Monday, November 16, 2009

Palin's Coming Out Party, The Spoils of War, Death To Webusers!

Paul Krugman
Fareed Zakaria
Geoffrey Dunn

"I don’t begrudge Mr. Obama the banquets and the photo ops; they’re part of his job. But behind the scenes he better be warning the Chinese that they’re playing a dangerous game."  - Paul Krugman
"We're going to put together a list of all the people thinking of running for president and ... give assignments to each of the would-be presidential candidates." - Grover Norquist
"Why are they always picking on the bald guy?" - Steve Schmidt
Today begins Sarah Palin's media tour for her new book, and her interview on Oprah. The rest of this week the media waves will be filled with many, many stories about whether Sarah is a viable candidate or a vindictive person aimed at payback in her book. I think she is like most people when they tell stories, they exaggerate to make it interesting. I have friends who do that when they argue, and it drives me crazy because I focus on the lie and not on what they are saying; so Sarah's critics will have much to rant on about and take her down a peg. I find her amusing and pleasantly eccentric, not too bright, and lapping up every bit of attention she receives. I'd be a media whore too; most people would, thrown into the national spotlight, in a good way, and suddenly people want everything from your autograph to your endorsement for a political campaign... Remember, death to that pitiful Katie Couric...

From the Daily Beast are the top Going Rogue book leaks:

1. Sarah Palin Pushed to Go After Jeremiah Wright
2. Steve Schmidt Cursed Around Kids
3. No Levi Bashing
4. Her Diet Was an Issue
5. Palin Not Allowed to Talk to Her Favorite Reporters
6. Shopping Spree Forced on Her
7. Katie Couric Interview Done Out of Pity
8. Prank Call Astounded McCain Staff
9. Palin's Favorite Democrats
10. More (Secondhand) Schmidt Bashing
11. Palin Reveals Her Dirty Little Secret - she once received a "D"
12. Creationism Makes for Awkward Conversation
13. Upcoming Coffee Summit with Clinton?
14. Vendettas Against Oliver Stone and Alec Baldwin
15. She Really, Really Loves Mea

the spoils of war...
As always, the real winners in any armed conflict are the arms makers: "According to Bloomberg News, major U.S. and European defense contractors expect $40 billion in sales over the next five years to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to upgrade aircraft, missile, and naval systems." If this one small conflict can generate so much profit, I wonder how much more profit Iraq and Afghanistan have brought them? And with the rise of private militias here in the US, the domestic arms market is thriving. The wars have also been good for the United Nations, vaulting them out of obscurity and irrelevance into a force for negotiations and creating an international watchdog. If you are a conspiracy theorist, this is the agency that will bring order into the new world, creating a one-world government and signaling the Apocalypse. Unless the Mayans are right and the whole thing ends in December, 2012...

A couple of interesting things going on for bloggers and web designers. One:"Egypt says it will apply for the first Internet domain written in Arabic. The new domain name will be .masr written in the Arabic alphabet - which translates as .egypt" Like anything else, it has its pros and cons. It will be a source of pride for Egyptians and help promote more Internet use in the Arabic world. There are already country domain names in English, so this may be redundant. It would only work if the involved governments allowed more freedom of expression, or, as one person emailed the BBC: "It doesn't really mean anything in the scheme of things - Egypt has one of the highest rates in the world of bloggers being detained or threatened."
"In reality, I believe this might actually be a step backwards in some ways for Egyptian youth and Arabic internet users in general. Most of the social networking websites have already implemented this. I agree, this is an amazing achievement, something that we can use as our own, in our own language, but I also believe this will hinder Egyptians from learning and seeing more frequently English; which is what most need to master in order to succeed in their jobs."   - Sheen Atwa, Cairo, Egypt

The second, more ominous development, is the Orwellian Iranian web monitor set up by the police: "Iranian police have set up a special unit to monitor political websites and fight internet crime.
The head of the unit, Col Mehrdad Omidi, said it would target political "insults and the spreading of lies". Oh, well, this site is screwed, and I apologize to my Iranian readers, hope I didn't get you in any trouble...

But even in the face of adversity: "... activists continue to set up new websites to keep their campaign alive, as they have no access to state media.... Iranian experts say the deployment of the new unit is aimed at choking off the opposition campaign. "Authorities know that the internet is one of the few available channels for the opposition to make its voice heard. They want to silence opposition voices," journalist Akbar Montajabi told the Associated Press news agency." 

At least 30 protesters have been killed, thousands have been arrested and some 200 opposition activists remain behind bars... Three have so far been sentenced to death.

Even if you are the most blatant right wing mentally ill blogger in America and I strongly disagree with everything you say and the twisted way you say it, I defend your right to create your website and blog and your freedom to express yourself. The government in Iran is becoming a military fascistic state, and I fear for the brave people who live there, and I admire every ray of light that shines through the wall of doom and gloom. Maybe Apple can find a way around this little problem, then there truly can be an app for that...

some late night political jokes:

"President Obama's approval rating down to 46 percent. That means 54 percent of the people do not approve of the job he's doing, which I think is totally unfair. We should at least wait until he actually does something." –Jay Leno

"Lou Dobbs has quit CNN. And here's the weird part: He didn't want to quit, his work visa expired." –Jay Leno

"Gov. David Paterson made a shocking statement today. He said, 'New York will be broke by Christmas.' Today, Gov. Schwarzenegger said, 'Christmas? What's your secret? How'd you last so long?'" –Jay Leno

"A middle school in North Carolina has caused some controversy, because they were offering to improve test scores for cash donations. For a $20 donation, kids could get an increase of 20 points on any test they chose. It was the 'Cash from Flunkers' program." –Jay Leno

"Remember the crazy astronaut lady who put on a diaper and drove cross country? She was in love with another astronaut. And I said to myself, well that's what happens when you mix vodka and tang." –David Letterman

"On Monday, Oprah Winfrey and Sarah Palin will sit down and they're going to talk for an entire hour. And I was thinking, too bad John McCain didn't do that with her before he chose her as his running mate." –David Letterman

"President Obama is traveling to Asia this week. He'll be making a trip to China. While he's there, Obama plans to visit the Forbidden City, the Great Wall, and America's money." –Conan O'Brien

"Forbes magazine just came out, and they've released a new list of the world's most powerful people. President Obama is number one. Interesting, yeah. And apparently, Oprah is pissed off." –Conan O'Brien

"When he returns, President Obama is expected to finally reveal his strategy for the war in Afghanistan. The strategy is called, 'Don't ask, don't tell.'" –Jimmy Fallon

"Speaking of 'Don't ask, don't tell,' Congressman Barney Frank said yesterday that the military's 'Don't ask, don't tell' policy will be repealed next year. It's going to be replaced by the policy, 'Yeah, we knew.'" –Jimmy Fallon

"Big news, Lou Dobbs announced on his show last night that he was leaving CNN. No word on where Dobbs is going to go next, but I think we can all rule out Telemundo." –Jimmy Fallon

"They're not welcome there. Dobbs said he's leaving because he wants to engage in constructive problem solving. He's already solved one problem, for CNN." –Jimmy Fallon

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