'Kamikaze Party'

Upscale Southern Scheme

Extortion Politics

Pride goeth before    >more<

Saudi Mystery UN Withdrawal

France: phone hacks "unnacceptable"

NSA hacks Mexican President's Email

Targeting Tor

Raw Intel Shared with Israel

Guardian: The NSA Files

Aid Resumed to Pakistan

Renewed Optimism

Sharif urged end to drones

Musharraf arrested in Pakistan

Tripartite Syria

Refugees Flood Kurdistan

Free Syrian Splinters

Prophecy Propels Shia

Hezbollah's Gamble in Syria

No time for 'Flat Earth Society' for Obama on Climate

Venezuela 'Snowden's last chance' to avoid extradition

Bolivia offers asylum

Claims NSA/German link

Elon Musk's Mission to Mars

Tesla hitting arcane road blocks

Force Feeding Policy Revealed

Guantanamo Hunger Strike Spreads

Despair at Guantanamo

West Texas: Chemical Deregulation Explained

Plea to stop killer robots

China nudging US out of Iraqi oil

Escalating Violence in Iraq

al-Maliki fingers Turkey and Syrian Rebels

Nostalgia for Sunni Rule

New Party in South Africa

Ramphele vs ANC corruption

Bush Deaf to 9/11 Warnings


New Antibiotic Kills Anthrax, MRSA

Mysterious Malware Stumps Experts

3-D Printing at 33rpm

Sri Lankan meteorite reveals 'evidence of panspermia'

Child 'cured' of HIV

Higgs Boson Data Strong

Bee venom loaded nanoparticals kill HIV

Dark Phlogiston?

3-D Printing 'Megatrend'

Lunar Area Manned Missions Anticipated

Life Deep in Ancient Reservoir

Nanophotonic Steam Advance

Neural Interface Products

Fiendish 'ABC proof' heralds new mathematical universe

Dark matter filaments connect galactic clusters

Every black hole contains a new universe?

Baby Quantum Internet

Darknet Rising

Uncensored Space Internet

'No universal grammar'

Accidental universe: Science's crisis of faith

Epic Fish Collapse

SpaceX to go for Mars

Gobsmacked by Vanishing Glaciers

New Malaria Vaccine

Historic Brain Visual Translation

HIV enzyme riddle cracked by video gamers

New Drug Targets Any Viral Infection

Fathoming the Gingrich Ascent
Citizen Zed - 12/2/11

It's hard to fathom Gingrich riding high in the polls, except perhaps by virtue of being the last apparently sane man standing in a zoo best moderated by Jerry Springer (or wait, is it Donald Trump). Ari Kohen over at Running Chicken posts brief review of those who've undergone the "unpleasant" task of actually reading Newt Gingrich's doctoral dissertation. A good read, even if a buzzkill to a perfectly beautiful Friday.  I mean do we really have to imagine this disguised blob of cunning protoplasm as President?

But it's even more galling to hear people reflexively inhale Newt's pernicious flatulence, i.e., the drag show of Gingrich as academic, historian, or "ideas man". Over and over again, like some impossible hiccup, commentators regurgitate deference to Newt as "a smart guy", and a "formidable debater". One could easily fashion a drinking game over that after the next debate!

That such a fraud could be so thoroughly perpetuated may well require another zoo, one of "journalists" and talking heads who focus solely on marketing, demographics, and brands.  An unthinking substrate of unexamined feeling, the mere state of voter preference, becomes the basis of "analysis".  Suddenly, it's a media universe where styles of appeal cannot be brought into question any more than the unmitigated gut feelings upon which they draw a bead. Under the aegis of the Age of Marketing, the substance of political branding is never really the point...at all, any more than that of the Mac hipster dude vs. the PC guy commercials a ways back. "Analysis" turns on the question of maintaining a brand and how well a demographic is manipulated, on who bought what.

Newt may well be the perfect, ugly avatar of this lazy paradigm - like vinyl siding, so essentially ugly nobody cares; and hence most apt for ascendancy. And yet, even a former spokesperson, Dee Dee Myers in a moment of stark clarity, can break the malodorous haze in remarking that he's a "sort of political sociopath [who] constructs these very elaborate arguments that support whatever he's doing at the moment." Scary to think a responsible 21st Century party could nominate him. On the other hand, seeing this sophistical blimp try to pull off his pseudo-condescending challenge to unmoderated, Lincoln-Douglass style debates with Obama could be the best train wreck a miserable hack ever deserved.

But why am I still scared? I'd rather have my beautiful Friday back - even if, rather than imagining Newt's grating voice, it meant riding over a cliff with Rebecca Black.

comment & analysis

Greenwald, Future of News?

To Have is to Owe

How the Snowden Saga Will End

Attack of the MOOC's

Anarchists of the House

Political Islamic Mosaic

North Korea's Powerful Weakness

The Charade of Darrell Issa

Decades of Displacing Palestinians

Guardian: The NSA Files

Talks with the Taliban

The Core of the Palestinian Crisis

Insider Dope on FOX News

Why Obama is not Nixon

Who Lied to ABC on Benghazi?

Phasing out 'totalitarian consumerism'

Austerity & Moral Hazard

Taibbi: "Everything is Rigged"

Grad Student Shocks Austerity Movement

Was Wittgenstein Right?

Contagious Vigilante Feminism

Secret Funding for Climate Denial

Aljazeera Focus of Scrutiny

From Arab Spring to global revolution

What Zero Dark Thirty Really Leaves Out

Interview with Israel's 'most hated man'

Divided States of America

Revolt of the Rich

"Was the Arab Spring Really Worth It?"

The GOP's diminishing demographic

Assad's 'Plan B'

Marxism's renaissance

Let's just say it: The Republicans are the problem

Republican questions GOP abdication of reality

Data Mining You

We Can Live with a Nuclear Iran

Protest Planet

Juan Cole | Paul Krugman
The Lede | Matt Taibbi
Glenn Greenwald | Edge
Project Syndicate
Andrew Sulivan | FiveThirtyEight
Esquire Politics

3 Quarks Daily
The Register
The Verge


BBC News
Le Monde
Der Spiegel
Deutsche Welle

Whack: humor

Nasa Astronomy Archive