Saturday, September 6, 2008

Small town values

Sábado cinquo

We're entering the home stretch of the 2008 election, so I thought it appropriate we cast our eye back on the last few months years of the primary contest and enumerate our five favorite also-rans - and by favorite I mean the ones we loved-to-love and, more significantly, we loved-to-hate. Here's mine:

5. Mittens - Mostly I miss the hair, but honestly, he was a punching bag par excellence.
4. Mike Gravel - A cranky old man with a sense of humor and the most surreal pr campaign evuh!
3. Huck! - A cuter, cuddlier conservative. The man jammed out the bass to 70's arena rawk tunes and almost made me believe he actually cared for people.
2. Ron Paul - The Ron Paul Blimp was absolute gold. And here's to the Paultards wreaking further havoc on this election.
1. Dennis Kucinich - Nuff said.

Sound off down below.

Friday, September 5, 2008

For My Wife, Because I Love Her

And she's awesome.

Non-Politics-Related Post

But related to the internets, so...

What are you all using for web browsing these days, because the new Firefox is eating memory to the point where I can't listen to Don Johnson on the Napster while trying to soccernet and IM with the wife?

Safari? Explorer? Something so cool no one (me) has ever heard of it?

PS: Now that I am getting my first taste of the musical stylings of Don Johnson in 20 years, it is possible that Firefox was desperately trying to do me a favor.

Three guesses which superheroes are running for president and vice president.

Did you get them? Be honest.

Well, They Did Move on "Up" Afterall

In case you missed it in all the hubbub last night:
Georgia Republican Rep. Lynn Westmoreland used the racially-tinged term "uppity" to describe Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama Thursday.

Westmoreland was discussing vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin's speech with reporters outside the House chamber and was asked to compare her with Michelle Obama.

"Just from what little I’ve seen of her and Mr. Obama, Sen. Obama, they're a member of an elitist-class individual that thinks that they're uppity," Westmoreland said.

Asked to clarify that he used the word “uppity,” Westmoreland said, “Uppity, yeah.”

Not only is the is this cracker a racist pos, but he doesn't make any fucking sense. Try parsing this: "They're a member of an elitist-class individual that thinks that they're uppity." I count at least three grammar errors and one giant failure of logic.

Finally, Someone Willing to Stand Up for the Big Guy

A few quotes in the Register-Guard from a house party to watch the McCain speech (40 people attended. I'd say 30-35 met at the AFL-CIO to go canvassing for Obama last night).
Of all the things she likes about the Republican platform and McCain, Rosemary Nichols said she especially welcomes the feeling that she’s being rewarded for her hard work and prosperity.

“I’m tired of being made to feel guilty for being successful — that’s the American dream,” she said. “We need to get back to being proud to be an American, and proud to be a successful American.”

Then there is Jennifer Gaskill, who hates partisan politics, but loves it when the Republicans really stick it to the Dems.

“I’m so tired of the partisan stuff. He legitimately and honestly wants what’s best for our country and our families,” Gaskill, 39, said. “I’m with him on that.”

After Wednesday’s speech by Palin, McCain did a wonderful job of adding his story to her message, Gaskill said.

“When he got up there tonight, he came off as very presidential,” she said. “She got up there and her speech was basically, ‘Don’t mess with me.’ I think they will complement each other very, very well.”

And then the capper for over-exuberance from Hal Reed, chairman of the Republican Party of Lane County:
Oregon is in play for McCain and Sarah Palin, and I want you to write that down.
Consider it noted, Hal. See you in November.

Heart Does Not Heart McCain-Palin

Since we all do the politique and the musique:
ST. PAUL, Minnesota (CNN) — Blasting through the Republican convention hall is the 1977 hit "Barracuda" by rock band Heart.

It's a shout-out to Sarah Palin. When she played basketball in high school, the soon-to-be Republican vice presidential nominee earned the nickname "Sarah barracuda" for her fierce competitiveness.

Some of her opponents revived the "Sarah barracuda" nickname after she became mayor of her hometown, Wasilla, in 1996, defeating a three-term incumbent.

UPDATE: Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart said Thursday night that Universal Music Publishing and Sony BMG have sent a cease and desist notice to the McCain-Palin campaign over their use of 'Barracuda.'

"We have asked the Republican campaign publicly not to use our music. We
hope our wishes will be honored," the group said in a statement that said they "condemn" the use of the song at the Republican convention.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Maverick! open thread

We understand that John McCain is a maverick. And a POW. Just passing that along.

RNC UnderCard Open Thread

Three hours until John's big oratorical whatever, but I can already smell the ether wafting in from the land of Amy Klobuchar (swoon), Bob Mould (une autre swoon) and all.

Mebbe like me you're already staring into the fire? Touching the flame? Tasting the burn? Hearing the yawps?

Quick before plus de RNC

Besides writing a good book that I just slurped like so much fizzy water, Bob Kuttner watches the Palin speech and boils the whole ball game, I believe, down to a single paragraph:
So now we understand what John McCain's handlers were up to: Intensify the culture wars, and once again use cultural symbols as substitutes for policies. In particular, use Hockey Mom Sarah Palin to change the subject from why regular Americans are hurting in the pocketbook to why Palin is a more regular American than Barack Obama. Will the Democrats change it back? Whether they do will decide the election.

Paging Dr. Freud

As both dave and I pointed out recently, the right-wing locker room is standing at full mast over Sarah Palin. And as they do so, they reveal some analytically rich musings:
Palin exudes sexual confidence and maternal authority, which in a relatively conservative culture like ours is the most recognizable and viscerally comprehensible form of female power. It makes a lot of men uncomfortable, but that’s because it’s the kind of female power they are most often subject to, and most often fail to successfully resist. I spent much of my life taking orders from women a lot like Sarah Palin — women like my mother and my Iowa public school teachers.



I'm continually stunned that K-Lo has the mental capacity to breath, much less draw a paycheck:
Not Bad to Have in the Background of a Reform Convention [Kathryn Jean Lopez]

Jack Abramoff was just sentenced to four years in prison.

EK re: Cindy

So, it'd seem that the Ezra Klein is hot for a place on my blogroll: yeah, that's gotta be it.
I'm not really sure why Vanity Fair is making such a big deal out of the fact that Cindy McCain's outfit last night cost around $300,000 (yes, you read that right). I mean, sure, that's about 60 times the tax cut McCain is giving families to help them with their yearly health care bills, and sure, that's six times the median household income in the United States. But they're missing the point. The theme of last night's RNC proceedings was "prosperity." Most of us were thus expecting the speakers to talk about prosperity, and confused when none of them mentioned it. But it turned out that we had three-carat proof of prosperity dangling from Cindy McCain's earlobes the whole time. The speakers didn't even need to mention the country's economic condition!

Murphy and Noonan Off Message


MCCain campaign has responded with "So what?"

Palin and Sexism

The Daily Show: Boom!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Post-speech thread

Keep going.

Palin, Palin, Palin open thread!


More RNC thread

Because you're chatty.

RNC open thread

Here's tonight's schedule, with the theme being reform ("Washington is broken and the Original Maverick will fix it"). I'm sure that'll work out for them. The fireworks will be in the 10 PM EDT hour when Sarah Palin will attempt to convince us that being a corrupt Alaskan machine politician is actually a good thing.

Bon appetit!

A Trophy Role Model, One Might Say

Comment on a post about Bristol's pregnancy on a conservative blog:

Reply 19--Posted by: LadyVet, 9/1/2008 1:34:19 PM

Let's have a wedding and get this young man into the family photograph. Why wait for the Rose Garden? Glad to see that he will grow up, man up, and step up.

P.S. May I recommend that he look to Fred Thompson as a good role model?

For reference.

[UPDATE] : Either I am reading all the wrong sites and listening to all the wrong people, but it seems to be commonly accepted that Bristol's pregnancy makes the Palins more real, because, apparently, teen pregnancy is something that happens to "every family." As best I can tell, only 4.4% of American teens become pregnant. So, how does Bristol's pregancy make the Palins more "normal?" And WHY THE FUCK ARE WE STILL ACTING LIKE HAVING A PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE THAT IS A "REGULAR JOE" IS A GOOD THING???????? For fuck sake, will there again be a time in this country when brains, ideas, and (heaven for fucking bid) communicaton skills are positives? Can someone please focus their attention on Sarah Palin and whether or not anything mildly intelligent comes out of her mouth? Because so far I have yet to hear it.

What the Hell Kind of World Is This?

James Walcott is on fire with the Palins and the GOP. It's writing like this that gives me hope that even when if we lose this election, there will be other sane people crying with us.


Here is an afl-cio link replete with the pro-EFCA commercial currently hitting the airwaves.

And here, mes amis, is the resurgent Tom Frank - did he re-surge or did I just lose track like a dumbhead? - supporting EFCA in the Wall Street Journal. If you are an expert or a beginner on the matter, this is something you need to read. The only other person who has touched this issue with so much clarity of thought is named Lafer.

Primer: Labor, (almost) right this second

This much good labor writing, within 72 hours?
  1. Wow, check out Chris Hayes' thoughtful take on the "pro-labor" Republican event and SEIU's "Take Back Labor Day" concert feat. Andy "is healthcare in the house?" Stern and Tom Morello*.
  2. Then chase it with Ezra Klein's very sage distillation of the SEIU/UHW struggle (ed - link updated after Wobs' heads-up - thanks Wobs.)
  3. Then, for a local dessert, check this R-G profile of Lane County's labor day festivities, and our AFT brother's, uh, pretty plain dismissal of EFCA.
* Btw, an anlaogy - Andy Stern is to Walter Reuther what Tom Morello is to Guy Picciotto...

* Btw, pt 2. Have you all seen "American Rights At Work"'s pro-EFCA ad on the cable channels? As far as I know, this is the first time labor has gone to a "fight television ads with television ads" strategy over the proposed bill. Three months before the pres. election, and almost half a year from the soonest possible moment during which the 2009 Congress could pass it; amidst a hard-fought, historic presidential race and all of the down ballot business, both unions and business are trying to get their brands/frames out around this issue? Can you imagine what kind of a Senate fight we're in for if this thing were ever to make it to the floor with an ice cube's chance in hell?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

And now, I digress

I've laid off the celebrity blogging for awhile now, mainly because celebrity antics no longer shock me. Really, how long can I go on spouting about drug-fueled escapades, gratuitous cooter shots, and fucked-up interpersonal relationships? It's all pretty fucking boring.

However, I'll make an exception for Amy Winehouse who, against all odds, appears to have OD'd on weed:
It was following this second overdose in July that doctors are worried her brain was damaged by the cannabis overdose after she displayed symptoms normally associated with schizophrenia.

The Back to Black star inhaled an 'inhuman' amount of hash that left her vomiting uncontrollably and hallucinating, according to her pal.

Back in the day, I'll 'fess up to some marathon pot-smoking sessions and methods of ingestion that turned the little weed into a hard drug (gravity bongs, anyone?). I've gotten so high that I... fell asleep.

But to smoke so much as to overdose and cause cognitive dysfunction? I have a hard time believing that it was solely hash-fueled, but damn - that shit's fucked up.

RNC open thread

Tonight's schedule. Have at!

Update on Amy Goodman

Everyone may already be up to date on this (we here in the allegedly progressive Triangle don't get DN! on any local stations, so I am waiting for today's edition on the web)...but just in case you were wondering about Democracy Now!'s Amy Goodman's arrest at the RNC, an update is available here.

Her producers, Sharif Abdel Kouddous and Nicole Salazar, are facing felony riot charges, which is outrageous. I'll definitely be adding a "fuck the police" tag to this one.

Oh, and by the way: I'm back.

It Can Be Good, I'll Tell You That Much

Some of us celebrated Labor Day here in the US. It went unremarked on a blog nominally dedicated to discussing the state of labor in the US. What does this mean?
(For those of you celebrating charity golf tournaments, feel free to let us know how those went, too.)

Monday, September 1, 2008

Hookers & Blow


Amy Goodman arrested at the RNC!?!?


I Can't Stand It

When David Brooks refers to the Republican party as "we" and the Democrats as "they," I am sure he is not wearing his pundit hat at that moment, but will put it on later, before he gives us his fair and non-partisan analysis of the Republican convention.

Stop Hitting Yourself

Dear Editor of the Register Guard,

In his Mailbag letter (September 1), Jack Roberts writes that after Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised their black-gloved fists in the air while receiving their Olympic medals in 1968, millions of white Americans took this as a sign that "nothing they did for black people would ever be enough," and they suddenly decided to revert to their racist ways.

Tragically, Roberts informs us, this happened right when we were so close to "uprooting the last remnants of discrimination in America." Roberts concludes his letter by stating that Smith and Carlos are directly responsible for setting back the cause of civil rights in America.

I'd like to posit that it is actually Roberts, and all the people like him, who have always and continue to set back the cause of civil rights in America by arguing that it is actually black people who are responsible for the racism in our society. It's not that Roberts wants to discriminate against black people, he tried to "give" them their civil rights, but they are just so ungrateful that there's nothing he can do but "backlash."

Of course, Roberts writes in a long tradition stretching back to antebellum America of white men finding the source of their racism in the character of black men. Hopefully, we are nearing the end of that tradition, but until that time, it is the responsibility of all who strive for equality in our society to keep raising our fists and fighting men like Jack Roberts.


Happy Labor Day gang! In the spirit of the day, I've selected some prime "dude with an acoustic guitar hollering out protest tunes" to suit the occasion. Now, before you start going on about how unhip that is, would it help if the dude with the acoustic guitar was Rage Against the Machine's Tom Morello, under his nom de guerre the Nightwatchman? Of course it would!

"Road I Must Travel"

"Maximum Firepower" - and how cool is his mom?

And an old classic, with all of the verses, "This Land is Your Land"

EZ Polling RNC Edition

I know we are all still moping over the cancellation of GWB and Cheney's speeches, but I want to know what we think about the "change in plans." I have posted this week's poll on the right. We will digest next Saturday. Positive vibrations to all in the storm's path....please get to safety (and bring your pet)

You might want to check into that

I had the feeling that Palin wasn't carefully vetted before being offered the veep slot. Turns out I was wrong - she apparently wasn't vetted at all.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

When ratfucks go bad

At this early stage in the game, it appears that the Maverick's gambit to select Sarah Palin as his running mate in order to woo disaffected Hillary voters isn't working out as planned. It's partially due to her Boss Hogg-esque levels of incompetence, but I think when it's all said and done, historians will point to the GOP being bitten in the ass by their own Rovian ratfucking operation.

It was clear way back in June that it would've been politically impossible for Obama to select Hillary as his running mate, mainly because it would have been construed as political weakness on his part. As the summer wore on, the media latched on to those who demanded that if Obama picked a female veep, anyone but Hillary would've been an insult to her supporters and a cravenly political move (which, in retrospect, I think the latter is true). I don't discount a fair number of Clinton supporters feeling this way in reaction to the perceived and actual sexism of the primary season, but I think it was Republican operatives who were most responsible in keeping that narrative alive in the hopes of sowing Democratic disunity.

However, in choosing Palin, the McCain campaign is running into the very buzzsaw that Obama would have run into had he selected Governor Sebelius of Kansas (or any other woman): they created an environment where any woman selected (especially one who hadn't earned her stripes like Hillary had) would be seen as a cynical ploy to attract Hillary's female supporters. Had the Republicans not spent all summer pushing the "no woman but Hillary" narrative, the Palin gamble might have had an outside chance of working. In this environment, however, I think a lot of people are seeing it for the blatantly political charade that it is.

Reap what you sow, motherfuckers.


This article is a week old, but the Register Guard just published it, so I will comment now.

It is awesomely batshit.

Seeing the headline Information overload can short-circuit democracy I expected an anti-blog rant, but I thought it'd be along the lines of "reckless bloggers can publish anything, even if it's not true!" and I was mentally prepared with my Judy Miller retorts. Instead, author Dusty Horwitt advances that Americans are better served by having just a few news sources, so that we can all work off the same page and share a common identity. He very kindly suggests the Washington Post editorial page as my goto news source.

Dusty cites three examples from the nation's past to point out how having a single source of news has gotten positive results. He points to Senator Feingold's campaign in 1992, where Feingold was able to show just one television commercial in each market and reach enough WIsconsinites to win the Dem primary. He quotes a Feingold adviser as saying that he doesn't think it "could ever happen again."

If I may, I'd like to offer Ned Lamont as a counter example.

Dusty then goes on the mention that in the 1930s "radio priest" Father Charles Coughlin "promoted ideas for economic reform to an audience of 40 million, which helped pressure President Roosevelt to enact Social Security and other reforms." Father Coughlin? Father Charles Coughlin? Virulently anti-Semitic Father Coughlin? Pro-Nazi Father Coughlin? The man most responsible for the United States' inhumane treatment of Jewish refugees during the 30s and 40s? Being cited as a positive example of the power of the media in a major US paper?

Wait...this is a joke, right? Like the one about SUVs being necessary to remind us we're American men? Right? [quick search of the internet...nope, seems like Dusty is genuinely touting Father Coughlin as a model for American media today.]

That his next example is the Civil Rights movement does not help my "he's joking" theory. A legitimate argument could be had about what the Civil Rights movement might look like in today's media world. Lately, we haven't done terribly well with immigrant rights or Jena.

He goes on to suggest a solution to the "problem" of information overload so straight out of the Crazy Book that I am again forced to contemplate that this entire piece might be humor. He suggests that the US institute an energy tax high enough to prevent people like you and me wasting it be writing and publishing our "opinions." But then Dusty goes on and on about this idea and I believe that he genuinely means it. That he's an environmental lawyer lends credence to notion that his proposal is genuine.

Most of the comments on the WaPost site assume that Dusty is a lefty and this an attempt by a lefty say that only the liberal media should have a voice. My first instinct was to reject that idea, mostly because I believe that the media is actually rather conservative and love the left blogosphere, coupled with Dusty's praise of Coughlin, but, looking around the net, I see that Dusty is a dumbass who thinks he's helping his lefty causes.

Whether Dusty is right or left, I am staggered by his ignorance and stupidity.