That's How the G20 Rolls

Lemme tell you a bit about my town. First and foremost, we wish we were New York.

I love Toronto. There are so very many things about this city that are truly awesome - but the basic fundamental character of the city is basically the massive inferiority complex it has at not being New York. That and also being in denial about our rampant jealousy.

Anyways, this aspect of the city manifests itself in our perpetual quest for "world class status". An insatiable hunger Toronto has at being recognized on the global stage as one of the kool kidz, like New York or Paris or New York or Tokyo or New York or maybe even New York.

Another interesting factoid about Toronto, she has never hosted any of the major global shindigs. This year marks the fourth time the Olympics were held in Canada and makes Vancouver the second Canadian city to have had both an Olympics and an Expo. Never hosted a World Cup of anything nor a Commonwealth Games (although we do get the Pan-Am games in 2015). Toronto hasn't even had a Boy Scouts Jamboree like Niagara-on-the-Lake did in '55.

To be fair, we are the home of the World RPS Championship.

So that's probably the reason we ended up hosting G20. It was our opportunity to grab the global spotlight after the planners noticed that Huntsville wasn't exactly an appropriate location.

That's right, we were chomping at the bit for an opportunity to cordon off a substantial section of our downtown core for a week and revel in the protests and riots that were bound to ensue. All for a chance at being "world class", nevermind that we were the second choice, after a town with a population of less than 20K and known for being the gateway to cottage country for people who live and work in Toronto.

That's right, the financial district of downtown Toronto was basically closed for business for the week leading up to the summit. Sure some places stayed open, but it was a far cry from the usual activity in the area, even for summer. Our first "world class" event and we get something that managed to damage the local economy not counting the costs for hosting the event like the billion dollars in security nor the costs of clean-up afterwards.

Although we now have had tear gas used in the city for the first time ever. I guess that's a sort of progress. Can we sit at the big city table now?


Charlotte Hatherley

I hadn't heard of Charlotte Hatherley before. She's apparently the new guitarist playing with KT Tunstall - so I thought I'd check out what the intertubes had on her. OMFG. How teh hell did she do this?

edit: Fucking Youtube, how do these dimensions work?


Sunday Audition: I'm Begging You Here.

I can't quite do it this week. The stakes are just too high. I just found out back at the Mothership that my dream job is open - and while it's not working for his Regency, the Hiatt - it's even bettar.

The Atlantic is hiring. They are looking for someone with Friedman-esque rigor mortis. I can do that. SRSLY, I can take whatever basic assumption you want - totally not examine it for reasonableness or connection to reality - and then develop it like mad into an entire philosophy and/or pithy book mini-industry.

Anything you guys want. I can write for pages about how it's political columnists and journalists that are the true heroes, how there's no group more patriotic and American as The Press. How they have to work in such a treacherous milieu where no one is really trustworthy (I'll use truisms and saws like the one about politicians are lying when their mouths are moving and whatnot). About how it's the job of the journalist to being you the nuggets of truth that their "access" allows them. That the career is both dangerous and vitally important. I can embellish with stories about the Founding Fathers and their worship of the Free Press. It'd be a tour-de-force. And since I'd be an outsider, a blogger (Teh Enemy) no less - it wouldn't sound like guys with cushy jobs just stroking themselves off.

I can do the whole thing without even once considering whether or not what I'm writing is correct or not. And I can repeat that sucker with minor variation every six months or so. Friedman like rigor? I can totally do that.

I'm allupons about the idea. I'd even be willing to do it gratis. I just want the opportunity to write under the prestigious banner of The Atlantic, and incidentally for the opportunity to work in the same office as Megan McArdle. I am working up the most disgusting horking loogie imaginable just thinking about it.


Rebuilding a Discredited Rand

TPM tells me that Rand Paul has returned to teevees. And for you my loyal half dozen readers - I will sit through ten whole minutes of Rand Paul and Neil Cavuto.

TPM has also done us the favour of highlighting the choice bits in case you were curious about how awful he was but are also smart enough to know not to watch the whole thing. Evan McMorris Santoro was the unlucky bastard at TPM that drew the short straw and compiled that list. And he was assisted with additional reporting by Jillian Rayfield. That makes sense, it takes a hardened individual to be able to do the whole interview without going insane. Fortunately, I'm already a bit crazy. Anyways, let's just dive in and see how things went.

Here's the highlight and the theme - smack dab in the middle.
@ the 4:50 mark, Rand tells us what the best bit of advice he's gotten is
...the most common answer that I've been told to give now when I'm on national TV is - Don't answer the question. Keep repeating some other answer that you want to give.
That in mind, let me give you the basic shape of the interview:
Cavuto asks a question.
Rand explains that he was misinterpreted and misunderstood by the biased media. That it seems like there's practically a conspiracy to damage the Tea Party by making him seem to be something he's not.

That's the entire interview. That exchange about a dozen times. And now, because I had to listen to the whole thing, some of it twice - her it is in all its gory details¹

Cavuto's first question: HoLy kEdaDdlin' $#*! Rand, you were like plus 25 and now it's like 8. That's kiddie diddlin' bat arse $#*!.
Rand: Uh, Neil? R U a lie-beral? Frame it right - we're plus 8 or 9!

Cavuto's #2: Maybe it was your racist civil rights act position.
Rand: Okay - first, my local news bashes me and won't let me respond(note - Rand Paul can't do math. He thinks 100,000 - 2 = 98,000). CONSPIRACY! Did you know that Teh Left is mean and rude? They're the ones that you should be hatin' on. Theyère also behind the CONSPIRACY!

Cavuto: You know, it weren't only teh Left that bashed you. Didn't GOP insiders disrespect you and crack wise about yer momma? SRSLY Rand, dinnit McConnel tell you to stay low for a while?
Rand: Pfft. Nuh-uh. (D-KW notes - I suppose that Rand disappeared after that first disastrous week because he was really tired and is now resurfacing two weeks later to do one interview with a friendly network. That's how tired he was.) And the rest of the GOP? Well it's like I was saying - CONSPIRACY! The NYTimes - totally misrepresenting what I said - I mean they weren't quoting me, they were quoting the transcript! CONSPIRACY! They were all lying and pulling nasty tricks like reading letters to the editor that I personally wrote or playing clips of me speaking. Talk about misrepresentation!

Cavuto: OK. SO then, despite all the evidence that has been presented thus far - since my job as a FOX News d00d is to slurp your knob - why don't you clarify your position now that you and your team has had a chance to figure out a strategy for addressing it. Civil Rights Act - yes or no?
Rand: Yes. I've always been in favour of the Civil Rights Act - man it's like you think this war with Oceania is new or something. Look, Boston integrated transit 120 years before we did it in the South - that's wrong. But even more wrong is that folks don't think I support civil rights. I just wanted to open up this one small piece of legislation for discussion, to see what's wrong with it and amend or modify - but not repeal - maybe make it so that business werenèt so overburdened by government. And then suddenly I'm the racist? Unfair.

CUE Magic Moment described way up above. Yup, we're only halfway through.

Cavuto: Awesome Rand. Okay, all those folks were picking on you because you said the government has no place in telling private enterprise not to discriminate based on race. What you say?
Rand: D'uh Neil. We're talking about the Civil Rights Act which says government can do that - so they can do that. I mean no one's questioning it, certainly not me (especially if you ignore my previous answer). But you know what's the worst part about all this? I've given 400 speeches and despite having railed against goverment being too intrusive and binding over private enterprise in 396 of those speeches, despite the fact that all I really wanted to do was discuss what flaws there are in the Civil Rights Act and the Fair Housing Act, and how we can change it to make them better. No one has talked about repeal (at least I haven't been caught on camera doing so yet). Did I mention that it's a CONSPIRACY! By the NYTimes! CONSPIRACY! They totally misinterpreted me! Imagine using the transcript to represent what I said. CONSPIRACY!

Cavuto: Yeah, that sucks. But why did you shake up your staff then?
Rand: You talking to me?
Cavuto: Uh, Rand?
Rand: You talking to me? Well then who the else you talkin' - you talking to me?
Cavuto: Rand. Staff. Shake. Up.
Rand: I didn't shake up my staff. That's an outrageous lie and myth spread by the liberal media CONSPIRACY! We added no one and fired no one. There was no shake-up. My new campaign manager may have said that we'll be adding more talent buy no one's being hired to do that. We are not shaking things up. My old campaign manager got a promotion - that's not a shake-up. My local news - which is part of the CONSPIRACY! - really hurt his feelings. d00d is now a Chairman - he no longer has to deal with the lower level stuff like running the campaign. Shake-up, pffft. You media guys need to be more careful. Not a shake-up.

Cavuto: Okay. We're seven and a half minutes in, so let's get topical. BP. Obama said something about boot heels and you called that un American. Isn't that a bit too far?
Rand: Too far? You bet it's too far. Boot heels indeed. And look, those were Ken Salazar's words so if anyine's guilty of extreme rhetoric it's him. You know, this is all part of the CONSPIRACY! I certainly don't think there should be any boot heels placed on BP's neck and it is the vile media CONSPIRACY that associated me with those words.

Cavuto: How about their ad campaign?
Rand: Love it, and I love BP. BTW, note that Congress limits liability to corporations for oil spills, so if anyone should be accused of loving BP, it's those Democrats in Congress and not me. But I do love BP.

Cavuto: Last Question Bernanke?
Rand: Hate him. What type of idiot thinks that you ought to increase government spending during recessions? That is just dumb.

Cavuto: Well thanks soon-to-be-Senator Paul. That was just Rand.

¹ Theres probably a bit of Bobblespeak Translations influence in this but I really am trying to do my own thing here.


But I Didn't in Haley.

UPDATE: OMG, What's this doing here already? I am going to have to figure out this Schedule Posts option. My intent was for this to go up after the SC polls closed. I guess I'll have to console myself with the fact that my influence amongst SC Republicans is zero or less.

So, nevermind that she's up twenty points in the last poll so this is a safe bet - and nevermind that this endorsement is coming well over an hour after the polls have closed.

I am endorsing Nikki Haley. No, it's not my "firebagger" tendency to agree with Irky Irksome or The Quitta from Wasilla. Here's why:

Firstly, I don't know enough about Nikki Haley or her positions (heh) on the issues. The strikes against her are 1. She's Republican and 2. She's a Tea Party favourite. Well, that's just guilt by association - she might turn out to be a totally reasonable individual. Okay maybe not totally reasonable and still a member of the GOP, but not necessarily more deranged than your average pol.

I do know that Andre Bauer was the force behind the I BELIEVE license plate fiasco. So there's a big plus on her side - she's not Andre Bauer.

Regardless, it would be totally reckless of me to endorse someone based on just those reasons. There's two other repubs running in that primary that are also not Andre Bauer.

No, here is why - all I know about Nikki Haley is tied into the salacious rumours about her extra-curricular activities. And those are just rumours.

Why is that a reason? Well consider this - there are two(ish) possibilities - 1. that she sleeps around or 2. that she doesn't. Let's tackle #2 first. If that is indeed the case, and this entire thing has been part of a concentrated effort by SC GOP insiders to derail her nomination by ruining the two separate families. Ludicrous, but if that is indeed the case then I am solidly behind anyone that is being targetted by such an inhuman group.

So, what if she did do it. What if she is an adulterous libertine? Well, in that case I am also firmly in support. Seriously, whatever she does with other consenting adults in the privacy of some sleazy motel room that rents out by the hour - well so long as she was practising safe sex and not exposing her husband to unkonown risks of sexually transmitted infections - that is her business. Well and the guy's, however many of them there might be. And the photographer. And the media outlet that buys the photo and their readers. But other than that, totally private and without bearing on her fitness for the executive.

Besides, it would mean that she is pro-sex-with-bloggers, and I'm certainly not going to undermine that platform.

SRSLY, consider that Mark Sanford is still Govenor - obviously the SC-GOP doesn't have that big an issue with adultery. Also John Ensign is still sitting in the US Senate, Newt Gingrich is considered one of the top guys in the party, their presidential candidate was John Skirtchaser McCain the Third. Punishing Nikki Haley for sleeping around when those other guys get off (heh) without rebuke (well except Sanford, I guess we won't have him to kick around much longer) that would be sexist.

SO, if any South Carolinian Republicans are reading this and have access to a time machine that will take them back in time at least a couple hours - vote for Nikki Haley. Do it for gender equality.


Sunday Audition: A Sea of Leftists

Mother Mother Ocean, I have heard your call - and it is the siren song of doom.

Consider the biggest items in the news today - the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and the Israeli interception of the Free Gaza flotilla. It is hard to imagine two more stinging rebukes to neo-conservative ideology. The foundational pillars of industrialism in the shape of always standing by private enterprise and muscular foreign policy in the form of always standing by Israel have suffered attacks to their fundamental cores.

And the commonality between those stories? The Sea. It is as if the oceans themselves were part of a great conspiracy to discredit conservative ideals. And no wonder, after all the Sea has always been an enemy of individualism and personal freedom.

What more enduring trope is there than the struggle of one brave and intrepid entrepreneurial adventurer versus the cruel ocean, that Great Leveller that strives to make even the most worthy of us the same as the petty criminal or deviant? The ocean is there to take away our freedoms. The endless ocean serves as a symbol of where our ability to do what we want ends.

And don't forget that the ocean is the source of horrendous natural disasters. Now that we are entering hurricane season, remember that these hurricanes don't appear from out of nowhere. They are birthed and coddled and made into destructive forces by the oceans - not unlike how Democratic politicians give birth to equally disastrous policies like Health Care Reform or how bleeding heart liberals coddle violent criminals and terrorists until they too become deadly tools of disaster.

Hurricanes are essentially liberal in their outlook. They are destroyers of private property and do great damage to private enterprise. The states that they target are those in the South, areas much more likely to vote Republican, and they amount to an awful lot of wind - blowing around for no purpose other than laying havoc to innocent people who have done nothing wrong. There is no better description of the liberal mindset that doesn't include a certain Austrian-born German political leader from the mid-twentieth century.

There's the word of warning. That in addition to the Global conspiracy of media elites, union bosses, trial lawyers, abortion doctors, Islamic extremists, unscrupulous climate scientists, activists judges, homosexuals, ivory tower intellectuals and drug addled criminals, you can add the oceans. Recent events are just further proof that the Seas has a liberal bias.