Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Does It Matter That It's Off Virginia's Shore?

No doubt it has a little something to do with promoting cap-and-trade legislation.  But when you giveth offshore drilling rights to Virginia, a state Democrats carried in 2008 and lost last year, and taketh them away from the home of Sarah Palin, it's hard to escape the conclusion that the President is playing politics with the environment here.

Wonder how many Old Dominion Republicans will be chanting "Drill, baby, drill" when the first oil slick hits Virginia Beach?  Mr. Obama, the politics had better work here.  Frankly, though, even if the politics don't work, it's a shameful bargain, not change that anyone can believe in.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Well, She Doesn't Lack Self-Esteem

Or meglomania, for that matter.  Thank goodness polls show that most people don't like Sarah Palin as much as she obviously likes herself.

Either David Brooks Is On Drugs ...

... or I am.  This is the second column he's written this month that makes sense.  Like I said before, maybe there is hope for the Republic, after all.

Nixon Was Right About Something, After All

Possibly more than one thing, although he did so much to harm the Republic that I am loathe to give him credit for anything, even if it is merited.  However, he did famously say to his staff, on the day of his resignation from the presidency he disgraced, that the people who hate you only win if you return the favor, and that you destroy yourself by doing so.

Take a look at this, and tell me whether you would agree with me that modern conservatives, in hating Communism so much, haven't turned into a little Politburo of their own.  The problem is that this type of Orwellian conduct doesn't just destroy the people that practice it.  It runs the risk of destroying us all.

If you have school-age children, get involved, and insist on textbooks that tell the truth, and not what a bunch of misguided hooligans in Texas think is the truth.

Sorry, Roger, But Even Your Own Peasants Are Revolting

What further proof do you need that modern conservatism is based on the premise that you can make a dog hunt by beating it?  I think he's going to discover that it's a lot easier to beat up on Michael Dukakis than it is to sell the stale hamburger called Glenn Beck and pretend it's steak.

Stewart Udall, R.I.P.

One of the people who, once upon a time, made me and many others believe that politics and government could be noble callings.  May we look forward to many more, and may we be worthy of them.

When You've Lost People Like This ...

... do you really deserve to be a political party?

Fear Is The True Sign Of Desperation, Part I (Probably)

Take a look at this.  And this. And this.

See a pattern?  I sure do.

Sorry, guys, but if you want to make this a battle over anti-Semitism, you've got no chance of willing.  On the other hand, if you want me to believe in the vast, right-wing conspiracy ... well, mission accomplished.


All right, so it was just about a week ago.  Still, it's hard to believe that it actually happened.

Something close to genuine health care reform actually made it all the way through Congress, and became law.  It's far from perfect.  It will leave a lot of people without insurance.  And the process that produced it left so much to be desired, all of which has been commented on endlessly elsewhere.

Still, 32 million people who could not get health care now will be able to do so.  And that fact alone will help to drive down the cost of health care for everyone (more patients + same basic delivery system = lower cost per patient).

Perhaps more importantly, Barack Obama has learned how to act like a president.  And perhaps, just perhaps, Congressional Democrats have learned that if you can't use an overwhelming majority to act on a core principle, you don't deserve to have the majority in the first place.

How is this going to sort out, politically?  Time will tell, but I'm guessing that, if the entire Republican premise behind all of this was an attempt to lay the groundwork for another 1994, they're going to be disappointed.  Because, unlike 16 years ago, they're not facing a compromised, plurality president and a Congress that will let the right-wing fear machine take them by surprise.  Most of all, they will have to dispel the bad memories they created through their own years in power--and there will be millions of people (including yours truly) who will not let them get away with it.

IMHBDAO, the Republicans' single biggest mistake is in believing their own preconceived biases about Barack Obama.  He is neither the naive dummy nor the insecure tyrant that every right-wing word and deed over the past two years has been designed to destroy.  Rather, he is an intelligent, articulate leader who knows when he's been played long enough, and refuses to give in when something he believes in is at stake.

In short, he is the GOP's worst nightmare.

Well, keep tossing and turning in the midnight of your despair, O melancholy conservatives.  Your sleep may become even more restless in the coming months.  But, above all, keep sleeping.  At least then, hopefully, you won't disturb the people you've done so much to hurt.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Somewhere, It's Still OK To Literally Think Outside The Box

These are amazing architectural designs.  Too bad that, in our current, constipated, corporate conservative culture, none of them would ever see the light of day.

We used to be a country of pioneers.  Now, we're a country of reactionaries who use colonial/pioneer names to justify contemporary cowardice.  And you KNOW who I'm talking about, unless your politics aren't my cup of tea;-).

It's good to know greatness still exists in the world.  One day, perhaps, it will come back here.

No Better Way To Celebrate St. Patrick's Day ...

... than reading this and remembering it the next time Republicans talk trash about government--the thing they want to take control of so they can use it as a weapon against the rest of us.

Otherwise, wear green, drink responsibly and remember that the Irish saved civilization and helped build this country.  (And remember the latter in particular, when people talk trash about immigrants.)

Friday, March 12, 2010

Non-Babbling Brooks

Who would have thought this guy would have come up with the best, most accurate, most fair-minded assessment of the 44th President?  Maybe there's hope for the Republic after all.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Democratic Party Is Too Big If It's Actually Got Room For This Guy

I've never been clear as to why Mickey Kaus thinks he's a Democrat.  His Kausfiles.com blog always supports the view that Republicans always have the upper hand (and sounds depressed on those rare occasions when Kaus thinks otherwise).  He stayed with the John Edwards-Rielle Hunter story long after it had any relevance other than to the prurient at heart.  And his proudest achievement to date, in his mind, is singlehandedly electing Arnold Schwarzenegger to the California governorship (and we all know how well THAT worked out).

Unfortunately, his personal delusions of grandeur have reached this stage.  He's got every right in the world to dislike Barbara Boxer, but pretending she's somehow out of sync with the majority of California Democrats is like pretending that Proposition 13 balanced the state's budget.  Other than sheer narcissism, which would enable Kaus to fit in with some parts of the state, you have to wonder way he's doing this in the first place.  I mean, it can't be because Boxer's would-be Republican opponents are destroying each other ... Oh, wait!

(Apologies, Mickey, for appropriating your style.  On the other hand, it's not like there's a whole lot to steal in the first place.)

Passing Health Care Reform Is Now A Win-Win Proposition

Who would miss him? And what makes him think Costa Rica would want him? I know Costa Rica. I've been to Costa Rica. Costa Ricans treated me like a friend. Rush, you're no Costa Rican. Hell, you're not even a decent coffee bean.

We can only pray that they would consider you an immigration problem, and deport you back here. On the other hand, they would only think like that if they listened to your idiot broadcasts. Thankfully, they're too smart to do that.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

On The Other Hand, With GOP Senators Like These ...

... maybe it's ultimately enough to play to the Republicans' biggest weakness: their astonishing ability to overplay the hand that they're dealt. This is perhaps the ultimate example. If the Democrats can't use this to their advantage, they really have no right to exist.

Memo to Senator Bunning, regarding the missed basketball game: DVR (Gee, I thought your party wasn't technophobic anymore).

And, if you're a Mets fan, as I am, this particularly gets under your skin.