Monday, July 19, 2010

Lord Troldemort Must Go Down

Newsflash: Beej Is A No-Good Stooge

All popular websites have their own trolls. The Huffingtonpost has many. One of the strangest is Beej.

Until recently that was just a name which I associated with a vast array of different socks. Some socks last only a few minutes. Others seem to last longer and rather than abuse other posters for no reason they seem to reserve their comments for someone they call "Bare-E".

A quick look at their website the Huff-Watch confirms that Beej takes the Huffingtonpost as more of an obsession than the rest of the other posters put together. It's an experience that starts off as weird and kind of impressive and then the more you look and think about the scale of the effort and the kind of intent as well and impressive turns to scary, creepy and OMFG.

Beej's creepy stalkerish website contains a vast but confused and tangled array of archives and links. There's screenshots of all kinds of things from HP. So while we're over there posting, Beej is sometimes just taking screen shots and uploading them to his vast, vast blog. The following is from Beej's site. Here in fact.

(1) What is Huff-Watch's beef with HuffPost?
  • Generates false/misleading news headlines regarding important public affairs
  • Consistently applies an anti-Israel, anti-Semitic bias to news stories concerning the Jewish state, and to notable Jewish public figures, then reviews, approves and decides to publish user comments containing hate, libels and conspiracy theories against Israel and Jews
  • Uses its considerable influence in an arguably subversive fashion, and to advance a radically left-wing, anti-Israel, Islamist*-sympathizing agenda (*for a definition of Islamist/Islamism, see Section 3)
  • Enables and protects the most egregious, pathological violators of its Comment Policy and Terms of Service to essentially "live" on the site for 12-20 hours a day, in some cases, for years --- while censoring and banning non-violating users, on a minute-to-minute basis 

So, to Beej's first point... that's my beef too! So where are all the Beej Huff-Watch articles on bad journalism?

There's a score of old HP headlines which had no bearing on the content of the article. Beej must have a hundred screen captures of that kind of thing.

Headlines which are the complete opposite of the content of the article? Or how about the HP-Geithner obsession? How about Ariana's constant fascination with her TV appearances as main article topics?

So if that's Beej's first beef, then... how come the most commonly used tagged word in Huff-watch is "antisemitic"? It's true. He tags his own posts and the tag he uses the most is antisemitic. It's right there on his own site.

The HP is not, so far as I can tell, a rag guilty of engaging in any anti-semitic views and palming that off as news. It is certainly not always pro-Israel and for that I am glad. HP is guilty of some really terrible journalistic practices in the race for clicks and placement in Twitter and Google searches. But it is not guilty of anti-semitism as a rule.

Anyone posting comments expressing any kind of prejudicial hatred have their comments removed and in time their profiles go as well. Real anti semites, and I have seen several, are simply not tolerated on HP. I believe in freedom of speech. I also accept liability. HP simply cannot allow posts of that kind to remain and nor can they tolerate anyone who logs in to simply post those kinds of hate-filled comments to have an account.

So when I look at Huff-Watch I think... what's the point of all that work? What would happen if the Beej ever used that work ethic for something useful?

Now, unfortunately, Beej has also taken on a friend of yours. A truly funny man with a large wit and a fearless trust in his audience, has been personally singled out by Beej for special treatment.

I also learned recently that a certain peaceful kitten was also singled out by this person for special rough treatment.

I do not know any real details about either case. But right now our favorite beagle needs your moral support. Please visit his blog here and leave a comment.

(Thanks to Claude for the heads up!)

This has appeared on the southpaw blog.

"Southpaw just got a call letting him know that, for now at least, the government is not seeking to interview him regarding hate speech–which I take for the moment as a sign that they will not be proceding into a First Amendment arena with him in the very near future. "
So it's looking like the Beej loses this round.

Sunday, July 18, 2010


Obama Auto-Slammings To Continue

The Whitehouse is gently floating rumors that Obama has slammed himself for his lack of action on slamming himself before.

A source who knows the President's opinions on the President's opinions has categorically said, on the record but off the radar, that in the President's opinion he needs a good auto-slamming. Our anonymous source wanted it to be clear that their opinion of the President's opinion of the President's opinion was a matter of "a girlscout's honor and therefore also true too, yep you betcha, uh-huh."

Obama's decision to slam himself now and not sooner has raised eyebrows in the Smilingtonpost's extensive Anonymous Source Network (ASN).

One anonymous source with a very raised eyebrow indeed said, "Obama's slamming of himself now is happening too late. Like so many other things Obama's done, it lacks that certain deciderness we're all looking for in a president. He should have slammed himself on January 20th, 2001 when Bush took office."

Other unnamed sources have confirmed suspicions that earlier rumors about previous gossip was true. So we can expect Obama to slam Obama on Obama's position on everything, for some time.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

I Blame Obama

I always feel much calmer
Once I've blamed Barack Obama

I blame him for the morning
While I'm still freshly yawning

I blame him for the day
Soon to be underway

It's just fun to blame Obama
for my every little drama


Friday, July 16, 2010

The Republicans Are Fucking Stupid: A Status Report Part (II)

Funding Teabaggers 
Everybody knows that the GOP have a personal stake in courting the batshit crazies.

Yet they have a lot of registered voters who are somehow also every day members of society.

So before looking at GOP stupidity in further detail, let's meet a few GOPers and try to learn from them how it is that they can look at the GOP and say, yes, I think voting GOP is fun and it might be suicidal but that's how I roll.

Meet Kellie C. She visited the Republican Faces web and liked it so much she uploaded a pic and an answer to the question of why she's a Republican.

She writes incoherently about issues close to her own heart... God,  guns, Republicans and common sense and all of that in a pretty short reply.

The Republican Faces web is a sad tribute to the long term effects of right wing jingoism.

There's a whole lot of small government means freedom stuff as you'd expect.

The thing which most struck me was how many of these people seem to really believe that Republicans share their own values. Values was a strongly repeated signal.

Now I know that these are the people preselected for the GOP website. So people are careful to write things they think are wanted for the website and the GOP are careful to select the faces and replies they most want to see representing them.

But at the same time, they are presumably real people and presumably they really wrote this stuff.

So why did you become a member of the GOP, Heather T.?

Sure. We all know how good the GOP are to public school teachers.

What a load of Title I bullshit.

If this woman (B/W photo) is teaching your kids, she's teaching them how to reply to a reasonable question with a completely empty response.

Ok. Insulting people from a website who cannot answer back is fun in a Perez Hilton kind of way but it's not an answer to the question, why does anyone, even insane people, why do any people at all vote for Republicans? 

It's odd that it doesn't answer the question. That's the very question they were responding to. This is why I bring it up in the blog before raising questions about the baggers.

So why do people vote Republicans into office? Here's my theory.

What's most strange to me is that the baggers should be so openly supported by the right wing.

After all, the larger the tea party became, the more they started to push back on the GOP as an actual social force looking for some kind of political voice.

Since they were a right wing invention, since they came to have a large right wing population, and since the GOP were less popular than ever before, that was the obvious time to aid and abet in the creation of a political opposition???

The gain was likely to be seen as haranguing the President through a kind of surrogate movement.

By encouraging that, feeding it, the GOP went on to create a kind of bad national joke which, even more weirdly, took time, energy, donor money and further divided an already divided house.

The GOP has had a very tough time since Obama came into the Whitehouse. He's signed a breathtaking number of reforms into law. The GOP have had to fight a lot of reforms, calling on a lot of donors.

In Feb, 2010 the GOP were already rumored to be in financial trouble.

After all, they even by then they had aleady spent vast sums of money fighting anything and everything.

That trend has continued as more and more reforms pass under the President's nose and become law.

You add to that the division over the Chairman. Steele is hard to remove. He's not willing to go, not competent to stay and he's the guy holding the purse strings of the party. They don't even like him.

So the GOP, limping into an election year facing more and more reforms, going mad spending, decided to create a surrogate which would cost them money and possibly even voters.

These GOP clowns are the economic conservatives?

That is all the proof anyone could ever need that America still has a rich vein of stupid to offer the world. We've not exactly cornered the market in stupid, but we've sure got huge stockpiles.

We are definitely capable of being a stuporpower, like in the old Bush years. I'd rather not go back to the dark times, but sometimes it seems like we're still walking on that edge.

But then when I look at the baggers I think, nope. We went over that edge a while back.

The Tea Party, one of the weirdest inventions in US political history and destined to be laughed about for decades to come.


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Republicans Are Fucking Stupid: A Status Report (Part I)

The Just-Say-No Boxing Tournament
If politics is like boxing, the GOP (in the Red Corner) have an interesting strategy.

Run to the Blue Corner and punch like fuck while shouting,


Obama's tendency is to move to the center at the very outset. By now "Nobody" is surprised when Obama stands at the center and leans left and right.

And by "Nobody" I mean those trolls who listen to Limbaugh or Hannity, O'Reilly and so on. Anyone with as their homepage instantly qualifies.

Those are the only people on the entire planet who think of the President as a bona fide Marxist, always fighting against the ropes in some fabled, mythical Blue Corner. They are the only ones surprised when he does and says things which sound moderate.

In this imaginary Blue Corner, Karl Marx is team manager, Vlad Lenin is Obama's personal training Czar. Mao's got big money on the game and he keeps saying, "keep moving to the left until you hit Beijing."

So the GOP size up the opposition, who is standing at the exact center of the ring and they charge to the Blue corner, punching and screaming.

Let's have a little lookie at their scorecard so far...



No to trials of GITMO detainees on US soil.

The GOP won that battle so easily and such little has happened ever since the first rounds, that the President basically scored zero real hits in that entire contest. After a hopeful beginning and a few more rounds of stalemates, Obama's push to hold trials in New York were finished off.

On the issue of the detainees and their human rights, Obama all but dropped his gloves. He ran from the Blue Corner like a thunderbolt hoping, perhaps to use political capital he didn't have and he got resoundingly pounded to the mat by the GOP before he reached the center of the ring.

It was to be one of the very few GOP victories to come along so easily.
Very few had really expected a lot of legal traction on the matter of trials for suspected terrorists. After all, they'd been tortured and illegally detained. Their legal status was and still is impossible to resolve.

That's not because Obama is inadequate as a President, nor because the Justice department is inadequate.

It is instead because Addington and Cheney had almost eight years to create a legal Gordian Knot and tie it around GITMO.

The bastards did a great job too.

So with a predictable failure under his belt, the second big match up was really the first big test for No Drama Obama.

Healthcare was a major title, a gruelling tournament involving 50 states, two branches of government, a divided Democratic party and of course the party of No. Few believed there was any chance of any success at all. It had never happened before. Many Presidents had tried. Most had not even bothered.

The party of No is, however, utterly predictable.

Once again, the GOP took on the same weird strategy of swinging wildly while running at Obama in the Blue corner. And due to a lot of flash photography from the media the President took a lot of hits from the right which should definitely have been aimed at the Congress.

The seemingly simple Single Payer system went out in the early rounds. Here again Obama tended to retreat to the center of the ring. Candidate Obama had supported the Public Option, that turned out to look like it was more political support rather than actual support.

In the boxing ring where it might count, Obama dropped the Public Option like a weight he didn't need.

He didn't really punch all that hard for key parts of his own reform. Perhaps his dodging the punches strategy by dropping his reforms was meant to court the blue dogs in his own party. Perhaps it was because he couldn't support it after all. His lack of effort was disappointing to many on the left who had imagined it was a promise.

The party of No, of course, stood firm and went instead for the threat of a filibuster. When that failed, they block voted against everything.

We reached John Boehner for comment and he explained that this would bring on Armageddon.

Now in his finance policy, Obama is boxing closer to the Red corner, if anything.

He has, after all, relied almost entirely on the advice of known conservatives. Bernanke and Geithner both of whom come ordained from the right wing's most beloved and hallowed ground, the Ivy league.

As extra resume buff, they've both lived and worked in the holiest parts of Wall Street too. Their invisible right wing hands are all over Obama's Marxist economic policy.

So Obama is at the center and drifting further right on the issues of Wall Street. Meanwhile the right wing is still off in that Blue Corner, trying to smash the fuck out of thin air.

On the issue of finance reform there was, obviously enough a lot of right wing attacking partly because there was no real defending to be done. There were a lot of bitchin' punches thrown too, no doubt. But since every last slug was aimed at the ropes, rather than the President, the GOP scored zero real hits at all in the later rounds.
So once again the party of No went with their familiar, vuvuzela-like chorus of "filibuster" and "No".

That was, of course, a completely expected move and the GOP certainly didn't let their fans down.

An orange person was interviewed and they assured us that this new law was like taking out an ant with a nuke.

This has to rank as one of the stupidest political positions ever taken. So here's the Barton approach. Defend the Red Corner when he's covered in tarballs.

BP: The oil company trying to repair the leak, the company now drawing oil out of the well and making cash from it... This is the oil company which is responsible for destroying a region of ocean larger than Vienna. A lot larger than Vienna in fact. It's a plume now the size of Austria...

That poor oil company, BP, shouldn't be held liable.

That means, in polispeak, "I'm open for business and hunting for Big Oil Contributions.". That is defending the Red Corner and what it looks like.

The President was wrong to take a 20 billion check for victim relief. That is punching at the Blue Corner.

This is Barton's position?  No wonder he looks like he's choking on his own brain.

Well, not to be shy about it...
Republicans are fucking stupid

They box like absolute lightweight babies. They have no idea who their opponent is nor how to find him when they're missing him by trying to pin him down where he isn't.

Obama has moved the agenda to the center every last time. The GOP don't fight for the center. They defend the extreme right and attack the extreme left and never pass through the center of American life.

So Obama's given them right wing economic reforms to chew on - after a total financial meltdown no less - and the GOP voted no. They even threatened filibuster on every issue.

So to people at the center the choice should look pretty clear. Vote Republican and swerve hard right and get more NO, or vote left and get someone who can work at the center and push through actual reforms.

The folks at the center should be delighted with Obama.

His much noted drop in popularity is unlikely to come from the Right where he was never liked and never will be.

It is unlikely to be from the center where people mostly do not blame him for the economy or the oil spill or any other thing he didn't cause.

Instead, Obama has courted the center position time and again.

I suspect that a lot of the shift in the polls is from the people on Obama's left who are wondering who they elected sometimes. They're already looking for other options because Obama seems nothing like the progressive he appeared to be as a candidate.

Looking back Obama was very careful to promise little while saying Americans should demand it. He said many times that people had to demand change. He talked about people being the force for change and he talked about that starting in communities.

When he was asked what people should do, supposing he was elected, to continue to help him create these things, he said to continue in the community, to press the government for what you want, to hold his feet to the fire. So to some extent, Obama is the people's President because he responds to their forces and he's said as much. 

There is still vast potential for bigger changes in the US, but with Obama in the Whitehouse, the people have to become more active in their demands for it.


Sunday, July 11, 2010

RIP Carl and Hume

Two friends passed away recently.

Carl loved Johnny Carson and he had an internet radio show.

HumeSkeptic was a Professor, Einstein fan and he wrote for the DailyKos.

SouthPawBeagle has a blog with a Hume memorial page here. If you knew Hume and haven't seen it, you should.

Both Carl And Hume were men of great wit and charm. Both will be missed.