Friday, October 19, 2007

News You Can Use. Maybe. Sorta.

Here’s something useful (YMMV) and could be a serious time-waster for political junkies: MSNBC’s “Candidates + Issues Matrix.” One has to approach the matrix with something of a jaundiced eye, however. Keep in mind: this is MSNBC we’re talking about here. I’d be more inclined to trust the stated positions (paranoia ‘r’ us!) if the site were hosted by someone like The League of Women Voters. I’ve used their guides in the past and have been impressed with the lack of bias and general straight-forwardness. But, all that said, you can spend a lot of time on this matrix. I’ve bookmarked it.

(h/t: Catmoves @ The QuerkeyTurkey)

If you’re at all interested in the Armenian genocide resolution brouhaha I posted about yesterday then you must read Mr. Krauthammer’s op-ed on the subject in today’s WaPo. He’s basically fleshing out some brief comments he made during the “Panel” segment on Fox News Channel’s Special Report the other night. And does a good job of it, too. Here’s his closing paragraphs…but lest you forget, Gentle Reader…sometimes it’s the journey, and not the destination.

So why has Pelosi been so committed to bringing this resolution to the floor? (At least until a revolt within her party and the prospect of defeat caused her to waver.) Because she is deeply unserious about foreign policy. This little stunt gets added to the ledger: first, her visit to Syria, which did nothing but give legitimacy to Bashar al-Assad, who continues to engage in the systematic murder of pro-Western Lebanese members of parliament; then, her letter to Costa Rica's ambassador, just nine days before a national referendum, aiding and abetting opponents of a very important free-trade agreement with the United States.

Is the Armenian resolution her way of unconsciously sabotaging the U.S. war effort, after she had failed to stop it by more direct means? I leave that question to psychiatry. Instead, I fall back on Krauthammer's razor (with apologies to Occam): In explaining any puzzling Washington phenomenon, always choose stupidity over conspiracy, incompetence over cunning. Anything else gives them too much credit.

Sage advice, that. For folks on both sides of the aisle. (and the emphasis is mine.)

Today’s Best on memeorandum… Taking a Whack Against Comcast…Mona Shaw Reached Her Breaking Point, Then for Her Hammer. Excerpt:

Being a responsible newspaper, we must note that this is a misdemeanor, a crime, a completely inappropriate way of handling a business dispute.


Who among us has not longed for a hammer in this age of incompetent "customer service representatives," of nimrods reading from a script at some 800-number location, of crumbs-in-their-beards plumbing installation people who tell you they'll grace you with their presence between 12 and 3, only never to show? And you'll call and call and finally some outsourced representative slings a dart at a calendar and tells you another guy will come back between 10 and 2 next Thursday? And when this guy comes, pants halfway down his behind, he'll tell you he brought the wrong part?

And there is nothing, nothing you can do.

Oh yes there is…and Mona Shaw did it. She’ll pay a price, but who amongst us hasn’t longed to actually DO what Mrs. Shaw went and did? Read the whole thing…

Oh. While we're on about telecom providers and service... Are you listening Yucca Telecom? Hello? Yucca? (This cryptic entry to be explained at a later date…)

Today’s Pic: Is delayed until further notice from Our Friends at Blogger. Why? Beats me. All I can tell you is this:

Unable to upload image

We are aware of this problem and currently working on a fix.

When reporting this error to Blogger Support or on the Blogger Help Group, please:

Describe what you were doing when you got this error.

Provide the following error code and additional information.


Uh…OK. Whatever. Just visualize this morning’s crystal-clear sunrise, Gentle Reader. Until such time as Blogger gets its act together.

And there I go again…complaining about free sh!t. Sheesh. Some people's kids…


  1. I thought it was only me getting that error message last week when I tried to upload pictures for the first time. Well, at least I wasn't doing anything wrong.

  2. It's been two days now. I tried to post a pic yesterday and got the error message. One time Blogger went a week where you couldn't post a pic, and then it was fixed. There's a Blogger forum (somewhere) with "known issues" and their status. I need to find it. Again.

  3. Don't you love how blogger tells you to report issues, but doesn't tell you how to contact them!??!!

    I have found that if I empty my browser cache I can usually go back to uploading pictures.

    Thank you for the story about Mona Shaw - she's great!!

    And, Charles is the BEST!

  4. Thanks for the tip, Flag Gazer...and the good words!

  5. Blogger. Feh. It has it's place in the world, without a doubt. It's nice when relatives start up with their "I'm thinking of starting a blog, what should I do??" and you can tell them to go to and move on to the next topic. Kind of a boot camp for blogging. Who knows how many of the chubby recruits give up and "get sent home," and who cares.

    My own arrangement is far from ideal, since I'm paying good money for a domain I haven't gotten 'round to setting up yet,and I'm squatting on some other guy's space. But Wordpress means the funky Blogger outages are a thing of the past, and I don't miss them AT ALL. The first time I went through a morning in a pisser of a mood because some I.T. strangers I never met and was never going to meet, couldn't keep Blogger running right, and weren't about to listen to me bitch about it because I wasn't paying for using it...and my post didn't make it onto the page...and air didn't smell fresh and the coffee didn't taste good and I just wanted to kick every puppy I saw...I knew something had to change. I was engaged in something counterproductive, or an addiction, or (probably) both of those.

    Buck, I doubt I'm the first to say it and I won't be the last, but EIP running on Blogger is kind of like a Mercedes being kept in a giant paper bag.

    That matrix is interesting, in it's own way. Being a Fred-head, I was concerned when I saw a reddish glow on the "submissions" tab between Thompson and Energy. I clicked it open, and a third of the respondents "strongly disagree" with Fred, with a bare majority somewhat-disagreeing. It's the thing that makes him my favorite candidate -- he isn't falling for the ManBearPig nonsense. He has the balls to tell jokes about it.

    Of the 4600 submissions, 1700 are experiencing strong indigestion over this. Hopefully, as the position of ManBearPig becomes more and more tenuous, that ratio will inch downward toward zero.

    For fifty years we've been conditioned to laugh at the generalized caricature of the old man in the rocking chair wearing the plaid shirt babbling a bunch of nonsense about the "communists taking over!" Such a caricature must have more to do with old age than anything else, because the older I get, the closer that caricature seems to be to the truth. Call them whatever you want, but people who don't allow individuals the opportunity to excel, don't want anyone else to allow it either; they ARE taking over; glowbubble-wormening is just the latest in a long line of propaganda tools they've been using. Assuming the submissions on that matrix are forecasting the election, and I realize this is a fragile thing -- this tool is working for 'em just fine. It really is an amazing achievement on their behalf.

    I could probably have a lot of other epiphanies if I monkeyed around with the matrix longer, but this is turning into a manifesto with a highly limited audience so I'll end it here. Thanks for the find.

  6. Morgan sez: Buck, I doubt I'm the first to say it and I won't be the last, but EIP running on Blogger is kind of like a Mercedes being kept in a giant paper bag.'re not the first, Morgan. But inertia is a terrible thing...the bane of my existence. Blogger is sorta like friends and family that ask "Why are you STILL in Portales?" Answer: inertia. When it comes to Blogger, I have investigated the alternatives, but they all seem to require more of a "hands-on" approach. And I really don't wanna learn the ins and outs of html. Really. Blogger's issues, such as they are, are fairly minor. I like the look and feel of EIP as it stands, so I'll continue to deal with Blogger and its quirks.

    For fifty years we've been conditioned to laugh at the generalized caricature of the old man in the rocking chair wearing the plaid shirt babbling a bunch of nonsense about the "communists taking over!" Such a caricature must have more to do with old age than anything else...

    Hey! That's ME you're talking about! :->

    That said... I really enjoyed your post on the matrix. As I said in your comments, I always leave too much unsaid in these posts. We have many of the same issues with that matrix...even if I'm more of a Rudy (or Huckabee) kinda guy than a Fred-Head.


Just be polite... that's all I ask.