Monday, January 17, 2011

The Morning Blog

Given that state Governors have been forced to accept the necessity of stringent austerity measures in face of the ongoing disaster that is state finance, the Economist was kind enough to provide this helpful graphic. What if they were countries?


I watched the Golden Globes last night. Why would I do such a thing? Because of Ricky Gervais. And only Ricky Gervais. Say what you will of his incivility but the man is funny.

Because things aren't interesting enough in Haiti as is, Baby Doc Duvalier has returned. Why should the country contend with a mere earthquake, minor cholera outbreak and trifling political violence when they could experience a full-scale zombie uprising.

Ross Douthat on the media/Palin love-hate affair: Just end it.

It’s a grim spectacle on both sides, and last week’s pointless controversy was a particularly low point. So let me play the relationship counselor. To the media: Cover Sarah Palin if you want, but stop acting as if she’s the most important conservative politician in America. Stop pretending that she has a plausible path to the presidency in 2012. (She doesn’t.) Stop suggesting that she’s the front-runner for the Republican nomination. (She isn’t.) And every time you’re tempted to parse her tweets for some secret code or crucial dog whistle, stop and think, this woman has fewer Twitter followers than Ben Stiller, and then go write about something else instead.

To Palin: You were an actual politician once (remember that?), but you’re becoming the kind of caricature that your enemies have always tried to make of you. So maybe it’s time to turn off your iPad for a while, and take a break from Facebook and Fox News. The world won’t end if you don’t respond to every criticism, and you might even win a few more admirers if you cultivated a lighter touch and a more above-the-fray persona. Oh, and when that reality-TV producer sends you a pitch for “Sarah Plus Five Plus Kate Plus Eight,” just say no.

Does grand larceny seem like an adequate charge for the outright theft of 30 homes? I will refrain from making any comments about Beef Patty Breath. They would be unnecessary.

Oh, those waggish wits on the Supreme Court! A study reveals which Justices elicit the most laughter. Who's number one? Why Antonin "Chuckles McYukmeister" Scalia of course!

Screw Tom Brady. Seriously though, I'd much rather play the Jets than the Pats any day.

Sue Bait: The X-Men Family Tree.

Kacee Bait: The Girlfriend and I are both big fans of magicians. Here's a review of two magic related tv shows that neither of us will probably ever get the chance to see. Why do I link to them? Because we also disagree heartily (I think so at least), about what constitutes good and bad magic. Zing:

Instead I have come to love close-up magic of the sort performed by the young David Blaine and Bradford's own brilliantly cocky Dynamo. Tricks performed beneath your nose require a good deal more dexterity and deceit than any number of vanishing aircraft or mutant sex kittens.

Speaking of efforts to make alcohol unattractive to poor people (they clearly cannot be expected to make their own choices on the matter. Otherwise, they wouldn't be poor!), here's an article from the New York Times (circa 1852), concerning the scourge of Irish drunkards! The author proposes the establishment of tea rooms.

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