June 9, 2011

Newt's Campaign Quits

Not Newt's campaign manager or his campaign spokesman. His whole campaign staff just quit en mass. I invested a lot in the Gingrich campaign. I expected it to be there, keeping me entertained for the rest of the year and well into 2012. But the way Newt is going - moving from foul-up to mess-up to outright disaster - he's not going to last the month.

June 1, 2011

Liberals In Hollywood!

I say a big so what.

Even if you manage to prove that Liberals make movies and tv shows, what comes next? Unlike, say, the news pages and every TV news show except those on FoxNews there's no rule that people making TV comedies need to be apolitical. In fact, the only institution in America that's under any obligation to show both sides is news. And that's on its way out. See Fox.

People who build houses can have any kind of politics they want. People who cook for a living can have any kind of politics they want. People who make movies can have any kind of politics they want.

What efforts to prove that liberals run Hollywood or academia or whatever, is about shaming liberals, trying to make liberals ideas and liberal people something to be ashamed of.


May 29, 2011

All the Air Belongs to Her

Even in this age of 24 hour news cycles there is only so much attention to go around. Only one story can lead the news. If there are 20 people running for President, only a few of them can get covered by...all the places that cover such things.

Whatever else she is, Sarah Palin is an absolute master at getting all the media attention she wants.  I mean, just look at her. She dressed up in leather today and rode with Rolling Thunder. There's nothing she will not do. Why would we want to watch Tim Pawlenty get Iran and Iraq mixed up when you can watch Palin. She's riding motorcyles! She's in leather!

Lawrence O'donnell made a very good case that Palin won't run and I'm with him on this, but as long as she acts like she is going to run, all the attention will be on her.

She sucks up all the air.

May 28, 2011

Easing Back in With A Music Video Edition

 Been neglecting the blog. Other projects. You know how it is. Time to ease back in.

March 10, 2011

Politics: Total War

Here is what we are facing in America today. A political party that is playing for keeps. The GOP and the right are using the power that they acquired in the last election the systematical target and destroy the supporters and institutions of the Democratic party and the left. They are targeting labor unions. They are targeting Planned Parenthood. They are targeting NPR. They show no shame in this. If you truly believe that you are the only true America and that half the country is bunch of communist sympathisers who hate mother and apple pie then you have trouble destroying civil institutions that are coded "lefty." College kids don't vote the right way? Just keep the college kids from voting.

Of course, this won't stand. You can't outlaw, defund, smear and generally use the power of government to undo everything half the country is in favor of. That half will strike back.  We will organize, raise money and run hard in the next election. And now that we know what the stakes are, we will play the same game.

March 9, 2011

Who You Got?

Less than 10 months away from the Iowa Caucuses!

The Republican field is starting to take shape. Most notably, its seems that Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee don't seem to be making the moves you expect if they were putting together a real run at the brass ring. Now, it could be that Palin is just going to do things her own way, and hope that her celebrity and massive media presence will exempt her from having to trugd throw the snows of New Hampshire. So the fact that two poll leaders may not run scramble things a bit.

So who's going to win this thing? Chait makes the case for Tim Pawlenty, but I'm uncovinced, mainly for the simple fact that Pawlenty is as boring as dirt. Look at the presidential canidates of recent times. Say what you will about Obama, Clinton x 2, McCain, Bush x 2, Palin and the rest, but people rise to national prominence for a reason. The say intesting things, have done interesting thing, have interesting backgrounds and posses interesting skills. Pawlenty just doesn't.

But everyone else in the field has trouble. 

Romney passed a health care reform that looked a lot like Obama's, and by the way has no soul.

Newt, lets face it, isn't going anywhere.

Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour is as close to Boss Hog as you will ever find in real life.

Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels is even more dull than Pawlenty.

Now, somebody has to win this thing. I just can't you the story of how any of these guys do it.

March 4, 2011

Slow Down

There's a principal of foreign policy I'd like to try out. Let's call it the McCain Violence Advocacy Principal. The MVAP states that in any given foriegn policy situation or crisis, John McCain will advocate the maximum theoretical amount of violence. There will be no one to John McCain's right on the use of the military. So if he can advocate all-out war and 100-year occupation, in Iraq, that's what he does. If that sounds too crazy, he'll advocate a lesser state of violence, like "bombing" Iran. (It doesn't stop with one air strike, but let's not get into that). Note how no one in American politics advocates an invasion and occupation of Iran? "Airstrikes" is as far as anyone goes, and that's where John McCain goes.  Now if bombing is too crazy, the MVAP will seek out lesser measures, like "being strong" and "not backing down."

Which brings us to Libya. What's the most aggressive policy possible? A No Fly Zone. Now some may think that a No Fly Zone is something other than war, a mere defensive measure that will keep Libyans safe. SecDefense spelled this out a No Fly Zone is a war. It means bombing the crap out of Libyan air defenses before putting large number of planes overhead. Its expensive and puts a strain on our military. You know that last Country we did a No Fly Zone over? Iraq. One of the reason given for invasion was to end the costly enforcement of the No Fly Zone. A No Fly Zone is a way to back into a full war in Libiyia.

Stay away from the MVAP.

March 2, 2011


Newt is getting closer and closer to running. Fox News just kicked him off thier air, because aparently you can't run for President and still get a pay-check from Fox News. Its Fox New's one ethical rule.


February 28, 2011

Showdown Week

This week is a week for deadlines and high stakes negotiations, with a potential Federal Government shutdown and NFL lockout possible by Friday.

Like any good fight this one is over money. Lots of money.

Just for the record, I'm with Obama and the player's union on this stuff.

February 22, 2011

The Voyure Thrill of Revolution on My TV

I'll have to admit it, watching people from other Contries throwing some murderous bastard of a leader out on his ass. Joss Weadon's Angel said it best: "Nothing in the world is the way it ought to be." So anytime we see the world getting better it hits us deep in the riotous part of our brains the part that craves progress and freedom.

Plus, its a cost-free thrill. Apart from a little tick up in gas prices we pay no price for the freedom of people in the Middle East. I get to see and feel the cheering of victorious people on the main square without risking my own hide to wooden batons or rubber bullets. And it looks like the Libyans are facing the full horror of a civil war.
Me, I can root for the good guys from the safety of my couch.

February 14, 2011

The Money is Where the Fight is

Obama is out with his budget for the year. 3.73 trillion, not bad. It cuts in some places, spends more in others. Of course, its not going anywhere in the new GOP controlled House, but the budget has to get down, unlike every other thing we are going to fight about this year. No budget, and the little old ladies in the Tea Party woun't get thier Social Security checks. And we can't have that, can we?

Every other thing that the House, the Senate or the President wants can get killed by the other branches. The Senate makes it so easy to kill policy iniatives that sometimes they kill things by accedent. But the budget is different.

So this is where the fight is.

Victory Lap

Oh yeah, Arcade Fire totally won the Grammys and Justine Bieb lost. So yeah Grammys.

February 9, 2011

Running Stuff is Hard

Especially when you have no agenda except no.

So the House Republicans failed to pass the Patriot Act yesterday as about 26 GOPers deserted ship. Now this loss reflects more about obscure House procedures than a sudden outbreak of civil libertarianism on the part of the Republicans, but it does reflect the problems of moving from mindless opposition to needing to get things done.

Mindless opposition is easy to do. Just vote no and denounce everything that get proposed as communism. Easy. But getting things done means having to think about the consciouses of what you do, both as policy and politics. Thus we get a few Republicans who suddenly thought that surveillance without limits might be an expansion of government power, and ain't we against that sort of thing?

Keep in mind, this is just for renewing a law that's already in effect, not passing some new program. Is the GOP going to be able to do that?

February 3, 2011

How Interesting

I've already gone into detail about my love of The Most Interesting Man in the World. The New Yorker talked to the actor who's The Man and it turns out that he's ...very, very interesting.

January 27, 2011

The Protest Virus

Everybody in the Middle East is out on the street, the successful ousting of Tunisia's leader has triggered moves all across the Middle East. Once you see it done, you know it can be done.

We'll see if other protests manage to throw the bums out, but in a lot of ways getting your head beat in by riot police is the easy part. Trying to build a democracy is tricky, especially with a bad economy and the religious radicals waiting in the wings.

January 24, 2011

The Obama Rebound

Have you seen the polls lately? I mean, they were getting not fun there for a while, but Obama has really turned the old job approval numbers around. Where did this come from? A few thoughts.

1. Maybe people just needed to let off some steam. Apart from the Tea Party hard-core, I think the majority of the population hold two contradictory ideas in their heads: first, the economy sucks eggs and second, they like Obama. They like his personality and they like his program. So how do people deal with these two thoughts? Things are not fixed, but we like the guy trying to fix them. Well, they vote for his opponents in a mid-term election where he isn't on the ballot. Once they get that out of their system, they go back to liking him. Imagine you're a boss who's given a super-hard, vital task to a trusted underling. The job isn't done, but your guy is brilliant and no one could have done better. What can you do? Well, you yell at your underling a bit, but keep him on the job and give him a raise in a few months. That's the midterm results, followed by a big bump in Obama ratings.

2. Theory the second: This is all positive feedback from the lame-duck session of Congress. Obama got a whole slew of great headlines by passing and signing a whole slew of legislation: tax cut deal, ending don't ask don't tell, passing the START treaty and so on. Which means that Republicans were.completely right, tactically speaking, to block as much as they did. Just imagine if Obama had gotten those headline and that bump before the midterms? We might still have Madam Speaker.

January 19, 2011

Lieberman is Done

Having finally pissed every last American Citizen off, be they left or right, Joe Lieberman saunters off into the sunset, a hero in his own mind.

January 10, 2011

We Swim in Violence

Talk of violence surrounds us. It fills our movies and our TV shows. We use the language of war to talk about sports, business and politics. We fight wars on drugs, terror, litter and poverty.

We surrounded every day by talk of violence and recreations of violence. But we have very little real violence in our live. If you live in certain neighborhoods or are a soldier in one the wars violence may find you, but for most people, including the kind of people who meet with Congresswomen at events, never come close to real violence.

Even now, we are not anywhere near this violence. We watch the coverage, we talk about why, but its never real.

January 5, 2011

The Cuts Never Get Here

If the GOP has one talking point that it always goes to its "We must cut government spending." It's their one and only answer to our economic troubles.

But when it comes right down to it, those cuts never show up. Here is the GOP worming its way out of a promised 200 billion dollars in cuts and here is Rep. Paul Ryan dodging the question on specific cuts.

This is a pretty simple game. People like the idea of cutting "government" when you don't name a specific program. They just mentally fill in whatever real or imaginary government spending they don't like. Be it cash money for drug addicts or bombs that kill orphans, everybody has got some form of government they hate.

But in the really real world cutting government means picking which deadly disease doesn't get research funding or picking which FBI agents to fire and everybody hates that.

So the game continues. Promises to cut "spending" and never touch a real program.

January 3, 2011

New Year, New Posting

Sorry about the layoff. Call it a holiday break.

Jerry Brown is now Governor and is starting to dig into the shit sandwitch that is running the State of California. Good luck.

Here we go again.