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Argan Argar

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The Ironically Titled Inconvenient Truth [March 13th, 2007|10:10 am]
Argan Argar
Scientists express concerns about Al Gore, according to the New York Times.

They're very glad he's raising awareness about global warming.

They just wish he wouldn't keep making shit up.

“I don’t want to pick on Al Gore,” Don J. Easterbrook, an emeritus professor of geology at Western Washington University, told hundreds of experts at the annual meeting of the Geological Society of America. “But there are a lot of inaccuracies in the statements we are seeing, and we have to temper that with real data.”

Mr. Gore, in an e-mail exchange about the critics, said his work made “the most important and salient points” about climate change, if not “some nuances and distinctions” scientists might want. “The degree of scientific consensus on global warming has never been stronger,” he said, adding, “I am trying to communicate the essence of it in the lay language that I understand.”


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Hillary's political instincts are as acute as ever [March 5th, 2007|11:26 am]
Argan Argar
What. The. Fuck?

I'm not sure how this helps her...

(Worksafe, but baffling.)
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Greenpeace Hates Me [February 21st, 2007|03:58 pm]
Argan Argar
I dunno about you, but after watching this ad, I feel a great urge to do whatever I can to make this kid's life difficult.

Since I'll never meet him, I'll have to settle for cranking out all the CO2 I can just because I know it'll make him crazy.

On the plus side, he's bound to lighten up once he's old enough to get laid...

[Hat tip J-Go at the Corner, who's greatly amused.]
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Al Gore speaks out on extraordinary rendition [February 20th, 2007|10:07 am]
Argan Argar
[mood |amusedamused]

Richard Clarke on Al Gore on international law:

The first time I proposed a snatch, in 1993, the White House Counsel, Lloyd Cutler, demanded a meeting with the President to explain how it violated international law. Clinton had seemed to be siding with Cutler until Al Gore belatedly joined the meeting, having just flown overnight from South Africa. Clinton recapped the arguments on both sides for Gore: Lloyd says this. Dick says that. Gore laughed and said, "That's a no-brainer. Of course it's a violation of international law, that's why it's a covert action. The guy is a terrorist. Go grab his ass."

One can reasonably hope that if the Democrats win in '08, they'll start acting like this again.
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If you're still following it... [February 13th, 2007|10:44 am]
Argan Argar
Dean Barnett has a nice summary of the whole Edwards/Marcotte kerfuffle. Executive summary:

As for Edwards, he looks irredeemably pathetic. There’s a simple reason for this - he is irredeemably pathetic. He hired someone who had no business being legitimated by a mainstream political campaign. He then bowed to pressure and fired her. He then bowed to pressure again and unfired her. And then he left the stage to let her resign. In the wake of all these stumbles and pratfalls, he looks like a careless fool. He also may have alienated the Fightin’ Nutroots to boot. Well played!

I don't think this episode, per se, will do Edwards lasting harm. But I think it shows that he just doesn't have what it takes. His best shot in '04 was as the "anti-Dean"--the mainstream candidate the party could rally around to block the insurgent. In the event, Kerry played that role and got the nomination. I suppose he could be the "anti-Hillary"--if the party rejects Hillary (possible) and thinks Obama is too new (possible) they might turn to Edwards. Even there, though, I don't think it's likely. If they reject Obama for being too new, why turn to an Edwards whose resume is about as thin (six years in the senate as opposed to Obama's four)? If they worry that Obama's too liberal for the general election, would they turn to the Edwards who's reinvented himself as an economic populist? Edwards' main asset has been his southern accent (every Democrat elected in my lifetime has had a drawl). But the Marcotte thang shows him out of touch with the pews down home, as well as being timid and indecisive. And I don't see him wanting, or getting offered, a second shot at the veep slot (my money's still on Obama for veep[*]).

I don't think Edwards lasts long. First Prediction of the Season: Edwards sticks it out until the South Carolina primary, comes in third, and drops out. Kos claims victory.

UPDATE: Oops, forgot the Obama footnote. It follows (ahem):

[*] How to tell if Obama is aiming for veep? Simple: He tries not to piss off his fellow candidates. Given his high-road/new politics shtick, that'll be easy to do. He stays upbeat, deploring Republicans in amournful-yet-hopeful tone and speaking only good of his Democratic rivals. That's how I bet he plays it.
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Interesting! [February 11th, 2007|05:13 pm]
Argan Argar
A study has found a correlation between cosmic rays and cloud formation, and a mechanism for it, too. An increase in cosmic ray levels mean an increase in cloud cover.

What gives it added flavor is--the level of cosmic radiation hitting the earth is affected by the sun's magnetic field. A decrease in the sun's magnetic field means more cosmic rays, which means more cloud cover, which means more sunlight reflected from the atmosphere, which means cooler surface temperatures. An increase in the sun's magnetic field means the reverse, naturally.

Which means there's a mechanism for how solar variations could drive climate change.

No, I'm not saying that means it's okay for you to go out and drive an SUV. On the other hand, I'm not saying it ain't...

(Also, according to that link, temperatures appear to have peaked--there's no significant increase since 1999, according to satellite data. That would be consistent with climate change being driven by solar factors. It would not be consistent with human causation--but, then, neither was the worldwide cooling from 1940-1970. Anyway, I'd like to see more background on the recent temperatures. Alas, I suspect that doing a search on "global warming" would prove fruitless...)
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Behind the scenes at the Edwards campaign [February 8th, 2007|04:48 pm]
Argan Argar
Iowahawk unearths some of the Marcotte/Edwards correspondence. Sample:

Dear Senator Edwards:

To help you hone your campaign message for the online community, I organized an impromptu focus group of top progressive bloggers for tomorrow night at the Raleigh Airport Hilton. This group will include political analyst Jeremy Lacewell of Die Motherfucking ZioNazi NeoCon Motherfuckers Die, feminist Kiersten Lomax of Hands Off My Cunt, and recent immigrant blogger Mohammed al-Aziz of I Intend To Detonate a Nuclear Weapon in St. Louis.

This event will help you get acquainted with online mainstream progressives, discuss the issues important to them, and come up with a strategy for countering the insane Xtian Jesusist lynchmobs. We will be serving lacto-vegetarian snacks and Ecstasy to help facilitate a free-wheeling discussion...
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The mind wobbles! [February 8th, 2007|11:31 am]
Argan Argar
Edwards isn't firing his blogchicks after all.

At least, not yet. Probably.
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The New York Times lets me down again [February 7th, 2007|12:37 pm]
Argan Argar
Recent Edwards blogmistress Amanda Marcotte:

Q: What if Mary had taken Plan B after the Lord filled her with his hot, white, sticky Holy Spirit? A: You’d have to justify your misogyny with another ancient mythology.

The NYT's delicate characterization thereof:

In another posting last year, she used vulgar language to describe the church doctrine of the Immaculate Conception.

sigh You'd think the New York Times would understand the difference between the Immaculate Conception and the Virgin Birth.
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So quick--and yet so, so slow! [February 7th, 2007|12:20 pm]
Argan Argar
[mood |amusedamused]

Remember John Edwards' troublesome bloggers? They've been sent packing.
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Iiinteresting. [February 6th, 2007|12:55 pm]
Argan Argar
John Edwards has hired a blogmaster--Amanda Marcotte, of Pandagon.net.

Michelle Malkin gives a dramatic reading. (You might want headphones.)

2008 just might be fun.
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Depressing Metaphor of the Day [January 25th, 2007|04:38 pm]
Argan Argar
[mood |grimly considering a Hillary icon]

This from a soldier's email to the NRO Corner:

“So a man is in a horrible car accident.  He is wheeled in to the OR, and the most elite, prestigious surgeon in the world goes to work.  He operates, without rest, for 24 hours straight.  All the man's organs are put back where they belong and the internal injuries are fixed.  The surgeon collapses, exhausted, and calls for the suture doctor to come in and close the wounds.  The problem is, the suture doctor is afraid of blood.  He insists he won't come in and sew the guy up until the bleeding has stopped.  The surgeon yells that the bleeding won't stop until the sutures are in, and he isn't trained to do it, isn't allowed to do it, and the suture doctor has the keys to the suture cabinet with all the supplies.  Meanwhile, the man is dying on the table.  Too bad, says the suture doctor, this isn't what I went to med school for, I made it clear when I came to work in this hospital that I don't like blood and only work when there isn't any danger that the patient will die.  So now, the hospital is trying to train the exhausted surgeon, who hasn't slept in 36 hours, how to do sutures with different equipment, since the suture doctor doesn't like people touching the stuff in his cabinet.  Welcome to Iraq....”

And that aptly summed up a lot of my frustration with the Bush administration. Yes, yes, I still need to write the Big Depressing Post I keep promising. But here's a start. I'd said in a comment elsewhere that it feels like neither side in America is acting like we're in the decades-long war I think we're in. Democrats act like there isn't a war at all, all we need is policemen and lawyers. The Bush administration acts like we're in a short-term fight we can solve with quick fixes.

Well, here's a case in point. If we were really in a decades-long fight, we'd be reorganizing the government along those lines. Instead, the pentagon and maybe the NSA is acting like there's a war on. The State Department, as always, feels like its primary job is to represent (a) foreign countries and (b) the Washington establishment. The CIA has been actively engaged in undermining one government alone, and that's ours. And everyone else just carries on business as usual.

New Gingrich (also quoted in that post) recommends forming a war cabinet. Yeah, maybe. But I think it's more important for Bush to be ruthless with the parts of government which he nominally controls. When the CIA leaks against him, someone should be fired at least, ideally imprisoned. Ditto State. Ditto every damn place else. The President is responsible for the executive branch. He takes the blame if it doesn't do its job. So if part of the executive branch is attacking other parts instead of doing what it's constitutionally-designated commander tells it to do, that's a constitutional crisis, and the President should damned well act that way.

Then he could give orders that might make that soldier's life easier. He could let the army take care of killing people, and let bureaucrats work on putting together a functioning Iraq.

Not that he will, of course. The time for that purge would've been in 2002-03. Now he couldn't even if he wanted to, and it's all too clear he doesn't want to.

I bet Hillary would, though...
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Ah well... [January 24th, 2007|01:15 pm]
Argan Argar
Kerry isn't running in '08.

Still no word from McGovern.
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A small thing... [January 23rd, 2007|07:07 pm]
Argan Argar
I liked that he snuck "the state of the union is strong" into the middle of the closing sentence. That's always struck me as a cheap applause line, the civi equivalent of "Hey, anybody here from Brooklyn?"

I approve. This wasn't a speech that would win over his opponents (though perhaps it embarassed some of them) but it reassured the people who used to support him and wanted to do so again. Petreus gets confirmed, now, and I think we as a country give him the nine months or so it takes to show some real results.

I admit to being very intrigued by the civilian reserve corps he mentioned. Maybe it's a way a pudgy middle-aged nearsighted chickenhawk like me can help out. I'll keep my ears open.

Oh, and Necessary Caveat: Once again, I heard the speech but mostly didn't watch it. In '04, I was often struck by how much better he came across on the radio than on teevee. It could be that this happened tonight.
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Wow [January 23rd, 2007|06:50 pm]
Argan Argar
[mood |hopefulhopeful]

Bush is giving the right speech.

No, it won't win over Ted Kennedy. But I think it won over me, and people like me--people who doubted he was serious.

And I think it will win over those in the middle--those who want victory in Iraq, but despaired of achieving it.

No, it won't win over the people who want us defeated in Iraq. And yes, there are lots of them. But this might be the speech that turns things around.

We'll see.
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But they support our troops! [January 23rd, 2007|11:55 am]
Argan Argar
Ouch. A sergeant in the army's 1st Cavalary, stationed in Taji, Iraq, emailed online mattress store Discount-mats.com to find out if they shipped to APO addresses. (Apparently he and his soldiers are sleeping on the cold ground, which has sand mites and other nasties; they wanted to order floor mats.)

He got this response, on the same day:

SGT Hess,
We do not ship to APO addresses, and even if we did, we would NEVER ship to Iraq. If you were sensible, you and your troops would pull out of Iraq.

Bargain Suppliers

Well, they're famous now! Fox News picked up the story, and Instapundit linked to it. I guess there's no such thing as bad publicity, right? (Don't know how they're going to take advantage of the publicity, though, since they've taken their website down--"technical difficulties".)

Oh, and Sgt. Hess found another store that would ship the mattresses to him. It is entirely possible that the staff at that other store had principled objections to our presence in Iraq. If so, however, they do not seem to have let that stand in the way of shipping mattresses to our troops there. Guess they're just hypocrites.
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Good Advice from Frank J. [January 22nd, 2007|12:24 pm]
Argan Argar
[mood |amusedamused]

Frank J., in his own inimitable way, offers good advice to conservatives who are worried about the consequences of the last election and the next one:

The Main Challenge Facing Conservatives Today Is for Them to Stop Being a Bunch of Hysterical Little Girls

...As for the Islamic extremists, there are plenty of them and they are plotting to kill us right now. Also plotting to kill you: the ant colony you accidentally stepped on. Yes, the Muslims are a greater threat, but they have about as much chance of taking over the world and imposing Sharia on everyone as the ants have of taking over the world and making us work in their underground sugar mines. Nitwits with bombs are very bad and we must make every effort we can to stop them, but as bad as things get, it's still going to be a million times more likely you'll die in a car crash than because of a Muslim.

"But they're growing in number and their population will overtake Europe and..." Oh, shut up. Sure, extremists will gain ground in some areas, but the whole thing collapses when any of those idiots actually tries to hold power. You may think the most radical Muslims are immune from reality, but reality, which is very large and often very angry, is not scared of Islamists. Reality is plotting to crush them even as we speak.

Gratuitously offensive. Hey, it's Frank J. Don't say I didn't warn you.
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Hillary on Hardball [January 22nd, 2007|11:23 am]
Argan Argar
[mood |amusedamused]

Hillary goes on Hardball with Chris Matthews and discusses her vote on the Iraq war resolution.

(Only not really.)

Hat tip AllahPundit via the Corner.
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The torch passes... [January 20th, 2007|10:15 am]
Argan Argar
I am very mildly amused by the AP headline:

Clinton launches 2008 White House bid

Quite right, that is. She's "Clinton" now. Her husband is "Bill Clinton"--or just "Clinton's Husband". But she's "Clinton".
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Equal Time on Kerry [January 18th, 2007|02:57 pm]
Argan Argar
[mood |gloomygloomy]

J-Go posts a few of the responses he's gotten to his column on John "I was born in the west wing!" Kerry.

BTW, I have a couple of Serious Posts in the works. They will be long and tendentious, but not, I hope, humorless.Collapse )

But in the meantime, enjoy the linky linky goodness.

And one last bit of brahmin-bashing...Collapse )
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