Archive for January, 2009

Oopsie-whatsums

Jan 30, 2009 in Uncategorized

The mistake the Republicans are making here is a basic one: now they’ve admitted that they take orders from Rush, they’re on the hook for all the crazy ass things he says on the show. And that’s not a good place to be.

My advice to the GOP: Embrace Rush. Embrace Bush. Hope they will be heroes when history is written. Root out all non-believers!

-jb

The student loan lobby.

Jan 30, 2009 in Uncategorized

When’s my student loan bailout check coming? It certainly would shift a lot of my hard earned dollars back into the commercial sector. And why not? It makes a lot more sense than paying billions to ensure that Wall Street doesn’t have to own up to their mistakes.

-mg

What she said-

Jan 30, 2009 in Culture

The whoreImeannicegirl who is auctioning off her untainted twat for millions of dollars:

…it became apparent to me that idealized virginity is just a tool to keep women in their place.

So employ the principles of rationality and forget who said it.

She’s right, isn’t she? Men have a virgin female monkey on our backs. Lakes of blood have been spilled, as it is little other than territorial conquest between men. Man has always wanted to believe he is the only conqueror of his woman. Evidence that other penises have been in his property tends to irk him.

This varies in intensity across cultures and time. In the US, most men are generally at peace marrying a woman whose virginity is in somebody else’s treasure box of memories. This keeps pace with our generally equalized and empowered female citizenry.

Many of us have spent years stumbling through the dating world, and have had at least a handful of attempts at serious relationships. Both parties can veto the relationship, and men who don’t strive get rejected. Yes, we’ve insured that women don’t need us, and we ultimately believe that’s the American way. You want freedom, so you give it.

All the same, no man relishes explicit evidence of his girlfriend/wife’s past, and thus there are general hopes and expectations that would be dashed by seeing her popping up on Youporn.com with an old boyfriend. Unsurprisingly, this is reciprocated by the average woman. So things come full circle, and standards arise based on free choice.

So even in a liberated world, that dainty precious flower giving up her honeypot for money is still a bit of a harlot.

Breakfast or supper, you get pancakes.

Jan 29, 2009 in Uncategorized

Count me among the unsurprised. Testifying to everything Noam Chomsky ever said about the media, progressive voices are still marginalized in the Beltway discourse.

Who do they really think they are to squelch the progressive sector of the population? Well, of course, they think they’re the ones with the reins in their hands, so they do as they wish.

What they may say will be self-serving and evasive, whatever it takes to succeed within their own world, to garner promotions and win internal turf wars. Most importantly, an entity like CNN is nothing other than a revenue generator. It serves one ultimate purpose: get more viewers, thus get better sponsors. They know that seeming reality-based fits within their brand, but they know of no way to sooth rightwing critics other than to fill the airwaves with the stenography of Republicans.

-jb

National Review, masters of fail.

Jan 28, 2009 in Uncategorized

Hearing Sullivan refer to Jim Manzi’s “excellent” post on the stimulus, I wandered over for a rare visit to NRO. Upon reviewing the post, I found it to be somewhat informative, yet a complete disaster as opinion. Among multiple charts and explanations, we are treated to three great pearls of wisdom:

1. The stimulus is filled with the kinds of programs liberals love, like food stamps, college grants, renewable energy development, highway construction, etc.
2. Oh no! (See #1)
3. The $100 billion spent on schools likely won’t improve scores.

THUS: “…this proposal is a disaster.”

No, just your argument, Jim.

-jb

When Republicans disrespect Limbaugh.

Jan 28, 2009 in Uncategorized

They are quickly forced to grovel and kiss the ring.

Now more than ever, we need to articulate a clear conservative message that distinguishes our values and our approach from those of liberal Democrats who are seeking to move our nation in the wrong direction. Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Newt Gingrich, and other conservative giants are the voices of the conservative movement’s conscience. Everyday, millions and millions of Americans—myself included—turn on their radios and televisions to listen to what they have to say, and we are inspired by their words and by their determination.

Limbaugh is who they are. He’s been who they are for 20 years. I’d mention Hannity more strongly but he’s just younger and stupider. Limbaugh is the paradigm. You insult him, you insult the base. If you’re going to air a pretense of independence, you need to be slick like Mike Pence. Whatever you say, you must finish by embracing and extolling the “virtues” of Limbaugh.

And with that, I wish the GOP 20 more years with this albatross around their necks.

-jb

Train wreck.

Jan 28, 2009 in Uncategorized

The only thing that would shock me about Ted Haggard is if he would actually come out and admit that he’s gay.

-mg

Continuing the theme: the goddamned Baby Boomers.

Jan 28, 2009 in Barack Obama

E.J. Dionne makes the case that Obama fundamentally confounds Boomers and their narcissistic philosophies.

What makes Obama a radical, albeit of the careful and deliberate variety, is his effort to reverse the two kinds of extreme individualism that have permeated the American political soul for perhaps four decades.

He sets his face against the expressive individualism of the 1960s that defined “do your own thing” as the highest form of freedom. On the contrary, Obama speaks of responsibilities, of doing things for others, even of that classic bourgeois obligation, “a parent’s willingness to nurture a child.”

But he also rejects the economic individualism that took root in the 1980s. He specifically listed “the greed and irresponsibility on the part of some” as a cause for our economic distress. He discounted “the pleasures of riches and fame.” He spoke of Americans not as consumers but as citizens. His references to freedom were glowing, but he emphasized our “duties” to preserve it far more than the rights it conveys.

This communitarian vision fits poorly with “the stale political arguments” between liberals and conservatives that Obama condemned, because they are really arguments between these two varieties of individualism. Their quarrel has been fierce not only because of how the two sides differ but also because they share so many assumptions. Family feuds and civil wars can be especially brutal.

Let your old paradigms inform you, but fundamental principles coexist with and often demand fluidity. It is never as simple as steering left or right. We are a nation of 300 million in a dynamic world. Some things forgotten must be remembered, and some weapons of yore must be laid down.

-jb

Your tax dollars at work.

Jan 26, 2009 in Uncategorized

I don’t know how much more of these boondoggles the American public can digest before they start wanting to exact a little revenge. I’m sure if you were to ask one of the twenty thousand newly unemployed Caterpillar workers what they think of Citi’s fancy new jet they would have some advice on where they can stick it.

-mg

Proving the cynics wrong once more.

Jan 25, 2009 in Uncategorized

Another campaign promise kept:

President Barack Obama will direct federal regulators on Monday to move swiftly on an application by California and 13 other states to set strict automobile emissions and fuel efficiency standards, two administration officials said Sunday evening.

The directive makes good on an Obama campaign pledge and signifies a sharp reversal of Bush administration policy. Granting California and the other states the right to regulate tailpipe emissions would be one of the most emphatic actions Mr. Obama could take to quickly put his stamp on environmental policy.

Mr. Obama stopped short of ordering the agencies to reverse the Bush administration policy, but they are widely expected to do so.

You have to admit; the man is a hard worker.

If this were a topic like the rights of third graders to carry Glock G33s into class rooms it’d be trumpeted as a state’s rights issue complete with college drop-out radio personalities lamenting the demise of Christian values, the embrace of jazz music and the downward spiral towards heavy-petting. Automobile emissions is a technical issue so it doesn’t raise the ire of the Confederates who have a hard time drawing a connection between the environment, legislation, and what comes out of their tail pipes.

-mg

Happy day.

Jan 25, 2009 in Uncategorized

I woke up this morning and noticed that I can completely close all of the fingers on my left hand. The strength isn’t back 100% but it’s definitely some welcome progress.

-mg

Scanner music.

Jan 25, 2009 in Uncategorized

I also recommend “Star Wars floppy”.

-mg

Osama *hearts* Obama.

Jan 25, 2009 in Uncategorized

J/K…things were better for al Qaeda when George the Lesser was in charge:

The torrent of hateful words is part of what terrorism experts now believe is a deliberate, even desperate, propaganda campaign against a president who appears to have gotten under al-Qaeda’s skin. The departure of George W. Bush deprived al-Qaeda of a polarizing American leader who reliably drove recruits and donations to the terrorist group.

With Obama, al-Qaeda faces an entirely new challenge, experts say: a U.S. president who campaigned to end the Iraq war and to close the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and who polls show is well liked throughout the Muslim world. …the change in Washington appears to have rattled al-Qaeda’s leaders, some of whom are scrambling to convince the faithful that Obama and Bush are essentially the same.

“They’re highly uncertain about what they’re getting in this new adversary,” said Paul Pillar, a former CIA counterterrorism official who lectures on national security at Georgetown University. “For al-Qaeda, as a matter of image and tone, George W. Bush had been a near-perfect foil.”

-mg

Why should BO give a sh*t about Limbaugh?

Jan 24, 2009 in Uncategorized

In typical paranoid winger fashion, the fringe right is characterizing BO’s innocuous commentary about Limbaugh style partisanship as a shot across the bow. Not only that, it’s apparently an unspoken statement of his own trembling fear of the Confederates favorite thrice divorced, drug-addicted, sex tourist radio comedian. Sharon proceeds to clumsily cut and paste some ratings numbers that show that FOX News is ascending above all other competitors. What that’s supposed to prove I have no idea. Especially considering that during Rush’s hey-day in the 90’s Bill Clinton enjoyed overwhelming approval numbers even after he was impeached a rational individual might conclude that raising the ire of Limbaugh would be a good thing. So besides upsetting a few thin-skinned Red Staters what’s there to be afraid of?

And I don’t find it surprising that after years of chiding Teh Librulz for supposedly wishing catastrophe upon the president (ie: daring to disagree with him) is now stating that he would like to see Obama fail. At least he’s honest. He doesn’t give a shit about the people getting laid off or losing their homes. What’s most important is that he be given the chance to say “I told you so.”

-mg

Dispatches from a logic free world.

Jan 24, 2009 in Uncategorized

From Red State:

If we ever had any question about what is more important, the safety of American citizens and soldiers or paying off campaign debts to Code Pink an MoveOn.org, that question has been answered.

Considering the fact that Red State is still pimping the non-existent CBO report and the story about Sandinistas being two days march from……whoops!….I mean the story about 61 released detainees returning to the front lines I think the real question here is do the facts matter or don’t they? Furthermore, are they aware that they’re making an argument against their long standing contention that papa Bush has gallantly protected us since 9/11? I mean, what’s the guy doing freeing terrorists?

-mg

FEAR FEAR FEAR TERRA TERRA TERRA

Jan 23, 2009 in Uncategorized

Christ, they still think that it’s 1996.

That CBO report showing that the stimulus money will be hindered by hang-ups and obstructions? Well….it doesn’t exist. Yet it’s paraded as fact by lazy sycophants. Oh, the career options I would have if only I were a Kool-Aid drinking wingnut.

The Republican party has always been able to rely upon a compliant media that will print any cockamamie story just as long as they’re not branded as being “librul”. The problem is that they haven’t yet figured out that the traditional media outlets, totally pussy whipped by the Radical Right, have their hands on the spigot no longer.

Politically, it’s advantageous for us to let them think that Rush Limbaugh and his progeny can still bully CW via analog technology. Just think…there are tens of thousands of Confederate ditto-heads tuning into their local AM stations every day in order to fuel their paranoid and faux patriotic fantasies…and their days are numbered. Could you imagine the Obama campaign relying upon local radio to get its message across? You’d laugh yourself silly. The Republican predicament is more grim than they or the main stream media would have us think. They’re reduced to praying for catastrophe because they’re utterly…completely…absolutely…bankrupt.

What do they stand for?

-mg

ITEM! Once again, wingers are scared senseless.

Jan 23, 2009 in Uncategorized

Right wing fringers are pissing themselves in fear over Obama’s closing of Gitmo. Apparently, the federal judicial system is completely unable to handle the task of sufficiently prosecuting these alleged criminals. Furthermore, those that are convicted are liable to break out of prison and terrorize the communities that they’re in. They’ve even got some phony numbers to throw around to frighten us into believing that the terrorists that have been released are now plotting new and elaborate schemes to wreck your experience at the Denny’s buffet line in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

The problem with the above is that it’s all infantile, Jack Bauer fantasizing on the part of pants-wetting cowards who know that it’s easier to dream up hypothetical situations to rationalize their hatred for due process than it is to have the courage to stand up and demand that our elected officials respect the rule of law. It’s also lazy. The claims of released Gitmo detainees becoming Al Qaeda chieftains is disingenuous and stinks of rancorous acrimony within the Pentagon. And the idea that terrorists cannot be tried on American soil is preposterous. Glenzilla has a rather lengthy (though not complete) list of terror suspects that have been successfully prosecuted domestically and are quietly serving their time and paying their debt to society.

So what’s the problem here? What are they afraid of?

-mg

Finally.

Jan 23, 2009 in Uncategorized

The US can get to work in the biotechnology industry.

-mg

They know that “24” is just a fictional television show, don’t they?

Jan 22, 2009 in Uncategorized

In the minds of the Beltway elite any transgression or abuse of power is forgivable because somewhere there may be a bomb ticking towards zero and sacrifices will have to be made in order to defuse it. We may not know whether the bomb even exists or ever existed because those are details we can do without. What is important is that those in authority reserve the right to break the law so that they may deal with these hypothetical situations. Journalists, the worst of which are simply flatterers of the court, appallingly bought into this false dilemma because it was easier to rationalize it than to stand up and challenge it.

How will Obama react when he gets a constant morning diet of dire warnings? The president today moved to shut down the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay and end torture – and has surrounded himself with critics of both who are unlikely to tolerate backsliding. But it is not unfathomable that Obama has a “Few Good Men” moment and has to tell liberals and civil libertarians they can’t handle the truth – and that drastic steps sometimes need to be taken to avert disastrous consequences. What’s more, it is hardly a given that any president—no matter his philosophy—would wish to give up the expanded executive power that Bush claimed in the name of national security.

If today is any indication, Beltway power worshipers will have a lot to lament in the days ahead.

In his first full day in office, President Barack Obama issued a memorandum ordering government agencies to examine Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests with a bias toward release of the documents — overturning eight years of a Bush administration directives to find ways not to disclose information.

“For a long time now there’s been too much secrecy in this city,” Obama said. “The old rules said that if there was a defensible argument for not disclosing something to the American people, then it should not be disclosed. That era is now over. Starting today, every agency and department should know that this administration stands on the side not of those who seek to withhold information, but those who seek to make it known.”

Thankfully, President Obama doesn’t share the same Jack Bauer fantasies as Jim VandeHei.

-mg

All they know is wrong.

Jan 22, 2009 in Barack Obama

Is it me or Obama’s presidency sowing the seeds for a Beltway implosion? How much longer can they stand him doing things they disapprove of, but which has popular support?

Greenwald knocks over some media myths that the public is against closing Gitmo and ending torture, and catches Beltway robot Ignatius adding his voice to the MSM roar that any application of the rule of law to the Bush administration would be “politicizing” justice.

Are we reaching some sort of critical mass? Recently we’ve heard that despite Obama’s election and a tidal wave of Democrats in Congress, that we are a center-right nation, that Obama’s presidency will justify/vindicate Bush, that Obama must not “look backwards” like law enforcement tends to require, that we should not expect health care reform, and so on.

Sooner or later, somebody’s got to break. Either the media will go on a triviality blitz against Obama, or get some new goddamned blood and evolve to keep pace with the march of time. They’ve tried the blitz before and failed as the public pushes back, and the baby boomers are slowly being displaced by Obama’s generation of pragmatic idealists.

Oh, wait…it is the damned boomers, isn’t it? Hmmm…

-jb

These truths we hold to be self evident.

Jan 22, 2009 in Uncategorized

One step closer to civility.

-mg

The nominations for worst of the Beltway continue.

Jan 22, 2009 in Beltway-itis, Journamalism

David Ignatius is one of the great archetypal Beltway fools, occasionally able to impart some knowledge but consistently subscribing to some lazy paradigms in order to carve a quick path to “balance.” The Beltway Handbook features this interesting excerpt:

Clause 325.b: Rush Limbaugh may be bad, but any loud liberal is his equivalent. This axiom shall never require substantiation.

Kos fires back with a sniper shot to the dome, focusing on the issues where he has been right while Limbaugh was carrying Bush’s water. Every word is worth reading, but here’s a sweet sample:

This is why I have come, in these recent years, to despise these people. There is no abomination on this earth worth an emotional outburst, in their minds — no conflict worth a raised voice. There is only the mushy, cowardly middle, one that never stands for anything too much or critiques anything too loudly. They all stink like fish, they have been praising the status quo for so long and so colorlessly — and yet they fancy themselves intellectuals for it, and even presume themselves courageous for it.

The Beltway worships power. The Bush administration was a unity between political and corporate power, which made breaking away and speaking out so dangerous in the minds of Ignatius and the rest of the press as Bush spent several years getting away with whatever he wanted while the dirty hippies were sneered at.

Unfortunately, Obama and the Democrats only possess as much corporate pull as the economic crash gives them. As noted earlier, the Beltway is still against reforming health care in any way that impacts the bottom line of HMOs. He will not receive the same deference that the press gave Bush’s chance to privatize Social Security.

What Ignatius has to excise is that Kos, unlike Rush Limbaugh, is capable of coherent logical thought, and susceptible to facts and reason. While these consensus monkeys are cautiously nodding that Bush was a bad president, careful to warn us that Obama may end up justifying Bush and Cheney, or that anybody who manages to fix Iraq will be serving only Bush’s legacy, it is only because people like Kos and the grassroots had to do the heavy lifting of shouting out what needed to be said until people like Ignatius could hear it in their corporate towers.

Obama, seismic victory and all, will not receive the same deference that Bush received. The crowds of two days ago only marginally moved the hearts of Washington reporters. Kos and his supporters will have to keep fighting to get past these obstinate guardians of cowardice. No matter the reasonableness of their claims, or their popularity, they will continue to be dismissed and dumped in the same pig trough as Limbaugh.

For twenty years, Rush Limbaugh was one of the most powerful people in the country, a cult leader who engaged in no dialogues and brooked no dissent. Kos is merely a moderator, a man whose opinions are often drowned out by the people his site empowers to speak up for themselves. Ignatius knows this, as it is the diaries on DailyKos that give people like him the ammunition to employ the false equivalence.

To compare Limbaugh’s bellering to Kos’ argumentation is intellectually dishonest. To compare Limbaugh with his dittoheads to Kos with his empowered grassroots is a disgusting insult steeped in contempt for democracy.

History has rarely presented us with societies where competing forces are always two sides of the same coin. The Beltway hack working to make deadline employs cost-cutting thinking that transposes us into an imaginary world.

Wake up, Ignatius, you lazy bastard.

-jb

Tinfoil hat on!

Jan 20, 2009 in Constitution, Stupidity

So I had a thought earlier that made me laugh:

What if Roberts deliberately screwed up the wording of the Oath of Office, so outraged wingnuts could say, “well, Obama’s not really President–he’s never completed a valid Oath!”

I mean, right? Ha ha ha.

-JJB Mpls

Prosecuting Bush administration would be “politicizing justice.”

Jan 20, 2009 in Beltway-itis, Politics

Correct me if I’m wrong, but it sounds like not prosecuting is “politicizing” justice.

Seriously, everything said by Republicans and echoed by the loyalist press has been, “Well, Obama COULD let the DOJ move forward, do its job, and let fall who may, BUT that would have terrible political implications.”

Which is a tacit admission that while no man may, technically, be above the law, practicing this has become politically incorrect.

I’m not sure how I can be wrong that this is a sickness in the system.

-jb

UPDATE: Conyers hits Newsweek, which has been fucking irritating lately, for pushing this meme.

Intellectual honesty is garlic to neocons.

Jan 20, 2009 in Iraq, Politics

Daniel Larison, via Sullivan, offers further elaboration on the latest car salesman tactics of the Bush apologetics:

When supporters begin blithely claiming that the war in Iraq is over and we won, or declare that history will vindicate Mr. Bush, they are naturally not taking into account that this war may very well lead to even more terrible blowback in the years and decades to come. Indeed, the full costs of Mr. Bush’s failures will not be known for many years. In the terrible event that there are more disastrous consequences of Mr. Bush’s policies, will his apologists at that point acknowledge that he was a failure, or will they construct new arguments to claim that he cannot be held responsible for what happened later on? We already know the answer to that.

Yes, we do: no act of revenge for the hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis will be attributable to Bush.

As I mentioned recently, this is a pure PR campaign from the right to try to wrap up Bush’s term on a positive note and excuse him from any repercussions. Suddenly, though Iraq doesn’t know it, they’ve been saved and all is well over there. Yes, any foreign policy realist knows that the surge was but one element among many that allowed some semblance of sanity in Iraq, but if the situation deteriorates, it must be President Obama’s fault, right?

Regarding the economy, rinse and repeat.

In both cases, Bush has left behind wrecks, scenes of devastation barely held together, and dropped it all on Obama’s feet while he skedaddles back to Crawford. Like the unaccountable drunk he has always been, he’s running from his fuck-ups yelling, “It’s all on you guys now!”

“By the way, I get credit if you can figure out how to fix Iraq!”

-jb

The dutiful corporate media.

Jan 20, 2009 in Beltway-itis, Economy, Journamalism

DougJ at Balloon Juice punctures Andrea Mitchell and other gilded Beltway types who are dutifully informing us that “sacrifice” means some people are going to have to keep going on without healthcare while the wealthy continue to see how high one can stack cash.

I recommend clicking on the link to see the numbers and give Balloon Juice the love. But in your bones you know the scoop: the wealthy have had their taxes slashed and their income exploded beyond all proportion to their work, while the rest of the country, middle class and all, has barely nudged ahead. Our cheap gizmos are cooler now than they were, but we’re struggling to own homes, send our children to college, take them to a doctor, or get them braces.

But to Andrea Mitchell, “sacrifice” means making sure we don’t threaten the insane profits of HMOs and pharmaceutical companies or the golden parachutes of CEOs who steer their companies into default.

Surely she is one of the worst people on television, and an eyesore to boot. All of her skill seems devoted to being the most Beltway-iest Corporatist schmournalist on the non-Fox airwaves.

-jb

Rick Warren’s speech.

Jan 20, 2009 in Uncategorized

Nice sentiments, but possessing the musicality of an elephant falling down the stairs. Sheesh.

-jb

Not for me to say.

Jan 20, 2009 in Barack Obama

While the weight of no presidency can be measured on its first day, it can set the pace for the rest of his days. It matters how much energy Obama can leave the gates with. So weighty words are in order, for people’s hopes are real, and Obama’s administration will be judged by their fulfillment.

Sullivan reminds us that we’re participants in his success or failure.

It may be, of course, that the relief at the end of the Bush era is colouring our hopes. It may also be that events conspire to derail the man, or that the habits of the past two decades in Washington will return with a vengeance and do to Obama what was done to Clinton, another centrist Democrat who came to office on a tide of goodwill. But I don’t think that, given the immense crises we all face, it is unreasonable to hope for more.

There is something about Obama’s willingness to give others credit, to approach so many issues with such dispassionate pragmatism, and to shift by symbols and speeches the mood and tenor of an entire country that gives one a modest form of optimism. Even now, as the outlook seems so dark, and as the inheritance seems so insuperable, three words linger in the mind.

Yes, he can. And two words echo back at me.

Can we?

A TPM reader takes another swipe at grasping the historical power:

I’ve been deliberately cultivating detachment from the Obama brouhaha (and have all along), partly because of my dashed hopes from the early promise of and ultimate deep disappointment in Bill Clinton. (You ain’t gonna suck ME in again, you foolish hopes for a transformative politician! not again!)

But I was watching the NewsHour tonight, a panel discussion with Rev. Joseph Lowery, the graying and regal Charlayne Hunter-Gault (who I had watched making her on-air debut as a nervous neophyte on PBS), and Gwen Ifill, and as they talked about the phenomenon of President Obama, I just started to cry tears of relief and (God help me) hope for this country.

Listen, my mother used to tell stories of segregated WWII-era Washington, DC, where she came to work for the war effort. In her boarding house, the ‘help’ was black, the boarders were white, and the ‘help’ lived in a ‘black’ part of town. I grew up in a border
state in the fifties, where it was “N** this” and “N**” that. I remember when Kennedy integrated the federal Civil Service, and the bitter joke among white civil servants of my acquaintance was, “Work with ‘great viggah’ or be replaced by a ______.” (I’m sure you can fill in the blank.)

Hell, I didn’t even think Obama would make it; I thought he’d be cut down, like Dr. King. Now, though, I’ll leave a little room for hope. Hope that a country that could do such a big thing, after all this time, as elect a black man president, can maybe do the other big
things we’re all being called upon to do, to repair the heartbreaking devastation of the Bush years.

The Washington Post comments on the relevance of grassroots power to Obama’s power:

No president has begun his term with so broad a wave of public confidence — 78 percent approval in the most recent Gallup poll. There are precedents for single-party control of the White House and Congress, but the early signs suggest that House and Senate Democrats will be far more united in loyalty to Obama than their counterparts were to President Jimmy Carter. The Republican opposition, by contrast, appears to be as fractured as at any time since Barry Goldwater’s landslide defeat in 1964. If Obama keeps the loyalty of the online social networks he used to win election, with unprecedented success in fundraising and recruiting, his White House could be the first to harness a meaningful grass-roots movement as an ongoing tool of governance.

We can be happy, we can rejoice, we can express optimism, and we need not be ashamed. Our nation did well in choosing Barack Obama to be president. No better first step toward recovery was possible. The office will chafe at him, its burden will sap his strength, but with the public’s wind at his back, he is positioned to and actually interested in giving us what we want. If we waver and worry about reforming health care, we may not get it. If we stammer and stutter about leaving Iraq, we may not get out. If we cannot stalwartly push for a nation powered by clean, renewable energy, our skies will darken.

It is not for me to say what will come of Barack Obama’s presidency. It is for all of us to remember that this is no childish nation in need of a daddy. This is a representative democracy, and our leaders follow us. Can we lead?

I do not know if we will, but I believe that, yes, we can.

-jb

Who do you mean “we,” white man?

Jan 19, 2009 in Politics

In his defense, Christopher Hitchens has been on the record against torture and war crimes, not hesitating to speak out when Abu Ghraib first came to light.

Continuing his discourse on torture policy, Hitchens then claimed that the Bush administration’s commitment to harsh interrogation techniques, which he considers torture, derived from a desire among Americans for a more “ruthless” government. “It has to be admitted by every American that in the majority after the 9/11 Commission, people wanted an administration that was much more ruthless than the one they’d had on September the 10th,” he said.

“I know something for a sure thing,” Hitchens continued. “The demand for torture and other methods I would describe as illegal, the demand to go outside the Geneva conventions — all this came from below. What everyone wants to say is this came from a small clique around the vice-president. It’s not educational. It doesn’t enlighten anyone to behave as if that were true. This is our society wanting and demanding harsh measures.” Therefore, he went on, the demand for prosecution or other measures against Bush administration officials would likewise have to come from below, via the grassroots. “Otherwise it’s just vengeful, I suppose, and partisan.”

However, I’m quite sure Hitchens has an overstated view of how many Americans supported torture, given the half decade he spent chumming around with rightwingers after 9/11. Nowadays Hitchens is too smart to be caught dead with a Republican or saying anything to support Bush, but for quite a long time there he was an avid defender of Bush and the Iraq invasion. And while Americans certainly expected a forceful response to 9/11, something that might have involved, ohidunno, capturing or killing Osama bin Laden, without the rightwingers widespread torture would not have been possible.

Looking at this Pew Research poll, the only way you get a majority of Americans supporting torture is by adding those who believe it is justified “rarely.” I’m sorry, but “rarely” had nothing to do with Bush administration policy. This is simply people who believe that there may be some kind of outlandish scenario out of “24” where you might want to put pressure on a baddie to find where that “ticking bomb” is, a rare to nonexistent scenario that Christopher Hitchens’ rightwinger pals would have us believe was taking place every single day in Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo.

Looking at this Christian Science Monitor poll taken two months after 9/11, you find only 32% of Americans supported the idea of torture. Obviously loyal Republicanism boosted those numbers after it turned out Bush was doing it, not passion.

The truth is that torture as a concept and practice does exist in the minds of many Americans, and it was echoed by the Bush administration, then reverberated by the Republican party into a bedrock of their platform.

-jb

“President Bush has protected us since 9/11!”

Jan 19, 2009 in Uncategorized

So why did the clock start on 9/11 and not before that? IOKIYAR??

-mg

Christ, build the wind farm already.

Jan 18, 2009 in Uncategorized

It was previously argued by some of the residents in and around the Cape Cod vicinity that the proposed wind farm would be a detriment to local wildlife habitat. The most recent report by the Department of the Interior disagrees with that assessment saying that the 24 square mile wind farm would pose little to no risk to local fish and game. Needless to say, Cape Cod residents are ignoring the DOI study and have quickly diverted their attention to their final and weakest argument yet; that the wind farm would spoil the view of their seaside homes and drive down property values.

The people of Cape Cod have a chance to show that they are willing to make a sacrifice (a small one at that, IMO) to help do their part in moving towards alternate forms electricity production. And considering that the state of Massachusetts produces none to little of its own power it would set an example for other coastal regions with similar reservations. I don’t live there and so therefore I am not really part of the critical debate but I think that it needs to be pointed out that the environmental damage caused by coal mining in West Virginia (the primary source of Cape Code energy) is exponentially larger and quantifiable than the mere inconvenience of seeing a tiny windmill on the horizon from your backyard.

-mg

Chemical Weapons: Uncle Sam Edition.

Jan 16, 2009 in Uncategorized

And for what?

-mg

Reality check on Iraq, GOP counter-Obama strategy.

Jan 16, 2009 in Barack Obama, Iraq, Politics

The Republicans are pretending Bush is exiting office victorious in Iraq, not to speed up an exit (obviously) but to go after Obama. Sullivan puts it together:

The following is not really in dispute by anyone. There are still well over 130,000 American troops occupying Iraq. We have no secure idea what will happen when they leave. We have as yet no reliable integration of Sunnis into the largely Shiite Iraqi military. We have not seen what will transpire after the looming regional elections. Terror attacks continue in ways that remain routine for Iraq but that are unimaginable in any other country. Critical issues like Kirkuk remain unmanaged. The very close alliance between Baghdad and Tehran goes unmentioned by Krauthammer but remains a serious question for the future.

The possibility, in short, that Iraq has lurched, via hundreds of thousands of deaths and trillions of American dollars, from an unstable, fractious tyranny hostile to Iran to an unstable, fractious, failed state friendly to Iran is a real one. The possibility that we are in a lull before another hot phase of a civil war that goes back centuries is an equally real one. To pretend that all is peachy, that the war is “all but over”, and that the practical impossibility of Obama being able to extract himself and us from the catastrophe of the Iraq occupation is proof of vindication for Bush is so cynical it’s jaw-dropping.

It’s an attempt to set up the president-elect so that the disaster Bush created can soon be blamed on the man who thought it was a bad idea in the first place. It’s of a piece with the looming Republican plan to assail Obama for massive spending after the GOP increased government spending for eight years at a pace not seen since the 1930s.

This really shouldn’t surprise anybody: Republicans are just an opposition party. They have no real plan or ability to govern effectively, they just know how to strategically yammer in order to convince others of the fantasy world they live in.

Iraq is still a world of shit. If it remains so and we stay, Republicans have something to say. If it remains so and we leave, Republicans have something to say. Because that’s all that matters to them: talking.

-jb

Unbelievable.

Jan 15, 2009 in Uncategorized

Temperature this morning on my way to work: -27.

-mg

A series of reassurances.

Jan 15, 2009 in Politics

It’s rarely hard to give the right answer if you’re honest.

Asked just minutes into his confirmation hearings whether waterboarding qualified as torture, Holder was unequivocal in his response.

“If you look at the history of the use of that technique used by the Khmer Rouge, used in the inquisition, used by the Japanese and prosecuted by us as war crimes, we prosecuted our own soldiers in Vietnam, I agree with you, Mr. Chairman, waterboarding is torture,” said the former deputy Attorney General.

Holder and Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy subsequently went through a checklist of sorts as to where the legal limits of interrogation measures stood.

Would other counties have the authority to torture captured U.S. citizens if they deemed it a national security threat?

“No, they would not,” replied Holder. “It would violate the international obligations that I think all civilized nations have agreed to, the Geneva Conventions.”

Could the president, if need be, use his authority as commander in chief to override acts that prohibit illegal interrogation practices or torture?

“No one is above the law,” said Holder. “The president has a constitutional obligation to faithfully executive the laws of the United States. There are obligations that we have as a result of treaties we have signed and obligations to the Constitution.”

Leahy and Holder broached other topics as well, from Second Amendment rights (Holder said he recognizes the right to bear arms) to a federal shield law protecting reporters from being forced to divulge their sources (Holder favors a “carefully crafted” one). But the sequence on torture stood out the most. Leahy, for one, noted that former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales never gave a “satisfactory answer” on the topic when he was being confirmed.

Of course not. Gonzales was playing Congress, in cahoots with Bush, Cheney, and the rest of the Wonderfucks. Everybody knew it, but by Jove Republicans were behind him 100%.

It will remain to be seen whether Eric Holder will methodically and objectively follow the law to its logical conclusion (a “political witch-hunt” in Republican vocabulary). But he has undoubtedly put words to the standards which he must be hew out of Bush’s warped DoJ.

-jb

Can we pay for all these hamburgers?

Jan 15, 2009 in Economy

Our position isn’t as dire as other nations might be. This was a helpful article:

So what’s the moral of the story? The Obama administration should not focus on debt reduction now, which could actually undermine the prospects for a recovery in the real economy. With households and businesses trying to spend less and save more, the federal government must spend more and save less — that is, borrow more — in order to prevent a self-feeding downward spiral in economic activity. Once the recession is over, getting our debt burdens down will hinge on Obama’s and Congress’s willingness to confront the looming cost of Social Security and Medicare benefits for the aging U.S. population.
ad_icon

The chances of default remain pretty remote. But remote does not mean impossible. The best way to keep those chances remote is for policymakers to vow to get the deficit down once the recession is over — and mean it.

Sometimes I wonder, what would it be like if we had a balanced budget every year and a surplus as massive as our deficit? Yes, I can limp along with some serious debts that I pay down over time, but isn’t it better to have money than to owe money?

I know, I’m just a layman fool, but then again we were telling everybody this economic reckoning was coming while the serious men of Wall Street were pillaging the country blind to pay for limos, hookers and blow.

-jb

Electricity will make cars go, down the road.

Jan 15, 2009 in Energy

Good news: Lots of people working on electric vehicles, and plenty of models on display at car shows.

General Motors set the electrification revolution in motion two years ago by introducing the Chevy Volt Concept car to a packed house at the 2007 North American Auto Show here in Detroit. You know, or at least have heard of, the Volt. It’s the car powered solely by electricity.

Fast-forward to the 2009 Detroit Auto Show and just about every automaker is unveiling an electric vehicle in one form or another.

Semi-good news:

Why? Partly because it is the right thing to do eco-wise, but mostly because government overseers are pushing car builders into it with the fervor of a hyena fighting for meat at a fresh kill.

Like hybrids before them, electric vehicles will most certainly be unprofitable at the outset. Ford Motor Chairman Bill Ford believes a structured government energy policy will make or break the EV. “You could do it with a combination of a gas tax or other tax incentives on these new vehicles, or maybe a recycling program that would incentivize people to give up their old cars and invest in the new technology,” He said.

Fortunately, we have a government in place willing to do this.

Unfortunately, we’ve got a recession which has left people broke while reducing gas prices.

Buyers are feeling too squeezed by the economy and just are no longer willing to pay a premium for cars like the Prius, says Jon Kinkov, managing editor of autos for Consumer Reports. Americans are fickle and “there won’t be a wholesale rush” on hybrids unless their prices come down and gas prices go back up.

Detroit says it’s taking sticker shock into account. Sue Cischke, Ford Motor Co.’s group vice president of sustainability, environment and safety engineering, acknowledges that hybrids and electric vehicles need to be made more affordable. As technology evolves, she insists, and more of these cars roll out of showrooms and are produced on a bigger scale, prices will begin to come down. Exactly when that will happen is unclear.

Fortunately, there are crafty bastards out there who aren’t even close to giving up:

FAREED ZAKARIA: What’s the idea of Better Place?
SHAI AGASSI: We looked at the problem of transport from a very different perspective than the automotive sector has in the past. They’ve all looked at it from the perspective of how to build the car. We looked at it from the perspective of how to run an entire country without oil. You’ve got to put the infrastructure ahead of the cars. In our case, the infrastructure is a combination of a massive amount of charge spots and the ability to switch batteries in less time than it takes you to fill up with gasoline.

But by building the infrastructure before you have electric cars on the road, aren’t you putting the cart before the horse?
We wouldn’t build the infrastructure if we didn’t have a massive carmaker to build cars. Renault-Nissan is the first to build the cars for this infrastructure, and we’ve coordinated so our infrastructure will be in place when their cars hit the market.
Click Me! Quantcast

How else have you altered the old transportation model?

The second [change we decided on] is that the car and the battery, ownershipwise, have to be separated.

Why is that?
You never want to be the guy who bought the previous [year’s] battery. We say, you never buy the battery. What you buy is the car. The third change is in the business model. You buy the commute by miles, and commute miles include the battery, the electricity, access to the network and battery-switching. You [sign up for] a contract on a per-mile basis, and you get a rebate based on the length of your contract. That makes the electric car cheaper to acquire than the gasoline counterpart.

At this stage, the gas-electric hybrid will be the best option for people in the sparse Midwest, but this Agassi fellow is right to concentrate on developing the pure electric market in urban megalopolises.

Do we need to wait for the best battery? We didn’t wait for the best chip technology to start the PC revolution, and we didn’t wait for the best communications chip to start the cell-phone revolution.

True. It took the iPhone to turn the masses onto smartphones, but we wouldn’t have it without the Treo and the Blackberry.

Brought to you via the government-created Internet.

-jb

The scoop on 3D movies-

Jan 14, 2009 in Uncategorized

You need to see them, big time. I don’t know how many capable screens Iowa has, but we’ve got several near me and I’ve seen Nightmare Before Christmas, Meet the Robinsons, Beowulf, and that U2 concert film in 3d. My verdict: Old movies re-jiggered to look 3d, meh. CGI movies rendered in 3d, superb. Live action concerts filmed in 3d, mind-blowing. I hope to see My Bloody Valentine 3d this weekend…not because it’s supposed to be a very good movie, but because it has gore and rampant nudity in 3d.

This must be observed and appraised, you see. Most dispassionately.

Apparently the financials of 3d aren’t looking very good for Hollywood, but they’ve invested so much they kind of have to go forward, and 3d television sets that don’t require glasses are on the way to living rooms. I think anybody who gets a load of the new 3d will be an instant fan, and all that talk of those old days of red/blue tomfoolery will be obliterated. This is the next level.

Or, we can finally say with meaning, the next dimension.

-jb

Things come full circle.

Jan 14, 2009 in Clueless Conservatives

Sullivan quotes this Dreher guy I don’t read unless Sullivan quotes him, but it’s a goodie:

In his latest video dispatch from the war zone in southern Israel, Joe the Plumber accuses an Israeli journalist of not being pro-Israeli. If I were a liberal now, I’d be paying cash money to keep this asinine experiment keepin’ on.

McCain can’t really be blamed. “Joe the Plumber” is today’s GOP. He was against Obama but his real life story indicated Obama would be better for him than McCain. Now he reveals the how radical the GOP has become on Israel, a hyper-Likudnik who has no problem going all McCarthy on Israelis. Would any Republican listen to a foreigner tell him he wasn’t pro-US enough? Of course not. And now, while engaging in a moronic publicity stunt that will not produce anything but the bleating of a rightwinger confirming his own outrageous prejudices, he proceeds to lecture “the media.” It’s filled with the same stupendous know-nothing arrogance of Sarah Palin.

Squeamish bags of anger and soundbites, these fellas. McCain called on the wingers, and boy did they deliver.

-jb

p.s. Mega-lulz go to this trinket from a commenter on Michelle Malkin’s site: “I’d rather listen to Joe than any professional reporter I’ve ever seen.”

“And, oh, I could go on…”

Jan 13, 2009 in Uncategorized

It is a widely known fact that being a modern Republican requires one to be a stranger to logic, paranoid and prone to the belief in conspiracy theories, and lack basic reading comprehension skills. Red State pin-up girl Sarah Palin proves this in a recent letter to the editor of the Anchorage News Daily.

Subject: More “mistakes”?

Hello Mr. Doyle and Mr. Dougherty!

Please, say it aint so: did you really allow a story to run in your paper today claiming Levi Johnston is a high school drop out? Did I read that right?

And did you really print a story last week suggesting I had any connection with Sherry Johnston’s activities in the past six months or so and you won’t correct the story? Did I read that right?

And is your paper really still pursuing the sensational lie that I am not Trig’s mother? Is it true you have a reporter still bothering my state office, my very busy doctor (who’s already set the record straight for you), and the school district, in pursuit of your ridiculous conspiracy?

And, oh, I could go on…

The editor replies to the comely Mrs. Palin.

-mg

I love Europe! *ducks*

Jan 13, 2009 in Culture

One must wonder how strange it would be for many Americans to imagine an Italian afraid to say, “I love America!” for fear of seeming not pro-Italian enough. Verboten on the right is anybody who can say, “Actually, Europe is a wonderful place to live, I’ve spent quite a bit of time there, amazing people…”

Well, I lived in Austria for nearly a year during college, and I can say Europe is a wonderful place to live, I’ve spent quite a bit of time there, and the people are amazing.

-jb

We are starving for a fight.

Jan 12, 2009 in Uncategorized

Bring it on, you bastards!

-jb

What Obama can do on Israel.

Jan 12, 2009 in Barack Obama, Middle East

It’s much easier to suggest what Obama can do. On the other hand, predicting what he will do,
when it comes to Israel/Palestine, is something best practiced with low expectations. We shall see, but i’m guessing in eight years Israel will still have settlements in the West Bank, Palestinians will still keep picking
at them with bombs and rockets, etc. Can Obama solve this intractable issue? He would need to be The One, in which case he could re-write the Old Testament to leave in the stories about the serpent and the apple and Noah, Moses, Jonah and the big fish, cities being wiped out, and leave out the
stories about Israel being the fucking promised land.

Of course, if the Bible truly had been the word of God, it would have an eleventh commandment: LEAVE YOUR HOLY BOOKS OUT OF LAND DEALS.

As it is, Bush has actually spoken a few blunt truths about the situation (every turd has a few peanuts). For a minute there, Ariel Sharon was doing the Nixon in China routine and I honestly thought a corner was being turned. Then God did speak and smote Sharon, so, you know. You know I’m kidding, at
least.

What I think Obama can do is keep the good will of Israelis in talks while suggesting greater openness and perhaps reconstruction aid in Palestine, and expedited withdrawal from all settlements in the West Bank. Yes, many hate Israel because it is an infidel nation to some extent, but Israelis simply cannot argue defense while populating the West Bank forcibly. Pay off the settlers, pay off the Palestinians, friggin’ “bail out” the whole mess. How many Palestinians do we have to put on the bankroll to get peace? Tell me
what that number is, and it may sound doable. Maybe Obama wouldn’t say no.

If we’d spent a trillion on Palestine and Israel, we’d have made a lot more progress than we did invading Iraq.

No? Do tell.

I expect Obama to simply be methodical and not relent on pushing for an end. I think you’re going to see a lot more persuasive speeches from the bully pulpit, and I expect Obama to move the debate forward. I expect that eventually Hamas can be voted out of office, and centrists will be able to get their voices out.

Or maybe “You Don’t Mess With The Zohan!” circulates the Muslim world on burned DVDs and people realize a future where Israelis and Palestinians get it on and make peace babies. It may have everything to do with the democratization of media, and the available information young Muslims in the world grow up with today. Most of these countries have languished in the Dark Ages for a long time, and now the Information Age is preceding their Industrial Age. Internal debate among Muslim countries is just getting off the ground.

Prediction: Youtube brings peace to the Middle East and Obama gets credit since he was the grassroots small-d democracy candidate all along.

-jb

Smart move from Honda.

Jan 11, 2009 in Energy

They spent a long time being angry at Toyota for running away with the hybrid market, and thought that slapping “hybrid” on a car that didn’t get better mileage would be their salvation, but Honda finally put in the work and produced a model that is at $20K not only cheaper than a Prius, but more than competitive and with a lil’ bit o’ vroom to it, the Insight.

Eco Assist uses a dashboard display and speedometer backlighting that effectively turn hypermiling — the fine art of maximizing fuel efficiency — into a videogame that coaches you on your driving style. There’s also an Econ Mode that decreases throttle sensitivity, reduces air-conditioning demand and pulls a few other under-hood tricks to maximize fuel efficiency.

During a day behind the wheel last month, we managed an impressive 42.4 mpg without even trying. When we pushed the Econ Mode button and used Eco Assist to mind our hypermiling P’s and Q’s, the Insight returned an amazing 65.6 mpg. That’s on par with the best figures we’ve seen from the Prius.

The irony is the Insight is the first hybrid with the driving dynamics that might encourage you to ignore your inner environmentalist and just have fun. While we didn’t drag race a Prius, our seat-of-the-pants impression is the Insight has snappier acceleration, not to mention more responsive steering, better brakes and superior handling.

Alright, gentlemen, good move but let’s get moving on those plug-in hybrids, right?

-jb

Early birds seek worm.

Jan 11, 2009 in Clueless Conservatives, Politics

Getting warmed up for Obama’s term, the Republican plan to pretend the last eight years wasn’t their fault proceeds to Step III sub-maxim B., which reads, “We’re fiscal conservatives because we vote against Democrat spending.”

GOP lawmakers didn’t seem to mind enjoying the fruits of government largesse for the past eight years while one of their own was in the White House. Now they’re struggling to regain footing at a time of economic rout, a record $1.2 trillion budget deficit and an incoming Democratic president claiming a mandate for change.

It might not be the best time for running against more government spending. But that hasn’t stopped Republicans from casting themselves as protectors of the public purse, striving for relevancy as Congress tackles President-elect Barack Obama’s stimulus legislation.

“Congress cannot keep writing checks and simply pass IOUs to our children and grandchildren,” says Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas. Asks House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio: “How much debt are we going to pile on future generations?”

Well, his answer is, “A whole lot, as long as it’s shit we Republicans dream up.” George W. Bush doubled the deficit and remains a hero to John Boehner.

It’s very simple: they rarely ever mean a word they say. Republicans will spend the next three to four decades telling us that George W. Bush was truly one of history’s great presidents, and if they gain any foothold with the populace in that time, they will snatch it up eagerly. While Obama cleans up Bush’s mess, every penny spent will be matched by some rightwinger moaning about his taxes. If the economy takes off again, they will only get louder, demanding as in 2000 that anything that even looks like surplus justifies a tax cut (hint: everything justifies a tax cut!).

As I previously posted, these are the last dregs of Reaganism and they proved to us they didn’t know how to run the country. Consider the source.

-jb

Beautiful evisceration of Reaganism in decline.

Jan 11, 2009 in Barack Obama, Clueless Conservatives, Politics

Of course, I subscribe to the theory that Reaganism wasn’t particularly good in the ’80s, and simply laid the ground for today’s collapse. But for those who clung to their saddles and thought they only had to reach Bush Country to see their smiling hero’s promised land realized, the mirage has utterly dematerialized.

In that sense, then. the troubles of Republicanism now and of the Tories in the last 15 years, were built upon their previous successes. The difficulty is that the second (or third) generation is rarely as talented or adaptable as the trailblazers who won power in the first place. Instead of finding fresh ideas and solutions, they inherit positions and prejudices that, because they worked once before, are assumed to be eternal truths rather than particular answers to particular problems at a particular time.

Being a Republican politician, for a brief time, operated via a model archetype, one that virtually anybody could inhabit and succeed in, as long as they could maintain fealty to party.

Calcification is a threat to any movement, but I think people on the left know we’re partly defined by our adaptability to reality. Some old liberals are still bomb throwers but modern liberals are out there building consensus and renewing touch with all the terrific minds out there in the grassroots, people who are liberal in their policies but didn’t feel connected to the Democrats. That doesn’t mean we have to spare smackdowns on blatant propagandists…after all, people enjoy seeing a hoisted petard.

Attempts to rely on Obamism, should Obama have a successful two terms, after he leaves office are similarly shortsighted. If Obama has an idea, it’s about pragmatics connected to an idea of justice for all. It can get you in trouble with idealists, and it can do serious damage if you don’t react seriously, but for Obama it is about the issues: when are we going to be out of Iraq? When will we get health care reform? When can we see the Department of Justice operating by the book and getting some clean prosecutions of those in the Bush administration (an answer is given here, which I believe elevates the regard for procedure and patience)?

Obama’s successors will simply need to remember, “It’s not about Obama, it’s about the Constitution.” “It’s not about Obama, it’s about the rule of law.” “It’s not about Obama, it’s about having a healthy middle class (a liberal invention).” Et cetera ad infinitum. No matter what he achieves or fails to achieve in the next eight years, those principles will be what endures.

Republicans have turned Reagan into a caricature and given us caricature policies. We live in subtle times, and Republicans would do well to regard the words of their more nuanced thinkers.

-jb

GOP: Personality politics is all they got left.

Jan 11, 2009 in Politics

So they really hate Al Franken, because he’s spent so many years mocking them (effectively). He wrote a book that demonstrated how massively full of shit Rush Limbaugh is, after all, and then did the same thing to Bill O’Reilly, so he’s A VERY BAD MAN. That’s attacking the God and Baby Jesus of the Republican Party, Al. You had to see it coming.

He keeps making them sad though.

“The struggle for the campaign was always trying to communicate that he was a serious guy, and in some ways I think they toned him down almost too much, tried to be almost too serious,” he explained. “You would see local TV anchors giving him questions that were designed to give him an opportunity for a humorous response. He would give a very serious, wonkish policy response.”

As a listener of Al’s radio show on Air America through his whole stretch, I knew quite well that Al has a very serious and capable mind. His humor is as often subtle as it is crass, and is steeped in Jewish Americana. He really does have an affinity for the people, especially Minnesotans. It’s very frustrating to Bill O’Reilly fans that he’s considered anything other than a public menace for besmirching Bill’s good name, but I see Franken keeping his seat and proving himself in office.

-jb

Holy Shit.

Jan 10, 2009 in Uncategorized

Cost of a CT scan at Trinity Medical in Fort Dodge, IA: $1,100

-mg

Librul hypocrisy! Cathy Griffin Edition.

Jan 09, 2009 in Uncategorized

Cathy Griffin mugging for the cameras on New Years Eve is the same as sending Joe “Not A Plumber” Wurzelbacher to report on Gaza:

As to the media hounds now braying* at the idea of hiring celebrities for the sake of publicity, which network was it that hired foul-mouthed entertainer with no anchoring experience Kathy Griffin to co-anchor its New Year’s Eve coverage? Oh, yeah: CNN. Griffin teamed up with CNN star Anderson Cooper, whose resume includes stints as a child model, fill-in host for Live with Regis and Kelly, and reality show, “The Mole.”

Toni Morrison and Sir William Golding were CNN’s first choices but sadly they were both unavailable.

-mg

*are shrieking and braying the only verbs wingnut bloggers are able to employ when deriding the statements of others? Besides, it’s clunky. “Hounds” don’t bray.

Sarah Palin: Victim.

Jan 09, 2009 in Uncategorized

More right wing victimology. It’s just so unfair!

-mg