it have made a stink? You tell me. My goodness but Atrios is silly. And I wish people could sober up and stop making excuses for the guy. On one hand, if our society could get over itself and accept gay people, McGreevey might have come out long ago and won the governorship on his own terms. On the other hand - the guy cheated on his wife and acted as the sugar daddy for his lover. Politicians have resigned over less. So it's like a guy was about to be arrested for robbing a bank, and he went to the police and said "I admit it. I am a jaywalker." And he hoped people would think that was his only crime. Looks like a good strategy, in McGreevey's case. |W|P|109241526987898413|W|P||W|P|8/12/2004 06:57:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|A recommendation Run, don't walk, to your local speciality DVD store and buy the deluxe edition of Zombi 2. The 2-disc version of Lucio Fulci's zombies 'n' eyeball-gougings epic offers the highest features-to-crappiness ratio out there, until the Club Dread special edition hits. There's a 90-minute documentary, including 10 scene selections - one of them, yes, devoted to the zombie vs. shark sequence. Best of all, there are 8 trailers for rival cheapie zombie movies, including Bio-Zombie and Killing Birds (yes, the DVD is so in on the joke that it doesn't use that movie's direct to video cash-in title, Zombi 5. |W|P|109235223756141154|W|P||W|P|8/12/2004 04:49:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|McGrieving By all appearences, Gov. Jim McGreevy - who is married - appointed his lover to chair homeland security in his state - despite said lover lacking any qualifications in the field. Shameful. Corrupt. But ... hold on. His lover is a man! Well, we've got words for that.
- A profile in courage. by Susan S on Fri Aug 13th, 2004 at 00:36:20 GMT - The most forceful acceptance of personal responsibility that I've ever seen in American political life. by Athena on Fri Aug 13th, 2004 at 00:36:13 GMT - But i think he may have just saved his political career with this move.

that was just about the most honest speech i've ever heard a politician give about his personal life. there will come a time when what will be remembered about McGreevey will be that honesty.

wow. just, wow.

by thirdparty on Fri Aug 13th, 2004 at 00:36:16 GMT - Wow. I am so amazed. A gay governor. America. America. Wow! I am so happy. by DCDemocrat on Fri Aug 13th, 2004 at 00:34:14 GMT
The lesson: If you're going to have an affair and appoint your sextoy to a paid government position, make sure you're gay! UPDATE: Seriously, I admire the guy's eventual honesty, but he deserves absolutely no accolades for this. If you care about gay equality, you should realize that what he did was reprehensible under any circumstance. Take off the blinders. |W|P|109234412399884987|W|P||W|P|8/12/2004 02:43:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|"We see the aliens jumping around like ninjas, in full view ... A terrifying set of reviews of Alien vs. Predator. |W|P|109233631954145962|W|P||W|P|8/10/2004 04:48:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Ober alles In the Corner, Mark Krikorian provides today's make-Dave-ashamed-to-be-Republican post.
After Ryan dropped out, why didn't the state party just turn to the candidate who came in second in the primary, Jim Oberweis? Because he was a vocal proponent of enforcing the immmigration law, that's why -- Denny Hastert said so explicitly in an interview published Sunday. The state and national parties' spinelessness on immigration guarantees that Republican will lose this seat and may well end up costing the GOP control of the Senate -- so much for the political benefits of supporting open borders.
The ad in question was pretty much insane - Oberweis hovered about Chicago's Soldier Field in a helicopter, and with his head turned toward the audience, he darkly intoned that enough illegal immigrants enter America each week to fill that stadium with their filthy Mexican bodies. OK, he didn't say "filthy Mexican." It was implied. This all reminded me of the most clueless NRO story I ever read - John Derbyshire's "Third Party Peril," in which he provides an anti-immigration candidate speech ("
my first acts as president will be to secure our nation's borders and points of entry, identify and expel all foreigners who are living here unlawfully") and declares
Should a candidate come up saying these things, or anything close to them, and should that candidate's campaign not be derailed by the machinations of his opponents or the media, or by some gross blunder of his own, he will get at least 20 million votes next November — more than Ross Perot got in 1992.
Of course, there was a candidate in 2000 who advocated this position: Pat Buchanan.
Frankly, we ought to get control of our immigration, as most Americans want. And, frankly, put our troops, if necessary, on the border to stop the one million illegals coming into this country. 250,000 to 300,000 a year could come in. We’d still be the most generous country in the world, but it would give us time to assimilate and Americanize the 30 million who have come here in recent decades.
He didn't get 20 million votes, of course. He got less than 500,000. Which leads me to wonder what in the world Mark Kirkorian is talking about. |W|P|109217177333264004|W|P||W|P|8/07/2004 05:16:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Collateral damage The Village is getting pretty much owned at this weekend's box office - bad word of mouth'll do that. It's falling below expectations and will probably register a 70%+ drop from last weekend. What is it with BoxOfficeGuru, anyway? Their guys get on CNN, but their predicitions are consistently terrible. |W|P|109191466404486726|W|P||W|P|8/06/2004 03:34:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Rick James, 1958-2004 I'm a little heartbroken at the loss of Rick James - I'd just gotten into his music in the last year, and by all reports he'd gotten clean. Do yourself a favor and buy his first album "Come Get It" or his breakthrough, "Street Songs," or one of the 2-disc hit packages. |W|P|109182094979524073|W|P||W|P|8/06/2004 11:36:00 AM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Nader's haters Kos links to one of the most interesting polls I've seen (from New Hampshire).

American Research Group. 8/3-5. MoE 4%. (July 21 results)

Kerry 49 (47) Bush 42 (45)

Favorable/Unfavorable/Undecided

Kerry 52/44/4 (50/45/5) Bush 45/49/6 (47/48/5) Nader 10/76/8 (9/75/5)

That is to say, Nader has a net negative approval rating of sixty-six points. He's somewhat less popular than Mr. Burns or J.R. (pre-shooting). Time to do some more whining about dirty tricks, Ralph! |W|P|109180685725121036|W|P||W|P|8/05/2004 06:50:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Taking Keyes seriously There are obviously many jokes to be made about the Alan Keyes candidacy in Illinois, but I'll leave it to others to make them. Let me point out one thing in the guy's favor. Al Sharpton, in his 2004 presidential run, won 369,605 votes and 20 delegates (0.6% of the total). He was rewarded with a prime speaking slot at the DNC, a TV deal, and renewed talk of his viability in local politices. Alan Keyes, in his 2000 presidential run, won 1,003,070 votes and 22 delegates (1.2% of the total). |W|P|109174675047364153|W|P||W|P|8/05/2004 04:22:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Celebrate jackassery All right - if the utter lameness of bloggers at the DNC didn't illustrate their need to let the air out of their heads, this sure as hell should. Long story short: Instapundit put up a picture of himself wearing a (pretty old) shirt displaying a bunch of guns and the legend "Celebrate DIVERSITY." Diversity is written in rainbow letters. Atrios, who apparently is smarter than Chris Matthews, thought this was racist.
The caption is "celebrate diversity." The colors of the caption are commonly used pan-African colors: red, yellow, and greeen. While, for many, the "joke" (though, I'm not sure why it's funny) is that here diversity is a diversity of guns. Ha ha. But, look, the clear message here is that the way to celebrate diversity, particularly that pan-African diversity, is to buy a bunch of fucking guns. In other words, celebrate diversity by arming yourself.
That's fairly silly. Gilliard is sillier still. IMAO's Frank J boosts the shirt, saying "ThoseShirts.com has not only some of the highest quality shirts I've ever seen, but they also deflect bullets, give you super strength, and ward off monkeys. I hate monkeys."Gillard says:
Monkeys? Why not say nigger, because that is what you mean.
Or it could be that Frank J thinks monkeys are funny. See? UPDATE: Oh, Frank J saw this, too. |W|P|109173804607938778|W|P||W|P|8/05/2004 12:46:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Media blitz Good Hit&Run post about a contrarian media analysis article at Slate. I'm especially pleased with Nick's dismissal of this month's unreadable Washington Monthly cover story. |W|P|109172460940430358|W|P||W|P|8/05/2004 12:36:00 AM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Finally, some discussion of the issues! Wait, no. Sorry. It's an article about corn. |W|P|109168063687745666|W|P||W|P|8/05/2004 12:32:00 AM|W|P|Dave|W|P|The last word on this Joanne McNeil is a distinguished and right-thinking individual whose gender should be, and is, irrelevant to an appreciation of the forementioned qualities. |W|P|109168054998391384|W|P||W|P|8/05/2004 12:30:00 AM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Comments on "The Wicker Man" There, I've finally seen it. It's perfectly fine and creepy. But why do people grouse about a missing 2-hour version? What else could that possibly contain? Another four naked musical numbers? |W|P|109168033073595531|W|P||W|P|8/04/2004 01:37:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Article of the week Adam Penenberg's theses on required online registration.
By putting their advertisers' interests above their readers', news sites risk alienating their core customers. Without us, there wouldn't be any advertisers to appease. There's no law that says we have to tell them the truth about ourselves, and news is news: I can get it from any number of sources on the Net. But I'm tired of living a lie every time I log on to one of these sites, and am ready to strike a deal. Here's what I propose: Web publishers should get together to set up a one-stop registration process for everybody. We sign up once and would be done with it.
Mandatory registrations are a particular pain in my ass because, for work, I read dozens of newspapers every day. Also, my Firefox browser - an otherwise perfect browser - has some sort of safety protocol that erases my saved password information after every few visits.|W|P|109164178126499305|W|P||W|P|8/03/2004 12:01:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Black candidates I'm quite alright with the wet kiss coverage Barack Obama's getting, but I'm curious - why is no one at all talking about the very mainstream black Senate candidates in Colorado and Georgia? |W|P|109154903196557132|W|P||W|P|8/03/2004 10:00:00 AM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Movie review: "The Exorcist II: The Heretic" There's really not much to say about this movie that hasn't been said, beside the unconscionable decision of my local video store to stock two copies of it. It is remembered as one of the worst sequels and worst movies of all time, and this is more or less true. OK, instead of the events of the original Exorcist being unreal and horrific, this movie opens up with a slummin'-it Richard Burton performing (badly) an exorcism in South America. He heads to the Vatican, where as in the similarly successful Van Helsing, terrible supernatural events are pretty much standard occurances. The first movie's events are referred to as "the American exorcism," to distinguish from all the head-spinning freakouts in Lichtenstein and the Solomon Islands. Richard Burton heads off to America to investigate (four fucking years later!) the death of Father Merrin (but not the death of Father Karras!), and runs into Linda Blair, who's spent the intervening years becoming a tap dancer in New York. No, really. Richard Burton worms his way into some sessions Louise Fletcher, Linda's psychiatrist, is setting up with a device that synchs up minds via a series of slow-blinking strobe lights. This leads Richard Burton to declare, yes, "Your machine has proved scientifically that there's an ancient demon locked within her!" Apparently the demon in the first movie was an African locust god called Pazuzu. It possessed a boy decades ago, but Father Merrin exorcised it and the boy grew up to be James Earl Jones with some unspecified psychic powers. He tells Richard Burton, "If Pazuzu comes for you I will spit a leopard." And then some stuff happens and a house explodes. There's no dramatic tension and precious little coherence - the two hour movie feels about four days long. And I don't know why or how it was made. What was that production meeting like? "Who can we get to direct the Exorcist sequel? What about that guy who did Zardoz? Let's nab him!" |W|P|109154264848914937|W|P||W|P|8/03/2004 09:52:00 AM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Bouncemania! I'm officially tired of hearing about Kerry's "bounce" or "unbounce" or what-the-fuck-ever from the Democratic convention. I was unofficially tired of it, oh, 10 seconds after it first came up. This KF post parses all the polls I've seen and does nothing to change that. Here's the thing - you can't acknowledge, as blogs and media folk do, that only the swing states matter in deciding this election, and then ignore polls from the swing states. The only site that matters for this stuff is Electoral Predictor, which today indicates that Kerry gained support in key states and is leading Bush 328-210, peeling off Florida, Arizona, Missouri, New Hampshire, West Virginia, and Tennessee (!). But even my paper is leading with the news of the Kerry unbounce. Sigh. Please don't make me agree with Eric Alterman. |W|P|109154159110338003|W|P||W|P|8/02/2004 10:28:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Notice Given the real-life feedback I'm getting about posts on this blog, I should reiterate my mission statement. This is not a serious weblog. I'm not trying to organize a political revolution or compile punditry twelve times a minute or notify you of important intellectual developments. I'm pretty much posting errata that's on my mind and that my circle of friends doesn't want to hear me spout off about any more. Thus, occasional personal news and work news accompanies long bullshit commentary on Buffy and books on South Asian history. With your expectations duly lowered, enjoy! I have to return some DVDs. |W|P|1091500553562049|W|P||W|P|8/02/2004 12:16:00 AM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Movie Review: "Ginger Snaps" and "Ginger Snaps II: Unleashed" My friend Josh Elder rented Ginger Snaps II a few months ago because he likes bad movies, as a rule, and he assumed it would fit the bill. He was disappointed - it was actually really good. And after he swore that to me, I googled the movie to see how a Canadian straight-to-DVD movie about werewolves, called Ginger Snaps, could be any damn good. Obviously, this is because it's a horror-comedy about menstruation. No, seriously! This isn't much of a genre - the Ginger Snaps movies join a pantheon that includes Carrie and, maybe, Cabin Fever. And that's strange, because blood is the foundation of all modern horror movies. But most horror movies use blood as a trigger, to get giggles or screams out of the audience without much cognitive response. Ginger Snaps goes right for the uncomfortable feeling. It's not disturbing, say, when the prisoner in Bruce Campbell vs. The Army of Darkness falls into a pit and is echoed by a geyser of blood, but it is very disturbing when Ginger (Katherine Isabelle) has her first period in the woods, and the blood dribbling down her thigh attracts the movie's pivotal wereworlf. OK, back up. About the plot. Ginger and her sister Bridgette (Emily Perkins, uglying herself up a good deal) are Gothy girls in a dreary Toronto suburb, practising suicide and fantasizing about ways to shock their irritating family and classmates. Poking at an animal mauled by a rumored-about beast, they attract it for the reasons I mentioned above, and Ginger is nearly eaten by the werewolf before it runs away into a drug dealer's speeding van. We think Ginger's dying, but she heals up weirdly fast - apparently, the werewolf curse isn't so much something that comes with a full moon as a syphillis-like virus that slowly transforms the host. What follows is a hilarious, Clueless-like high school comedy with a crazed werewolf and a lovable drug dealer helping Bridgette to stop it. Ginger Snaps falls apart in the last act thanks to a weird, let-down showdown and lousy makeup effects - Ginger Snaps II only really becomes interesting in the last act, thanks to a terrific, bleak conclusion. The rest of it lacks the extra level of high school trauma, trying to rend all the drama out of a standard "I'm turning into a werewolf" plot with some female sexuality potpourri. But I'd say both movies are worth renting. |W|P|109142365202677740|W|P||W|P|8/01/2004 07:02:00 PM|W|P|Dave|W|P|Vive le August! Last week was excruciating, obviously. While teams of bloggers were partying in Boston and posing for cheesecake shots, I was at the office for 12-14 hours a day working on USAT's unexpectedly controversial convention coverage. Things picked up on Thursday, thanks to the gracious Julian Sanchez and his sponsorship of Blogorama 2004, where I finally met DC cognoscenti like Chris Mooney, Jim Henley, and several women who probably thought I was a goof. Friday meant another trip to the office and the purchase of an excellent DVD (more on that later). Saturday brought my parents to town. Today is finally, terrifically lazy. |W|P|109140235651271960|W|P||W|P|