Progressive reformer can’t be what the College of Cardinals expected…
I don’t traditionally care for popes. The Roman Catholic Church has this really long history of promoting oppression and corruption and ignorance, and there’s the whole pedophilia thing, too. I’m hard pressed to think of an organization that done more raw damage in the entirety of recorded history, and that has always been presided over by a pope.
But I’m starting to warm up to this new guy. He hadn’t been wearing his cool new hat for more than about 15 minutes when he suggested … out loud … to a freakin’ reporter … that atheists can go to Heaven. Meet His Holiness, Pope WTF the First. Of course, the Vatican trotted out the spokesclergy to explain that the Holy Father had been misunderstood. There’s some confusion about the canonical meaning of the word “redeem” and blah blah blah. It was like every speech Reagan ever made, where the spin doctors took center stage as soon as he left the room to tell everybody what he had meant to say. Read more
This morning I took a few minutes to watch the vid for the new Van Halen single, “Tattoo.” I was a little startled, in the final verse, to encounter these lyrics:
Uncle Danny, had a coal tattoo.
He fought for the unions,
Some of us still do.
On my shoulder is the number
of the chapter he was in.
That number is forever
like the struggle here to win.
I had never thought of VH as a political band, so I did some snooping. Read more
A modest proposal, perhaps.
It’s been entertaining watching American public “discourse” since the election. (I use that word in its broadest, most ridiculous sense, since nothing that hinges so completely on self-absorption, rank ignorance and pathological dishonesty can be accurately characterized by such a noble word. But indulge me. I’ve been working on my irony lately.)
On the one hand you have conservatives fainting dead away that we’re now in the clutches of a “socialist” president. Never mind that these folks wouldn’t know a real socialist if he was gnawing their balls off. Never mind that most of these folks think “socialist” is the French word for Negro. Never mind that Obama demonstrably is to socialism what Joe the Plumber is to brie-sucking Northeastern intellectualism. As arch-conservative TV pundit Stephen Colbert says, “this is a fact-free zone.”
On the other you have the righteous outrage of the progressosphere, which feels six different kinds of betrayed by a president who promised them the moon and stars and has now left them to what looks like at least a four-year walk of shame. If I might borrow from an old fraternity joke, imagine the following scene from the Oval Office: Read more
Dear Mr. Buffet, Mr. Gates, Mr. Turner, Mr. Soros, Ms. Winfrey, and any other hyper-rich types with progressive political leanings:
If this essay has, against all odds, somehow made its way to your desk, please, bear with me. It’s longish, but it winds eventually toward an exceedingly important conclusion. If you’ll give me a few minutes, I’ll do my best to reward your patience.
In the 2008 election, Barack Obama won a landmark political victory on a couple of prominent themes: “hope” and “change.” He has since been afforded ample opportunity to talk about these ideas, having inherited the nastiest economic quagmire in living memory and a Republican minority in Congress that has interpreted November’s results as a mandate to obstruct the public interest even more rabidly than it was doing before. Reactions among those of us who supported Obama have been predictably mixed, but even those who have been critical of his efforts to date are generally united in their hope that his win signaled the end of “movement conservatism” in the US. Read more
* And Greg Palast loves it.
Now I understand Obama’s weird moves: dinner with those creepy conservative columnists, earnest meetings at the White House with the Republican leaders, a dramatic begging foray into Senate offices. Just as the Republicans say, it was all a fraud. Obama was pure Chicago, Boss Daley in a slim skin, putting his arms around his enemies, pretending to listen and care and compromise, then slowly, quietly, slipping in the knife. All while the media praises Obama’s “post-partisanship.” Heh heh heh.
Wow. A guy as unrepentantly liberal as Palast is happy about Mr. Post-Partisan Pragmatic President? Read more
Several times in recent years I have said that while I’m certainly and unapologetically a progressive, I’m in no way, shape or form the kind of conventional “liberal” that a lot of people think I am. My views on a variety of issues simply don’t map onto our brain-dead, one-dimensional notion of “left” vs. “right,” and even the slightly more nuanced Political Compass fails to explain a lot of how I think. I suppose I’m instinctively a non-partisan oppositional type – that is, no party really reflects what I believe so I tend to stay mad at whoever is in power. As such, I have “caucused with the Democrats” for the past few years, and I trust the reasons are self-evident.
I begin with this because in the last month or two some of my progressive allies have been getting on my nerves. Read more