A Flea in the Fur of the Beast

“Death, fire, and burglary make all men equals.” —Dickens

Great News For The Publishing Industry!

by evanmcmurry

Your pick as to which of these is more of a reason to order a Gertrude Stein-shaped cake and party down:

1) Barnes and Nobles has been essentially saved by Fifty (50) Shades of Gra(e)y. The bookseller reported a significantly better-than-expected fiscal quarter, and it’s all thanks to the glorified Twilight fan fiction.

2) That better-than-expected fiscal quarter means “the company reported a net loss of $41 million — an improvement from 2011, when the quarterly loss was $56.6 million.” (via)

There are no refunds on the Gertrude Stein cake.

Sex toy sales have also soared in correlation with the book’s popularity, but I don’t think that industry was in danger. By the way, I can’t be the only person getting E.L. James and P.D. James confused. That’s gotta suck for P.D. James.

Paul Ryan Invokes Joe The Plumber (Seriously)

by evanmcmurry

Paul Ryan, speaking at a steel factory in western PA yesterday:

“Hey, I’m a Catholic deer-hunter,” Ryan said at Beaver Steel just outside Pittsburgh. “I am happy to be clinging to my guns and my religion.”

The comments the presumptive GOP vice-presidential nominee made referenced remarks Obama made on the campaign trail back in 2008.

[…] Speaking in front of a large “We did build IT!” sign, the seven-term congressman also gave the crowd another 2008 flashback, telling the crowd about Joe the Plumber.

“You know, every now and then President Obama sort of drops his veil,” Ryan said. “He’s less coy about his philosophy. He sort of reveals his true governing policy, what he really believes. Remember back in 2008, remember the guy Joe the Plumber? Remember when he said, you know, ‘We wanna spread the wealth around’? It’s this belief that the economy is some fixed pie, that there’s only just so much money in America, it’s fixed, and that the job of the government is to redistribute the slices of the pie. That’s not true.” (via)

So…is this the “big campaign, about big issues and big choices” William Kristol promised us? (Throw that on the list of things The Man Who Brought You Sarah Palin has gotten wrong.) Should someone—perhaps William Kristol?—tell Paul Ryan that the GOP lost the 2008 election, and quite handedly? So maybe he shouldn’t be using warmed-over nonsense from a losing election? I mean, GOP donors are donating by the tens of millions; the least they should be able to expect is new bullshit.

Also, someone should knock on Joe the Plumber’s noggin and explain what would happen to guys like him under Ryan’s budget. If only someone would come up with a metaphor for the relationship between the rich and the middle class under a Romney/Ryan administration…

God To Ruin Republican National Convention With A Hurricane, Again

by evanmcmurry

If the projections are accurate, Tropical Depression #9 will become Hurricane Helene and touch down on Florida in the middle of next week—or, exactly on top of the Republican National Convention. Hurricanes, needless to say, are bad news for Republicans, as they tend to produce people in need of federal aid who can’t be written off as Takers. (Though the current GOP seems happy to define people who work for a living as Takers, so who knows.) Given that only one of the many elements of Paul Ryan’s budget that the GOP is trying not to publicize is the slashing of infrastructure funds by ten dillion percent—that would be the same infrastructure Floridians need to get the hell out of the way of the hurricane—this should get interesting real quick.

Those of you with long memories will recall that the 2008 Republican National Convention was also ruined by a hurricane. Back then, it just seemed like another bump on John McCain’s Wild Ride. But two hurricanes in a row suggest some divine force at work.  It’s almost as if God is punishing the GOP for its response to something hurricane related.

By the way, should the Hurricane Hugo touch down, this blog will officially be running a pool to see how quickly a Republican operative accuses Democrats of politicizing the tragedy.

(via Gawker)