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Man, it's been a bad week to be a Republican. Forget the Nobel for promises made, that's last week's news. This week, two measures of actual progress -- a weak one with the DJIA hitting 10,000, and a much better one with the Finance Committee mark-up -- have helped bolster Obama's image, and with those, the Democratic brand.

And the Republicans? Well...they're getting noticeably nuttier...

But now it's the weekend, and that means that it's time to set partisan concerns aside in order to enjoy some hot tea, warm biscuits, cozy socks, and dazzling ITEMS!

ITEM! Critical thinking is cool .. for Iran. The rest of us need to STFU and fall in line. More here. Thanks to Keith S. for the link.

ITEM! As you've probably heard, there's a guerrilla war on in Pakistan, and President Obama is -- quietly -- doubling down America's support for Pakistan. Justin Raimondo lays it out for us here.

Much like Sam Raimi directing the World of Warcraft Movie, this looks great in theory, and appears to be exactly the sort of thing that anyone should green-light immediately ... if they ignore the lessons of recent history, such as, "Movies based on computer games are brain cell-destroying wastes of money," and, "Anti-insurgency wars in Afghanistan are very expensive to fight and very difficult to win." Then one gets a true appreciation for the down side of such a venture.

Nonetheless, I can grudgingly understand, and even support, such a measure as a reasonable and prudent step in trying to keep The Terrorists from Winning. It's all part of solving Our Problem In The Middle East. I just wish we would make Our Problem a lot easier by addressing, frankly and fearlessly, the I/P problem. A Marshall Plan would not be a bad idea.

(And yes, that does mean dealing with Hamas.)

ITEM! Speaking of which, it looks like we're definitely headed for a run-off election in Afghanistan. After the fraudulent votes are discounted, Karzai is left with only 47% of the vote. More here and here.

(Maybe it would help our situation, too, if our person in Afghanistan wasn't corrupt. Just saying.)

ITEM! Morehouse College - an historically black, all-male private college in the South - just established a ban on cross-dressing. I'm against such a ban on principle, but it should be interesting to see the social forces that play out here.

MICE!

I've seen them jump 18" up and climb on the ceiling of their cages. Sometimes they do it for fun.

ITEM! An essay intended to describe "what's wrong with today's science fiction" reveals what's wrong with today's science fiction .. in ways it never intended. The blatant sexism and heterosexism are only the surface of this deep, black morass. Put down the coffee and gaze upon the Bhopal-like catastrophe here.

ITEM! Speaking of sci-fi, how do you think the stormtroopers reacted after the Death Star blew up? More here.

ITEM! Has conceptual art "jumped the shark?" Yathink?!? More here.

ITEM! What DarkSyde said about the flu? Let me echo it here. My "mild" case of flu brought me severe chills Sunday, feels-like-I'm-dying Monday, and then three days of intestinal hell before it lodged itself in my chest and throat and died there. This from a mild case of non-seasonal, totally random hellflu.

H1N1 is supposed to be a lot worse than that if you're healthy.

ITEM! Oh boy oh boy oh boy! The Balloon Boy family has a Big Announcement! Which brings me to my rant for the week:

Hint to the media: if you want to know why you're losing credibility, ask yourselves if you'd trust your information stream to someone who's as gullible as you are.

ITEM! My wife is selling her artwork at Hip Happening today! 11:00am - 6:00pm at the Sellwood Masonic Lodge 7126 SE Milwaukie Avenue Portland, Oregon 97202. Be there or be quadrilateral.

And now, a word from our sponsor.

Originally posted to Finding God in a Dog on Sat Oct 17, 2009 at 08:58 AM PDT.

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