Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Can I do another Palin post?

I've been debating whether to post this video or not because it rises beyond levels of "WTF?" that even the Basement is comfortable with. Since you can't see the video yet Sarah Palin gave a mini-interview with a reporter after she pardoned a turkey in Alaska. Ha, cute, whatever, the president does it every year but what makes this so unbelievable is as she's giving the interview some yokel is slaughtering and bleeding turkeys right behind her! How could this have happened? Isn't there someone to say, "Uhh, Sarah, let's not use the dying birds flapping as our backdrop." I didn't think it was possible for anyone to outdo McCain's infamous "CHEESE!" speech but this does it.

So, anyway, the bonus commentary by Keith Olbermann pushed it over the top for me. Enjoy and happy Thanksgiving! I'm thankful Sarah Palin is about as far from the White House as humanly possible for someone living in America.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Iowa team not the only one scoring in the Dome

A couple of Hawkeye fans made news in the Twin Cities for getting busted make sweet, sweet, disgusting bathroom love in the Metrodome. What is it about Minnesota bathrooms that just make people want to get it on?
MINNEAPOLIS -- Two Iowa football fans were caught having sex in a bathroom stall at the Metrodome during Saturday’s Minnesota-Iowa game.

According to a police report, a Metrodome security officer saw two people having sex in a handicapped stall after noticing two sets of feet with underwear dropped to the ground.

A group of 15 onlookers were gawking at the scene by the time officers broke the couple up and wrote them misdemeanor citations.
But, here's the best part:
The woman, 38, was turned over to her husband. The man, 26, was turned over to his girlfriend., that's got to be a pretty awkward ride home back to Iowa and whatever trailer park they live in. You stay classy, Hawk fans. Jerry! Jerry! Jerry!


Sunday, November 23, 2008

Headlines that make me want to set myself on fire

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Pirates are so hot right now

If you follow trends like I do you no doubt know that the Somali pirate scene is absolutely blowing up right now. Fresh off of capturing a Ukrainian ship packed with tanks and anti-aircraft guns pirates have seized their largest ship ever, an oil tanker three times the size of an aircraft carrier with $100 million worth of oil inside. So hot right now.

According to this article the ransom for a ship has risen to anywhere between $500,000 and $2 million and they're on pace for a $50 million year. Apparently piracy is immune to the economic troubles the rest of us are facing. I was curious how exactly pirates go about being pirates and here is what they said:
Maritime experts recently have noticed a new development in the gulf — the pirates’ use of “mother ships,” large oceangoing trawlers carrying fleets of speedboats which are then deployed when a new prize is encountered.

“They launch these boats and they’re like wild dogs,” said Mr. Choong in Kuala Lumpur. “They attack the ship from the port, from starboard, from all points, shooting, scaring the captain, firing RPGs and forcing the ship to stop.”

There are some countermeasures the merchant ships can use when approaching pirates are spotted. Fire-retardant foam or huge blasts of water can be sprayed from the ship to douse the would-be hijackers.

Once pirates get aboard, however, the ship is theirs, because crews on commercial vessels are rarely armed, according to Mr. Choong and other maritime experts. “They are not mentally or physically fit enough to handle weapons,” he said.

I was kind of planning on trying to come up with some reason why I would post this but basically it's just because pirates are awesome. So hot right now.

More information on pirates can be found in this ridiculously awesome article detailing just how hot pirates are.
People in Garoowe, a town south of Boosaaso, describe a certain high-rolling pirate swagger. Flush with cash, the pirates drive the biggest cars, run many of the town’s businesses — like hotels — and throw the best parties, residents say. Fatuma Abdul Kadir said she went to a pirate wedding in July that lasted two days, with nonstop dancing and goat meat, and a band flown in from neighboring Djibouti.

“It was wonderful,” said Ms. Fatuma, 21. “I’m now dating a pirate.”
Of course there's some downside, I guess, like crushing poverty and hunger for the rest of the country, a decimated fishing industry, and no ships pulling into ports but, still...the pirates have it pretty good.
“They are normal people,” said Mr. Said. “Just very, very rich.”
Pirates (and celebrities). They're just like us!



I'd rather set my money on fire

Someone explain to me why a treadmill with wheels isn't the dumbest idea ever.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Cyclone Basketball note that may only interest me

Through three games this season Iowa State is shooting 42.5% from three including a school-record 15-27 tonight. Last year they shot 31.3% for the season. Maybe they should have been shooting from a foot behind the line the whole time?

In fact, three-point shooting was one of my biggest frustrations last year. They were way too content to chuck up threes before even trying to look for a better shot when they weren't a particularly good team to begin with. I have no expectations for this team. Well, unless expecting them to finish in the bottom 2 or 3 of the Big 12 counts. I don't expect them to keep up this pace obviously but if they can find some legitimate outside threats it might actually be possible to watch their games without wanting to gouge my eyes out.

And, yes, I know I haven't written for a long time and I know this post will be interesting to 3 or 4 of my dozen or so readers but hopefully I should be back up and writing regularly soon.


Thursday, November 06, 2008

So, are things?

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Worst. Op-Ed Piece. Ever.

From the Wall Street Journal, titled "The Treatment of Bush Has Been a Disgrace"
The treatment President Bush has received from this country is nothing less than a disgrace. The attacks launched against him have been cruel and slanderous, proving to the world what little character and resolve we have. The president is not to blame for all these problems. He never lost faith in America or her people, and has tried his hardest to continue leading our nation during a very difficult time.

Our failure to stand by the one person who continued to stand by us has not gone unnoticed by our enemies. It has shown to the world how disloyal we can be when our president needed loyalty — a shameful display of arrogance and weakness that will haunt this nation long after Mr. Bush has left the White House.
Amazing read. If you can stomach it go check it out but I warn you not to do so while drinking anything because there are several "spit takes" where I had to stop to wipe off my computer monitor and try to figure out if this was satire that was going over my head.

Alright, I promise I'll try to move away from politics at some point but I'm not quite there yet. Besides if I can't express outrage or shock over stuff like this what am I going to write about? Could an Obama presidency kill The Basement as we know it???

Did you know...the county in North Carolina where Palin made her "real Americans" living in the "pro-America" part of the country voted 59-40 for Obama. Terrorists...the lot of 'em.


Palin's Parting Gift

I'm definitely looking forward to Palin heading back up there to Alaska. Not just because I'm worried about her taking her eyes off of Putin rearing his head from Russia for even a few minutes and not just because she scares the hell out of me as a potential president but because I expect there will be a lot of great stories about her leaked over the next few days as some people try to save their own reputation or hamstring her chances in 2012. A great example is this story that came out in Newsweek.
NEWSWEEK has also learned that Palin's shopping spree at high-end department stores was more extensive than previously reported. While publicly supporting Palin, McCain's top advisers privately fumed at what they regarded as her outrageous profligacy. One senior aide said that Nicolle Wallace had told Palin to buy three suits for the convention and hire a stylist. But instead, the vice presidential nominee began buying for herself and her family—clothes and accessories from top stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus. According to two knowledgeable sources, a vast majority of the clothes were bought by a wealthy donor, who was shocked when he got the bill. Palin also used low-level staffers to buy some of the clothes on their credit cards. The McCain campaign found out last week when the aides sought reimbursement. One aide estimated that she spent "tens of thousands" more than the reported $150,000, and that $20,000 to $40,000 went to buy clothes for her husband. Some articles of clothing have apparently been lost.
Jon Stewart was clearly right when he said "they're a family of grifters!" Everywhere she goes she tries to milk it for every penny or perk she can scam out of it. Free plane rides, travel expenses from home, extreme makeover for the whole family? Bring it on.

I love how the clothes are mysteriously "lost." I'm sure they will just as mysteriously reappear as soon as someone tells them they will still have to pay taxes on them. I guess some lucky Wasilla Goodwill shopper is going to have a great day. What does the McCain camp think about the whole thing?

An angry aide characterized the shopping spree as "Wasilla hillbillies looting Neiman Marcus from coast to coast," and said the truth will eventually come out when the Republican Party audits its books.
Now seeing as some of my kin come from the hills I take exception to denigrating hillbillies to those fools but...bwahahahaha. Wait, "Wasilla hillbillies looting from coast to coast"??!? That is awesome. And the funniest part is that they had to keep McCain in the dark about the whole thing because he would have exploded. Seriously that man would have snapped. He called his wife a "cunt" and a "trollop" because she had too much makeup on. What would he have done to Grifterbot?

The article then goes on to say that she wanted to speak last night! Fortunately they told her no. Can you imagine her up there talkin' 'bout socialism and pallin' around with terr'ists while the crowd goes wild in contrast to McCain's very good, heartfelt speech? It would have been ugly. Wow, this woman. I can't decide if I want her to run in 2012 just for the comedy or if I just never, ever want to see her again.

Page 2 of the article runs through a list of "behind the scenes" stuff that was pretty interesting but since this is about Palin here is another classic one.
At the GOP convention in St. Paul, Palin was completely unfazed by the boys' club fraternity she had just joined. One night, Steve Schmidt and Mark Salter went to her hotel room to brief her. After a minute, Palin sailed into the room wearing nothing but a towel, with another on her wet hair. She told them to chat with her laconic husband, Todd. "I'll be just a minute," she said.
Hmm, what's their angle? Is she supposed to distract them while Todd steals their wallet or is she trying to draw them into a sexual harrassment lawsuit? You never can tell with grifters like these.

Also, check out the illustrations here. Hilarious.

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A few quick thoughts (updated)

I've thought a lot about Boyda losing her congressional seat and came to two conclusions. The district really is more conservative than I give it credit for. It has half of Lawrence, Topeka, and Manhattan but outside of that...yeesh. People were sick of Jim Ryun and she took advantage of a big wave. I still wish Lawrence would have turned out better for her though. Second, when she turned down money from the Democratic Congressional Committee I said it was a dumb idea. The NCCC and others spent close to a million dollars and she couldn't keep up with that. It's free money, just take it.

This quote from the article on the overwhelming vote in favor of a sales tax for the Lawrence Transit made me laugh.
“I think this might show that people really do appreciate the T, even though they don’t ride it,” said Mayor Mike Dever, who championed the idea of putting the future of the transit system in the hands of voters.
I'm pretty sure this can go on "Stuff White People Like"...the idea of a bus system. Sure no one actually rides it but we still want it.

Minnesota senator looks incredibly close. I sure hope Al Franken and his gigantic porn collection are headed to Washington.

Looks like overall turnout was down slightly from 2004. That really surprises me but I guess if people thought it was going to be a blowout they might have stayed home. 18-29 year-olds went 66-32 for Obama. Blacks went 95-4 and whites went 55-43 for McCain (dammit whitey!).

Uhh, I should probably get some work done now.

UPDATE: So, I was wrong on the crappy turnout thing. I was looking at the numbers compared to 2004 and it turns out that there's still a lot of votes out there and it's actually the highest % (64.1) since 1908. My bad.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Amazing night

Well, it was a great night.

Kind of.

OK, it was but I can't ever be totally happy. I have to give a big WTF to Lawrence and Douglas County? In 2004 we had 76% turnout and today we only had 62%. There's absolutely no excuse for that and it sounds like it will cost Democrat Nancy Boyda her seat in the House. For so long I'd defended Kansas by saying "well, it may vote red in the presidential election but we have an awesome Democratic governor and 2 of the 4 House seats" but now we may be losing one of those. I donated money for Boyda and worked the phones for Democrats but it may not have been enough. But, on to the good stuff...

Holy shit, Pennsylvania Street in DC looks INSANE! Just imagining Bush trying to sleep while that ruckus is going on outside warms my heart.

I had such a great time partying at Little Miami House here in Lawrence. We had a good, very knowledgeable crowd who was also looking to have a great time. Champagne toasts, "barbaric yawps" to celebrate the victory, to quiet, inspired viewing of McCain's very good concession and Obama's great acceptance speech. I was with a lot of funny people which always makes the night fun.

I try not to get too wrapped up in candidates because they are always human (outside of Kang and Kodos) and often driven by an ego that I can't even begin to imagine. Obama probably fits this mold as well but damn, that man inspires me. Seeing people like Jesse Jackson weeping with joy just made me proud to be a part of this. I obviously wasn't around for the civil rights movement of the 60's and it's hard to know how to get involved in those types of struggles today but I think we made a huge leap forward tonight. It's hard to wrap my head around it in some ways because I've grown up in an era where we've always been told that anyone can achieve anything without exception. That may not always be the truth but it definitely jas more resonance with people older than me. However, I definitely can recognize that somethign special happened in this election. We've got to keep it all going and hold his, and our Reps', feet to the fire to make sure they enact what this country needs. But, for now, let's enjoy this. Yes, we did!!!

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I voted!

I woke up enthused and decided to get my vote in early. I arrived at about 7:05 and was the 33rd person to vote in my precinct. The really odd thing was that there were usually about 30 people in the "A-L" line and between 0 and 5 people in the "M-Z" line. Dammit, aren't you people voting?

For some reason it always makes me feel good to go to the polls on election day and see the same old people working and see various people from around my neighborhood all coming together to do their part. I also wore my "I voted" sticker all day. Yeah, I'm a huge nerd.

My ticket was straight Democratic and "Yes" on raising my taxes to pay for things like streets and sidewalks (start in my neighborhood, plz) and public transportation. There was only a Republican running for Sheriff. First, doesn't voting for Sheriff still seems a little odd? It just makes me think of Deadwood or something. Second, he was going to win anyway so I decided to write in Hunter S. Thompson in honor of his campaign to win Aspen, CO's job many years ago. Unfortunately I didn't find out until later that one of my friends wrote in my name for the job. Damn, I could have had 2 votes.

Can I just say that Sarah Palin going back to Alaska and wearing a freaking Carhartt jacket to vote is just ridiculous? Was that included in the $150,000 or not? Please go away, the sooner the better.

As far as the rest of the evening I'm cautiously optimistic. Actually, I'm not even that cautious as I'm convinced that this is going to be a great night and if it isn't? Well, I don't want to think about that now... Hope you all, Baracked the vote. Yo-Bama!

Monday, November 03, 2008

Is that an election in your pocket or are you just happy Bush is almost gone?

After years of obsessing over this damn election it's finally about to happen. Here's how you know you've paid way too much attention to this election. If you can go through this retrospective and actually get most of the references. Remembering some of those things from waaaay back made me realize just how long this thing has been going on. I have no idea what I'm possibly going to read or write about when it's over but I suppose I'll find something. Hey, 2010 Midterms are only 2 years away...

Barring a complete collapse due to the failure to vote from dumbasses like us Obama should win this thing. Virginia, Indiana, and Georgia all close early and should tell us how the rest of the night will play out. If Obama wins these the party can start early and the only question will be how big is the margin going to be? From what I've read McCain almost has to have either Virginia or Pennsylvania in order to have a realistic shot to win so pay attention to those (and even if he does take one he still has to pretty much run the table with the rest of the battleground states).

Unfortunately I'm busy all day until 5 or so which means I'll probably have to deal with the worst lines by the time I finally get to the polling station. I have to teach lab all afternoon and I think I'm going to start by saying something like, "if you little fuckers don't hurry up and finish this lab by a decent time I swear on all things holy that I will fail you."

After I get done all that is left is watching the results roll in. Is it going to be more fun to go to an election party and celebrate with other people or would I rather hunker down at my computer with any of the cool election watching websites (DailyKos has an awesome election tracker and fivethirtyeight should be good too)? Tough call. In the early days of The Basement I live blogged the '04 election here and wanted to stick my head in the oven by the time it was over but this one might be slightly more fun.

Anyway, I hope all my readers get their asses out there to vote. Even thought Kansas will almost certainly be red there are still important down ticket races for me to vote for and any vote in Obama's total will help it look like the landslide I hope it will be. I know that many readers also have important races and it really doesn't matter where you live, I know there's a good reason for you to vote so go do it, dammit. Then we can all sit back and enjoy the party.