It’s My Party and I’ll Fly if I Want To

Saturday’s my birthday, and I’ve decided to replace the annual theme soiree with a small vacation.

That means Bill O’Reilly will have to find someone else’s good time to manipulate on national television this year.

It also means no posting until next week, but I’ll catch you back here then.

Have a good one.

The Write Stuff

I officially have a giant journalism crush on Matt Taibbi.

A handful of gems from his latest article for Rolling Stone on the media-fueled Tea Party fiasco that calls itself a unified movement:

A hall full of elderly white people in Medicare-paid scooters, railing against government spending and imagining themselves revolutionaries as they cheer on the vice-presidential puppet hand-picked by the GOP establishment. If there exists a better snapshot of everything the Tea Party represents, I can’t imagine it.

It’s a mistake to cast the Tea Party as anything like a unified, cohesive movement — which makes them easy prey for the very people they should be aiming their pitchforks at. A loose definition of the Tea Party might be millions of pissed-off white people sent chasing after Mexicans on Medicaid by the handful of banks and investment firms who advertise on Fox and CNBC.

It’s not like the Tea Partiers hate black people. It’s just that they’re shockingly willing to believe the appalling horseshit fantasy about how white people in the age of Obama are some kind of oppressed minority. That may not be racism, but it is incredibly, earth-shatteringly stupid.

Arguments with Tea Partiers always end up like football games in the year 1900 — everything on the ground, one yard at a time.

Of course, the fact that we’re even sitting here two years after Bush talking about a GOP comeback is a profound testament to two things: One, the American voter’s unmatched ability to forget what happened to him 10 seconds ago, and two, the Republican Party’s incredible recuperative skill and bureaucratic ingenuity.

Do yourself a favor. Take 10 minutes and read the whole thing. It’s that good.

h/t Chez

When Good Things Happen to Great People

Miles O’Brien is back. From PBS:

At a time when many news organizations are reducing or have altogether eliminated the coverage of science news, the PBS NewsHour will increase its commitment to science journalism both on air and online.

With the goal of enhancing the profile of its science, engineering and technology reporting – and increasing the science literacy of its audience – the PBS NewsHour has named veteran journalist Miles O’Brien as its new science reporter.

O’Brien will lead the NewsHour Science News Unit to serve as a definitive, continuing source of reliable, up-to-the-minute coverage of this important and vibrant element in the lives of millions of Americans.

Miles is one of the good ones. Here’s what I said when he got let go from CNN back in 2008.

As with Judy Woodruff (whose show was my first on CNN), CNN’s loss is PBS’s gain. Big time.

What He Said

Sometimes someone nails it better than I ever could.

Thank you, Jamie. Spot on.

UPDATE: Turns out there’s video too:

Good Friday

Scratch that.

Excellent Friday.


CNN Worldwide president Jim Walton issued an email to CNN staff Friday morning notifying them that Jon Klein, president of CNN/US is out, just days after completing his overhaul of the cable news network’s primetime lineup, hiring “America’s Got Talent” judge Piers Morgan to replace Larry King, and a new talk show co-hosted by Eliot Spitzer and syndicated columnist Kathleen Parker.

Thank G-d. It’s about time. He’s a despicable human being. Good riddance.

UPDATE: Chez has reposted some of his thoughts on Klein. And sadly, as true and well-written as these pieces are, they only scratch the surface of the crap this man pulled over the course of his years at CNN.

Playing Catch

A couple of days ago I got a solicitation packet in the mail from a Native American education fund. These always make me slightly uncomfortable because they tend to include pages and pages of address labels I don’t want to use but feel odd throwing away.

This plea was particularly aggressive in that it contained multiple “gifts” – a calendar, address labels, stickers, notepads, the picture and story of an unsponsored child, and a dreamcatcher.

I wasn’t moved to donate, but I thought the dreamcatcher was too cool to toss. So I came up with an alternate solution. I hung it above my door and renamed it.

It’s now my guiltcatcher.

You Missed a Spot

Apologies for the slow posting around here lately. I’ve been distracted.

In addition to trying to finish “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest” (my least favorite of the Larsson trilogy, by far), I just got a couple of new books. One is Landmark – The Washington Post’s take on the health care battle and bill. The second is a workbook on Spanish verb conjugations. I started to think a simple review of the basics would help get my Spanish back up to speed. So far so good.

I’ve also taken the liberty of repainting a couple of walls in my apartment. It started with one accent wall, but this morning, I used the leftover paint on a second. Today’s project went a lot more smoothly than yesterday’s. I chalk it up to having had practice.

Here’s the FB update I posted after finishing the first:

The wall looks blue in the photo, but it’s actually a dark lavender.

As for stuff you could be reading online while I slack, I’d recommend Chez on Jon Stewart’s Oct 30th Rally to Restore Sanity. I know it’s tough for people to get away, but wouldn’t it be amazing if reasonable and rational saved the day?

Moving Pictures

During my first summer in DC about 5 years ago, a friend and I went out to Ballston for dinner and then decided to walk home. It was dark and late, but the weather was gorgeous, and since we are both huge walkers, it was totally doable. I think we figured out it was a little more than 6 miles.

On our way back into the District, we passed the Iwo Jima Memorial and climbed down into the park to take a closer look. We sat under the monument for a while and just let the image sink in. It’s really something else at night. Eerie. Haunting. Powerful.

This past Saturday night, I went out to Virginia for a birthday party, and on the way home, I suggested my friend and I take a slight detour. This friend had never seen the Memorial before – let alone at night – so we stopped, and for me, the experience was just as moving the second time around. It’s impossible to capture the full range of emotions in photos, but here’s a sense of what we saw:

These were all taken with my Blackberry. I’d love to get back out there sometime with a real camera and try and do it justice.

Misery Loves Musical Company

A huge Metro fail yesterday morning kicked off a chain of events that led to an infinitely frustrating – and unnecessarily expensive – Wednesday.

Then someone posted the latest from the “Arlington Rap” guy on Facebook, and all was right with the world again:

Theme Week(s)

I’ve been lucky enough to spend the last couple of weekends at a gorgeous house out on the water, and last Saturday we went for a cruise around the bay. Here are a couple of cool photos from that outing:

Of course, the field trips have given birth to countless jokes about boats, scantily clad women, rap videos, and this SNL parody:

Then in an odd twist of coincidence, the following popped up this morning in the list of wireless networks available in my area:

I love when the universe has a sense of humor.