The independently minded political animal always wrestles with times of transition, and the changeover from the Bush to Obama regimes has been worse than most. During the Dubya years it was easy to identify the enemy and to hate him with a blinding passion. Sweet Jesus, George II and his sidekick, The Dick Cheney, played their roles with less nuance than the bad guy in Rambo 12: Return of Ming the Merciless (directed by Roland Emmerich), making it easy to identify with the loyal opposition just on principle.
But it’s important to remember that the enemy of my enemy isn’t necessarily my friend. They might just be fighting over which one gets to eat my tender bits. Read more
We do not want this war, this violence, and we’re ashamed that the President of the United States is from Texas. – Natalie Maines
I don’t even know the Dixie Chicks, but I find it an insult for all the men and women who fought and died in past wars when almost the majority of America jumped down their throats for voicing an opinion. It was like a verbal witch-hunt and lynching. – Merle Haggard
Last night over dinner the subject of The Dixie Chicks came up, and I got mad all over again. Which is unfortunate, because when you think about artists that talented the last thing on your mind ought to be anger. But still, it’s been six long years now since “the top of the world came crashing down,” and I can’t quite free myself of my rage at the staggering ignorance that led so many Americans to piss on the 1st Amendment by attempting to destroy the careers of Natalie Maines, Martie Maguire and Emily Robinson. Read more
A couple of weeks ago author and NYU media theory lecturer Douglas Rushkoff penned a provocative essay for Arthur Magazine. Entitled “Let It Die,” the essay explains why we should stop trying to save the economy.
In a perfect world, the stock market would decline another 70 or 80 percent along with the shuttering of about that fraction of our nation’s banks. Yes, unemployment would rise as hundreds of thousands of formerly well-paid brokers and bankers lost their jobs; but at least they would no longer be extracting wealth at our expense. They would need to be fed, but that would be a lot cheaper than keeping them in the luxurious conditions they’re enjoying now. Even Bernie Madoff costs us less in jail than he does on Park Avenue.
FROST: So what in a sense, you’re saying is that there are certain situations, and the Huston Plan or that part of it was one of them, where the president can decide that it’s in the best interests of the nation or something, and do something illegal.
NIXON: Well, when the president does it that means that it is not illegal.
In this season’s eighth episode, Boston Legal – the relentlessly liberal ABC dramedy starring William Shatner and James Spader – lobbed an absolute bomb at those of us on the pro-choice side of the Roe v. Wade question. The bunker-buster was posed, predictably enough, by Crane Poole & Schmitt’s resident conservative, the gleefully Republican Denny Crane, portrayed by Shatner. BL fans know Crane to be positively Cheney-esque in his politics (although he did finally cross the aisle to vote for Obama because even he couldn’t stomach four more years like the last eight), and he routinely plays the straw man for the passionate liberalism of Spader’s litigator par excellence, Alan Shore.
This time, though, Crane (who’s battling through the early stages of Alzheimer’s) breaks through to a moment of pristine, Emmy-worthy clarity. Read more
It started when our friend fikshun sent along an amusing item a few days ago. His job apparently requires him to spend inordinate amounts of time surfing the Web in search of trans-weird culturalisms, and somewhere along the line he found this:
Website Lets You Send a Post-Rapture E-Mail to Friends ‘Left Behind’
If millions of Christians suddenly disappear from the face of the Earth as the opening act for Armageddon, Threat Level thinks most nonbelievers will be too busy freaking the hell out to check their e-mail. But if they do log in, now they can be treated to some post-Rapture needling from their missing friends and loved ones, courtesy of web startup YouveBeenLeftBehind.com. Read more
The Agonist – always a great place for thoughtful analysis – has an interesting piece suggesting that Dubya and The Dick may have lost control over their own machine. If so, it’s good news.
A number of political observers have taken note of a momentous event in the U.S. government â€“ a counter-coup that overthrew the Dick Cheney/neocon cabal that has been running U.S. foreign policy (if not the entire U.S. government). Juan Cole has cited Admiral William Fallon, head of Centcom, and Admiral Michael Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as two key players who stymied efforts earlier this year by Dick Cheney to accelerate the military build-up off the coast of Iran. Andrew Sullivan in a blog entry called The System is Working credits Secretary of Defense Robert Gates for restoring some sanity to the Defense Department, though he also notes that without the Democratic victory in the 2006 elections Bush would never have been forced to jettison Rumsfeld.
In describing the Democratic response to Bush’s sabre-rattling toward Iran, Power of Narrative’s Arthur Silber summed things up neatly:
They don’t object because — they don’t object.
The only thing wrong with Silber’s assessment is that it was limited to Iran. In truth, you could just as easily use those seven succinct words to characterize the Democratic Party in general. Time and time again, on critical issue after critical issue, the Democrats fall in line with their Republican leaders and do what they’re asked. They do the will of the GOP instead of the will of the people. They act in the interests of the nation’s narrow power elite instead of in the public interest. They follow instead of leading. And they do so because – they don’t object.
Every once in a while stray facts and rumors collide in a way that causes my antennae to twitch. Sometimes it’s nothing, but sometimes it’s not. In any case, I like to get it out there to see if anybody can flesh it out or explain why I’m just being paranoid. Such a case buzzed around this morning.
Jim Booth does a nice job on The Dick and some of the lies he told a Wyoming Boys State crowd a few days ago. It’s asking a lot of a guy – even somebody as smart and thorough as Jim – to address every lie that Cheney tells, and I thought I’d take a moment and point out one that he missed.
In response to one boy’s question about whether the Iraq “war” could be won, The Dick reflexively trotted out the lie that he just … can’t … stop … telling!
â€œThe fact of the matter is Iraq is part of the global war on terror,â€ he told the students. â€œAnd youâ€™ve got to go back and look at what happened on 9/11.â€ Cheney recounted the tale of the late al-Qaeda operative Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, one of the administrationâ€™s great pre-war myths: Read more