Saturday, March 24, 2007


Coffin Nail of the Day

Attorney General Alberto R. Gonzales met with senior aides on Nov. 27 to review a plan to fire a group of US attorneys, according to new documents released last night, a disclosure that contradicts Gonzales's previous statement that he was not involved in "any discussions" about the dismissals. —Dan Eggen writing in "Documents link Gonzales, firings"

Mexicans have a far better chance of making it across the Rio Grande than Alberto Gonzales has of remaining in the Office of Attorney General. That was made perfectly clear early in the week when official Deputy White House Liar Dana Perino announced that Bush had called Gonzales in a show of support—

"... the president reaffirmed his strong backing of the attorney general," said spokeswoman Dana Perino. Reports that Bush is looking for a replacement of the attorney general are "just flat false," White House spokesman Tony Snow told reporters. "The White House is not calling for the ouster of anybody."

Richard Wolffe and Holly Bailey put it more strongly—

... just minutes after arriving at the Oval Office for his usual round of morning briefings, [Bush] placed a call to Gonzales, his old friend from Texas, to let the attorney general know that his job was not on the line.

If Gonzales has any sense at all, he'll be staying up late at night to attend to some important business in the shredder room.

Even as Perino and Snow were presenting their fabrications, Mike Allen at The Politico was examining the list of possible replacements—a list that apparently came straight from the White House.1

The names on Allen's list include—

I won't go into who these men are, since you might grow faint. Suffice it to say that ex-Sen. John Danforth is about the best looking on the list because of his voluble criticism of the Religious Right. And since Danforth supported Clarence Thomas' nomination to the Supreme Court even after Thomas' predilection for the films of Long Dong Silver was revealed, I believe him.

Despite the long list of names, there may be less choice than meets the eye. Joining the Bush administration is beginning to lose its appeal—

"I think it is going to come down to who is willing to take the job," said an official close to the process.



1We've been given to understand that this is not an indication that Gonzales is to be forced out; rather it is just one more proof of President Bush's far-sightedness in the face of any eventuality. [back]

Thursday, March 22, 2007


Name of the Day

We thought Zack is exactly the kind of name NPR staffers would give their male children. —"NPR-nik" explaining how NPR named its planned alternative news program after focus groups found that young listeners thought NPR programming was "boring or staid"

"Zack"? According to, "Zack" is the 1610th most popular given name in their database and falls between "Willa" and "Ines," so you can see this was a stroke of marketing genius—or something. I kind of like "Handy" myself. Not so common.

"Zack" will be launched in the fall. Stay tuned.



Federal Abbreviation of the Day

UFB! —David Margolis, Associate Deputy Attorney General, responding to an email from Michael Elston concerning U.S. Attorney Kevin Ryan's insolence in issuing a press release on new sentencing guidelines for steroid use

I would've assumed "UFB" to mean something such as "Urologists for Bush." But reporter Justin Scheck explains that this is "presumably a common off-color shorthand for 'unbelievable.'"

WTF? Have the SOBs at the DOJ turned potty-mouthed?


Monday, March 19, 2007


The shocklog

I try to keep my readers as cool and hip as possible, which is not easy considering that many of you have a predilection for reading books and that I am both multimedia-challenged and hopelessly linear. But today I bring you something so hot that Wikipedia has denied it an entry: the shocklog.

The Masters of Media, a group of media students at the University of Amsterdam, have reprinted their rejected Wikipedia entry—

Shocklogs are weblogs that use shock and slander to sling mud at current affairs, public individuals, institutions and so on. Authors of shocklogs usually comment on an item in a very provoking and insulting way, often resulting in even more seriously offensive comments, such as threats of rape and murder.

Occasionally shocklogs will incite the reader to undertake some (online) action, usually in the nature to harass or harm a specific target. The shocklog has a close relation to the static shock sites. The popularity of shocklogs make it interesting for advertisers and therefore these sites become forced to provide shocking material....

Sounds like something Karl Rove might come up with after consulting with the Swift Boat Veterans.

But wait. Patrice Riemans says the rejected Wikipedia entry was inadequate anyway and attempts to clarify the phenomenon—

This morning [3/10/07] ... the Dutch national daily 'De Volkskrant' (progressive-lite) had an interview with the director of the (provincial) high-school where the latest 'shocklog' related incident and subsequent scandal took place: a pupil had convinced his classmates to all bring the Hitler salute and filmed it on his mobile phone. The clip was then placed on '', 'enjoyed' a vast audience, and the ceiling came down on the allegedly peaceful, tolerant, non-fascist etc. Dutch society.

As far as I know, 'shocklogs', which enjoy a tremendous popularity, are a uniquely Dutch thing in their local manifestation. With gory pictures, cranky quotes, weird videoclips and assorted mud-slinging at anything that moves, "respectable" or not, they reflect the solidly ingrained Dutch tradition known as "kankeren" (literally "cancering"). "Kankeren" is a heightened form of complaining, can be very violent in its (verbal) manifestation, but is in no way intended to address, even less to redress, the issue it refers to. Its sole purpose is to vent grievances everyone knows one can do very little about - Dutch culture is famously fatalistic in its own way, the economy being seen as a meteorological phenomenon, social hierarchies are perceived as divinely ordained, and "Nobody gets handed out the programme of life's concert beforehand". Now that the new media are not that new anymore, the digital version of 'kankeren' is carried on 'shocklogs' with gay abandon.

Shocklogs are probably part of what Ms Mabel van Oranje, wife of the Royal Johan Friso and advocacy director of Soros' Open Society Institute, defines ... as "irresponsible media." This must be read as "responsible to no one, and also not to society at large," the same thing the high school director complained about. (He approached to get the clip taken off, or at least publish a rejoinder, without success.)

[A Simply Appalling edit]

The sites are quite commercial and are supported by major advertisers such as Dell and Microsoft. Geenstijl is the most popular. Others include Retecool, Jaggle (videos) and Volkomenkut.

Americans are able to enjoy many of the same shocking effects by following the antics of the Bush administration on the nightly news.

Related post
Shopdropping and Droplifting (9/24/05)



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