Thursday, April 30, 2009

Karl's Strategy Is In Trouble

Nate Silver on self identification:

Republican party identification, which had already been at fairly low levels, in fact appears to have slumped further since Inauguration Day, although the gains are being had not among Democrats but by voters who identify themselves as independent.

Several polls conducted within the last week have attracted attention for their notably low levels of self-reported Republican voters. In particular, ABC/WaPo reported the number of Republicans as 21 percent, CBS/NYT at 20 percent, NBC/WSJ also at 20 percent (not counting "leaners"), and Pew at 22 percent.
What makes this so delicious to a guy like me is that Karl Rove famously won the presidency for George W. Bush by polarizing the voters whenever possible. His reasoning was that if the pool is closely divided along party lines, all you have to do is energize the normally disenfranchised base to come out and vote, and there's your majority. This turns out to be a much smarter short term strategy than long term.

Here's the fallout. After years of partisan sniping from both sides, people have come to distrust the bases and are fleeing back to the middle, which is sensibly the force which should be running the country anyway. It's how the founding fathers wanted it. And after 15 years of crazy ranting it's going to be a long time before ideologues are handed the reins of power again. Probably twice as long before right-wing ideologues get them. President Palin still looms on the horizon, but she's going to be as old as Helen Thomas if it happens.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Dick Morris Solves Everything

So if voters differ so fundamentally with the president on the very essence of his program, why do they accord him high ratings? They are like the recently married bride who took her vows 100 days ago. It would be a disaster for her life if she decides that she really doesn’t like her husband. But she keeps noticing things about him that she can’t stand. It will be a while before she walks out the door or even comes to terms with her own doubts, but it is probably inevitable that she will.
Of course, that's why the Republican Party is doing so poorly nowadays... THE REST OF THE COUNTRY is in denial about how much they agree with 'em! Don't change, you guys, or we won't like you when we finally come around.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

FoxTV is Not Fox News, People

Wednesday night President Obama is giving another primetime news conference, which will be carried on every major network, except Fox. Fox's reasoning?

Fox's sister networks, Fox News Channel and the Fox Business Network, will air the press conference in its entirety. Fox will be alerting viewers with an onscreen graphic at the top of the 8:00 PM (ET) hour that the press conference is available on Fox News Channel and the Fox Business Network.
To me, this seems reasonable. For one thing, the other networks lose that timeslot every week to LIE TO ME, Fox's hour-long drama. Fox has the most to lose by pre-empting it. And while I myself don't have cable (the only TV I've watched in the last 5 days was the Doctor Who easter special, which I downloaded, and half of THE KILLER ELITE on ThisTV) I know that most Americans do have it. So the point is, if I want to watch the Obama press conference I got allllllll kinds of choices of how. Let Fox sell their commercials.

I bet the combined Obaba Obama (I think I've got a slight head cold) ratings beat them anyway.

The Specter Of A Supermajority

With the polling suggesting that not more than 25% of Americans want to be known as Republicans, it's no surprise that Arlen Specter has switched to the Democrats. After all, he wasn't that liked by his former party. So with him a Democrat, there are only two ways to avoid a filibuster-proof majority.

1. Norm Coleman manages to get them to do another recount which he somehow wins. Unlikely because so far he's farther behind with every recount. Or he could talk the Minnesota Supreme Court into a new election, which he isn't likely to win because he's so unpopular now after all these crazy recounts.

2. Republicans could take reasonable positions that Democrats might agree with them on, and vote accordingly.

So let's face it, Republicans have handed over the keys. They want to lose every vote but stand up for their principals; among them the right to torture people, to not fund public health or natural disaster monitoring, and to spend our tax money only on new missles and a great big wall along the southern border. Oh, and no taxes. The missles will build themselves.

Seriously, this is a huge disaster. I said it before, I like the two-party system. I think the Democrats can stay moderate for a while but sooner or later, unless them wingnuts get their act together, we're going to outlaw gasoline. Come on you guys, quit whining and start doing something constructive, like making law instead of trying to shout it down.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Free Market Charisma

This was the last weekend of YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU at the West Valley Playhouse, and I miss it already. It's rare that you can get a whole cast of five to get along without someone attempting to devour someone else over ego issues; this was a cast of eighteen and we are all still pals. I love you guys, man!

At the cast party last night I wound up under the nominal spell of an actress who wasn't in our show. I have to admit I'm smitten by her looks and charm. Now that I'm at work and not in her presence I'm able to think again; and it occurs to me that this woman, who picks up paying gigs around town often enough, is a perfect free-market capitalist.

She is a girl who has recognized that she has a considerable stock of charisma. It's a natural resource that she has developed and that she is the only supplier of. If you are in her position you learn to separate your self from your image. Her image is available for sale. She'll allow you to take pictures or act in your show, and in exchange you give her money. Some of it she invests back in the image, for headshots and makeup and gym memberships and acting classes; the rest is profit-taking.

The predictable downside of this business model is that L.A. is swimmin' in charisma. You can't swing a dead cat in this town without hitting a unique beauty. There is a beauty glut in this town and has been for over a century. If my actress friend decides she wants to charge more for her image a producer has only to decide that maybe another actress with slightly less charisma but a much lower price tag would be preferable.

This endless supply of cheap beauty goes a long way towards explaining why there are so many smokin' hot particle physicists in movies, compared to real life. If diamonds were cheap enough perhaps every engagement ring would weigh half a pound.

Anyway, as bad as it is for individual actors like myself, the system works and I can't argue with it. So if the administration starts dangling bailout money in front of SAG, I urge them to turn it down.

Nothing Left But The Rings

I found myself with a little free time on Saturday afternoon, and decided to eschew fun in favor of responsibility: I took my 2005 Saturn Ion into the shop for its long overdue 60000 mile service. I probably wouldn't have even remembered except I ran out of wiper fluid.

Now my Saturn is clean, topped off, tuned up, and apparently obsolete. GM announced today that they're discontinuing the Saturn line along with Hummers, Saabs and a little later, Pontiac. I has a sad! I've been driving Saturns for a decade, since my Hyundai started belching smoke the week the warranty expired. I liked the Saturn's goofy image, and the way they used to throw picnics for the new owners. Buy a Saturn, get a grilled burger! And I like they way the Saturns are optimized for regular octane gas. Don't use the higher octane, the dealers cautioned, it's bad for the engine.

Plus, you could bounce a baseball off the side door and it would just pop back into place, because it was made of bonded polymers instead of aluminum.

Well the Ion is paid off and running fine, and I'm not going to give it up until it catches fire too. So score this as a victory for independent mechanics.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Some Material For the "Angry Left" Crowd

It's a bad time for conservative pundits to put their books on Amazon, where anyone can comment on them. Case in point - JOE THE PLUMBER: FIGHTING FOR THE AMERICAN DREAM.

"The people I know are regular Joes like JTP. We're not elitists, we strive for mediocrity in all fields. We like our beer cold and our tats big. This is the American Dream. So what if JTP isn't named Joe, isn't a plumber, and didn't even write this book. I respect him more for it in fact. I'm not going to read the book anyway. "

"Hey, let's not bust JTP too quickly. Think about how much he's living the true American Dream. He's got no talent, no plumber's license, he's got a 3rd grade vocabulary, the adoration of genuflecting idiots willing to buy this book, he's parlayed his utterly forgettable persona and totally lucky stumble into "fame" into some real American "long green" and he's laughing all the way to the bank. Let's be honest: isn't that pretty much a dream life (American or otherwise)??? I applaud Joe's total sell-out because he knows it's the sole way he could ever climb out of the hole that is his real life. And lastly, this book is the same stuff that backs up in the toilets he ostensibly "fixes". After reading it, wash your hands before returning to work. "

"I bought this for humorous reasons-- my dad is a dittohead and quite far right and I thought this would make a good birthday present. Man, was I mistaken. Not only was he offended that anyone would think "Joe" represents him or his views, he was genuinely angry I gave the guy any of my money. This is from a man that has read every single Bill O'Reilly book in existence (including his fiction and his works for children). So save yourself the family squabble and get him a nice Rush Limbaugh book. Nothing plays like the old favorites. "

Tortured Rationalization 2: The Pelosi Factor

Let's look at another torture-related talking point: Nancy Pelosi knew, and did nothing about it!

This one is a head scratcher, coming from people who endorse torture and yet despise Nancy Pelosi. What am I, a liberal, supposed to conclude from this? That Nancy Pelosi, like all people who were fully briefed by the Bush Administration, knows we should get behind this torture thing, but is lying about it to win votes. Since I LIKE Nancy Pelosi, I should either hate her or endorse torture.

This is, when you think about it, a real scorched earth strategy. We're going down like the Hindenburg, the right says, but we're going to take down anyone we can with us.

Assuming the point isn't to get me to like torture, this talking point serves as an admission that the majority of Americans are horrified by these tactics. If only we hadn't said all those bad things about them at the Nuremberg trials! Therefore the right is saying "Pelosi, like us, is abhorrent to you. Please hate her as much."

This is why I'm not as worried about 2010 as they want me to be.

(By the way, I should probably add that Pelosi was told they might employ these methods but WEREN'T, which is why the idea that she didn't object to them at the time is mighty ridiculous. What, she's supposed to go blabbing about classified programs during wartime? I'm supposed to hate her for not doing THAT? I am a little annoyed with her for not pushing prosecution now, but I think she behaved responsibly under the circumstances then.)

Tortured Rationalization

At the beginning of the week I read this tidbit on WHERE ARE MY KEYS:

... "the terrorists are called by their faith to resist as far as they can -- and once they have done so, they are free to tell everything they know. This is because of their belief that "Islam will ultimately dominate the world and that this victory is inevitable." The job of the interrogator is to safely help the terrorist do his duty to Allah, so he then feels liberated to speak freely.
Quoting Marc A. Thiessen in the Washington Post.

This idea gave me pause, because I have to admit that it would justify torture, if only of reverent Muslim terrorists. But the more I think of it, the less it seems true.

In the first place, if this were based on Muslim teachings then it's odd that someone hadn't brought it up earlier than this week. I mean much earlier, like the 1800's. More likely it's either completely made up or a grasping-at-straws interpretation of the Koran that nobody but the guy who wrote the torture memo ever thought of. Certainly not the people being tortured.

Then, what about all that yapping to the press over the years that what we're doing isn't torture? Doesn't that just serve to embolden the prisoners? If you keep saying "waterboarding is no worse than shampooing" you're simply fortifying future prisoners against "reaching their limit." I can endure this, says the prisoner, because no matter how bad it feels in truth it is no worse than shampooing. People who bought the point in the memo would never risk dampening it's effectivness unless they thought it really IS torture.

Most telling reason why I think it's not true: it's just too good to be true.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Stage One

So first, destabilize the justice department through management change. Then take advantage of the confusion to establish armed insurrection. And don't bring up the fact that the memo was commissioned and written by the Bush administration.

Look, It was just an election! You get another one in a year and a half! Chill out dudes!

Back On Top In No Time

Republican state party leaders are rebelling against new Republican National Committee Chairman Michael S. Steele for failing to dub President Obama and the Democrats as "socialists." And the rebels insist that the label matters.

Even though Mr. Steele has called his Democratic adversaries "collectivists," at least 16 state leaders say the term lacks the pejorative punch needed to sway public opinion and want all 168 members of the Republican National Committee to debate and vote on it.

Washington Times, h/t Wonkette

Go! Go! Go! Go! Go!

Fox Torture Roundup

For the record I still think Fox News is neither fair nor balanced, but I'll admit they're not some monolithic Pravda-like enterprise either. Case in point: several Fox News personalities have expressed the view that not only did the Bush Administration employ torture, but that torture is bad.

Interestingly Hannity volunteered to be waterboarded for charity, the point presumably being that it's no big deal to be waterboarded. If he really wants to prove this point I'd suggest this scenario: a bidding war, where the money is to go to soldier's families. But the people administering the session have to be affiliated with either Cindy Sheehan or Code Pink, so Hannity can legitimately believe there is a chance that they might kill him. Then, my friend, you have a real demonstration.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day

It's a really pleasant day out right now - 79 degrees, sunny, blue skies. Enjoy this while we still got it, and work to keep it this way, will ya?

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

This is A Little Disturbing

I just checked my Google homepage. There in the right hand column, my horoscope:

Today's Horoscope for Pisces

Although you could be quite charming today, you may be guilty of playing a shell game where it appears you are hiding something right in front of someone's nose. But the danger is that you are so clever now that you could even trick yourself into believing whatever makes your life easier. Be careful; it really doesn't feel good to be duped -- especially when you are the one who does it.
Followed by this:

Quotes of the Day

If a man is offered a fact which goes against his instincts, he will scrutinize it closely, and unless the evidence is overwhelming, he will refuse to believe it. If, on the other hand, he is offered something which affords a reason for acting in accordance to his instincts, he will accept it even on the slightest evidence. The origin of myths is explained in this way.

- Bertrand Russell

Clearly, someone is watching me.

Tap Into America!

Let's go for a swim in murky ethical waters, shall we? Rep Jane Harman, Democratic Congresswoman, is accused of, well, I'll let CQPolitics explain it.

Rep. Jane Harman , the California Democrat with a longtime involvement in intelligence issues, was overheard on an NSA wiretap telling a suspected Israeli agent that she would lobby the Justice Department reduce espionage-related charges against two officials of the American Israeli Public Affairs Committee, the most powerful pro-Israel organization in Washington.

Harman was recorded saying she would "waddle into" the AIPAC case "if you think it'll make a difference," according to two former senior national security officials familiar with the NSA transcript.

In exchange for Harman's help, the sources said, the suspected Israeli agent pledged to help lobby Nancy Pelosi , D-Calif., then-House minority leader, to appoint Harman chair of the Intelligence Committee after the 2006 elections, which the Democrats were heavily favored to win.

Seemingly wary of what she had just agreed to, according to an official who read the NSA transcript, Harman hung up after saying, "This conversation doesn't exist."
I'm all for sweeping out the influence peddlers, and I'm not attached to Jane Harman or Isreal. The question is though, what was the NSA tapping her phone for?

You'll recall that this warrentless wiretapping thing was repeatedly dismissed as not a problem because first, no Americans were being monitored. Then it was only Americans speaking to suspected terrorists. As it turns out, "terrorists" was defined as "Democrats" after all, just like Rush Limbaugh always says. And everybody says he isn't running the party!

Harman, for her part, is demanding that the complete transcripts be released. A good strategy in a post-Blagojevich world.

I want to see if this one catches on with the Right-Wing blogosphere - I came across it on ThinkProgress. On one hand it has the tremendously appealing "all Democrats are corrupt" angle, and even the "we need warrentless wiretaps" angle. Unfortunately, it also wrecks their valuable "but Bush never used them against his political enemies" meme. Tantalyzing!

h/t Think Progress

Elvis Meets Nixon

Close enough, anyway.

I can't believe the news today. I can't close my eyes and make it go away.

h/t Wonkette

GWK Walks the Walk

The conservative reaction to Obama meeting Hugo Chavez AND SHAKING HIS HAND has been colorful and predictably negative. It ranges from "Obama was naive to meet Chavez" to "Obama literally handed America to Chavez." Clearly, Bush had it right - acknowledging the existence of people we disagree with only empowers them. Imagine what the world would have been like if Nixon had met with Chou En Lai? If Reagan had met with Gorbachev? Communism would be flourishing today!

A perfect illustration of this principal is... me. Here I am, a liberal. I often say insulting, crazy things, and I'm certainly as irritating as Hugo Chavez. I have readers who foolishly engage me in conversation instead of ignoring me, and as a result they have lost their power and become liberals themselves, endangering conservatism in the bargain. Only one man has dared to follow his principals and walk away - GWK. Yes, several months ago GWK stopped commenting and has not engaged me since.

Admittedly once in a while he'll send an unofficial envoy like "the US Constitution" to conduct informal talks, but there is no official acknowlegment of his contact. This is the only way that foreign policy must be conducted! We must fear the other, refusing to look into their eye, lest it give them power over us.

GWK - the man who SHOULD be President.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Mean Homosexuals

This is why the right may not be ready to lead again yet: faced with ridicule of the Tea Party event, they whine about how the media is making fun of them. Someone in the party has decided that tagging their event with a common sexual innuendo was a winner, because they could claim to be the victims of those mean homosexuals who take the bait. And the base will buy it, because they feel like victims of mean homosexuals. And EVERYONE! Even when they were in charge.

To the rest of the country, there's a kind of a disconnect there. Everybody knows the homosexuals aren't mean, they're just annoying. When do you ever hear of, say, a bunch of Homosexuals jumping into the back of a pickup truck and driving around looking for straights to kick the crap out of? Maybe it happens all the time and the liberal media isn't reporting it. I bet everyone in the straight community knows at least one person who was beaten for his sexual orientation. Right?

I've been cagey about my own sexual orientation on this blog because, frankly, it pisses me off that it might even matter to anyone. I am just as God made me! That is, if I believed in a God, I'd be just as that.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Teabaggers Are Worked Up Over Nothing

O'Neill said he tried to warn Vice President Dick Cheney that growing budget deficits... posed a threat to the economy. Cheney cut him off. "You know, Paul, Reagan proved deficits don't matter," he said, according to excerpts. Cheney continued: "We won the midterms (congressional elections). This is our due." A month later, Cheney told the Treasury secretary he was fired.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Used Tea Bag

Well, that was fun! The National Tea Bag party is over and as feared, the DHS has arrested everyone responsible and shut down Fox News for DARING to tell the TRUTH about it! Poor Shep Smith... what will he do now!

There were a lot of rallies all around the nation, which is why it's terribly unfair of me to isolate individuals and say the whole movement is made of people like that. It would also be unfair to put the word "movement" in quotes like I almost did. Yeah Fox News surely had a lot to do with launching the thing but it's not like they hired all the attendees. Nate Silver estimates that at least 250,000 people bought into the idea. I'm tempted to put "idea" in quotes though, because I'm still not sure what they were protesting, aside from losing the election.

An amusing side note: there was all kinds of trouble at the Washington Rally.

...rally organizers showed up outside the Treasury Department. But authorities told them they lacked proper permission and could not set up a stage there.

Then it started to rain.

Next, somebody threw a box of tea over the White House fence, and the police evacuated the park.

Finally, the truck's driver, who had been wandering around town for hours after an overnight drive from Georgia, found a place to unload the cargo: 12 floors up in a downtown advocacy group. Without much of an audience.
You know how to smooth out that kind of thing in advance? Community Organizers. I pity the Republicans who live near active volcanoes or have highways that need repairs.

There is a report that Washington police have scooped up the tea bags and took 'em home, so you can't say that no good came out of the whole exercise. Still, TEA and donuts?

This Is How Conservatives Bring Up Their Youth

Sterilize his mother, if you can find her.

I believe the children are the future, and they should be taken out of school to display obscene signs, and hate everything about the government, and apparently have twin steel rods driven into the tops of their blond tousled heads.

(h/t Wonkette, just like yesterday's creepy hermaphodite picture)

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tea Party!

He stopped working out!

I'm being a little unfair, ridiculing the teabaggers. Aside from thinking that the next Republican President would hold the inauguration ceremony on a Sunday and having an unhealthy fascination with PBS children's show characters (and specifically demanding we plunge the world into the 2nd great depression) their hearts are in the right place.

The Boston Tea Party was a protest against usurious taxation by the British. These are working class people, the backbone of the nation, not the elite 2 percent of wealthy Americans. If this grass-roots demonstration makes Obama realize that the working folks should have gotten a tax cut, then their efforts will have been worth it!

Otherwise, it's a little inexplicable.


I have to confess, I read WHERE ARE MY KEYS a lot. In fact, I basically read anything MD writes except the stuff about sports. Frequently, say about twice a week, there is a post about how Obama has broken his campaign promises and is allowing the torture of prisoners, or raising taxes, or not being completely transparent about Bush-era transgressions. This is a huge issue, the posts imply, and a reason to reject Obama.

Obama, the posts collectively say, is just like Bush. I'm not buying it.

Here's why. First, the "evidence" is always sketchy, slanted, and coming from right-wing bloggers who are filtering news through their agenda-soaked cheesecloths. Second, and most tellingly, if Obama really was proving to be just like Bush, THEY'D LOVE HIM. Instead, they just hate him all the more. Therefore, either they don't believe the talking point, or no matter what he does, even if he became Rush Limbaugh's staunchest supporter, they hate him for some irrational reason.

Like, I don't know, racism.

Either way, it's their problem. Me, I'm still happy with the Obama I voted for.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Point At Which This All Stops Being Funny ***Updated***

Look, most dissent is healthy. Government needs it for guidance, and our Government requires argument. It's built into our constitution. That's why laws are written by committee instead of the king.

Going up a step, a lot of Conservative dissent is not just healthy, but hilarious. Did you know that the National Organization for Marriage recently announced an initiative called 2m4m? What's funny about that? Check this out. This "Tea Bag" thing tomorrow? Doesn't anyone in the Republican party have a familiarity with the phrase "teabagging?" Not even Vitter?

But then there's this, and it's where I start to get scared. There is a 10 page document, purportedly from the Department of Homeland Security (okay, it probably is) which analyzes the threat posed by right-wing extremist groups. It is intended to be a guide to police officials: "LAW ENFORCEMENT INFORMATION NOTICE: This product contains Law Enforcement Sensitive (LES) information. No portion of the LES information should be released to the media, the general public, or over non-secure Internet servers. Release of this information could adversely affect or jeopardize investigative activities."

So first of all someone probably on the law enforcement side leaks this sensitive document, despite the fact that it tips off militias and crazies to DHS strategy, which is cavalier at best. More importantly, the blogosphere is rallying around this document as though it targeted the right.

It's specifically about extremists who are right-wing. But the whole right seems to be identifying with it.

That's what's scary to me now, that they root for the terrorists as long as they're terrorists who agree with them. Terrorism itself, that's not so bad. Sometimes it's necessary to blow up a mall to get the point across that higher taxes are bad. Sometimes you have to hijack a bus, otherwise the liberal media won't listen to the facts about Obama's citizenship. They wouldn't hijack the bus themselves, but like the Al-Quaeda sympathizers who fought us in Iraq, they wouldn't stop the hijackers.

I know I'm stepping over the line here and I welcome assurances that all terrorism is bad in the eyes of my readers. What do you two guys say?
***Update*** OMFG! The DHS wants to IMPRISION ME TOO!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Somalia Like It Hot

I'll tell you what I liked about the President's handling of this ship hijacking crisis - he kept his distance. Reports say that aside from authorizing the use of deadly force, the work was done by security forces, who monitored the situation and decided when to move. Obama kept his mouth shut publically, then released a statement today praising the efforts of the team that rescued the captain.

It's not too much of a stretch to imagine Bush declaring war on the Somali government, somehow unaware that there is practically no government in Somalia nowadays.

Friday, April 10, 2009

God Shalt Not Be Fact-Checked


As President Barack Obama continues to focus on his political base and push through policies that are anathema to the pro-life movement, he is having difficulty finding a suitable candidate to represent his administration at the Vatican...the Obama administration has put forward three candidates for consideration but each of them have been deemed insufficiently pro-life by the Vatican.

One of the few conditions the Vatican places on diplomats accredited to the Holy See is that they hold pro-life views in line with Church teaching.

The Catholic News Service
Vatican sources said not only was the report inaccurate, but that its premise was faulty. The Vatican has not been in the habit of vetting the personal beliefs or ideas of candidates before accepting them as ambassadors, they said...'For Catholic ambassadors, there is the question of their matrimonial situation. But outside of that, I don't think there are other criteria," said one Vatican source.
Hat Tip Swampland

The Bow

Yeah, even I think Obama bowed to the Saudi Prince. Deeply. Probably more deeply than would normally be necessary, because he's trying to erase 8 years of bad Arab/American relations. And indeed, it may be an unprecedented gesture. Still, check this out:

When Bush and Abdullah held hands walking into their meeting, the gesture prompted questions about two men showing that kind of physical intimacy.
Not to mention all the kissing. The bow is somehow more odious than this? Of course, this meeting happened during the oil crisis last summer, when the US really had a reason to kiss Saudi cheek. If you know what I mean.

Damn, I was going to try to keep off the whole Gay thing today. Even I'm tired of it.

So wait, why try to convince Americans that Obama was just stooping to shake hands? Because he's trying to avoid criticism from the extreme far right, that's why. Dumb plan. Can't be accomplished, it's like trying to avoid the fog in London. My suspicion (and there's no point in my trying to avoid criticism for saying it) is that the administration is trying to cut down on more mass murder/suicides like this.

Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe Obama is trying to send a message of fealty to our new Saudi Overlords, and he's going to give them all the guns he's taken, along with the tax money he has raised from small businesses and just plan folks across the land. Then he'll step down (it wouldn't have lasted anyway because he's not a citizen) and turn the country's reigns over to that guy with the long name who runs Iran. Damn, and to think that ACORN talked me into voting for Obama five times! Now I'm mad.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Other People's Nestle's

You'd think that our less socialistic brethern would be more inclined to pay for their own chocolately beverages, or at least refuse to accept chocolately beverages paid for by the government. As Wonkette notes:

“This fridge is located outside of the House Republican Conference in Longworth House Building. They seem to be moving offices, and this is a note they have attached to their fridge.”

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Actors Telling Stories Based On Real Incidents

So why not just use the real people to whom these things happened? Because all opponents to gay marriage are fat and unappealing, that's why. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

No seriously, I'm sorry you had to tolerate people you despise. I know it violates your freedoms. Hey, if all men were created equal, don't you think the founding fathers would have made a note of that or something?


h/t Wonkette

Bullying You Can Believe In

From Politico

...Foxx is part of a team of Republican members that House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) has put together to create embarrassing, YouTube-worthy moments for vulnerable Democratic freshmen.

Cantor’s floor staff has created a photo album to help identify the 42 most vulnerable Democrats. The aides send daily e-mails to the members of the attack team and alert lawmakers when these targeted members are speaking on the floor. They even draft quick scripts to help focus the questioning.
So this is what Republicans think America wants: Congress slowed down by non-sequiter beatdowns. There are those who think we want bipartisan, effective governance, but Eric Cantor knows that the real road to popularity is to pursue the exact opposite.

If the tactic of ambushing the new kids seems familiar, it is... it's how high school bullies operate. Also publically ridiculing the gay kids and belittling the foreign exchange students.

The thing to remember about bullies is that nobody really admires them. The only friends they have are weaklings, people who cozy up to them in order to avoid a beating of their own. It's why they make such lousy leaders.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

You Created A Monster


The Obama administration is again invoking government secrecy in defending the Bush administration's wiretapping program, this time against a lawsuit by AT&T customers who claim federal agents illegally intercepted their phone calls and gained access to their records.

Disclosure of the information sought by the customers, "which concerns how the United States seeks to detect and prevent terrorist attacks, would cause exceptionally grave harm to national security," Justice Department lawyers said in papers filed Friday in San Francisco.

Kevin Bankston of the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a lawyer for the customers, said Monday the filing was disappointing in light of the Obama presidential campaign's "unceasing criticism of Bush-era secrecy and promise for more transparency."
I've already read a couple of right-wing remarks saying "see? Even Obama knows Bush was right!" This feeling of satisfaction will last a couple of days until someone, probably Glenn Beck, realizes that Obama can tap Glenn Beck's phone because of policies that Bush put into place. Then all of the sudden, the policy will be fascism.

I'm going to say it now, the policy IS fascism. Warrentless wiretapping is easily abused and completely unnecessary, and the fact that we didn't do it was one of the reasons why we maintained moral superiority during the cold war. An unwillingness to torture people was one of the others.

Is Obama going to use these tainted tools himself or is he just trying to avoid dragging the Bush administration though a costly investigation? Who knows? How can they? I'm less worried that MY phone will be tapped than I was a year ago at this time, but since I'm posting this opinion, maybe I better stick to coded messages from here on in.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Reflections on Bowtie Pasta

I had a frozen Bowtie Pasta Entree today for lunch, specifically Safeway Select Bowtie Pasta Pepperonata. Tasty, but thought-provoking. Because really, why does pasta need to be bowtie shaped? It doesn't change the flavor any. You could substitute linguine and it would be the exact same dish.

Bowtie pasta is a fin-de-siecle kind of move, the last gasp of creativity in a genre which has been mined clean already. Pasta's golden age was waning and chefs were wracking their brains for a new innovation. They gave up, tried again, gave up again, then maybe one was making squares for ravioli and pinched one by mistake. He thought, "well, I guess this kinda looks like a bow tie. What the hell, maybe there's money in this." Indeed there was, but there shouldn't be.

I'm concious of this because the play I'm in, YOU CAN'T TAKE IT WITH YOU, is running through the end of the month and we're all walking that tightrope between refining what we're doing to get bigger laughs and going straight for the laugh at the expense of charm. It's even more relevant because we got a good review in the LA Times which cited the charm as the reason to see what is essentially a community theatre show. Like the bowtie pasta, we could wind up with something elaborate, even popular, but completely unneeded.

Politics is Becoming Entertaining Again

I'm getting a charge out of reading the responses to Obama's overseas tour lately. If the man is good for anything, it's making extremists look twice as ridiculous than they would otherwise. By the way, "mooselimb" -- screamingly funny, because it's so meaningful. The dude is a moderate Christian, people! If you automatically oppose everything he does, OF COURSE you're going to contradict yourselves.

The rest of the world, it seems, is more sangine about the current American President.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

The Republic Can Be Too Free

Free Republic commenter CHICAGOLADY has written things like this over the years.

...a lot of those loans were made by Mexicans preying on Mexicans. Not white Americans preying on Mexicans. What is being exposed here is a diversion created by the Hispanics who want money at any cost and the corruption and culture they are bringing with them. They would sell swamp land in Florida to their own grandmother.

...The TRUTH is, Obama will legalize 12-20 million ILLEGAL ALIENS, and THUS SELL THE BLACKS, His own Race BACK into slavery!

The Illegals coming over pretty much hate African Americans.
Well, basically just another Freeper. It's not like she represents the Republicans or anything.

Except she does. Chicagolady is the screen name of Rosanna Pulido, the Republican candidate to fill Rahm Emmanuel's vacant Congressional seat! I think it's time to start tracking the other freepers to find out how many of them are also in Congress or the Senate, or Dick Cheney himself.

Enjoy a whole blog about this situation, won't you? Includes letters from people begging Pulido to stop saying they endorse her!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

3 Eggs $4.50, 2 Eggs $4.00, No Eggs $1.50

It's a bargain!

Last week, Republicans took a little ribbing for their alternative budget, an 8-page PDF that amounted to a series of clip art pictures surrounded by iterations of the phrase "The Democrat plan sucks!" Aside from the poor clip art choices, the document took the most criticism for offering no numbers, often considered de rigeur for budgeting.

Well, it turns out that was just a teaser (or opportunity to dis the Democrats) because the real alternative budget was released today. This time, WaPo reports, with details!

House Republicans yesterday unveiled a more complete proposal that would cut taxes for businesses and the wealthy, freeze most government spending for five years, halt spending approved in the economic stimulus package and slash federal health programs for the poor and elderly.

Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.), the senior Republican on the House Budget Committee, said the plan would stabilize the rising national debt by requiring the nation to borrow about $6 trillion over the next 10 years, $3.3 trillion less than would be required under the budget request submitted by President Obama.
Well, color me surprised! The Republicans found a way to only wreck the lives of future generations with 6 trillion instead of 9 trillion! And the rich would get all their money now, while the poor would muddle through without schools or libraries or utilities.

This of course would make the poor realize that they need to get off their lazy asses and become rich, so they can get tax cuts too. Thus thanks to Republican tough love, we could be a nation of millionaires by 2011. If ONLY someone would take this plan seriously.

'Cause I just can't, somehow.

There Is Much To Fear

The G20 conference starts this week. Look, here's some protesters, for proof.

Any FREE REPUBLIC or POWERLINE reader knows that this conference is the beginning of the end, because Barack Hussein Obama is going to use the might of America to convert the world economy to socialism, because he is a socialist. Oh what the heck, let's say it: a foreign-born communist.

The free market, as we know it, ends today. My advice is buy that big-screen now because starting tomorrow you'll have to wait for hours in the snow in a long big-screen line. And don't get me started on Blu-Ray players!

Actually, the real thing to fear is another lame gift to the British. The Obamas have to do pretty good this time to erase the memory of those 25 region 1 DVDs.