Thursday, December 8, 2011

Context Is Everything

When you look at this headline, don't you want to ask, "In relation to what?" Or, at the very least, define "crazy" in Republican terms...

Dispatch from Republican Heaven

Known in other (normal) circles as "Hell":

We here in Texas have taken extra steps to making food stamps really hard to get, which can lead to situations like this.

TBogg gives us his inimitable take:
On the plus side, Rachelle Grimmer didn’t abort her kids, no one appears to be gay, and the 2nd Amendment, once again, provided a simple solution to a complex issue. Win-win-win.
By the way, the little girl died early this morning.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Good for Williams.

"rotting from within from unexpiated sins"

This seems to me to be just as applicable to the Penn State horror as to the purported topic, though Pierce and others have written eloquently on that subject as well.

I have ordered Greenwald's book, as I've always been drawn to the theory that it was a huge, honking FUBAR to pardon Nixon and that we've been paying for it, in spades, ever since.

Part of me wants to feel bad for the kids at Penn State who are acting so badly now as they circle the wagons around their beloved football program and its iconic figurehead. After all, they are just kids, and it's in their developmental structure to be fiercely tribal in their loyalty. But it also seems like this is a teachable moment that SOMEONE with responsibility at Penn State ought to take advantage of, fergawdsake. They are a University, right? Firing the president and Paterno most definitely was not enough. Someone from the Board of Trustees, or perhaps the new interim president, should take a ballsy stand and inform these kids about what the proper behavior at this point in time should be, and it isn't a shallow display of piety while continuing the football program.

I suspect that there are reasons that the powers-that-be at Penn St. are not following my armchair quarterback's advice. I suspect that it might have something to do with the fact that those people have a very clear-eyed view of what is in store for them, and that to provide the kind of leadership as I have suggested now would not only highlight how lacking that leadership has been up to now, but also would be a rather abrupt wake-up call to students and their paying parents as to how rapidly and how far the value of their diplomas are likely to plummet.

UPDATE: Well, really, who else would want the job?

Friday, October 21, 2011

A Belated Happy Birthday

Chuck Berry's birthday was a couple of days ago, and I didn't get around to commemorating it. Now I understand from Halle that he was a big-league jerk, but there's no denying that he was a guitar-playin' fool, and IMHO, any black guy that can get away with singing "My Ding-A-Ling" to an audience full of white chicks, even in the early 70's, has got something worth commemorating - even 2 days late!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Who Do You Love?

Can't help but wonder how Barbara feels about sounding just like the NY Daily News. As I've read different blog posts and watched the media response to OWS, I keep thinking about Greenwald's first post on the subject in which he speculated about what was behind all the progressive sniping of the protesters. 'Course the rightwingers motivation is easier to understand - not much mystery there. Anyway, as these protests pick up steam and spread, it's interesting to keep an eye on who says what. I saw a segment on BBC this morning in which a protester and some rightwing British gob from Manchester were intereviewed together. It was distressing to see that the protester guy was pretty lame, and I wondered if he was chosen for just that reason. I wish they had gotten this guy. But the Manchester tool couldn't have been more of an asshole, and at least I can say that the BBC interviewer challenged him fairly aggressively on some of his more blatant BS. I tried to find a video of it, but couldn't. The segment was marginally better, at least, than this kind of fare that our US media spews.

Anyway, I find my sympathies much more in line with Jared Bernstein who patiently explains:
Protest movements are often born of two interacting injustices: the lack of opportunity and the lack of accountability by the persons perceived to be blocking that opportunity.

Given the facts of the income distribution, the trends in real middle-class incomes and poverty, the failure of policy to do much to change these trends, the government bailouts of the only class that’s benefitted from the recovery so far, the absence of clear punishment/accountability for the financial and political institutions that helped inflate the debt bubble that continues to squeeze economies across the globe, and the dysfunctionality of the current political system (they’re arguing more about whether they can keep the lights on than whether they can help solve the economic problems), the more interesting question is what took so long for such protests to show up?
Exactly. And don't miss the link at the end of that post.

Then again, there's this.

UPDATE: And, um, this. The arrogance is pretty amazing, isn't it? These people have absolutely no fear at all that they will ever be held accountable. Ever. It's unthinkable to them.

RIP Marv Tauplin

The Motown sound was driven by such great talent.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Texas Toast

I checked in with TexasFred to see how Gov. Goodhair is faring in Greater Wingnuttia and, lo and behold, things are looking not-so-good for our man Rick. Fred lists 3 issues that, for him, put Rick out of the running and they are: 1) Letting "illegals" get in-state tuition, 2) the HPV vaccine ruckus and.....wait for it.....3) Rick's suggestion that the US invade Mexico! That's right! Fred is, of course, just fine with shooting anyone that crosses the border illegally into the US from Mexico but apparently thinks having our military go down to "help" Pres. Calderon fight the drug cartels is just silly. And, believe me, it's downright scary to see Fred say anything that I agree with!

Fred expresses reservations that Rick might yet redeem himself with actions that show sufficient remorse for past transgressions - or something - so I'm kind of waiting to see if N*****-gate doesn't turn Perry's fortunes around amongst the boneheads of Texas, remembering that what is unconscionable to normal people is a distinct mark in the Plus Column for the Republican party base. But apparently Rick is so full of Cow Wow that even knuckle-dragging teabaggers think he's a loser. You know, that's kind of an accomplishment in itself!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Sanctioned assasination of American citizens

GG, of course, asks the right questions, eg, How would this authority look in the hands of President Rick Perry or Michelle Bachmann?

UPDATE: Some historical perspective from Charles Pierce (old voice, new blog - bookmark it!).

Why Wingnuts Can't Do Humor

Example No. Eleventy Gazillion: They're just too damn stupid.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Barbara O'Brien

Gawd, I used to like her blog, The Mahablog, I really did. Now I'm afraid I have to admit to a certain lurid fascination with reading it. Was she always this snide, or did I only just notice it after she deleted one of my comments? Am I seeing her only through the lens of injured pride, and is that distorting? Probably, but nevertheless, take a gander at this latest post of hers and tell me if it isn't the most pompously bitchy thing you've read about, of all things, The Wall Street protesters!

Whew. Where to start. I love how she brushes off an early commenter with:
I’ve probably done more effective protest against the system in the past 24 hours than you’ve done in your whole life.
Uh huh. The gist of her post appears to be that the protests are "counterproductive" because they aren't "organized". Or something. I read through the thing a couple of times, and I couldn't find any explanation of specifically how these protests are "counterproductive". If I have any readers left (!) who care to read through it, I'd love to hear your reaction. I think the woman is unhinged. I was glad to see that she at least acknowledged this excellent post by Glenn Greenwald, but of course she ends up haughtily dismissing him too. Now that's downright funny!

Finally, a bit of cattiness of my own: At one point she snips at another of her commenters whom she deleted:
[If you can't express yourself without being vulgar, please don't bother. And FYI, I am 60 years old and self-supporting, thanks. -- maha]
Yeah. Except, you know, not quite. I distinctly remember a time when she was begging her readers to send her money to help her pay her rent. I remember at the time feeling bad for her, but I was having money issues of my own, so I didn't send her any. Now I'm glad I didn't.

P.S. I should also point out that Barbara lives in New York City. The protests are happening in her own town. To me, this makes her petty sniping all the more egregious, given how relatively easy it would be for her to lend a little support to them. Sheesh.

P.S.P.S. It' heartening to see her getting pretty well trounced in the comments, though to one commenter who pointed out that her repeated use of the word "dear" sounded "extraordinarily condescending" Barbara replied:
It’s intended to be condescending. I guess it’s working. Thanks.
You know, it would be tempting to admire her self-confidence if it didn't seem so terribly unwarranted. She reminds me of GWB in that regard, I'm afraid.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I don't know about Obama, but I sure do!

TexasFred has been running the past couple of days with the following blog post headline featured prominently:
Barack Hussein Obama thinks WE are MORONS!
Write your own caption!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

That'll show 'em

I'm cancelling my subscription to Mother Jones.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Paul Krugman nails it, as he so often does. I understand that his post prompted much hysteria in wingnut-land, but how could anyone tell?

Friday, September 9, 2011

It's Personal

When I started working where I am now, about 7 years ago, I met a woman (Diane) who turned out to be the sister of a woman (Deb) I had worked with at another facility about 15 years ago (yikes, maybe longer!). Anyway, Deb and I had been friends the way many people are sometimes at work, which is to say not outside of work. But I liked her a lot, and was happy to learn from Diane that Deb had gotten married, no children, and she and her husband had a place in the country and were raising a small herd of about 7 horses. It sounded like she was very happy and living an idyllic life.

But their place in the country was outside of Bastrop and on Tuesday I learned from Diane that it had burned to the ground. What about the horses?? I asked, and Diane said that they had just enough time to load up the dogs and cats and a few belongings and that they had turned the horses loose. Today I found out that six of the horses died, there is one missing. They never left the pen.

The news stories will cover the property losses (which are horrible) and will talk about how lucky we are that there have been few deaths (human), which is good. But not many accounts will talk about the loss of wildlife and livestock, which is rampant across our state and which is heartbreaking.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Dick the Prick

...has crawled out from his lair to bask in the temporary media spotlight his Exploding Heads book makes inevitable. Glenn Greenwald, as usual, has the definitive take on this situation, and he is quoted in numerous other articles on the subject 'round the blogosphere, the best of which that I've read are here, here and, most especially, here. Dahlia Lithwick demonstrates why she remains one of the few remaining reasons to read Slate:
It's currently fashionable to believe that political and ideological battles are "real," and it is the law that is empty symbolism. But Cheney stands as an illustration of the real-life, practical value of the law. Torture really did become legal after 9/11, and even after it was repudiated—again and again—it will always be legal with regard to Dick Cheney and the others who perpetrated it without consequence. The law wasn't a hollow symbol after 9/11. It was the only fixed system we had. We can go on pretending that torture is no longer permissible in this country or under international law, but until there are legal consequences for those who order or engage in torture, we will only be pretending. Cheney is the beneficiary of that artifice.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Rule of Law

Supposedly a Founding Principle. So, who answers to it? And who does not?

Friday, August 19, 2011

What he should have said

The reporter in this interview obviously did a fine job of making Rick Perry look like the chump that he is, but then that task isn't too hard:

Here is what I wish the reported had responded instead:

Yes sir, I hear you saying that "abstinence works" but what clearly DOESN'T work is Abstinence Only education as it's currently taught in Texas schools. One wonders why Texas Republicans continue to pour taxpayer money into programs like this with their poor record of effectiveness, especially in light of Republicans' loud support for school "accountability". Perhaps Texas Republicans have a different standard for the term "works" when it comes to teen pregnancy?

The following states have vastly lower rates of teen pregnancy than Texas: (name states here), all of which teach comprehensive sex education in public schools that includes both abstinence and scientifically accurate biological information about human sexuality. If Texans are, in fact, interested in reducing levels of teen pregnancy in their state, would it not make sense to consider a different approach?

Of course, I'm making up that last part because I haven't done the research, so I'm going out on a bit of a limb. But then, research is the reporter's job!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

And speaking of radical religious extremists....

Hey Fred, it ain't just Islam.

Fiscal vs. Social Conservative

I have had people tell me, in all seriousness, that they are "fiscally conservative but socially liberal", as if this is the Serious, Responsible position to take, but all it means is that they vote Republican and don't want to be seen as one of those loony, anti-abortion wingnuts. It's utter bullshit. Look around you - this is where Republican fiscal policies over the last 40 years has gotten us. Here's an even better explanation.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Protesting too much

TexasFred has a post up today that, even by his standards, is pretty weird. It's a long rant about how he's not a racist, and how all his friends who know him say he's not a racist, and blah, blah, blah. No clue in the post about what set all this off, much less any reference or quote of anyone calling him a racist or anything else. He claims that he's called a racist because he hates Muslims, among other things. Here's a sample from the post of Fred being Not A Racist:
Then there are those that say that I, and others like me, are Islamophobic racists and are prejudiced against Muslims. That’s right, now I am told that I am also prejudiced against Muslims and the *Religion of Peace*.

Radical Islam, that is to say, Islam itself, declared WAR upon the USA on Sept. 11, 2001.

Prejudiced? No, I’m not prejudiced; it’s much deeper than simple prejudice.

What I harbor is called INTENSE HATRED; hatred against those that would kill me, my family, my fellow citizens and would destroy this nation in the name of a goat loving pedophile, all because we won’t bow to their beliefs, I bear hatred against those that would trample our Constitution and place America under Sharia law.
He has titled this post "American Freedom vs. Political Correctness and Defeatism".

Keeping a straight face

I know we're supposed to not laugh at Michelle Bachmann, but, come on.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

When you're looking for a sound appraisal of the Republican candidates...

....who else would you turn to but TexasFred? Yes, I know this post is a little late - I'm sorry. I have been out of pocket for a couple of weeks. But I just had to post this item I saw over at Fred's the other day when he was blathering on about the Republican presidential "debate" and giving his astute run-down of the current crop of Republican presidential wannabes. Then he came to Herman Cain, and he had this to say:
There is something about Herman Cain that I just can’t put my finger on, and I’m not sure what it is right now, but I do see some things I really like from Cain, but I still don’t feel comfortable with him, that nagging feeling in the back of my head bugs the crap out of me on this one.
LOL!! Gee, I wonder what it is about Herman Cain that causes Fred to feel "uncomfortable"?.....

In case you were wondering, Fred's ideal ticket is Rick Perry/Michelle Bachmann. Yeah, let THAT image lull you to sleep at night!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

RIP Carl Gardner

See also.

When is an apology not an apology?

"I'm sorry you misunderstood what I said." aka "I'm sorry my comments were misinterpreted." is not an apology. Especially when it is a lie.

I'm almost sympathetic - it's very hard to own up to your shit. But a lot of people respond to that dilemma by burying themselves under more shit. This is not helpful. Ask Anthony Weiner. Unfortunately, Fox News & Assoc. have covered themselves in mountains of shit.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

All Amanda, all the time

I am currently caught up in circumstances that make it impossible to spend time composing blog posts. Sorry! So, in lieu of anything by me on the topic of Wienergate, read Amanda, who deconstructs the whole mess perfectly.

Also, too.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Missed Birthdays

Everyone have a nice holiday weekend? Good! My home computer has gone to that Great Silicon Valley in the sky, so I'm wasting less time at home and more time at work! Anyway, I missed a couple of birthdays last week that were worth mentioning, so better late than never as the old saying goes:

On May 27, it was Hubert Humphrey, and there is a nice tribute to him here, with a link to another one within. I was a sophomore in high school when HH ran against Richard Nixon, and had I understood more about what was going on, I probably would have been a McGovern fan, but all I knew was that I didn't want Nixon to win. Yes, my views were formed fairly early on, and have been remarkably stable over the years, for better or worse. Anyway, perhaps it was coincidence that this great article by Kevin Drum about the decline of the labor movement and the middle class came out on the same day. It's really worth the read.

The other birthday was that of a song, Stand By Me by Ben E. King. The original is fine indeed, but I love this version by Ry:

Thursday, May 26, 2011

"Fred is a Liar"

Interesting: Someone calling himself/herself "Fred is a Liar" left a comment at around midnight last night on a post from Oct. '09! It was, as one might have guessed, a post about our friend TexasFred and our commenter claims to know him (my sympathies!).

I have no trouble believing that Fred Is A Liar, though most of the blather I've read on his blog looks more like willfull ignorance. He's an idiot, to be sure, and a right nasty SOB - so lying would fit right in with the rest of his character. And he certainly promulgates lies on his blog, but most of it is picked up from the rightwing sewers he hangs out in. I guess that makes him a liar, I don't know and don't much care. To me, he's just kind of an interesting specimen.

I hope our midnight visitor comes back and tells us more!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Happy Birthday, Bob Dylan

Rushed today - I couldn't find decent versions of the songs I really wanted, Idiot Wind, and Maggie's Farm, so this will have to do!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Whenever you hear a rightwinger use the word "reform"....

....think to yourself, "destroy". This is with regard to pretty much everything, but especially public education. I've been telling this to anyone who would listen to me (pity my poor, beleaguered sons) for years.

With that in mind, these two excellent posts should be read together:

First this one,

then this one.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Happy Birthday Eric Burdon

The old hipster turns 70 today:

Better version which won't embed is here.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Ding, Dong, Osama's Dead

For some reason, this little tune has been running through my mind while watching all the various celebratory hoo-haws on TV:

My son actually called me last night to tell me the news, and was surprised at my lackluster response - "I thought you'd be HAPPY!" he said, and I told him I was. But this reaction seems more true to me. Still, there's plenty of good commentary from the usual suspects, from serious and thoughtful to ironic to downright hilarious, and that's not even getting down to the wingnut response, which is as predictable as night and day.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Monday, April 25, 2011

Duffy gets townhall feedback

This jerk is really hearing from his constituents and apparently not liking the feedback. I like this part:
The recent flare up of town hall anger at Duffy isn’t the first time he has faced off with constituents. Earlier this year, he told some constituents that he is struggling to get by on his $174,000 salary. Wisconsin Democrats responded by holding a “food and clothing drive for poor Sean Duffy.” (h/t: spooneradvocate YouTube account
I have a solution! Let's give him vouchers to Goodwill!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Obama: "We're a nation of laws"

Except when we aren't, right Mr. President? See: Bush administration, circa 2000 - 2008.

The usual suspects weigh in on the President's pre-trial declaration of Bradley Manning's guilt.

UPDATE: Someone should tell Inhofe about that Nation-of-Laws thing.

Friday, April 22, 2011

We're gonna need a bigger boat.

So I guess you've all heard that Rick Perry is asking Texans to "pray for rain" although it should come as no surprise to anyone that he is hedging his bets. Yeah, good thing we didn't secede, right? Anyway, being the good Texan that I am, I'm stealing this from LG&M:

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Bradley Manning is being moved Fort Leavenworth. Interesting commentary here about this and about the influence of blogs.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

"Republicans: The Other White Meat"

In response to this blog post at the SA Current, my friend Gene wrote (emphasis in original):
First, thanks for writing this article. This information is really very shocking. I do keep up with these debates but I had not been aware of most of this.
I'm not impressed with the ill thought out solutions that the fundamentalist Christians and Republicans keep offering. But the one thing I do know is that the planet is only capable of maintaining something like 4 or maybe 5 billion people, and I think we are up to 9 billion and growing.
We have already eaten everything in the oceans, the water is being polluted. It will not take much to undermine our food supply with mad cow or crop failures---which are already happening. Monsanto is ruining the rest with their modified seeds. We have driven all other life off the planet so we can have more shopping space and sewage treatment.
So to keep advocating that all pregnant women give birth is really, really stupid. Especially when they don't want to.
I say lets declare Republicans the next white meat.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Today's Must-Read (s)

Dennis G. at Balloon Juice on some familiar cons and their current activities.

I'd really like to think that America could not elect someone who looks like Donald Trump - that hair alone should disqualify him, but I know better.

I started to write a post over the weekend about Krugman's "Civility" column, but everyone else in the world linked to it, and I didn't have anything else to add. My own recent surprise encounter with incivility rendered the topic a little too raw for me.

Also, too.

Quote of the Day: From commenter "SteveT" to this post at WM:
Progressives need to keep repeating: If you find a "middle ground" between 'D' and 'R' then you end up in 'N', with the national engine revving but the car not moving.

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Pooch Parade

San Antonio is in the midst of its Mardi Gras, we call it Fiesta. It's pretty much the usual tourist-trap nonsense and I find it, for the most part, a good excuse to stay the hell out of San Antonio for a week or so. There are many Official Big Deal Events, parades and parties and what-not; but sometimes the best events are those that are non-Official smaller neighborhood events such as the Pooch Parade in Alamo Heights. Of course, sometimes these are so much fun that they eventually become Official Big Deal Events, like the Cornyation, which started off as a gay bar spoof of the Coronation (an Event just made for spoofing), but now you can't get seats.

Advice: Turn your sound off so you don't have to listen to that stupid Who-Let-The-Dogs-Out claptrap:


Obama will win re-election because even we angry, shrieking lefties with our Ample Supply Of Illusions will vote for him because we may be uneducated naifs, but we are not stupid, Hertzberg's patronizing assessment notwithstanding.

Speaking of stupid, it never seems to dawn on people (TexasFred, I'm looking at YOU - ew) who are unconcerned about the issue of wrongful convictions, that when the wrong person is convicted of a crime, that means that the actual perpetrator remains unaccountable.

Please watch this clip from Rachel Maddow:

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Growing a spine

OMG, I wish the NYT would publish the full text of this on their front page. H/T to Balloon Juice, and if you can't read that pdf format, go here.

Pelosi Hoyer kicks butt. She is so awesome. She is awesome, but Hoyer gets credit for this one. My bad.

And this is what moving the goalposts really looks like.

More of all of this, PLEASE! And, yes, I like Obama's pretty speeches, but I like this stuff much better.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Maha Responds

Okay. I think I'm going to have to write a blog post about this, but probably at a later time so here goes. You can click over to Mahablog yourself and read a sampling from the last 2- 3 posts to get an idea of what I was responding to. The post I wrote a comment on was entitled "About The Speech" and included a quote from Hendrick Hertzberg, whom I happen to really like. I can't remember what all I wrote - it was quite long - but generally I was responding to what feels to me like haughty disdain for us lefties who are significantly angry with Obama's handling of the job so far. She included a quote from Hertzberg that said:
...the disillusioned left, which is easily, almost perpetually disillusioned because it has such an ample supply of illusions. (A lot of lefties, notwithstanding their scorn for “the system,” seem to have an implicit naive faith in the workability of the mechanisms of American governance. Hence their readiness to blame the disappointments of the Administration’s first two years mainly on Obama’s alleged moral or character failings—cowardice, spinelessness, insincerity, duplicity, what have you.)
Gah. The dismissive tone of that remark really annoyed me. Me and my "ample supply of illusions"! And yes, I happen to think that Obama's failure to hold the previous administration (not to mention Wall Street bankers) accountable for rather significant criminality, and his own 180 reversal of his campaign promises regarding Bush terrorism policies represents "moral failing" - So shoot me! (No don't - thank you.)

Look, I get that Obama has to deal with some daunting systemic constraints. But let's not forget that he swept into office with huge public support, world-wide, and Democratic majorities in both houses of Congress. Then look at what GWB managed to ram through Congress with a fraction of that advantage, and don't tell me that Obama is just hog-tied by "the system". Bullshit. I never expected miracles from him, but I honestly don't believe that it is unreasonable for me to be keenly disappointed in his record so far, especially with regard to civil liberties, terrorism policies, and the economy. Shall we ask Bradley Manning if he has "ample illusions" about what an ex-Constitutional law professor now Democratic Nobel-Peace-Prize-winning president should be capable of?

Ack. Well, I started this off as a post to show you what I heard from Ms. O'Brien. So here's the entirety of our email exchange. First, my email to her:
Hello Barbara,

I am stunned at your response to my comment. I am sincerely interested to hear from you how you think I misrepresented what you said. I don’t mean to be argumentative or difficult. The only people I quoted were Hertzberg and Steve M. Please let me know how I mis-read you.

I have read your blog for many years and have found much to like and agree with there, and I have responded to your email requests, twice, to post your essays on my blog. I hope that you will at least afford me the courtesy of a respectful disagreement.

Thank you,
About 15 minutes later, her reply:
I don't have time to discuss it; but it seemed to be you were selectively editing what Glenn and Steve wrote in order to distort Steve's arguments. Please don't do that. I am so damn tired of the petty bickering over whether Barack Obama is well meaning but not as effective as he could be, or that he was a stealth conservative who planned to deliver us to the Koch brothers all along. The latter view is, IMO, nuts, and I am not tolerating it.

To which I wrote:

Thank you so much for answering me, and I won’t take up your time. You are right – that latter view is nuts. It’s also nowhere near what I was saying. I’m sure I don’t like being misrepresented any more than you do.

I wish I had saved my post so that I could re-read it and try to find how I distorted Steve’s arguments. Stupid of me – It was long, and I spent a couple of hours putting it together. I never dreamed you would delete it. Oh well, live and learn.

I wish you well,
So that's it. Ms. O'Brien seems not interested in anything I have to say, so I will spare her any more of my "whining."

Learning to Read

Wow. I am well and truly stunned.I have been reading Barbara O'Brien at The Mahablog for quite some time and have generally liked and agreed with much of what she has to say. However, I have noticed that she has quite a low tolerance for dissent, even that which I would have considered fairly benign. Still, I was completely unprepared for her reaction to my comment to today's post, which she deleted, leaving the following:
[Deleted. I hate people who misrepresent what I wrote in order to whine at me. Either learn to read or find someone else to annoy. -- maha]

I have emailed her to ask, in the most respectful manner I can muster up, how she feels that I misrepresented what she wrote. If I hear back from her, I will post it here, verbatim, so that I don't "misrepresent" her.

Unless she manages to come up with something reasonable and civil, I'm afraid I've seen the last of Mahablog.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Meet the next Internet Tradition

"not intended to be a factual statement":

Stephen Colbert.

See also.

UPDATE: When you click on the Stephen Colbert link, be sure and click also on the link therein to his Twitter feed.......

For Japan

Heard this morning on NPR and it made me cry. Dammit, I hate it when I succumb to cheesy sentimentality, so I'm making you suffer with me:

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Moore Award - something like a Pulitzer?

John Cole and Glenn Greenwald have posts up today that need to be read together.

RIP Sidney Lumet

Good tribute here, three hour interview here. And here's a clip from a movie that I actually haven't seen:

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Friday, April 8, 2011

Oh wait - did I say "Democrats won't let them..."?

Democrats are apparently the the worst negotiators in the world.

See also.

While we're waiting

...for the Teabaggers to shut down the federal government because Democrats won't let them wipe out healthcare for women, let's not forget the myriad of other ways they are wreaking havoc in other parts of the country!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Sadism and the sadistic sadists who...

Three Must-Reads:

From Anne Laurie at Balloon Juice, we are led to this great article at Esquire. Please, please read the whole thing.

It reminded me of this post from Digby, which included this:
In his widely read article in this month's Vanity Fair, Joseph Stiglitz puts it perfectly:

Alexis de Tocqueville once described what he saw as a chief part of the peculiar genius of American society—something he called “self-interest properly understood.” The last two words were the key. Everyone possesses self-interest in a narrow sense: I want what’s good for me right now! Self-interest “properly understood” is different. It means appreciating that paying attention to everyone else’s self-interest—in other words, the common welfare—is in fact a precondition for one’s own ultimate well-being. Tocqueville was not suggesting that there was anything noble or idealistic about this outlook—in fact, he was suggesting the opposite. It was a mark of American pragmatism. Those canny Americans understood a basic fact: looking out for the other guy isn’t just good for the soul—it’s good for business.

The top 1 percent have the best houses, the best educations, the best doctors, and the best lifestyles, but there is one thing that money doesn’t seem to have bought: an understanding that their fate is bound up with how the other 99 percent live. Throughout history, this is something that the top 1 percent eventually do learn. Too late.

Sadly, it ends up being too late for most of the rest of us as well.

The whole world is drinking a very toxic political cocktail right now, a combination of crude, soulless Randism and fundamentalist religiosity. (Maybe it's the same thing actually, if you define fanatical market superstition as the primitive faith based system it really is.) Its components are stronger or weaker depending on the culture and economic circumstances but it's all one big churning cauldron of human folly, at least partially brought on by massive change and global economic transition. Sadly, it doesn't appear that the species is up to the task of managing it rationally so we're just going to have to ride this out and hope the High Priests and Warriors don't destroy the whole thing in the meantime.
But no discussion of Political Sadism can be complete without talk of the Republican War on Women, and the go-to gal for that discussion is Amanda Marcotte.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

This is what is called "moving the goalposts"

The only possible response to this insanity would be for the Democrats to propose complete government-funded universal single-payer healthcare paid for entirely by taxes on the wealthy and corporations. Any "compromise" with these assholes is cutting our own throats.

UPDATE: Same with abortion: We really need to have a national movement that pushes the concept of government-paid abortions (paid for with taxes on insurance companies!) for any woman who wants one for any reason. Full stop.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

BP and Fukushima: Separated at birth?

Similarities are striking. How soon before they start telling us that everything is just fine! Help yourself to seafood!

Hat tip to Atrios.

Friday, April 1, 2011

I wish I had a good April Fools' Day post!

But I don't. Maybe next year! Meanwhile, I found this little quote in this post at Balloon Juice the other day and meant to write about it, but, well. So, better late than never, this is something that fairly accurately describes my state of mind often when I am not posting (more the second than the first, but sometimes the first too!):
*By the way. I do know I’ve been conspicuous (as in, unnoticed) by my absence lately. There have been two reasons. The first is a press of work so insane that I have ended each day by curling up with a scotch bottle for the five spare minutes alotted me between unconsciousness and panic.

The second is that I occasionally have these funks brought on by the sheer catastrophe of the world. Sometimes, the accumulation of stupidity, misery, disaster and sheer capricious accident/horror leaves me gobsmacked for something to say.
So, yeah. Wisconsin, Republicans, Libya, earthquakes and tsunamis, abortion rights, Republicans, lame Democrats, more Republicans....Sometimes I get discouraged.

And that's when I look to the blues to pick me up!:

Heard this one on the radio on the way in to work this morning:

Happy Friday, everyone!

Better than listening to the villagers.....

Monday, March 28, 2011

War for song and profit!

Driftglass offers an updated version of a beloved (by me, anyway) classic.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

RIP Elizabeth Taylor

She was a beautiful and talented actress, and a great philanthropist. This NYT tribute is quite thorough and good.

I remember Molly Haskell on Turner Classic Movies once commented on her fainting scene in A Place in the Sun, how difficult that was to do. You can see for yourself about 42 seconds into this clip:

Why I Read Amanda Marcotte, Chapter XICIII

The woman speaks truth plainly and eloquently. She always makes me feel proud to be liberal.

Monday, March 21, 2011

"liberal wars"

Words fail. So now we have some kind of distinction between "liberal wars" and "conservative wars"?

Saturday, March 19, 2011

This will not stand, man!

Just saw this on Barry Eisler's twitterfeed:
Obama says no ground troops to Libya. What else that the Constitution prohibits will he announce he won't do?
about 18 hours ago via TweetDeck

If you don't know Eisler's work, and if you are a fan of spy/crime thrillers, you owe it to yourself to check him out.

Wusses in Minnesota

In Texas we just shoot 'em.

Friday, March 18, 2011

I wonder....

Maybe I should just re-name this blog "Republicans Suck" 'cause, you know, there never was any "wondering" about it.

Fox "News" viewers:

Time for some Duck Soup

"The last guy nearly ruined this place, he didn't know what to do with it.
If you think the country's bad off now, just wait till I get through with it!"


I can't find this song in a video that allows it to be embedded.

Okay, so other states are crappy too.

Texans are constantly telling themselves - and anyone else who will listen - that we are Special, that there's just something about Texas that imbues its residents with a certain je ne sais quoi. As a military brat, I lived in a lot of places as I was growing up, and I'll admit that I bought into the myth once I moved here. Texas is....different.

But it appears that Republicans are assholes no matter where they live, and other states are vying for the right to claim that their Republicans are just as Stupid/Evil/Insane as Texas Republicans are! I, for one, am willing to concede, if not at least give them credit for a damn good effort.

Still, I think our state's Let's-Let-College-Students-Shoot-Each-Other Bill should have been on the list.

UPDATE: I dunno, how do you compete with this?

Thursday, March 17, 2011


When are people going to quit voting for Republicans?

Texas is a much crappier place to live since the back-to-back Republican governorships of George W. Bush and Rick "Goodhair" Perry, especially if one is poor or working in a job which tries to provide services to the poor.

This fall, as I've mentioned before, Republicans gained super majorities in both the state House and Senate and of course ol' Goodhair won himself a third term, and they are having themselves a whale of a time trying to see just how fast they can destroy the last remnants of our state. Currently, they are rushing a bill through the lege which will mandate that public universities allow students and faculty to carry firearms. Isn't that a swell idea? Well, overwhelming majorities of students, university administrators and LAW ENFORCEMENT don't think so, but you know who does? Gun manufacturers and their lobby, the NRA! Woo hoo, party time!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Saturday, March 12, 2011

And you thought I was kidding...

...when I said that Republicans would lead the way toward repealing anti-slavery laws.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Manning update

First of all, our thoughts are with the people of Japan and all those affected by the horrific earthquake and tsunamis in the Pacific.


UPDATE [Fri.]: According to Philippa Thomas -- a long-time British journalist and current Neiman Journalism Fellow at Harvard -- State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley was speaking to a small audience of 20 people (including Thomas) at MIT regarding social media, and the following occurred:

And then, inevitably, one young man said he wanted to address "the elephant in the room". What did Crowley think, he asked, about Wikileaks? About the United States, in his words, "torturing a prisoner in a military brig"? Crowley didn’t stop to think. What’s being done to Bradley Manning by my colleagues at the Department of Defense "is ridiculous and counterproductive and stupid" . . .

Thomas noted that Crowley added that Manning deserves to be in prison, but as she puts it: "But still, he’d said it. And the fact he felt strongly enough to say it seems to me an extraordinary insight into the tensions within the administration over Wikileaks." She adds: "A few minutes later, I had a chance to ask a question. 'Are you on the record?' I would not be writing this if he’d said no. There was an uncomfortable pause. 'Sure'." If she's reporting that accurately -- and she's obviously a credible journalist -- then that's quite extraordinary.

Oh Dear. Greenwald gets snippy in response to these comments from our Hopey-Changey Democratic President:
UPDATE V: At a Press Conference just now, ABC News' Jake Tapper asked President Obama about Crowley's comments and Obama replied:

I have actually asked the Pentagon whether or not procedures on Manning meet basic standards. They assure me that they are.

Oh, that's very reassuring -- and such a very thorough and diligent effort by the President to ensure that detainees under his command aren't being abused. He asked the Pentagon and they said everything was great -- what more is there to know? Everyone knows that on questions of whether the military is abusing detainees, the authoritative source is . . . the military. You just ask them if they're doing anything improper, and once they tell you that they're not, that's the end of the matter.

I have no doubt that George Bush asked the DoD whether everything was being run professionally at Guantanamo and they assured him that they were. Perhaps the reason there haven't been any Wall Street prosecutions is because Obama asked Jamie Dimon and Lloyd Blankfein if there was any fraud and those banking executives assured the President that there wasn't.
Gosh, one wonders what "basic standards" our President is referring to; would those be our new Post-9/11 George W. Bush Basic Standards of Detainee Treatment?

Thursday, March 10, 2011


What Digby says. Excerpts:
They will take this to court. Who knows what will happen. But this is just the latest in a line of Republican end runs and undemocratic processes used explicitly for the partisan purpose of weakening and emasculating the Democratic party over the past few years. The impeachment of President Clinton was the first, followed by the stolen Bush election, the recall of Gray Davis, the gerrymandering in Texas etc. It's distinctly different than the sort of thing you saw when Democrats passed the final health care bill with a majority instead of a supermajority. That was a policy dispute that broke on party lines. These are purely partisan political actions designed to create a political advantage --- as the top Republican in the Wisconsin senate openly admitted.
But they have done something much bigger than just end collective bargaining for public employees in Wisconsin. They've raised awareness of the labor movement at a time when the middle class is under stress after years of being exploited. They wanted to deliver a coup de grĂ¢ce and have inspired a movement instead.
Like I said, Jump in!

What you can do

In the face of recent roaring onslaught of reactionary social, political, and economic changes and the exasperatingly tepid response of oppostion leadership (when they're not actively colluding, that is), it's hard not to throw up our hands in resignation. Now's not the time to give up, though. Get informed, sign petitions, speak up, give money when you can, and VOTEVOTEVOTE! Here are a couple of opportunities:

1. The case of Bradley Manning is horrifying and I urge you to read every word of this very long and informative post. At the end are some links to petitions that you can sign and organizations that you can donate money to.

2. If you subscribe to the New York Times, read this and then sign this and if they don't print a convincing apology, consider cancelling your subscription.

Opportunities for activism abound and I suspect they are going to soon become a lot more prevalent. Jump in!

Lies and the lying liars

Check out the Steve Forbes quote at the end of this cheerful little blurb about the world's billionaires:
"The super wealthy are people who (clears throat, shifts eyes, sends other signals that a lie is about to be told), almost all of them, have created that wealth...
...says the man who inherited his wealth
...which means they've created vibrant businesses that provide growth for everyone else."
That quote, of course, went unchallenged by the reporter, but to be fair, they did mention earlier in the story that America is "lagging behind" in overall growth - despite still having most of the world's billionaires.

The times they are a changing

Looks like the voters in Wisconsin have some decisions to make. It's hard to imagine that last night's shenanigans won't energize the move to recall a significant number of GOP legislators and even, in January of 2011, Governor Walker. But I hear that Republicans are also attempting to start a movement to recall the Democratic senators who left the state. It will be interesting (or sickening, depending how you look at it) to see how this plays out across the country.

Our insane gun laws

We really have a rightwing in this country that is completely out of control. Good lord. "Self defense" has long been a legal defense for killing someone, but Texas, a state dominated by gun fanatics, decided to ease up on the laws that applied to protecting one's home. This guy shot a 19-year-old kid in the back while he was running away, then shot him four more times as he was going down! That's not "self defense" (which is what the shooter is claiming), that's revenge. That used to be considered murder in Texas courts, now it's not so clear. And Texas taxpayers are going to have to pay for another trial because a juror sought some clarification about that.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

What a pity.

I checked, and yes, he really did say this:
I don’t tell jokes. In my books I do comic scenes. One of the better ones involves people buying crates of condoms at Costco. In my column I rarely do humor at all, which is a pity.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

On the brighter side

This is Hopeful, and we will take all Hope we can get, right?

What we've become

Sometimes I wonder if Osama bin Laden has even the capacity to understand just how wildly successful his attacks against the United States have been.

But then, I don't think he can claim all the credit. We've clearly been on this road to self destruction for a long time.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Will the 9/11 First Responders Law Do the Job?

Barbara O'Brien of Mahablog has sent me a guest post:
Will the 9/11 First Responders Law Do the Job?

In the final days of the 111th Congress, the James Zadroga 9/11 Health And Compensation Act, also called the "9/11 First Responders bill," finally passed. The Act will provide medical monitoring and care for those who worked on the smoldering ruins of the World Trade Center after the 9/11 attacks, as well as for many who lived and worked nearby.
However, at the insistence of some senators, the final bill was considerably watered down from what it had been originally. More than $3 billion in funding was cut from s previous version of the bill, for example. Will the revised bill still do the job?
When the Senate passed the bill, initial news reports said that the monitoring and health care program would end after five years. However, the actual language of the bill provides for funding limitations for monitoring and health care after fiscal year 2016, which suggests the program might continue if Congress authorizes funding for it.
The monitoring issue is particularly critical. The collapse of the mammoth World Trade Center towers released thousands of tons of toxic particles into the air. For many weeks after the attacks, people who lived and worked in lower Manhattan and Brooklyn suffered burning eyes and hacking coughs from the foul air. Yet at the time, the federal government and the city of New York assured people the stinging fumes were not dangerous, just unpleasant.
Several days after the terrorist attacks, some independent researchers slipped past the police barricades to take samples. They found the air contained more than twice the number of asbestos fibers considered “safe,” as well as deadly levels of benzene, dioxin, and other toxins.
Why should people exposed to the toxins continue to be monitored? Asbestos in particular is a very slow killer. It has been well documented that the first symptoms of the deadly lung cancer mesothelioma may not show up for 20 to 50 years after exposure to asbestos. But early detection should prolong lives and make mesothelioma treatment and other medical care more effective.
The final bill does close the Victims Compensation Fund in five years, which is separate from the health monitoring and care part of the bill. It also provides for more stringent monitoring of benefits, which might make it harder for people to get into the program.
Today — more than nine years after the attacks — many rescue and recovery workers are suffering deteriorating health. A study published in April 2010 in the New England Journal of Medicine found that New York City firefighters and emergency workers continue to suffer from severe and persistent lung problems because of their exposure to the World Trade Center debris. Some of these 9/11 heroes already have died.
Firefighters, police officers, and other responders who had been begging Congress for help for nine years called the passage of the bill a “Christmas miracle.” Let us hope the final version of the bill will do the job.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Fred's back.

Oh well, that was fun while it lasted. Apparently his downtime was due to switching bloghost from Blogger to WordPress, and there was a glitch or two. Thought you might enjoy this money quote from his explanatory post today (emphasis mine):
Prior update may have been the problem, but the RUSH to get 3.1 out and not get it 100% right is a HUGE problem too I am thinking. Why RUSH a FIX update if it’s not going to actually FIX anything, and is quite likely causing even MORE problems?

For now this update is all I am going to post. I am not going to put the effort into posting that is NOT up to my standards and is not going to give my readers the quality look they have come to expect.

Music for these times that try men's souls...

I fear that our Wingnut/Corporate Overlords are about to drag us into some very harsh times ahead and thus far our side has been poorly represented and ineffectual in coping with the onslaught. It gets a person down sometimes, but music helps!

How do you know when Republicans are lying?

Yeah, yeah, when their lips are moving.

Somehow, I don't think this whining is going to improve their standing in the polls.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Extra, Extra!

Revolutions exploding in Libya, Wisconsin, Ohio - the world is in chaos! - but I've gotcher Big News O' The Day: TexasFred's blog is "temporarily unavailable"! Heh. Let's see how long this shocking development lasts.

Seriously, Fred has claimed in the recent past that "Big Brother" is watching his blog and, frankly, I wouldn't be surprised. His own rantings are bad enough, but his commenters dance way too close to that Line That Must Not Be Crossed if one wishes to stay out of jail for, well, whatever.

Still, we must not get our hopes up. His blog has been down before and, like a chronic disease, he'll probably be back.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Austin rally to support Wisconsin

It was a lot of fun, and by most measures, pretty successful I'd say. I have no idea how many people were there, but the area around the Capitol steps was jam-packed. My friends and I actually wormed our way up to the area where the speakers' platform was, so we were out of the crowd and mostly behind the speakers. It was hard to hear, probably because the speakers were pointed out at the crowd, but we cheered and waved our signs along with everyone else. Most gratifying was the loud and long "Booooooo!" that came up when Gov. Rick Perry's name was mentioned. Jim Hightower was a crowd-pleaser, as usual, and it was fun watching him wearing a cheese hat and having his picture taken with a couple of the Wisconsin folks who were there. Gotta love that man!

My friends and I tried to get tickets to A Red Hot Patriot but they were sold out - too bad. So we went out for Indian food instead.

Vic was our cameraman - and I hope to have some pictures soon.

UPDATE: Until Vic's pictures come through, here's a nice photo essay of the rallys across the country from MoveOn, the events' host. (Hey! Note picture #26! Someone stole Cap's idea!) At some point, a woman took my picture and said somthing about posting them on MoveOn's site, but - with some relief, I admit - I don't find my picture there.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Support the Unions!

Am off to Austin this morning to join a rally at the Capitol in support of the unions in Wisconsin - really in support of workers' rights nationwide. My Austin friends will be there and with any luck, There Will Be Pictures! Hope my car doesn't die on me......

What should my sign say? Legally, it can't be partisan, so my original idea: "Remember Wisconsin in 2012 and Vote For Democrats!" is out. Too long, anyway. Capconnundrum suggested: "Enjoy your weekend? Thank a Union!" which is great, but also kinda long. I'll probably end up with something generic and boring like "Support Our Unions!"

Monday, February 21, 2011

My Crystal Ball

My local NPR station this morning told me that Texas is poised to pass a law mandating that all state universities allow their students and faculty to carry concealed handguns. I confess that I was wrong: Last fall, when Republicans won a super majority in the Texas legislature, I predicted that this would be their first move. It was, instead, their second; first order of the day was to pass mandatory sonograms for women seeking abortions.

It seems to me that Texas can reasonably be perceived as a microcosm of Wingnut Heaven. Our nation had a good helping of Texas Wingnuttism in charge of things for eight years under the non-leadership of George W. Bush, so we should know what to expect if they should manage to wrest control of the reins of national power again.

I think TexasFred is a good barometer of Texas Wingnuttism too. The other day he had a post up extolling the virtues of Nathan Bedford Forrest, renowned Confederate Hero and KKK Grand PooPah. According to Fred, this guy has been unjustly maligned by "libberpukes". Uh huh. So when I see things like this playing out all over the place, and not just in The South - that is, with wingnuts everywhere falling all over themselves to re-define not just the Civil War, but history and science in general, my Crystal Ball kicks into action and tells me that as soon as wingnuts achieve their goals of destroying unions, women, and the rest of our tattered economy, their next target will be restoring that venerated institution of slavery. You just wait. You read it here first!

I think the rebellion in Wisconsin is pivotal. If Brown wins, we all lose. It's as simple as that.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Too Bad Bill Crawford Took Such a Cowardly Dive

...and is no longer around to answer for all the bull-caca he promulgated in the run-up to and during the early days of the Iraq war.

I don't know what happened to Bill or why he shut down his blog with no explanation, but he is one of many who have a lot of 'splaining to do.

Maybe it could start with an apology to Cindy Sheehan, who not only lost her son but also took an amazing amount of ugly crap from rightwingers like Bill for daring to lead a crusade to hold George W. Bush and his administration accountable for blatant lies.

Yeah. Like that's ever gonna happen. Look Forward, Not Back! Let's not Look Back at those nearly 5000 US soldiers killed or, say, millions of dead Iraqi civilians. And that's just deaths - let's not talk about the US soldiers who have come home with debilitating injuries that will take years (if not lifetimes) and lots&lots of money to recover from. Oh goodness, let's not even talk about money....

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Moral Relativism?

This morning as I was pulling into my parking space at work, the DJ at the college radio station I listen to was reading the news and this was the last item I heard. Now, I don't know if I mis-heard the news, or if the DJ misspoke (it's college radio - it happens) but as I heard it, the Presidential Medal of Freedom was being awarded to George W. Bush, and I nearly had a heart attack. I stomped into my office and ripped off an angry email to a few friends, then got around to actually reading the news article.

Sheesh. That should teach me. So, having recovered from that rude scare, I now have to re-evaluate how I feel about this news. Not great, for sure, but what does it say about Barack Obama that I should be so quick to assume that my original fear was true? That that acutally seemed POSSIBLE?

In an ideal world, things like the Nobel Peace Prize and the Congressional Medal of Freedom would be awarded on merit and not for political purposes, but of course that world doesn't exist. That said, I suppose some small amount of satisfaction can be derived from seeing this award granted to Bush, Sr. whose policies Bush, Jr. so arrogantly and disastrously reversed. Suck on that, Chimpy.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentines' Day

One of my favorite love songs:

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Thank you, Ann Friedman!

When are our Democratic leaders going to wake up?? And to the commenter who said:
Fuck safe, legal, and "rare". Safe, legal, and easily available to anyone who needs one
I would just add...."for ANY reason what. so. ever. No questions asked!"

Repeal the Hyde Amendment. Fully fund abortion services. Now.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

"one of American history's epic missed moments"

I shall never forget how America's rightwing lunatics spent 8 years extolling the virtues of George W. Bush, Codpiece Man!, and accusing those of us who despised the man as being terrorist sympathizers, then turned around and mocked those who found Obama's campaign rhetoric of Hope and Change compelling by suggesting that we worshiped him as "Obamessiah". It goes without saying that they were wrong - they always are - but it is nevertheless true that even those of us who are longtime observers of national politics (and thus deeply cynical - hard not to be) found ourselves moved by the idea of our first black President and, yes, even against our will, hopeful.

I contend that we were right to be. 2008 did seem like a confluence of circumstances that set the stage for a new liberalism that would finally be a resounding rebuttal to the creeping and noxious authoritarian reactionary movement that American society has been embracing since the election of, gag me, Ronald fracking Reagan. Here's Digby (emphasis mine):
Kuttner's critique of Obama is on the money --- in my view, if there was ever a president who had the economic circumstances and political mandate to challenge the prevailing wisdom, it was him. But for reasons about which we can only speculate, he didn't do it. I agree with Alterman that the deck is stacked against progressives, but it always is. Money never welcomes the hippies into the country club. But it's a rare president who has a huge mandate for change, a once in a generation economic crisis, a reputation for rhetorical brilliance and a congressional majority. I just don't agree with the conventional wisdom that Ben Nelson had more power over policy than he did.

Alas, it was not to be. And many of us fear that the failure of this moment will seal the fate of liberal policies for generations to come, a fear that exacerbates our disappointment. So what happened? Digby points us to a review of a couple of books about the Obama presidency, one good and one bad, but it is the review itself that she recommends reading. I agree.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Let's lighten up!

And no, that's not a reference to our being not White Enough. I just thought we (I) could use some comic relief. So, here's TBogg being his great TBoggy self. And, this has been up for a few days, but will be good for a smile for some time to come. I'm sure glad these folks are around!

Trite Whiteness

Looking for something to do on a liesurely Saturday morning? Read this and click on All. The. Links. Or at least this one.

While you're at it, go here - there's a bunch of links there too. Don't miss this one.

Friday, January 28, 2011

RIP Gladys Horton

Early lead singer of one of the best of the Motown girl groups, The Marvelettes:

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Sputnik, kaput.

Another critique well worth reading in its entirety, this one also courtesy of Digby, who has a few comments of her own.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Your Liberal Media

Wow, someone needs to fact-check Calvin Woodward's "fact-checking".

This is the kind of tripe one might expect to find over at Faux News. How does the AP get away with this?

Have I mentioned that Republicans suck?

Here in the used-to-be-great state of Texas, Republicans have a complete stranglehold on the state government and are fixing to cram some legislature down our throats. One of the first items to come up is - Surprise! - a bill to make it more difficult for women to get abortions. So, I'm posting some good stuff I've read recently on the topic of abortion rights, beginning with not one but TWO from the indomitable Helen of Margaret & Helen fame:

Sometimes Men Should Just Stick to Football

Make a Donation to Planned Parenthood

Amanda reads Red State so you don't have to.

A Response to Saletan on Late-term Abortions

Mr. President: "There's a reason Democrats don't vote for Republicans"

Read it all. H/T Digby.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

This Year's Oscars

The nominations are in. Of the nominations for Best Picture, I've seen: Winter's Bone, True Grit, Black Swan, and The King's Speech. I think I'll go with the conventional wisdom and predict The King's Speech as Best Picture winner, and the Best Actor for Colin Firth - he was outstanding. I was not greatly impressed with Black Swan, but won't be surprised to see Natalie Portman get Best Actress.

Looking Forward

Yeah, they broke the law, but, gosh, it's just too darn late to do anything about it!

Happy Birthday to Etta James

This wonderful singer is 73 today, apparently in poor health. A brief celebration of her music:

Thursday, January 6, 2011

"American Exceptionalism" indeed

Look at what we've become. This can no longer be blamed on George W. Bush.


People - especially politicians! - often don't say what they really mean.

Wow. Last thing I knew, I was wishing you all a Happy Thanksgiving and suddenly it's January!

Went to see "True Grit" on Christmas day. What have you been up to?