Alarming News

May 20, 2009

Quote of the day

“More likely is that Pelosi was told about waterboarding in 2002 and didn’t view it as the great moral problem that currently vexes so many liberal commentators, who are trying to outdo one another in expressing just how outraged and ashamed they are of their country. That Pelosi would be nonchalant about the use of waterboarding seven years ago is hardly surprising. Despite the sanctimony now sweeping the nation’s capital and editorial pages, few Americans in 2002 would have batted an eye at the simulated drowning of Al Qaeda terrorists for the purpose of saving American lives (and, according to recent polls, the vast majority still wouldn’t lose sleep over it). Far easier now, on “a bright, sunny, safe day in April 2009,” as Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair said in his self-contradictory contextualization of the recently released “torture memos,” to insist upon the criminalization of political differences.”

-Jamie Kirchick

Or are they trying to ignore the obvious?

I can’t help but wonder if all the Jews that scoffed during the election that *of course* Obama would be pro-Israel, after all what American president wouldn’t be, are paying attention.

Posted by Karol at 01:13 PM | Comments (4)
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May 19, 2009


I got nothing today so go check out IC’s super fantastic margarita recipe that I’ve posted on the wedding blog.

Posted by Karol at 02:03 PM | Comments (4)
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May 18, 2009

Tweet of the day

@anamariecox Gibbs: “We’re not going to have talks with Iran for talks’ sake.” But, uhm, I thought that was their whole argument? No? Engaging and stuff?

Oh and also: Obama emphasized that “we’re not going to talk forever,” saying he wouldn’t allow talks to “become an excuse for inaction.”

(Ana Marie Cox, for those who don’t know, was the original Wonkette.)

Posted by Karol at 05:55 PM | Comments (3)
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Song of the Day

“Boogie Street” by Leonard Cohen and Sharon Robinson

We saw the phenomenal Leonard Cohen show at Radio City Music Hall, my favorite venue, last Saturday night. Leonard put on quite a show, every song was just excellent, but Sharon Robinson’s rendition of Boogie Street is what is still in my head two days later. She’s incredible.

Posted by Karol at 05:47 PM | Comments (0)
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You’re on the list

The totally top-secret, and usually off the record, Monday Meeting in NYC will be streaming live on the Strategy Room on tonight from 6:00pm to 7:30pm EST.

If you’ve ever wanted to see what goes on at this rightwing secret meeting, now’s your chance.

UPDATE: I hear Sen. Tom Coburn and Sen. David Vitter are two of the speakers.

Posted by Karol at 02:19 PM | Comments (4)
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May 17, 2009

And not a very interesting paragraph either


New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd has admitted to using a paragraph virtually word-for-word from a prominent liberal blogger without attribution.

Posted by Karol at 11:52 PM | Comments (5)
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No, really, LOL.

This. Is. Hilarious.

Posted by Karol at 08:12 PM | Comments (3)
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May 16, 2009

The face of a crisis

I think the most surprising part of this article, about a family getting caught up in the mortgage meltdown, is that the byline doesn’t read “Edmund L. Andrews was an economics reporter for The Times…” Not to be cruel but how does someone with such a limited understanding of economics, and I mean the kind of economics that even I understand–more money should come in than go out–continue to be an economist for the “paper of record”?

Frankly, during my time in graduate school, I got into a lot of debt. My second job out of college paid me what I considered to be a lot of money. It was a dead-endish sort of job, though I loved the incredible (5 week vacation!) benefits and the insane amount of dead time that I had there (I started this blog while working there). I probably would have worked there forever, collecting my 5% raise every year and never really considering a change, but after 9/11 (and I can’t say for sure that it was related but we were at the very top of the Chrysler building) the company moved our office to another state. They offered me a job to come with them and I actually considered it. At the end of the day, though, I knew I couldn’t really leave NYC to go work at such an unfulfilling albeit high-paying job.

I had gotten really into politics and felt it was my calling. So I went to grad school and basically put the whole experience on my credit cards, thinking I would get an awesome job afterward and pay it off no problem. Sure, I knew there would be a pay cut from my last job but I never expected it to be as drastic as it ultimately was. But here’s the thing–as I was getting into debt, I knew what what was going on. While I was in school and bringing in zero dollars, I still had rent to pay. I would go to conferences and put the hotel, flight and incidentals on my credit card. I bought a new laptop to take to school. Rental cars to my internships, books, dinners and drinks to network, suits, shoes, etc. I would move debt from one credit card to another to get better rates but the whole time, and despite being 26 and bad at math, I knew what I was doing. The economist in the NY Times writes as if he had no idea what was happening which just makes no sense to me. It must be a willful ignorance and while his story definitely pulled at a heartstring or two, I ultimately can’t feel sorry for someone who bought a house they very clearly could not afford. Still, the piece is an interesting read if, like me, you’ve been wondering how it happened. It seems people just closed their eyes and hoped for the best, even those that should have clearly known better.

UPDATE: Eh, whatever, everybody’s doing it, including our president and vice-president. And that’s with their own money. No wonder they’re spending with no limit with yours. Via Hot Air Headlines.

Posted by Karol at 02:57 PM | Comments (14)
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May 15, 2009

The totally under the radar 46% of the country

In an article about the fact that more people self-identify as pro-life than pro-choice, the author concludes with this tidbit after examining the data:

But a deeper look at Gallup’s numbers reveals that the real movement in the polling history is coming from Republicans and Independents who lean rightward…

This shows that there are certainly enough Republicans left in America to make a statistical difference.

What!? There are still Republicans in America? Get out of town! I think if Republicans got their act together, and obviously that’s a big “if”, they could have a big win in ‘12 just based on the fact that we have been completely counted out. As Kyle Smith wrote in one of my favorite election post-mortems “All that remains of the Griping Old Party is a tattered remnant, an embittered rump faction of 46%. “

Posted by Karol at 02:21 PM | Comments (1)
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Go, go, go

Victor Davis Hanson imagines the media reaction if our president was Sarah Palin and not Barack Obama. A MUST-read and pass along.

UPDATE: I want to just add that articles like this one are very effective in criticizing Obama, while the RNC’s dumbass plan to “rebrand” Democrats as Socialists is not. Humor and accuracy work. Vague name-calling, especially from the party that spent money like drunken Socialists for the last 8 years, does not. Obama is doing much wrong, and yes, he’s getting a free pass from the media. Bitching about it is pointless; the sooner conservatives accept that the media is not on our side, the better. Mockery and humor is the road we should take.

Posted by Karol at 01:40 PM | Comments (20)
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Blogroll Update

I’m adding some non-political blogs to the ole ‘roll.

Improvised- Long-time Alarming news reader Craig has started a Jazz/Improvised music blog.

Vertical Taste- New Yorker friends now living in California write this travel/food blog. They’ll tell you how to order NY knishes when you’re feeling homesick and also where to eat in Budapest.

Hotel Chatter- If I was going to start another blog, which my husband tells me I’m definitely not, it would be something in the realm of restaurant/hotel reviews. For now, I just yelp about it, and read Eater and Hotel Chatter.

Posted by Karol at 12:01 PM | Comments (0)
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May 14, 2009

For New Yorkers

Department store Henri Bendel to stop selling clothes and focus on accessories:

Two weeks ago, however, Bendel’s announced that it will stop selling clothes and, beginning this fall, focus solely on more lucrative accessories, gifts and beauty products, including those sold under the Henri Bendel brand. The third floor will go vacant. And although the store will continue to see new designers (of accessories and beauty products) and open stores selling Bendel-branded flip-flops and candles at malls around the country, this moment, to many designers, feels like the passing of an era.

Personally, I think their million dollar business idea should have been to start selling shoes! What kind of department store doesn’t have a shoe section.

Posted by Karol at 01:11 PM | Comments (0)
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I thought it was women and minorities

The NY Times sneaks in this little factoid, on the Style page but we’ll take what truth we can get:

And given that both men in general and men over 40 have been disproportionately hit by unemployment in the last eight months…

Posted by Karol at 12:35 PM | Comments (2)
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May 13, 2009

Political trip report

I’m back! We loved LA, and I’m more than a little baffled by the level of hatred directed at LA, mostly by New Yorkers, of course. I thought it was a lush, mellow, vibrant city. I’m going to work on a full-on trip report for Trip Advisor, which I’ll link here, but in the meantime some pics.

This is the sad little smoking area at the outdoor Santa Monica pier. I had heard there were places in CA where you can’t smoke outside but this was still jarring:

Santa Monica pier smoking section

We spent two nights in Santa Monica, two night in Beverly Hills and one night smack dab in Hollywood. Our hotel in Beverly Hills was this funkkkkkkkkkkkkky new hotel called SLS. It has an unusual restaurant called Bazaar which was like 2 restaurants, a bar, a patisserie and a gift shop in one. We loved the hotel, it was beautiful and unique, but the shop, Moss, sold tacky “art” like this:

Pentagon September 11

Oklahoma City

Prices for "art"

Hey, remember this post (it’s ok if no, just click the link). Turns out the dirtbag writing this on my street gets around. This is on Santa Monica Blvd. in Hollywood:


This kind of stuff doesn’t even register anymore. Yes, yes, Bush is just like bin Laden, how totally original. Venice beach:

Venice, CA

I agree, people should get real:

Get real

Posted by Karol at 06:40 PM | Comments (7)
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