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Archive for September, 2008

Let’s Be Frank, Shall We?

Tuesday, September 30th, 2008
 

One of the biggest complaints against Democrats, and the Left in general, is that they lack the focus and efficacy of the Right in terms of “winning” in politics; to put it less delicately: they don’t have any balls. The Presidential debate last Friday was case in point- McCain took emotionally-biting swing after swing at Obama, who turned the other cheek and raised factual points of order in his defense. In a fistfight, the Right tends to win, because the Right is willing to do what the Left is afraid to. The campaign tactics of Rove and his acolytes in 2000 and 2004 and even in the mid-term election in 2006 are legendary in their ballsyness. Were they entirely legal? Nope. Did they work? Yup*. (more…)

 
 

Fantastic Viral Marketing

Friday, September 26th, 2008
 

Jess told me to post something fun to break up all the political ranting I’ve been doing lately, so here it is, the best bit of viral marketing I have seen in a while. To quote Greg Kumparak:

Wow. Whoever came up with this new ad for Wario Land: Shake it deserves a raise and a paid vacation to Cancun or something. They’ve taken a basic concept of the game and managed to make it into creative and effective marketing on a platform where even the most humdrum viral campaigns tend to flourish.

I totally concur. Click the image or link above and go enjoy the best use of flash and a physics engine I’ve seen used for advertising in a long time, probably ever. This is how it is done, boys.

Note: play with the pieces after they fall.
UPDATE: FAIL to the viral marketing commenters.  I got sick of marking your utterly worthless google PR/linkbaiting comments and had to turn them off for this post.  Why do spammers exist??  Why?  You ruin it for everyone.

 
 

McCain Has ‘October Surprise’: Time Travel

Friday, September 26th, 2008
 

funny pictures

According to this piece in the Washington Post, the above banner ad, sans “FAIL” text, is running on internet sites today. There is a screen shot of it in the wild here, and there is a report that another ad with a quote from McCain’s campaign manager and head lobbyist Rick Davis declaring that, “McCain won the debate– hands down.” I feel like analysis on this one is not necessary, but just in case anyone reading this is wondering “I don’t get it, why is this such a big deal?”, my 2 cents. The second ad, with a quote from Davis, constitutes a lie by the campaign. Overall this is pretty standard fluff propaganda, but it is upsetting in that the McCain camp is intent on deceiving the public and twisting perception using false claims. This should make you mad. This is the type of thing that was used to convince enough Americans that Saddam Hussein had WMDs and a hand in 9/11. Vote no on liars.

 
 

McCain Suspends Campaign!!! …Really?

Thursday, September 25th, 2008
 

So McCain certainly seems to be running around like a crazed man the past few weeks, doesn’t he! Add this one to the pile of examples that his is not fit to lead: his campaign has yet to skip a beat despite his claim yesterday that he was suspending it to ‘save the economy’. I have a few thoughts on this, but first the good stuff:

But, what – exactly – did he “suspend”? His surrogates are all over television, attacking Obama. His campaign ads are still running and his Internet fundraising is still operational. McCain’s press crew is fully operational. He spent the day with Rick Davis, his lobbyist campaign manager. And all of his campaign offices are still open and fully operational.

And now comes word via Jonathan Martin at The Politico that McCain will spend the evening doing interviews on ABC, NBC, and CBS.

(more…)

 
 

McCain: Reformer?

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008
 

John McCain spent the majority of his 2000 and 2008 Presidential campaigns telling us he was an “outsider” and a “maverick” and a “reformer” who would kick the Old Boys out of Washington and fix this country. If you bought this, I have some links for you to peruse- your man McCain is “flip-flopping” like a dying fish on a dock. I was told during the 2004 campaign that a flip-flopper cannot be trusted and should never be elected. Is that still the case? (more…)

 
 

Sushi Cupcakes

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008
 

Sushi Cupcakes

My coworker Keith’s wife Vivian made these fantastic Sushi Cupcakes for us today.  Not only were they amazingly detailed, they were also quite delicious.   Fore more information on how Vivian made these delectable goodies, check out her blog post about them.

 
 

“My Bailout Proposal” by Emp. Palpatine, Age 63

Monday, September 22nd, 2008
 

Yes master
Creative Commons License photo credit: inzaki

Yes, I know, references to Palpatine are pretty much a geekstep away from Godwin, but read this quote from Section 8 of the draft proposal for the upcoming bailout plan:

Decisions by the Secretary pursuant to the authority of this Act are non-reviewable and committed to agency discretion, and may not be reviewed by any court of law or any administrative agency.

Because, honestly, folks, if there’s anything this crisis needs, it’s less accountability.

 
 

It’s The Economy, Stupid!

Monday, September 22nd, 2008
 

Bear Market
Creative Commons License photo credit: azrainman

Some delightful Monday afternoon reading for you all. Please pass the second link along to anyone you know who is convinced that McCain will fix this mess [hint: he was part of the small group of corrupt politicians and policymakers who legislated this disaster into existence]. First up, via the fantastic resource Electoral-Vote.com, a nice little comparison of the two Presidential Candidates’ responses to the crisis on Wall Street so far: (more…)

 
 

READ THIS RIGHT NOW:

Friday, September 19th, 2008
 

Immediately read this article in the NYT (for some reason dated tomorrow) about the severity of the financial crisis.  We are apparently within days of the potential utter meltdown of our entire economic system.  Sober, scary times have arrived.

WASHINGTON — It was a room full of people who rarely hold their tongues. But as the Fed chairman, Ben S. Bernanke, laid out the potentially devastating ramifications of the financial crisis before congressional leaders on Thursday night, there was a stunned silence at first.

Mr. Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. had made an urgent and unusual evening visit to Capitol Hill, and they were gathered around a conference table in the offices of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

“When you listened to him describe it you gulped,” said Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York.

As Senator Christopher J. Dodd, Democrat of Connecticut and chairman of the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, put it Friday morning on the ABC program “Good Morning America,” the congressional leaders were told “that we’re literally maybe days away from a complete meltdown of our financial system, with all the implications here at home and globally.”

 
 

Smash And Grab Capitalism, The GOP, And You

Wednesday, September 17th, 2008
 

The entire world right now is watching the American economy shudder and stumble under the burden of millions of bad investments. Some of the oldest and most powerful financial institutions in America have collapsed in the past few weeks, leaving all of us wondering how this could possibly have happened. The how is somewhat easy to trace, for a detailed breakdown go listen to this episode of “This American Life”, for those of you in a hurry, this is basically what happened:

  • Potential homeowners with bad credit and insufficient income were given loans that they could afford for a few years, after which the interest would balloon out of their reach. Some did not understand this, others were advised (by friends, real estate ‘gurus’ and many others) to sell their house before this happened so that they could turn a profit and buy a new house, this time with a better mortgage and a healthy down-payment.
  • These terrible mortgages were bundled up by the mortgage brokers and banks that created them and sold to Wall Street as securities, and were packaged into ever larger bundles, which were purchased by ever larger investors.
  • Housing prices stalled, interest rates ballooned on the mortgages, and suddenly nobody wanted to buy them on Wall Street anymore. The whole system jammed because there was nobody left to pass the bad investments on to.

So that is the what and the how of what happened (in an extremely simplified nutshell), but why did this happen, why was it not prevented or stopped before it got so critical? (more…)