Saturday, April 26, 2008

NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT, NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT, NOTHING TO WORRY ABOUT: John Cole is right, nothing to worry about, Barry is in fine shape. Yep. Said the Kerry/Dean before Kerry/Nader in '00/Perot in '96 supporter. I'm so scared....[/blair witch whisper]

Yeah. I personally am on the Obama "no stupid bullshit, love it or leave it" train. But I fear a steady disembarking, just enough for the hideous Clinton strategy to pay off. Oh numbers, help me!

Close in Indiana.
Still way ahead in NC.
This little data in Kentucky?
Not much in Oregon either but it looks like Obama country.
Same for West Virginia except it's Clinton country.
South Dakota is for Obama. Don't see any Montana numbers but I'm sure they're similar.

So John's right--she just can't win straight up. Her only hope is the same hope she's always had, that the supers get all nervous as the economy becomes a bigger issue than the war (profiting Clinton in conventional wisdom terms) and they vote her in over the primary results. But if anybody can win in this backhanded way, it's a Clinton. And then Justin Slotman, mild-mannered office drone with an endless graduate school campaign, becomes the purple-shorts-wearing INCREDIBLE MCAINIAC! SLOTMAN SMASH PUNY CLINTONS! And so on.

Friday, April 25, 2008

WELL. THIS WAS ALL THE TEST MARKETING FOR ULTIMATE LORNA THE JUNGLE GIRL MARVEL NEEDED: I can just see how this got started, somebody down in the basement at Marvel Legal, got some request from some indy publisher, thinking "how many jungle girls we got anyway?" and then "shoot, just give 'em Lorna, mebbe it'll catch on in the Internets or sumphin" (since the guys in the basement at Marvel Legal all talk like Ben Grimm.) But no.

(This isn't right to say, but no blogfight wants to make me break out the popcorn quite like an intra-feminist blogfight. It's a very....earnest style of blogfighting.)

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

DURRR THE OLYMPICS DON'T MATTER AFTER THE COLD WAR: And that is one of the more annoying tropes I've heard in my time in the bloggy intertrons, particularly at Reason (otherwise my favrit mag--well TAP is good too, and I will never be left enough to hate The Economist) here in particular (I swear there was more, in comment threads at least, but I can't find any evidence. Matt Welch is scrubbing the archives TO THWART ME!!!!) Of course this latest torch run proves my header to be the "end of history" of sports punditizing.

Anyway--I've been reading a lot lately about these whole "China vs the world" protests, like and this and this and this and this and this (no cites, the blogs I've been reading, mainly the ones on the Peking Duck blogroll, were all talking about similar stuff), and the one thing I'm really convinced of is China has atrocious image management. I mean, why did it take the Internet for me to see this sequence of photos? This is a propaganda coup! Wheelchair-bound paralympian fends off torch snatcher! Especially the sequence those photos are in--she starts off just happy to be there, protesters show up, she cradles the torch with both hands (fantastic form--she should play para-American football next since apparently she's too old for the fencing team (mentioned in the EastSouthWestNorth translation)), does not let it get stolen from her, and the relief on her face when the ordeal passes is palpable. (Where were the dudes in the blue track suits, anyway?) And yet the only people who seem to be seeing and getting exorcised by these photos are the worldwide Han community, who are obviously predisposed to getting exorcised by them. Possibly a little too exorcised. And yes--the "Western" (god I hate that term) media has its own set of biases that's going to preclude it from wanting to do anything China-sympathetic on the Tibet question. I think for educated Americans and Europeans, that question has been answered: China's wrong! Therefore Tibet should be free. And that's that. What? Northern Ireland is entirely different....

God, too many explosive tangents there--I have no idea how I didn't work abortion in. The point is, Jin Jing is an enormously sympathetic figure that you probably don't know too much about unless you're plugged into the Chinese mediasphere. Never mind that the Chinese intertrons have already turned on her since she spoke out against the Carrefour boycott (though I have no idea if those comments are representative or not. Imagine gauging the AMERICAN STREET!!! using LGF commenters.) Non-Chinese institutional biases and good ol' yellow perilism aside, China--and by "China" I mean the goofy government of China--has been given a gift-wrapped propaganda moment and they seem to have no clue how to push it. Other than pushing it at their own citizens, which strikes me as a poor long-term governing strategy, this whole idea of ramping up nationalist sentiment and then trying to cut it off before it explodes (I hate to say anything bad about Jin Jing, but her anti-boycott comments fit this strategy perfectly.) As Raj at The Peking Duck put it:

The Chinese government should be shitting their pants over this - they have created a self-conscious monster (a very nasty strain of Chinese nationalism) that will demand people conform to what it wants, but not necessarily what Beijing wants. If things carry on as they are, with manipulation of the media to stoke xenophobic attitudes and repress open discussion and more generally the support of angry nationalism to divert attention away from the CCP, one day this beast may well turn against the political establishment. Then there will be blood, one way or another.

I can't wait for the torch's journey through Japan!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

IT'S PROBABLY A TRIBUTE TO OBAMA'S INTELLIGENCE: That it takes so little from him to get so much stupid written. And then he responded like this. I mean look at this:

“Out of touch? Out of touch? I mean, John McCain—it took him three tries to finally figure out that the home foreclosure crisis was a problem and to come up with a plan for it, and he’s saying I’m out of touch? Senator Clinton voted for a credit card-sponsored bankruptcy bill that made it harder for people to get out of debt after taking money from the financial services companies, and she says I’m out of touch? No, I’m in touch. I know exactly what’s going on. I know what’s going on in Pennsylvania. I know what’s going on in Indiana. I know what’s going on in Illinois. People are fed-up. They’re angry and they’re frustrated and they’re bitter. And they want to see a change in Washington and that’s why I’m running for President of the United States of America.”

Do you really think what he said was a gaffe? I think it was more of a bait and POW! (Note that he's openly running against two people now, if it wasn't obvious before.)

EDIT: I liked this general summary of Obama news cycles from The Commentator Formerly Known as NCSteve. Particularly "And then, as always, Obama will calmly do that Akido thing he does with all these nontroversies" both for use of the word nontroversies and for somebody else thinking there's something very martial arts about Obama's political style. (Via Carpetbagger comments.)

Thursday, April 10, 2008

"WHY ARE WE TALKING ABOUT THIS IN THE WHITE HOUSE? HISTORY WILL NOT JUDGE THIS KINDLY.": John Ashcroft, ladies and gentlemen! Ah, for the days when we thought he was the worst part of the Bush administration. If you read the story he comes off not so much as anti-torture as thinking it looks bad for cabinet officials to be discussing the torture of individuals, but still.

Via unfogged.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

IF I HAD ONE OF THEM FANCY NEWFANGLED BLOGS WITH CATEGORIES AND SUCH THIS WOULD GO UNDER "THINGS OBVIOUS IN RETROSPECT", "BSG": In the role of John McCain: Colonel Tigh. And Cindy McCain is so clearly Ellen Tigh! This is amazing. Plus with the "Adama gets shot" storyline we have a pretty close approximation of a McCain presidency.

Monday, April 07, 2008

AND SOMETIMES MLS FRANCHISE NAMES DON'T TOTALLY SUCK: Seattle's franchise to be Seattle Sounders FC. (Via The Swamp.) I had no idea that Drew Carey was involved, or that a condition for his involvement was that the franchise had to have a marching band. Doubly awesome that Seattle gets the American-style name and the American-style spectacle. (Doesn't quite make up for the Sonics, though.)

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

NCAAPOCALYPSE: To a certain kind of basketball fan--and I am of this kind--having a Final Four composed of all number one seeds, and not even interesting number one seeds (like the year St Joe's was one), is pretty much the worst possible outcome. I know it's interesting because it's never happened before, but this tournament isn't popular because it's predictable. (Predictable in the sense of higher seeds beating lower seeds--I know it's predictable in a bracketology sense.) It's popular because crazy stuff happens and very occasionally crazy stuff wins it all. It's not supposed to be an annual blue-chip program coronation process (though it turns out that way more often than not.)

At least freaking Duke is done. And hey, Memphis isn't that blue-chippy, certainly not compared to the other three. And Conference USA is barely a league! So go Tigers, I guess. Deny the entitled fanbases, please. Let me have some joy in this post-Stephen Curry tournament. (He's only a sophomore! They'll be back.)