Sunday, November 30, 2008

100 Greatest Singers


I'm sure that the now sorry Rolling Stone printed its list of the 100 greatest singers of all time to create some buzz and some controversy, and, to be sure, I disagree vehemently with some of the magazine's placements. (E.g., Art Garfunkel rated higher than Solomon Burke? Please.)

Be that as it may, any list of "greatest singers" that doesn't include Arlene Smith is instantly suspect.

Fight on!


I realize that arguments like this come up every so often, but, for what it's worth, having watched at length the two teams over the weekend, I'm convinced the USC Trojans could defeat the Detroit Lions.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Why UConn could be playing for the national championship


They beat Syracuse, which in turn beat Notre Dame, which defeated Navy, which defeated Wake Forest, which beat Mississippi, which beat Florida.

Makes sense to me.

NFL Natterings


Why do I have the sneaking suspicion that there's a lot more to the Plaxico Burress story than is currently being reported?

And everybody and his brother is opining that the NFL should eject the Lions from their Thanksgiving Day game. While I wouldn't be surprised at all if the plutocrats in the NFL were to go along with this idea, I'd prefer that the league stay with its tradition. I know I sound like an old fart here, but I wouldn't be bothered if the league went back to the Lions-Packers game every fourth Thursday in November, but that's surely asking too much.

'Tis the season


As Ralph says to the rescuing officer at the conclusion of Lord of the Flies when asked if anyone had been killed on the island: Only two.

And, as Mrs. Monocle says, what could Wal-Mart possibly offer that people would get homicidal over?

Friday, November 28, 2008

What I'm not thankful for


Steve Benen comments on Senator Sanctimony here and here.

Given all the evidence, it seems like a no-brainer to think that Holy Joe's days as chair of the Gov't Operations Committee are numbered, but Benen disagrees.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Turkey and dog jokes


Happy Thanksgiving to all.

A society of men


From Glenn Greenwald this morning:
Behold the excuses which former Bush DOJ lawyer and current Harvard Law Professor Jack Goldsmith offers up today in The Washington Post on behalf of his former colleagues, as he argues not only that Bush's torture regime shouldn't be criminally prosecuted, but also that no new investigations of any kind -- including by Congress or an Executive branch truth-finding Commission -- should be pursued:
Yet another round of investigations during the Obama administration, even by a bipartisan commission, would exacerbate this problem. It would also bring little benefit. The people in government who made mistakes or who acted in ways that seemed reasonable at the time but now seem inappropriate have been held publicly accountable by severe criticism, suffering enormous reputational and, in some instances, financial losses. Little will be achieved by further retribution.
Walk into any criminal courtroom in the country where a convicted defendant is pleading for light or no punishment and that's exactly what you'll hear: "I've already been punished enough, Your Honor. My reputation has been ruined, my health is suffering, I lost my job. What more do you want to do to me?"

But -- when it comes to common criminals -- our political class rejects those pleas, turns a resolutely deaf ear to them. For those people, we continue to erect ever-harsher criminal sanctions, mandatory minimum sentencing schemes, and an increasingly merciless criminal justice system. As a result, we imprison more of our population than any other country on the planet. Even people who commit petty, harmless offenses -- corner drug dealing with other adults or even mere drug possession -- have the full weight of the criminal justice system smashing down upon them, thanks to our "tough-on-crime" political class. They go to prison, are separated from their families, are put into cages, permanently labeled "felons."

Yet the same political establishment that has created and continues to fuel this incomparably merciless justice system has made themselves exempt from the rule of law. When they flagrantly violate even the most consequential criminal prohibitions -- laws criminalizing torture, spying on American citizens, obstruction of justice -- it's only the shrill rabble (the "incendiary Democratic base") who would possibly believe that they should be held accountable and investigated, let alone prosecuted and imprisoned. All of the upstanding, responsible, Serious people understand that these aren't real "crimes." These are merely acts which "critics call illegal" -- or what Goldsmith calls "mistakes" or "act[ions] that seemed reasonable at the time but now seem inappropriate."
I've blogged before about the propensity of Executive Branch felons' apologists to argue against their coming to the bar of justice. Clearly, a class exists that believes that—to paraphrase—laws are only for little people, and the oligarchs, after paying little attention to laws initially, now feel they shouldn't have to be penalized after the fact.

Our felonious leader just seems to be warming up to issue a raft of pardons prior to January 20, and he's already used Goldsmith's "They've already suffered enough" argument to release Scooter Libby from well-deserved jail time.

With the next administration seemingly keeping its eye on other matters, the Bushies may just get away with it all.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Mending fences


In his typically smarmy way, Senator Sanctimony is attempting to return to the good graces of the party in power (This time, it happens to be Democratic.) by noting this afternoon that
[e]verything that President-elect Obama has done since election night has been just about perfect.
This performance must be extremely surprising to a lightweight who thought at one time that Mr. Obama was some kind of subversive.

Of course, at that point, Obama hadn't saved Holy Joe's political hide.

Monday, November 24, 2008

When I'm watchin' my teevee ...


Apropos of nothing, here's one of the more amusing musical remakes of the last forty years (in my perhaps benighted opinion).

Connecticut's own XLIII


While the rest of the nation relievedly looks forward to the end of executive branch excesses after January 20, we in Connecticut still have our own cross to bear. Colin McEnroe explains.

What I learned today


What HO2 means on a DVD player's readout.

I'm glad Black Friday's big sales are imminent.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Joe must go, cont'd


From Senator Sanctimony's appearance on this morning's Meet the Press as Jason Linkins saw it:
Brokaw calls out Lieberman for breaking his promise not to criticize Obama from the RNC. OH, SWEET MOSES: Lieberman tries this, "I wasn't speaking to the Republican delegates, I was speaking to independents and Democrats" defense, and Brokaw throws some mad PSHAW! on that. "Due respect," he says, "But you were speaking at the Republican Convention."

"It's over," Lieberman says, "we have to all unite behind them." I always recommend that you never let Lieberman get behind you without watching him. He's got Play-Doh for principles and the soul of a Roman conspirator. Cassius Clay, call him.

What about all the crazy-ass things that Sarah Palin and others said about Obama? Lieberman never expressed his disapproval. Lieberman lies and says that he did, "to people in the media," but in fact he's not really expressing his disapproval now! He approves of the "tone Obama has set in victory" in that Joe still has a job.

Brokaw brings up Lieberman's approval of Palin. For what it's worth, my wife remarks of Brokaw: "Dude can barely conceal his disgust." She adds, loudly, "Just say, 'I WAS WRONG.' 'I WAS WRONG.' SAY IT. USE YOUR WORDS. 'I WAS WRONG.'" Like the Social Distortion song. Remember: this liveblog will always be a safe place for fans of Social Distortion.

But now Brokaw wants to get into the FEELINGS. Did the non-punishment feel like a punishment? Of course it didn't. And it wasn't. "I think the President wants to have a united Democratic party...the people are sick of partisanship, they want someone to put country first and that, I think is what Barack Obama has been making clear he will do since the night he was elected." Uhm, since before that night, actually, Joe, you farkakte ganef.

My wife opines: "Joe Lieberman is like that pregnant man. He wants it both ways. He thinks he's having it both ways. He believes he can convince me there are two ways about it. But I'm not fooled: THAT'S A UTERUS, WHAT YOU HAVE."
Apparently, there are people who take this unprincipled moron seriously (I'm looking at you, Harry Reid.); I just don't know how they can do it.

UPDATE — Steve Benen has a more concise post on the junior senator's MTP appearance. (And the comments are excellent.)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

NCAA football musings


Dartmouth ended its first winless season in 125 years today, losing ignominiously to the Princeton Tigers, 28-10. I certainly don't blame Buddy Teevens and his staff for this debacle of a season as much as I blame Maria Laskaris and hers. Eventually, the college may understand that an undergraduate experience comprises more than classroom situations and that in many instances a college's relations with its alumni comes about primarily via its football team.

In situations where success has been appreciably more marked, the finalists for the Heisman Trophy will be announced soon, and I've pretty much got my guy picked. While I certainly think Pat White could get it

(using as the criterion the Gary Beban rule), I think college football's best player this year has been Graham Harrell. Mr. Harrell and his Texas Tech teammates have a very difficult opponent in Oklahoma this evening, but if the Red Raiders can defeat the Sooners, I've got to think that the Heisman selection will be a foregone conclusion.

Finally (give me strength), it looks like we'll have Joe Pa to kick around for yet another season.

UPDATE — Hmmm ... Apparently, I've had these feelings before.

LATER UPDATE — I obviously spoke too soon about Mr. Harrell's success this season.

Why not Bill?


It looks like Hillary Clinton will become Obama's Secretary of State, and the concomitant rejoicing has begun.

It seems to me that—at least initially—the primary mission of the SoS will be to assuage the negative feelings regarding US foreign policy that the Bushies went out of their way to promote. I think that HRC will be capable in fulfilling that conciliatory role.

Nevertheless, I don't see why Obama didn't just go with Hillary's spouse to become SoS. Here's a guy who has terrific international cred (With the exception of Kosovo, he seems to have alienated no country during his tenure as president.) and so would be an excellent choice to restore the reputation of the US in international relations.

The media twits (Rush, Sean, and the rest of the pinheads) are already on HRC like the maggots they are; if XLII were in the position their bile would be no worse.

Moreover, with HRC in the Senate, she'd be able to help advance Obama's agenda while retaining her seniority status.

The whole setup seems like a no-brainer, but I'm obviously not attuned to Beltway cogitations.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Joe must go, cont'd


Bob Cesca corresponds with Senator Sanctimony, and I find his conclusion oddly unsatisfying.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

... And good riddance


Steve Benen's sentiments pretty much reflect mine regarding the forced retirement of the felonious longest-serving Republican in Senate history.

Twilight Time


Even though at least one reviewer calls the movie "risible," I have to think that Twilight, which opens tomorrow, is going make its backers some serious money.

The series is incredibly popular; a librarian I know literally can't keep the series' four books on his shelves.

UPDATE — Sure enough, it looks like the mania has struck.

Can baseball survive this?


On the day before it was reported that the "number of U.S. workers filing new claims for jobless benefits surged last week to their highest level in 16 years," the marginal 36-year-old pitcher Derek Lowe "opened the free-agent bidding ... asking for a whopping $16 million per season."

Needless to say, the execrable Scott Boras is Lowe's agent, but this is absolutely ridiculous. With social services strained like never before, the pigs of baseball keep on trying to satisfy their wanton desires.

I really don't know if the game can go on like this.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Some things don't change


Say what you want about my musical tastes, but AC/DC's "Rock and Roll Train" makes it seem as if the last twenty years haven't passed at all.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Back to back


AL Rookie of the Year, then MVP in his first two MLB seasons: What can Dustin Pedroia possibly do for an encore?

Harry Reid is a fool


Anyone who believes that Senator Sanctimony won't use the "Government Affairs" portion of his chairmanship to stick it to President Obama hasn't been paying attention.

I think Jane Hamsher pretty accurately sums up the situation.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Quotes of the Day


From Jason Linkins' outstanding TV SoundOff at Huffington Post:
[O]ne discussion I think we should have is that maybe California is on fire because God thinks gay people are awesome and is angry that Prop 8 passed.
Before we blame any one ethnic or religious group for voting for Prop 8, let's remember that all of the people who cast a vote against gay marriage, regardless of race, color, faith, or creed—ALL OF THEM, EVERY SINGLE ONE, is a COMPLETE A-HOLE.
Why haven't I heard of this guy before?

Joe must go, cont'd


Here's an interesting, if somewhat superficial, examination of the current Senator Sanctimony debate. Upshot: Joe must go.

Meanwhile, I keep waiting to see what the spineless Harry Reid and the equally pusillanimous Connecticut Democrats will do about the party's pariah.

When money trumps everything


Pardon the pun in the title, but this item caught my eye.
After a month of fresh air, smoking is once again allowed inside Atlantic City's 11 casinos.

The City Council had passed a total smoking ban in April, but then the financial meltdown rocked the economy and led to even steeper declines at the casinos.

The council changed its mind at the last moment and agreed to repeal the smoking ban for at least a year, but couldn't legally stop the no-smoking rules from taking effect on Oct. 15.

The ban expired a minute after midnight Sunday, and gamblers can now light up again.
It's unfortunate, but not surprising, that the economy is considered so bad that it's thought that something (no matter how deleterious) has to be done to improve the take of the casinos.

In another possibly economy-based story,
Many bars in the Big Apple will be shutting down a little early this New Year's Eve.

Local bar owners must file for a permit to push last call back four hours to 8 a.m.

But the deadline is tomorrow to file that request, and according to the New York Post, only 39 bars have requested all-night permits, down from 400 last year.
Is it possible that New York revelers can't even afford New Year's Eve?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Getting away with ...


As one who was disgusted by Gerald Ford's pardon of Tricky Dick in 1974, I can certainly say that I want the Bushies to pay for the high crimes and misdemeanors they've been guilty of for the last seven plus years.

Alas, once again, it looks like I won't be satisfied.
Democrats on the U.S. Senate Intelligence and Judiciary Committees sent a letter to the White House last week asking for an accounting of steps the administration plans to take to preserve documents and submit them to the National Archives and Records Administration once President George W. Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney leave office.
To which I say, good luck, especially given this state of affairs:
When a Congressional committee subpoenaed Harry S. Truman in 1953, nearly a year after he left office, he made a startling claim: Even though he was no longer president, the Constitution still empowered him to block subpoenas.

"If the doctrine of separation of powers and the independence of the presidency is to have any validity at all, it must be equally applicable to a president after his term of office has expired," Truman wrote to the committee.

Congress backed down, establishing a precedent suggesting that former presidents wield lingering powers to keep matters from their administration secret. Now, as Congressional Democrats prepare to move forward with investigations of the Bush administration, they wonder whether that claim may be invoked again.

"The Bush administration overstepped in its exertion of executive privilege, and may very well try to continue to shield information from the American people after it leaves office," said Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Democrat of Rhode Island, who sits on two committees, Judiciary and Intelligence, that are examining aspects of Mr. Bush’s policies.
Screw justice: It's vengeance I want for all the people who lost their jobs, who became sick as a result of lax environmental regulations, and, especially, for those who were imprisoned unjustly.

Nevertheless, it's a wish that, as in 1974, I don't think will be fulfilled.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Big wheel keep on turning ...


Little time to blog today, but Steve Benen's posts regarding Sarah Palin, the GOP, and Senator Sanctimony are certainly worth reading.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Back to the Dark Ages


Needless to say, stories like this never fail to amuse me:
[O]ne day after President-elect Barack Obama first spoke with His Holiness the Pope, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is expected to issue a statement that will express concern about the direction the pending Obama administration will take the nation as far as abortion is concerned.

The statement will state that the Church is completely united and resolute in defending “the unborn child from the moment of conception,” with a particular opposition to the proposed Freedom of Choice Act, which would strike down many abortion restrictions and which Obama supports.

The statement will also state that the election was not a referendum on abortion, and will suggest that aggressive abortion-rights polices "would alienate many Americans and be interpreted by many Catholics as an attack on the Church."
Given the fact that a solid majority of Roman Catholics voted for Obama and that an even larger majority of "younger self-identified Catholics say abortion should be legal in all or most cases," it really looks as if these relics from centuries ago are fighting a losing battle—thanks be to ... oh, yeah.

A date which will live in dignity


While various homophobes tried to stop it,
A judge cleared the way ... for gay marriage to begin [today] in Connecticut, a victory for advocates stung by California's referendum that banned same-sex unions in that state.

Couples immediately marched to New Haven City Hall to get marriage licenses, and less than two hours after the final court hearing, Peg Oliveira and Jennifer Vickery were married in a brief ceremony next to New Haven City Hall.
It's a great day for the Constitution State as it attempts to live up to its nickname.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Losing His Way


Think Progress has just about everything one would want to know about Senator Sanctinomy's malfeasance.

Goodbye to all that


And the maledictories begin.
This presidency is finally over. We can say goodbye to an administration whose misdeeds have piled so high that the size of the mountain no longer shocks us. In our lifetimes, we will see administrations of varying degrees of competence and integrity, some we'll agree with and some we won't. But we will probably never see another quite like the one now finally reaching its end, so mind-boggling a parade of incompetence and malice, dishonesty, and immorality. So at last—at long, long last—we can say goodbye.

And good riddance.
I'm troubled only by Waldman's use of the word "probably" in his antepenultimate sentence. I think I've pretty much indicated how I'd react to yet another thieving Republican administration.

Monday, November 10, 2008



Remember back in the bad old days when every half fast idea the Bushies came up with was regarded as "bold"? Well, Steve Benen points out that this is exactly the strategy that some leading pundits are recommending President Obama undertake.

I'm a little tired (and wary) of "bold initiatives," but, if he wants "bold," Obama could do worse than listen to economic transition team member, Bob Reich.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

And now ...? — a followup


In delineating what Josh Marshall and others are up to in this new era of blogging, Nick Carr echoes what I said the other day.
As The Economist observes in its new issue, "Blogging has entered the mainstream, which - as with every new medium in history - looks to its pioneers suspiciously like death."

"Blogging" has always had two very different definitions, of course. One is technical: a simple system for managing and publishing content online, as offered through services such as WordPress, Movable Type, and Blogger. The other involves a distinctive style of writing: a personal diary, or "log," of observations and links, unspooling in a near-real-time chronology. When we used to talk about blogging, the stress was on the style. Today, what blogs have in common is mainly just the underlying technology - the "publishing platform" - and that makes it difficult to talk meaningfully about a "blogosphere."

Stylewise, little distinguishes today's popular blogs from ordinary news sites. One good indicator is page bloat. The Register's John Oates points today to a revealing study of the growing obesity of once slender blog pages. "Blog front pages are now large pages of images and scripts rather than the pared-down text pages of old," he writes. The study, by Pingdom, is remarkable. Among the top 100 blogs, as listed by the blog search engine Technorati, the average "front page" (note, by the way, how the mainstream-media term is pushing aside the more personal "home page") is nearly a megabyte, and three-quarters of the blogs have front pages larger than a half megabyte. The main culprits behind the bloat are image files, which have proliferated as blogs have adopted the look of traditional news sites. The top 100 blogs have, on average, a whopping 63 images on their front pages.
And certainly one can see this very phenomenon occurring every time one opens Talking Points Memo.

November 3, 2008


Not to be missed.

Morning in America


Hilzoy points out that
Transition advisers to President-elect Barack Obama have compiled a list of about 200 Bush administration actions and executive orders that could be swiftly undone to reverse White House policies on climate change, stem cell research, reproductive rights and other issues, according to congressional Democrats, campaign aides and experts working with the transition team.

A team of four dozen advisers, working for months in virtual solitude, set out to identify regulatory and policy changes Obama could implement soon after his inauguration. The team is now consulting with liberal advocacy groups, Capitol Hill staffers and potential agency chiefs to prioritize those they regard as the most onerous or ideologically offensive, said a top transition official who was not permitted to speak on the record about the inner workings of the transition.

In some instances, Obama would be quickly delivering on promises he made during his two-year campaign, while in others he would be embracing Clinton-era policies upended by President Bush during his eight years in office ...

Obama himself has signaled, for example, that he intends to reverse Bush's controversial limit on federal funding of embryonic stem cell research, a decision that scientists say has restrained research into some of the most promising avenues for defeating a wide array of diseases, such as Parkinson's ...

The new president is also expected to lift a so-called global gag rule barring international family planning groups that receive U.S. aid from counseling women about the availability of abortion, even in countries where the procedure is legal, said Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. When Bill Clinton took office in 1993, he rescinded the Reagan-era regulation, known as the Mexico City policy, but Bush reimposed it ...

The president-elect has [also] said that he intends to quickly reverse the Bush administration's decision last December to deny California the authority to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from automobiles. "Effectively tackling global warming demands bold and innovative solutions, and given the failure of this administration to act, California should be allowed to pioneer," Obama said in January.
Wow. After the umbra of the last eight years, news like this is almost too good to be true. Or, as Hilzoy says,
These are wonderful changes. After the last eight years, the very idea that they might occur not as the result of a long drawn-out battle, but just like that, is amazing.

Joe must go, cont'd


It's not a scientific poll, yet 73% (nearly 3200 respondents) of Courant readers have responded "yes" to the question, "Should Senate Democrats strip Sen. Joseph Lieberman of his Homeland Security Committee chairmanship and kick him out of the party caucus?"

Meanwhile, Connecticut's other shady senator is arguing that Barack Obama wouldn't
"necessarily want to spend the first month of this president-elect period, this transition period, talking about a Senate seat, particularly if someone is willing to come forward and is willing to be a member of your family in the caucus in that sense."
Give me strength.

UPDATE — Greg Sargent also reacts to the situation.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

A sad story


I realize that Ryan Leaf was one of the most obnoxious football players ever to put on a set of pads (and perhaps the greatest first round bust in NFL history), but no one wishes this kind of thing on anyone:
Ryan Leaf's college coaching career has come to an abrupt end.

Leaf, a former No. 2 overall draft pick in the NFL, resigned as quarterbacks coach at West Texas A&M on Thursday in the wake of allegations that he obtained a controlled substance by illegal means ...

Leaf's impact with West Texas A&M was quite positive. The team has set a number of school records for passing and total offense since he was hired in 2006. The team has gone 9-1 this season behind senior quarterback, Keith Null, who has completed 68 per cent of his passes for 3,812 yards and 36 touchdowns.
My own suspicion is that Leaf will need a lot of help, and I hope he receives and accepts it.

Quote of the Day


"Most Danes and Swedes identify themselves as Christian. They get married in church, have their babies baptized, give some of their income to the church, and feel attached to their religious community—they just don't believe in God."

A coupla things


While following a link from some blog last night, I came upon, which (with the obvious exception of the behemoth, YouTube) I think is the best site for videos I've ever seen.

And the situation in California is a bit discomfiting as African-Americans overwhelmingly voted for the heinous Proposition 8, a measure that bans gay marriage in the Golden State.
For Trebor Healey, a 46-year-old gay man from Glendora, Tuesday's election was bittersweet.

He was thrilled that the nation elected its first African American president. But he was disappointed that black voters, traditionally among the most reliably liberal in the state, voted overwhelmingly to ban same-sex marriage ...

"I was born black. I can't change that," said Culver City resident Bilson Davis, 57, who voted for Proposition 8. "They weren't born gay; they chose it," he added ...

Although many of the state's black political leaders spoke out against Proposition 8, an exit poll of California voters showed that black voters favored the measure by a ratio of more than 2 to 1. Not only was the black vote weighted heavily in favor of Proposition 8, but black turnout—spurred by Barack Obama's historic campaign for president—was unusually large, with African Americans making up roughly 10% of the state electorate.

The exit poll didn't ask voters why they voted the way they did. But Madison Shockley, pastor of Pilgrim United Church of Christ in Carlsbad and among the roughly one-third of blacks who opposed Proposition 8, said the vote was understandable. "Black folks go to church, probably more than the Caucasian population, and the churches they go to tend to be very traditional."

Los Angeles resident Christopher Hill, 50, said he was motivated by religion in supporting Proposition 8. Civil rights, he said, "are about getting a job, employment."

Gay marriage, he said, is not: "It's an abomination against God."
The situation is extremely disappointing and palpably ironic.

Friday, November 07, 2008

It ain't over ...


Norm Coleman is pond scum.

And does the Alaska story have legs?

Joe must go, cont'd


One need look no farther than here and here to understand just how truly execrable Connecticut's junior senator is.

And now ...?


Josh Marshall articulates what a lot of bloggers must be thinking these days—as someone who started blogging upon the invasion of Iraq, I know I am.
[Talking Points Memo's] evolution has been always been bound up with my stance as a voice of opposition to the Bush administration. So the end of the Bush years and the beginning of a new Democratic administration presents us with something dramatically new.
It'll be easy for the Mark Levins of the world to keep serving up their daily portion of crap (God knows Idiot Fathead Rush was forced to continue to blabber about the Clintons for the last eight years when his preferred party was in power.), but what about the Pandagons? the Firedoglakes? the War Rooms?

It'll be interesting to see how they react to the new set of circumstances. Certainly, by "hiring two new reporter-bloggers to be based in Washington, DC, one assigned to the White House and one assigned to Capitol Hill," it looks like Dr. Marshall is starting a mainstream news network in everything but name.

The Republicans' plight, cont'd


Apparently, the Republicans are as lost as I thought they were.

Question #3


My elation over Tuesday's election results is tempered somewhat by the knowledge that a certain Connecticut shoreline town voted down a proposal to expand its public library.

This article
explains what the issues were, but I'm still astonished that anyone would vote against such a question.

Facts and figures


Kevin Drum has some numbers of the type I referred to before, indicating who Obama's voters actually were. It's rather interesting reading for those of us who believe that the last two presidential elections were rigged.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Joe must go


The inimitable Jane Hamsher of Firedoglake is sending an e-mail to all her subscribers urging them to
sign a letter to the 19 Senators on the Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee who determine committee chairs—and ask them to relieve Joe Lieberman of his gavel [as chair of the Senate Homeland Security Committee] before the start of the next Congress.
The fact that Holy Joe is essentially trying to extort the Democrats is just one of the reasons for Ms. Hamsher's ire.

UPDATED to include cartoon.

Taking shape


The list of participants on Obama's economics transition team is an impressive one.

Further, Sean Hannity seems to think that Obama's "radical left-wing" FCC transition guy will terminate talk radio. Oh, that that were true, but I certainly can't see what his raving is all about.

Aberration or Augury?


This is pretty much what's going through my mind as I think about the last two days ...

Terry Gross had an interesting interview with Bill Moyers yesterday wherein she asked him what the legacy of the Bush administrations would be. He obviously could think of nothing positive to say, but came up with the notions of "incompetence, corruption, and cronyism," which seems like a pretty accurate precís to me.

I respect Moyers greatly since he has always been a true believer, being involved with such progressive policies as the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and The Great Society programs. (I've thought for years that Johnson would've been thought of as highly as Roosevelt if he hadn't tried to fight the last war (i.e., Korea) during his tenure.) The conservatives of the time, and especially the Nixonians, despised these measures for nefarious reasons: They simply didn't want the economic or racial equality these programs pursued.

(It was pretty much at this point that I became a Democrat. I'd been raised by God-fearing Pennsylvania Republicans, but I couldn't tolerate the mindset being evinced by people whose philosophy and activities were abhorrent to me. (For a pretty decent overview of what life in the US was like in those days, one could do worse than consult Rick Perlstein's Nixonland.))

At any rate, once Nixon resigned, the feeling was that the US would be rid of the divisive tactics his cohorts had pursued, and for some time this seemed to be the case. Alas, January 20, 2001 dawned, and the same old nonsense started again in earnest—the fighting of the last war (run by the two Cold War dinosaurs, Rummy and Deadeye Dick), the curtailing of civil rights, the paranoia—the list goes on and on. Nixon's absolute disregard for the rule of law and ethical considerations had been detected; from day one, the Bushies resolved not to make the same mistake.

And here we are again ... At the end of what might be called a long national nightmare. Everybody seems to be elated over the election results (And I'm not referring exclusively to the national election.) except for Limbaugh, Savage, Hannity, Levin, and the rest of the usual gang of fascists.

Indeed, I've felt very good about the results ever since they became apparent, but there still remains some doubt for me, wondering if this election represents a true epiphany on the part of the electorate or if, somewhere down the road, the pendulum will swing back and the country will be confronted again with the excesses and outright tyranny of the type displayed by the Nixonians and Bushies.

It was just too difficult to put up with this nonsense twice in my life. Having to do it yet again would be absolutely crushing.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

The Republicans' plight


The media and blogs are already full of data regarding the details of the Democrats' overwhelming victory yesterday, but one thing that's struck me immediately is the fact that Indiana (Indiana!) went for Obama.

Conflated with that virtually incredible piece of news is what Cokie Roberts reported on NPR this morning: A mere 36% of yesterday's voters for president was made up of white males. This must be extremely troubling to the GOP, which has long secured its base in NASCAR dads and their ilk.

The Republicans are flagellating themselves this morning, literally wondering where they go from here. Given yesterday's results, with few exceptions (Arkansas and Florida come to mind), it appears the guns, God, and gays platforms of the past number of GOP administrations simply will no longer wash.

If Everything Goes Right In My Life

My children will love this picture. I cannot stop crying. I Am Happy!

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

What a night!


All the Democratic representatives win in Connecticut; even the local Dems are re-elected.

The hideous John McCain, Robin Hayes, and—dare I say it?—Sarah Palin go back home with their tails between their legs.

My cup runneth over.

UPDATE — And Connecticut's Question 1 was soundly defeated!

The Internet and segregation


I've just about finished reading Nick Carr's (Coginchaug '77, Dartmouth '81, recent guest on The Colbert Report) latest opus, The Big Switch, wherein he avers
that the direction of the digital revolution has a strong historical corollary: electrification. Carr argues that computing, no longer personal, is going the way of a power utility.
Carr also posits that the Internet isn't the great big happy family that some would have it. Rather, he cites Nobel Prize laureate, Thomas C. Schelling's, famous segregation model experiment. An explanation can be found here, but suffice it to say that the experiment demonstrates that people tend to consort with their own kind—be they smokers, horse enthusiasts, white, black, or brown. This has been on my mind recently as a number of campaigns have tried to differentiate between "real Americans" and others.

I mention this only because Carr relates this phenomenon to the Internet—and specifically to blogs. That is, he opines that people have a tendency only to seek out those blogs where their own opinions are confirmed.

I have to admit that I'm certainly guilty of this, reading only the type of blogs that are listed to the right and avoiding such hideous mewlings as this one and this one.

I suppose I shouldn't be so parochial about this kind of thing, but there it is.

And speaking of blogging, Andrew Sullivan (whom, when all is said and done, I still have serious misgivings about) examines the phenomenon in an article in the latest Atlantic.

Monday, November 03, 2008

More desperation


On the eve of what I hope will be a successful election day, it's almost comforting to know that the Constitution State hasn't been left out of the general hysteria being evinced by various wackos.
A Connecticut judge dismissed a lawsuit Monday that alleged election fraud and questioned whether Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama was qualified to appear on the state's ballot for Election Day.

State Supreme Court Chief Justice Chase T. Rogers dismissed the case after hearing testimony from the state and a Greenwich man who bought the action.

The plaintiff, Cort Wrotnowski, said Connecticut Secretary of the State Susan Bysiewicz should not have placed Obama's name on the ballot without verifying the authenticity of Obama's birth certificate.

The lawsuit is similar to at least seven others filed in state courts across the country that cite a lack of evidence that Obama wasn't born in the U.S.

Officials in Hawaii have said [repeatedly] there's no doubt the Democratic presidential candidate was born there and that the state's health department possesses his original birth certificate.
And awaaaaay we go!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

One Man's Opinion


From Howard Schweber at Huffington Post:
Electoral college: Obama 349. Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida, Colorado, Missouri. Not North Carolina, Indiana, Montana, New Mexico, Arizona, or North Dakota. Which means there's room at the top for an even higher number, because every single one of those states is easily competitive. I have an even higher number in mind, but I'm afraid that if I try to type it my monitor will burst into flames.

Senate: Dems +7 (Saxby Chambliss holds on in Georgia; Stevens, Dole, and Coleman all lose.)

House: Dems +25
This sounds as reasonable as anything else I've read. I sure would love to see the Dems get 60 or more seats in the Senate, but it doesn't look like it can happen; Chuck Schumer seems to agree.

A Dirty Deed?


I came to appreciate hard rock relatively late in life, and one of the acts I enjoy is AC/DC. They obviously had an extremely rough background, which they parlayed into some real down and dirty working class hits.

Recently, however, they went the way of all commerce as they
inked a deal with retail leviathan Wal-Mart to sell their albums exclusively through the Sam Walton consortium, joining the ranks of artists like The Eagles, Garth Brooks and Journey.
Sure enough, this has turned out to be very successful for the band as
A huge push edged the band's new album Black Ice close to platinum status a week after its release.

A Wal-Mart exclusivity deal is credited with helping Angus Young & co. reach the 780,000 sales mark in a single week. "The new CD release represents the fastest-selling album for Wal-Mart this year," the Sam Walton empire revealed in a press release.
As the man says,
Could this success represent a sea change in brick-and-mortar record sales? Signs point to yes, which means big-box stores may move ahead with similar distribution deals like Best Buy's exclusive rights to Guns N' Roses' Chinese Democracy. Let's hope the heart of the music industry isn't left behind in the process.
Here's a question as salient: When and if AC/DC tours, will Angus Young expose his now-53-year-old knees?

Saturday, November 01, 2008

The bizarre Republican campaign continues


Steve Benen points out the day's activities in Fantasyland wherein Deadeye Dick (he of the 19% approval rating) feels compelled to endorse Senator Septuagenarian—much to the Obamacans' delight—and Governor Go-go speaks at a rally in Polk City, Florida wherein Senator Septuagenarian's "name was literally nowhere to be found on any of the official campaign signage distributed to supporters at the event."

I realize many bloggers will miss this constant idiocy on the part of the dynamic duo after Tuesday, but I'll certainly be glad once a fairly moderate level of sanity has been restored to the American political scene.