Geek Speak

Monday, November 26, 2012

The Science of Sandy

Every month, for the past six years, I have been riding the subway to Brooklyn to attend the monthly Secret Science Club events.  The first meeting of The Secret Science Club took place in the basement of the Union Hall bar in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn, it was an irreverent career retrospective from a marine biologist.  Like some sort of sea creature, I was hooked.  At first, the lectures seemed a little ilicit, a group of passionate people meeting in the basement of a tavern.  To me, it was part of the pushback against stupidity- reasonable people were getting behind reason in the wake of the Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District victory.  The forces of dogma and magical thinking had lost a monkey trial waged north of the Mason-Dixon line... they had been beaten back, now it was time for the troglodytes to be beaten down.  Arranging informal science lectures in bars was a wonderful thing, an effort to show that science was not something limited to those in the ivory/ivy towers of academia. 

Now, six years later, the S.S.C. meets in The Bell House, a much larger venue owned by the same consortium of owners as Union Hall.  Every month, the lectures play to a standing-room-only crowd.  Every month, I write a recap of the lecture for my blog.  Since the lectures aren’t political, I have never posted a recap here, but inspired by Vixen Strangely’s latest blog post about ocean acidification and the fact that Hurricane Sandy was such a newsworthy event, and an event that had political repercussions, I’m going to post the latest lecture, a discussion of Superstorm Sandy, below the fold.  Put on your lab coats, dear readers, it’s going to get, uh, scientific...

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Posted by Big Bad Bald Bastard on 11/26/12 at 06:51 PM
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Categories: Geek SpeakPolitics

Friday, November 09, 2012

Trickledown Schadenfreude [Now with Even MOAR]

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As the Republicans flail around trying to figure out what the hell just happened and where exactly to point their fingers, wonder of wonders, Joel Pollak at Big Government finally has a bona fide scoop—from “a source within the Romney campaign” who detailed some of the problems with its Orca GOTV system:

It’s easy to point fingers after a loss and I wouldn’t normally do it, but consider what happened.

Project Orca was supposed to enable poll watchers to record voter names on their smartphones, by listening for names as voters checked in. This would give the campaign real-time turnout data, so they could redirect GOTV resources throughout the day where it was most needed. They recruited 37,000 swing state volunteers for this.

I worked on the Colorado team, and we were called by hundreds (or more) volunteers who couldn’t use the app or the backup phone system. The usernames and passwords were wrong, but the reset password tool didn’t work, and we couldn’t change phone PINs. We were told the problems were limited and asked to project confidence, have people use pencil and paper, and try to submit again later.

Then at 6PM they admitted they had issued the wrong PINs to every volunteer in Colorado, and reissued new PINs (which also didn’t work). Meanwhile, counties where we had hundreds of volunteers, such as Denver Colorado, showed zero volunteers in the system all day, but we weren’t allowed to add them. In one area, the head of the Republican Party plus 10 volunteers were all locked out. The system went down for a half hour during peak voting, but for hundreds or more, it never worked all day. Many of the poll watchers I spoke with were very discouraged. Many members of our phone bank got up and left.

I do not know if the system was totally broken, or if I just saw the worst of it. But I wonder, because they told us all day that most volunteers were submitting just fine, yet admitted at the end that all of Colorado had the wrong PIN’s. They also said the system projected every swing state as pink or red.

Regardless of the specific difficulties, this idea would only help if executed extremely well. Otherwise, those 37,000 swing state volunteers should have been working on GOTV…

Somebody messaged me privately after my email and told me that North Carolina had the same problems—every pin was wrong and not fixed until 6PM—and was also told it was localized to North Carolina.

John Ekdahl at Ace of Spades gives further insights into how terribly the whole operation was mismanaged.

Once volunteers signed up, they were invited to take part in daily conference calls, but rather than focusing on training, these tended to be cheerleading sessions, with any tactical considerations reduced to answering questions such as would it be OK to wear a red sweatshirt to the polling place. Then there were other minor problems such as this:

On one of the last conference calls (I believe it was on Saturday night), they told us that our packets would be arriving shortly. Now, there seemed to be a fair amount of confusion about what they meant by “packet”. Some people on Twitter were wondering if that meant a packet in the mail or a pdf or what. Finally, my packet arrived at 4PM on Monday afternoon as an emailed 60 page pdf. Nothing came in the mail. Because I was out most of the day, I only got around to seeing it at around 10PM Monday night. So, I sat down and cursed as I would have to print out 60+ pages of instructions and voter rolls on my home printer. Naturally, for reasons I can’t begin to comprehend, my printer would not print in black and white with an empty magenta cartridge (No HP, I will never buy another one of your products ever again). So, at this point I became panicked. I was expected to be at the polls at 6:45AM and nothing was open. I was thankfully able to find a Kinko’s open until 11PM that was able to print it out and bind it for me, but this is not something I should have had to do. They expected 75-80 year old veteran volunteers to print out 60+ pages on their home computers? The night before election day? From what I hear, other people had similar experiences. In fact, many volunteers never received their packets at all.

It got worse:

At 6:30AM on Tuesday, I went to the polls. I was immediately turned away because I didn’t have my poll watcher certificate. Many, many people had this problem. The impression I got was this was taken care of because they had “registered me”. Others were as well. But apparently, I was supposed to go on my own to a Victory Center to pick it up, but that was never communicated properly. Outside of the technical problems, this was the single biggest failure of the operation. They simply didn’t inform people that this was a requirement.

It’s worth giving Ace of Spades the click and reading the rest of Ekdahl’s article if you’re amused by descriptions of extreme ineptitude, but here’s his signoff:

The bitter irony of this entire endeavor was that a supposedly small government candidate gutted the local structure of GOTV efforts in favor of a centralized, faceless organization in a far off place (in this case, their Boston headquarters). Wrap your head around that..

Let’s hear it for community organizers, huh?

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Posted by YAFB on 11/09/12 at 10:16 AM
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Sunday, October 07, 2012

Dragon Launched, GOP Demands Original Eggshell

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How about this for loveliness: the liftoff, at 8:35 PM EST today, of Space Exploration Technologies’ Falcon 9 carrying the Dragon nose capsule, due to dock with and resupply the International Space Station. The image was so wonderfully Buck Rogers-esque, that I saved the video for after the jump:

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Posted by Mrs. Polly on 10/07/12 at 09:05 PM
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Categories: Geek SpeakMessylaneousNews

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Why Did He Have to Use an AEI Approved Term?

I hate to sound a sour note after a generally rousing Democratic Convention, but there’s something that really stuck out and stuck in my craw in President Obama’s otherwise inspiring speech:

You can choose the path where we control more of our own energy. After thirty years of inaction, we raised fuel standards so that by the middle of the next decade, cars and trucks will go twice as far on a gallon of gas.

We’ve doubled our use of renewable energy, and thousands of Americans have jobs today building wind turbines and long-lasting batteries. In the last year alone, we cut oil imports by one million barrels a day – more than any administration in recent history. And today, the United States of America is less dependent on foreign oil than at any time in nearly two decades.

Now you have a choice – between a strategy that reverses this progress, or one that builds on it. We’ve opened millions of new acres for oil and gas exploration in the last three years, and we’ll open more. But unlike my opponent, I will not let oil companies write this country’s energy plan, or endanger our coastlines, or collect another $4 billion in corporate welfare from our taxpayers.

We’re offering a better path – a future where we keep investing in wind and solar and clean coal; where farmers and scientists harness new biofuels to power our cars and trucks; where construction workers build homes and factories that waste less energy; where we develop a hundred year supply of natural gas that’s right beneath our feet. If you choose this path, we can cut our oil imports in half by 2020 and support more than 600,000 new jobs in natural gas alone.


Why, why, why did the president have to use American Enterprise Institute weasel words in his nomination speech?  There is no such thing as clean coal, “clean coal” is a corporatist right-wing term that is as false as “job creators” and as cynical as “entitlement reform”.  Coal extraction is dangerous to workers and the environment, the burning of coal adds carbon and mercury to the atmosphere, and coal ash contains a variety of toxins (as if that’s not bad enough ash disposal protocols are shoddy at best).  To put it in vulgar terms, clean coal is as imaginary as petroleum-pissing unicorns and nuclear-powered rainbows.

This isn’t the first time that President Obama pissed me off with the use of this term.  The fossil fuel industry will always support his opponents, so why does he use their P.R.B.S. (insert Reince Priebus joke) terms?

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Posted by Big Bad Bald Bastard on 09/08/12 at 06:20 AM
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Categories: Geek SpeakPoliticsBarack ObamaElection '12Skull Hampers

Friday, August 17, 2012

Musings on the Mittster’s Taxes

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In explaining his refusal to release more of his tax returns than he already has (an incomplete return for 2010* and an estimate for 2011) Romney and his surrogates (including his wife) have stated that no matter how many years he releases, the Obama campaign will just ask for more.  In fact Ann sounded a little, ahem, unhinged about the issue when she basically equated calls for release of the returns to “attacks” on them.

So Obama campaign manager, Jim Messina, sent a letter to Matt Rhoades, the Romney campaign manager, suggesting a deal.  If Romney would release a total of 5 years’ worth of returns, which includes the 2010 returns previously released and the 2011 return when complete, so we’re looking at 2007 - 2009, then the Obama campaign will declare itself satisfied and will not request any further disclosures.**

The Romney camp wasted no time in stomping their feet and declaring “NO”.  It’s not clear whether they also stuck out their tongues.  Mitt Romney said he always paid at least 13% in taxes and that should be good enough for You People!

So rather than speculate about what could be in unreleased returns I decided to take a closer look at what is actually in the 2010 return that was released, along with the 3 related “blind trust” returns and the return for the Romneys’ family foundation.  (And I do have some qualifications for this as I’ve been a practicing CPA with a Masters of Taxation for the last 30 years.  We don’t have a lot of clients in Mittster’s income levels but we do have a few and I have a passing familiarity with the tax dodges advantaged planning they use.)

If you have any interest in looking at the Romneys’ actual returns (and really, why would most of you if you didn’t have to? ;-) ) pdf copies can be found here.

One thing that has annoyed me is their claim to give 10% of their income to “charity”.  In fact Romney declared that his actual tax rate was closer to 20% because of all the money he gives to charity.  Because, um, that’s just like paying taxes or something.  However a closer look at the return reveals that they make all of their direct cash donations to “Church of Latter Day Saints” commonly known as the Mormon Church.  This is on page 140 of the pdf file.  Aside from minor amounts passing through from partnerships all of their $1.5 M in cash charitable contributions were made to their church.

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Posted by marindenver on 08/17/12 at 03:19 PM
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Categories: Geek SpeakPoliticsBarack ObamaElection '12Mittens

Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Twitter’s Electoral Masterstroke

BuzzFeed reports, I boggle:

Twitter is launching a tool today that it says will ... sort through the 400 million tweets a day from 140 million active users. Twitter and real-time search engine Topsy are launching the “Twitter Political Index,” a daily assessment of how Twitter feels about Obama and Romney, in an election cycle that’s being played out moment-to-moment on the social service.
...
The rough version of how it works: Topsy pores through every single tweet in real time, determines which ones are about Obama or Romney, and then assigns a sentiment score to each tweet based on its content. That is, whether it’s positive or negative toward Obama or Romney, and just how positive or negative it is.

That’s such a simple algorithm I could have written it myself. Just check for all caps and count the exclamation marks. Duh. Next.

Add all the data up together and you have something like a real-time approval score for Obama and Romney, determined by what tens of millions of people are saying, which Twitter is going to release daily at election.twitter.com.

The hell you say? A “real-time approval score”? Ah. Hang on. Weasel Alert. There’s a “something like” in the vicinity.

The index’s scale runs from zero to a hundred — higher is better — and Obama and Romney are measured individually, not against each other. So both could be over 50, or both could go up simultaneously. Or down simultaneously.

Uh-huh.

It’s not a head-to-head poll. “We are not actually measuring whether people prefer Romney to Obama or not,” says Ghosh. It’s just “a broad sentiment measure of what’s going on.”

I’ll tell you right now what’ll be going on: a bunch of gullible wingnuts spending all day every day tweeting and retweeting the most inflammatory crap they can invent or find, then checking out the Twitter Political Index on an hourly basis. Just like every day now. Only MOAR!!!!! And with an Index.

Bravo, Twitter! I’d been wondering if there was a way to preoccupy them even more pointlessly than usual till November and induce mass nervous exhaustion and RSI. That’ll do nicely till a better idea comes along. You cruel, wonderful bastards.

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Posted by YAFB on 08/01/12 at 07:48 PM
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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

International Buffoon’s Summer Vacation [Updated]

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Mitt Romney’s long-planned summer fundraising bashes in England and Israel made the itinerary for his getmetheh-e-doublehockeysticksoutofhere vacation look a little bare and blatant, so he told his staff to spin that Rolodex and figure out some more stops to pad it out. France was out of the question—too much of a reminder of the two years he spent on mission there in his youth, when he managed to convert two people before nearly taking out a bunch more in a car crash, plus it’s now run by socialists who’re being mean to banksters, so the optics wouldn’t be good and the reception likely less than warm. A visit to Germany was mooted, but didn’t pan out, and in any case would have invited too many unfavorable comparisions with President Obama’s barnstorming visit in 2008. Switzerland and the Cayman Islands were also off limits, for reasons that should be obvious. Then Lech Walesa came to the rescue with an invite, so the final leg ends up being a two-day stay in sunny Poland.

Even before he flees American soil, Mitt’s managed to cause a diplomatic incident. He can largely get away with spinning his own web of reality from others’ words in America, but the rest of the world can sometimes set more exacting standards. The leaders he’ll be meeting may be considerably more guarded in what they say to him for fear he’ll end up citing them publicly and “reinterpreting” their words to fit what he wants them to imply after his run-in with Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr:

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Posted by YAFB on 07/24/12 at 11:14 AM
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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Romney’s Campaign Sucks Up To The Breitbartlets Again

Over at Big Journalism, Larry O’Connor has a rare scoop. Mitt’s minions have been fluffing the wingnuts over there again:

“Drudge is the single most powerful force in the media today,” said Zac Moffat, Digital Director of the Romney Campaign. Lenny Alcivar, campaign spokesman, agreed: “The Governor’s simple message yesterday was, ‘If we want to repeal Obamacare, we have to replace the president.’ When Drudge highlighted that quote as a headline linked to the Weekly Standard, it began the unified message across the board on the center-right.”

In an exclusive interview with Breitbart News, Moffat and Alcivar discussed how websites like Breitbart and Drudge influence the way their campaign receives and delivers the news.

Moffat revealed, “I have two windows constantly up on my screen all day long, Twitter and the Drudge Report.”

OK, I can see the first wee problem here: Romney’s Digital Director is Zac Moffatt, not Moffat. Nevermind. Carry on, Larry.

Alcivar, who took a leave from the groundbreaking and influential Hynes Communications to work for the Romney campaign, sees a major shift in how the media works:

When this election is over, one of the lessons that will be learned by the mainstream media is that they no longer have a toe-hold on how Americans receive their news. Never before – in a way that has taken Democrats off stride – have we seen the confluence of an aggressive online community, led by Breitbart, and an aggressive campaign team not willing to cede an inch of ground to Democrats. This combination has created a new political reality. We no longer allow the mainstream media to define the political realities in America. The rise of Breitbart, Drudge and others, combined with an aggressive Romney campaign is a powerful tool in the arsenal of the conservative movement.

If I talk to Breitbart about an issue, thousands more will hear our message than if we give a quote to one of the hill rags.

If you have a quick scan of Drudge or Breitbart’s recent frontpage offerings you may be driven to wonder what the heck Alcivar’s been saying to them. John Roberts is too gaga from epilepsy medication to do his job? “Sarah Palin: ‘Nancy Pelosi Is A Dingbat’”? “Romney Ad Shows Hillary Clinton Attacking Obama”?

Moffatt’s other example is the firing of Joe Williams from Politico, which he gives Breitbart’s John Nolte full credit for:

“The senior White House correspondent for Politico is no longer there. The Romney camp didn’t do that, it was Breitbart. It sends a big signal. That wouldn’t have happened without Breitbart.”

Mm-hm-mmmm-hm. Mitt’s campaign loves it when somebody gets fired.

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Posted by YAFB on 06/30/12 at 08:42 PM
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Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Anatomy of a “Christian” Astroturf Outfit

The media were mildly agog yesterday when Fox News weekend anchor Heather Childers tweeted:

Heather Childers

Thoughts? Did Obama Campaign Threaten Chelsea Clinton’s Life 2 Keep Parents Silent? Godfather Politics: godfatherpolitics.com/4506/obama-cam…

After some uproar, Childers was soon chided by her employer, according to Mediaite:

“The tweets have been addressed with Heather and she understands this was a mistake.” – Michael Clemente, Fox News senior vice president for news

Don’t bother looking for Childers’ tweets now unless you’re an old pal or family:

@heatherchilders’s account is protected.

Only confirmed followers have access to @heatherchilders’s Tweets and complete profile. Click the “Follow” button to send a follow request.

Yeah, Hannity et al. have the knack of coloring just inside the lines in their question-mark-punctuated musings about the President’s legitimacy and nefariousness, but since Beck went the way of all bloated flesh, speculating in public whether Obama is a mafioso mofo who can out-Vince Foster the Clintons is beyond the pale. Funny old country you got there: Those closer to Obama’s political views think he’s a wimp who caves in a puff of wind; those diametrically opposed think he’s a cross between Stalin and Dick Cheney.

Most of the media focus in this kerfuffle has been on Childers and Fox News, but what of Godfather Politics, a new kid on the block to me in the overcrowded depths of truth-challenged RW crazy? Since it seems so keen to attract attention, who am I to decline?

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Posted by YAFB on 04/04/12 at 09:59 AM
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Categories: Geek SpeakPoliticsBedwettersElection '12NuttersTeabaggeryRelijunSkull Hampers

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Newsflash: Dan Riehl is failing again [Updated]

The Breitbartless Breitbartians continue to explore the boundaries of irony over at the spectacularly misnamed BIG Journalism, where Dan “Oh, Really?” Riehl is taking a break from the racebaiting and harrassing people on Twitter to gin up another fact-free conspiracy theory buffered by the usual headline question mark:

DID THE WHITE HOUSE PRESSURE WASHINGTON POST TO CHANGE FACT CHECKER?

Riehl’s deeply concerned about the values of Pinnochios, as can be gauged by the startling point size of his lede:

On March 27, Josh Hicks of the Washington Post’s Fact Checker gave White House regulation czar Cass Sunstein one “Pinocchio” for his defense of the Obama administration’s regulatory record. However, the same article, a day earlier, was far more critical of the administration, giving Sunstein a total of three Pinocchios.

It Depends What You Mean By “Facts”

Before you get too excited, lay down those clutching pearls and rest assured that Riehl offers precisely no evidence whatsoever of behind-the-scenes shenanigans, instead relying on the customary paranoia that feeds the benighted BIG comment streams and keeps the rubes clicking. Riehl’s been driven to exploiting MS Word’s wonderful Compare Files feature to track the rewriting of two successive versions of the “factchecking” article, and supplies a handy screenshot to fuel the speculation:

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I don’t expect his menagerie of regular readers to bother perusing any of this in any detail, but I’m not infrequently paid to do this sort of thing, so here’s a freebie, Dan.

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Posted by YAFB on 03/31/12 at 11:14 AM
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Sunday, March 25, 2012

If We Could Convert Stupid To Electricity,  We’d Be Set [Updated]

Given how much energy the Breitbartians are devoting at the moment to stretching the bounds of idiocy (no links or I’d just fill the page) while still keeping a hand free for the old racebaiting, the rest of the pack is having to up its game.

Bob Cesca just nominated Town Hall’s David Hoyt (“Hoyt?! I’ll show you Hoyt!”) for “Stupid Quote of the Day” thanks to a little gem I’ll share in a minute that deserves wider celebration, but first there’s the rest of Hoyt’s screed that isn’t much less daft.

David sets out to review Sen. Jim Inhofe’s new book, The Greatest Hoax. If I tell you it’s a diatribe about environmentalism, you can probably imagine its gist just from the title. And it certainly seems to have fired young David up. Kermie’s comin’ for ya, gas-guzzlin’ Americans:

... the greenies on the left are relentless in their pursuit of global control of everything related to the environment. Which is to say, everything.

Well, yeah. The thing about the environment is its kind of everythingness, David. You’re surrounded.

David’s obviously easily impressed:

It features no less than 408 footnotes and a useful index.

Woo—408 footnotes! That’s almost as impressive as that time Al Franken demolished Ann Coulter for her “extensive footnoting” onstage via the dastardly liberal ploy of actually checking them out, then illustrating that “never mind the quality, feel the width” is a maxim that applies to mendacious rightwing demagogic screeds as much as tailoring.

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Posted by YAFB on 03/25/12 at 09:10 PM
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Beam Us Up, Scotty

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Back in December 2010, the UK’s Daily Telegraph reported some unusual goings-on at the tiny southwestern France village of Bugarach, nestling in the shadow of the Pyrenean mountain the Pic de Bugarach:

... in the past few months, the quiet village has been inundated by groups of esoteric outsiders who believe the peak is an “alien garage”.

According to them, extraterrestrials are quietly waiting in a massive cavity beneath the rock for the world to end, at which point they will leave, taking, it is hoped, a lucky few humans with them.

Most believe Armageddon will take place on December 21, 2012, the end date of the ancient Maya calendar, at which point they predict human civilisation will come to an end. Another favourite date mentioned is 12, December, 2012. They see Bugarach as one of perhaps several “sacred mountains” sheltered from the cataclysm.

If this all sounds a little “Close Encounters,” well, that’s no surprise, as the mountain and the historic myths and mysteries that surround it were reputedly the inspiration for Spielberg’s epic film. Over the centuries, the mountain’s odd shape (one theory is that when an ancient volcano blew its top, it neatly flipped the summit upside down) and reports of strange lights, apparitions, UFOs, aircraft instrument anomalies and historical intrigues involving everyone from the Albigensians to the Nazis have fueled the mystery, and so it continues in its 21st-century form.

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Posted by YAFB on 03/25/12 at 11:09 AM
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Categories: Geek SpeakNewsPoliticsNuttersOur Stupid MediaRelijun

Friday, March 09, 2012

Scourge of the Right [now with related update]

I’ve got to say, Charles Johnson has come a long way since the 2008 election (when LGF was a pretty horrible sight/site). I think a lot of people will still have problems forgiving him for the worst of the anti-Islamic propaganda he and those who hung out in his comments sections propelled over a number of years before he (and apparently his weeded-out commenters) saw the light and turned on his erstwhile allies, who are now bitter, bitter enemies, but the guy has a knack of getting under the skin of the right-wing blogs and “news” sites like no one else I know. And so it’s been the last 24 hours or so.

The first story:

Breitbart.com Caught Again: Deceptively Editing a Video

In yet another humiliating attempt to catch the Obama campaign in a hidden video conspiratorial outrageous outrage, the heirs of Andrew at Breitbart.com have creatively edited a video of a lecture by Harvard Law School Prof. Charles J. Ogletree, Jr., to make it look like he was admitting hiding a supposed damning bit of “evidence:” that Barack Obama was a closer friend to Prof. Derrick Bell than they wanted known.

Unfortunately for the reactionaries at Breitbart.com, they had to cut out some important context to make it look that way.

[Link: www.breitbart.com…]

Footage of Barack Obama praising and hugging Professor Derrick Bell. It was spliced and diced by the media to avoid showing just how close Obama was to Bell. More than that, a close associate of the Obama campaign, Harvard Law School’s Professor Charles Ogletree, admitted on our exclusive tape, ‘We hid this throughout the 2008 campaign. I don’t care if they find it now.

  — Ben Shapiro

[Emphasis mine] {i.e. Johnson's—YAFB}

Here is a short video showing that Prof. Ogletree wasn’t talking about the Obama campaign hiding that portion of the video; in reality, he was completing a humorous jab at some of his colleagues who also attended the same 1991 gathering as Obama and Bell.
...

Uh, and this is … you can see this is 1990, so this is 21 years ago.

None of these people look like this today [laughter] and I know they’re going to be afraid or mad that I found this but it’s a good example.

[quiet laughter]

Let me see if I can get this, uh, to work…

Now what makes this so interesting, when you think about it, uh it’s uh, of course we hid this throughout the 2008 campaign so don’t… [laughter] … I don’t care if they find it now but uh, because it just told you that his growth had been, uh, astronomical in terms of his sense about race …

Please notice: he was joking about his colleagues and himself looking older, not seriously “admitting” to hiding anything.
...

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Posted by YAFB on 03/09/12 at 11:51 AM
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Thursday, March 08, 2012

Buzzfeed has selectively edited the tape. Pray they do not selectively edit it any further.

This damning exposé by Big Rump editor-at-large Gil Mann is getting worse all the time!

drip

Hear that?

drip

Sounds like somebody knocked over a can of Colt 45, but that’s not what it is. It is, rather, the sound of a steady leak of damaging allegations. And no matter how much enablers in the MSM try to pretend otherwise, THE TRUTH will eventually pool on the tile, and if you’re walking around in your socks, THE TRUTH will out and might give you trench foot if you ignore it.

drip

I told you that shocking clip I released earlier was just the beginning, and… what? I didn’t? Oh crap, that’s right, I meant to crib Shapiro’s last two graphs but only copy-pasted the penultimate one. My co-bloggers told me they fixed it! I trusted them to fix it! It’s not my fault!

drip

Hello, what have we here? A BLACK MAN GIVING SOMEONE OR SOMETHING A HUG THAT’S WHAT.

THE TRUTH. Outs every time.

This is all far from over, assuming I can locate a clip of Tim Meadows’s “Handsome Black Man” sketch. Otherwise yeah, it’s over. I already wasted countless hours trying to find something useful from Starsky and Hutch, but talk about a misnomer—that pimp never hugs a soul, much less David.

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drip

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 03/08/12 at 08:48 PM
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Categories: Geek SpeakMoviesNewsPoliticsBarack ObamaOur Stupid MediaYouTubidity

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Interlude: A little Wikipedia tomfoolery [Updated]

Betty’s been covering the BIG Breitbart left-behinders’ desperate and hilarious attempts to recover from being scooped by BuzzFeed with the BIG revelation that President Obama spoke at a demonstration to introduce Professor Derrick Bell back in 1990.

As some commenters both here and on Balloon Juice have noted, since similar footage has appeared in documentaries in recent times, the only “scoop” is the spectacularly blatantly race-baiting spin Joel B. Pollak (“THE VETTING: OBAMA EMBRACES RACIALIST HARVARD PROF”) and Dana Loesch (“Andrea Mitchell Runs Defense for Obama, Derrick Bell”) are trying to feed their readers before Pollak’s appearance on the Hannity show this evening. The righty blogs are in medium cry about it right now (though I detect a hint of “OK, we’re on board. BOMBSHELL!!! Er, but is that all you’ve got?”, reading between the lines).

The whole thing’s as half-assed as you’d expect from this bunch of puffed-up amateur demagogues. BuzzFeed’s Ben Smith’s Twitter feed tells some of the story about the day’s developments if you’re interested. He deeply resented the BIG allegation that the video had been “selectively edited,” and since then, as Rumproaster Nellcote let us know on Betty’s last thread, PBS’s Frontline has issued the full video to prove there was no such editing:

Today, the website BuzzFeed published a clip of the speech along with an article explaining some past and current context for Obama’s remarks. The website claimed the clip was “not previously available online.” The editors at Brietbart.com responded that the video on Buzzfeed had been “selectively edited” and said that they would release the full footage tonight on Fox News.

But there’s nothing new about the clip or Obama’s role in the controversy at Harvard Law School. In 2008, as a part of our quadrennial election special The Choice 2008,  FRONTLINE ran the same footage of the speech as a part of an exploration of Obama’s time at Harvard Law School, where he graduated in 1991. It’s been online at our site and on YouTube since then.

As WaPo’s Erik Wemple observes: Breitbart.com hates getting scooped.

Meanwhile, geek that I am, I’ve been checking out the Wikipedia article for Derrick Bell. We’ve caught conservatives desperately and clumsily trying to edit Wikipedia and even Conservapedia to suit their own purposes in the past. I don’t think this episode is quite as comical, but I’ll catalogue it after the fold just to add to the day’s daftness.

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Posted by YAFB on 03/07/12 at 08:46 PM
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