In the final PA-Sen tracking poll, Sestak and Specter are all tied up at 44%
5/2 5/3 5/4 5/5 5/6 5/7 5/8 5/9 5/10 5/11 5/12 5/13 5/14 5/15 5/16
Specter 48% 49% 46% 48% 45% 43% 42% 42% 42% 43% 45% 44% 45% 44% 44%
Sestak 42% 40% 42% 40% 40% 43% 44% 46% 47% 47% 45% 44% 43% 43% 44%
Other 11% 11% 12% 11% 14% 13% 14% 12% 11% 10% 9% 12% 12% 12% 11%
Over the life of the tracking poll, Specter's favorables were basically unchanged, from 58-31 to 59-30, with that 59% being a high-water mark for Specter. Looking just at this number, Sestak's ads have not had much effect on Specter's favorability. On the other hand, Sestak has gone from 49-12 to 51-18, with that 18% being Sestak's highest unfavorability. In fact, over the last 5 days, Sestak's unfavorability numbers have doubled: 9-11-13-15-18. Those numbers are hard to believe given the polling has been essentially stable over the same period. But there they are. We'll finally know what's really going on when the votes are tallied less than 72 hours from now.
Thank goodness the trains are still going. If you are headed to London, the schedule is going to be a mess in a few days. BBC:
A no-fly zone has been imposed over parts of Northern Ireland, causing renewed disruption for air travellers.
The move by the Civil Aviation Authority comes as a dense volcanic ash cloud from Iceland heads towards north-western parts of the UK.
Belfast's airports are shut until 1300 BST. Dublin Airport is open despite some Irish Republic flight bans. The Isle of Man's Ronaldsway is closed.
Forecasts say ash may extend over the UK on Monday and Tuesday.
Great job as always guys. Hope you get over your cold soon Driftglass. You can listen to past editions here and at http://dgbgpodcast.blogspot.com/, and the podcast is also available on i-Tunes. If you enjoy these as much as I do, donations are greatly appreciated. Please consider throwing five bucks in the hat. Open thread below...
Funny how much smaller the weekend edition of the Wrap becomes when you actually have an edition or two (or four) during the week....
CT-Sen: McMahon's curious homage to "Drill, baby, Drill!"
Well, you have to give Connecticut GOP Senate aspirant Linda McMahon scads of credit for timing. In a mailer sent out to Connecticut voters where she chronicles how to get Connecticut's economy moving again. One of her myriad answers: more oil drilling. Leaving aside for the moment that apparently only McMahon believes that the Long Island Sound is the new North Slope, maybe McMahon wanted to wait until BP figures out how to cap their Gulf oil volcano before playing that particular card?
IN-Sen: Indiana Senate battle is now joined--Ellsworth nominated
Less than two weeks after Indiana Republicans settled on their standard bearer (going back to the future in giving the nod to former Senator Dan Coats), Indiana Democrats used this weekend to formally replace retiring Senator Evan Bayh. As has long been expected, Congressman Brad Ellsworth will take the baton for the Democrats. Ellsworth has represented southern Indiana's 8th congressional district since 2006, when he blew out longtime incumbent John Hostettler.
PA-Sen: Tracking poll moves closer to parity in Keystone State
The Muhlenberg tracking poll has bounced around like a cork in a hurricane over the past two weeks, moving from a sizeable Specter lead to a modest Sestak lead and back to a tiny Specter lead. Today, it is essentially tied (PDF file). Specter holds just a one-point advantage over Sestak (44-43) in the new survey. Clearly, this will be the race of the night on Tuesday.
Also, this reminder: I will be previewing all the festivities on Tuesday in a special essay tomorrow morning during Sunday Kos.
OR-01: Primary poll points to Wu-Cornilles showdown
Someone (either the pollster or the television affiliate that sponsored the poll) must think that there might be a sleeper race in November in the great Northwest. That is the only justifiable reason why SurveyUSA decided to poll the primary elections in Oregon's 1st Congressional District, held rather easily for over a decade by Democrat David Wu. Wu is the sure victor on the Democratic side, but there is a semi-competitive primary on the Republican side. Sports business consultant Rob Cornilles (the establishment choice in the race) leads mortgage broker (and teabagger) John Kuzmanich by a 31-19 margin, with several other candidates further behind.
PA-04: Buchanan stumbling to finish line; ripe for the upset?
Former U.S. Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan was considered a tier-one recruit when she agreed earlier in the year to challenge sophomore Democratic Rep. Jason Altmire. Instead, her campaign has been mildly disastrous, and it is only getting worse. Buchanan's campaign has been hamstrung by repeated blows landed by GOP opponent Keith Rothfus, who is charging her with (ta-da!) insufficient conservatism. Yesterday, Buchanan went for a counterpunch, and failed miserably. She distributed copies of a printout which she claimed proved that Rothfus had been a Democrat for 13 years. The problem: the "evidence" proved nothing of the sort. All it proved was that Rothfus had been a Democrat at the time of the printout (something that he had already copped to, in an effort to keep Ed Rendell from being the gubernatorial nominee in 2002). This comes on the immediate heels of Buchanan getting dinged for using an NRA logo (presumably to imply an endorsement) without the organization's permission.
PA-12: Critz wins newspaper primary as race enters final weekend
We won't know until Tuesday evening whether Democrat Mark Critz will follow his former boss (the late Rep. John Murtha) into Congress. What we do know, however, is that Critz is the victor in the newspaper endorsement primary. Critz has earned the endorsement of virtually all of the district's newspapers. The sole exception: the right-wing Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, which endorsed Critz's Republican opponent, Tim Burns.
AL-Gov: Dueling endorsements add intrigue to Democratic primary
Give Artur Davis credit for rapid response. Friday, Davis rolled out endorsements from two of the most prominent names in African-American politics. Both Congressman John Lewis (D-GA) and Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-IL) endorsed Davis' gubernatorial campaign. This came a day after two prominent African-American organizations in Birmingham (the Jefferson County Progressive Council and the New Jefferson County Citizens Coalition) had endorsed Ron Sparks for Governor, in part because of Davis' health care vote and in part because Davis had refused to meet with them.
Meanwhile, over on the GOP side of the gubernatorial fence, a new poll out from Baselice Associates hints at a two-man race for the nomination. The poll has Bradley "Don't Call Me A Believer in Science, Dammit" Byrne leading Tim "Son of Fob" James by a single point (24-23). Judge Roy Moore, somewhat surprisingly, has lost a bit of ground, running third with 18% of the vote.
FL-Gov: Famous name could complicate Democratic primary
Less than a month after Republican frontrunner Bill McCollum's path to the nomination got waylaid by the late candidacy of hospital mogul Rick Scott, Democratic frontrunner Alex Sink got some surprising news of her own: she, too, might have a high-profile primary challenger. In Sink's case, the potential challenger is Lawton "Bud" Chiles III, the son of the former Governor who served during much of the 1990s. While there had been some intraparty grumbling about Sink's campaign, her position had improved substantially over the past month or so, and she was now within striking distance of McCollum and slightly ahead of Scott.
NY-Gov: The longest exploratory period ever due to end?
After what seems like several years as a presumed-yet-undeclared candidate, it now looks like we are just a few weeks away from an Andrew Cuomo gubernatorial announcement. Teagan Goddard cites a Bloomberg report, which states that Cuomo will announce sometime around the end of this month, probably coinciding with the state Democratic Convention.
PA-Gov: Stagnation on Dem side heading into final weekend
The field appears to be frozen in the Democratic primary to replace Governor Ed Rendell, and that is good news for Allegheny County Executive Dan Onorato. According to this morning's (PDF file) Muhlenberg tracking poll, Onorato still holds a substantial lead (38-14) over Philly-area state senator Anthony Williams, with Joe Hoeffel and Jack Wagner further back. In other Keystone State gubernatorial news, Dan Onorato picked up a trio of endorsements in the Lehigh Valley on Friday, including the endorsement of Bethlehem Mayor John Callahan, who is the likely Democratic nominee to challenge Charlie Dent in the 15th district.
(Awesome new title for this segment courtesy of Mark27)
The House of Ras closes the week issue-heavy, rather than campaign heavy. The end result--just a pair of new states get covered by the monstrously prolific pollster. In California, we will be waiting on the gubernatorial numbers, but we have some interesting Senate numbers to tide us over. And Idaho is Idaho, which is not necessarily good news for Democrats.
CA-Sen: Sen. Barbara Boxer (D) 42%, Tom Campbell (R) 41%
CA-Sen: Sen. Barbara Boxer (D) 46%, Chuck DeVore (R) 40%
CA-Sen: Sen. Barbara Boxer (D) 45%, Carly Fiorina (R) 38%
ID-Gov: Gov. Butch Otter (R) 54%, Keith Allred (D) 32%
ID-Sen: Sen. Michael Crapo (R) 66%, Tom Sullivan (D) 22%
Conservatism, it appears, is being Reinvented, and this is a Fun Thing.If conservative ideas are dead, as many liberals claim [I deleted the link that was here, we'll get back to this -- T], nobody seems to have told conservatives. Right-wingers[...]
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Title: Early In The Mornin'Artist: Alan Lomax
video details and more
A couple of years ago I stumbled into a small record store in Frankfurt, Germany where I bought an album called Negro Prison Songs. Upon returning home, I was blown away by the sounds coming from my speakers. Recorded by Alan Lomax in 1947 at the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman Farm, these songs are eerie reminders of the brutal experience that many suffered at the hands of the southern penal system.
"These songs belong to the musical tradition which Africans brought to the New World, but they are also as American as the Mississippi River. They were born out of the very rock and earth of this country, as black hands broke the soil, moved, reformed it, and rivers of stinging sweat poured upon the land under the blazing heat of Southern skies, and are mounted upon the passion that this struggle with nature brought forth. They tell us the story of the slave gang, the sharecropper system, the lawless work camp, the chain gang, the pen." --Alan Lomax
PS. Our sister site Newstalgia has for its Backstage Weekend offering, Moby, Live at Glastonbury, 1988.
(The Teach-Ins - 1965 - a decided lack of shrillness)
May 15, 1965 started the first large scale Teach-In on the Vietnam War. Basically it was a debate with pro and con sides arguing various points on our foreign policy and what was our purpose in Southeast Asia. The debate originated in Washington D.C. with a group of 3,000 students and professors and the proceedings were broadcast via closed circuit to over 100 college campuses throughout the U.S. McGeorge Bundy was scheduled to represent the Johnson Administration, but canceled at the last minute citing "official duties". Professor Ernest Nagel of Columbia University presented premise for the debates.
Prof. Ernest Nagel (Columbia University): ?This meeting has come into being because of widespread doubts among many academic communities as well as elsewhere concerning the wisdom of current United States policy in Vietnam. It needs to be emphasized however, that the meeting has been sponsored by University teachers throughout the country, and organized by the Inter-University Committee For A Public Hearing on Vietnam, on the basis of two assumptions: The first is that, whether or not those doubts are well founded there has been insufficient responsible debate in public of the grave issues raised by our actions in Southeast Asia. The second assumption is, since a thorough airing of these issues by competent students is a condition for an enlightened public opinion on them, in a liberal democracy such as ours in which governmental policies require the ascent of its citizens, students who possess knowledge pertinent to those issues have a special duty to discuss them openly and critically. In short, the primary aim of this meeting, an aim that surely merits the strong endorsement of all who are committed to the ideals of liberal democracy, is to contribute to public enlightenment through responsible discussion of a serious problem confronting all of us.?
History has been rewritten of late to portray the Antiwar movement of the 60s as violence based, that it was all about avoiding the draft and turning college campuses into battlegrounds. That is completely false. There were those elements, to be sure. Every movement, however noble, is going to have its fair share of malcontents whose only purpose is to stir up shit and destroy in order to derail the original message.
Objection to the War in Vietnam was legitimate, and by 1965 it was growing.
Sure, you may just be looking at this column to pick up some sci fi reading tips for the coming week. I get that. But with this week's SEGO comes a little bonus: the origins of everything, the likelihood of there being a god, and the purpose behind human existence. Really. Just stick with me for a few paragraphs.
The universe is nicer than it should be
You are here, and that's a massively unlikely thing. For you to exist requires not just that your mom and dad got together on your birthday minus 280 days (más o menos), it requires a little infrastructure, such as a planet that's neither too cold nor too warm, a solar system that's anchored by a stable star, a neighborhood not too littered with planet-busting junk or sizzling with the radiation left over from a nearby supernova. On a larger scale it requires that the universe not be so heavy that it rapidly collapses into a massive black hole, or so young that stars have yet to form. On the finest scale, it requires that the force binding together particles not be too weak for atoms to form or so strong that everything smashes into neutron soup. And believe me, that's just scratching the surface.
Though astronomers often say that our star and its place in the universe are "unremarkable," we are -- in both the classical and technical senses of the word -- in a privileged position. We exist within in a place and with conditions that allow the development of intelligent observers, and the odds are that are really, really quite small. This observation is known as the , and there are several variations.
The weak anthropic principle says that we exist in a privileged position, because intelligent observers can only appear in such a position. Many people have taken a shot at trying to work through this idea (including Darwin's partner in natural selection, Alfred Russel Wallace). However, it was theoretical physicist Brandon Carter, who named and defined this principle in 1973. Carter put the weak anthropic principle this way:
We must be prepared to take account of the fact that our location in the universe is necessarily privileged to the extent of being compatible with our existence as observers.
In other words, if things weren't just right, we wouldn't be here to see it, so of course they're just right. We're looking at the universe only because it is as it is.
Another take on our special spot is called the strong anthropic principle. In this view, we're not just standing in a nice section of the galactic park, but also sort of the point of that park. Carter talked about this idea in his original paper, but it was the book The Anthropic Cosmological Principle by John Barlow and Frank Tippler that really pressed the issue home. Barlow and Tippler listed many of the coincidences necessary for humanity to exist, and brought the possibilities down to this:
Observers are necessary to bring the Universe into being
In other words, we're not here because of all those coincidental values, our privileged spot exists for the purpose of holding us. Some versions of this view go beyond this to the idea that, just as observation has an effect on events in the quantum world, the act of observation literally shapes events on all scales. The universe is as it is, because we're looking at it.
This web site isn't a universe all its own, it simply exists within a universe. The same thing can be said of online games, no matter how "3D" their structures may be. If you're playing World of Boredom in which you can walk the halls of a virtual office, log into a virtual browser, and spend your time sneaking peeks at Daily Kos when you're supposed to be working on that virtual quarterly report, it's still not a universe. However, what happens when your session in WOB is so realistic that you no longer realize that you're playing a game?
That idea has been kicking around for a long time in science fiction -- through the use of technology (and perhaps mind altering drugs), whole universes may exist that are in some sense synthetic. There's the virtual universe you can visit -- as in The Matrix -- or the virtual universe that's populated by it's own set of virtual beings. The less popular (but easily as intriguing) film from 1999, The Thirteenth Floor mixes both ideas and takes them to a logical conclusion. In that film, entrepreneurial scientists creating new realities for research and entertainment, find that their own reality is just a virtual creation of some "higher" reality.
If it is possible for virtual realities to be so realistic that they are indistinguishable from physical reality (whatever that means), and for beings to be created with their own intelligence within that virtual reality, then we quickly run into a fairly gulp-inducing conclusion. Since one physical universe could spawn any number of virtual universes, the odds are that any universe in which you find yourself is a virtual universe.
This idea, sometimes known as the simulation argument has been kicked around for some time by both information scientists and philosophers. Nick Bostrom, writing at Oxford University in 2002, brings it down to three possibilities:
(1) The fraction of human-level civilizations that reach a posthuman stage is very close to zero; (2) The fraction of posthuman civilizations that are interested in running ancestor-simulations is very close to zero; (3) The fraction of all people with our kind of experiences that are living in a simulation is very close to one.
In other words, either no civilization survives long enough to reach the stage where it can create intelligent simulations, or we're living in a simulation.
Odds are that we're living in a simulation of the kind of primitive lives that were experienced by the ancestors of future super people. We are trapped in virtual Williamsburg, and there's no getting out.
The universe in my pocket
But suppose a virtual universe isn't possible. So you're not trapped forever going through the routines of your life for the amusement of future fourth-graders studying History of the Second Dark Age.
Does that mean you're safely living in the One True Universe? Not exactly. First off, pretty well every modern physics model includes the idea of multiple universes. So at best you're in one of many, many "real" universes -- though lucky you, this one is kind enough to support intelligent life (see weak anthropic principle). But there's another factor, one that may make this universe about as real as the whale environments at SeaWorld.
In the 1980s, theoretical physicist Andrei Linde worked out an idea called "chaotic inflation" to explain some of the behavior of the early universe. In short, if the universe really did start from essentially a single point and bang into being, it doesn't look like it should. It's not the right size, not the right shape, not the right density. What we have is a bigger lumpier universe than plain old big bang theory would suggest. What chaotic inflation postulates (and believe it or not, this is the simplest way I can find to say it) is that our universe is only one of a near infinity kicked off from the decay of an old multiverse, and that the shape and size of our universe is driven in part by a "false vacuum" generated by dark matter that's constantly tugging the universe apart, and... uh, there's foam. And bubbles. And I don't pretend to understand more than a very little of what Dr. Linde is putting forward.
But I understand this much: chaotic inflation neatly solves several problems in more traditional cosmology, and if it's not right appears to be at least along the right track. Linde's predictions of how matter would be scattered around by chaotic inflation turned out to be dead on with data collected later by satellites. So, that's a big point in Linde's favor. If he's right, chaotic inflation also has a little side benefit. It suggests that creating new universes may be a lot easier than expected.
Sure, our universe looks large and complicated now, but you're seeing it at rather an advanced stage. Once upon a time, back when it was an ensey tensey little baby universe, it not only fit in a lot less space, but actually contained a lot less matter. You don't actually need to gather up galaxies worth of material and pack them into a point. What you need is a little smaller -- something less than the size of a single grain of salt.
Not only does the material needed to generate a universe turn out to be a lot less than expected, but the technology to do so is also not all that advanced. It may be possible, within a very few years, for a physicist working in a lab to take a very small amount of matter and stimulate the growth of a little "pocket" universe, which would then pinch off from our own and grow into its own full-sized universe, totally separate from this one.
And that brings us back to the same conclusion that we ran into up there in virtual reality. If a technological society advances not much further than we are now, it should be capable of building it's own universe. Actually, an infinity of universes.
On this basis, we can now answer most of the big questions:
Is this the "real" universe? That is, are we living in the original universe, the true universe, the Ur universe from which others might spring? The odds are fantastically against it. Whether it turns out that our universe is a simulated reality or a physical reality, odds are very, very high (astronomically high doesn't even really begin to cover it) that this is an artificial universe.
Is there a creator? Once we’ve established that this universe is most probably an artificial construct, it pretty well goes without saying that someone swung the cosmic hammer to build the place. God the computer programmer, or god the experimental physicist, you can take your pick. Personally, I’m going with god the 11-year-old girl who just got a “make your own universe” kit for her birthday.
What is the purpose of human existence? So, you’ve just discovered that you’re living inside an artificial construct put together by an unknown being. Welcome! You probably want to know what you’re doing here. Fortunately, there’s a pretty good answer for that one that’s implicit in the situation. Communication between universes is theoretically impossible (so once Katie dropped in that mote of dust and watched it pop out of existence, the rest of the experiment was likely quite boring). However, physicist Linde (and lots of earlier folks, including Carl Sagan) have suggested that there is a means of communication with the creator, even though she now lives in another universe from our own. It goes back to all those numbers we talked about in the anthropic principle discussion. All of those numbers, from gravitational constants to electron mass, seem to be more or less arbitrary. So maybe the creator has scribbled down some notes for us a trillion digits or so into pi. We may already have the complete crib notes of creation, if we only knew where to look and how to get started figuring it out.
But there’s an even bigger message written into the universe, one that doesn’t require a decoder ring. If this is an artificial universe, then the creator crafted it with some care so that we can exist. The coincidence of all those nice numbers very likely isn't a coincidence at all. This universe was knowingly and purposely built to produce intelligent life. Did the creator have the fine control to place Earth among the stars or design DNA? Unlikely (at least with what we know at the moment), but more than likely the value for many of those vital numbers was in her control. Likewise, we don’t know how closely we are modeled on that creator’s own existence. Still, if this is a constructed universe, then intelligent life was very likely the point of its construction. With that in mind, we can get a fairly good idea of what we do from here.
Make more universes.
As it turns out, intelligence is the seed from which universes reproduce. We have it in our capacity, if we don’t destroy ourselves in the near future or so fundamentally wreck this planet that advancement becomes impossible, to create our own new universes. We are the germ cells of infinity, created for the purpose of becoming creators.
Q.E.D. Put a nice bow on it. God + meaning of life: check. This doesn't make the kind of "intelligent design" put forward as an alternative to evolution one whit less idiotic, nor does it change one thing about all the science you know. It only makes it cooler. Now, let’s all read some good books and see if we can nurture this civilization past puberty, OK? Katie would want it that way.
Contact by Carl Sagan
As long as we're talking big, big concepts and we've already mention St. Carl, we might as well start here. Contact is (no surprise, considering the title) a novel about first contact between human beings and alien intelligence, but the questions it raises go considerably beyond just seeing if the creatures next door have two eyes or three. First contact is initiated when astrophysicist Ellie Arroway picks up one of our own broadcasts being bounced back to us from a point several light decades away. The discovery of other intelligent life among the stars is enough to send society reeling, but a closer look at the incoming message reveals something else hidden in the fine detail -- the plans for a fantastic machine. Sagan had a singular genius for not just understanding extremely complex concepts, but relaying them to folks without his innate grasp of the implications. That skill is obvious in recordings of his television show Cosmos and in his fine nonfiction work, but it was never more clear than in this novel. Sagan delivers a book that is realistic, hard-nosed, and still as uplifting and fundamentally optimistic as the man was himself. If you made it this far in this week's essay, and you haven't read this book, don't proceed before getting a copy.
Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke
When building the list for each week's SEGO, I try to make a habit of avoiding those works that have topped the "100 best works of science fiction" lists for decades. There are a lot of books that are worthy of a lot more attention than they've received, a lot of works to be discovered, and a lot of writers who could really use that $0.13 in royalties. But now and then, I can't avoid going back to the big list, and this is one of those times. Arthur C. Clarke holds a firm spot in the pantheon of science fiction. For general audiences, he's probably best known as the guy who penned the book behind 2001: A Space Odyssey. For engineers he's the guy who worked out the math that keeps DirecTV satellites (and thousands of others) perched above above the same spot on Earth. But if you're interested in the Big Questions, then he's the guy who wrote Childhood's End. A big fleet of alien space ships descends unexpectedly and park their frightening and mysterious bulk over our cities. Sound familiar? Yeah, that's because everyone stole from Clarke. However, the rest of the story isn't as simple as whether the aliens come to help, to conquer, or Serve Man (on toast points). Instead, the aliens are here to nurture humanity toward a goal that is at once awesome and frightening. Too often Clarke's novels were victims to his own knowledge of physics and hardware, which he felt compelled to explain. This novel shows off Clarke's imagination, which has rarely been matched.
The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch by Phillip K. Dick
All right, I suppose it's officially classics night at SEGO. But once I was thinking about artificial realities, I couldn't kick that bastard Palmer Eldritch out of my head. For my money, you can keep the sheep, stick that man back in his high castle, and store your scanner in the closet -- this is the ultimate Dick novel: creepy, ironic, and mind-bendingly . Like so much of PKD's work, the questions here are ones of where reality stops and construct begins. The agency of trans-universe travel in this novel isn't a computer link or a starship, but a pill. Digging among the strangeness, you might draw some parallels between Perky Pat fetish dolls and the avatars of modern video games, or find hints of cyberspace novels to come in the pathetic attempts of authorities to restrain the reality-twisting drug "Can-D." Any attempt to summarize the plot (or hell, to discover the plot) is bound to end badly, but if you take this trip, you'll find the answer to one question: once you've gone down the rabbit hole, can you ever be sure that you've found your way out?
Lord of Light by Roger Zelazny
What makes a god? If it's abilities beyond those of "normal" human, or extremely long lives, or power to control the course of societies and civilizations, then the gods of this novel quality. Only as the story unfolds -- running back to front then back again -- it becomes clear that what separates these gods from the people around them is mostly the application of exclusive technology and the experience delivered by centuries of existence. The style and timeline changes can make this book difficult to follow early on (which is purely intentional) but stick with it as the narrative slowly picks up steam and transitions from disconnected stories into a single thread and you'll be rewarded. Even as the "gods" are cut down to size and the not particularly Hindu backstory of their Hindu-esque society is revealed, the main question fueling the war in heaven becomes a bit less black and white than it first seems. Along the way you'll see Zelazny masterfully weave together all the pieces of a complex narrative and demonstrate a love for his characters and craft that shines through. Here's one creator whose intentions are never in doubt.
Some of Bill Maher's funnier lines from his New Rules segment tonight.
New Rule: Don't ask me to believe that the hippest President we've ever had doesn't know how to use an iPod.
...But what's with the fuddy-duddy act. If we wanted one-eyed block heads who didn't understand gizmos and doohickeys we'd have voted for the ghost and Mrs. Moron.
I know I'm being a little nit-picky but how exactly does President Sanford and Son think he got elected? By CB radio? No, it was through social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter and RentBoy.com.
The entire campaign was based on the Internet. But you know in America politicians, they do that because they know Americans conflate out of touch with adorable.
...John McCain thinks an iPad is something women wear on their X-Boxes once a month.
...You know there's a specific group of Americans out there who's name I won't mention but it begins with T and ends with baggers. And they have a habit of saying I want my country back. Well I want my country forward.
Lots of arguing about religion on tonight's show since he brought on fake atheist S.E. Cupp and asked her about her book claiming that the "liberal" media has an anti-Christian bias that Cenk ripped her up for. Bill smelled a rat just like a lot of the commenters here and felt that there's no way in hell that she could write something claiming that Christians are persecuted by the press if she's actually an atheist. He wanted to know if her next book was going to be about her conversion to Christianity.
I could have done with a whole lot less of the arguing about religion and a lot more of what they talked about in the Overtime segment on line which really was the best part of the show. I finally got to hear someone tell John Avlon that his book Wingnuts is full of crap and false equivalencies and even if you don't like Keith Olbermann and think he's obnoxious there's no way in hell you should be comparing him to Glenn Beck. Good for Bill Maher.
You can watch the Overtime segment on Real Time's site here when the site updates with the video.
Pat Buchanan who has a soft spot in his heart for anything Master Racesque is very concerned that Elana Kagan will upset the delicate balance on the Supreme Court between Catholics and the people who killed their blond-haired blue-eyed-savior, and so[...]
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