Archive for March, 2011|Monthly archive page

the goggles, they do nothing

Tim Pawlenty, one of the rubes who wants the Republicans to nominate him for the presidency, thinks Obama needs to bring the goddamn hammer down on Syria. he draws on his extensive foreign policy experience as the former governor of Minnesota to make his case:

In an interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt shortly before the president defended the U.S. military involvement in Libya, Mr. Pawlenty said Mr. Obama should withdraw the U.S. ambassador from Syria, express solidarity with the protestors there and impose sanctions, “both economic and otherwise,” against the country and its leader.

right on, man!
is this how it normally is? I have a short memory. do primary candidates from the opposition party gin up their foreign policy positions based on whatever it is the sitting president is doing? you probably read this somewhere — or, thanks to the wonders of a 24-hour news cycle,  saw it flashing across the inside of your eyelids as you entered REM sleep — but Newt Gingrich first criticized the Obama administration for not enacting a no-fly zone over Libya. then when the administration did, he criticized the intervention.
what the fuck? doesn’t this asshole have handlers who are supposed to parse over his public speeches for massive inconsistencies? I hardly expect a presidential candidate to be candid, or intelligent, but at least we can expect them to stay on message. Sarah Palin, for instance, has been a three-year, national celebration in uniform stupidity. she might be dumb as a post, but you have to nod in respect to her consistency.
and speaking of Palin, she just toured India and Israel, presumably to beef up her own foreign policy credentials. you may recall that they need some work.

god, I love that video. these next eighteen months are going to rule.


robots have their limits

I missed “The McLaughlin Group” this Sunday. but what is already dead can never die, and I will catch it next week.

here’s the genius-level insight of the weekend:
if you’re gonna plaster your car with bumper stickers, it’s best not to drive like an asshole. I’m looking at you, lady in the Jetta with Va. tags that wants everybody to know that “We Vote Pro-Life.” because of your shoddy driving on Slater Lane in Alexandria, I’m going to assume that every anti-abortion activist in the DC area doesn’t understand turn signals, and I’ll let that assumption color my opinion of the pro-life movement accordingly.
see? do you see how that works? that’s politics in America, folks. go ahead and pretend you haven’t done the same.

Mike made it back. a success! this calls for a celebration:

he returns

here is a story that ran the other day in The Hill, which is a publication read mostly by people in DC who work in professional politics (assholes). it details the latest turn in the long and winding road that is Mitt Romney’s eventual nomination to be the GOP’s 2012 presidential candidate.

Continue reading

Evan Bayh is now a paid commentator on Fox News! and the world lifted its leg, and it farted.

it was warm out on Sunday

Sunday, 11:30 am. I’ve got “The McLaughlin Group” on. oh how I’ve missed you so, John McLaughlin; just to hear him pronounce “Bosnia-Herzegovina” will make the next twenty minutes of elderly people screaming completely worth it.

and holy shit! Ezra Klein now appears on this show. I read his blog all the goddamn time, which means I am that which I loathe; an effete, east-coast liberal that considers himself well-read. but this is not a time for self-loathing, no. this is a time to celebrate a poorly produced Sunday morning news talk program that appears on public television that is largely out of touch with the world it observes!
the blind witnesses are: the aforementioned Mr Klein, who looks different than I imagined him (oh so lithe); the lady from Newsweek that may or may not have published a column in the last few decades; Monica goddamn Crowley; and Pat Buchanan, the immortal, he who will never die. all of these talking heads are no longer familiar to me. in my head, they’ve all moved online, and have become faceless.
but yes. Sunday mornings are for: getting some breakfast and reading the paper, getting a refill on the coffee and reading through it again, and then crusing on back to the house and watching “The McLaughlin Group.” if its production value is any indication, it was good enough for middle-aged conservatives in the late eighties. and if it was good enough for them, then by god, it’s good enough for me.

Tuesday is tomorrow, and that’s a bummer. that’s not even halfway to the weekend. so I’m gonna have to gather my strength and power through, even though it won’t be easy. tomorrow — Tuesday — my desk is being temporarily relocated to a wide spot in the hallway while they reshuffle living arrangements and clear out the spare conference room slated to be my next digs. temporarily, I’m told.
so it will be difficult to manage, but I should be able to look busy and simultaneously fill out a winning college hoops tournament bracket. I like Purdue. call me crazy.

good policy

“they can still stick by the bullshit, that it was meant for budgetary reasons, but try as they might, those darn Democrats just wouldn’t let them pass it. so they had to take out all the financial aspects and instead just weaken union bargaining rights, because then local governments can negotiate lower pay structures to their workers or union contractors, thereby saving money.
“I won’t argue that what they’re doing will lower pay for government workers, or contractors who do work for the government, and that lower pay will obviously translate into slightly lower payroll costs for some local governments, but big fucking deal. you’re cutting people’s wages, whoo-hoo for you. do you actually think that’s good public policy? driving wages down? cutting benefits?  is this how you view successful public policy?
“it drives me crazy that they’re going to use deficits as an excuse, when we all know Republicans don’t give a shit about deficits. it’s taxes they care about — and destroying supporters of their political opponents. it’s not like Repubs hate people earning $35-40k a year who don’t want to work until they’re 70 because they have to, you know, lift shit and build stuff; it’s not that Republicans hate them, it’s rather they’re just indifferent about their plight because, on average, they’re not friends with them, they don’t live with them, they’re not related to them, they’re not getting political donations from them … so it’s easier to not give a shit about them.”

— mean Mr Smith

also: if anyone else has something interesting to say, and would like their opinion heard by literally tens of people, let me know. and you too can be read on

I think it’s a bummer

hey, will you look at … the Wisconsin state senate Republicans eliminated collective bargaining rights for public unions using a move that if not illegal certainly makes them look like … what’s the word … assholes. and there’s video! way!

this is really just a moment in the history of the American class system, of our national economy; the history of our collective wealth, so it’s important to keep that in perspective. it’s important for me, at least. it’s only a moment.
but the decline of unions, which for all of their faults are fundamentally advocates on behalf of workers, and employees, and their right to have a say in a major institution of their lives, their jobs; this decline should be greeted with dismay. 
the disparity of wealth in this country continues to grow, corporate profits are at record highs, and unemployment is at just under nine percent, and that’s its lowest level in months. some economists are starting to talk about how the new normal level of joblessness is going to be about a point and a half higher than it used to be. but business successfully blames all of this on liberals, regulation and labor. “liberals” may deserve their proportion of blame. but labor does not.
well, I think that’s some horeshit. so  just because you saw “Waiting for Superman” and decided that labor unions should be treated with so much of your disdain, you fucking bandwagon democrat, remember who to thank for your five day work week, and who elects your candidates in November. and that’s my hardworking, decidedly middle-class mother you’re talking about, buddy.

de donde son los profesores?

here is a picture Aarti took of me and my dumb, dumb brother, straight lunchin.’

Mike leaves for South Africa tomorrow. everybody say something nice about him, in case he just disappears into Johannesburg, and I have to go all “Heart of Darkness” on his ass in six months to bring him back out.

also: the Obama administration has fired up the ol’ military tribunals down in Guantanamo Bay. maybe if there hadn’t been a bipartisan hissy fit a year or two ago about using the federal court system to try detainees, this wouldn’t be happening. but there was, and it is.  is this what you voted for?


“It may seem ironic that unions are under attack when Washington seems most disconnected from the economic needs of the middle class. But that’s not an irony; it’s a strategy. Critics of unions, such as Gov. Walker, want to cut government and reduce taxes on the wealthy. (Dire budget rhetoric notwithstanding, Walker’s first item of business was to reduce taxes on corporations and the well-off.) And they would much prefer to do it without unions calling them to account.”