Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Dirty Trick of the Day

From the Dirty South.

Justify Your Existence

Tomorrow, print journalism as we know it today is going to die. Completely. No more daily newspapers or weekly/biweekly/monthly/bimonthly/quarterly magazines.

You can save the status quo by sacrificing one of these magazines to the Journalism gods ...

Which one is it and why?

We'll have our answer up in a few days.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

The Founding Fathers on Anonymity

One of the great ironies that no one seems to be mentioning with regard to the outing of a previously pseudonymous blogger this weekend is that said author's nom de blog was "publius."

Publius was the pseudonym Alexander Hamilton chose when he sat down to publish his part of the Federalist Papers.

Anonymous participation has always been an important part of the civic debate in this country. It's a tradition that should be respected by both anonymous bloggers and those who write under their real name.

It's amusing that the "outer" in this farce is a conservative lawyer who, to the the best that I've been able to glean, is a "strict constructionist" in terms of legal philosophy. Had he adapted his legal principles to his blogging principles and asked himself what the founding fathers would have done in his case, he would have had the answer staring him right in the face.

MORE: Conor Friederdorf notices it too.

EVEN MORE: James Copland chimes in.

MORE STILL: Steve Benen.

END OF MORE STUFF: This appears to be the end of things.

One would hope this incident establishes a kind of precedent.

Ink Blots

We had planned an elaborate post on the Mayor's Breakfast to-do, but since there will be no event this year -- much of what we were going to say is, alas, immaterial.

But that's not going to stop us from making one relevant observation. We were a bit surprised by the ferocity of the conversation regarding the Breakfast (both online and off) and are worried about what it portends. Frankly, we see the day soon approaching wherein any type of local event, positive or negative, immediately becomes a kind of Rorschach test over Esslinger's leadership.

And we mean even the events that don't even remotely involve him.

Congressman Petri "Raps" with America's Youth

Rep. Tom Petri's (R-WI) first job was hosting a radio show called Teen Time, a weekly program that made him the Badger State's youngest on-air personality.
Do you think he discussed simplifying the tax code for lower income families or who was going to score at Makeout Point on the old radio show?

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Mayor's Breakfast to Move to a Single Booth at the Perkins on Highway 41

We have a pretty good feeling that the Mayor's Breakfast shitshow just now getting under way won't end until well after whatever event comes to replace it. In the mean time there we can all sit back and enjoy finger-pointing, name-calling, gnashing of teeth and rending of hair. We'll have more to say on the matter in the next few days (and there is plenty to say).

For now, we'll just note that this is the fourth divisive distraction to befall the civic conversation in the six weeks of Esslinger's reign (Appointmentgate, L'Affaire Buchholtz & the ongoing Parking Lot Debacle).

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

For It Before He was Against It!

How the hell does this make sense?
Esslinger has opposed the parking lot since fall, when it was included in the city’s annual capital improvements program. He argues it is a luxury the city cannot afford in light of pressing needs to upgrade sewers and other infrastructure.

Still, he and McHugh voted in favor of borrowing $972,000 for the project in late April. Esslinger said he signed off on the bond issue on the assumption that he’d have one more chance to kill the project. That opportunity will come up when construction easements and bids for the work go to the council this summer for approval.

"I was under the understanding from our city staff we would have one more kick at the cat," Esslinger said. "I think the staff needs to be more clear to the council when these issues come up. We need to be told ‘This is it. You need to vote no here.’ Or they need to explain exactly what the vote means."
But if you don't like it, why not just vote no when it's in front of you?

By the way, an animal abuse metaphor is just plain creepy.

MORE: From "logichead" (a misnomer if ever there was one):
Good for you , Paul....stick to your guns and listen to the majority of voters. Downtown is dead. Don't spend more of our tax dollars on it. Also....can the Grand. It's a old pile of bricks that needs to go, It wil be less expensive to build a new theatre that to repair the old junk pile.

(emphasis added)
Esslinger is flip-flopping and this putz is telling him to "stick to your guns" ... what guns are those?

That's right, the guy also said "screw the Grand" ...

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Annals of Not Very Good Predictions

Not so much.

The Chief's SAT Word of the Day


You Know What will Save the Conservative Movement? Two White Ivy League Rappers who went to Prep School!

Men of the people, speaking the language of the streets!
Rufful and Riddle, both due to graduate in 2012, came to Dartmouth from the Northfield Mount Hermon School, a private school in Massachusetts.
We can only hope this is the "hip-hop make over" that RNC chair Michael Steele was talking about.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Old Grey Mare Just Ain't What She Used to Be

Several conservative bloggers in Wisconsin seem to be enjoying a hearty laugh over an editorial recently published in Pravda that argues the United States is becoming too radical or Marxist or whatever.

One problem: the Pravda of which they speak is not "the Russian House Organ" it once was. It's actually now a tabloid -- and not a New York Post tabloid, but a Weekly World News tabloid (though, of course, many would argue there is no difference).

Not only can you find inherently laughable commentaries in the latest incarnation of Pravda, but you can also read such stories with headlines like:

With all of that excitement, I can't imagine for the life of me why any sane reader of the news would by-pass all of these amazing stories and go straight for the boring opinion piece on US domestic policy ... especially when there are vampires and aliens and the undead to talk about!

A quick stop over to Wikipedia would have straightened all of this business out:
After the paper was closed down in 1991 by decree of President Yeltsin, many of the staff founded a new paper with the same name, which is now a tabloid-style Russian news source. There is an unrelated Internet-based newspaper, Pravda Online ( run by former Pravda newspaper employees. A number of other newspapers have also been called Pravda, most notably Komsomolskaya Pravda, formerly the official newspaper of the now defunct Komsomol and currently the best-selling tabloid in Russia.
But why bother checking one's sources when you can just rely on your understanding of a foreign country's press as it stood almost 20 years ago?

Good going, Cheddarsphere!

We'll be sure to ignore everything anyone has to say about Russia in the future.

MORE: The suckers just keep on coming ...

Kyle Prast:
...there is one news source that has the guts to report what has been going on since Jan. 20, 2009 straight up: Russia's PRAVDA!
Yes, and they've also done a helluva job on the Werewolf beat too!

Peter DiGaudio:
A lecture to Americans … from Pravda, no less.
And here's an ongoing series on the evil symbology of the one dollar bill!

Let's not forget the meteorite with Christ's face on it or the Yeti who was caught by Russian scientists using Google Maps!

The current news arm of the Russian government is RIA Novosti. RIA is the transliteration for the Cyrrilic acronym that essentially translates to Russian Information Agency. RIA Novosti runs Russia Today, or RT, which is the current Russian government's official state news organization.