Curley in Amber (Or, Reason # 54,765 Why AP is DOOMED.)

by matttbastard

Speaking of media dinosaurs, it would appear the Associated Press is once again eager to hasten its own extinction:

I’ve tried to avoid speaking out regarding reports about the Associated Press’ plans for the future. I’ve done so because AP executives and board members have a habit of saying lots of things that are later “corrected” after they stick their fingers in the air and discover the wind is blowing another direction. So I assume everything I hear that’s attributed to “someone at AP” is merely a trial balloon.

However, the article in the New York Times today about AP (or, if you prefer, “the” AP) “cracking down on unpaid use of articles on the web,” attributes the insanity it reports to the CEO of the AP — by name. As he was going on record with the New York Times, I have to assume that he means what he’s saying.

In other words, I feel fairly confident now that it’s okay for me to start calling a nut a nut.

Here’s a quote from the NYTimes.com story:

“Tom Curley, The A.P.’s president and chief executive, said the company’s position was that even minimal use of a news article online required a licensing agreement with the news organization that produced it. In an interview, he specifically cited references that include a headline and a link to an article, a standard practice of search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo, news aggregators and blogs.”

In other words, what I just did — quote the New York Times and point to the article — would be considered a copyright violation by AP if the point was to an AP story. To quote and link to that story would require me to have a licensing agreement with AP. That policy, of course, is nuts.

And I’m not even saying it’s nuts from a legal “fair use” standpoint or nuts because AP reporters quote and link to bloggers all day everyday. And I won’t even explain why it’s nuts because of the traffic-driving dynamics and economics of advertising revenue that results when I point to an AP story on, say, my hometown newspaper’s website.

I’m just saying “it’s nuts.” And it’s nuts that Tom Curley doesn’t understand why it is nuts.

BTW, remember this little teapot tempest from the stiff-spined TECHNICAL GENIUSES @ AP?UNAUTHORIZED!!!1

Yep — still embeddable.

Golf. Claps.

Methinks some jaunty grave-dancing music is in order:

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Dear Canuckistanian Noozpaper Editorz

Unbiased private citizen Kyle Simunovic told me to tell you that WHINY SOCIALIST MP Charlie Angus  smells like fresh goat feces on a hot summer afternoon. Also, I hear that our glorious leader, Stephen Harper, farts rainbows and pisses Dom Pérignon. And doesn’t hate teh Joe Sixpack (unlike a certain WHINY SOCIALIST MP who shall remain nameless).

Signed,

SO not a Conservative staffer (no, srsly!)

h/t Impolitical via Twitter

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Read This Now: Liberal Follies

by matttbastard

Thomas Walkom asks a question that’s been on the lips of many Canadians as Iggy and Steve thumb-wrestle over the reins of Parliament: “Who are these ludicrous Liberals? And what exactly is it that they want?”

They say they’d handle the recession differently. But they rarely say how. And when points of difference do emerge – such as the handling of employment insurance – they invariably backtrack.

For the Liberals, the time is never right. They come up with endless excuses for never forcing an election on the minority Harper government: They don’t have enough money; they don’t have enough candidates; their leader is too new; the polls are inauspicious; the weather is too warm; the weather is too cold

In the spring, they say wait until fall. In the fall, they say wait until spring.

When Stéphane Dion was their leader, they blamed him for everything. But at least Dion, with his plan to replace income with carbon taxes, gave some hint as to what he might do if elected.

By contrast, current Liberal Leader Michael Ignatieff is terminally vague. On the big economic questions, he attacks the government without saying what he’d do differently.

Ignatieff presents this as an asset, arguing that the point of being in opposition is to oppose. But in the context of the worst recession since the 1930s, his failure to articulate a clear alternative simply leaves the rest of us confused.

As they say, read the whole damn thing.

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Teh Pill Kills teh Baybees (and Jesus Sometimes Kills teh Brain Cells).

by matttbastard

An unspeakable ongoing tragedy. Srsly. See my srs fase?

(image via Cara)

Oh, right — today is “Protest the Pill Day”, aka, ‘Take Your Common Ground and Shove It Day’ (as Kate Harding put it) or, as I call it, ‘Anti-Choice Unmasking Day:’

This is the true face of the anti-choice movement: blatant lies, scare tactics, and hyperbolic accusations of “murder”.

And this is the face that the anti-choice movement often tries to hide behind a mask of mainstream “moderation”. Amanda Marcotte at RH Reality Check recently discovered an anti-choice activist handbook that gives tips on how to debate people on this issue without sounding as crazy as they really are.

For example, check out how they recommend dealing with the issue of birth control:

In the section titled “Why Don’t You Pass Out Condoms and Promote Birth Control?,” the authors tacitly admit that sensible people might be put off by the anti-choice movement’s willingness to increase the abortion rate by standing as firmly against contraception, especially the birth control pill, as they do legal abortion. So instead of allowing members to admit their hostility to all forms of contraception, they instruct them to conceal their beliefs until a target has been softened up to hear about their true message–sexual abstinence for all not trying to procreate–through a series of dodgy, misleading arguments, including misinformation about how the birth control pill works.

This tactic is a mainstay of the anti-choice movement: it shows one face to the initiated, and another to the public, especially on the topic of contraception. Once you realize this, the movement’s half-hearted denunciations of Dr. Tiller’s murder, coupled with the enthusiastic return to calling Dr. Tiller a monster, become all the more chilling.

Chilling indeed. Because the true face of this movement not only considers Dr. George Tiller a genocidal murderer… they consider the millions of women around the country who take birth control as murderers, too.

Y’know, if these zygotist yahoos were really concerned about mass genocide on a microscopic level, they’d have picketers marching outside the bedrooms of every Kleenex-hoarding teenage boy in North America. Seriously. We’re talking SUBURBAN DEATH MILLS here, people.

Anyway, In honour of this year’s annual mobilization of dipshittery by the malicious anti-choice analogue to moon-landing hoaxers, we at bastard.logic encourage all our fellow pro-choice peeps to make a donation, whether monetary or otherwise, to your local Planned Parenthood office.  Make sure to tell ’em you are doing so on behalf of the fine folks at the American Life League–and because you obviously hate teh innocent widdle babies. Duh.

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The New New Civil Rights Movement

by matttbastard

Is truly inspiring to see so many conservatives take a firm stand against racism. Truly.

Update: Via Antonia, oppressed white male Bill Wolfrum is mad as hell and isn’t going to take it any more:

We must fight. Today, a white male child will be born into an oppressive society where the color of his skin will only be a great advantage, not an incomprehensibly powerful advantage. That child will see that there is now extra competition out there between himself and his dreams. That child will be born into a society that – while understanding his cultural values and belief systems – will no longer automatically fearfully submit to them. That child will be destined for a life of dreams and promises that will only very likely be fulfilled. The guarantee is now gone, and we must get it back.

As they say, read the whole damn thing.

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The Party of Batshit (We Report, You Decide)

by matttbastard

Via MMfA:

This montage illustrates exactly what Charles Johnson was talking about when he recently said that the guano loco-ization of Fox News “will achieve nothing in the long run except further marginalization of the GOP—unless people start behaving like adults instead of angry kids throwing tantrums and ranting about conspiracies and revolution.” Yeah.  Angry kids at Columbine throwing (deadly) tantrums with AR-15s (get ’em before Obama repeals the 2nd amendment!)

Make sure to also check out Glenn Beck’s unhinged object lesson on how Obama wants to (rhetorically!) immolate “average Americans” via immigration policy (talk about inflammatory rhetoric).

Remember when we were all bemoaning the fact that an ‘extremist’ like Rush had the GOP establishment by the short and curlies? Compared to these characters, Limbaugh is looking positively rational.  And the Republican governor of Texas is “proud” to be associated with those eagerly giving a platform to the Birchers and the end-timers.

“[F]urther marginalization of the GOP,” indeed.

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Losing the Forest Behind the Trees

by matttbastard

Via Memeorandum, some of the other progressive bloggers highlighting McHenry’s statement seem to be primarily concerned with how the Dem0cratic leadership in Congress can use the GOP’s apparent lack of ‘discipline’ to partisan advantage. Yeah, um, so what does the obstruction uber alles strategy mean for the economic health of the fucking nation and world, to ordinary people worried about the future?

We’re talking 4.4 million US jobs lost since the recession began (with more losses almost guaranteed to occur), further bank failures, potential state government bankruptcies. And yet it’s still all about scoring points and the perpetual fucking horse race?

Really?

This isn’t a fucking game; this is class warfare, kids.

Sharpen the goddamn fucking pitchforks.

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GOP Rep. Patrick McHenry: Sabotaging the Future is SOP

by matttbastard

Greg Sargent notes that House Taliban lieutenant Rep. Patrick McHenry has finally given voice to the blatantly obvious motivation driving the GOP obstruction uber alles strategy:

McHenry’s description is buried in this new article from National Journal (sub. only):

“We will lose on legislation. But we will win the message war every day, and every week, until November 2010,” said Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., an outspoken conservative who has participated on the GOP message teams. “Our goal is to bring down approval numbers for [Speaker Nancy] Pelosi and for House Democrats. That will take repetition. This is a marathon, not a sprint.”

McHenry’s spokesperson, Brock McCleary, tells me his boss is standing by the quote.

Of course McHenry is standing by the quote.  The leaderless GOP insurgency has nothing left in its depleted arsenal except recycled guerrilla tactics, the ideological equivalent of roadside IEDs.  They are literally betting the House on the efficacy of this strategy.

And, as D-Day notes, the asymmetrical campaign goes beyond mere electoral gain:

Over the long term, all [Congressional Republicans] are doing is chipping away at the notion that government can perform its core function, demonizing the activities of the Congress, evoking mistrust in elected officials, and poisoning the whole notion of federal spending. That’s their REAL project.

Which makes one wonder if yesterday’s stark warning from Paul Krugman should perhaps be heeded by the blog-averse POTUS:

So here’s the picture that scares me: It’s September 2009, the unemployment rate has passed 9 percent, and despite the early round of stimulus spending it’s still headed up. Mr. Obama finally concedes that a bigger stimulus is needed.

But he can’t get his new plan through Congress because approval for his economic policies has plummeted, partly because his policies are seen to have failed, partly because job-creation policies are conflated in the public mind with deeply unpopular bank bailouts. And as a result, the recession rages on, unchecked.

Bottom line is this: The GOP is perfectly willing to sacrifice the economic solvency of the United States–of the entire fucking world–simply to gain a few seats in 2010–and, in the process, will do whatever it takes to guarantee the fulfilment of its by-now tired contention that public investment never, ever works.

Frank Schaeffer is absolutely correct:

[T]he Republican Party has become the party of obstruction at just the time when all Americans should be pulling together for the good of our country. Instead, Republicans are today’s fifth column sabotaging American renewal.

Sharpen the pitchforks.

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Yappy MacKay: Nipping at the Heels of the Russian Bear

by matttbastard

Oh FFS:

Canadian fighter jets scrambled to intercept a Russian plane approaching Canadian airspace shortly before U.S. President Barack Obama visited Ottawa, the defence minister said Friday.

Peter MacKay said he wasn’t accusing Russia of deliberately timing the flight to coincide with the visit — when Canadian security was focused in Ottawa — but he did call it a “strong coincidence.”

“It was a strong coincidence which we met with … CF-18 fighter planes and world-class pilots that know their business,” said MacKay.

“[The pilots] sent a strong signal they should back off and stay out of our airspace.”

Now, I don’t mean to suggest that Peter MacKay is trying to overcompensate for possessing a teeny-tiny penis by swinging around Canada’s “CF-18 fighter planes and world-class pilots that know their business” like a pasty-faced Mr. Marcus clone.  But it’s certainly a strong coincidence.

Perhaps someone should ask his dog for confirmation.

Cough.

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Dear Moe Lane

natodutch

FUCK yo couch!

hugs ‘n’ kisses,

The Online Left, who will be sleeping like babies tonight because  most of us didn’t swallow the bullshit sammich served up yesterday by the LA Times.

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