Archive for November, 2010|Monthly archive page

steps

it’s been a long week, yes sir. let’s recap!
I flew up to Boston on Wednesday night, where I met newly minted Bostonian Mar and her gracious boyfriend. we had some dinner near Faneuil Hall, and I had the chowder. when in Rome, they say. I slept on their couch.
the next day we drove on out west to Pittsfield, where we had Thanksgiving turkey day dinner at our aunt and uncle’s house. the spread was delicious. I drank a lot of beer and stayed up late all weekend, and read a “cyberpunk” novel. no, you’re gay.
on Saturday, I drove all the friggin’ way back to Washington with my dad and stepmother. that is a long-ass drive, I’ll tell you what, and especially so when you’re purposely staying away from I-95. we took I-81 past Scranton, the ancestral hometown for the paternal half of the family, and I got a crash course in genealogy from afar on the interstate. the bad traffic forced us to improvise around Hershey, Pennsylvania, and again in Baltimore. but dad’s got one of those fancy GPS things in the dash of his car, so it was no sweat. noted.
he drove the whole way. I bought the New York Times at a gas station and we talked about politics, which probably wasn’t a wise thing to do in a closed space with family members for a long period of time. but no one died, and I was dropped off around 6 pm. I took an hour to roll around on the floor and stretch and then went to meet Mr Spencer. he was visiting from the Left Coast. he’s looking healthy.
we had a good ol’ time, one that included drinking a lot of Schlitz. Aarti met us out late in the evening, and I danced poorly at some place called the Wonderland Ballroom.
the next morning, we got breakfast, where we met my brother and Anna struggled to keep her butt in the seat; somehow came to talk about my uncle’s friend, Norman, who once ran a race for Lake County clerk while sleeping in a custodial closet at the court house; saw Spencer to the train; visited a bead shop, that prompted a memory of my mother’s neighbor’s small business, the aptly named Living La Beada Loca; and this, in turn, prompted a call home. everyone is well. they stuffed the bird on Thursday, I am told, with White Castle hamburgers. so take that, Stuffing On The Regular.
Aarti and I walked home, enjoyed the cold air and bright sunshine. then, I got my house in order for the new week. checked in to see that the Bears won. they did.
found Aarti again, and here, we got right back at it. I’m right back at it, I’m back at work. another day, another dang dollar.

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it’s hard to be so self-assured all the time

a handful of celebrities — led by Lady Gaga, Justin Timberlake and a couple Kardashians — are refraining from social media until they reach a fundraising goal for an AIDS charity. AIDS sufferers and HIV-positive citizens of the third world can address thank-you cards to the office of Real Sacrifice via snail mail.

oh, well there you go.

he has his goddamn reasons!

I wrote this first in response to mister Smith about my layman’s understanding of the START treaty kerfluffle:

I look at it this way: at the end of the day, politics is more than what takes place in the media, and the political process has to be more than simple gamesmanship. The midterm elections are over, and consensus says the Republicans won. Though the engine that got them here – a conservative populist surge at the polls — relied on sloganeering and loose facts (and a lot of bold-faced lies) the Republican party has been around for well over a century. Though I may almost always disagree with them, there are some very intelligent, thoughtful people in that party, and once you get past the anti-fag and anti-tax rhetoric, they occasionally have some serious ideas.

But what does Jon Kyl have to gain from this? Are the Republicans of the Senate – the body that’s supposed to be more reserved and insulated, and less crazy – really using an arms treaty to turn the screws on the administration? What are Kyl’s concerns? They must be serious, because otherwise the administration would call him out for practicing the aforementioned simple gamesmanship. If the White House doesn’t do that, if they punt on this and wait for a bunch of even more conservative Republicans to arrive in January, then their inaction will imply that Kyl’s hold-up is based on serious concerns.

They haven’t said anything yet, as far as I know. So what does that say? They can’t get a fucking arms treaty passed that the entire political establishment supports because of … Jon Kyl? Well, either there is something seriously wrong with the treaty so that Kyl alone can siphon off the GOP support needed to pass it, or they really should get the president some new goddamn advisers, people who should tell him to call Kyl out by name and to press the fucking issue.

And whatever the outcome is, they should keep this important nugg in mind: Don’t wait to pass a nuclear arms treaty with Russia until the lame duck session.

then I read this:

Incoming GOP senators demand say on new START

BONUS:

Health insurers’ group gave U.S. Chamber of Commerce $86.2 million in 2009 for lobbying

EXTRA BONUS:

get this man his pistols

here is a story about a man who is fed up with “the (expletive) politics” on Dancing With The Stars.

and here is a song by a guy who’s probably pouring concrete somewhere, for all of his musical efforts.

for serious, guys

she’s gonna run for president. the midterms aren’t eight goddamn days in the bag yet, and Sarah Palin suddenly pays attention to monetary policy? really?

it’s always election season

Sarah Palin has been out talkin’ about policy issues now that the midterms are over, cause she’s gonna run fer president. this has produced a public argument with a Wall Street Journal reporter, that she appears to be losing, and another speech tonight. sooner or later, the transcript will be available for that shit. so stay tuned for details.
and seriously: who really thinks that Sarah Palin reads the fuckin’ Wall Street Journal?

cable news is for idiots

except for CNN, for it pays the bills, is moderate and therefore unwatched. but the political gauge shouldn’t be a measure of a news organization anyway. newspapers are laid out as such: The News, and an editorial page in the back page. where the editorializing takes place. a lot of cable news programming these days lacks that distinction. and therein lies the problem …

Keith Olbermann got suspended from hosting his program on MSNBC after he told Politico that he donated money to Democratic congressional campaigns. this violated MSNBC’s ethics policy. when you’re in journalism, you’re not supposed to do that.
some of his defenders contend Olbermann’s being held to an unfair standard, because Fox doesn’t give a shit if its talking heads make political contributions. fellow MSNBC personality Rachel Maddow even said something asinine like “theirs is a political organization. ours is not.” yeah, maybe. but I think it’s a stretch to call Olbermann a journalist.
his suspension is over tomorrow, which makes his punishment a total of two shows off the air. that makes sense: he has a lot of supporters out there who are bitching about his absence and he makes MSNBC a lot of money. and Olbermann has since issued an apology about the ordeal, which is as obnoxous and self-serving as you’d expect a Keith Olbermann apology to be.
but I don’t think the real study should be on his punishment. I think the onus should be on what Olbermann’s title should be, because he’s definitely not a journalist. MSNBC may still be a news organization, but now it’s where you go to get your news when you’re a liberal and you want all of your news to agree with you. Olbermann, the man who is not a journalist yet is the network star and anchors its election night coverage, makes it so.

this person who writes for the New York Times said it much better than I have here.

full of typos

it’s election night.
I’m watching Aarti’s dog while Aarti and her friend visit Argentina. she’s been planning this for months.
on the television, Kathleen Parker just said “I’m going to get killed for this,” and called the tea party movement naive.
Elliot Spitzer is talking about how the “Republicans are going to have to come to the table.”
over at the other table, the conservative blogger Erick Erickson and the fat black liberal guy in a nice suit are having an argument, and the black guy is rolling his eyes.
Paul Begala is blathering on about something, and just begging you to jog down to the CNN studio to punch his ass out.
and then, back to the guy who’s actually reading election results, albeit in a strangely toned voice: Wolf Blitzer. Blitzer is is reporting that Senator Russ Feingold is going to lose re-election in Wisconsin. I’m not sure if it’s ironic or not that Russ Feingold is going to lose — to a guy who thinks the Obama administration is leading us toward a “socialist” state — because of  unprecedented corporate poltiical spending. but, there it is.
Andrew Cuomo beat that tea party stereotype to win the governor’s race in New York, and CNN went right to Spitzer to comment. and nobody brought up the fact that Spitzer was the governor of New York until, what, two years ago? and then the prostitution scandal?
nobody said anything! come on, we’re all thinking about it. Begala probably had a goddamn boner while thinking about it. why not rib him? say, “hey, Eliot. got any advice for mister governor?”
there are no less than three tables of six pundits in the CNN studio. I think they’re pumping gas into the room; maybe pure oxygen.
the Republicans, television says, are going to win the House, and John Boehner is reaching out to the tea party candidates who won as Republicans, because Boehner’s gonna run him a tight ship. we’ll see about that.
and oh my god, now here Boehner is crying during his victory speech. the crowd has begun chanting “USA.” it’s almost like a scene out of Tom Clancy’s worst novel.
I need to remember this feeling. so here is the Republicans’ “Pledge to America.” I should really find a way to indepently host this. but I digress. it’s full of empty promises and lofty rhetoric, and it’ll be nearly impossible to adhere to, but as it is politics, and there’s no better time than the present to begin a running log of bullshit, so let’s start here. I waxed poetic and romantic when Obama won in 2008 and a bunch of Democrats swept in on his coattails, because, let’s face it, I’m a fucking liberal, but I’ll readily admit that their governance has been a mixed bag. I guess that’s what makes me a liberal; if I weren’t, or if I self-identified somewhere else in an American political spectrum that is already skewed to the right, I’d say that liberal governance has been awful, or attrocious, or socialist, or some other such nonsense. but I’m not, you see. I’m a self-assured liberal.
it’s not like I’ve got anything to lose by predicting that the Republicans will get nothing in two years. anyone paying attention will come ot the same conclusion. they’ve got: an incoming group of ultraconservative freshmen who have vowed to oppose Democrats unilaterally; control of only one chamber of Congress; a Democratic executive branch; and no viable solutions to offer for debt reduction.
this is, after all, the party that supports across-the-board extension of the Bush tax cuts, which will cost the government something like a trillion dollars over the next decade. they aren’t really serious. they’re just happy to be here. and they could just as likely be gone in the next two years as well.
but we’ll see. two years ago, the media narrative was that America had embraced some sort of poorly defined progressive politics as defined by Barack Obama’s savvy social media campaign. now, we’re all small government conservatives. neither definition fits, I think. in fact, I think we’re all more like the angry, torch-wielding mob that was a frequent presence on “The Simpsons.”
oh well. I voted. the Democrats suck only a litle less than the Republicans, and I guess it’s time we were all reminded of that. so let’s get the next presidential election underway …