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October 29, 2004
Comments turned off. Our apologies. Comments have been disabled while we deal with a massive spam attack.

We have obligations this evening, so it may be a few hours before commenting is enabled again. We’ll update this post when that happens.

UPDATE, 11:29 EST: Comments have been re-enabled. Several hundred spam comments stuffed with what appeared to be pornographic URLs have been deleted.

At one point in the process, it’s possible that some legitimate posts containing the string “men” were deleted as well. If you spot such a deletion, let us know and we’ll do our best to restore the comment.

On a more unhappy note, Jim Macdonald pointed out something very odd about these hundreds of spam comments: every one of the URLs in them led to a 404 message, not to a real site.

In other words, this wasn’t just some nitwit trying to boost their Google pagerank. This was somebody trying to shut us down.

Have a nice weekend, everybody! Here’s a nice new Billmon post to chew over.

[08:10 PM : 48 comments]

October 26, 2004
America. Markos Moulitsas reports an email he received:
A friend with a child in the Richland County,WI high school where George Bush appears today reports the following. Students were told they could not wear any pro-Kerry clothing or buttons or protest in any manner, at the risk of expulsion.
Kos’s commenters are industrious. Here’s the school:
Richland Center High School
23200 Hornet High Rd
Richland Center, WI 53581
Phone: (608) 647-6131

Here’s the principal:
John Cler
608-647-6131 x1590

Here’s the local superintendant of schools:
Rachel Schultz

Here’s the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction:

Here’s the state superintendent:
Elizabeth Burmaster

Expulsion means you’re tossed out of public school for the rest of the year. For wearing a button supporting the Democratic nominee for President.

Still think it’s extreme to call these people fascists?

[03:32 PM : 78 comments]

October 15, 2004
Must read. I’m sorry I missed it, but it appears that the Daily Show’s Jon Stewart went onto Crossfire and simply told the truth. The whole transcript is here.

[UPDATE: Public-spirited Wonkette provides a list of places where you can watch or download the actual clip. Trust me, it’s worth the effort.]

[Jon] STEWART: You know, the interesting thing I have is, you have a responsibility to the public discourse, and you fail miserably.

[Tucker] CARLSON: You need to get a job at a journalism school, I think.

STEWART: You need to go to one.

The thing that I want to say is, when you have people on for just knee-jerk, reactionary talk…

CARLSON: Wait. I thought you were going to be funny. Come on. Be funny.

STEWART: No. No. I’m not going to be your monkey.


[Paul] BEGALA: Go ahead. Go ahead.

STEWART: I watch your show every day. And it kills me.

CARLSON: I can tell you love it.

STEWART: It’s so—oh, it’s so painful to watch.


STEWART: You know, because we need what you do. This is such a great opportunity you have here to actually get politicians off of their marketing and strategy.

CARLSON: Is this really Jon Stewart? What is this, anyway?

STEWART: Yes, it’s someone who watches your show and cannot take it anymore.


STEWART: I just can’t.

As Digby says:
Stewart is trying to make the point that they are contributing to the dumbing down of the discourse by presenting this fake news, or political theatre, that they pretend is news. He isn’t being funny and he isn’t doing the usual celebrity circle jerk and they are finding it very discomfiting.


[07:33 PM : 28 comments]

October 14, 2004
“I try to find the words.” Watch this ad. Then consider giving these people a little scratch.

[07:11 PM : 7 comments]

October 13, 2004
Too many impossible things before breakfast. On the eve of the final Gore-McCain debate, Will Shetterly explains why my alternate-history scenario is all wet.

[07:55 PM : 35 comments]

October 04, 2004
One reason our political culture is verkakte. Here’s David C. Rapoport, professor emeritus at UCLA, founder and editor of the Journal of Terrorism and Political Violence, writing about the history of American electoral violence, in yesterday’s Los Angeles Times.
Our most recent violent presidential year was 1968. Two presidential aspirants were victims of assassination: Robert F. Kennedy was killed, and George C. Wallace seriously wounded. Anti-Vietnam War demonstrators tried to disrupt the Democratic National Convention. And after Richard M. Nixon was elected, the Weather Underground, a terrorist organization, was formed because the election did not provide the group’s solution for the Vietnam War.
What’s wrong with this paragraph is that George C. Wallace wasn’t shot and wounded while running for President in 1968; he was shot and wounded during the next Presidential campaign, in Laurel, Maryland on May 15, 1972.

If we can’t even remember when something this big happened, and can’t rely on as eminent a paper as the LA Times to get it right to within four whole years, it’s hardly surprising that we never learn any lessons whatsoever from our own damn history. (Meanwhile, of course, the LA Times building is no doubt full of people tut-tutting about those unedited, unaccountable bloggers.)

[01:21 PM : 39 comments]