Monday, January 31, 2005

Nuts & Bolts

I'm not sure what to call this post - and it might be a new feature here at Dispatches. I'm not much of a cool linker - some might say I'm not much of a blogger that way. But I run across a heckuva lotta stuff during my daytime hours and increasingly I deal with advertising - so you're stuck with this kind of "nuts and bolts" link fest.
  • Greatest headline of today: "Quiznos ditches its delightful spokesrats for an insipid talking man-baby." [Slate.com]
  • Adam West's homepage. Okay he's mayor of Quahog, but really come on. Does the word poor man's Shatner ring a bell?
  • Jon Lovitz bartending on "Las Vegas" - "What's a sneaky peat." (Sorry)
  • New Nike Soccer website. Not sure I get it but. Whatevs.
  • Downright creepy SUV safety website. [ESUVEE.com]
  • Both those last ones were from the excellent Ad Rants.
  • Watching Jon Favreau - who flopped 4 of kind (6's) - give an oscar worthy performance using the help card to sucker some peeps into the WPT's Home Game IV. Quote: "Jon you're the source of evil in this game."
  • Saw "In Good Company" this weekend. It will surely play plenty on TBS in about 3 years. And I'd watch it even when they play it back to back. No. It's not that good but I'd probably watch Scarlett Johansson read the white pages.

No such case of the Moon-days:

Not a bad little Monday of learning going on here:

  • Seeing the Denton Gawker Media empire grow yet again with two new blogs today. Lifehacker - Gawker's shiny Sony sponsored geek software blog (not really my cup of tea, but cool sponsor). And Gridskipper - discount flights, chic hotels—and pretty people - with some backing by Cheaptickets. Please tell me a wine blog is next please.
  • Meanwhile, keeping up with the Jones's, Media Bistro adds Unbiege - a blog on design (There's a shout out to my communications design team peeps) and Galleycat - on books. Plus the bistro also has a full stable including Fishbowl blogs of NY, DC, and LA media gossip blogs.
  • Major shout out to the #25 (chicken yellow curry) from the Thai House. I'm not sure chicken curry in 27 minutes via delivery is a good thing, but it sure is tasty.
  • Hey Crown Prince Abdullah, that's a nice regime you've got there. Be a shame if anything were to happen to it . . .Ah, Saudi Arabia, our creepy misguided friend.
  • Oh to be a fly on the wall at lil' Kim Jong's crib this year. Glenn Reynolds scored this bit of gold: "According to exiles, North Korean agents in Beijing and Ulan Bator are frantically selling assets to raise cash — an important sign, says one activist, because 'the secret police can always smell the crisis coming before anybody else'." The 2005 "So Ronrey" Tour gains strength.
  • Paul Wells covers a huge dust up in the House of Commons today prompting Jason Kenney to call the Prime Minister a liar outside the House. Let's remember...it is only Monday.
  • And this isn't what I'd call great news - I enjoy his writing often - but Andrew Sullivan looks like he taking some time off. But with his roller coaster of a ride of opinion lately it is probably a good call to take a time out.
  • Only 2 short days until SOTU.

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Upbeat

NYT roundup:

Thirty civilians and six police officers died in mortar attacks and suicide bombings around the country, the Interior Minister reported, according to A.F.P. Twenty-two of the deaths occurred in Baghdad, Reuters reported, where mortar attacks took three lives and 19 people were killed by suicide bombers. At least
29 were wounded in the attacks in the capital, Reuters said.

But if the insurgents wanted to stop people in Baghdad from voting, they failed. If they wanted to cause chaos, they failed. The voters were completely defiant, and there was a feeling that the people of Baghdad, showing a new, positive attitude, had turned a corner.

No one was claiming that the insurgency was over or that the deadly attacks would end. But the atmosphere in this usually grim capital, a city at war and an ethnic microcosm of the country, had changed, with people dressed in their finest clothes to go to the polls in what was generally a convivial mood.

Shoving a finger in the eye of terror

Austin Bay

Day by Day


Iraq Election Day

Here is a round up of stories and links about the amazing elections in Iraq today.

  • This is a must read story of a US soldier killed in Iraq while encouraging people to vote by Steve Fainaru at the Washington Post.
  • The people have won. [Iraq the Model] "I walked forward to my station, cast my vote and then headed to the box, where I wanted to stand as long as I could, then I moved to mark my finger with ink, I dipped it deep as if I was poking the eyes of all the world's tyrants.I put the paper in the box and with it, there were tears that I couldn't hold; I was trembling with joy and I felt like I wanted to hug the box but the supervisor smiled at me and said "brother, would you please move ahead, the people are waiting for their turn".
  • Steyn: "The Western press are all holed up in the same part of Baghdad, and the insurgents very conveniently set off bombs visible from their hotel windows in perfect synchronization with the U.S. TV news cycle. But, if they could look beyond the plumes of smoke, they'd see that Iraq's going to be better than OK, that it will be the economic powerhouse of the region, and that the various small nods toward democracy going on in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan and elsewhere sugge."st that the Arab world has figured out what the foreign policy ''realists'' haven't: that the trend is in the Bush direction."
  • Sissy Willis: "You know what? This is the best thing ever for freedom and human happiness since the fall of the Berlin Wall. Before that, it was 1776 and all that. Teddy and Barbara, call your offices."
  • "The Purple Finger of Democracy". [Cigars in the Sand] I like that.
  • 72% [CNN]
  • Not an election. A Revolution... [Buzz Machine]

Saturday, January 29, 2005

The 2nd Act

David Brooks lays out some optimism for the greatest 2nd term presidency ever. Well, perhaps that is over selling it just a bit. But the Bush 2nd term is going to be interesting to watch - probably more so 25 years from now too. Then again:

"Whether this compassionate second-term agenda can really last is another question. Events in Iraq tomorrow and in Iran later on may make these days look like a sabbatical. But new beginnings are fun."

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

More good news

Sullivan finds this nugget of hope in Iraq.

Krispy Kreme Yo-Yo

I'm a little late on this story. (Via Adam Daifallah) But what the heck happened to Krispy Kreme in the past 365 days? Let me get this straight, Tim Horton's is still able to push those terrible excuses for doughnuts, and I have to go to the way out suburbs to get a damned Krispy Kreme? Has everyone taken crazy pills?

Putting the Orange into Iraq

Many times during the day when I think my job doing advertising and marketing and our projects are the most important things, ever. When this happens I try to remind myself that there are bigger things in the world.

This story from The Mudville Gazette about Ukraine's contribution to the elections in Iraq is a great example. (Via Roger Simon) Of course, I know I'm not the only one, all anyone is talking about today is the Oscar nominations.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Bush 2.0

You blink and boom, nearly two weeks pass you by. New Years resolution for more blogging comes to a crashing end. Oh well, 11 more months right? But what about that speech yesterday by George W. Bush?

I liked it. A lot. And Austin Bay - far more dialed in than me - really spells out why the speech was not only good, but that it needs to be lived up to. Especially we agree on lines like this:

"All who live in tyranny and hopelessness can know: The United States will not ignore oppression or excuse your oppressors. When you stand for your liberty, we will stand with you."

Some have found this too far reaching, typically American. To which I say and? I liken it more to a Civil War Lincoln move. Move the bar further out - make the war as we know it even bigger in scope, and more important. Proclaim an end to tyranny then find our Grant to go forth and make it so if need be.

Sunday, January 09, 2005

The Feenie Burger Experience

A few weeks ago I had the greatest burger that ever was. I had the infamous Feenie burger at Feenies. And, yes in case you are asking, you totally need to have it with the short ribs. Ribs on a burger. Only good can come from this. Well, maybe not the $19 for the burger. But you gotta have those ribs added. You just gotta.

It was a great lunch with my folks on birthday and is a very cool little bistro. The food was good, but even better was the server - she was just the perfect amount of cheekiness to dish it out to Papa Murphy. I can't believe I am just getting around to writing about it now.

Chicago Eats & London Beats

The internet - and blogs or bloglike sites in particular - is fantastic. You can read about the eating scene in Chicago or decaying building in London. Love that.

Class of 2005 in Cooperstown

Matt Welch reminds me of this years Hall of Fame election results. Wade Boggs and Ryne Sandberg are in. Welch also is preparing for making sure certain people get into the hall in the next few slow years.

The McShwarma

Everyone seems to be linking to this ad for the McShwarma sanwich served in Israeli McDonalds (via Israellycool). It is pretty cool and is a great ad - where did they . Josh Chafetz at Oxblog seems to have the most links on the subject.

I'm lovin' it. Sorry.

4 more years of The Wolf

And this is sure to drive the left absolutely nuts. Paul Wolfowitz is set to stay on for 4 more years.

Pierre's Big Clueless Trip

Trudeaupia - which I don't visit nearly enough - almost always has something that makes me spit my coffee out laughing, and today is no different. The post on Pierre Pettigrew's big clueless adventure to Thailand is priceless.

Grab bag of Dumb Leftist Stuff



Where Mustard is on tap like beer..

Mustard on tap, like beer? Yes, there is a god. Danielle Pergament points this out in the New York Times and naturally this is in the Boutique Maille where, "Three house blends are available for tasting: Chablis, grape juice and honey, and white wine. To facilitate selection, jars of pretzels line the long oak bar, inviting customers to sample the choices."

The Strange Tale of Kilroy-Silk

I knew Europolitics was worth following - all those parties, all those characters running them - but until I read this story in the New York Times Magazine this morning, I didn't know it was that entertaining. Besides, writer Christopher Caldwell has always been one of my favorite scribes on the whole Euro scene. (Read "The Anti Europeanist" here)

The article tells the story of how a TV talk-show host came to be a force in the anti-Europe movement. The article is full of interesting stuff, focusing on Robert Kilroy-Silk. But is also got some things you probably only read about British politicians like this:

"He is well liked among the party's old guard and works closely with Nigel Farage, the party's European parliamentary leader. The elfin Farage, 40, fond of smoking, drinking and talking about smoking and drinking, is indeed a compelling orator."

Coalition of the Giving

Must read Mark Steyn: "The path of the tsunamis tracked the arc of the Muslim world, from Sumatra to Somalia; the most devastated country is the world's most populous Muslim nation, and the most devastated part of that country is the one province living under the strictures of sharia.

But, as usual, when disaster strikes it's the Great Satan and his various Little Satans who leap to respond. In the decade before September 11, the US military functioned, more or less exclusively, as a Muslim rapid reaction force – coming to the aid of Kuwaiti Muslims, Bosnian Muslims, Somali Muslims and Albanian Muslims. Since then, with the help of its Anglo-Australian allies, it's liberated 50 million Muslims in Afghanistan and Iraq."

Related: Meanwhile, dogs and cats living together. The Bush-Clinton friendship grows.

Back from the Wilderness

coverIs it bad that the prospect of Newt Gingrich running in 2008 for the White House warms my cockles? How's that for the first real post in 2005 here at Dispatches? I see that Adam Daifallah doesn't think much the idea calling him a "moral disgrace". And Jonah Goldberg is already claiming exhaustion with this one. Well there is that.

But if you look at this from what he might bring to simply running in the primaries - and what kinds of issues he could make important for the race - you have to at least consider him a plus. Look, if the 2008 primary is a choice between Rudy Guiliani, John McCain, Jeb Bush, and Newt Gingrich he probably won't win anyway. Oh, and if Hillary really does go for it, how much fun would that be? Seriously though, his impact on the debate would be delicious. Sure he was so "90's", but Newt could be the new black come 2008. Besides, I like people who have had to sit our on the sidelines for awhile - in the "wilderness" as Nixon would call it (and he would know).


Dispatches Returns

I keep getting emails and people asking about the blog and why I haven't posted very much. The standard seems to be something like, "show me the blog." Well, the last month has been pretty busy at work and I haven't really been in the mood to get back on a computer after working all day long. So I'm going to try to post more regularly as 2005 moves on. Thanks for everyone who reads this thing especially since I have only posted once in the last six weeks. My bad.