Day: 2015.02.03

What It Looks Like When WordPress Kills the Joke and Sucks All the Humor Out of the Moment Because They’re a Bunch of Morons Who Want to Pitch Their Product to Writers by Showing How Nice It Is for Administrators Who Want to Data-Mine Readers for Demographics

Detail of 'Mary Death', by Matt Tarpley, 3 February 2015.You know, I forget what the damn joke was to go with this one. I’ve had to try to repost this so many damn times because suddenly WordPress doesn’t like to put pictures in posts, or something, or maybe it’s just my goddamn browser, which has been freaking out about Flash of late to the point that Unicode can make it collapse if it’s open to a page with that ridiculous excuse for software that reminds us why the French used to have a justice system to send people to prison for cooking food badly. At any rate, here’s a fuckin’ picture of a sad robot. Whatever. It’s Matt Tarpley’s, of course.

But, you know, it’s like having to do a scene five times not because you’re botching the line, but the first time the lighting is wrong, the second time the sound is wrong, the third time you realize they never took the lens cover off, the fourth time it becomes apparent the microphones aren’t plugged in, the fifth time the CCD is busted … yeah, baby, yeah, keep that mood goin’!

And what is probably most disturbing about it all is that all this could be avoided if websites like WordPress stopped bloating their software with that fucking disease called Flash.

No, seriously, when did the business model become, “Let’s screw our product into the ground and see how long people keep trying”?

Hint: They’ll put up with it as long as it’s free. But when it comes time to actually go out and spend money building an enterprise, the smart money will be spent on something a little less glamorous, but that actually works.

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Tarpley, Matt. Mary Death. 3 February 2015.

Fun in Full Color

You might have noticed that of late we’ve been enjoying some bizarre aspect of denigrated black and white. There is, of course, a thesis suggesting that you’re altering a pre-existing work enough by doing so to distribute the image without license, but in truth this is the blogosphere, so we just hope to keep a step ahead of otherwise abhorrent citation standards.

Anyway … two color photos. Why? Why not?

WASHINGTON, DC - MAY 15: House Budget Committee Chairman U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) speaks at the 2012 Fiscal Summit on May 15, 2012 in Washington, DC. The third annual summit, held by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, explored the theme "America's Case for Action." (Photo by Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images)
Professor Emeritus at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine Dr. Ben Carson speaks at the 41st Annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland, USA, 08 March 2014.  EPA/MICHAEL REYNOLDS

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Your “Say What?” Update

Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Reince Priebus stands on stage at the Republican National Committee winter meeting in Washington, Friday, Jan. 24, 2014.  (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Here’s a proposition: About one-third of our body politic will attend an all-expenses paid trip to Israel, chaperoned by an anti-Jewish political advocacy group; what could possibly go wrong?

If you’re just picking up on the story, Ben Schreckinger brings us the latest version, in which we pause to consider how the right wing is responding. Because, you know, between the RNC, its premillennial dispensationalist evangelical bloc, and pro-Israeli hardliners, nobody could have foreseen this particular conflict arising, could they? Oh, the poor right wing. Actually, that’s not really fair. But you’ll note that no part of Schreckinger’s article―not even the parts covering the Anti-Defamation League―has anything to say about the AFA’s anti-Judaic posturing.

In interviews with POLITICO on Monday, evangelical leaders and right-leaning groups said the national party showed poor judgment at best in associating with “extremists,” as evangelical Alan Noble described the groups. AFA has been labeled a “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center — a description it has disputed.

“It creates a problem of the RNC appearing to pander to the most extreme elements of the religious right,” said Warren Throckmorton, a lifelong Republican and conservative evangelical leader from Pennsylvania.

Said Noble, managing editor of the evangelical publication Christ and Pop Culture and an assistant professor at Oklahoma Baptist University: “I’m at a loss for why they think that this is a good idea. It’s disappointing. As someone who is conservative and evangelical, I think there are a lot of conservative evangelical groups that the RNC can work with … that are not extreme and hurtful and un-Christian.”

And if that is enough of a temptation to actually dig into the story, Rachel Maddow actually ran a couple segments last week:

“American Family Association fires Bryan Fischer ahead of RNC trip to Israel” (28 Jan. 2015)

“Religious bigotry haunts group hosting RNC (29 Jan. 2015)

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Schreckinger, Ben. “Right attacks RNC over Israel trip”. Politico. 2 February 2015.

Something About a Dunce Cap

U.S. Capitol building at dusk on a winter's eve. (Photo credit: Peterson)

“Every pundit who said the GOP was ready to prove it can be a governing party: go sit in the corner for a while.”

Steve Benen

It’s just one of those things. Does the day end in -y? Then this is what a Republican majority looks like:

It’s quite a congressional majority, isn’t it? Nearly a month into the new Congress, Republicans have prioritized an oil-pipeline bill they know can’t pass, an immigration package they know can’t pass, changes to Wall Street safeguards they know can’t pass, anti-abortion legislation they know can’t pass, and anti-healthcare measures they know can’t pass.

It’s part of a larger squeaky-wheel mentality: Make enough noise, then point to the noise you’ve made as evidence that there is noise.

Which seems almost silly, except as we saw once again in November, it works.

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Benen, Steve. “They’re not just ‘getting it out of the way'”. msnbc. 3 February 2015.

The Buzzkill

‘Tis the season, but the season ain’t enough. A quick list of links to depress the hell out of you:

“I have a place I would like to take you where I hung your grandpa.”

Is this really how we do it in America?

• SOTU: Did you catch the part where President Obama made history? No, really, this is important, and comes on the heels of Eric Holder’s historic memorandum in December.

‘Oh, rascal children of Gaza’, by Sami Kishawi

• What does the phrase, “the eleven American nations”, mean?

• Something about “unequivocal support for law enforcement” goes here. And here. With an update here.

Yeah, sorry ’bout that. But do try to have a good day, anyway.