Friday, February 26, 2010

New Blog

My friend Gayle has started a blog:

Postcards from San Antonio.

Just. Do. It.



Not exactly the cheerer-upper that I promised, I know, but it fits. Especially with this from Digby:
Democrats have been far too reliant on our president's intelligence and speaking skills to magically transform the political dynamic. His mastery of the details of the job is impressive and after our last goofball it's a relief. But Obama's best moments yesterday were when he challenged Republicans on their lofty assumptions about what people can afford --- he repeatedly asked these Representatives and senators to imagine what it's like to met these expenses if you make 40k a year. It was a nice populist moment for the president, speaking on behalf of the average folks and it put the Republicans off balance.

Certainly debating is part of the job, and he's good at it. But I suspect that what people need from the president and the Democrats right now is a sense that they understand the urgency of their problems, not the details of how they're going to fix them. I recall Clinton relating a story during his "laser beam" interview right after he was elected that I always thought was clever. He said he'd understood that he had to act quickly when he saw a man standing beside the road with a sign that said "For god's sake just do something." That's effective stuff.

I hope that this summit is soon forgotten and they move to the next phase quickly. And I also hope the Democrats let go of the idea that this is a good way to deal with the Republicans. They are a lot slicker than the White House gives them credit for and it's never a good idea to give them a forum in which to appear as if they are operating in good faith. They are not, and it does the country no good to help them pretend otherwise.

Yoo Hoo!

Yes, I'm still here.

Remember that old adage about not saying anything at all if you can't say something nice? Yeah well, it's not like I ever held hard and fast to THAT rule, but I have found myself to be hindered as of late by an overall sour outlook. Democratic politics has been downright depressing.

Maybe I'll feel better once they pass the damn HCR bill. Maybe.

Meanwhile, I'm going to scout around for some cheering up music. Let's see what I find! Any suggestions?

UPDATE: I have still been reading lots and have come across many posts that I thought about linking to here but in my apathetic state just never got around to it. Sorry about that. In trying to get back in the groove, let me start with this great post from Andrew Sullivan. He's often quite good at saying exactly what needs to be said. Shrill, sure, but if ever a topic required Shrill, our collective failure to hold the criminals in the Bush administration legally accountable is one.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Weighing in on the Austin suicider terrorist

Amanda Marcotte from the POV of an Austin ex-pat who knows whereof she speaks,

The always informative Digby, and, of course

Greenwald.

And for good measure, TBogg, who is not actually weighing in on the suicider incident, per se, but - oh just go read it!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Madness

Some guy angry with the IRS apparently set his own house on fire then flew a small plane into a federal building in Austin this morning. Miraculously, it seems that no one was killed except, presumably, the pilot, though there have been injuries. Here's the story. I've been trying to get in touch with my friend who works in that area, so far unsuccessfully. And Julie B., in Austin, my email to you came back as "undeliverable".

UPDATE: Finally heard from my friend who works near there. She said the building that was hit is a mile or so north from where she is, and her office windows face north, so they saw the smoke from the crash. I still can't believe that there weren't any fatalities other than the pilot!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Dogs and more dogs!


Sadie, pictured above, was highly favored to win the Westminster KC Dog Show last night and she did not disappoint. Cute as pie, isn't she?

I watched some of the proceedings last night, but it's fun watching the videos of the breed judging from the Westminster home page. I watched the Bull Terriers (both standard and miniature), the French Bulldog (check it out, heydave!), the Border Collie, and the Labrador Retrievers. I want to take them all home - and wouldn't the cats just love that!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

In a Nutshell

American Political Insanity Explained.

It's perfect - go read it! H/T Digby.

Sorry I've been so absent. It's due to a combination of things, including changes at work that leave me with considerably less time to blog.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Birthdays

NPR informed me this morning that today is both Glenn Beck's and George Stephanopolis' birthday. I find this fact particularly not worthy of celebration.

HOWEVER, it turns out to also be this guy's birthday, which is worthy indeed:

He's their product

And he's just attempting to give them what they paid for. That we, The Taxpayer, paid for THEM seems to matter not so much. Incredible.

Monday, February 8, 2010

RIP John Murtha

Agree with Digby. His was a strong voice very much needed at the time. I admired his courage.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Republicans are stupid

Proof. As if you needed it.

Seriously, how else to explain the popularity of Rusty Not-So-Sharpe? Here's a guy who not only dropped out of college because he "flunked everything" but also spent eight years propping up the bonafides of the most rock-stupid POTUS in the history of ever, telling his audience that Obama - yeah, uh huh, Obama - is too dumb to write his own papers.

You know, I generally don't go around calling people stupid. I don't have all that much confidence in my own intelligence to feel comfortable deriding someone else for being stupid. But rightwingers push the boundaries of gall so far it becomes just impossible not to point out the glaringly obvious. When they're not jeering at Obama for being an "elitist" (which is rightwing code for "smartypants"), here they are calling him stupid. I guess they don't care WHAT insults they sling as him - be it "Socialist!", "Racist!" "Elitist!" - whatever, so long as it's...insulting.

"Mr. America"

Rush Limbaugh, feminist. You betcha.

Bin Laden must be quite proud of himself

As I floated into work this morning (it's raining, and I do mean RAINING, here)I heard on NPR that our CIA director, Leon Panetta, is kept awake nights by his fears that Al Qaida is going to launch another terrorist attack on the United States homeland! Seriously, a quote of him saying exactly that before a Senate committee was included in the news broadcast and replayed every half hour.

And over at the Washington Post, Richard Cohen is soiling himself for all the world to witness as well. Isn't that special?

I especially liked this part of Scott's post (emphasis mine):
Yeah, here’s the thing, Richard. Just like you can’t teach to the slowest learner in your class without seriously short-changing the other students, the government can’t keep pruning the Bill of Rights in order to reassure the most tremulous bedwetters amongst us, because while there’s no ceiling to their panic attacks and night terrors, there’s definitely a floor beneath which the Constitution no longer functions.

I don’t want Khalid Sheik Mohammed or Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab to face trial because I’m a fan of Law and Order, but because there’s no such thing as “security” if the government doesn’t feel constrained by the law. If the Justice Department and the FBI don’t feel obliged to follow the rules in high profile cases, what makes you think they’ll be any more scrupulous when they come to your house after the librarian tips them off to your subversive reading habits? Well, not you, of course; you’re immune to police misconduct because you’re white and you know Sally Quinn. But if we all squeal Havoc! and let loose the dogs of law enforcement, then sooner or later, a lot of innocent who don’t have the benefit of a Washington Post column will get scooped up and abused by a system that values enforcement over the law.

Blues for a rainy day