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The Week in News: Fetishist Joe Scarborough Tells It Like It Is

  1. Po Mo McCain don't know much about [military] history.
    McCain has shared his post-racial vision of the world by refusing to distinguish between Sunnis and Shiites, and Iran and Iraq. The post-modernist candidate is now challenging patriarchal linear narratives by creating a revisionist and deconstructive military history in which the War in Iraq precedes the war in Afghanistan and the surge preceded the Anbar Awakening.
  2. Joe Scarborough admits to a bloggers-eating-cheetos-in-their-underwear fetish.
    Joe Scarborough gave MSNBC viewers a peek into his id, when he described the liberal bloggers who dared to criticize McCain as "just sitting there, eating their Cheetos" and saying, "Let me google Anbar Awakening!...Dust flying -- Cheeto dust flying all over. They're wiping it on their bare chest while their underwear -- you know, their Hanes." Hopefully Scarborough's candor will embolden his fellow Hanes-clad-cheetos-covered blogger fetishists to come out of the closet.
  3. Civil Libertarian Bill O'Reilly on torture: "Enough is enough ..."
    Actually, O'Reilly said "Enough is enough with this torture nonsense." O'Reilly and his guest and long-time stereotype battler Laura Ingraham, criticized Obama because he "got up there in front of 200,000 people and he glommed on to one of the most ridiculous and one of the hateful stereotypes about America, which is that we torture. "
  4. Karl Rove on McCain's mistakes: "Whatevs."
    When Alan Colmes brought up McCain's Anbar awakening gaffe, Rove responded by saying, "first of all, let's not get into sort of nit-nat mistakes...Look, let's not get into this... don't make a big deal of it."
  5. Once again, Republicans demonstrate a keen telepathic connection to animals.
    Serving as a spokesmen for both caribou and polar bears, Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) told fellow zoologist Glen Beck: "We saw... were at the beginning of the Trans-Alaska pipeline...and there were a handful of caribou that just kept walking towards us and towards us. They were 30 yards away from us, and they couldn't care less whether we were there, the pipeline was there, or the oil company was there...there was a polar bear out earlier...If you have got polar bears and you've got caribou, it's clear that we can drill in a environmentally friendly way."

The Future (Majority) of the Googlebomb

Last Thursday's Future Majority post on the future of one of the progressive movements favorite online action tools: the Googlebomb.

From Wikipedia:

A Google bomb (also referred to as a 'link bomb') is Internet slang for a certain kind of attempt to influence the ranking of a given page in results returned by the Google search engine, often with humorous or political intentions. Because of the way that Google's algorithm works, a page will be ranked higher if the sites that link to that page use consistent anchor text. A Google bomb is created if many sites link to the page in this manner.

For example, if I had wanted to Googlebomb, Laughing Liberally comedian Lee Camp, and associate him with a negative phrase, I would write something like "What a loser?" Where the word "loser" is linked to Lee's site Lee Camp. This would make Lee's site more likeley to come up under a google search of "loser". But we wouldn't want to do that because Lee Camp is not a loser, and is in fact a very awesome comic.

This trick was used in 2004 with George W. Bush's campaign site and the words "miserable failure." But according to WaPo's campaign blog The Trail this method of googlebombing might be done for:

That's right, the online behemoth best known for its search engine says that it has rejiggered its legendary and proprietary technology so that online efforts by bloggers to manipulate its top-secret search algorithm to create cheeky, offensive and decidedly off-message answers to searches will no longer work.

"It was fun" while it lasted, said Rick Klau, a member of the Google strategic partner development content acquisition team, at a search engine optimization training session for political bloggers in Washington, D.C., this afternoon. But, he said, "Google bombs don't work anymore."


That doesn't work anymore, said Klau, because the company today can spot these swarms and neutralize their effect. "We are far more perceptive when it comes to these link swarms that show up in a matter of hours or days," said Klau.

Fortunately, our good friend Chris Bowers over at Open Left has an answer:

So why haven't bloggers stopped trying to game the system? Work-arounds may be one reason. So might the increasingly sophisticated nature of today's Google bombs -- what Open Left's Chris Bowers calls a "2.0 version of the Googlebomb" -- where the goal is to influence the search rank of a slew of negative news articles about a politician rather than tie his name to a keyword.


As Bowers explained it, "What I'm doing isn't a Google bomb." It's a much harder to detect effort "to alternately optimize John McCain" in the Google search engine rankings, by linking his name to nine mainstream new organizations's stories that raise questions about the GOP presidential contender.

So, the blogosphere triumphs over the Google once again!

Screening Liberally Watch of the Day

The one video that every liberal must watch today:


MoveOn's new ad with Boy Meets World's Rider Strong. This will be the first political ad to run on Comedy Central. And it's pretty funny too.


Michael Savage gets about half of what he deserves. From ABC News:

Several big advertisers have pulled their commercials from the syndicated "Savage Nation" radio show, and now, thousands of parents and protesters are urging Savage to step down, calling his words "hate speech."

This is in response to Savage calling autistic children "brats, idiots and morons," on his nationally syndicated hate-fueled radio show.

Attacking children with disabilities. Real classy.

I guess we shouldn't expect much more from a guy who played a Dead Kennedy's song in celebration when the news broke of Senator Kennedy's brain tumor.

Reading Liberally Read of the Day

The one article every liberal must read today:

by Chalmers Johnson, AlterNet

Chalmers Johnson covers the dangerous possibilities of the privatization of American spying. Aside from the fact that this privatization has lead to incompetence and a lack of institutional memory, it also poses an extreme compromise of our national security. American defense and intelligence should not be for sale.

Waiting for a Train: Progressives and Country Music

Rocking Liberally Sound of Change
by Glenn W. Smith

If I said that country music holds a key to progressive political success, would it sound so out of tune that you'd stand up and walk out on me?

Hit the door then, or lend me your ears, because I believe that's the case. I prefer Americana or alternative country over mainstream, country pop. But I embrace the latter, too. There are important values and a profound combination of hope, community spirit, and wariness of authority in much of the music.

Despite the conservative, lily-white image of contemporary country, it's multicultural to the core. The steel guitar, a staple of the music, was imported from Hawaii. The banjo is from Africa. The guitar is of multi-ethnic origins. Barack Obama and country music are cut from the same tree.

"One of the lessons of the last several presidential elections is that he who has the most country music on his side has the electorate on his side," writes Chet Flippo. Lineage alone ought give Obama a leg up.

Progressives recognize the need to better communicate their values, especially values born of empathy and shared responsibility. But it's not enough to just describe them. They have to be performed, in two senses: demonstrated in thought and action and embodied in art and culture. American folk and country artists have been doing so for many moons. It's time to listen, and time to sing and dance the values, too.

Leaked W Trailer

Here's the leaked trailer from Oliver Stone's new film W, a biopic of our party-boy turned President. It looks to be a somewhat sympathetic account of Bush's life stretching from his raucous days at Yale to the Presidency.

Josh Brolin of No Country for Old Men will play Dubya. James Cromwell plays the elder President Bush. Elizabeth Banks, who will also be starring in the new Kevin Smith film Zack and Miri Make a Porno which comes out the same weekend as W, plays Laura Bush. Richard Dreyfuss portrays good ol'
Dick Cheney. And Jeffrey Wright, one of the best stage actors alive (IMHO the best), plays Colin Powell.

Should be interesting. Check the trailer.

Blogging Liberally: Thorough News Roundup

1. Post world-tour Obama's polling lead ticks up to 9%.

2. Suicide bombings in Iraq killed dozens of Shiite and Kurdish Iraqis. At least 300 were wounded.

3. Thomas B. Edsall reviews the current pollster election predictions that show Obama winning the election without any of the tossup states. Another interesting part of this: Pollster lists Arizona as a tossup up state.

4. A news study shows that the media is indeed biased... against Obama.

5. John McCain is old. Really old.

6. Ahmadinejad responds positively to the Bush administration's new Obama-inspired Iran policy. He also say that "Nuclear weapons are so 20th century."

7. Ron Paul sells more than 6000 tickets in 6 hours for his alternative convention in minneapolis. Revolution!

8. 100 days until the election. Here we go!