General Irony: The Robert Gates Memoir

You can stop reading Robert Gates’ memoir now, Dave Weigel found the funniest part.

So: It’s the fall of 2010, and Gates is meeting with the president and top brass. “Biden, Mullen, Jones, Donilon, Brennan, and Tony Blinken, the vice president’s national security adviser, were there.” The subject: how to be ready if a conflict between Iran and Israel ignites. Gates worries that the particulars have not thought the scenario through, and advises the president to deploy a second aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf soon, just in case. The meeting ends.

I was put off by the way the president closed the meeting. To his very closest advisers, he said, “For the record, and for those of you writing your memoirs, I am not making any decisions about Israel or Iran. Joe, you be my witness.” I was offended by his suspicion that any of us would ever write about such sensitive matters.

General Irony: The Robert Gates Memoir

The GOP’s obstruction to Obamacare is based on a really crappy football play

Here’s the play diagrammed on the third page of the GOP’s strategy memo for opposition to Obamacare. Presumably, the Republicans are the offense in this situation, but they only have 10 players. That’s still an advantage over the defense which only has 8 players.

Terrible football play

Jonathan Chait does not think the play will work.

Instead, the play is a naked bootleg to the left, running straight into the defensive back who isn’t guarding anybody. That is to say, imagining they’ll face an outnumbered and horribly misaligned defense, the offense proposes to attack the only part of the field where the defense has an unblockable defender. This is literally the only play I can imagine that could not work against this defense.

The GOP’s obstruction to Obamacare is based on a really crappy football play

Empathetic voter story generator


Mitt Romney did a great job pretending to be empathetic at the first Presidential debate on Wednesday night, what with the stories about voters coming up to him and telling him sad things. His empathy program sure got an update in time. Well, there’s about a month left in the election and I figured Mitt would need some help conjuring up some more empathetic stories of voters for the debate. If necessary, he can come here and get a couple to use for later.

      var putput = function() {
        var fields = {
          names: [“Adam”, “Bill”, “David”, “Stephanie”, “Madison”, “Freddy”, “Joey”, “Anita”, “Nicole”, “Heather”, “Ethel”, “Beth”, “Beverly”, “Mickey”, “Brad”, “Clarence”, “Brenda”, “Bonnie”, “Stella”, “Theresa”],
          jobs: [“actor”, “bus driver”, “machine worker”, “teacher”, “truck driver”, “cop”, “stripper”, “banker”, “barista”, “sports league owner”, “mechanic”, “construction worker”, “podcaster”, “blogger”, “professor”, “new media enthusiast”, “bad accountant”],
          places: [“Scranton”, “Akron”, “Cincinnati”, “Worcester”, “Tempe”, “Phoenix”, “Cleveland”, “Dayton”, “Columbus”, “Nashua”, “Harrisburg”, “Orange County”, “Des Moines”, “Lexington, KY”, “Covington, KY”, “Reno”, “Springfield”, “Kansas City”, “Bloomington”, “Akron”, “Danvers”, “San Luis Obispo”, “Santa Fe”, “Pecos”, “Lubbock”, “Fort Smith”, “Tulsa”, “Macon”, “Biloxi”, “Mobile”, “Tampa”, “Orlando”, “a small town I can’t remember the name of”],
          first_facts: [“put hands on me”, “touched my arm”, “touched my arm and then my leg”, “tried to kiss me”, “hugged me”, “did not kneel before me”, “gave me some of their soda pop”, “called soda, ‘pop'”, “asked me for a job”, “gave me a belt”, “gave me a casserole”, “hurt my hand with their vice-like grip”, “shook my hand”, “reached for my arm”, “grabbed my elbow”],
          second_facts: [“I smell like Tuesday”, “Big Bird is gay”, “no”, “they lost their job to Big Bird”, “they were fired for stealing stuff”, “they never learned how to read”, “no, just no”, “I should try parting my hair the other way”, “times are tough”, “they are cheating on their spouse”, “lighting the candle at both ends”, “they loved Godfather 3”, “I looked whiter in real life”, “my laugh sucks”, “I don’t have compassion eyes”, “they really, really, really liked my name”, “they don’t care about fact checkers either”, “they would fire Big Bird, too”, “their underpants were on backward”, “their favorite color is 12:30”, “I can get it if I want it”, “they didn’t like the 47% either”, “they had a secret, but they could only show me”, “they heard the voices I hear”]
        var rand = function(x){return x[Math.floor(Math.random()*x.length)];};

        var name = rand(fields[‘names’]),
            job = rand(fields[‘jobs’]),
            place = rand(fields[‘places’]),
            fact1 = rand(fields[‘first_facts’]),
            fact2 = rand(fields[‘second_facts’]);

        var result = “The other day, I met a ” + job + ” from ” + place + ” named ” + name + “, who ” + fact1 + ” and told me ” + fact2 + “.”;


Click “Generate a voter story” if you need an empathetic voter story of your own. 

Generate a voter story!

Empathetic voter story generator

Paul Ryan loves Rage Against the Machine and Tom Morello is not pleased

Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello is not pleased about reports of Paul Ryan calling RATM his favorite band. Read his response here.

Don’t mistake me, I clearly see that Ryan has a whole lotta “rage” in him: A rage against women, a rage against immigrants, a rage against workers, a rage against gays, a rage against the poor, a rage against the environment. Basically the only thing he’s not raging against is the privileged elite he’s groveling in front of for campaign contributions.

Chris Piascik sums it up pretty good.


Maybe Paul Ryan should get with Megadeth instead.

Paul Ryan loves Rage Against the Machine and Tom Morello is not pleased