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Apres Stimpy

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Cross posted at Daily Kos.

This is about right.

Ackroyd does look a lot like Boehner doesn’t he? Maybe a little heavier but close enough for satire.

Further to this point, today’s Frank Rich column in the NY Times is worth reading. Check out the whole column and the polling data Rich provides:

But, as he (Obama) said in Fort Myers last week, he will ultimately be judged by his results. If the economy isn’t turned around, he told the crowd, then “you’ll have a new president.” The stimulus bill is only a first step on that arduous path. The biggest mistake he can make now is to be too timid. This country wants a New Deal, including on energy and health care, not a New Deal lite. Far from depleting Obama’s clout, the stimulus battle instead reaffirmed that he has the political capital to pursue the agenda of change he campaigned on.

Republicans will also be judged by the voters. If they want to obstruct and filibuster while the economy is in free fall, the president should call their bluff and let them go at it. In the first four years after F.D.R. took over from Hoover, the already decimated ranks of Republicans in Congress fell from 36 to 16 in the Senate and from 117 to 88 in the House. The G.O.P. is so insistent that the New Deal was a mirage it may well have convinced itself that its own sorry record back then didn’t happen either.

Don’t just take Frank’s word for it. Check out this polling data from Research 2K, posted at Daily Kos.

So this week, the Republicans are receiving a failing grade from the American electorate. But a week is a long time in politics. Six months is even longer. In six months time we may have a clearer view of the efficacy of STIMPY (the stimulus bill). Right now though, the polling tells us that most Americans are glad it was passed and glad that Obama is President and in a position to sign the bill into law tomorrow.

If I were an ambitious freshman Congressman from a traditionally red district in a heavily blue state I would be worried about the politics of STIMPY. If it works (and it will boost the GDP) the congressional Democrats and the President get the glory. Republicans will become more marginalized than they already are.

Consider these Research 2000 numbers

In the Midwest, which includes Illinois, Republicans have a favorable/unfavorable deficit of 33 percentage points. The Obama party is up by 23. I guess the GOP has the Dems where they want them now, eh?

Unless Obama destroys the U.S. economy, our hypothetical young congress critter will have much difficulty running for statewide office anytime soon.

To refocus on the bigger picture, Obama and the Democrats have momentum, a strong wind behind them. To paraphrase Frank Rich, Obama has a huge pile of political capital and a pretty good idea of what he needs to do with it.

And if he fails? If the economy collapses? The Republican id, neo confederate, laissez faire, theocratic, violent, racist, sadistic, elitist, will be at last freed to slouch toward Bethlehem for its long awaited birth.

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February 16th, 2009 at 3:36 pm

Inauguration Blues

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Got a txt from a close relative a few nights ago, very excited and enthusiastic about the the inauguration and prelims. This is a hopeful time, and every American to the left of Dick Cheney has a right to feel pride, mixed with hope, optimism and of course relief that the witch is positively, absolutely, undeniably and reliably, most sincerely dead. Obama wears the ruby slippers now and soon we will know if he is a good witch or a bad witch.

I wish I could feel the unalloyed joy that so many are experiencing right now. But I am anxious.

It isn’t just because I am one of the bazillions who lost a good paying job last year (though that reality does put a crimp in my party mood). That just makes me one of many who have a reason to worry about survival, dreams of prosperity to follow.

In fact, it is not any one of the many troubles in a sea of them that face the United States and its citizens and other passengers that strains my peace of mind and robs me of sleep.

The Zen master yogi Berra has famously said, “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.” And that is where we are and what we are going to do. That’s the scary part.

The first priority of the new administration is clearly to revive the economy, and hooray says I. I personally really need that to happen, and there is a plan being prepared for Obama’s signature. Questions nag. is the stimulus proposal big enough? Will it work? Are there too many tax cuts and not enough stimuli?

From the Right come calls for more tax cuts for the rich and less spending to create jobs or modernize the nation. From everyone else come expressions of concern that the package is not big enough or that the spending is not well targeted. I am willing to give the new administration the benefit of the doubt, but my heart meanwhile resides in my mouth.

I may have concerns about what we know of the stimulus package, but I regard the legislation working its way through Congress as a first cut. There will be more to come, I expect.

Progressives will try to improve the package of course, but the Republicans are showing signs that they will obstruct much that is good in the President’s proposals. The corporate media is behaving for now, but their American Idiot shtick is prepared and they are ready to pander, frighten and distort when the time is right.

Why here’s the Idiot now.

Ladies and Gentlemen, Green Day.

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January 21st, 2009 at 8:26 pm

2008 U.S. Election Predictions

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And now, the prognostications absolutely no one has been waiting for. Here are my predictions for tomorrow’s exercise in democracy (or as Republics would say, democrac).

For President, Obama gets 53% of the popular vote and 386 electoral votes. McCain gets 152. Nader and Barr (and McKinney and even Ron Paul on the Constitution ticket somewhere in the Rockies) get nuttin, honey.

In the Senate, the Democrats pick up 9 seats. This includes Georgia, Minnesota and Kentucky because the incumbents are all under 50% in those states and I think the Obama ground game will be worth a couple of percentage points in each one. I predict a runoff in Georgia, thanks to the Bob Barr influence. I wish I could give myself some wiggle room about Franken, because I think that will be the toughest one for the Dems to win, but no I’ll stick with Franken because doggone it, people like him.

In the House, I predict 23 Democratic pickups. I would like to predict that Illinois 18, in which I dwell, would be one of those pickups for Colleen Callahan. Especially so since I find the GOP candidate, Aaron Shock, to be such a slimy little opportunist. But it is a strong enough Republican district to make an upset extremely unlikely. But not impossible.

Sheldon Schafer, the Green candidate has run a respectable race too. Might be worth 5% or so. I’m just guessing here.

In general, in most states I expect Democrats at every level to do well. I don’t know where specifically, but I think there will be more Democratic governors and state legislators after tomorrow. Some prediction huh? Talk about betting the favorite to show.

I will be attending the Democratic election night party at the Gateway building in Peoria. I might pop into the Rhythm Kitchen to say hi to the Greens as well.

In other news, I have been working on something about the state of Canadian politics post election. Should have it ready to post by the end of the week.

Speaking of Canada, here’s one of my favorite Band songs:

And here is the Paul Simon song currently being used in a really effective Obama ad:

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November 3rd, 2008 at 9:01 pm

All Your Prescription Drugs Are Belong to Us

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November 1st, 2008 at 12:02 pm

Where Will Conservative Frustration Lead?

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Cross posted at Daily Kos.

About a month ago, at the end of the business day, I was talking with someone I work with. He was tired, leaving a couple of minutes early. I was working on some tedious but mission critical task, happy for a break. Somehow, the subject of retirement came up.

“Well, I was hoping to retire in a few years,” I said, “But now it looks like I have to work til I’m 70.”

“I hear ya,” he answered, and the floodgates opened. Not about intimate, personal stuff, but about the frustration that comes with being a middle class American in the year of the Common Era 2008.

He allowed as how the state of the economy was causing him significant heartburn. And he was pretty fed up with Bush and company, though he considers himself a Republican.

This was in the middle of the week that began with a huge drop in the Dow and the first reports of Paulson’s initial request, and my colleague’s anxieties regarding these matters were heightened, a common condition it seems fair to say. So his venting continued.

My suspicion that he has always been a habitual GOP voter was confirmed, but he’s fed up with Bush and thinks McCain is nuts. The thought of a Palin Presidency fills him with dread.

He is not, however, completely sold on Obama. The only one of the four major party candidates he is comfortable with right now is Biden. Still, there is a very good chance that he will vote Democratic, at least at the top of the ticket. I suspect he is leaning toward Obama, but won’t know how he is voting until Election Day.

And the financial crisis was bothering him a lot. The crisis and the cratering Dow left him feeling vulnerable and insecure — and angry of course. Angry about the bailout because it’s 700 billion; angry because of his delayed retirement. Mad about a lot of stuff.

Fast forward to now. We’ve had the four debates and a stock market roller coaster. As of now, the polls in the presidential race have moved Obama’s way. I haven’t talked with my colleague, but I suspect that his frustration and anger are reflected in those poll numbers.

There certainly are a lot of high profile Republicans coming out publicly in support of Obama. The latest is former South Dakota Senator Larry Pressler. Like Colin Powell, Pressler is a Vietnam veteran, adding to a long list of et tu’s for McCain to deliver someday (thanks to Talking Points Memo for making me aware of Pressler’s endorsement).

As has been amply documented in blogotopia and elsewhere, many Republicans and conservatives are not taking these developments very calmly. The more conservative and GOP endorsements Obama earns, the more ferocious grows the response from Republican die hards. There are a ton of Youtube videos out there capturing McCain and/or Palin rally goers making racist and maybe threatening statements.

And this was included in a Peoria Journal Star discussion forum last week:

For you Obama supporters my only advice is be careful for what you wish for and heaven help you if you ever remotely think about straying from the liberal plantation.

I wonder what the writer has in mind for his liberal neighbors.

But wait – there’s more. Crooks and Liars provided me with this video of the action at a pro Prop 8 demo and counter demo in California:


The Face of Proposition 8 from Theremina on Vimeo.

As Digby notes in relation to this incident and all the others:

Conservatives are starting to feel very, very freaked out. And they tend to be the type of people who believe violence is the best answer for everything.

I wouldn’t tar all conservatives with the same brush, but the atmosphere is getting tense and ugly. That’s one helluva boil this country seems to be lancing.

A question that rolls around my brain: If Obama wins, will this stuff increase or abate after the election? Or the Inauguration? I don’t mean the political and media opposition to a President Obama, reality based or not. I am referring to the violent street action. How far will they go?

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October 26th, 2008 at 9:56 pm

Opie’s Dream

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Somebody just slipped this under my door. Enjoy.

See more Ron Howard videos at Funny or Die

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October 23rd, 2008 at 7:04 pm

Dear Editor:OBAMATERRISTSOSHULISTBABYKILLERAARGH!!!

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Cross posted at Daily Kos

Many newspapers in Real America are receiving letters like this one I found in my local fish wrapper:

I am writing to make an appeal to the voters of this great nation of ours. Please do not elect Sen. Barack Obama to the presidency.

The Democrat-controlled Congress is on the fast track towards socialism. Obama does not seem to have any ties at all to groups or individuals who have love of country or a sense of duty for the common good of the United States of America.

His ties are with America haters and radicals that seek to take away our greatness. We have a chance on Nov. 4 to save our country and our Constitution. Our economic woes and stock market slides will be nothing compared to what lies ahead if Obama is elected.

Is this a letter based on GOP talking points? Dunno, but it certainly seems inspired by McCain/Palin rhetoric.

Reading this angry little screed would make me very angry, were I Colin Powell, Susan Eisenhower, Christopher Buckley or Warren Buffet. But since I am not, I can afford the luxury of laughing at the way McCain’s nasty tactics continue to blow up in his face.

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October 20th, 2008 at 9:04 pm

Small Town News

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During my lunch period today, I spread the current edition of the Peoria Journal Star on my cubicle desk to catch up with current events. I always read the editorial page because it makes me so mad and increases my adrenaline levels, what with the right wing editorials and the right wing letters to the editor, and the artless right wing cartoon. Grrr!!

Google it and see for yourself. No link from me.

Today’s page was especially fish wrappery. There were about half a dozen letters all dealing with Obama and Ayers or Wright. I smell astro turf. The cartoon was also about Obama and past associations. There was an editorial about a forgettable local issue, but the rest of the page was all anti-Obama.

Now, the PJ Star can print whatever it likes on any of its pages, but I don’t know why the Obama hate fest. Are they encouraging the McCain campaign’s race baiting and attempted character assassination?

I don’t quite get why they would allow the Republicans to take over their editorial page. But what do I know about the newspaper business?

Ironically, local Congress Person Ray LaHood said today that he doesn’t like “the reportedly incendiary tenor” Sarah Palin’s rallies, at which Sarah Palin induces her supporters to cry things like “Traitor!” or “Kill him!”.

All this comes on a day on where Senator McCain himself was booed when he called for Senator Obama to be give respect.

And on a day when the stock market tanked again (no link necessary, I am sure).

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October 10th, 2008 at 11:02 pm

McCain/Obama II: The Thrilla in Nashville

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A quick post to record my reaction to tonight’s ‘debate’ before pundits pollute my perception.

First off, Tweety, on the pre-fight warm up, made me roll my eyes, curse and kick my dog (no, not really – I love my dog). He kept looking for sports metaphors and finally settled on a bull fighting analogy. McCain was the raging bull and Obama the elegant toreador.

Puhlleeze! Gag me with a spoon. Hey Matthews, look up the word ‘policy’ in the dictionary.

Anyway, they got started and I had this feeling about Brokaw, the moderator. And I was right. I think. Granted, I am not objective, but I thought that Brokaw was too deferential to McCain and gave him too much time v Obama. Until Obama took control and stood up for himself.

And why should this media meta crap matter, with all the real issues facing this country and the world? Sigh. But I guess it does.

In terms of substance, nothing new came up. Those of us who have been following the campaign were surprised by exactly nothing that was said. McCain performed better than he did two weeks ago, but Obama won by not losing.

Now, on to Hofstra!

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October 7th, 2008 at 9:07 pm

New McCain Campaign Tactic

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Talking Points Memo reports thus:

WaPo: McCain Camp Plans New Assault On Obama’s Character
The Washington Post reports that the McCain campaign is planning a new offensive against Barack Obama for the home stretch of the campaign, relying less on talking about John McCain’s biography and more about taking On Barack Obama’s personal character. “There’s no question that we have to change the subject here,” said a Republican operative.

Here is a new GOP ad attacking Obama’s character. I think it is to be targeted to rural markets.

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October 4th, 2008 at 11:47 am