Saturday, January 05, 2008

Saturday What I Found On YouTube Post

Soulsville, USA

Friday, January 04, 2008

Pull the String...

...and hear Rudy speak.
Well, Technically, It Wasn't a Fire

"I wonder if there's a ballgame on..."

Paul Krugman posts from NOLA, where he's attending an economic conference:

Recently Glenn Greenwald wrote a piece critical of Peggy Noonan, in the course of which he quoted a 2004 Noonan column praising George W. Bush:
Mr. Bush is the triumph of the seemingly average American man. He’s normal. He thinks in a sort of common-sense way. He speaks the language of business and sports and politics. You know him. He’s not exotic. But if there’s a fire on the block, he’ll run out and help. He’ll help direct the rig to the right house and count the kids coming out and say, "Where’s Sally?"

What Greenwald doesn’t point out is that a year later there really was a fire on the block -- or, literally, a flood in New Orleans. And Bush didn’t run out and help -- in fact, his aides had to make a special DVD of horrifying clips from TV news to get his attention. And what he said when he finally made an appearance wasn’t "Where’s Sally?" -- it was "Brownie, you’re doing a heck of a job."

Yeah, I suppose Shrub was the "daddy" candidate/president--the deadbeat dad.
A Soldier's Story

I strongly encourage anyone who has the time to read this in its entirety--the final post of a soldier/blogger who was killed yesterday in Iraq.
Southern Strategy Inversion

Al Giordano, who, as usual, was right on the money forecasting the outcome in Iowa, makes a hell of an observation:

Mark Penn and other Clinton campaign operatives have tried to spin Obama as no more than another Gary Hart, Bill Bradley or Howard Dean -- flash-in-the-pan candidates that appealed to college educated white liberals, gained early attention and support, but were crushed under the weight of rank-and-file working class Democrat votes. This is the first time in US history that a national electoral coalition is likely between college-educated white liberals together with a likely record turnout of African-Americans (something Jesse Jackson achieved briefly in 1988 in his Michigan caucus victory, but who split the southern states with Al Gore of Tennessee). Outside the sphere of electoral politics, that alliance was the basis for the Civil Rights coalitions of the ’50s and ’60s. It’s back by popular demand and now in the electoral arena.


For as long as I can remember, "smart" people like Mudcat Saunders have made their "reputations" (and presumably a ton of money) insisting that "serious" Democratic candidates need to appeal to the "Bubba" vote, usually by poking a stick in the figurative eye of a traditional Democratic constituent bloc. Interestingly, this tactic has NEVER worked (I'm pretty sure Bill Clinton would've been elected regardless of his Sister Souljah and Ricky Ray Rector moments); nonetheless it's become a modern myth perpetuated by punditry.

I mean, geez--it's not like Democratic candidates have done much with Mudcat's "advice," (as if Bubba voters would EVER show initiative and buck the trend...c'mon, they're classic followers):

Deputy: What the hell is this? Troublemakers?
Cat Man: You name it - I'll throw rocks at it, Sheriff.

With the proper outlook and strategy, progressives can make SIGNIFICANT Deep South inroads. After all, we managed to accomplish quite a bit during the Civil Rights Movement.
Because I Coundn't NOT Pay Attention

As noted below, this election cycle has me less inspired and more just hoping for a nominee for whom I don't have to hold my nose while voting.'s just round one, but two out of the three big winners on the Democratic side would suit me fine, and, to be truthful, it's not like I hate or despise Hillary Clinton, but I DO think the DLC is most definitely part of the problem.

I guess it remains to be seen how Obama will match his superb rhetoric with his actual for Edwards, I was very impressed by him in 2004; his progressive campaign this time around is probably as much necessity as choice: with Clinton as the representative of the DLC and Obama now officially the rock star of this election cycle, the left lane is the only one still open.

On the, ahem, other side, well--Tristero urges us to beware the Ides of Huckabee...and while I could only stomach so much of Chuck Norris in the background, I was at least mildly relieved that "double the Guantanamo" and "subject, verb, 9/11" (sometimes skipping subject and verb) didn't muster much enthusiasm.

Still, I was shocked by just how plastic Mitt seemed--oh, sure, I knew/know he's as phoney as a three dollar bill, but watching his taped concession (petulantly delivered simultaneously with Huckabee--that'll hurt him)...geez: it was like watching a really, REALLY bad Reagan impersonator, but even more plastic. Almost as if he wasn't actually born, but instead refined from a petroleum-based polymer extrusion process and then either inflated or molded into shape.

Hydrophobic skin and hair

Oh, and one other thing: someone needs to sit Chris Matthews down and tell him he's NOT amusing.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Da Caucus

I haven't posted anything about Iowa, because...well, my "stand" should be pretty obvious in the sense that it's my intention to vote for the nominee of a certain political party, with more or less enthusiasm, regardless of who eventually captures it.

That said, I'll at least stay awake long enough for the results, unlike a certain nitwit in Washington.

And...even at my most cynical, I try to reserve a smidgen of hope that eventually the nation will wake up and realize that government can and does accomplish quite a bit, and could do even more if it's not hijacked by demagogic thugs...or dismissed by people who should know better, but, unbelievably, don't (or refuse to even comprehend).

Well, off to, as a friend of mine used to put it so well, "monitor communications,"--a fancy way of saying "watch the teevee."
So Much for Local Control

Some States' Rights are more equal than others, I guess.

Oh, speaking of "state": George W. Bush is now on record as preferring the government of Iraq (that is, if you can dignify it with the term) over US soldiers. Nice to know that's how you stand, George.
A Loon's Worth of Punditry

Is worth less than a loonie--a LOT less--these days.
The Statue of Liberty Rendition

A report from the Dark Side.
Breaking News

Recent reports suggest that Congress might possess at least a rudimentary backbone-like structure after all. However, it remains to be seen whether it will evolove into an actual vertebral column.
Heeeere's Rudy!

The GOP tradition of trying shamelessly and needlessly scare the shit out of people as an electoral tactics continues. File this with, oh, Reagan's bear-in-the-woods, George H.W. (stands for "wimp") Bush's Willie Horton-wants-to-rape-your-daughter (and Mike Dukakis'll give him a weekend furlough to do it), or even the laughable Shrub-Cheney wolves ad of 2004.

Yer GOP--hiding under the bed or in the basement since adopting the Southern Strategy.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

First, Burn the Documents...

If George Bush had been around in 1789 1787

...and then we'll destroy the videotapes.
In Casablanca Mesopotamia, Human Life is Cheap

In what's almost certainly an extremely conservative count, some 16,000 Iraqi civilians went to their eternal, um, reward in 2007.

Not that your wingnut faction is really all that concerned about Iraqis anyway...
Supersizing to Oblivion

Jared Diamond has an op-ed in today's Times about the "cruel hoax" of promising, explicitly or not, first-world consumption levels/standards of living to the other 80 percent or so of people presently living on the planet.

That said, Diamond also notes that many aspects and elements of "first-world" consumption, particularly here in the United States, provide no genuine net benefit, but instead, are little more than a giant middle finger to anyone and everyone else (for instance, in my mind, driving a Hummer).

Americans might object: there is no way we would sacrifice our living standards for the benefit of people in the rest of the world. Nevertheless, whether we get there willingly or not, we shall soon have lower consumption rates, because our present rates are unsustainable.

Real sacrifice wouldn’t be required, however, because living standards are not tightly coupled to consumption rates. Much American consumption is wasteful and contributes little or nothing to quality of life. For example, per capita oil consumption in Western Europe is about half of ours, yet Western Europe’s standard of living is higher by any reasonable criterion, including life expectancy, health, infant mortality, access to medical care, financial security after retirement, vacation time, quality of public schools and support for the arts. Ask yourself whether Americans’ wasteful use of gasoline contributes positively to any of those measures.

If you've got the time, by all means read the entire essay.
Repeated as Farce

Mitt channels his inner Tricky Dick:

Republican Mitt Romney said Wednesday that if elected president he and his wife will not embarrass the nation by their conduct in the White House as happened in "the Clinton years."

President Richard Nixon: [ walks over to portrait of JFK ] You! Kennedy. You looked so good all the time. They're gonna find out about you, too. The president! Having sex with women within these very walls. That never happened when Dick Nixon was in the White House! Never! Never! Never!..

[ flashback to Pat writing in her diary ]

Pat Nixon: "Never.. never.. never.. never.. never.. never." [ sips drink, gains control of herself ] "

Oh, and stuff like this evidently fails to, no pun intended, arouse Mitt's, um, ire in the slightest.

Monday, December 31, 2007

Oil Dick

Mission Accomplished:

Oil prices ended the year near $96 a barrel, or 57 percent higher than where they began, and analysts expect rising demand and geopolitical instability to keep upward pressure on energy costs early in 2008.

Oh, but pity the poor oil companies, who "only" earned $50.3 billion dollars in the first three quarters of last year. Hell, I'm surprised Dick doesn't offer them a bailout package.

Then again, maybe he's too busy counting the profits on his Halliburton options, which rose in value some 3000% over the last couple of years (h/t Suspect Device for the link--scroll down to number 2)...

On the bright side, 2008 promises to bring an end to the Bush administration, which can't come soon enough. Of course, if there was any real justice, 2008 would see the conviction and imprisonment of most of the administration...but I'll settle at this point for their unlamented and permanent exit from the political stage.

Have a Happy New Year, y'all.