Posts Tagged ‘Glenn Greenwald


Roundup – Sky in Motion

Line O’ the Day:

“If you fail to pay us for faithful labors in the past, we can have little faith in your promises in the future. We trust the good Maker has opened your eyes to the wrongs which you and your fathers have done to me and my fathers, in making us toil for you for generations without recompense. Here I draw my wages every Saturday night; but in Tennessee there was never any pay-day for the negroes any more than for the horses and cows. Surely there will be a day of reckoning for those who defraud the laborer of his hire.”

– Jourdon Anderson, To My Old Master” [Letters of Note] – In August of 1865, a Colonel P.H. Anderson of Big Spring, Tennessee, wrote to his former slave, Jourdon Anderson, and requested that he come back to work on his farm. Jourdon — who, since being emancipated, had moved to Ohio, found paid work, and was now supporting his family — responded spectacularly by way of the letter seen below (a letter which, according to newspapers at the time, he dictated).

Best of the Best:

CIA divorces: The secrecy when spies split [Ian Shapira on The Washington Post]

The woman’s account is a rare window into the deep strains that the agency’s ethos of secrecy can exert on operatives’ marriages. Divorces involving spies are often just as clandestine as their work. The details are typically buried in documents sealed by the courts. Only a handful of people get read-in, so to speak: divorce lawyers, marriage counselors and sometimes the agency’s attorneys. Unlike the Pentagon, which studies how often service members split up, and knows, for instance, that 29,456 of 798,921 [3.7%] military couples divorced last year, the CIA does not keep official tabs on its employees’ divorce rates. One retired CIA senior paramilitary officer, who served for more than two decades and lives in Virginia, said he was told several years ago that the divorce rate for the agency’s operations division was astonishingly high.

How the U.S. Lost Out on iPhone Work [Charles Duhigg and Keith Bradsher on The New York Times]

For years, cellphone makers had avoided using glass because it required precision in cutting and grinding that was extremely difficult to achieve. Apple had already selected an American company, Corning Inc., to manufacture large panes of strengthened glass. But figuring out how to cut those panes into millions of iPhone screens required finding an empty cutting plant, hundreds of pieces of glass to use in experiments and an army of midlevel engineers. It would cost a fortune simply to prepare. Then a bid for the work arrived from a Chinese factory. When an Apple team visited, the Chinese plant’s owners were already constructing a new wing. “This is in case you give us the contract,” the manager said, according to a former Apple executive. The Chinese government had agreed to underwrite costs for numerous industries, and those subsidies had trickled down to the glass-cutting factory. It had a warehouse filled with glass samples available to Apple, free of charge. The owners made engineers available at almost no cost. They had built on-site dormitories so employees would be available 24 hours a day. The Chinese plant got the job.

Reinventing Lincoln [Keith Naughton on Bloomberg Businessweek]

The car was the epitome of cool when JFK was in the White House and the Rat Pack was headlining in Vegas. From a sales standpoint, Lincoln reached its zenith in 1990, when 231,660 were sold. As recently as 1999, the heyday of Lincoln’s behemoth Navigator SUV, the line ranked first in U.S. sales among luxury car brands. Today, Lincoln stands eighth, its image defined largely by the black Town Cars that transport people to and from airports. (Ford stopped production of the Town Car in September.) The average Lincoln driver is 65 years old. Lincoln says it sold 85,643 cars in 2011, down a breathtaking 63 percent since the 1990 peak. The latest indignity came last month, when a 1970s-era Lincoln Continental was used to carry the coffin of deceased North Korean dictator Kim Jong Il.

A strong contender for the greatest movie trailer of all time (NSFW) [Cyriaque Lamar on io9]

In situations like these, it’s easier to simply state what occurs in the preview for The Killing of Satan rather than run the risk of overanalyzing things. The below list scratches the surface of what you will witness: – Avalanches – Satan, whose only evil power is to make things spin around – A naked woman covered in barbecue sauce – A man crushed by a boulder in slow motion – The sentence, “Found answers are only to be found in a world of unearthly wonderment!” – An cage full of nude ladies disintegrated by a Gandalf staff – Random volcanic eruptions – A woman transform into a python while making out with Lando [a mustachioed Catholic wizard who tracks down Satan to kill him] – Another lady transform into a dog – A wicked missus rip a guy’s entire cheek off – A cobra polymorph into a greased elf

How the puffer fish gets you high, zombifies you, and kills you [Esther Inglis-Arkell on io9]

So of course it seems like a spin worthy of Barnum to label them a ‘delicacy,’ and charge hundreds of dollars a serving for them. A closer examination of the work that goes into making puffer fish, or fugu, shows that the price is fair. Fugu chefs have to be trained for two years, during which they will eat many of the fish that they themselves prepare. And make no mistake, people do die from fugu poisoning. About five people a year make puffer fish their last meal, and many more get violently sick from it.

Dennis Kucinich and “wackiness”  [Glenn Greenwald on Salon]

So let’s recap the state of mental health in establishment Democratic circles: the President who claims (and exercises) the power to target American citizens for execution-by-CIA in total secrecy and with no charges — as well as those who dutifully follow him — are sane, sober and Serious, meriting great respect. By contrast, one of the very few members of Congress who stands up and vehemently objects to this most radical power — “The idea that the United States has the ability to summarily execute a US citizen ought to send chills racing up and down the spines of every person of conscience” — is a total wackjob, meriting patronizing mockery.

Washington’s high-powered terrorist supporters  [Glenn Greenwald on Salon]

We now have an extraordinary situation that reveals the impunity with which political elites commit the most egregious crimes, as well as the special privileges to which they explicitly believe they — and they alone — are entitled. That a large bipartisan cast of Washington officials got caught being paid substantial sums of money by an Iranian dissident group that is legally designated by the U.S. Government as a Terrorist organization, and then meeting with and advocating on behalf of that Terrorist group, is very significant for several reasons. New developments over the last week make it all the more telling.

Obama’s personal role in a journalist’s imprisonment [Glenn Greenwald on Salon]

Shaye’s real crime is that he reported facts that the U.S. government and its Yemeni client regime wanted suppressed. But while the imprisonment of this journalist was ignored in the U.S, it became a significant controversy in Yemen. Numerous Yemeni tribal leaders, sheiks and activist groups agitated for his release, and in response, President Saleh, as the Yemeni press reported, had a pardon drawn up for him and was ready to sign it. That came to a halt when President Obama intervened. According to the White House’s own summary of Obama’s February 3, 2011, call with Saleh, “President Obama expressed concern over the release of Abd-Ilah al-Shai.” The administration has repeatedly refused to present any evidence that Shaye is anything other than a reporter

Five Book Interviews: Jonah Lehrer on Decision-Making [Sophie Roell Interviews Jonah Lehrer on The Browser]

And, as a patient dealing with cancer, you often do have to make decisions based on statistics you are given – doctors say there’s a five per cent chance of this if you do that, or a 10 per cent chance of that if you don’t do this, and it’s all very confusing. Yes. We’re given all these statistics, but the human mind wasn’t designed very well to deal with statistics. What we’re left with is this feeling. A feeling of either fear – that’s a risk we’re taking – or that’s a potential gain I should pursue. A lot of it really is about these emotions which, in the end, drive our decisions. So simply by reframing the question one way or the other, you can dramatically influence these feelings. Human beings really aren’t rational agents for the most part, because we’re actually being driven by these emotions triggered by dreams of losses or gains.

The Caging of America [Adam Gopnik on The New Yorker]

William J. Stuntz, a professor at Harvard Law School who died shortly before his masterwork, “The Collapse of American Criminal Justice,” was published, last fall, is the most forceful advocate for the view that the scandal of our prisons derives from the Enlightenment-era, “procedural” nature of American justice. He runs through the immediate causes of the incarceration epidemic: the growth of post-Rockefeller drug laws, which punished minor drug offenses with major prison time; “zero tolerance” policing, which added to the group; mandatory-sentencing laws, which prevented judges from exercising judgment. But his search for the ultimate cause leads deeper, all the way to the Bill of Rights. In a society where Constitution worship is still a requisite on right and left alike, Stuntz startlingly suggests that the Bill of Rights is a terrible document with which to start a justice system—much inferior to the exactly contemporary French Declaration of the Rights of Man, which Jefferson, he points out, may have helped shape while his protégé Madison was writing ours. The trouble with the Bill of Rights, he argues, is that it emphasizes process and procedure rather than principles. The Declaration of the Rights of Man says, Be just! The Bill of Rights says, Be fair! Instead of announcing general principles—no one should be accused of something that wasn’t a crime when he did it; cruel punishments are always wrong; the goal of justice is, above all, that justice be done—it talks procedurally. You can’t search someone without a reason; you can’t accuse him without allowing him to see the evidence; and so on. This emphasis, Stuntz thinks, has led to the current mess, where accused criminals get laboriously articulated protection against procedural errors and no protection at all against outrageous and obvious violations of simple justice. You can get off if the cops looked in the wrong car with the wrong warrant when they found your joint, but you have no recourse if owning the joint gets you locked up for life. You may be spared the death penalty if you can show a problem with your appointed defender, but it is much harder if there is merely enormous accumulated evidence that you weren’t guilty in the first place and the jury got it wrong. Even clauses that Americans are taught to revere are, Stuntz maintains, unworthy of reverence: the ban on “cruel and unusual punishment” was designed to protect cruel punishments—flogging and branding—that were not at that time unusual.

The War Between alt.tasteless and rec.pets.cats [Josh Quittner on Wired, May 1994]

Usenet is like a vast computer bulletin board, readable by more than 10 million people around the world every day. It actually does cable one better: It’s already interactive. You can post notes to Usenet groups, ask questions, comment on someone else’s remarks, conjecture idly and often. Which is how Trashcan Man and his pals started the war of words that got out of control. It’s hard to say with precision how many people actually read any one news group. (The term news groups is peculiar, since most of the postings, known as “articles,” would not be considered news. Nevertheless, Usenet users refer to them in this way.) The Internet, as you probably know, is anarchic, not owned by anyone, and monitored mainly at its ever-expanding edges by the system administrators who sell or give people access. Periodically, various surveys attempt to poll Internet sites that distribute net news. These surveys give rough estimates of who reads which news groups. So who reads the articles posted to alt.tasteless? According to a Q&A in the alt.tasteless FAQ (most news groups have FAQs, or Frequently Asked Questions files), 60,000 people around the world browse it. You can believe it or not; I choose to believe it in the same way that I believe most people will slow down and take a good look at the carnage of a car accident. Why do we look?

The Maturation of the Billionaire Boy-Man [Henry Blodget on New York Magazine]

All great consumer-technology products share two attributes, which is that they are cool and easy to use. From the beginning, Zuckerberg knew how to make products that were cool and easy to use. He didn’t “overbuild” Facebook, packing it so full of features that people couldn’t figure out how to use it. He made “uptime” a huge early priority, only rolling out Facebook to new schools when he was certain that the company’s servers and software could handle the traffic load. These steps sound like no-brainers, but they trip up a lot of technology start-ups. Stanford’s predecessor to Facebook, for example, was so complicated that it never really caught on. Friendster grew so fast that its infrastructure got swamped: People wanted to log on, but they couldn’t. A year later, when Friendster finally fixed the problem, its U.S. users were gone. Many promising tech companies place too much emphasis too soon on the business rather than the product. They worry too much about “making money.” This sounds nuts—aren’t companies supposed to make money?—and it sounds especially nuts in the wake of the dot-com bust. But that crash was a product of investors’ and analysts’ overexuberance (sorry!), not evidence of a fundamental flaw in the tech industry’s start-up ecosystem. In a market where ­speed is critical, venture-capital funding allows young companies to move faster than they could if they had to rely only on revenues to fund product development. Entrepreneurs who understand that tend to stick around to make plenty of money later.

The Battle for the Soul of Occupy Wall Street [Mark Binelli on Rolling Stone]

To that end, only two days after the May Day march, an Occupy contingent met at a UAW space in Manhattan’s Garment District to discuss a week of direct actions, each day targeting a different theme. It was a bit of a hodgepodge of causes – mass incarceration, immigrant justice, food security, the environment – and I couldn’t help wondering if someone would come up with a Wall Street-related reason for Freeing Mumia. (An activist friend involved in the Iraq War protests once told me the decline of the movement could be traced alongside the number of words they were forced to add to their posters.) Once the meeting broke off into smaller groups, some familiar tensions arose. In the group I joined, one guy was dressed like such a cartoonish protester (tie-dyed peace-symbol necklace, filthy bare feet), I assumed he was a police infiltrator. But everyone seemed to know him. He kept jumping ahead of other speakers and making irritating objections, to the exasperation of everyone else present. By the end of the 30-minute meeting, ideas have been tossed around, but the main thing that’s been agreed upon has been a need to hold another meeting.

Fight Birth-Control Battle Over the Counter [Virginia Postrel on Bloomberg]

Aside from safety, the biggest argument for keeping birth- control pills prescription-only is, to put it bluntly, extortion. The current arrangement forces women to go to the doctor at least once a year, usually submitting to a pelvic exam, if they want this extremely reliable form of contraception. That demand may suit doctors’ paternalist instincts and financial interests, but it doesn’t serve patients’ needs. As the 1993 article’s authors noted, the exam requirement “assumes that it would be worse for a woman’s health to miss out on routine care than it would be to miss out on taking oral contraceptives.”

Slaughterhouse-Five: ‘So it goes’ [Thomas Meaney on The Times Literary Supplement]

If Vonnegut’s tone outdoes O’Brien’s here – right down to the use of italics – it’s not only because he’s less flagrant with feeling. His front-porch casualness, his perfectly inappropriate mention of the Guggenheim grant, his blithe, domesticating comparison to Dayton; and the impact of the last line – all of it signals a writer willing to take his satire to the very end. O’Brien can afford to gaze across the river because, by the time his book was published, public opinion about Vietnam was on his side. Vonnegut faced down the much more imposing shibboleth of the Good War. As with all things sacred, it raised the stakes of irony. He wrote against an establishment that believed its values were impervious to the effects of corrosive wit. An American Petronius, Vonnegut had the strange fortune of finding his own cynicism about his historical moment irresistibly funny. But there were limits to what his irony could do. In the novels that followed Slaughterhouse-Five, he began to recycle his gimmicks and the sardonic shell started to crack. Among the most common criticisms levelled at Vonnegut is that he became too cosy with his audience, that they made his posturing too easy for him. But that also ignores his main achievement: from unpromising beginnings, he built one of the most faithful and enduring audiences in American fiction.

The Man Who Broke Atlantic City [Mark Bowden on The Atlantic]

In every blackjack scenario, Johnson knows the right decision to make. But that’s true of plenty of good players. What gives Johnson his edge is his knowledge of the gaming industry. As good as he is at playing cards, he turns out to be even better at playing the casinos.

Why I left Google [James Whittaker via MSDN Blogs]

As it turned out, sharing was not broken. Sharing was working fine and dandy, Google just wasn’t part of it. People were sharing all around us and seemed quite happy. A user exodus from Facebook never materialized. I couldn’t even get my own teenage daughter to look at Google+ twice, “social isn’t a product,” she told me after I gave her a demo, “social is people and the people are on Facebook.” Google was the rich kid who, after having discovered he wasn’t invited to the party, built his own party in retaliation. The fact that no one came to Google’s party became the elephant in the room.

The Incident Report. Or, The Time I Broke It [Jeff Winkler on The Awl]

Pain. Ow. That’s real pain. I move her off me and roll onto my stomach. Miscalculations have happened before; a few seconds of discomfort and then it’s go time again. I roll back over and look down to see if it’s go time again. I rise up off the bed: “Yeah, this… this isn’t right.” I sit back down. The woman beside me looks so horror-stricken, I try to sound especially calm when talking to 911. I don’t tell the operator it’s so swollen and purple that I’m afraid it’ll burst at any moment. Instead I say, in an even, measured tone, “My penis is the shape, size and color of a baby eggplant.”

A Warning for Women of the Arab Spring [Shirin Ebadi one of Iran’s leading lawyers and human rights activists, and winner of the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize, via The Wall Street Journal]

There are interpretations of Shariah law that allow one to be a Muslim and enjoy equal gender rights—rights that we can exercise while participating in a genuinely democratic political system. Shariah law and women’s rights do not have to be mutually exclusive. Although the 1979 revolution in Iran is often called an Islamic revolution, it can actually be said to be a revolution of men against women. Before the revolution, women’s rights were recognized to some extent. But the revolution led to the enactment of numerous discriminatory laws against women.

Books Women Read When No One Can See the Cover [Katherine Rosman on The Wall Street Journal]

Electronic readers, and the reading privacy they provide, are fueling a boom in sales of sexy romance novels, or “romantica,” as the genre is called in the book industry. As with romance novels, romantica features an old-fashioned love story and pop-culture references like those found in “chick lit.” Plus, there is sex—a lot of it. Yet unlike traditional erotica, romantica always includes what’s known as “HEA”—”happily ever after.” Kindles, iPads and Nooks “are the ultimate brown paper wrapper,” says Brenda Knight, associate publisher at Cleis Press, of Berkeley, Calif., a publisher of erotica since 1980.

On the Market [Alice Gregory on n+1]

Hired as a researcher, I was assigned the task of going through the catalogues raisonnés of the Contemporary Art department’s top-grossing artists—Warhol, Koons, Prince, Richter, Rothko—and determining the whereabouts of every piece that had ever come onto the global market. The Excel spreadsheets I worked on each day (column 1: image, column 2: title, column 3: year, column 4: cataloguing, column 5: present owner) would serve to expedite the future searches of collectors, who might want, say, a big, mostly purple Richter from the mid-’80s. Sometimes a painting was in a museum (the auction houses hate this because it makes the work more or less permanently priceless). Other times, a prominent collector was listed as the work’s owner. Usually, though, I was trying to track down pieces in anonymous private collections. Sometimes a city or country was provided, unhelpfully. Private Collection, France. Or more often than not: Private Collection, Liechtenstein.  There were many ways to gather this information: hand-annotated auction catalogues, holograph index cards, old issues of the New York Times, cunning questions asked in the right way to foundation archivists in good moods. The method was cobbled together, and success depended on both a high tolerance for monotony and a willingness to flirt. I laughed sparkling laughs and framed my inquiries as either massive or negligible impositions. Sometimes I apologized: “I’m sorry, but I have a huge favor to ask, do you know where . . .” Other times I used a postscript: “Oh, and just one tiny, last thing: I’ve been told that . . .”

Why Interacting with a Woman Can Leave Men “Cognitively Impaired” [Daisy Grewal, PhD in social psychology from Yale University and a researcher at the Stanford School of Medicine, via Scientific American]

Researchers have begun to explore the cognitive impairment that men experience before and after interacting with women. A 2009 study demonstrated that after a short interaction with an attractive woman, men experienced a decline in mental performance. A more recent study suggests that this cognitive impairment takes hold even w hen men simply anticipate interacting with a woman who they know very little about…The results may also have to do with social expectations. Our society may place more pressure on men to impress women during social interactions. Although this hypothesis remains speculative, previous research has shown that the more you care about making the right impression, the more your brain gets taxed. Such interactions require us to spend a great deal of mental energy imagining how others might interpret our words and actions. For example, psychologists Jennifer Richeson and Nicole Shelton found that Caucasian Americans who hold stronger racial prejudices face similar cognitive impairments after interacting with somebody who is African American. In these situations, individuals who hold strong prejudices must try hard to come across as not prejudiced. In a different study, Richeson and her colleagues found that less privileged students at elite universities experience similar cognitive impairments after being observed by their wealthier peers.

When Prejudices Become a Disadvantage [PLoS One via Science Daily]

Prejudiced strategies are therefore successful and rational for a short time. However, as they do not learn from mistakes and cannot adjust their behaviour, in the long run they yield to strategies that respond to their partners in a more differentiated way.

The Unpersuaded: Who listens to a President? [Ezra Klein on The New Yorker]

Edwards’s views are no longer considered radical in political-science circles, in part because he has marshalled so much evidence in support of them. In his book “On Deaf Ears: The Limits of the Bully Pulpit” (2003), he expanded the poll-based rigor that he applied to Reagan’s rhetorical influence to that of nearly every other President since the nineteen-thirties. Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s fireside chats are perhaps the most frequently cited example of Presidential persuasion. Cue Edwards: “He gave only two or three fireside chats a year, and rarely did he focus them on legislation under consideration in Congress. It appears that FDR only used a fireside chat to discuss such matters on four occasions, the clearest example being the broadcast on March 9, 1937, on the ill-fated ‘Court-packing’ bill.” Edwards also quotes the political scientists Matthew Baum and Samuel Kernell, who, in a more systematic examination of Roosevelt’s radio addresses, found that they fostered “less than a 1 percentage point increase” in his approval rating. His more traditional speeches didn’t do any better. He was unable to persuade Americans to enter the Second World War, for example, until Pearl Harbor.

Curiously Strong Remains:





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Roundup – ComicCon and Friends


Line O’ the Day:

“If PFC Bradley Manning did what he is accused of, he is a hero of mine; not because he’s perfect or because he never struggled with personal or family relationships — most of us do — but because in the midst of it all he had the courage to act on his conscience.”

– former Specialist Ethan McCord, Bravo Company, 2nd Battalion, 16th Infantry Regiment, United States Army, Iraq War veteran on Manning, the media and the military [via Glenn Greenwald on Salon]

Best of the Best:

Bill Simmons Is God Of Hollywood [Big Daddy Drew on KSK]

When Green Lantern badly underperformed last weekend, it shouldn’t have been surprising, because Reynolds isn’t a movie star (despite Hollywood’s best efforts to convince us otherwise).

I’m pretty sure the movie tanked because it was awful.

You know how I know this?


We just spent the past 10 years compiling evidence that said, emphatically, “Ryan Reynolds can’t carry a bad movie.” Or, really, any movie.

Okay. Cool. Thank God we’ve established that. I can finally rest now that I know Ryan Reynolds isn’t a 40% legit movie star. Now to move on to our next pressing issue: DO BEAVERS HAVE DREAMS?!

Chasing Jose [Pat Jordan on Deadspin]

At 10 a.m., L.A. time, Rob called to tell me the interview was off. Jose had changed his mind yet again. I was apoplectic. Rob tried to calm me down with these reassuring words, “Pat,” he said, “why are you so upset? You and I both know Jose’s a piece of shit.”

The Silent Season of a Hero [Gay Talese on Esquire (July 1966) via Deadspin]

[H]igh in the grandstands, billowing in the breeze of early autumn, were white banners that read: “Don’t Quit, Mick,” “We Love the Mick.” The banner had been held by hundreds of young boys whose dreams had been fulfilled so often by Mantle, but also seated in the grandstands were older men, paunchy and balding, in whose middle-aged minds DiMaggio was still vivid and invincible, and some of them remembered how one month before, during a pregame exhibition at Old-Timers’ Day in Yankee Stadium, DiMaggio had hit a pitch into the left-field seats, and suddenly thousands of people had jumped wildly to their feet, joyously screaming – the great DiMaggio had returned, they were young again, it was yesterday.

Female Soccer Players Don’t Fake It Like The Men, Science Says [New York Times via Deasdpin]

Apparent injuries were divided into two categories. They were considered “definite” if a player was replaced within five minutes or was visibly bleeding. Otherwise, the injuries were considered “questionable.” Researchers found that an average of 11.26 apparent injuries occurred in men’s matches, compared with 5.74 in women’s matches. Those considered “definite” involved 13.7 percent of injuries for women and 7.2 percent for men. “We can say that men writhe on the ground looking like they’re injured more than women, almost twice as often,” said Dr. Daryl Rosenbaum, the lead author of the study, which was published in the July issue of the journal Research in Sports Medicine. “And when players are apparently injured, the percentage when it was authentic by our criteria was twice as high with women. You could trust more that they were injured.”

Bill Simmons Is Commissioner Of Fictional Presidents [Big Daddy Drew on KSK]

Maybe any NBA franchise that allows an ex-player, a coach, a former scout, or basically anyone without genuine business and/or legal training to negotiate with some of the smartest legal/business minds in the entire world should be fined $10 million by the commissioner’s office.

So true. You NBA shitheads have spent way too long giving out basketball jobs to people who have a background in the game of basketball and often hire a lawyer to assist them with the actual negotiating process. You should be listening to the guy who’s imitating a fictional President from a Kevin Kline film. WHY AM I THE ONLY ONE SENSIBLE ENOUGH TO KNOW THIS SHIT?

Do you realize that agents laugh about this behind closed doors?

AGENT: God, wait until they actually let Simmons run the Nets… (jizzes in pants)

Financial Crisis Panel Commissioners Leaked Confidential Information To Lobbyists, Report Alleges  [Shahien Nasiripour on The Huffington Post]

The 400,000 emails and documents obtained by the investigative committee show that Republican commissioner Peter Wallison broke confidentiality rules by leaking documents to Ed Pinto, a colleague of his at the American Enterprise Institute, a prominent right-leaning Washington-based research and policy organization. The misconduct did not stop there, according to the report. The assistant of Bill Thomas, the panel’s vice chairman and another of the four Republican commissioners, shared information about the commission’s hearings, targets and investigative direction with one of Thomas’s colleagues at law firm Buchanan, Ingersoll, and Rooney, one of Washington’s top lobbying shops.

Naughty by Nature [Jesse Bering on Slate]

Dramatic case studies illustrating the devastating effects of Klüver-Bucy Syndrome abound in the clinical literature, and they raise intriguing philosophical questions for us to consider. That some patients so stricken are overcome with excessive carnal urges and are not simply using the disorder as a convenient excuse to become freely promiscuous, lewd, and lascivious is perhaps best demonstrated by a 1998 Clinical Neurology and Neurosurgery study by Indian neurologist Sunil Pradhan and his colleagues. In this report, a group of boys between the ages of 2.5 and 6 began to exhibit hypersexualized behaviors after partially recovering from comas induced by herpes encephalitis.

Why Some Home Sellers are More Delusional than Others [Stan Humphries Chief Economist at Zillow via Moneyland on Time]

We analyzed over a million homes currently for sale on Zillow, compared the listing price to an estimate of the current market value, and examined how the difference between those two numbers relates to when each home was purchased. We found that homes that had been last purchased prior to 2005 are now listed about 10% higher than their estimated market value. Homes last purchased between 2005 and mid-2007 – the period right around the national peak in home values – are priced lower, just 6.4% above their estimated market value. Strikingly, however, homes last purchased after 2007 are priced much higher relative to market value than homes bought previously. And the premium of listing price relative to market value reaches its maximum – 22.7% – for homes bought in 2009.

Why Netflix Raised Its Prices [David Pogue on The New York Times]

“I’ve had this conversation over and over again for the last 24 hours,” said Mr. Swasey. “Yes, 60 percent is a big number. But that increase is only $6 a month more. That’s a latté a month. We’ve gone from an extreme terrific value to a terrific value.” Want to know the worst part? He’s right.

New Research Suggests Everybody’s Less Satisfied [Tom Jacobs on Miller-McCune]

Herbst refined the data by looking at various subgroups, in such categories as age, race, marital status and employment status. He found consistent declines in life satisfaction for each such group, with one exception: black men, “who experienced a statistically significant increase in well-being between 1985 and 2005.”

Medical marijuana: A science-free zone at the White House [Stephen Gutwillig and Bill Piper on The Los Angeles Times]

Two weeks ago, the U.S. Department of Justice issued medical marijuana guidelines to U.S. attorneys that are at best confusing and at worst a flip-flop on administration policy. The department’s much-heralded 2009 memo on the subject fulfilled candidate Obama’s campaign promise and established a principle that federal resources would not be wasted prosecuting medical marijuana patients and providers who are in “clear and unambiguous compliance” with state medical marijuana laws. The department’s update reiterates that the feds won’t target individual medical marijuana patients but might bust large-scale, commercial medical marijuana providers. The memo unequivocally threatens federal prosecution of large-scale medical marijuana providers even if they are in compliance with state law, a significant step away from the principle at the heart of the 2009 policy. Disturbingly, the new “clarification” doesn’t explain what the federal government considers to be the line between small and large-scale production — likely an attempt to slow state-sponsored medical marijuana distribution programs while sowing anxiety and confusion for patients.

See also: Christie Plans to Lift New Jersey Suspension on Medical Marijuana Program [Bloomberg]

The Graceful, Oversized Legacy of Yao Ming [Emma Carmichael on Deadspin]

Yao was great for the game because he was a great player who happened to be very tall and who happened to be from China. It’s for that reason — not that he was a demographically useful, unnaturally tall It Guy — that it would have been a pleasure to see him play a few more years.

FUCK YOU! THE LOCKOUT’S OVER! [Big Daddy Drew on Deadspin]

Oh, God. Holy shit. Oh, man. Someone bring me a helmet so I can bang the earhole. I’m so horny for football right now that I’m ejaculating pure Gatorade.

US more unpopular in the Arab world than under Bush [Glenn Greenwald on Salon]

I’ve written numerous times over the last year about rapidly worsening perceptions of the U.S. in the Muslim world, including a Pew poll from April finding that Egyptians view the U.S. more unfavorably now than they did during the Bush presidency.  A new poll released today of six Arab nations — Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Morocco — contains even worse news on this front: In most countries surveyed, favorable attitudes toward the United States dropped to levels lower than they were during the last year of the Bush administration . . . Pollsters began their work shortly after a major speech Obama gave on the Middle East . . . Fewer than 10 percent of respondents described themselves as having a favorable view of Obama. What’s striking is that none of these is among the growing list of countries we’re occupying and bombing.  Indeed, several are considered among the more moderate and U.S.-friendly nations in that region, at least relatively speaking.  Yet even in this group of nations, anti-U.S. sentiment is at dangerously (even unprecedentedly) high levels.

Peter King Knows There’s No Coffee Like Hitler’s Coffee [Big Daddy Drew on KSK]

This gem came from Andrew Goldman’s interview with Judge Judy in the June 26 New York Times Sunday magazine…

You know, one of the great things about being an NFL reporter and not covering the NFL is that it gives me time to read up on important matters, LIKE HOW JUDGE FUCKING JUDY IS DOING.

Judge Judy works five days per month … and makes $45 million a year.

Oh, so you and she have a lot in common. Except for her far more rigorous work schedule.

Judge Judy Factoid II:

WHAT THE FUCK? Why are there two Judge Judy factoids in here? The NFL is about to start again. Free agency is set to take place DURING training camp. The NFL world is about to shift in ways so unpredictable that no one can really say what’s going to happen. It’s perhaps the most exciting time ever to be a football fan, and this is after one of the worst times to be a football fan. Hey, you know what we should be talking about? JUDGE FUCKING JUDY. Perfect. Beautiful. Just the kind of hard-hitting factoid I come to this column for. FUCK.

Incredible Joe Posnanski/Yogi Berra Factoid of the Week

HOLY FUCK ARE YOU SHITTING ME?! We go from Judge Judy to Yogi Berra? Is there some third geriatric asshole we haven’t touched on yet? What about Martha Raye? Any Martha Raye factoids in your back pocket, Peter? I MUST KNOW.

Fanciful Remains:


The content on this site is provided as general information and entertainment only and should not be taken as investment advice. All site content shall not be construed as a recommendation to buy or sell any security or financial product, or to participate in any particular trading or investment strategy. The ideas expressed on this site are solely the opinions of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of firms affiliated with the author. The author may or may not have a position in any security referenced herein and may or may not seek to do business with companies mentioned via this website. Any action that you take as a result of information or analysis on this site is ultimately your responsibility. Consult your investment adviser before making any investment decisions.


Roundup – Even World Cup Had a Montage, MONTAGE!

Line O’ the Day:

Maybe I do need to be more of a fan, or at least find more to celebrate. The questions for each of us, I think, are the basic ones: Could I have been more?

And, Is there still time?

– Robert Lipsyte, My Lunches With Costas: A Series Of Frank Encounters With The Journalist And Shill (UPDATE) [via Deadspin]

Best of the Best:

What Price War? Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Costs of Conflict [Anthony Gregory on The Independent Institute]

The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have been the most expensive and deadly for the United States since the Cold War, and in particular since Vietnam. Many Americans saw this as a consequence of the particular policy approach taken by the George W. Bush administration, and many expected that the trajectory of U.S. foreign policy, especially in Iraq but also in general terms, would change incontrovertibly, if not completely, once Barack Obama became president and had time to implement his changes. Now, more than two years into Obama’s presidency, it is time to examine the new administration’s record in Iraq and Afghanistan and its general approach to foreign policy and the war on terrorism. In doing so, we should compare what has happened to what was promised, as well as to what was undertaken during the last administration.

Gil Scott-Heron, Voice of Black Protest Culture, Dies at 62 [Ben Sisario via The New York Times]

Mr. Scott-Heron often bristled at the suggestion that his work had prefigured rap. “I don’t know if I can take the blame for it,” he said in an interview last year with the music Web site The Daily Swarm. He preferred to call himself a “bluesologist,” drawing on the traditions of blues, jazz and Harlem renaissance poetics. Yet, along with the work of the Last Poets, a group of black nationalist performance poets who emerged alongside him in the late 1960s and early ’70s, Mr. Scott-Heron established much of the attitude and the stylistic vocabulary that would characterize the socially conscious work of early rap groups like Public Enemy and Boogie Down Productions. And he has remained part of the DNA of hip-hop by being sampled by stars like Kanye West. “You can go into Ginsberg and the Beat poets and Dylan, but Gil Scott-Heron is the manifestation of the modern word,” Chuck D, the leader of Public Enemy, told The New Yorker in 2010. “He and the Last Poets set the stage for everyone else.”

Brothel industry falls short in desire to pay state taxes [The Las Vegas Sun]

So the industry, at least since the 1990s, has volunteered to pay into the state’s tax coffers. If the brothels pay money to the state, the thinking goes, it’s one more reason that lawmakers won’t ban prostitution. (The industry pays money to counties, tens of thousands of dollars, in privileged business license fees.)

Blanks for the Memories: What’s Your Earliest Childhood Recollection? [Wall Street Journal]

The inability of adults to remember the earliest years of childhood—also known as infantile amnesia—has been the subject of speculation for more than a century. Modern researchers think that storing and retrieving memories require language skills that don’t develop until age 3 or 4. Others believe that while children can recall fragments of scenes from early life, they can’t create autobiographical memories—the episodes that make up one’s life story—until they have a firm concept of “self,” which may take a few more years. Researchers are finding intriguing cultural differences, too. In a study published in Child Development in 2009, Dr. Peterson and colleagues asked 225 Canadian children and 113 Chinese children, aged 8, 11 and 14, to write down as many early memories as they could in four minutes. The Canadian children were able to recall twice as many memories from their early childhoods, going back six months earlier, than Chinese children. What’s more, the Canadian children’s memories were much more likely to be about their own experiences, whereas the Chinese children focused on family or group activities. The difference isn’t in memory skills, experts believe, but in how experiences are encoded in children’s brains, which is greatly affected by the attention adults pay to them. In this case, researchers concluded, the Western parents were more likely to savor and tell stories about moments when a child said something funny or did something unusual, underscoring their individuality, while Asian cultures value collective experiences.

Tyler Cowen, America’s Hottest Economist [Brendan Greeley on Bloomberg Businessweek]

In some ways, Cowen has skipped a step in the normal path of the economist from academy to celebrity, which may explain why three notable economists contacted about Cowen declined to comment. There’s an idea among academic economists that the privilege of writing a narrative argument must be earned through the hard work of modeling and econometrics. “There is a view that what can’t be disproven isn’t science,” says Raghuram Rajan, a former director of research at the International Monetary Fund who now teaches at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He has published his own work for a general audience, most recently Fault Lines, on economic risks the financial crisis has yet to uncover. Rajan doesn’t think that narrative economics is any less difficult than writing models. “I don’t see your having to prove yourself before moving on to something that is ‘less rigorous,'” he says. “Both are hard. Both are important.” Tyler Cowen can do the math, but he works in narrative. “Economists talk of models,” he says. “Is a novel a model? What do you learn about society from novels? They’re false, but so are models.”

Adjusting Wage Disparities for Cost of Living [Joe Light on WSJ Blogs: Real Time Economics]

Where are workers getting a good deal? St. Louis breadwinners take home about the same pay as the U.S. average, according to the Labor Department, but their cost of living is more than 9% cheaper, according to the CCER. Another locale where earners have an advantage: Houston, Texas. The Labor Department says workers there earn about 99% of the U.S. average, but they get about a 7% cost of living discount. Similarly, in Dallas, they get a 7% discount and earn 98 cents on the dollar. And one of the worst-paid cities relative to its cost is Honolulu, Hawaii, where workers only made 5% more than the mean but shell out nearly 68% extra. Maybe that’s just the price you pay for 70-degree winters. In Florida, living in Miami costs 7% extra and Ft. Lauderdale costs an additional 14%, according to the CCER. Meanwhile, pay in that combined metro area is only 97% of the U.S. average. In Orlando, living is only 2% cheaper, but pay is 9% below average.

As Physicians’ Jobs Change, So Do Their Politics [New York Times]

But doctors are changing. They are abandoning their own practices and taking salaried jobs in hospitals, particularly in the North, but increasingly in the South as well. Half of all younger doctors are women, and that share is likely to grow. There are no national surveys that track doctors’ political leanings, but as more doctors move from business owner to shift worker, their historic alliance with the Republican Party is weakening from Maine as well as South Dakota, Arizona and Oregon, according to doctors’ advocates in those and other states. That change could have a profound effect on the nation’s health care debate. Indeed, after opposing almost every major health overhaul proposal for nearly a century, the American Medical Association supported President Obama’s legislation last year because the new law would provide health insurance to the vast majority of the nation’s uninsured, improve competition and choice in insurance, and promote prevention and wellness, the group said. Because so many doctors are no longer in business for themselves, many of the issues that were once priorities for doctors’ groups, like insurance reimbursement, have been displaced by public health and safety concerns, including mandatory seat belt use and chemicals in baby products.

Your Commute Is Killing You: Long commutes cause obesity, neck pain, loneliness, divorce, stress, and insomnia. [Annie Lowery on Slate]

In the past decade or so, researchers have produced a significant body of research measuring the dreadfulness of a long commute. People with long transit times suffer from disproportionate pain, stress, obesity, and dissatisfaction. The joy of living in a big, exurban house, or that extra income left over from your cheap rent? It is almost certainly not worth it.

When Did You Lose Your Dead Body Card? [Big Daddy Drew on Deadspin]

The flowerpot toilet brush exists already. A simple Google search verifies it.. Frankly, I’m stunned there isn’t one in my house as we speak. Because wives are disgusted by toilet brushes. The fact that you have to keep something in the bathroom that has a history of touching the inside of the toilet bowl is almost too much for them to bear. May as well keep a mistress in the basement.

Are Tyler Cowen’s Observations on Economics about as Good as His Observations about Basketball? [Robert Wenzel on Economic Policy Journal]

I think what attracts so many to Keynes is his convoluted way of saying things along with a tendency to throw in an occasional observation that few others have spotted. Because they recognize the interesting observation, they spend most of the time trying to understand the convoluted part of the writing, However, if you have a strong mind and willing to pull Keynes’ writing apart, you realize that although he was very smart, he really only understands things at a surface level. Hayek took the time and fully understood this about Keynes. I think it applies to Cowen as well. Cowen is very observant, tending to present in a convoluted manner, but if you understand the subject Cowen is discussing, you realize that although he observes interesting facts, it is at a very surface level.

Criminalizing free speech [Glenn Greenwald on Salon]

Alex Seitz-Wald of Think Progress rightly takes Sen. Rand Paul to task for going on Sean Hannity’s radio program — one week after commendably leading opposition to the Patriot Act on civil liberties grounds — and advocating the arrest of people who “attend radical political speeches.”  After claiming to be against racial and religious profiling, Paul said:  “But if someone is attending speeches from someone who is promoting the violent overthrow of our government, that’s really an offense that we should be going after — they should be deported or put in prison.”  Seitz-Wald correctly notes the obvious:  “Paul’s suggestion that people be imprisoned or deported for merely attending a political speech would be a fairly egregious violation on the First Amendment, not to mention due process.”

The Rays Have More Or Less Every Pick In Today’s MLB Draft [David Roher on Deadspin]

That’s thirteen picks before the start of the third round. From their first selection to the end of the supplemental round tonight, they’ll get the rights to over a quarter of the players taken. How did this happen? A combination of an antiquated compensation system and a front office smart enough to execute the plan before anyone else did.

Libya has one dictator, but Kosovo has many Gaddafis [Fatos Bytyci on Reuters]

During the socialist era of 1970s and 1980s, dozens of parents in Kosovo named their sons after Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, someone they admired for his non-aligned stance and devotion to Islam. With NATO, a supporter of mainly Muslim Kosovo’s independence, now fighting Gaddafi’s regime and calling for him to leave office, these are awkward times for such children.

Shocking FBI Discovery: Austin Is Weird [Jesse Walker on Reason]

One comes from Michael German, a former FBI agent now doing excellent work for the ACLU. (Read his terrific takedowns of fusion centers herehere, and here.) “You have a bunch of guys and women all over the country sent out to find terrorism,” German tells the Times. “Fortunately, there isn’t a lot of terrorism in many communities. So they end up pursuing people who are critical of the government.”

Obesity — Not Aging — Balloons Health Care Costs [Miller-McCune]

Unfortunately, there’s a giant exception to the rule that the longer life tends to be a healthier one: Obese people are living longer, thanks to factors such as cholesterol-cutting medicines (as is the entire population), but much of their extra time is spent in ill health, and as a result, their annual medical bills are some 42 percent higher than those of normal-weight people. In fact, the obesity epidemic has greatly increased the prevalence of chronic diseases such as diabetes, but contrary to much of the media coverage on the epidemic, it has had little effect on mortality rates. As the title of one study put it, “Smoking kills, obesity disables.”

The ECB’s stealth bailout [Hans-Werner Sinn on VOX]

The longer the cheap money drug is indulged in, the more painful the withdrawal. Wait too long and no cure will be possible.

U.S. subsidizes Brazilian cotton to protect Monsanto’s profits [Think Forward]

In a 2009 WTO “framework agreement,” the U.S. created the Commodity Conservation Corporation (CCC), and Brazil created the Brazilian Cotton Institute (BCI). Rather than eliminating or substantially reforming cotton subsidies, the CCC pays the BCI $147 million dollars a year in “technical assistance,” which happens to be the same amount the WTO authorized for trade retaliation specifically for cotton payments. In essence, then, the U.S. government pays a subsidy to Brazilian cotton farmers every year to protect the U.S. cotton program—and the profits of companies like Monsanto and Pioneer.

Why Grantland Rice Sucked [Tommy Craggs on Deadspin]

Grantland Rice was everything his namesake website should aspire not to be. He was a pandering mythmaker who wrote verse and prose the way Thomas Kinkade paints carriage lanes (“The Hills of Fame still beckon where the Paths of Glory lead …”). Reading him today is not unlike looking at your maiden aunt’s collection of Precious Moments figurines. Moths come flying off every word. He was responsible for a lot of the worst pathologies of sportswriting today, and the fact that a major web site now unironically carries his name tells me we’ve done to Rice what Rice did to so many ballplayers over the years. We’ve godded up the godmaker.

Stay Soft, Dirk Nowitzki [Luke O’Brien on Deadspin]

Even before Dirk Nowitzki lifted a championship trophy on Sunday night, he was being held up as a new man. Nowitzki had reinvented himself, we were told. He’d finally “shed” the Euro-soft label plastered to him throughout his career and, to much adulation, morphed into the sort of rugged warrior that wins titles. The tale of an individual transforming himself to wrestle destiny into submission satisfies a special American yearning. In this case, it’s obscuring an even more fundamentally American story.

The Slow, Sad Death Of A Riot’s Symbol [Barry Petchesky on Deadspin]

In April 2001, just as baseball season started up, Bubba Helms put a shotgun in his mouth and pulled the trigger. “Helms’ 2-year-old son was in his grandpa’s arms, watching, as his dad pulled the trigger,” the Free Press reported. The shot didn’t kill him, just shattered his jaw, and the hospital eventually sent him on his way with a prescription for painkillers. He took an entire bottle, and died. His nephew found something in Helms’s closet while going through his belongings, the Free Press wrote. It was 1984 Detroit Tigers pennant. The family still had the newspaper clippings of Helms holding it at the riots. It had always been the highlight of his life.

One Night in Bangkok Can Lead to Quite a ‘Hangover’ for Thailand  [The Wall Street Journal]

Thailand’s tourism chief hasn’t seen the Warner Bros. box-office smash “The Hangover: Part II,” which is based in Bangkok. Maybe that’s just as well. “What’s it like?” asked Supol Sripan, general-director of the country’s tourism department, on a recent Thursday afternoon. Well, it shows his nation’s capital as chock-full of drug-dealing mobsters, drunken bar fights and hazily remembered sex in the back rooms of brothels. In the movie there are also car chases through teeming streets, and a chain-smoking monkey. “Hmm,” Mr. Supol sighed. “Well, I suppose it’s true. We have all those things.”

The Dugout by Bill Simmons [Brandon Stroud on WithLeather]

SportsGuy33: b. Derek Jeter stands too close to whatever the baseball sideline reporter equivalent is to Erin Andrews and goes on the DL; calls up his roommate Bill Simmons, who gives up his Clippers season tickets to put on Jeter’s jersey and fills in for a game, or several.

JetersNeverProsper: aren’t you a Red Sox fan?

SportsGuy33: Sure, but in this scenario you’re in first place, so I like you more

Louis C.K. Weighs In On The Tracy Morgan Scandal As All The “Videogum Promises” Crash Into Each Other And Explode [Gabe on Videogum]

In closing: fart noise.

Missing Iraq money may have been stolen, auditors say [Los Angeles Times]

Pentagon officials determined that one giant C-130 Hercules cargo plane could carry $2.4 billion in shrink-wrapped bricks of $100 bills. They sent an initial full planeload of cash, followed by 20 other flights to Iraq by May 2004 in a $12-billion haul that U.S. officials believe to be the biggest international cash airlift of all time. This month, the Pentagon and the Iraqi government are finally closing the books on the program that handled all those Benjamins. But despite years of audits and investigations, U.S. Defense officials still cannot say what happened to $6.6 billion in cash…For the first time, federal auditors are suggesting that some or all of the cash may have been stolen, not just mislaid in an accounting error. Stuart Bowen, special inspector general for Iraq reconstruction, an office created by Congress, said the missing $6.6 billion may be “the largest theft of funds in national history.”

Why We Shouldn’t Blame Roberto “LeBrongo” [Jack Dickey on Deadspin]

Watching the Bruins play, especially in the playoffs, you knew that their defensemen would shove anyone in front of the net. No one would own the crease against them like Boston’s forwards did against Vancouver in game seven. The Bruins’ triumph resulted from a steely team effort. But we’ve lost that story because the tourists, dropping in for a hockey come-down after basketball, want to make this about a meltdown, because that’s what they know and enjoyed, earlier in the week. LeBrongo, amirite? If they looked harder, though, they would have seen one of the greatest goalies ever fighting in vain to save his underperforming teammates—some of whom quite literally got in his way—from themselves. Does that sound like LeBron to you?

The Crash of 1993: As the great comic-book bubble showed, sometimes there’s no recovery from a speculative boom [Johnathan Last on The Weekly Standard]

I have a comic book like that. In 1984, DC launched what became an immensely popular series, The New Teen Titans. The first issue carried a premium cover price of $1.25, the result of the series being printed not on the usual newsprint but on higher quality “Baxter” paper. I missed the first issue when it debuted, and the back-issue price quickly climbed. In a few months I saved up the scratch to buy a copy.  I paid $25, a not-inconsiderable sum for a 10-year-old. It was the jewel of my collection. Today you can buy a copy in near-mint condition for $1.50.

Sideways Remains:







The content on this site is provided as general information and entertainment only and should not be taken as investment advice. All site content shall not be construed as a recommendation to buy or sell any security or financial product, or to participate in any particular trading or investment strategy. The ideas expressed on this site are solely the opinions of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions of firms affiliated with the author. The author may or may not have a position in any security referenced herein and may or may not seek to do business with companies mentioned via this website. Any action that you take as a result of information or analysis on this site is ultimately your responsibility. Consult your investment adviser before making any investment decisions.


Roundup – Galactica: Sabotage

Line O’ the Day:

“As Birdemic begins to project on screen, it becomes immediately apparent that my review is going to be one part hate, one part rage. The opening titles contain no less than ten minutes worth of footage of someone driving around town with a camera rocking bad and forth on their dashboard. The crew titles battle each other to fit onto the screen, several even fading in to reveal that they are cut off half way through. The title for ‘casting by”’shows up and several voices boo loudly from the back, as another viewer in the front screams, ‘Where are the f–king birds?!?’ It’s a beautiful start to an enchanted night.” – Chodin, Birdemic Shock and Terror – Review [FilmDrunk]

Best of the Best:

The Remains:


Roundup – How to Report the News

Line O’ the Day:

“It’s amazing how few people with existing jobs want to work under Lovie Smith in Chicago.

LOVIE: I want you to work with me.

PROSPECT: No thank you.

LOVIE: I challenge your refusal.” – Big Daddy Drew, Peter King Spies Himself a New Tebeau [Kissing Suzy Kolber]

Best of the Best:

The Remains:


Roundup – Douchebagging It

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Line O’ the Day:

“But apparently I should have watched that because the awesome Neil Patrick Harris was awesome. That dude can do anything. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like him. He’s a more convincing cool ladies man than I’ve ever been, which is extremely troubling considering he’s gay and I’m not. Still the Emmys are fuckin retarded.” [WWTDD]


Glenn Greenwald: