• NetFlix: 1

    Netflix picked up its first scalp today, driving Wal-Mart from the movie rental business and absorbing all their customers. Long-time readers will know my feeling on Wal-Mart, and thus can imagine the many tears I shed for them on this hardest of all days.
  • Birds of a Feather

    Yes Barbara , that was a blatant, self-serving publicity attempt. But then, when in Huffpost Rome...
  • You Know What's Weird?

    When you run a google search for something and you're the sixth result. Who knew I was such an authority on Health Savings Accounts?
  • Just Not a Bright Guy

    Yes yes, by now, you all know that Rick Santorum sauntered down to the Senate floor and said: “Some are suggesting we’re trying to change the law, we’re trying to break the rules. Remarkable. Remarkable hubris. “I mean, imagine. The rule has been in place for 214 years that this is the way we confirm judges. Broken by the other side two years ago, and the audacity of some members to stand up and say, ‘How dare you break this rule?’ “It’s the equivalent of Adolf Hitler in 1942: ‘I’m in Paris. How dare you invade me? How dare you bomb my city? It’s mine.’” I think folks are missing the point. The real beauty of these remarks is in the image of Rick Santorum in his office, late last night, desperately searching for an apt metaphor. Could've used Hussein and Kuwait but, nah, too over the top. Could've used America and the Indians but, nah, that came out in the Democrat's America's favor. Could've used a hypothetical kid who takes over a hypothetical neighbor's sandbox but, nah, too...
  • Minimum Wage Woes

    Heather Boushey of the CEPR has written a stunning report on America's minimum wage. Required reading. Except, you guys don't actually ready things when I say that, so here's a summary: • Most minimum wage workers are adults. Less than one in five is under the age of 20 and more than half are between the ages of 25 and 54. • A full-time worker making the minimum wage earns $10,300, putting her below the poverty line for a one-parent, one-child family. Health care, of course, is but a dream. • Many workers get stuck at minimum wage, meaning that, three years after they began, they'd netted neither a promotion nor a raise. Mobility is better for men, native citizens, those who change jobs (indicating mobility and skills), and union members. • The minimum wage itself hasn't increased since 1997. Thanks to that, inflation has made the already-paltry $5.15 an hour worth about 1/6th less in real terms than when it was instituted. • Minimum wage workers earn an average of 68% of their total...
  • Fire Rumsfeld!

    Kevin identifies one portion of the Newsweek story that's getting consistently overlooked. If Newsweek really was pursuing such a pack of lies, why then, when they ran the story by the Pentagon, didn't the officials flag it as false? They gave them the heads-up, hell, they gave them the text! And yet no one seemed to think the upcoming government report wasn't going to include the Korans-in-toilets factoid. That right there should tell you plenty about why the piece ran. It's reminiscent of the National Guard memos, wherein the Bush administration clearly figured they were true and declined to challenge them when the story broke. in both cases it seems that the facts were essentially straight, its the sources who were out of line. But you can't fault Newsweek -- they gave the higher-ups the opportunity to correct the error and, if you believe the article caused riots, to preempt those, too. The Pentagon failed.
  • Yes, But The Peach People Are Exterminating the Blueberryites

    Shakespeare's Sister is getting a bit tired of her comrades-in-pigment: If you want to know why I prefer to identify as Kinda Peachy, eschewing labels like white and straight and all that junk, it’s because even I’m starting to think of straight white folks as being completely and utterly fucking nuts. Yes, I know there are plenty of decent straight white liberal people, and I also know there are sickos and weirdos and freaks of every race and creed and orientation, but between the evil dipshits* running the country, the crackpot Dominionists trying to Jesusize the country, and the slew of deranged psychos that have been in the news lately (BTK serial killer, the dude who kept his dead mom in the basement in a chunk of ice, etc.), I’m just going to pack my bags for a permanent move to Kindapeachistan. Considering the story she flags as the coup de grace, a child abuse/bestiality cult with a Texas Chainsaw Massacre level of sadism and widespread community acquiescence, I can't blame...
  • Oh, And John Kerry Was a Flip-Flopper

    In the middle of a sobering, grim article on Iraq's worsening prospects comes this bit of carefully placed, lovingly-crafted spin (italics mine): Gen. John P. Abizaid, the top American officer in the Middle East, said in a briefing in Washington that one problem was the disappointing progress in developing Iraqi police units cohesive enough to mount an effective challenge to insurgents and allow American forces to begin stepping back from the fighting. General Abizaid, who speaks with President Bush and Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld regularly, was in Washington this week for a meeting of regional commanders. Sound familiar? Like from every Bush administration press conference you've ever heard? Yeah, I thought so too. Gotta respect that sort of message discipline, coming as it is from New York Times reporters. The rest of the article, however, is very good, and you should read it. Looks like Iraq isn't prgressing as swimmingly as we'd hoped.
  • Boots on the Ground

    Lorelai Kelly has an absurdly good post thinking through the implications of the call for 100,000 more troops that's been echoing around. Do we need that many boots on the ground? Nut grafs: We need more than boots. In fact, over-reliance on boots may be a primary cause of our public relations problems with the rest of the world. We need loafers, pumps, Birkenstocks, waffle-stompers, sensible flats and tourists in tennis shoes out around the planet… working to retrieve the golden reputation of the good ole USA. The more the face of America is seen in uniform and holding weapons, the less this reputation holds up. Now, I love the Army as much as anybody, so why do I have a problem with it expanding to carry out ever more duties around the globe? This question needs to be answered with perspective sharing. The American experience with the military institution is by and large positive and mutual. Civilian control over the military is scrupulous and most military officers themselves know...
  • Mom and Apple Pie. In Space.

    Via Democracy Arsenal comes this priceless quote from a military hearing: The Air Force believes "we must establish and maintain space superiority," Gen. Lance Lord, who leads the Air Force Space Command, told Congress recently. "Simply put, it's the American way of fighting." Air Force doctrine defines space superiority as "freedom to attack as well as freedom from attack" in space. No no no. That's the Empire's, or at the least, the Enterprise's way of fighting. So unless America really does transubstantiate into our pop culture, there's nothing Norman Rockwell about a moon bristling with Lockheed-Martin produced weaponry. Update : Suzanne Nossel makes the great point that nobody, in fact, can attack us from space. Maybe this is some sort of aftershock from Ronald Reagan's obsession with an alien invasion?