Friday, August 11, 2006

What have you got for an opening act this time? A Chinese gorilla dancing ballet?

When the great photographer Ansel Adams interviewed Ronald Reagan during the halycon of the future President's days as a spokesman for G.E. the photographer referred to Reagan as "opaque." No light penetrates. A condition prevalent to most of those of Reagan's political persuasion I might add.

This open letter to Jon Stewart demonstrates once again how those on the political Right live a life of irony-deficiency. They're simply incapable of noticing the absurdity in advocating two (or more) counter positions at the same time.

In this case Justin Hartfield of the Prometheus Institute (Objectivists?) is simultaneously saying that he admired Jon Stewart's appearance on Crossfire in which he berated host Tucker Carlson while taking up Tucker's biggest charge during that program that Stewart wasn't serious enough in his interviews and demeanor.

I understand your show is in the business of entertainment and its focus is on humor, but isn’t it at least a small bit reckless to criticize so fervently yet offer no viable solutions yourself?
Stewart's response when Tucker tried the same line was that the show leading into his was "puppets making prank calls."

I was going to post the entire Crossfire segment which is available at You Tube but came across this speech by Stewart which he made on the first episode of the Daily Show following the 9/11 attacks. I think Stewart does a far better job of defending his program and talking about why his job as the heckler is so important in a free society than anything he said on Crossfire.

As for Hartfields complaint that Stewart needs to attack targets from all sides of the political spectrum and not just Republicans I think it's pretty clear to anyone that watches the show that they don't pull any punches when it comes to Democrats. It's just that when you're the kid in the back of the class shooting spitballs, as Stewart talked about in the post-9/11 show opener, you shoot those spitballs at the teacher.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Headmaster, I too find it difficult to believe this mere coincidence.

There are all sorts of conspiracy stories floating around about the terrorism plot in London and the plan to bomb planes bouncing around. The story looks legit so far and I've seen nothing that would make me doubt it hasn't gone down the way the British government claims.

Having said that I don't doubt for a second that Dick Cheney and Tony Snow's comments yesterday were in anticipation of today's announcement and an effort to capitalize on the attention it brings.

I was thinking this morning that the Republican "Oh my God Dems are soft on terror!" political attacks may actually be good for the country. Should the Democrats take the House and/ or Senate it seems to me that one of the first things they're going to want to do is insulate themselves from that line of attack by moving to pass legislation to actually improve U.S. security. That means inspecting the cargo holds of all U.S. flights, adding back Air Marshalls that the Bush administration had cut, inspecting cargo ships that enter the U.S. and accounting for nuclear weapons in the former Soviet republics.

All the things the Bush administration doesn't think as important to our security as taking out a petty dictator half a world away.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Just try and stay out of my way. Just try! I'll get you, my pretty and your little dog too!

It was a great night and I hope a harbinger of things to come. Perhaps we really can turn back from the precipice. American politics have always swung like a pendulum between ideological philosophies and I've always thought that the real genius to Karl Rove (despite his complete amorality) is that he recognized this long ago and set about trying to find artificial ways to keep that pendulum from swinging back. Perpetual war seemed to be an answer to his prayers.

Now we have Ned Lamont and a whole host of progressive bloggers and activists standing on the arm of that pendulum jumping up and down and just trying to get it moving again.

I almost feel sorry for Lieberman. Atrios has bit up from a Matt Lauer interview this morning in which Droopy Dog says the following:

Well, I think it's time for somebody to break through the dominance of both parties by the margins of the parties, which happens in primaries. I think it's time for somebody to break through and say, Hey, let's cut out the partisan nonsense.

Is it Joe's intention to vindicate all those that spent the last six months screaming that he's out of touch?

He just ran in a primary for the nomination to the Senate for the Democratic party. It doesn't get any more partisan than that. The time to pull this "I'm an independent and I'm holier than thou" bullshit was years ago not on his political deathbed. That just looks pathetic.

Joe isn't alone in his delusion. Jane Hamsher has a terrific post-mortem up where she points out that the DLC deadenders will be egging Joe on in his run as an independent-

I know Joe has vocal support from DLCers and so-called "centrists" who see themselves next in line if Lieberman falls. They want Joe to hold back the barbarian horde for all of them. ItÂ’s a stupid, shortsighted and solipsistic construct. The self-righteous indignation of people like Lanny Davis and Martin Peretz are buoying Lieberman into a wholesale purchase of the myth that he is a great man and a great wrong has been done to him. Here on planet earth we call it a primary challenge, an integral part of the Democratic process. It's time for Joe to realize that in their own blindness they may be preparing him as the sacrificial lamb.

But what of Joe's true friends; the conservative Republicans? I spent a good portion of last night on reveling in the shrieks of the conservative hordes and their "we'll-show-you" petty threats. The rank and file initial, pre-talking points reaction seemed to be somewhere between that of a slug after you've just poured salt on it and a bully who just got socked in the nose by the fat kid he's been taking the lunch money from for months.

Today the message coming from the Right can pretty much be summed up as "We told you this would happen and it's good for Republicans." Redstate tries the ho-hum approach by dismissing the results and saying Joe will win easily as an independent. Paul at Powerline tries to spin it as a victory for John McCain because it takes Lieberman off the presidential stage but at least he recognizes the war is unpopular, even if he does trip up during this part of the analysis:

To be sure, Connecticut independents are more likely to agree with Lamont than with Lieberman on the major issue of the campaign -- the war in Iraq. But last night proved that, even among many Democrats, support for the war is not a deal-breaker.

I don't think that's entirely true. Paul's completely underestimating the power of machine politics the kind of which supported Lieberman and kept the race as close as it was. But more importantly the war in Iraq is only the most visible gauge of where a candidate stands on supporting George W. Bush. Support for Bush will be very much a deal-breaker in the general election with Democratic voters. Candidates who haven't sufficiently distanced themselves from the President, on the war and a host of other issues, won't be returning to Washington.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Yub nub. eee chop yub nub. Ah toe meet toe pee-chee keene.

You'll be whistling 'Zip-A-Dee Doo-Dah' out of you're assholes! I gotta be crazy! I'm on a pilgrimage to see a moose. Praise Marty Moose! Holy Shit!

It ain't exactly Disneyland. Developers propose military theme park.

"You can command the latest M-1 tank, feel the rush of a paratrooper freefall, fly a Cobra Gunship or defend your B-17 as a waist gunner," according to the proposal by Universal City Property Management III, of Orlando, which was obtained by The Washington Post.

I called the developer and was able to get a list of some of the other rides they're proposing-

Mr. Rumsfeld's Wild Ride - Face knowns and known unkowns on a trip through Rummy's world. The only words out of your mouth after taking a ride on this spinning bad boy will be "Oh my goodness gracious me!"

George W. Bush's Toontown - The president's imagination come alive. Democracy springs up via pixie dust and everything takes on the sharp relief of black and white cartoons of yesteryear.

SDI Missile Command - Shoot down waves of terrorist missiles in 3D.

Princess Condi's Teacups - A piano concerto plays but other than that this ride doesn't do much.

Cheney's Bunker - A spot in the park with a more adult flavor where you can sit back, have a drink and curse until you're blue in the face. (Note: it may be difficult to find.)

The park will also feature rollercoasters like the ShocknAwe, Preemptive Strike, Collateral Damage and Surging Insurgent.

Don't think for a second they forgot the little ones. There'll be characters like Shermie Sherman, Abe Abrams and Bernie Bunker Buster roaming throughout the park to delight the young and the young at heart alike.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Excuse me. May I go to the bathroom first?

Not the sharpest tool in the shed...

Well, it's very comfortable just to drift here.

Along the same lines of the discussion about the national media and Washington insiders being clueless about what's going on in Connecticut and what it means to national politics there's this Boston Herald opinion piece that I came across via kos.

MANCHESTER, N.H. - Dick Bennett has been polling New Hampshire voters for 30 years. And he’s never seen anything like it.

“Lying b**** . . . shrew . . . Machiavellian . . . evil, power-mad witch . . . the ultimate self-serving politician.”

No prizes for guessing which presidential front-runner drew these remarks in focus groups.

But these weren’t Republicans talking about Hillary Clinton. They weren’t even independents.

These were ordinary, grass-roots Democrats. People who identified themselves as “likely” voters in the pivotal state’s Democratic primary. And, behind closed doors, this is what nearly half of them are saying.

“I was amazed,” says Bennett. “I thought there might be some negatives, but I didn’t know it would be as strong as this. It’s stunning, the similarities between the Republicans and the Democrats, the comments they have about her.”

These are parts of the same puzzle and it's not a difficult one. Democrats are fed up with the leadership of the party cowtailing to Republicans and triangulating themselves into the blandest positions possible.

Hillary may not have her "kiss" with Bush that makes for easy campaign fixin's but she'll still wear the President like an albatross once the primaries start.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

The times they are a-changin' back.

There have been some hopeful signs from reporters that they "get" the signifigance of the Lamont/ Lieberman race this Washington Post piece shows that there's still a few who are completely out to lunch.

What really stuck out like a skunk at summer camp was this paragraph-

The Connecticut race may be seen as an intensification of the partisan, polarized politics of the Bush era. Lieberman is paying a price for being an advocate of bipartisanship.

Lieberman is no advocate of bipartisanhip. Lieberman is an advocate of 1) Lieberman and 2) REPUBLICAN partisanship which he has absolutely no problem supporting. It's only when Democrats start to stand up to Republican bullying that he gets all hot and bothered.