Saturday, December 13, 2008

Why I Love Digby

Hullabaloo addresses one of those deeply concerned types who admits that there is no connection between Rod Blagojevich's corruption and Barack Obama, but who is nevertheless wringing his hands and fretting that the Obama team isn't being quick enough in "getting all the facts out":
Jesus H. Christ. They always say this and it's never, ever enough. Obama could sit down with David Gregory and spill his guts like he was lying on a therapist's couch and he would be accused of not "getting the facts out." This is because the only "fact" they care about is one that says there was wrongdoing. Anything other than that is being "coy."

Bingo. The so-called "liberal" media wants to pin Blago's bullshit on Obama so bad they can taste it, and they're clutching at any straw they can to turn that into the story. That dog won't hunt, but they're kicking the poor hound as hard as they can.

Friday, December 12, 2008

A Solution to the "Auto Crisis" : Getting the GOP Senators on Board

John Cole at Balloon Juice has the answer:
We need to invade Michigan and rebuild the state from the ground up. We will be greeted as liberators, we have clear supply lines, and we can easily rebuild the auto industry with the kind of money we spend on other countries we invade. Hell, our new Secretary of State, Hillary of Clinton, spent the better part of the past year fighting for the rights of average folks from Michigan, so think of the good will we have with the public. This is very doable. Just tell Congress we will give KBR no-bid contracts to fix Detroit.

And citizens of Baltimore, Altanta, St. Louis, and DC- you better get your shit together or you are next.

Oh sure, we'll probably kill a hundred thousand civilians or so. But it's not like the Republicans care about that. In fact, it's regarded as shockingly bad form to mention it.

I Could've Told You This Would Happen...

PIA, Wash. - State officials, besieged by requests for more seasonal displays at the state Capitol, have approved several more - including a "Festivus" display honoring a faux holiday popularized by TV comedian Jerry Seinfeld.

The new display requests come on top of an anti-religion placard, a Christmas tree and a Christian nativity scene erected earlier this week and a pro-religion sign added Friday.

The state General Administration, which runs the state Capitol building, have OK'd four of the requests so far:

- On Saturday, Dec. 6: A balloon nativity shelter from a private citizen.

- On Sunday, Dec. 7: A demonstration by a group called "Private Citizens of Federal Way" against the atheistic sign will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. on the front steps.

- On Monday, Dec 8: A display will go up in the capitol from the Washington Values Alliance.

- On Wednesday, Dec 10: A Festivus display from a private citizen. 

According to the online reference Wikipedia, Festivus is an annual holiday invented by writer Dan O'Keefe and introduced into popular culture by his son Daniel, a scriptwriter for the TV show Seinfeld.

Most people now celebrate the holiday on Dec. 23, as depicted on the December 18, 1997, Seinfeld episode "The Strike."

The holiday includes novel practices such as the "Airing of Grievances", in which each person tells everyone else all the ways they have disappointed him or her over the past year.

See, here's the thing. Once you start allowing religious displays on public property, everyone's going to want to get their religion, or non-religion, or even satirical made-up religion, into the act. Won't be long before you won't be able to navigate across the Capitol Rotunda.

 Will the Scientologists demand a dispaly with a starship shaped like a DC-9? Will we see a display in tribute to  the Flying Spaghetti Monster (all hail his noodly appendage)? Stay tuned...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Illinois, I'm Here For You.

Blagojevich Arrest Muddies Illinois Political Waters - The Fix'

According to conversations with several Chicago political sharps, the thinking now is that if Blagojevich makes the appointment, the only possible pick is a caretaker with an unimpeachable record on ethics who will hold the seat for two years and then step aside in 2010.

It's nearly impossible to imagine that anyone Blagojevich picks at this point would be able to run for a full term 2010 as they would immediately be labeled as the hand-picked choice of a scandal-tarred governor.

Let me suggest another possible solution: Me.

Hear me out here. I've got no ties at all to the "scandal-tarred governor." Frankly, I never even knew the guy's name till a couple of days ago. I'm not tied to any corrupt Chicago political machine. In fact, I don't even live in Illinois. Oh, I've been there, and I've got friends in Chicago, sure, but none of them, as far as I know, have even a whiff of political scandal about them.

Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus has this to say: Well, I'm not sure what's best for the people of Illinois who matter here. However, I do think anyone who accepts a senatorial appointment from the governor is obviously unfit for the job.

I mean, really. Can you think of anyone more unfit for the job than me?

Illinois: I'm here to help. Call me.

Question of the Day

'Day Without a Gay'| Los Angeles Times
Gay-rights activists are encouraging people to “call in gay” to work today to demonstrate how integral gay people are to American society.

“We are here, and we are not second-class citizens, and we deserve the same rights as everyone else,” said Julio Perez, a restaurant manager in Chicago who is planning to take the day off.

The event is among scores of grass-roots activities — including protests, boycotts and marches — that have sprung up in California and across the country since the passage of Proposition 8, which banned same-sex marriage in California, along with other anti-gay ballot initiatives in Arizona, Florida and Arkansas.

It was first proposed by Los Angeles Times columnist Joel Stein and is patterned after the 2006 "A Day Without a Mexican" work stoppage. After Stein wrote a Nov. 14 column proposing the idea (which he said he got from a friend), activists seized upon it and chose Dec. 10, which is International Human Rights Day. Sean Hetherington, a personal trainer and stand-up comedian who is among those coordinating the event, urged protesters to use the day to do volunteer work.

So....if you're bisexual, do you come in late or just not come back from lunch?

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

This Bullshit Makes Me Absolutely Crazy

Rod Blagojevich Arrested: The Damage He Could Do: Huffington Post
The arrest this morning of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich has sparked intense discussion in the political universe over how great a taint his ethical follies will have both on the next Illinois Senator and Barack Obama.

The governor, accused of seeking cash for the political appointment of Obama's Senate replacement, is not a close associate of the President-elect. Indeed, in the affidavit, Blagojevich called Obama a "motherfucker" for wanting him to appoint an official that the governor either did not like or wouldn't receive money from. Local news reports, meanwhile, suggest that it was Obama chief-of-staff Rahm Emanuel who blew the whistle on the governor.

But the fact that Blagojevich put, in essence, a for-sale sign on Obama's Senate seat -- and some of the lengths he went to in order to extract financial benefit from the process -- could create for long-term damage for the Democratic Party and, by extension the President-elect.

Okay, let me get this straight. there is absolutely no fucking evidence that Barack Obama was involved in this conspiracy, the Defendant, in fact, calls Obama a "motherfucker" for not being part of it, and, in fact, it may very well be Obama's own chief of staff who turned the sumbitch in...but this is somehow going to reflect badly on Obama? What the FUCK?

It's bad enough that the RNC and their dutiful stenographers in the so called "liberal media" are going to try to tar Obama with this brush. But we expect that from that pack of lying, reality-challenged weasels. But this is the Huffington Goddamn Post buying into this huge steaming pile of bullshit.

With friends like these, who needs enemies?

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Random Notes

Latest Newspaper Column:

Just a few random musings this week:
  • The most hyped movie of this holiday season seems to be the Tom Cruise vehicle "Valkyrie." It's a heartwarming holiday tale about one of the failed plots to kill Adolf Hitler, and it opens, for some unaccountable reason, on Christmas Day. Because, as several of my friends have pointed out, nothing says Christmas like a movie about trying to kill Hitler. My personal theory is that it's aimed at giving Jewish people something to do on Christmas Day other than going out for Chinese food.
  • New York Giants wide receiver Plaxico Burress capped off an injury- and fine-plagued year by accidentally shooting himself in the leg in a New York nightclub. Then, to add insult to injury, he got arrested for illegal possession of the weapon and benched for the rest of the season. But none of this answers the main question for me: What the heck kind of name is "Plaxico"? It sounds like a cholesterol drug.
  • Am I the only person who finds it really really disturbing to hear the voice of Steve Buscemi, the oddly visaged actor who's made a career out of playing creeps, coming out of an animated gingerbread man in an AT&T ad?
  • Recently when looking back over the last few months' news, I started feeling a strange sensation of déjà vu. Gas shortages and high gas prices. Stock market crashes. Recession. Auto companies going to Congress for a bailout. Suddenly, a chill ran down my spine as I realized: We are facing the return of the 1970s. If disco comes back, I really am moving to Canada. Unless there's a corresponding Led Zeppelin reunion to offset it.
  • Speaking of the '70s, though, the Big Three automakers who recently went to Washington to beg for a bailout should have studied up a little better on their history, particularly the trip Chrysler chairman Lee Iaccoca made to Capitol Hill in 1979 to ask for Congress' help in saving his company. He went up there with a plan for changing the cars the company had been making. He didn't ask for a handout; he asked the government to guarantee loans to the company--loans that not only got paid back in full, they got paid back early. And he sure as heck didn't fly there in a private jet. When the CEO of a major company does something that makes the vast majority of the people who hear about go, "How stupid is this guy?" one can't help but question the wisdom of giving that company money.
  • One of the things that's really redlined my BS meter recently is the media's attempt to start a fight between Barack Obama and his Cabinet picks, in particular Secretary of State nominee Hillary Clinton. Reporters are acting like junior high school students trying to stir up drama: "Did you hear what she said about you?" The attempts to sow dissent (and therefore boost ratings) don't end with Clinton. Fox News' Chris Wallace even asked if Defense Secretary Robert Gates, a holdover from the Bush administration, would "follow orders" when it came to Obama's timetable for withdrawal from Iraq. This is patently stupid, even by the standards of Fox News. Politicians making nice with one another after slamming each other on the trail has not previously been regarded as remarkable. Bush the Elder, after all, was picked for veep by Ronald Reagan after calling Reagan's domestic policy "voodoo economics." I'm betting that Obama's wishing he'd never mentioned he was reading that book about the Lincoln administration called "Team of Rivals." The media's obsession with that phrase ignores the fact that Obama, first and foremost, has picked a team of professionals. I know that seems strange and exotic after the past eight years, but the press just needs to accept that the government is finally in the hands of grownups.
  • I am chuckling, however, at the irony of the fact that a lot of the harshest criticism of Obama's picks comes not from the right wing, but from the left. Progressive bloggers like The Nation's Christopher Hayes are shocked that the Cabinet-to-be doesn't contain "a single, solitary, actual dyed-in-the-wool progressive." They're particularly incensed that Obama has relied heavily on people who served during the Clinton years. "That's not change!" they whine. But you have to ask: Where else are you going to find people who have experience implementing Democratic policies? All of the Carter veterans are really, really old by now. Again, picking people with actual experience in the jobs they're supposed to be doing may seem strange after eight years of Bush putting incompetent cronies and wild-eyed ideologues in charge, but it's really the way it ought to be done.

    A Cabinet picked for competence and experience -- that really is change we can believe in.