Saturday, August 02, 2008

Wingnut Hysteria Report: Saturday

Every time the kindler, gentler side of me* starts thinking that maybe, just maybe, modern conservatives aren't just bat-shit crazy, I have only to click over to the wingnut site known as Confederate Yankee to remind myself.

Seems that, recently, Blogger was locking people out of their sites without warning and with the "explanation" that said blogs were violating Blogger's Terms of Service.

Well, since no adverse event, not even a glitch in the notoriously glitch-prone Blogger software, can take place without an America-Hating, Terrorist-Loving, Godless Obaminite Libural Conspiracy behind it, CY immediately saddled his swaybacked steed and, like some demented avatar of Paul Revere, rode out to warn the blogosphere that Obama's Netroots Supporters Continue "Blog Burning":

Online activists thought to be loyal to Barack Obama are once against using Google's software tools to target rival political blogs for elimination as spam blogs. This occurred earlier this year when Democratic bloggers with a preference for Hillary Clinton also found themselves locked out of their own blogs, all because of spurious and apparently orchestrated claims that these blogs are spam blogs. Pro-Obama activists were blamed for those attempts at censorship as well."

There's even a picture of Nazis burning books to drive home the point.

Except, wait a minute....

You mentioned in your post that "quite a few other bloggers" are getting locked out of their Blogger accounts. Try hundreds, if not thousands. The Blogger help board is full of frustrated folks like myself.

I am a "genea-blogger"; a genealogy blogger. I had three of my six public blogs (I have eight total on Blogger) get locked out yesterday afternoon. Immediately, I submitted all three for review. My main one ( is an award-winning blog that I've had for a year and a half on Blogger with nearly 700 posts. It is one of the main genealogy blogs read in the blogosphere.

So CY had to back down and apologize. Not to the Obama supporters he's slandered, of course, but to his own readers. And the Nazi pic is still up. Because, as we know, it's not the hysterical, authoritarian, magical-thinking personality cult that passes for conservatism these days that's fascistic, it's the people calling for civil liberties, checks and balances, and accountable government.

What an asshole.

Hat tip to Sadly, No!

*Yes, I do have one. I'm as surprised as you. Keep it to yourself, okay?

Friday, August 01, 2008

A Declaration of Independents: BREAKING COVER is a Notable Book!

The fine folks at IndieBound (formerly Booksense), have named BREAKING COVER one of their "Notable Books" for August. The American Booksellers Association describes Indiebound as "bring[ing] together booksellers, readers, indie retailers, local business alliances, and others who believe that healthy local economies help communities thrive."

Independent booksellers like Park Road Books in Charlotte, Murder by the Book in Houston and my hometown indie, The Country Bookshop in Southern Pines, NC were among my earliest fans and supporters. So show your local indie some love by going to the site, clicking on the link for BREAKING COVER, and letting their dandy little widget show you the nearest independent bookseller near you. Then, you know, go there and buy the book.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

This Is Why I Love This Guy

Political Punch describes how Barack Obama responds to the latest John McCain ad comparing him to Paris Hilton and Britney Spears:

"Given the seriousness of the issues, you’d think we could have a serious debate," Obama said. "But so far, all we've been hearing about is Paris Hilton and Britney Spears. I mean, I do have to ask my opponent, is that the best you can come up with? Is that really what this election is about? Is that what is worthy of the American people?"

The crowd yelled: "NOOOOOOOOOO."

"Even the media has pointed out that Senator John McCain -- who started off talking about running an honorable campaign -- has fallen back on predictable political attacks and demonstrably false statements. But here’s the problem. All of those negative ads spending all this time talking about me, instead of talking about what he's going to do, that's not going to lower your gas prices…

"It's politics as a game," Obama said. "But the time for game-playing is over. That's why I'm running for President of the United States of America."

Big cheers from the Iowa crowd.

And from this North Carolinian.

Actually, my first reaction when seeing the "celebrity" ad was incredulity. McCain is running an ad that mostly points out how UN-charismatic McCain is in comparison with Obama? Is he TRYING to lose? But wisely, Obama decided not only to hit back, but to stay on message while doing it.

For years, the conventional wisdom has been "ignore attacks, no matter how scurrilous. If you mention them, you just dignify them." But that's pre-blogosphere thinking, a mindset from before the time when the networks saw it as their job to pick up and magnify every smear by repeating it over and over and over, thus giving the shit merchants free air time, while piously telling us that the accusation was itself a story.

Obama knows better than to follow that "conventional wisdom.." Obama, as I said, knows you have to hit back, hard. More importantly, he knows to stay on your core message while doing so. That message is: McCain is the past. McCain is old ways of doing things. McCain is everything you've gotten sick to death of in the past eight years.

It's a brilliant strategy, because it goes right at the heart of Honorable John's own manufactured "maverick" image. It points out that that image is a sham. Take this response:

Get that? John McCain. Same. Old.

But the beauty of it all is: the ad doesn't stop doesn't just attack. It goes on to to say why you should vote for Obama.

This Obama guy might actually win this thing.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Why Yes, I Do Get Tired Of Being Right All the Time

Network Coverage Biased Against Obama: Los Angeles Times

The Center for Media and Public Affairs at George Mason University, where researchers have tracked network news content for two decades, found that ABC, NBC and CBS were tougher on Obama than on Republican John McCain during the first six weeks of the general-election campaign.

You read it right: tougher on the Democrat.

During the evening news, the majority of statements from reporters and anchors on all three networks are neutral, the center found. And when network news people ventured opinions in recent weeks, 28% of the statements were positive for Obama and 72% negative.

Network reporting also tilted against McCain, but far less dramatically, with 43% of the statements positive and 57% negative, according to the Washington-based media center.

Not that this is going to stop conservatives from whining about how MEAN everyone in the media is to Honorable John McCain and Republicans in general. After I mentioned a similar study a few years ago, I got an e-mail saying "I don't care what your so-called 'facts' say, everyone KNOWS the media is liberal."

It just goes to show: you can't use logic to persuade people away from a position that logic didn't get them to in the first place.

And People Wonder Why a Liberal Like Me Owns a Gun

Bill O'Reilly, Michael Savage, Sean Hannity on accused shooter's reading list : Knoxville News Sentinel

Police found right-wing political books, brass knuckles, empty shotgun shell boxes and a handgun in the Powell home of a man who said he attacked a church in order to kill liberals "who are ruining the country," court records show.

Knoxville police Sunday evening searched the Levy Drive home of Jim David Adkisson after he allegedly entered the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church and killed two people and wounded six others during the presentation of a children's musical...

Inside the house, officers found "Liberalism is a Mental Health Disorder" by radio talk show host Michael Savage, "Let Freedom Ring" by talk show host Sean Hannity, and "The O'Reilly Factor," by television talk show host Bill O'Reilly.

Now, wingnuts across the blogosphere have gone into a fury of denial that the works of their favorite mouth-foaming, angry Culture Warriors have anything at all to do with this nutball's actions.

Yet if someone finds video games like "Grand Theft Auto" or "Doom 3" inside the home of someone who goes on a shooting rampage, or if the shooter's fond of violent movies, there's an immediate outcry for new regulations of so-called "violent" media.

Will we see a similar outcry against right wing drivel? Should Hannity, O'Reilly, and Savage's books be required to carry warning stickers? How about "Rated 'B' for 'Batshit Crazy"?


Monday, July 28, 2008


Today's the birthday of one of the mystery community's most beloved denizens, Texas author (and Lord High Sheriff of the Gang of Hellions) Bill Crider. His blog, Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine, is one I read, not just daily, but several times a day, since Bill updates frequently with fun stuff like book and movie reviews, funny and bizarre news stories, and one of my favorites, trailers from cheesy old movies (today's feature: CHAIN GANG WOMEN. How can you go wrong?)

Bill is also a hell of a nice guy who's always there with advice, encouragement and congratulations. Here's to you, Bill! May you stay forever young.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

More of That Maverick Straight Talk From "Honorable" John McCain

Jonathan Martin's Blog:"

McCain's campaign didn't have footage of Obama's actual trip to the gym Wednesday in Germany, so for the portion of their new ad when they ding the Democrat for making time to work out they flash imagery of Obama shooting hoops.

The problem, as noted by many e-mailers, is that the shots are taken are from a gym on an American military post. That's right, McCain's camp went after Obama for ditching a trip to see wounded troops with images of Obama's visit to see American military personnel stationed in Kuwait last weekend.

Good thing for McCain, the picture is too blurry to make clear Obama is with soldiers at the time."

Obama Bestrides the Energy World Like a Colossus

Latest Newspaper Column

Gas prices are hovering at unprecedented heights, with no end in sight, and everyone's looking for someone to blame. Who, we ask, is responsible for this mess? A recent ad for the McCain campaign tells us the answer: Sen. Barack Obama.

"Who can you thank for rising prices as the pump?" the ad's voice-over states as a picture of a smiling Obama appears on the screen next to a gas pump as a crowd chants "Obama! Obama!" in the background.

Wow. Who knew the junior senator from Illinois wielded so much power over oil prices? I thought the Republican talking point was that Obama was weak and inexperienced. But now, it seems, he bestrides the energy market like a Colossus, wielding the power to drive up the price at the pump.

Wait, it gets worse!

As recently as last week, John McCain said that the current energy crisis was "30 years in the making," which means that if Barack Obama's to blame, he's been in control of gas prices since he was 16 years old! Who knows what new powers he's developed in the interim! If he has this much clout, folks, we have to vote for him, because you don't want to make someone that powerful angry. Heck, he might even be able to make big rocks rain from the sky!

This, of course, is absurd. Barack Obama isn't solely responsible for the price of gasoline, any more than George Dubbya Bush is. The current energy mess is the product of years of failures by both Republican and Democratic administrations to realize that we are too darn dependent, not just on foreign oil, but on oil in general as a source of energy.

So what's McCain's solution? The exact same solution as Bush's: find more oil.

What McCain and Bush want to do is open the offshore areas of the U.S. to more oil exploration and more drilling. In fact, Bush the Younger recently reversed his own father's executive order banning drilling in areas of the U.S. coast, setting the stage for a showdown with Congress, which has its own longstanding moratorium.

At least that's McCain's position now. In 2000, McCain opposed offshore drilling. Of course, this is a guy who made a reference last week to the "Iraq-Pakistan border," so it's not surprising that he maybe doesn't remember what he said eight whole years ago.

The "drill our way to energy independence" plan is like saying that the solution to the problem of heroin addiction is to find new sources of heroin. And it's not going to do anything any time soon to bring prices down.

According to a report from the Energy Department released last year, the soonest Gulf Coast drilling, by itself, would have any effect on gas prices is 2017, with no "significant effect" till 2030. Even conservative T. Boone Pickens, an oilman his ownself, says, "This is one problem we're not going to drill our way out of."
Ah, McCain says, but even if it's not going to have any real impact, for "some years, the fact that we are exploiting those reserves would have a psychological impact that I think is beneficial."

Got that? It won't have any effect for years, but we'll all feel a little better about energy. And Republicans have the nerve to call Obama the "feel-good" politician.

The fact is, there is no short-term, quick-fix solution to the energy crunch. "Psychological impacts" aren't going to change the grim calculus that inevitably results from more and more demand (especially from developing countries) chasing a finite amount of oil. With no short-term solution, who's offering a long-term one? Hint: It ain't John McSame.

The good news is that, if we look around hard enough, energy is everywhere. Solar. Wind. Tidal. Geothermal. Biofuels. Heck, they're even working on making fuel out of algae-pond scum -- which can be processed into diesel. A DOE report suggests that we could supply all of America's energy needs from algae-based fuels that don't have the disadvantage that ethanol does, namely that ethanol uses up the corn we may need for food.

Sound like pie in the sky? Sure, there are problems with any of these solutions that need to be overcome. But folks, this is America. We split the atom. We cured polio. We put a man on the moon. Have you naysayers stopped believing in America's potential to discover great things? Do you hate America?

Let's not forget, there's an added bonus for getting off our oil addiction: We can tell terrorist-supporting dictatorships like Bush's pals in Saudi Arabia to -- literally -- go pound sand. But we're not going to get there if we keep looking for the same old solutions. We're not going to get there with the same old, same old Bush/McCain plan to drill our way out of this.