Friday, October 30, 2009

Who Does This Guy Think He Is?

Heard a story on the radio this morning about Obama meeting military families at Dover to console them when the bodies of their relatives killed in Afghanistan arrive. I couldn't help but wonder if this guy is really so full of himself that he thinks his mere presence provides some sort of comfort to these poor people. I wouldn't be surprised if more than a few of these families are thinking that maybe if His Highness wasn't dithering about sending more troops, their loved one might still be alive. And if someone did confront him, you know the MSM is never going to report it.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Hey Solid--Dig That NY-23 Gestalt!

Doug Hoffman NY-23 ad feat. Fred Thompson!

(Thompson, the legendary 2008 prez chasepacker, was also in Die Hard 2: Die Harder, which I still kinda like.)

Ezra Klein re: Public Option, as such, not meaning so much

Voila. See also Ezra's earlier, very good point about what's good and what's not-so-good about the "public option" not being quite the same frame as "Medicare:"
A Medicare option would also probably have been a nonstarter in Congress, much as the public option attached to Medicare rates stands little chance of passage. But the advantage would have been that the ensuing debate would have been explicitly tied to the thing that makes a government option so effective: the power to negotiate on behalf of a huge customer base, as other countries do and as Medicare does. Instead, the debate has centered around the principle of an insurer run by the public, which is, at this point, going to have a lot less impact on premiums than most of its supporters expect. As a political move, that probably made sense, and allowed politicians to get to a place where they might just have a compromise that supporters like and skeptics don't hate. But the cost is that the compromise won't do what supporters wanted, and skeptics feared.

I simply cannot, I simply do not, I simply will not understand.

Via Ben Smith:

Joe Biden's numbers, defying historical precedent, aren't very good, Gallup reports.

Cheney and Gore, by contrast, were about as popular as their bosses.

Meanwhile, in the National Culture

Hulk Hogan, Eric Bischoff sign with TNA -

I'm completely comfortable saying this is the biggest Pro Wrestling news since....I dunno. Please, please tell me that Mr. Hulkster will be reprising his "Hollywood Hogan"/heel persona?!?

I presumed myself to be "too old" to watch pro wrestling years back, when I found myself on the business end of family life, but these days, shit -- maybe we should all start watching professional wrestling? Is it really as scary as Bridezillas or that wedding reception show from NJ, or Sons of Anarchy*?

Ah, mebbe. Ah, mebbe not. I personally cannot imagine watching wrestling again because the sex-semiotics of the lady valets (and of the sexuality en general, and of the nationalist tropes, jeebus! ) make me feel implicated/interpellated into a very bad subject-position and a very worse politics of representation.

But rest assured there're no "value judgments" going on here (mebbe there should be?) If I'm doing the right thing by not-watching or by watching, it's doubtless for neutral (and/or "wrong") reasons.

Right About Now Let's Ketchup Horn

I'm in a baaaaaaad mood this morning, and thinking I'll take it out on the political news over my cereal bowl and my goddamned motherfucking coffee cup. That's right, I'm breakfasting at 11:40! Let's go round l'horn:

The Public Option Lives. Wow. | The New Republic
People Power Matters: The Public Option Lives! - CEPR
Ezra Klein - An interview with Sen. Sherrod Brown: 'Reid listened to his senators'
Well, shit. Look at this! For once, popular opinion seems to've trumped Senate slowdown rules, and progressives have leveraged the fraid-y cats and conservatives in their Dem-caucus!

[Of course there's still a long way to go, blah-blah-blah etc. Of course this isn't a single payer plan, blah-blah-blah etc.] Myself, I still take solace in the actual people having actual access to care, and, shit, the evidence that the ostensibly pro-government party is demonstrating that it actually can govern. That's enough to please Foucault and Chris Matthews, people. How about you?

NY-23 race first test of tea party power - Alex Isenstadt -
I am fizzassinated by this most truly overdetermined congressional election facing voters in NY, the home of fusion voting. So far, Palin, Pawlenty, Fred Thompson and others have endorsed a 3rd Party, Tea Party-induced conservative against the incumbent Republican Dede Scozzafava. Noted moderate Republican (and presumed 2012 chasepack-er) Newt Gingrich has thrown his "reasonable man" weight behind Scozzafava, saying "“If you seek to be a perfect minority, you’ll remain a minority.” I will be watching, and watching close, as these conservatives eat each other's young -- mebbe, just mebbe, allowing the Dem challenger to win the seat for the first time since 1850! Boom!

The Nasty Battle Between Chris Christie and Jon Corzine in the New Jersey Governor's Race -- New York Magazine
Alright listen, if you know me, and if you're going to know me over the next coupla days, you could do worse than to check this well-written survey of the filth-swamp that is NJ politics, and the particularly nasty terrain this election seem's to have staked out for a staging area.

"We" must root for Corzine, without ever really identifying with him - that's politics, chaps and ladies! The incumbent Dem gov KNOWS his own vote has topped out at btw 42-44%, and, thus, that he'll need to a) continue nasty, gnarly, often petty attacks against his GOP adversary Chris Christie, and b) boost the third-party candidacy of one Chris Daggett.

New Jersey is all about this sorta "better to win ugly than lose pretty" ethos, and its Democratic organization is as good at winning as it is, well, very fugging ugly. Corzine is inside of 10% down with a week to go. Can he make it happen?

Tax measure vote deserves civil debate | | Statesman Journal
Welcome to my personal apocalypse, the subject of my dissertation and the symbol of my discontent. This soft editorial summarizes the two sides battlings over Measures 66&67, so you can jump in and join a fella!

News: Organized Against Labor - Inside Higher Ed
Teachers' unions uneasy with President Barack Obama - Nia-Malika Henderson -
Fed up with McEntee - Ben Smith -
Meanwhile, executives of the bourgeoisie continue to hate them unions!

Mark Sanford on Ayn Rand | Newsweek Books