Alarming News

November 30, 2007

Helen Thomas is an embarrassment to her field

But you knew that already.

Posted by Karol at 07:03 PM | Comments (21)
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Overreaction is one way to put it, I guess

US complains of Sudan’s ‘overreaction’ in teddy bear case

I’d go more along the lines of old-fashioned ‘insanity’, myself:

Teacher hidden as Sudan mob urges death

It would be hilarious if it wasn’t so terrifying:

KHARTOUM, Sudan – Thousands of Sudanese, many armed with clubs and swords and beating drums, burned pictures of a British teacher Friday and demanded her execution for insulting Islam by letting her students name a teddy bear Muhammad.

Posted by Karol at 06:50 PM | Comments (4)
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WHOA

Man Takes Hostages in Clinton Office:

A man who appears to have a bomb strapped to himself takes two hostages at the campaign office of Sen. Hillary Clinton in Rochester, N.H., according to authorities. The Democratic presidential candidate is not in the building.

Posted by Karol at 02:59 PM | Comments (10)
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Not so random thought

I don’t mind there being a Spanish option when I call places like the DMV or the Passport Agency, but I don’t like the “press one to continue in English” option. English should be the default, the one where you don’t have to press anything at all.

Posted by Karol at 02:54 PM | Comments (14)
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Conversation of the Day

“I have never loved a woman so much except for my mother”- Dorian Davis on meeting Ann Coulter.

“Can I blog that?”- Me

“I’m not sure grandma would appreciate it”- Dorian

Friday silly

Dawn Summers posted a video of me playing a heads-up poker match against Superfischel last November. I want it noted for the record that I’ve lost something like 20 pounds since then. And also that I made a awesome fold and a great call and poker is so mean. She also recently took what would have been a really cool photo of me at the poker table in Atlantic City, sitting on a bunch of chips, listening to my ipod in one ear and twirling the chips. Of course, she cut off half my face and mostly got the shot of the guy sitting next to me but no one ever said Dawn knows how to frame a picture.

Posted by Karol at 12:56 PM | Comments (7)
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November 29, 2007

Perhaps this belongs on the poker blog

A new magazine called “Russia!” (hat-tip to “J”) rates the best and worst Russian accents in Hollywood. They write: “Unlike the Muslim, Jewish and other communities, the Russians have been historically docile about being portrayed as drunk, murderous plotters. But that’s not the offensive part. The offensive part is being portrayed as a drunk, murderous plotter with a Czech name and a Transylvanian accent.”

Viggo Mortenson won for best accent in Eastern Promises (the movie was so-so but he really did a phenomenal job, particularly with the Russian dialect): “This year, we’re proud to acknowledge Mr. Mortensen, whose star turn in Eastern Promises is amazingly sensitive, multifaceted, and above all authentic. His character even speaks a specific old-school thief slang, and switches to Ukrainian when comforting a Ukrainian woman.”

John Malkovich has the second worst accent (Nicole Kidman “wins” the worst for some movie I never saw) for his terrible accent in “Rounders”:

Teddy KGB, a tracksuited card shark tormenting Matt Damon (playing his trademark male ingenue with one extra-special talent) in this underground-poker potboiler, is a patently ridiculous concoction. First of all, there’s the matter of that painful handle. “Teddy” – what’s his real name, Fedya? And what kind of Russian gangster would be called “KGB” by his peers? Not buyin’ it. Still, when Malkovich opens his mouth, his usual louche villainy works so well with his Russian accent that you believe in this preposterous character immediately, as if he was your own evil uncle. The magic ebbs somewhat when Malkovich says a couple of words in actual Russian – his pronunciation, surprisingly, falters.

On a sidenote: I want the Russophobe mug.

Gone negative, back later

The Rudy jab got cut out of the Fred Thompson mini-ad shown at the YouTube debate yesterday. Rudy looked practically insulted that Fred only went after Mitt and Huck. Here’s the whole thing:

Posted by Karol at 10:43 AM | Comments (2)
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Worth every penny

Or, not:

Scotland has replaced its airport signs proclaiming the country to be “the best small country in the world” with a new slogan: “Welcome to Scotland.”

The new slogan, which was revealed Tuesday after six months of development and $250,000 spent on the project, is also printed on the posters in Gaelic as “Failte gu Alba,” The Times of London reported Wednesday.

Posted by Karol at 03:47 AM | Comments (5)
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November 28, 2007

Maybe it’s because baby really has come far…

but I find these sexist ads, from a new book about sexist ads, pretty funny:

chefDM2711_468x463

coffeeDM2711_468x416

Hat-tip Jamie.

Posted by Karol at 11:43 PM | Comments (12)
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YouTube Debate

I’m half-watching while hanging out with one Dawn Summers.

So, Ron Paul just confirmed he does indeed believe there is a North American Union?

Mike Huckabee was talking to Mitt Romney and started saying “with all due respect…” and Dawn concluded with “I don’t know what we were talking about, I got lost in your eyes.” It’s the first time she’s seen Mitt live and she is in love.

UPDATE: Mitt Romney is rocking. I love his answer to Fred Thompson’s mini-ad. He won’t apologize for becoming pro-life and he was wrong in his prevous abortion stance! That’s good stuff. I’ll say it here and now, I can be ok with a Romney candidacy.

Posted by Karol at 08:31 PM | Comments (10)
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“We’ll see”

I have several friends, Tom Elliott, Philip Klein and particularly Charlie Prince spring to mind, who are huge Giuliani fans and have been for some time.

I am too, I’ve detailed it before, but I have struggled to find a different candidate to support for the presidency for all the reasons I’ve outlined on this site previously (starting with my feeling that we’ll end up with McCain if Giuliani seems like he’ll win the nomination).

I settled on Fred Thompson because he fit in so many ways. A true conservative, well-spoken, and a man with presence, ideas and enthusiasm. Except it turned out that the last one, well, not so much.

I’m still hoping Fred can turn things around but it’s not looking too good and I admit that. That doesn’t seem to be enough for Charlie, who sent me an extensively researched email which shows that Fred’s numbers are too low to turn around in time and that I should give up hope. Here’s the money part:

Now, as you know, I am a big proponent of the theory that this year, with so many polls moved up to Feb. 5th, early states and the South play a far smaller role than they have in the past. I think it is increasingly becoming like a general election in that the bigger states carry far more weight (CA, FL, NY, OH, PA, etc.). And this is where Thompson has really not made much of a dent at all, presumably because he had to pick his battles. Polls show Fred trailing with gaps in excess of 20% behind the front-runners in California and Pennsylvania, and in other key states (Ohio, Michigan, etc.) he is normally about 15% behind. Arguably a key win in early states NH and IO might generate a surge to give a candidate enough momentum to be competitive in overcoming a 15% gap in the polls in other states, but that only helps Romney, as, again, Thompson hovers in or near last place in IO and NH, so a 15-20% gap in the larger states is almost certainly insurmountable.

Perhaps worst of all, his momentum is actually negative, as he had been gaining ground (capping out at around 14-15% in states like PA in June and July, but since has slipped to a consistent 10-11% in recent months). And in turn Huckabee and especially Romney have gained momentum, as the press will increasingly focus on them the closer we get to the polls in the early states where Romney leads. Ominously, some head-to-head pollsters are no longer bothering to poll Thompson at all.

So, in conclusion, I present you with the obvious: I boldly declared it in February, I wrote definitively about it on your site in April, I have hammered it home throughout the summer and fall, and now, moments away from Thanksgiving, I feel obliged to once again point out the giant elephant in the room that gets larger by the day.

You know too much about politics to continue to ignore these facts. I admire enthusiasm and positive thinking as much as the next guy, but with where we are today in the primary cycle, I demand a reality check. This email is a gauntlet. Think of this as a subpoena on political wishful thinking. You run a successful political website, you are an influential figure in NY GOP circles, you are ranked as one of the top 40 under 40 politicos in NY, and as a result, you cannot stick your head in the sand — you have an obligation to face the music and acknowledge it loud and clear in all those circles in which you travel (as they say in Pulp Fiction): “[Fr]ed’s dead, baby, [Fr]ed’s dead”.

And he’s right. Fred’s team is now hoping for third in Iowa which isn’t too inspiring. I’m readying myself to let go of Fred. I’m just not there yet.

Fred’s plans have been getting great press and my overlord Allahpundit writes: “He should stick to the “true conservative” stuff and start hitting the fact that while Rudy and Mitt are throwing punches and Huckabee’s chattering about faith, he’s rolling out one policy proposal after another.”

The truth is, I remain wed to the belief that Fred is the guy. He’s the one that can win both the primary and the general election and do it on true conservative positions. I’ll let go of this, I promise, as soon as a few results roll in and prove me wrong. Here’s what I want from my Giuliani-fan friends in return: if McCain has some upset in either NH or Iowa, I want all of you Giuliani people to admit at that time that McCain’s surge will be due to the fact that Republican primary voters just won’t vote for a pro-choice, anti-gun, ex-Mayor of New Yawk. They will be choosing McCain as a direct reaction to Giuliani. They will be worrying about Romney or Huckabee in the general and they will find McCain to be conservative enough to support in both. If you don’t believe me, believe Patrick Ruffini who writes “This is going to sound crazy, but I’ve got a simple message for my friends in the Rudy, Mitt, Fred, and Huck camps: watch your backs for John McCain.”

If Giuliani walks away with the nomination, you won’t find a bigger supporter than me. I will cheerlead for him like no ones business. I will go door to door. I will write glowing posts and tell you all stories about a pre-Giuliani New York that was practically a warzone. He is the man, he will be my man, just not yet.

November 27, 2007

Try “world peace” instead

Ok:

At one campaign event, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton said she prayed to God to help her lose weight.

From a NY Times article about eating habits on the campaign trail.

Posted by Karol at 08:04 PM | Comments (8)
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Fred?

I’m working on a Fred Thompson post which I hope to have up sometime tonight. It’s not going to be all roses, let me tell ya. In the meantime, check out his two new ads. I think the bottom one is very powerful.

Posted by Karol at 05:37 PM | Comments (8)
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“The time has come”

If you say so, Mr. Olmert.

We want peace. We demand an end to terror, an end to incitement and to hatred.

We are prepared to make a painful compromise, rife with risks, in order to realize these aspirations.

I came here today not in order to settle historical accounts between us and you about what caused the confrontations and the hatred, and what for many years has prevented a compromise, a settlement of peace.

I just hope this painful compromise isn’t only on the Israeli side.

Posted by Karol at 02:18 PM | Comments (18)
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Song of the Day

“Sunflower” by Paul Weller.

I was in my freshman year at Boston’s Northeastern University in 1994. I had been to Scotland for the first time the previous summer and couldn’t quite adjust to being home. And, well, Boston wasn’t home anyway.

I had met this German guy in Edinburgh on my first night there. He had just come back from a three day music festival, had long hair and rode a motorcycle. To a 17-year old Karol, he was heaven. (Of course, when he told me he was 23, I lied about my age and said I was 20. Years later I would stun him with the truth). My boyfriend back home, whom I had been beyond crazy about, just couldn’t compare to this guy who would, the following summer, hitchhike from Germany to Scotland to meet me. We spent two amazing days walking around the most beautiful city I’d ever been to. And then my Contiki tour bus had to leave. He said I should stay with him. I was thinking my parents probably wouldn’t take that very well.

The German boy and I stayed in touch, we’re in touch even today (he’s married and lives in England). He wasn’t good at letters but he’d call me often when he’d get home from being out. It would be 6am his time, 1am mine, and I’d sit on my fire escape talking to him until the sun came up over Boston.

The one time he ever sent me anything, it was a mix-tape that I played so much it eventually cracked in half. It was my first introduction to Velvet Underground (“Venus in Furs”) and also the first time I realized I could enjoy music in other languages (like Die Toten Hosen’s “Hier Kommt Alex”.) My favorite song on it, though, was “Sunflower” by Paul Weller. “We have no future, we have no past” seemed to sum up our thing fairly well and “on winding streets, we walked hand in hand” would always remind me of Victoria Street and that first summer in my beautiful city.

Posted by Karol at 10:56 AM | Comments (3)
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