Tuesday, November 15, 2005

the diamond joe quimby party

"If that is the way the wind is blowing, never let it be
said that I do not also blow."

I liked the Senate Republicans' plan to end the war in Iraq better when it was the Senate Democrats' plan to end the war in Iraq (thanks to Nitpicker).

"you fucked up - you trusted us"

Via Atrios.

i suck

When it comes to placing the state, I suck. My average error was 18 miles. Kris sent this link to me, and her average error was only five miles.

Who designed this country, anyway?

the eagles are the eagles again

I'm sure the football gods will punish me come Sunday for this, but... damn, that was awesome. I turned the game off with over three minutes to go, thinking the Eagles' annual dramatic season turnaround had begun; I turned it back on to see David Akers' potential game-winning 60-yard field goal attempt fall at least ten yards short as time ran out. After wiping my eyes, doing a double take and exclaiming "wha-a-WHAAAA!?", I used Tivo's 30-minute cache to relive the Eagles' gut-punching, Rich-Kotite-Era-repressed-memory-triggering defeat (which easily - easily - dwarfs the Giants' loss to the Vikes).

Remember I said that I'd believe the Eagles were dead when I saw a body? We're not there yet; this team still has a dominating defense at times, and I'm still not convinced the Giants are any good.

But we're close.

And no matter what happens on Sunday, it's just awesome to see the Cowboys come into town and ruin everybody's night, just like in the old days. The only thing better would be the Giants doing it.

Now, I don't think I'd dislike the Eagles as much as I do if it weren't for their fans; not since Red Sox Nation's pre-2004 heyday has a fanbase so skillfully combined arrogant soccer hooliganism, hangdog defeatism, and a ginormously whiny sense of entitlement. When I first got to Penn in 1998, the wonderful, amazing, devoted Eagles fans went to the Vet dressed as empty blue seats, which kept the games off TV; these days, one learns how charming it can be to hear God's collective gift to fandom do the "E-A-G-L-E-S EAGLES!" chant eight or nine times... at a Phillies game... in July. Now they can all go to the back of the line.

At least until Sunday.

on edit - I had no idea Donovan McNabb injured his groin. I certainly don't take pleasure in this, and I did not when I posted this blog entry. I wish him the best, and I certainly hope he's on the field this Sunday - after all, you've got to beat the best to be the best. -haplo

Monday, November 14, 2005

the internets in action

So there's been a quote circulating around the Internet the past couple days. At first glance, it appears to be yet another unfortunate choice of words for John Kerry, who was often excoriated during the 2004 presidential campaign for similarly unfortunate choices of words (i.e., "I voted for it before I voted against it," etc.):

"We had no pre-war intelligence," said Sen. John Kerry, "History will show that none of the leading Democrats had substantial intelligence. Anyone who remembers what we did then knows that the president is making a baseless allegation. I think history will bear out my contention that we Democrats lacked the intelligence to make such an important decision."

Sounds too good to be true, right? Sounds like it was tailor-made for the type of triumphant, vitriolic email forwards that circle the drains of our junk mail folders (the same type that can make Andy Rooney look like David Duke). Well, that's because it was.

"Scrappleface" is a fake news website. More precisely, it's an extremely right-wing fake news website; for example, one story deals with Nancy Pelosi's apparent plan to seize oil company profits and use them to fund abortions for ANWR wildlife.

Now that's comedy.

Anyhoo, the Kerry quote is fakily fake; so fake, in fact, that debunking the cause of the resulting outrage-tinged smug satisfaction among the right (look at how many people assume John Kerry actually said this) would be a slam dunk for the folks over at Snopes. Unfortunately, that won't keep this little nugget of subtle-as-a-sledge-hammer satire from circulating around the Internets forever, presented as yet another factual dumb soundbite that actually factually sprang from the wordhole of one John Kerry, Democrat.

Partisans believe what they want to believe - what they expect to believe - facts be damned. Some partisans know it's fake, and just don't care; it stands more of a chance to distract from the question at hand if people assume it's true. It won't change the subject, to be sure; but in the arena of public opinion, Republicans have defeated Democrats in the past by inflicting thousands of little cuts just like this one.

Can't wait to get it in an email.

every battle is won before it is ever fought

It seems the national debate these days has turned to whether or not the Bush administration manipulated intelligence to lead the nation into war with Iraq, or if it was suckered into believing what turned out to be flawed, flimsy intelligence (which is certainly the less evil possibility, but just as unforgiveable a sin if true). The GOP is spinning mightily, trying to convince the nation that the Democrats were privy to the same intelligence and are therefore worthy of all the blame (as Atrios points out, it's the "you fucked up - you trusted us" defense). This is of course untrue, but peddling revisionist history to an eager media is pretty much the only move the Bushies have left.

My question is this: if it's true that the Republicans' massively successful communications philosophy/strategy (whatever you want to call it) over the years hasn't been to win the debate but to control the very terms of the debate - to control the question itself... then haven't they already lost?

the giants are the giants again

Just one thought on this Giants debacle: the Giants are the Giants again. Not because they lost, but because they lost in excruciating fashion; because the defense was awesome until it wasn't, because the special teams was awful, because the offense played just well enough to lose.

Since Tom Coughlin took over the team, there have been new faces and fresh ideas. Last year the team was laughably bad. It happens. This year, the special teams have actually been good. The offense has been explosive. The defense has been mediocre. This is all new for the New York Football Giants. But yesterday's loss was straight out of the Jim Fassel era. You could easily have taken one of today's game stories back in time to 1998 or 2002, changed the names to protect the horrible, and Mr. 1998 Giants Fan wouldn't have been able to determine that this game recap was from THE FUTURE!!! To him, it would have been just another terrible loss for a franchise that knows how to terribly lose better than any other.

sadly predictable

Let the second-half tailspin... begin!