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.....