Archive for June, 2008

Nat. Rev.

Monday, June 23rd, 2008

There’s an interesting effect where the conservative Republican magazine, National Review, and the liberal Democratic (it should be further to the left, but lately it’s been hewing toward the party) In These Times have covers which could be exchanged, with articles covering the same period of Obama’s career: Chicago “Community Activist” — the In These Times feature narrow cast to his “Get out the Vote” electoral strategies — which makes the National Review cover probably a more apt cover than the one In These Times uses as it shows Obama before his slogan for his registration drive, the National Review Article spanning the period and pooh-poohing the whole enterprise as exercises in liberal ineffectualism.

But reading through some articles in the National Review, I was struck by one sentiment.  A googles search shows it was not the first time expressed, as it was in March on the “Corner” here:

Remember when we were hearing about the need to purge Michael Moore and the MoveOn crowd from the Democratic Party?

I believe the more recent iteration has it in the not passive voice — putting the sentiment on parts of the Democratic party.  It is part of the narrative which shuffles the latest Democratic candidate as the most Liberal Ever, and post election the need to “move center-ward”.  But it is a narrative which, in the case history being woven by the National Review regarding the 2004 election, does not cite the only “Democrats” who came out and made the case.  Peter Beinart of the New Republic, and Al Frum of the Democratic Leadership Council, the first losing readership and the latter losing membership.  And Joseph Lieberman, when he was not trying to figure out how to win the Democratic Party nomination in 2006.  And that’s about it.

None of which is to say these battles wage — what rank and file Democrats will have to come to terms with is the increase in “Blue Dog”s which will greet any Democratic success down-ticket in 2008, some from Blue Dog districts and others unfortunately not (serves as an excuse to Pelosi and Hoyer for things like FISA) — but it is tiresome to see the one partisan side pick at these spots in declaring favorite and unfavorite members of the other partisan side.

George Carlin, RIP

Monday, June 23rd, 2008

Hey!  The man who played “Rufus” in the Bill and Ted movies is…

{tap tap tap}

Okay, you understand that if OJ Simpson were to die, I would chime in here with the “Star from the Naked Gun franchise”.

That being said, George Carlin, of Tommy the Tank Engine fame, has passed away.

Actually strike that.  Carlin did a bit on the “softening of language” and the preponderance of euphemisms, and euphemisms for euphemisms.  (Several, actually).  George Carlin did not pass away; George Carlin died.  And, devout Atheist that he is, that be it.  To honor Carlin, maybe dig up his predictions on what will greet the death of Bob Hope, and pause away gently.

I guess I have a mental list of notables to be bummed at when they die.  Carlin was on the list, and now I am bummed.  I don’t know who is on that list, really (Daniel Pinkwater, I guess), so maybe that list doesn’t exist.  There is also a competing list of notables who I shall  be dancing on the grave.  Fred Phelps, I am looking right at you.

The other list… figures of a “Meh” quality — Tim Russert, Johnny Carson.  I guess, by definition, not worth compiling.

Anyway, George Carlin.  George Carlin.  George Carlin.  I’m bummed to a degree I have not been since the passing away of Johnny Cash, if not even further in time to Richard Nixon.  (Wait…  Was I really depressed with Nixon?)

Gordon Smith and the Exceptions that don’t prove the Rule

Sunday, June 22nd, 2008

Regarding Oregon Senator Republican Gordon Smith and his “Democrats for Smith” advertisement touting that he was “one of the first to speak out against the Iraq War”.  I am not sure who would count as “first to speak out”, but I guess that group includes me.  (Shrug).  But maybe I don’t count, I’m not elected to anything and am unelectable besides.

More important for the somewhat soft back pedal to “one of the first Republicans”, and here I will go ahead and gauge Republican elected officials for that honor.  There were seven (give or take one, I think that’s the number and am working off memory) Republican House members who voted against the War Authorization, the biggest name amongst that group Ron Paul.  Now, that may be someone exceptional enough not to count.  Over in the Senate, the one Republican to vote against War Authorization was Lincoln Chafee.  Against, that may be exceptional enough not to count — he has since floated away from the party.  So who does that lead to as a mainline Republican, amongst voters for that authorization?  Chuck Hagel, for one.  Is he exceptional?  Perhaps… he’s a Republican who spoke out and criticized the Iraq War more plausibly before it became a seeming electoral necessity, which is the case with Gordon Smith who wants us to believe that he is… an exceptional Republican because… he made a speech and he’s been endorsed by those two state Democrats.

The Screw Deal

Sunday, June 22nd, 2008

Four Western oil companies are in the final stages of negotiations this month on contracts that will return them to Iraq, 36 years after losing their oil concession to nationalization as Saddam Hussein rose to power.

Homecoming Reunion.  Welcome Back Class of ’72!!!

Other than those phrases, I have nothing snarky enough for commentary on this bit of news.  It is off by one, though, as one Petroleum company not involved in the Old Order is invited to the party.

In considering the Bush / Cheney Era, and trying to assemble what it has been all about, it occurs to me that it is best to consider it as one giant Perpetual Plunder, wherein one small cloitere runs from one plunder and when that jig is up runs to the next one.  The $4 going on $5 gas Speculation Boom is at the end of the line, I suppose.  We’ll just have to see how the Obama Administration and the collection of Weasles of the Democratic Party congress duct tape some things up.

Looking into the Special Elections Winners

Friday, June 20th, 2008

Those who believe that Steny Hoyer “caved” to the Bush Administration are mistaken.  He “caved” to the Telecom Firm interests, and “caving” may not really be the operable term.  Really, I’ve known this coming as for the past few months, even after the House scuttled this, Hoyer had been making noises insisting that a “sensible compromise” was, indeed, “possible”.  Hoyer being the Democratic Majority Leader, that means it is his priority (if not anyone else’s down the chain of the Democrats) and it will a’happen. 

The implications: If the president asks you to do something illegal and you do it, you will get immunization.  My head hurts.

The ironic thing is here is that we would be better off with a Republican Congress — the Democratic minority had scuttled this issue better than the Democratic majority — and the implications of that thought are pretty depressing.

I have had a particular matter in my back pocket, waiting to bring this up.  Those three special elections everyone has been celebrating, the three special elections which have had the Republican Party quaking in their boots.  I have been waiting for one of these set-up votes to see where these Democrats stand.   It’s a 2 to 1 split for the Immunity Bill.  The man from Illinois was against.  The other two?  You know the story.

Running out of gas on the Long and Winding Road

Friday, June 20th, 2008

Police say a truck driver involved in an accident that left two men dead in Calhoun County may face charges. Two men from Chicago, 48-year old John Morris and 66-year old Gary Genazzio reportedly ran out of gas on I-94 west of Albion late Monday night. Police say the two were hit by a passing dump truck as they were putting gas in their tank on the shoulder of the road. Both were pronounced dead at the scene. Charges are pending against the dump truck driver, a 57-year old Jackson man. His name was not released.

A couple of Larouchie “causes” come to mind.  One was directed to a vaccine shortage which happened at the end of October of 2004 and was a political issue that the John Kerry campaign was trying to use against the Bush Administration.  Larouche, having appended himself to the cause of electing John Kerry president under his alternate fiction of sitting alongside James Carville as a force within the Democratic Party, upped the ante further and further into simple demagoguery. So I saw (as well multiple people across the country on election day eve), Larouchies with signs alerting us to “Cheney Killing Your Grandma”, attached to conspiracy theories regarding the decimition of your grandma.

The other came with the Minnesota Bridge Collapse. I remember thinking “Why have I not seen the Larouchites run through this issue?”, into their attachment on the issue of decaying infrastructure.   Sometime within a week, they did prime that pump, and the larouchepub mill threw out swill from that direction.

Consider the political point of view being proferred by Larouche Inc:  Spend-thrift measures cause death, Governments (down to us in the public) put aside the bother to spend the money to take care of some basic infrastructure.  The next matter, if you peel away and look past the “British” and Zionist source of all evil, is one of Graft and Government Corruption, which I mention here purely to parallel with the case of the accident at hand.

It seems the case that Morris and Genazzio lost their lives, running out of gas, and running out of gas because the inverted Financial Pyramid that is the Lyndon Larouche Organization did not grant them enough to cover the expenses of the bill for rising gas prices, and this was basically to fully finance the trip to Italy for Lyndon and Hegla Zepp to continue their odd little duality of quote-in-quote “World Historic Figure”/ Insigificant Lurcher into the Comfortable Shadows of Obscurity, which produced this.

Bob Kelleher, revisited

Thursday, June 19th, 2008

Surprisingly, The Progressive Magazine had a feature on current Republican Senate candidate Bob Kelleher in June 2002, sometime before the Daily Show “Shirley” feature. It is in a story of the attempts to carve out the Green Party of Montana, and Kelleher’s uncomfortable relationship with those plans. The one thing I can say is that the Progressive article has a lot more sympathetic airing from the Green Party members than the derisive note struck by the Green Party head on the Daily Show feature, and I guess it was a 50 -50 choice which would have had him standing behind him.

Hot Time, Summer in the City

Thursday, June 19th, 2008

At times like this I wish I could cut my nose off, but not to spite my face.  It is the case that my nose is a bright red and my face is more or less a palish white freckled self.  The same principle at use in putting a clay sculpture in a furnace and having its attachment fall off, except my nose remains… if I am not careful, and sometimes I am not, sunburned to a crisp.

I mention this because of a toddler encounter I had.  My relation to all pre-speaking humans is basically one of an exchange of funny faces while they are being courted about by their mom or dad, generally but not always without the mom or dad paying attention — and then briskly turning my attention away whether or not the child follows suit.  In this case the toddler looked at me, pointed to his nose, and made a wide smile of derisiveness.  He found my bright red nose funny.

Tomorrow I think I will walk around with my nose completely succumbed in a giant wad of sun screen.  My nose will be white, the white will drip off for the hour uncomfortably but ah well.

Continuing the Reagan Legacy, I … guess.

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008

I’m doing a search for Michael Reagan’s recent comments about sticking dynamite up one year olds in Palestine, when I trip over, from a (um) paleo-conservative opinion webpage, something entirely different.  Michael Reagan’s recent comments about wanting to murder some 9/11 conspiracy theorist just… because.

Now I have two items to juggle.  I don’t quite know how to dissect the second one, but regarding the “Put grenades up their butt.  Bye bye Baby, Goodbye”, found here, I will point out a particular recognizable strain here.  His battle cry is to turn the caller’s comment around with something more outrageous, and to smirk at his outrageousness.  So it is: Step 1: make outrageous comment, “Grenade up their butts” when the baby turns one.  Step 2: Caller references mother.  Step 3: “So we kill the mother and the babies.”  The step 3 is crucial here, and so important he wants to make sure the caller heard it so that he can be taken aback from it.  This is why Reagan repeats it three times, as if to ask “Get it?  We’re on two different worlds here!”

Such is the dark corridors of talk radio.  I did a once over of the am radio dial today, and heard a non-descript radio bot on the fifth rate right wing talk station chime in about the Liberal Bias of the LA Times, which if you notice ran a photograph of an attactive female couple for the Gay Marriage coverage, and they made sure to run with Lesbians because, you know how men are.  Which was a blip of mutterings which told me more about no-name bot than anything else…

I guess look forward to learning (second or third hand) who Ronald Reagan’s adopted son (is there any other reason he has a show?) wants to kill tomorrow (is that tendency the other  reason he has a show?).