Thursday, September 30, 2010

My feminine side


While the big news in the Constitution State is that both the hideous Foley and McMahon are in virtual dead heats in their respective races, it's striking how this is shaking out. Viz.,
McMahon has to be concerned that voters are still divided on her. There continues to be a big gender gap, as we've seen in other states such a New York and Pennsylvania. Women are going with the Democrat [my emphasis] and men are siding with the Republican.
Likewise, the governor's race shows the same phenomenon.

Just another demonstration that the Y chromosome is a pathology.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Meanwhile, in Louisville


Matt Taibbi continues to show his harpooning prowess in a brutal jeremiad anent the Tea Party. Among his points:
At the voter level, the Tea Party is a movement that purports to be furious about government spending — only the reality is that the vast majority of its members are former Bush supporters who yawned through two terms of record deficits and spent the past two electoral cycles frothing not about spending but about John Kerry's medals and Barack Obama's Sixties associations. The average Tea Partier is sincerely against government spending — with the exception of the money spent on them.
The Tea Party today is being pitched in the media as this great threat to the GOP; in reality, the Tea Party is the GOP. What few elements of the movement aren't yet under the control of the Republican Party soon will be, and even if a few genuine Tea Party candidates sneak through, it's only a matter of time before the uprising as a whole gets castrated, just like every grass-roots movement does in this country. Its leaders will be bought off and sucked into the two-party bureaucracy, where its platform will be whittled down until the only things left are those that the GOP's campaign contributors want anyway: top-bracket tax breaks, free trade and financial deregulation.

The rest of it — the sweeping cuts to federal spending, the clampdown on bailouts, the rollback of Roe v. Wade — will die on the vine as one Tea Party leader after another gets seduced by the Republican Party and retrained for the revolutionary cause of voting down taxes for Goldman Sachs executives. It's all on display ... in Kentucky, the unofficial capital of the Tea Party movement, where, ha, ha, the joke turns out to be on them.
Beyond the fact that I wish I could write this well, I think Taibbi pretty much has it nailed: The Tea Party "movement" will turn out to be a one hit wonder, and, once the 2010 elections have passed, its backers will no doubt go back to their selfish evangelical America-is-for-white-people existences.

Anyway, the article is fabulous and highly recommended.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

God help us


While I'm always amused by nominal Christians' show of sanctimony, I'm nevertheless sensing a danger these days that may be unprecedented. At any rate, as we get closer to November 2, the pious demonstrations get hotter and heavier.

Exhibit A, I suppose, was Anderson Cooper's recent tête-à-tête with Renee Ellmers culminating with the former telling the North Carolina Christian that one of her rejoinders was "the lowest response I have ever heard from a candidate."

Regarding candidate Ellmers, Paul Waldman at TAPPED warns that
if things work out for the GOP, she could be one of the people making our laws. Whether the Democrats hold on to their majority in the House, one thing we can be almost certain of is that the number of members who combine breathtaking ignorance with shockingly radical views will increase significantly.
And speaking of ignorance, the LA Times today reports that
a survey that measured Americans' knowledge of religion found that atheists and agnostics knew more, on average, than followers of most major faiths. In fact, the gaps in knowledge among some of the faithful may give new meaning to the term "blind faith."
Not surprisingly, it turns out that Ellmers and her ilk (too many of whom lack the Y chromosome) don't know what they're talking about.

Tom Tomorrow satirizes the latest hysteria in his strip today wherein he calls the hoi polloi "simpletons," but, unfortunately, as the Sage of Baltimore once almost put it:
"As democracy is perfected, the office of [Congressman] represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the [Congress] will be adorned by ... downright moron[s]."
I lived through the election of 1994 and thought on the morning of November 9 of that year that the Republic, while not exactly doomed, didn't have good days ahead of it. And it didn't take much time for my prediction to be borne out. I haven't felt this concerned since those parlous times, as even during the Bush years the Republicans could be counted on to present a united front—as ridiculous as it might be. Now, however, a great number of candidates are out of control and are campaigning for nothing less than an American Christian theocracy.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Banana republic, here we come


Apparently, it's 1994 redux as the Republicans have unveiled a "Pledge to America" that is just so much apple sauce. Jon Stewart did his usual masterful job in skewering it

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Postcards From the Pledge
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

and Krugman's column on Thursday was devoted to the GOP's nonsense. The money passage:
The document repeatedly condemns federal debt — 16 times, by my count. But the main substantive policy proposal is to make the Bush tax cuts permanent, which independent estimates say would add about $3.7 trillion to the debt over the next decade — about $700 billion more than the Obama administration’s tax proposals.
The morons continue to try to have it both ways, and the morons who support them will continue to buy this idiocy.

Friday, September 24, 2010

How I Feel


about both the Democratic Party (see tax cut lunacy) and the Mets (see response (or lack thereof) to Chase Utley's dirty slide).

Friday, September 17, 2010

Rowland's Revenge


The firewall for Blogger has reared its ugly head again at "work," so I haven't had a chance to post this until now.

In one of the great ironies of this century, it turns out that Colin McEnroe's former time slot on WTIC-AM is going to be filled by none other than one of his great marks, Connecticut's former unctuous governor.

McEnroe is taking this turn of events with more grace than I would, especially since WTIC fell all over itself in justifying McEnroe's firing at the end of 2008, stating that Hartford really needed three hours of news between 3:00 and 6:00 and not the commentary of someone who actually had a brain in his head.

The state's felonious former governor found religion while he was in stir, and so "Rowland and the Rev. Will Marotti, senior pastor at New Life Church in Meriden, will host [the] show."

A crooked Republican and a holy roller during drive time. My cup, as some might say, runneth over.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Phil Davison


The erstwhile candidate for Treasurer of Ohio's Stark County has certainly garnered his fifteen minutes of fame.

Even PBS couldn't ignore him.

Monday, September 13, 2010

It wasn't me


And to think this happened in little Madison:
A bomb threat forced the evacuation of a political fundraiser in Connecticut attended by Republican U.S. Senate candidate Linda McMahon.

McMahon was among more than 60 people at the home of Madison [CT] Republican Town Committee Chairman Tom Banisch on Sunday afternoon during a fundraiser for the local GOP.

Police say someone called them shortly after 4:30 p.m. to report a bomb at Banisch's home. State police searched the house for about an hour and determined the threat was bogus. No one was injured.
Having lived through the incredible inconvenience of too many bomb threats called in to schools, I have no charity for the perpetrator—as awful as the guest of honor at the event might be.

h/t Chill

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Nine years ago today


It's striking, I suppose, that on September 11, 2010, George Bush is as invisible as he was on 9-11-2001. He certainly seemed to have no idea that something was up, although he'd had plenty of warning.

Unfortunately, it'd be nearly four years before the American people would see just how clueless the Harvard MBA was.

Friday, September 10, 2010

The latest polls


Greg Sargent points out that the Dems can actually win a legitimate battle if they have the cajones to pursue it.

People can complain all they want about the Neanderthal Mitch McConnell blocking the end of the so-called Bush tax cuts, but the truth of the matter is that too many Democrats (and not all of them the hideous Blue Dogs) are as afraid of taking a stand in what appears to be a no-brainer.



The sordid Town Manager/Police Chief episode in East Hampton may be coming to an end.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

The "Dead Wrestler" Problem


TPM highlights the interesting problem of Connecticut's Republican senatorial candidate.

And it's a problem that really won't go away.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Punishing the victims


I've talked about this before, but yesterday Governor Clubwoman put in her two cents regarding Connecticut's egregious underfunding of state pension funds.

A few months ago, it was reported that the Constitution State has the dubious distinction of having the third largest shortfall in this area: It currently stands at about $34 billion. This has come about as a result of dereliction of duties by state legislators, who sent such designated funds into the general fund.

So rather than try to actually, you know, make up the difference, our benighted governor has decided that it should be future pensioners who pay. Viz.,
the plan would include capping individual pensions at $100,000 per year, establishing a defined contribution plan for new state workers, increasing the retirement age to 65 from 62 and the early retirement age to 60 from 55 and raising the employee contribution.

Rell ... also proposed that in years when the state loses money on its investments, it would not make a cost-of-living adjustment.
Fortunately, Madame Clubwoman is just blowing smoke, as she's the lamest of lame ducks, but it's interesting to see how she'd operate if she had the luxury of another four years in office.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Intimations of mortality


Can't say I'd ever heard of vitreous floaters before, but yesterday I was diagnosed with this apparently common malady.

Oh well. As it must to all men ...

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Paul Conrad


Any graphic pundit who thought “I decide who’s right and who’s wrong, and go from there” is ok with me.

One of his more memorable works from this decade:

More of the great harpooner's works can be found here.

Requiescat in pace.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Labor Day musings


BO can promote the advancement of the American middle class all he wants, but as long as seven of eight working Americans aren't protected by a labor union, the exhortation is meaningless.

UPDATE — Yesterday, Robert Reich wrote in much the same vein:
It is not that America is out of ideas. We know what to do. We need massive public spending on jobs (infrastructure, schools, parks, a new WPA) along with measures to widen the circle of prosperity so more Americans can share in the gains of growth (exempting the first $20K of income from payroll taxes and applying the payroll tax to incomes over $250K, for example).

The problem is lack of political will to do it. The naysayers, deficit hawks, government-haters and Social Darwinists who don’t have a clue what to do would rather do nothing. We are paralyzed.

If there was ever a time for bold government action it is precisely now. Obama should be storming the country, demanding the largest responses to the jobs emergency in history. He and the Dems should be giving Republicans hell for their indifference to all this.

Instead, Obama is all over the map — a mosque controversy, an Israeli-Palestinian peace talk (that may take years to complete if ever), a symbolic withdrawal from Iraq, and lots of little tax-cutting ideas.
It's really ironic (and pretty offensive) that the US will be commemorating something called "Labor Day" on Monday while the powers that be seem completely at ease with a 9.6% unemployment rate.

FURTHER UPDATE — E.J. Dionne wrote to this point on Labor Day.

Friday, September 03, 2010

Whoda thunk it?


After the fiasco of Wednesday night, it comes as no surprise that
Incumbent Republican [Arizona Governor] Jan Brewer said Thursday she has no intention of participating in any more events with Democrat Terry Goddard.
For those who missed one of the most godawful performances in the history of American politics, feast your eyes:

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

The untold story of the USS Kirk


This story made me weep on my way to work this morning and is certainly worth a listen for history buffs.

It's consoling to me to know that something good occurred during the US's retreat from Vietnam in 1975.