Note on “Big Idea” Proposals

For everyone who sent something in: Got ’em, looking at ’em, be in touch with you soon about ’em. Thanks! Also, if you’re an author/editor/publicist with a new book, it’s not too late to get in on the action.


Mind the Foamyness

Just a reminder to folks: Just because we’re at an interesting point in the political cycle for both sides is not an excuse for you folks to start losing your shit at each other in the comment threads. If I wanted to watch people lose their shit in comment threads, I could go to Little Green Footballs or Daily Kos.

So remember: when talking about politics, be polite and kind to other people in the comment threads, even if they’re completely and totally wrong. Beat on the politicians and take the air out of arguments other people post, but if you go personal on other commenters, that’s when I’m going to have to break out the Loving Mallet of Correction.

Also remember that this site gets lots of people of all sorts of political persuasion visiting, including persuasions that aren’t mine, and I see that as a feature, not a bug. Also, you know what? Each of them are my guests. Please don’t be rude to my guests. Because then I might be compelled to be rude to you. And as we all know, I’m really good at being rude. Plus I can delete and/or ban your ass, so you can’t be rude back. It’ll just be me laughing and pointing. No one wants that.

Finally: When in doubt, read the site disclaimer and comment policy. They are your friends.

I know this will be the last time I have to bring this up this entire election cycle.


Whatever X, Day V

Rather than post a previous entry today, I thought I would do a little fan service for the cat crowd and take you back to 2003, and the first appearances of one of The Intarweeb’s most famous felines. Yes, people, it’s time for:

Ghlaghghee, The Early Years

The very first picture of Ghlaghghee, taken the day she arrived, May 27, 2003.

Ghlaghghee immediately made herself useful by troubleshooting a balky USB connection…

… and by keeping the rebellious boots in line.

And here she is, copyediting some text.

Ghlaghghee admiring some ScalziProduct™, in this case one of my “I Hate Your Politics” mugs.

And here she is, attempting to consume my big toe. She was not successful.

Ghlaghghee looking pensive, and perhaps wondering how she would be affected by the vicissitudes of life, particularly as they relate to the confluence of her and breakfast meats.

Being the subject of all these pictures has plumb tuckered her out. It’s time for a nap.

And there you have it. Kittens galore.


The Thing About “Rock Stars”

For all the Republicans who are exulting that there’s now a “rock star” on the GOP ticket (and all the Democrats who are freaking out about it), there is one minor detail that’s worth considering in the days and months ahead. And that is that the “rock star” on the Democratic ticket is actually the person who is running for president, while the “rock star” on the GOP ticket… isn’t. At the top of the GOP ticket is a 72-year-old man who just gave a mediocre speech that served primarily as an attempt to suggest that a fellow who’s spent two and half decades in Washington and voted with the extremely unpopular current president 90% of the time somehow represents change. That’s the guy going up against the Democratic rock star.

And to the surprise of absolutely no one, the Democratic rock star knows this perfectly well. This is why yesterday when reporters tried to get Obama to react to Palin’s attacks on him, his reponse was to say, more or less, “whatever,” and to note his presidential opposition was McCain, not Palin. This is also why outside of the hothouse atmosphere of a political convention, Palin’s sniping at Obama is likely not to hit the radar screens, because when all is said and done, she’s the VP candidate, and the press is covering a presidential election, not a vice-presidential one.

Obama’s already signaled he’s not going to bother with her; she’ll be shopped out to Biden — or even better, Hilary Clinton, who I would expect is privately fuming that the McCain and the GOP think so little of her positions and personality that they expect her supporters to be swayed by someone who holds antithetical political positions, simply because that person’s got fallopian tubes. If the GOP wanted to keep the Clintons on the sidelines this election, this was not the way to do it.

Beyond this we’ll see what value being a “rock star” really brings to the table, which I suspect is rather less than what people suppose. The GOPers ecstatic over their new star might remember that a) Obama’s rock star status hasn’t kept this election from being reasonably close so far, and b) that Palin’s “rock star” status is not yet two days old, based on a speech written for a generic GOP VP candidate with some personal touches bolted on. Two and a half days ago people were wondering if she would have left the ticket by today. It’s fair to say Palin’s been up and been down. And starting today she and Joe Biden begin their descent into the shadowy netherworld of VP candidates on the campaign trail, to be largely ignored save for the occasional snipe or screw-up. It’s nice to be a “rock star” politician, but let’s just say I’m not 100% convinced the “rock star” shine is all that it’s cracked up to be, especially when at the end of the day you’re the political equivalent of the opening act.

And at the end of the proverbial day, this election is the guys who are the headliners: about McCain and Obama, and their policies and plans, or lack thereof. One of these guys is a rock star, and the other isn’t — and to be honest, I hope that doesn’t matter, either. What should matter, and what I hope will matter, is the substance of the two candidates. Substance is not what people come to “rock stars” for. But it should be what we look for in a president.

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