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Archive for April, 2009

Federalists, Whigs and Republicans

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I watched a bit of the panel on Fox News Special Report last night and was rewarded with Billy the Kid Kristol’s quick response to the Specter defection. “Good for the Republicans.” Comedy gold! Jon Stewart should poach Kristol’s joke writer tout suite.

Later, Hannity whines, “I don’t want him any way.” More laughs as Hannity demonstrates his deep knowledge of Aesop’s fables. And when somebody on his Great American panel starts to talk about what Specter’s move means and why it happened, Hannity shuts him up. “I don’t want to talk about that.” Hannity in a nutshell. Don’t make me uncomfortable by talking about facts I don’t want to hear.

It is by now conventional wisdom that the GOP is shrinking demographically, ideologically and geographically. The Democrats are not necessarily expanding at the same rate the GOP is contracting, but if present trends continue, there may someday be only one viable national party — which will eventually (after a short Era of Good Feeling) split along a left/right fault line.

That will leave the Republican party as a right wing, neo confederate party, electorally viable only in the deep south. A bizarro world version of Canada’s Bloc Quebecois if you will.

In the rest of the U.S. there will then be an eternal ballot box battle between a center left Democratic Party and a center right party that maybe calls itself the Conservative Party. The Democrats and Conservatives will engage in serious policy debates while the few remaining Republicans spend their time race and red baiting and snake handling. GOP candles will burn before pictures of Rush Limbaugh.

Meanwhile, back in the present, those few remaining moderate Republican in Congress and other offices have to find ways to survive and remain relevant.
I wonder if Aaron Schock ever day dreams about crossing the floor?

Surely not?

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April 29th, 2009 at 7:49 am

Posted in Republican Party

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Idiot Villagers

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I would really like to thank Jason Linkins at good ole Huffpo for providing me with goofy videos so I don’t have to scour Youtube myself. Here is something he embedded in his Sunday Talking Heads column on 4/26:

What the hell was that? Anyway, it captures the lampoonableness (I coined a new adjective -whopee!) of the Beltway and national media.

But returning to the Sunday Talking Heads column mentioned above, I would just like to pose a question to whoever is able to answer it. To whit: What the devil is wrong with those people?

Here is Linkins describing last Sundays panel on Fox News Sunday:

Brit Hume says that the Obama White House really let the torture memos get away from them. “The base was not placated,” Hume says. And also, Brit, MAINSTREAM AMERICA WAS NOT PLACATED. In February, long before the memos were relased, nearly 60% of Americans favored SOME FORM OF INVESTIGATION, criminal or no. That’s not “the base” or “the left” talking. That’s America, reaffirming some American values.

How much is this adding to the “poison of the Washington atmosphere?” Kristol says the release of the memos is an implicit “embrace of the narrative” that the Bush administration committed crimes. Basically, Kristol suggests that if we prosecute crimes and investigate, how does that help us, doesn’t that damage our national security. Juan Williams doesn’t understand how it damages our national security. Williams points out that subjecting a person to over a hundred sessions of waterboarding is just “beyond the pale in terms of human behavior.” Way beyond the pale. The pale is like a dot on the horizon.

Liasson: What they did was “morally repugnant…but that doesn’t mean that they committed a crime.” BELTWAY JOURNAMALISM, ladies and gentlemen!

Hume: “Can anyone identify a benefit” to prosecutions? UHM, CRIMINALS ARE PUNISHED?

Kristol is straight sputtering! Let’s have everyone testify! Let’s have Dick Cheney take on everyone! GOD, THE SALTY TEARS OF THE WEEKLY STANDARD MUST BE FLOWING, at the thought that someone would challenge their version of American exceptionalism, where moral repugnance in the service of their own quasi-concept of America cannot possibly be questioned, ever.

OK, so that is on Fox, the network home of the Satan and Beelzebub. But even one of the two token humans on the panel (Liasson) isn’t sure that torture is a crime. How did Liasson and friends get so morally confused.

Things are just as murky on Obama’s own network NBC. Here’s how Linkins presents part of MTP:

“Is the president playing politics on this issue?” Gregory asks. What a relief! I’m sort of used to Gregory being all about “playing politics.” That sudden veer into “accountability” SADDENED and CONFUSED me. “Does Obama want to appease his LIBERAL ACTIVIST BASE?” he asks. LE SIGH.

Should not the question be, “Why does the President of the Unites States want to see the law of the land enforced and obeyed, even by the nation’s elites?”

As many, many others have noted, the mainstream/traditional/corporate media is bedazzled by the self serving assertions made by Cheney and his ilk that torture produces good intel. Never mind all the experienced interrogators who scoff at such a notion.

Ah well, there is one cable news guy who gets it. And here he is now:

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April 28th, 2009 at 7:20 pm

Hey skippy, Thanks a lot!!!

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Last week, monsieur skippy the bush kangaroo was kind enough to say hello to this little blog. Not only is skippy a bush kangaroo, skippy is a real mensch.

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April 27th, 2009 at 8:11 pm

Posted in Blogs

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Schock of the Fightin’ 18th

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For those still wondering about Aaron Schock, all is revealed here – or is it?

The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
Better Know a District – Illinois’ 18th – Aaron Schock
colbertnation.com
Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor NASA Name Contest

Seriously, was Colbert actually trying to out Aaron? Was Schock playing along or an unwilling dupe?

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April 16th, 2009 at 3:18 pm

Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk Hotel

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Two-Headed Boy, Gardenhead, King of Carrot Flowers Pts.1,2&3

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April 15th, 2009 at 9:07 am

Posted in Indy Bands

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Sarah Palin is Done Like Dinner

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Sarah Palin has demonstrated bad judgment on so many occasions since her November defeat (with McCain of course) that I am ready to predict that not only will she not be the GOP presidential nominee in 2012, but that she has won her last election for public office. Not even Wasilla dog catcher is within her grasp.

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April 14th, 2009 at 8:08 pm

Posted in Republican Party

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Are You from the Bank?

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Cross posted at Daily Kos.

Anyone who regularly plays with the Google box knows that left blogotopia (and yes skippy coined that phrase) is displaying appropriate concern about the latest fads in right wing rhetoric. Here is a Media Matters piece about conservative “violent, revolutionary rhetoric.” Here’s Bob Cesca at Huffpo on “the consequences of crazy talk.”

That’s just a couple of examples, but there have been dozens of other posts about this topic on blogs large and small. What some call the mainstream or traditional media (my preferred term is “corporate media”) has been slow or perhaps unwilling to mention much beyond the alarming increase in gun and ammo sales since November 4 last. A few days ago I saw a chyron on CNN that said (I paraphrase) that the Pittsburgh shooter of three cops “may have been a white supremacist.” CNN got this scoop about a week after a number of journalists and bloggers had done some digging in that area.

And the beat goes on. Check out this review (on Daily Kos) of David Neiwert’s new book, The Eliminationists. Here’s Neiwert himself on the Pittsburgh shooter. Neiwert, of course has done amazing work over the years exploring the vague boundary between appropriate (even if based on intolerance and hate) right wing political action and opinion, and the violence that is the logical end of eliminationist rhetoric. Neiwert is a hero of mine and I can’t wait to read his latest book.

So there is something simmering that seems profoundly unhealthy. Forget about the tea baggers qua tea baggers. Their little tea parties are more comical than threatening. Worry instead about those who listen to Beck warn about that commie Obama taking their guns away and jump from their lazy boys and yelling “Yeah! Tell it, Glenn!” Some, like the Pittsburgh shooter, are dry tinder, and Beck may or may not be the lit cigarette that finally starts the fire. They may or may not be organized, but they are ready to do damage to others and then to themselves.

There may be another Oklahoma City in our near future, and I hope someone is looking for a way to inoculate us against that possibility.

Then there are those who may not even have cable and who think zeitgeist is what you say when someone sneezes. But they are armed, and as Michelle Bachman would wish it, they are dangerous.

Here is an anecdote. I heard it secondhand, I cannot verify its veracity, and I am in no position to identify any of the participants. Therefore take it for what you think it is worth.

Someone who works in the public sector delivering services to those with certain needs was driving in rural Central Illinois recently, on his way to meet a client in their home. The public sector person became lost and stopped at an isolated residence to ask directions. A man answered the door with a pistol in his hand and asked, “Are you from the bank?”

The public sector person said no, said he was lost and apologized for the intrusion and left without receiving any directions.

I’m guessing there are more people with side arms waiting for someone from the bank to knock on their door. Or someone from the Census, or the Sheriff’s office. I would guess further that it is only a matter of time before someone else gets hurt.

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April 13th, 2009 at 9:11 pm

Colbert at His Worst

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April 1st, 2009 at 12:23 pm