Thursday, November 30, 2006


Sometimes you just can't believe that people famous and well-remunerated for their insight and intelligence can be so cluelessly fatuous and self-ignorant. Susie Madrak is one of many who caught George Will, with no nod to irony, condemn Sen.-elect Webb for being a "a pompous poseur and an abuser of the English language," but she's the only one I read who gave it the appropriate spit-take. And here, Big Tent Democrat is far too tolerant of the critique of online commenters given by the man who gave us "Crossfire." How did these people get into their positions with such blinders and ignorance, as people whose “wisdom” is worth paying for?? Or did I just put up a mirror to us???


The cars are iced over...

...the roads have a lovely glaze on them, and I'm going into work late. That can only mean one thing...


(No, don't look for logic in that...just go with it...)

Random 10 From Best Songs List...

- So What'cha Want, Beastie Boys
- Wicked Man, Ben Harper & Blind Boys of Alabama
- Box #10, Jim Croce
- What You Wish For (live), Guster
- Busted Stuff, Dave Matthews Band
- Holiday, Green Day
- Blue Jay Way, Beatles (I gave this song four stars? Interesting...)
- Black Jack, Mos Def
- Heart of the City (Ain't No Love) (live), Jay-Z
- Hold Me, Weezer

Random 10...

- Don't Be Afraid, Aaron Hall
- Misunderstood (live), Wilco
- You Really Got Me (live), The Kinks
- Friends, Led Zeppelin
- Crazy Mary (live), Pearl Jam
- Adrenaline! (live), The Roots
- Babylon, Outkast
- Arsani, Ali Farka Toure
- 14th Street, Rufus Wainwright (LOVE this song)
- What's Goin' On Baby, Slim Harpo

Alright...time to slide my car in the general direction of work...


Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Nonsense / Good Nonsense, 11-29

Nonsense: How unpatriotic, Senator-elect Webb! (via Greenwald)

"How's your boy?" Bush asked, referring to Webb's son, a Marine serving in Iraq.

"I'd like to get them out of Iraq, Mr. President," Webb responded, echoing a campaign theme.

"That's not what I asked you," Bush said. "How's your boy?"

"That's between me and my boy, Mr. President," Webb said coldly, ending the conversation on the State Floor of the East Wing of the White House.
Good Nonsense: Psychotics Prefer Dubya (duh) (via CorrenteWire)

Lohse, a social work master’s student at Southern Connecticut State University, says he has proven what many progressives have probably suspected for years: a direct link between mental illness and support for President Bush.

Lohse says his study is no joke. The thesis draws on a survey of 69 psychiatric outpatients in three Connecticut locations during the 2004 presidential election. Lohse’s study, backed by SCSU Psychology professor Jaak Rakfeldt and statistician Misty Ginacola, found a correlation between the severity of a person’s psychosis and their preferences for president: The more psychotic the voter, the more likely they were to vote for Bush.
By the way, welcome to the blogroll, CorrenteWire (and Attytood)!


Weather, Water, Energy 11-29-06

The quick hit thing again . . .

  • While we dither here in the U.S., the European Union has set up carbon units for its carbon trading "scheme" (their word, not ours), with a goal of cutting emissions by 8% of the 1990 levels, as per Kyoto. Haven't they heard from the wise Australians that there's no point if the U.S. and China aren't involved, too?
  • Environmental and fishing groups in Britain (known as "conservation and angling" there--they're pretty funny) are joining forces on a 10-pt. plan to cure the "water crisis" there.
  • While on Britain, an "annual report card" there says global warming with its harsher storms and increasing sea levels, is already likely affecting the biodiversity and productivity of their surrounding seas.
  • A European consulting firm warns that electricity prices there could double if utilities meet the Kyoto emission reductions targets.
  • A Beijing reservoir, its fourth largest drinking supply, has water declared unfit to consume. No problem, though. 9 of the city's surrounding 16 lakes have good water.
  • Members of the U of WA's Climate Impacts Group are calling for a "National Climate Service" for long-range climate forecasts to facilitate long-term planning and responses. Something like this will have to happen sooner or later even if this doesn't take.
  • Finally, the president-elect of the Christian Coalition resigned because he couldn't get the rest of the leadership to broaden its narrow, right-wing agenda to include "compassion issues such as poverty, justice, and creation care." You know, that wishy-washy, bleeding heart Jesus stuff. I do like "creation care." The guy just handed the Dems the "frame" they need on all this. Are they paying attention? Huh? . . . Are they?


Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Weather, Water, Energy 11-28-06

Quick hits so you can move on to Veronica updates below:

  • Want to feel good about the future? Realize that Russia is likely the major source of useable water in your lifetime. They expect it to replace oil as the big contributor to their annual budgets. And where will the cash come from? And what else might they want? Feeling good yet? (Actually, a nice little discussion of water as the big issue of your tomorrow.)
  • The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is none too happily being pulled into "protracted water wars" between GA, AL, and FL over Lake Lanier. Sign of things to come.
  • Because of the wisdom and foresight of the Busheviks, the states are stepping in to direct utilities to start putting more emphasis on alternative sources like wind, solar, and biomass to increase their electricity outputs. (A couple of good links to pursue here, too.)
  • As if Katrina wasn't enough. LA has always had to worry about sinking around the coast. But now studies are saying they have as much or more to worry about from the rising sea levels. They're starting to look at the Netherlands, wisely and surprisingly enough. Once the Corps of Engineers get done with the yahoos to the east, they will be helping the plans be implemented.
  • Turns out that creatures' "thermal environments" need to be considered when trying to conserve species as global warming catches on more. That is, their physiologies may differ enough from each other that you can't assume that simply being along the same latitude will be enough to protect them.
  • When T. Boone Pickens "gets it," that means Sen. Inhofe (OK-REPUB) is truly a future museum piece.
  • Maybe this is what T. Boone's seeing--our planetary carbon emissions have gone from less than 1% increase a year up to 2000 to 2.5% a year now. Folks, that's a leap from one exponential curve to another, exactly what the nonlinear types have been warning us about global warming. That rate translates to a 5.8C degree temp increase from 1990 to the end of this century. (Remember--the F temp one we use is the bigger one.)
  • How might we get people's attention? How about cancelling entire sports? Would not having the Winter Olympics be enough? (Actually, would anyone south of WI care?) On the other hand, if we tell folks that we could have the Super Bowl outside in Green Bay in late January, they'll probably start torching every wooden thing they can find. Better keep it to ourselves.


Nonsense / Good Nonsense, 11/28

Nonsense: Journalists don't know Journalism

I'll say for the Washington Post, we haven't labeled it a civil war and I've asked around here today to see why not or what’s the thinking on that and really our reporters have not filed that. We try to avoid the labels, particularly when the elected government itself does not call its situation a civil war.
Good Nonsense: Lenny of Lenny & Squiggy is smarter than our Education Secretary (via) (h/t Avedon).

Last night, I was shocked to discovery that US Secretary of Education, Margaret Spellings, is a moron. A right-wing zealot who rallies against gays for, well, being gay, and the state of Connecticut for failing to embrace No Child Left Behind (because we all know that when it comes to public education in this country Connecticut is where the problem lies), sure. But an incompetent tart incapable of working a signaling button, unable to divine from a fairly simple clue what is actually being asked, and failing to apply simple logic when wagering on a Daily Double?


Deep Thoughts on Veronica Mars, Part III

As we near the end of Mystery Arc #1 in Veronica Mars Season 3, I figured I should make some comments...

- The “Will Veronica dump Logan for Piz?” plotline that I predicted 10 minutes into the opening episode has gone down such a predictable line that “LoVe / Piz = ?” has been in the advertisements recently. And Piz hasn’t even made his move yet. Note to Rob Thomas (VM writer, not Matchbox Twenty singer): if it’s this predictable, and has been for a while, go ahead and move along with the storyline.

- Get it? LoVe = Logan & Veronica? How clever. Did the Aerie girls think of that? And speaking of which, why must they still clutter up the CW on Tuesday nights? Must we listen to 15-year olds talking with attempted wisdom about love and loss? And must I be reminded that I’m in love with a show whose designed audience is 10-15 years younger than me and female?

- I agree with EW’s “TV Watch” writer, who said that last week’s discovery that many of the rapes were faked in a way to get the Greek system shut down, was a huge letdown. I mean...Veronica getting drugged and almost getting her head shaven bumped the intensity up tenfold...and then it was brought back down with that discovery. But...not to worry!! Someone will die this week!! That’s what the ads told me!! Seriously, CW...please do not start using NBC’s advertising techniques of “DO NOT MISS THE LAST FIVE MINUTES BECAUSE SOMEBODY WILL DIE AND YOU WILL BE SHOCKED.” It kills any sort of shock that loyal viewers of the show (and that’s the only kind of viewers that VM has) have come to love, and it’s just tacky. Besides, when it ends up being some third-tier character that dies (not saying this is definite, but it’s still the most likely possibility), it looks like the writers chickened out by not killing off a main character (which is unfair to the writers since they most likely didn’t ask you to advertise the show in that way).

But back to the disappointing plotline...things dragged for a couple formulaic episodes, but I was actually looking forward to the payoff after Veronica got drugged. That created some interesting possibilities. All I can say is, tonight’s episode better be phenomenal...if the major players behind the rape scandal are a bunch of females who hate Greeks, then this will have been a severe letdown.

- Where in the hell has Mac been? She’s not my favorite character by any means, but this was supposed to be the season in which she emerged as a major player...and instead she hasn’t made an appearance, I believe, since the second episode. How long was this supposed “family funeral” supposed to last? Two months? The Butterfly’s theory is that she was deemed to hefty for TV, and I scoffed at that notion...though she did look a bit skinnier in the previews for this episode. Man...that will piss me off if true. Seriously, she was the same weight at the beginning of the season as she had been for the last two seasons. Why, if true, did she have to lose weight now? And since when was her weight deemed “too hefty”? I just refuse to believe that this is true...please don’t prove me wrong, CW.

- Meanwhile, I read that Rob Thomas will likely be focusing a good portion of Mystery Arc #3 of the season around Wallace and, I guess, Mac. Good thing, because there is nothing being made of Wallace’s character. He got caught cheating in mechanical engineering, refused to drop the class because he’s always wanted to pursue that subject, then dropped basketball to buckle down and pull off a C in the class. Still...the writers are smart enough to figure out how to get him on the screen more.

- While I am complaining a lot here, I will take the time to compliment the plotline surrounding Keith Mars, not to mention the inspired casting of Laura San Giacomo (his love interest when he was That Guy in Just Shoot Me) as his married love interest. His involvement with Charisma Carpenter and the Fitzpatricks at the beginning of the season was convoluted and confusing, and while the plot will obviously circulate back to that soon enough (I assume that will be Mystery Arc #2), things have simplified for him a bit as he found love in a married woman and decided he needed to stick to being Veronica’s hero and not let her down by being The Guy Who Ruined the Marriage.

- Meanwhile, Veronica’s disappointment in the two men of her life has once again allowed Kristen Bell to show off a different set of acting chops. It’s to the point where I would watch her in anything (even with bad hair). At times, Veronica seems to mature, and the anger and slight immaturity she’s shown toward Keith and Logan have served to remind everybody that she’s still supposed to be 19 or 20 years old. She has also revealed (and admitted to) major trust issues, particularly with Logan, and that is apparently going to be the major cause for their inevitable breakup.

- I mentioned in my last update a while back that Jason Dohring seemed bored with Logan Echolls’ plotlines...well not anymore. He’s great when he’s mixing the bad boy/sad puppy dog personas, the scene in last week’s episode in which he called Veronica from the other end of the food court and watched her see his name on the caller ID and put the phone back in her pocket was his best scene of the season...which is impressive since he didn’t even say a word.

- Speaking of being complimentary, the guest appearances (with one exception) in this season have been both phenomenal and hilarious. No other show could get away with featuring Laura San Giacomo, Ed Begley Jr., Patty Hearst (who was awful and completely devoid of personality in last week’s episode), and The Guy from The Nanny, in addition to Rory's Boyfriend from Gilmore Girls, The Most Well-Known of the Geeks from Freaks and Geeks, the Best Friend from Boy Meets World, etc.

- One more memo to Rob Thomas: Heroes has now passed VM as The Butterfly’s favorite show. Just so you know. You gonna let that happen? Get to crackin’.

UPDATE: Apparently Tina Majorino, who plays Mac, has also been filming the next season of HBO's Big Love, and that's the major reason why she hasn't been on the show recently. Good. Don't tell The Butterfly, but for once I'm glad she was wrong.

Seriously, don't tell her.


Monday, November 27, 2006

Take the Weather with You

Jimmy Buffett saved my life.

He doesn’t know this. And, technically, he wasn’t the only one pulling on the lifeline. There were some good folks in a little community playhouse. And John Jay Osborne. And a guy who ran a literacy program for inmates. But the guy who had the rope and was captain of the team was Jimmy. And I’ve never said thank you.

I’m one of those guys who took a unfortunate career path early on in his life and, despite some other turns that led off the major road, never found my way back to what I was supposed to do. If you read us regularly at all, you may have noticed an occasional sour or cynical outlook in my perspective that is the chief result. (Just shake your head and say you don’t know what I’m talking about. An astounded look would be good, too.) But, a couple of decades back, when the realization first set in hard, I was heading for a place where I didn’t want to go or to drag the people I loved with me. I needed someone to get my mind off it all from time to time, to show me the bright, the solemn, the scope of life so I’d remember that I wasn’t the first or the worst and that life still had gems even when most annoying or destructive.

You can guess who that was.

I had already been a fan, “A-1-A,” “Living and Dying in Three-Quarter Time,” “Margaritaville.” I bought up all the Jimmy I could fit into a cassette and kept buying even to today. I did my own mix jobs, got the 4 CD set, tortured The Boy when we drove into The City. Eventually things turned around. I gave up a tenured teaching position, something Jimmy might approve of, and got into things no better but more diverse that let me travel and establish a national reputation (at least part good) in my very truncated field. A Jimmy success story.

I’ve bought his CDs as he’s put them out over the years, done a couple of concerts, bought shirts at his New Orleans store, eaten at “Cheeseburger in Paradise,” but recently he hasn’t had the same effect. Maybe it’s because my need for his mix of humor, pathos, and insight, always blended together in one nice drink per CD, had diminished. Maybe he had become like Sorkin with “Studio 60,” churning things out almost by formula, still interesting and entertaining, but lacking the old spark, the old “a-ha!” or “oh, jeez” moment. Maybe we’d just grown apart, like old friends who go separate ways do, even if he doesn’t have a clue who I am. So, when I bought his latest “Take the Weather with You” the other day, I did it more from loyalty than high expectation.

But right now, I’ve hit another place on the career road that seems more dead end than open road, and, reason or not, this latest CD seems more like old times, like walking into a bar and sitting down with a long-lost who has a pitcher he’s eager to share. He says in the liner that he started this one while in Patagonia, the southern tip of the world, and, indeed, in true Jimmy fashion, there’s a raucous song linking the crap going on the planet today and a “Party at the End of the World.” Jimmy may love the South and get down with Nashville types, but his heart and interests are too broad to be modern Republican, as he makes clear in “Nothin’ but a Breeze”—“Me, I want to live with my flip flops in Dixie and my head in the cool blue North.” This last song also tips his usual hat at the Baby Boomers who have seen their lives in his “A Pirate Looks at 40” and “Son of a Son of a Sailor,” aware of aging with that melancholy acceptance that we all eventually have to face up to:

“One day soon, I’ll be a grandpa.
All the pretty girls will call me Sir.
Now where they’re asking me how things are,
Soon they’ll ask me how things were.”
[Jimmy’s rich and famous to pretty girls. We old, poor guys are already there.]

There are some just so-so songs, at least right now (we’ve all had that experience of having a song hit us many plays later), including one on Cinco de Mayo in Memphis and one on a place called Reggabilly Hill, which, by their topics, tell you they probably aren’t that so-so after all. His last few CDs have been nothing but these kinds of songs to me, as I mentioned, but, sprinkled into this mix of some with real meat, they make nice seasonings nonetheless. He does another tribute to Elvis and covers Merle’s “Silver Wings” with a tropical beat that Merle probably only envisioned in a state that did not allow writing at the time. He nails our “connected” world in “Everybody’s on the Phone”—“I’m a digital explorer in analog foam”—that ends exactly the way some of my cell calls with The Boy do. The title base, “Weather with You,” lets you in that you take your own “WWY” wherever you go, and he pulls another ju-jitsu move with “Whoop De Doo,” which isn’t funny but turns out to be a lament over a lost love (like his famous title, “If the Phone Doesn’t Ring, It’s Me” on an earlier CD.). His “Hula Girl at Heart” is a common Jimmy ode to femmes who ground us all on what’s important, and his closing “Duke’s on Sunday” finishes the CD off like his earlier “Lovely Cruise.”

What takes this CD back to the earthy, life-affirming ground of his earlier work, at least for me, are the songs he’s done in the aftermath of Katrina and the devastation done to his beloved Gulf shores. The disaster seems to have loosened or recreated that part of him that can touch the central core of many of us. “Bama Breeze” has a good video if you can catch it and captures a spirit that you hope will prevail, a spirit that says, you know what? Shit happens. Life is life. Don’t think you’re unique just because sometimes you’re in the way. That’s the theme of the other Katrina song, “Breathe In, Breathe Out, Move On.” You got hammered, you got screwed, but you still have a life to live, no matter who or what’s to blame. Get with it.

Which is basically what Jimmy said to me years ago when I needed to hear it, and he’s saying now once more when I do again. You thanked Mark Twain once at the end of a song, Jimmy, and I owe you big time in the same way. My wife makes a great margarita.

“According to my watch, the time is now.
The past is dead and gone.
Don’t try to shake it,
Just nod your head.
Breathe in, breathe out, move on.

Don’t try to explain it,
Just bow your head.
Breathe in.
Breathe out.
Move on.”

Thank you, Jim.


Weather, Water, Energy 11-27-06

The EPA punted backwards on regulating CO2 emissions from autos so now it's in the Supreme Court's court (repetition and mixed metaphors!!). Are we holding our (polluted) breath? . . . New England as an energy giant? Well, if brains and innovation are going to play a part in dealing with our energy future, maybe so. . . . Here's a nice review of the problems and future of the burning, drought-plagued Amazon. Our problems, our future. . . . While we were gorging this weekend, Grist saved for us this capitulation of the oil morons on global warming. Sen. Inhofe (OK-REPUB) is slowing floating away on one of the far more common ice chunks. . . . East Asian nations are also getting serious, pledging themselves to energy conservation and alternatives. . . . Climate Progress has a couple of good posts up, one on the increasing indicators of global warming, even in cities, and another on the solid case for glacier melting. . . . And here we see a way of life (and major economic contributor) in AZ buckling under drought that the climate models predicted (but who's giving them credibility anyway?). The last line is heart-wrenching . . . and stupid.


Sunday, November 26, 2006


Tristero is engaged in an interesting but ultimately fruitless discussion of "chickenhawks" over at Hullabaloo, occasioned by yet another "I'm so reasonable and moderate I'm ridiculous" post by the master of them, Kevin Drum. Tristero spells out the concern well and answers the clueless far better than I would spend my time on. Essentially, no one says you have to have been in the military to advocate war. We protest those who assert their "martial" nature only when the costs will be borne by others. That, frankly, leaves most of us, who don't value war or want it pushed on others but are willing to support the famous "just" ones, perfectly able to be for or against Iraq, Afghanistan, or whatever (Me--for A, against I), whether or not we ever fought or even trained. As usual, as he pretzels himself yet again into "seeing the other side," Drum sets up another straw man, which he even then doesn't convincingly dismantle. (No, I'm not linking to him. He gets far too much attention the way it is.) Every successful destruction of an existing system depends on "reasonable" people who give cover to the extremists, saying they're not really as bad as we think or, if we condemn them, why, we may be on a path to something extreme, until the "extreme" that really exists is our reality. Drum and his buddies at the once worth reading Washington Monthly and other places have been making the extremists threatening the American Legacy "acceptable" for years now, contributing far more to the results of 2000, Iraq, 2004, and the federal courts we'll all be living with for decades now than they have the capacity to imagine. But, gosh, they'd be good company at a wine tasting. The Lenins of the world knew these people for what they are. That we've only had Lenin wannabes to this point is no security, and no proof that Drum is right. Thanks to him, we can only hold our breaths.


Ahh, that's better...

...all is right with the world once again...


Friday, November 24, 2006

FRIDAY CAT BLOGGING!! (Almost forgot it was Friday)

Settling in for the Attack of the Tryptophan...


The Best Case for Euthanasia

Okay, with our thanks given, let's talk murder. Or, really, just mercy killing. After Monday's "Studio 60," it's right and proper that we kill Harriet Hayes. Not Sarah Paulson. I like her. Her character. The dull, uninteresting, air-sucking, show-killing character. She's not believable and her storylines take too much of the show for no good purpose. Kristin Chenoweth is a mildly interesting third-tier performer, but a send-up of her travails isn't interesting enough to make her interesting, much less someone playing her.

We get it. Life's hard for a Christian in Hollywood. Pressures to be heathen are everywhere. But Pat Robertson, gay marriage, hot Christian lingerie shoots? It's . . . not . . . working. And her romance with Matthew Perry's character? Show of hands from everyone who really wants to see them together. . . .

Okay, then. Kill her. Car wreck, vengeful lunatic, stage light on her head in the middle of a performance, I don't care. The stories that could come off of any possible demise will be infinitely better than the ones they've had and the ones down the path they're on. Paulson will get points for being such a trooper through this mess, the suction on the show will end, and maybe we can get to something worth of "Sports Night"'s successor after all before the plug is pulled on the show. Please. I mean it. Kill her.

Talk about giving thanks . . . .


National Fast Day

As you roll around wondering how so much food could be crammed into one organic space, perhaps you now can appreciate why Abe Lincoln, while proclaiming a national holiday of Thanksgiving, also proclaimed a National Fast Day to emphasize the need for humility, fasting, and prayer in light of our inferior position in the Creation. What? You never heard of it. Odd, that. Surely our culture would support such a thing. I'm sure Oprah's just forgotten to run a show on it lately. Never mind. Just go ahead and get started. The day after Thanksgiving might be the most propitious time.


Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Thanksgiving Not-So-Random 10!

In the Thanksgiving/holiday spirit...

- Thank Jah, Bad Brains
- Thank You Jesus, Holmes Brothers
- Thank You, Led Zeppelin
- Thanks That Was Fun, Barenaked Ladies
- Holiday, Green Day
- Holiday, Weezer
- Holiday in Cambodia, Dead Kennedys
- Holiday in Spain, Counting Crows
- Halloween, Dave Matthews Band
- St. Patrick's Day, John Mayer

And now a Random 10...

- The Boxer, Simon & Garfunkel
- Heartbreakin Man, My Morning Jacket
- Screen Door, Uncle Tupelo
- Africa Dream, Talib Kweli & DJ Hi-Tek
- Rearviewmirror, Pearl Jam
- Inside My Head, Radiohead
- Rich Girl, Nina Simone
- Feel The Pain, Dinosaur Jr
- I'm Bad Like Jesse James, John Lee Hooker
- Pride and Joy, Marvin Gaye

Happy Holidays!


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Weather, Water, Energy 11-21-06

Quick hits:

  • Want to know how much energy goes into the products you purchase? The Carbon Trust is now doing "cradle-to-grave" carbon footprints, the amount of energy from supply of raw materials through disposal after use.
  • Australia caps its arrival as stupidest country in the Southern Hemisphere by opting for nuclear as its way of addressing the global warming that its Prime Minister says isn't really happening. Have another Foster's, nitwits.
  • On the other hand, the EU is investing in fusion reactors, which may waste resources better used elsewhere, but, if it pays off, they might even help out what's left of the morons Down Under.
  • On the other other hand, China is investing in one of the world's largest solar power stations.
  • Grist has a thought-provoking turn on how freight trains might once again rise as the toll of trucks on energy and global warming becomes more clear.
  • Meanwhile, the Netherlands is having its warmest fall in over 300 years.
  • Will that slow down now that the Dems are back in "power" and might actually force some fuel standards on the car companies, even on Bushnev and the unfortunate Dem John Dingell.
  • But some good news. Really. There's been a seven-year stabilization of methane levels, which should lead to a slight slowing of its global warming impact. See? We can be optimists here.


Monday, November 20, 2006

Weather, Water, Energy 11-20-06

From the mouths of babes. 11-14 year olds in Britain are more concerned about recycling and climate change than sweeties or homework and say working for an environmentally friendly company will be important to them. More important, they say they're already doing conservation. Good, they'll be used to the 3 hours of electricity they're able to cycle onto the generator every day. Okay, the article didn't say that, but you just have to wonder how they'll react if we never get around to acting (h/t Grist). . . . This energy expert has thrown down the gauntlet to the feds in Science, calling for plans now to structure the new coal power plants coming online in the near future to cut carbon emissions rather than increase them. . . . Keep this in mind when you hear people talking about biofuels as an answer to our energy future. A U of TN study says it could take up to 100,000,000 acres dedicated to the national goal of 25% renewable energy by 2050. The remaining land would continue to meet food needs, the researchers say. No word on the water available for all this but we'll assume the best. . . . Here's a shocker. A leading climate scientist at TX A&M says TX's official water plan ignores global warming. The guy tries to make himself credible--"I'm not a zealot who is out there hugging trees. But things have changed over the past 10 years." Okay, fine, can we stop with the "zealots hugging trees" crap? Maybe if a few more trees had been hugged over the last few decades, we wouldn't be facing the hellhole we've dug. . . . Like this. WY's drought has them hard up for hay and their irrigation doesn't always bear up in the heat. If we hug some trees real quick, maybe that hay problem will just be a temp thing. We can always hope.


Seriously, Do They Just Have a Death Wish???

I don't care what Rangel's reasons were for calling for restarting the Draft. It doesn't matter that, in normal times, I may agree with him in principle. What matters is that, just when Dems were mobilizing young people in the numbers necessary to ensure majority status in the future, he comes along with an idea that not only antagonizes them but makes a major weapon against Bushnev a bipartisan bludgeon. What kind of morons are these people? Reload the Dem leadership in the House with the same old cronies, then take a gun pointed at the Repubs and shoot yourself with it. This is why I've never been a Dem. This is why they can only win when the Repubs are too conspicuously corrupt and obnoxious to keep a majority. Good God. It's bad enough the NCAA admits the refs blew yet another Mizzou game. We've got these incompetents to depend on to keep the anti-Constitution party from realizing their dream. Here. Give me that gun. I know how this story ends.


Sunday, November 19, 2006

Aaron Sorkin's next show...

Ken Levine has an exclusive excerpt from Aaron Sorkin's next show (via LG&M)! I really do want to like Studio 60, and I continue to watch it, but it's unbelievably frustrating. The characters are mostly good, and about 70% of the dialogue is very entertaining, but the plots and the other 30% of the dialogue are horribly forced (the ongoing debate about gay marriage sprinkled throughout last week's episode was completely and totally out of place). And, as has been documented many times in many places, the skits are awful. Cheeses of Nazareth? Ugh. I do remember that there were moments square-peg-round-hole dialogue in Season 1 of West Wing, and I realize that sometimes that's necessary for character development. And I realize that there's a chance this show hits its rhythm once the characters are fully established and the show pretty much writes itself (like at least the last half of WW season 1 and most of the next 2-3 seasons). But...hurry up already. I keep defending this show against the complaints of The Butterfly, and it gets harder to do so every week.

And another're talking about a late-night comedy show, and the only references to drugs or out-of-control behavior are in-passing dialogue? No plots based on this? Come on.


Saturday, November 18, 2006

Thank you, Wolcott...

...what does a bitter Mizzou fan do when his team once again (like clockwork) let's him down when he thinks a corner's been turned? He visits Wolcott's site to see if JW has taken apart any Pajamas Media idiots lately. As always, JW doesn't let me down. I feel better already.



[self pity]...why do I follow sports again? I wish I knew. That one time a year when it makes me feel relatively happy really doesn't seem worth it in the grand scheme of things. [/self pity]


Better Hope He's Not Paying Attention

Inhofe (OK-REPUB) on why global warming's a hoax--"God's still up there." Uh-huh. I hope so, you ignorant piece of crap. And please, please, please filibuster any legislation dealing with global warming and make yourself, your state, and your party so conspicuously ridiculous that people flee in masses.


Maybe I'll Send the Crow Back

The Other Froomkin on how the machines were set too soon in the 2006 elections. And here are 6 elections that might have ended up being decided by the House, if the Repubs had gone to this point with the majority. It was close, folks.


The World Needs Leadership

Dithering at the Kenya climate talks. Wouldn't happen if the United States were still alive. Do I smell something burning?


Friday, November 17, 2006

Betty La Fea (Ugly Betty) Mas Bella Update XXIV

The Chicago Tribune has some great posts up related to "Ugly Betty" that, if you like the show, you'll like the reading. Several good pieces, and none as snarky and critical as we get here. So enjoy.


Weather, Water, Energy 11-17-06

Quick hits. Weekend rising.

  • Climate Progress catches out the sorry whore Robert Samuelson being nothing more than a parrot for the Busheviks.
  • BBC says "Climate Wrangles Go to the Wire" at the Kenya climate conference. What a surprise.
  • Researchers figure that, overall, forest fires probably do more cooling regionally than the heat they create from their CO2 emissions.
  • And you know one of my favorite birds? The red-winged black bird? Well, of course, they're in decline due to climate change. Damn crows will inherit the earth, though, you just watch.


Where's Stallone When You Need Him?

While others may be mad at Georgi for his declaration that the way we’ll win in Iraq is by not quitting, I’m actually glad about it. Since Vietnam blew up on us, every half-brained moron from Reagan to Rambo has insisted that we only lost because the “politicians” lost it for us. (I loved how he says “today, the Vietnamese people are at peace and seeing the benefits of reform” about a place we supposedly made a mistake in by getting out when we did.) Well, here we have a “politician” who says “no way.” So, when reality does finally set in and the big “L” gets smacked irreversibly on the morons’ heads, that myth will finally be destroyed. Of course, so will US strength, wealth, credibility, and future, but if Bushnev can do it for his oil businesses, why can’t he do it for an entire nation? After all, we accepted the ways he was put in power both times. Now he's saying a big "f--- you" to the 2006 elections. We all have the big "L."


FRIDAY CAT BLOGGING!! Spamalot Edition... honor of seeing Spamalot at the Fabulous Fox in St. Louis last weekend...


Thursday, November 16, 2006


Mitch McConnell gives Democrats carte blanche to deny hearings to whichever Bush nominees they want and impeach Dubya (via C&L)! At least, that’s how I read it...


Bernie Sanders and Corporate Media

One good Avedon link deserves another, I guess. Here’s a really interesting quote from Socialist-and-Senator-elect Bernie Sanders.

If you are concerned about the environment, if you are concerned about women's rights, health care, foreign policy, Iraq, the economy, if you are concerned about any of those issues, you must be concerned about the media. And what people like Bob and John Nichols and others have been saying for years, which I fully agree with, is we have got to make corporate control over the media a political issue in the same way that health care and education and Iraq is a political issue. And that means that when somebody runs for office and comes before you and they talk about the issues, you raise your hand and say, what are you going to do about corporate control over the media? And after the candidate recovers after his fall on the ground, he or she will start responding, but we have got to make it a political issue, because it is as important or more important than any other issue that we talk about.

Let me begin by telling you how I first recognized that media was a huge issue. Way back in the 1970s before I became Mayor of Burlington, Vermont, I did a little bit of independent writing. And I did a video, if you like, not quite a film, on the life of Eugene Victor Debs, who some of you know was one of great labor and socialist heroes in America. And I did it because nobody in Vermont, none of the kids, and kids in America today do not know who Debs was, as they do not know the names of many great American heroes. We did the video, and it was not very sophisticated, but it was a fairly -- I thought it was a fairly good video, done for a few thousand dollars. And we took it to our local public television station. And we said, “Here is a video, and we would like you to run it.” And they looked at it. One month went by, two months went by, and three months went by, and then they finally wrote back and said, “Sorry, Mr. Sanders, we cannot use your video, because it doesn't tell both sides of the story.”


And let me tell you some of the concerns that I have with what's going on in the media today. Am I concerned that when I am asked to speak about an issue like Iraq, I get six seconds to respond? Yep. I'm concerned. Because I can't, and you can’t, and our panelists can't, and nobody can discuss an issue intelligently in a six-second sound bite, which is what dominates television, which is the most important medium in our country. Am I concerned that, by definition, corporately-owned media is pro-corporate? Yeah, I am very concerned about that. We see the manifestations of that all over the place. We saw the difference between how the corporate media treated a moderate Democrat like Bill Clinton, as opposed to a conservative Republican like George Bush. We saw how they covered the lead up and the war in Iraq so that millions of Americans, in order to get unbiased news, had to go to the CBC in Canada or the BBC. Am I concerned about that? I sure am. Am I concerned that the media seems to think that one of the major issues facing civilization today is the Michael Jackson case? Or maybe -- break it to you: Britney Spears is pregnant! It's true. And we'll have many months of discussion about that or the local trials or the horrible crimes. Am I concerned about that? I sure am.

But of all those concerns and many more, let me tell you what my deeper concern is. My concern is not just what the media reports or discusses and the slants that it has on the issues -- that's important -- but the deeper concern is what the media does not talk about.
I’ve never claimed too many socialist attributes (I've read Zinn's People's History of the United States...does that count?), though as Mark Adams suggests in the comments to Avedon's post, I wasn’t exactly taught much about socialism in school beyond “Socialism = Communism = Fascism = Evil.” All I know for sure is, I’m really hoping Sanders succeeds in making corporate media a political issue. It’s always been an issue among lefty bloggers, and hopefully having a Senator thinking the same way can make a difference. Though considering how long it seems to have been a problem, I’m not going to get my hopes up too high.


Hummina hummina...

Via Avedon, I find this mind-bending quote from Tom DeLay:

"I'm going to shock you on two levels. One is I think the real Person of the Year ought to be Nancy Pelosi....I think it's unfortunate that you said I created the culture in Washington. The Democrats, when they lost power, it was like, as John said, it was like losing your plantation - they refused to work with the Republican majority. Back in the good old days they always talk about the Republican minority mindset like the slaves of the plantation and as long as they kept that, the Democrats, they all got along. It's when things got up and changed that we all got more partisan. Nancy Pelosi, I have to give her credit."
For once, I agree with Tom. That DID shock me on two levels. I could ponder over this for 24 hours, and it would still shock me. But instead of letting this quote drive me insane, I’ll just stop talking about it. Just had to share.


Betty La Fea (Ugly Betty) Mas Bella Update XXIII

Both leads are hitting bottom now on "La Fea Mas Bella," the Televisa-Univision remake of the classic "Betty La Fea." Lety is becoming what was always there in her duplicity and cheating on Marcia, and soon she will flee that corrupted person to become someone better, inside and outside. It's this part of the show that those who condemned the "transformation" of Betty La Fea missed. She lost the good part of herself in her cheating and her revenge. To recover the inside but still have the outside would have been only a partial recovery. The new person will be the best she can be (god, did that sound as bad to you?). As for Fernando, he's not as close to bottom as he will be, but he has reversed his original character as much as Lety. He too will have to undergo major physical as well as spiritual change before coming out all right and worthy of the new her. (No, he's not going to end the show with thick glasses and braces, but the physical ramifications will be clear.) It's very dark right now, which is why they've launched into the Alicia-Tomas plotline, which actually may be too silly to bear if it weren't a needed opposite of the Lety-Fernando piece. It's starting to hit a new cruising speed. And, if it follows the old plotline, I promise it will continue to improve now.

As for the other "remake," ABC's "Ugly Betty," having Salma Hayek (!!!) actually in front of the camera for the last few episodes meant the stories didn't really have to be about anything to be good. But for those of you who prefer that, they've done a nice job with the divergent paths they've taken. It's not "Betty La Fea," but it couldn't have been, given the different format and time restraints, but America Ferrara is just too good for this show to be a failure. She's been launched on the geographical America now, and I'm hoping it's just the start of a truly remarkable career. USA Today gives her the star treatment
today, showing her to be smart and well-grounded, just like in the tv interviews I've seen. Doesn't seem likely to go DIVA, especially with Salma (!!!) around as her mentor. Maybe Lindsey should give her a call.


The World Is a Better Place Tonight

Milton Friedman is dead. When the history of the wrong turns and illusions that diverted this nation from its historical Legacy is written, this man will be one of the leading Pied Pipers in the pages. Erik Looms actually says it better.


Weather, Water, Energy 11-16-06

Not really a headline you wanted to see coming out of the Kenya climate conference--"Climate change: Key countries stick to old stances despite UN appeal"--but somehow not all that surprising, huh? . . . Wanna guess which nation is seen as the biggest obstacle right now? (Yes, China or Australia would be good choices, but, no, it's US.) But at least we're expected to be so for years. . . . Senators Boxer, Bingamon, and (eek) Lieberman are throwing down on the Busheviks, though, to change course. That'll be right after Lieberman decides to bail the Repubs out in the Senate in the name of bipartisan cooperation. Good quote from their message, though, one that should have been the Dems' electoral theme for this entire century: "If we are to leave our children a world that resembles the Earth we inherited, we must act now to address GHG emissions." The article failed, however, to record Georgi's reply: "I tole them two, I ain't leavin' Jenna and Not-Jenna nothin'. Damn li'l turds, anyway." . . . Europe, on the other hand, seems to have a clue. France is threatening the recalcitrant nations with special taxes on their imports, as we've mentioned a couple of times before, and here, the EU is going to zap penalties on polluting airlines, despite certain protests from the US, Australia, et al. (AKA, the destroyers). When people don't use/have brains, your only alternative is usually their pocketbook. . . . One really good and stupid way to deal with energy shortages while enhancing global warming is to turn coal into diesel. Of course, our military, backed by the Repubs, has been planning to do so. But now, the Dems in Congress may slow those plans, according to Climate Progress. . . . And Climate Progress also has an interesting post on the false tension between technology development and technology deployment in the search for energy effective alternatives. . . . Finally, another finding that polar bears, this time the cubs, are finding it harder survive in a world with melting ice. Sorry to have this one to leave you with.


Wednesday, November 15, 2006

I realize...

...that James Carville is just a giant, bald, ET-looking, bespectacled fish in a barrel at this point, but...this is still one mighty fine takedown courtesy of one Mr. Chris Bowers...

There are two main reasons why James Carville does not like Howard Dean. The first is that Howard Dean does not trash other Democrats, and Carville prefers Democrats who throw their own party under the bus. The second is that he is a political consultant, and as such many of his friends have gotten rich off of commissions from television advertisements. As far as he is concerned, all donations to all Democratic committees exist so that he and his friends can get richer. Since Howard Dean is spending money on field organizers and grants to state parties, his friends tend to not get rich from the money the DNC raised. This is abhorrent to Carville, since Democratic Party committees exist to make him and his friends rich.


Yet still, after producing a sub-.500 record int eh top fifteen House targets, Carville has the gall to tell the press that he and his other consultant buddies deserved even more money so that they could have run even more ineffective advertisements.


Carville can try and continue his consulting con that more money to the DCCC would have automatically translated into more victories for Democrats in the House, but looking at our performance in the top fifteen targets, I have to say that is hardly a guarantee. What is a guarantee is that it would have made his rich consulting buddies a lot more money. We practically swept every close race in the Senate, so I have no beef with their consultants. However, when it comes to the House, I want answers. Did we use the right consultants? What other options to we have? What commissions are they taking from these ads? How can we work to reduce the size of those commissions if they are being done on a percentage basis? To what extent are other forms of independent expenditures besides advertising on broadcast advertising more or less effective? How much money does James Carville personally stand to gain from the extra money he wanted channeled to close House races?
Bowers is a little (okay, a lot) more civil than I'm capable of being at the moment, but I'll forgive him for that. Seriously, how long do people like Carville still get to be on TV? When does being good at your job actually come into play? When does looking like a Republican-esque opportunist by calling for Howard Dean's head moments after he helped to engineer an election landslide actually hurt your credibility? These are obviously rhetorical questions...I know what the answers would be if I really wanted to ask...


Weather, Water, Energy 11-15-06

Just complete intellectual dishonesty. These Big Oil consultant a--holes swear that Peak Oil is overblown right now and that we have more than enough oil, at current consumption rates, which is the whole friggin' point. Never ask the barber if you need a haircut, folks. . . . At the Kenya climate talks Kofi Annan took advantage of his final UN days to speak some truth, blasting the world for its "frightening lack of leadership" on global warming. There are times in human history when people just watch the tidal wave coming at the shore. Let's hope someone starts listening to the sirens. . . . Britain is making its carbon emissions reduction goal of 60% by 2050 a legal requirement. As we know, still more symbolic than real yet, but shows steps can be made. . . . Unlike some countries with absolute idiots for leaders. No, not us. Australia, where the PM (Prime Moron) Howard has time to cut at Gore even after being forced to see "An Inconvenient Truth" and to whine at the French for their threat to tax imports from countries with a PM (Prime Moron) like Howard while their country is literally burning up. . . . Of course, Gore did piss him off by calling the US and AU the "Bonnie and Clyde" of the global warming crisis. Why couldn't he have been like this in 2000? It's nice knowing I'm the first person who's ever thought this. . . . While here in the US, emissions went up less than 1% last year, thanks to not so good stuff, and good things may come from the Dems now, like better restraint of the oil companies, but don't expect reinsurance official warns us that weather disasters could soon be costing us a trillion a year, North Sea water temp is up 2.4 degrees (more in our F temp scale), and the World Health Organization says that climate and land-use changes are responsible for putting an estimated 40 percent of the world population at risk of contracting malaria, as well as placing 840 million people at risk of malnutrition. A further 1 to 2 billion people living in mid to high latitudes face a higher risk of skin cancer and immune system depression due to depletion of stratospheric ozone. . . . In OK, lower lake levels and continued drought have managed to catch enough attention to get a two-day conference on the state's water future going. They have the same problem as everyone else, though: Some planners at the conference question how they will balance the public's water needs with private ownership and tribal sovereignty issues. . . . CA environmentalist are suing the feds to produce a legally required report on global warming's impact on our nation. The Busheviks respond: "We feel very positive about our record on climate change. The president has been focused on results-driven research and looking for practical ways to address climate change in ways that aren't damaging to the economy.'' They're so positive that they're not producing the report that would prove it. Just shy, that's all. . . . But let's end on a good note. A Rand Corporation study has found that "Renewable resources could produce 25 percent of the electricity and motor vehicle fuels used in the United States by 2025 at little or no additional cost if fossil fuel prices remain high enough and the cost of producing renewable energy continues falling in accord with historical trends." This reinforces previous posts that we can't rely on renewables or existing sources to solve our energy problems and need to improve efficiencies and conservation. Still, Rand saying it carries weight. Again, maybe a window opening. A crack. But you know, glass half full, I mean, crack full, and all that.


Odder and Ender

The MO House has presented a report blaming abortion for illegal immigration. If all those zygotes had embedded and been borne to fruition (which happens less than half the time even when fertilized, I've heard), we wouldn't have all these open jobs for people to cross borders for. Seriously. As Governing points out, the next report will show how affirmative action has caused higher gasoline prices. Now you know why everyone there says "show me," including that 1 + 1=2. . . . Other bloggers have mentioned this but it perfectly explains why I was so despondent on the night of the IA caucuses in 2004, listening to all those over-educated Dems and media talk about how Kerry was "electable" and Dean wasn't. All Dean was, was right. And now those same people are saying Dean could never be elected Pres. Hmmmm. . . . A survey shows that Americans favor gov action on health insurance, just over half wanting it mandatory, with 60% wanting higher rates for smokers and 30% for the obese. Interesting question as to whether we could avoid gov regulation if we got premiums up high up enough or if it would just stop insurance from being used. Anyway, the window is clearly open for the Dems if they can get over the "Hillary health care disaster" once and for all. Get people guaranteed health care and watch the risk-taking necessary for a vital capitalism take off again, by both existing companies and by more entrepreneurs. I'm just saying.


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Random 10!

Being that I appear to be going through writer's block (I'm not used to what victory feels like, and I don't want to acknowledge that the media is being every bit as whorish and brainless as I was afraid they'd be, and that leaves me with little material), I figured I needed to post something...and since it's been a while since I gave you insight into my dorky musical mind, here you go.

From Favorites List...

1. I'm Free, The Who
2. Man in the Long Black Coat, Bob Dylan
3. Both Sides of the Gun, Ben Harper
4. Faithful, Common
5. Speedball Tucker, Jim Croce
6. Improvise, Jurassic 5
7. When Doves Cry, The Be Good Tanyas
8. Who's to Blame, Ozomatli
9. Baby Seat, Barenaked Ladies
10. Theologians (live), Wilco

From All Songs List...

1. Beautiful People (live), Rusted Root
2. My Grey Pony (live), Big Joe Williams
3. Day Tripper / She's a Rainbow (live), Bad Brains
4. Sickman, Alice in Chains
5. Hobo Blues, John Lee Hooker
6. Say Goodbye, Dave Matthews Band
7. Just a Thought, Gnarls Barkley
8. All Things New Again, Wallflowers
9. Straight Curve (live), Pat McGee Band
10. Take a Nap, Maniac Woman, Zach Wiesinger


Weather, Water, Energy 11-14-06

Quick hits today, with special contributions from Terra Daily, which should be a daily stop of yours if you're into the topics here:

  • Looks like a drought insurance program to help poor nations facing weather destruction is working and may be expanded.
  • The head of the International Energy Agency says energy alternatives alone won't solve our problems and that efficiency efforts and carbon conservation are the only short-term solutions.
  • The idiot PM of Australia has backed off opposition to carbon trading plans, as long as they can be implemented without hurting his country's economy (good luck with that).
  • Maybe he got the word from the "depression" facing the rural areas of his nation.
  • Maybe he'll get interested in creating more forests, which seems to work and has already had an impact.
  • Squeezing the toothpaste tube in Canada. Turns out that global warming will likely affect water resources there, making it hard to maintain hydroelectric power or development of oil sands.
  • Remember that carbon tax that Boulder, CO voters had a voice on last Tuesday. It passed.
  • At least China, Malaysia, and Saudi Arabia cushion us from being the very bottom of the worst nations on global warming. Sweden's at the top of the 56 countries graded by Climate Action Network-Europe. Of course, the way the Busheviks total it up, we're really doing well.
  • Good news in WI--a new "water czar" position to start policy deliberation. Bad news in WI--they can't do anything to hurt the WI economy. Jeez, don't we have one too many Australias the way it is?


Monday, November 13, 2006

Weather, Water, Energy 11-13-06

The Kenya conference on international response to global warming is hitting the predictable brick walls. One concern is whether the rich nations contributing money to help the developing ones will control the funds or the receiving nations will--both can make good cases, neither seem willing to bend yet. Another concern is the feasibility in a world in which power and politics exist of actually enacting meaningful carbon trading limits. (The author is a little too strident for me, but his critique of "cost-benefit" is right on, and you've got to love these quotes--"In the current neo-liberal economic environment, trading rules inevitably succumb to the pressures of corporate lobbying and deregulation in order to ensure that governments do not 'interfere' with the smooth running of the market" and "There is, unfortunately, no 'win-win solution' when it comes to tackling climate change and maintaining an economic growth based on the ever increasing extraction and consumption of fossil fuels. Market-based mechanisms such as carbon trading are an elaborate shell-game of global creative accountancy that distracts us from the fact that there is no viable "business as usual" scenario.") Recognizing the problems, France at least has come up with a "market" solution with more teeth--carbon taxes. What a concept--let the market enforce competitive solutions through conservation by increasing the cost of something to get its use curtailed and more economical options developed. Which should have been done here 30 years ago, but maybe someday before OK has a real seaport, now that Inhofe's microphone has been turned off . . . . When politicians don't listen ("it's not feasible"), sometimes voters take matters into their own hands. Good luck to the KC policy types who want to tell residents that they can't get this done now that it's passed (h/t Governing's "13th Floor") . . . . So, in the meantime, you smell something burning? Oh, that's just Rome. No, wait, it's


Good, Bad, and Ugly at Newsweak

Jane Bryant Quinn gets why the economy is such a puzzle to the Busheviks and other trust funders. Robert Samuelson is still the same old misleading, cherry-picking putz he's always been. And have you ever seen a better, albeit scarier, cover for a magazine than Newsweek's this week?


Sunday, November 12, 2006

The Arrogant Capitol's Pravda Media

If you don't do anything else today, read this Glenn Greenwald post on the idiocy of the super-sophisticated, super-clueless, super-arrogant SCLM. Feingold was so, so wrong to propose censure of Bushnev over eavesdropping last spring, don't you know. Why, it doomed the Dems to electoral massacre in November. And he couldn't have possibly done it because he believed in what he was doing, because he thought the program needed to be stopped. No, no, it had to be because he was cynically angling himself to run for president. Only he wasn't. And the Dems? Uh, . . . well, the Dems must have followed Amy Sullivan's advice, right? Jeez, how ridiculous do these people have to be before we just write them off completely, stop watching their shows, reading their papers? Let Greenwald convince you.


The Depth of the Hole

Wanna know just what kind of world we're in and how much work the Dems have to do, besides restraining the Busheviks once their wounds are licked? Time headline: "Realists Take Charge in Washington." Uh. . . . Nice implication, but these are the same people who propped up Hussein for years, just before they had a war with him. Realists? Iran-Contra, anyone??? And, then, just after reading that online, I'm surfing through my infomercials and there's Jimmy Swaggart explicating on the Middle East, with a giant multi-colored map behind him on his stage. Jimmy Swaggart, sex hypocrite, cousin of Jerry Lee Lewis, expounding on the Middle East. . . . Okay, then. Good luck, Dems.


Saturday, November 11, 2006

Have to Be More Than the Other Guy

Good analysis of Tuesday's election results nationally here. I got elected to a school board once, primarily because the incumbent had aggravated too many people to get chosen again. IOW, all I had to do in the campaign was make clear that I wasn't worse than he was. That's the way elections are. Usually, they're judgments of the incumbents, not endorsements of the challengers. We knew all along that the Dems weren't putting forth a new view of themselves in this campaign, just saying "We're not Bush." Okay, it was enough. But now they're already arguing over what "we're not Bush" means. Why? Because they don't know who they are themselves. And, as this article makes clear, that's the difference between being a long-term viable party and just the default position when the Repubs get too extreme and overreaching in their don't-think-it's-over quest for total domination of our political system. They're weakened right now, so the Dems have a chance to develop a strong counter of responsibility and effectiveness while clarifying everything wrong about the Repubs. Or, they can immediately start cutting each other up, like that moron Carville is trying to do with his idiotic suggestion to dump Dean (can we finally admit that Carville is a third-rate Rove whose 1992 claim to fame was the last Repub implosion, not some genius result of his making??), and not get the right things done to offset the Busheviks and restore us to our historical path. (Demosthenes has the definitive tribute to Dean here.) The fate of the American Legacy is literally in their hands. Was this just a bump in the fall of our republic or an actual turnaround? The tools are there for the turnaround. The blame will be theirs if they fail.


Friday, November 10, 2006

Veterans Day Blogroll!

We're off to St. Louis for Spamalot later, but for's blogroll time! So I spent an earlier part of the morning freeing our outdoor cat from a tree after a neighbor dog chased her up it. That really happens? Does this mean I get to put "Volunteer Fire Fighter" on my resume? And speaking of "This really happens?" moments...I'm still having trouble grasping the fact that we might actually see steps toward energy independence, and we might actually see hearings and accountability in government...I mean, I got used to wishing for it...I don't actually know how to react now that it might actually happen. Strange. This must be what I'd feel like if the Pirates won the World Series.


Time for some well-deserved schadenfreude.
-- Wolcott
stages an intervention.
-- Damn that
Blame America First Crowd (Alicublog)!!
-- Poor
macaca... (TBogg)
-- Hmm...apparently Bush has
always been open to bipartisanship (AMERICAblog). Who knew? Apparently the problem was just that nobody reached out to him or something...uh huh. And apparently, his definition of bipartisanship is re-nominating the same guy that even his own party turned down (FDL). Okie dokie. But that's okay...even the Lame Duck Congress has already said no...again... (Pandagon).

Lovely cartoon (Mercury Rising).

When did The Onion
stop doing satire (Atrios)??

discusses what this election means for the netroots. So does Demosthenes.

I have a serious problem with the fact that Republicans have once again gotten away with
demonizing something they did themselves (Avedon). Pelosi's getting pressure to take impeachment off the table, and it's just silly. They should just investigate what needs to be investigated. If it leads to impeachment, well...tough. That's their fault, not ours. But according to Digby, pressure Pelosi all you want...she's got quite a set of metaphorical balls. Others who have them: Charlie Rangel (Greenwald). This is gonna be fun.

And speaking of Republicans still getting away with stuff...heads I win,
tails you lose (Upyernoz)...

And now, Rumsfeld! Erik at Alter Destiny
discusses him and the other candidates for Worst Defense Secretary Ever. While others, uhh, have a different point of view (LG&M). Steve Soto wonders what will change now. Meanwhile, Attaturk takes a look at his likely replacement. YIKES. Meanwhile, Susie asks the LA Times a simple question about their look at his likely replacement. Note to self: don't mess with Susie.

And speaking of Rummy...
this is priceless... (C&L)

Billmon tackles
the enigma that is Lincoln Chafee. Wow...speaking of enigmas, Rahm Emanuel actually does something admirable (BooMan)...huh. And while Matt Blunt hardly falls in the "enigma" category, this is quite an enigmatic comment (as long as "enigmatic" means "observing an alternate reality") (Fired Up! Missouri).

I'm sure those damn bloggers
caused this in some way (First Draft).

Thomas Schaller's
looking pretty smart right now (Gadflyer).

needs your help.

And finally, in case you missed Mannion's
Election Night blogging...