Thursday, January 29, 2009

No More Turning the Other Cheek, Plskthxbye

Fuck the Republicans, right in the ear. I'm not crazy about bailouts (far from it actually), and I'm really not sure the stimulus bill is going to do what everything thinks is possible (it isn't itself a bail-out, but the fundamental economics involved are pretty debatable).

But this shit is retarded. Grow some goddamn backbones, you spineless congressional dems, you losers Harry Reid, get on the fucking teevee, and tell Dick Armey to go back into his closet under the stairs and cry softly to himself because the country DOES NOT WANT.

At least make some attempt at owning the message, I mean COME ON.

Halperin believes, for reasons that are unclear, that the paramount goal was to win the support of lawmakers who were wrong and who were advocating bad ideas. It's not about what works, or what would actually improve the economy in the midst of a serious recession. What really matters is "bipartisan solutions." Why? Because Mark Halperin says so. Merit be damned -- if Democrats liked the legislation and Republicans didn't, it's necessarily flawed.

In our reality, Obama did make "centrist compromises," and liberals in the Democratic Party didn't like it. Obama did the opposite of Bush's style of governing -- he engaged the congressional minority, listened to their ideas, and weakened his own bill to garner a larger majority. House Republicans insisted on a worse bill, Democrats wouldn't give them one, so the GOP voted against it. Halperin inexplicably believes that's Obama's fault.

I'm trying to wrap my head around Halperin's logic here. By his reasoning, the only appropriate thing for Obama to do was let Republicans -- who failed at governing, and who've been rejected by voters -- shape the bill, addressing the crisis they helped create. If the far-right House GOP caucus was unsatisfied, it was Obama's responsibility to make them happy. Why? Because Mark Halperin says so.

This is absurd.

On Partisanship - A Good Thing

"Politics is and should be about defeating ideas -- and people -- that are discredited and destructive."

-- Glennzilla

Monday, January 26, 2009

Rep. Alan Grayson (FL-D) hangs Treasury weasel out to dry

Brilliant. Via Glennzilla.


I've become a monthly-donating member of the American Civil Liberties Union. Apparently the organization is in big trouble because of the various financial crises. They had a bunch of money invested that's all gone negative or that's all gone now (Madoff) and they're laying off people. It will make it that much harder for them to do what is really critical work when you've got a Congress and an Executive all of the same party. AND Republicans never really go away (they're like Voldamorf) so you always need the ACLU. Consider making a donation?

The American Civil Liberties Union, impacted by the unfolding economic crisis, laid off ten percent of its national workforce this week. Thirty-six staffers lost their jobs, including five in the Washington, D.C. legislative office, a source familiar with the firings told the Huffington Post.

A source in the ACLU’s Washington office confirmed that there had been layoffs, but couldn’t confirm the details. The ACLU has two separate Washington offices: a local branch that works on District of Columbia issues and an arm of the national ACLU, which works on legislative issues. The layoffs impacted the legislative office—though the District office is not necessarily immune to a budget shortfall.

The loss of the staffers means a likely reduction in influence for the civil liberties organization just as Democrats begin to push a legislative agenda as ambitious as any since the mid-sixties. Liberal advocacy organizations have been hit hard across the board by the economic downturn, as donations have fallen off and returns from investments have gone negative.

via John Cole.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Let Freedom RIDE

BEN FRANKLIN rocks tonight. To rehearse, but seems somewhat celebratory what with the inauguration and all.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The First Farewell

Since the Worst President Evar is about to deliver his farewell address this evening, it's worth looking back on the first one evar. It's long, wandering, and a bit long-winded, but at least in terms of foreign policy he was quite prescient, damningly so:

Observe good faith and justice towards all nations; cultivate peace and harmony with all. Religion and morality enjoin this conduct; and can it be, that good policy does not equally enjoin it 7 It will be worthy of a free, enlightened, and at no distant period, a great nation, to give to mankind the magnanimous and too novel example of a people always guided by an exalted justice and benevolence. Who can doubt that, in the course of time and things, the fruits of such a plan would richly repay any temporary advantages which might be lost by a steady adherence to it ? Can it be that Providence has not connected the permanent felicity of a nation with its virtue ? The experiment, at least, is recommended by every sentiment which ennobles human nature. Alas! is it rendered impossible by its vices?

In the execution of such a plan, nothing is more essential than that permanent, inveterate antipathies against particular nations, and passionate attachments for others, should be excluded; and that, in place of them, just and amicable feelings towards all should be cultivated. The nation which indulges towards another a habitual hatred or a habitual fondness is in some degree a slave. It is a slave to its animosity or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest. Antipathy in one nation against another disposes each more readily to offer insult and injury, to lay hold of slight causes of umbrage, and to be haughty and intractable, when accidental or trifling occasions of dispute occur. Hence, frequent collisions, obstinate, envenomed, and bloody contests. The nation, prompted by ill-will and resentment, sometimes impels to war the government, contrary to the best calculations of policy. The government sometimes participates in the national propensity, and adopts through passion what reason would reject; at other times it makes the animosity of the nation subservient to projects of hostility instigated by pride, ambition, and other sinister and pernicious motives. The peace often, sometimes perhaps the liberty, of nations, has been the victim.

So likewise, a passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favorite nation, facilitating the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists, and infusing into one the enmities of the other, betrays the former into a participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter without adequate inducement or justification. It leads also to concessions to the favorite nation of privileges denied to others which is apt doubly to injure the nation making the concessions; by unnecessarily parting with what ought to have been retained, and by exciting jealousy, ill-will, and a disposition to retaliate, in the parties from whom equal privileges are withheld. And it gives to ambitious, corrupted, or deluded citizens (who devote themselves to the favorite nation), facility to betray or sacrifice the interests of their own country, without odium, sometimes even with popularity; gilding, with the appearances of a virtuous sense of obligation, a commendable deference for public opinion, or a laudable zeal for public good, the base or foolish compliances of ambition, corruption, or infatuation.

As avenues to foreign influence in innumerable ways, such attachments are particularly alarming to the truly enlightened and independent patriot. How many opportunities do they afford to tamper with domestic factions, to practice the arts of seduction, to mislead public opinion, to influence or awe the public councils 7 Such an attachment of a small or weak towards a great and powerful nation dooms the former to be the satellite of the latter.

Against the insidious wiles of foreign influence (I conjure you to believe me, fellow-citizens) the jealousy of a free people ought to be constantly awake, since history and experience prove that foreign influence is one of the most baneful foes of republican government. But that jealousy to be useful must be impartial; else it becomes the instrument of the very influence to be avoided, instead of a defense against it. Excessive partiality for one foreign nation and excessive dislike of another cause those whom they actuate to see danger only on one side, and serve to veil and even second the arts of influence on the other. Real patriots who may resist the intrigues of the favorite are liable to become suspected and odious, while its tools and dupes usurp the applause and confidence of the people, to surrender their interests.

The great rule of conduct for us in regard to foreign nations is in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible. So far as we have already formed engagements, let them be fulfilled with perfect good faith. Here let us stop. Europe has a set of primary interests which to us have none; or a very remote relation. Hence she must be engaged in frequent controversies, the causes of which are essentially foreign to our concerns. Hence, therefore, it must be unwise in us to implicate ourselves by artificial ties in the ordinary vicissitudes of her politics, or the ordinary combinations and collisions of her friendships or enmities.

Our detached and distant situation invites and enables us to pursue a different course. If we remain one people under an efficient government. the period is not far off when we may defy material injury from external annoyance; when we may take such an attitude as will cause the neutrality we may at any time resolve upon to be scrupulously respected; when belligerent nations, under the impossibility of making acquisitions upon us, will not lightly hazard the giving us provocation; when we may choose peace or war, as our interest, guided by justice, shall counsel.

Why forego the advantages of so peculiar a situation? Why quit our own to stand upon foreign ground? Why, by interweaving our destiny with that of any part of Europe, entangle our peace and prosperity in the toils of European ambition, rivalship, interest, humor or caprice?

It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world; so far, I mean, as we are now at liberty to do it; for let me not be understood as capable of patronizing infidelity to existing engagements. I hold the maxim no less applicable to public than to private affairs, that honesty is always the best policy. I repeat it, therefore, let those engagements be observed in their genuine sense. But, in my opinion, it is unnecessary and would be unwise to extend them.

Taking care always to keep ourselves by suitable establishments on a respectable defensive posture, we may safely trust to temporary alliances for extraordinary emergencies.

Harmony, liberal intercourse with all nations, are recommended by policy, humanity, and interest. But even our commercial policy should hold an equal and impartial hand; neither seeking nor granting exclusive favors or preferences; consulting the natural course of things; diffusing and diversifying by gentle means the streams of commerce, but forcing nothing; establishing (with powers so disposed, in order to give trade a stable course, to define the rights of our merchants, and to enable the government to support them) conventional rules of intercourse, the best that present circumstances and mutual opinion will permit, but temporary, and liable to be from time to time abandoned or varied, as experience and circumstances shall dictate; constantly keeping in view that it is folly in one nation to look for disinterested favors from another; that it must pay with a portion of its independence for whatever it may accept under that character; that, by such acceptance, it may place itself in the condition of having given equivalents for nominal favors, and yet of being reproached with ingratitude for not giving more. There can be no greater error than to expect or calculate upon real favors from nation to nation. It is an illusion, which experience must cure, which a just pride ought to discard.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


I had a really nasty virus for a few days there. Now it seems to be gone.


Just like that? What the hell happened? It was like I got hit by a truck. Not that I miss the constant pain and fevers but... I feel cheap and used! I mean, just this morning we were moaning in bed together... (sorry, had to pun it!)

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Really Quick: On Libertarianism

So two people who I think are absolutely brilliant have some blog posts up taking down Libertarianism. Zed nails them to the cross of crap economic theory, and Giles takes notice that it's a real natural disaster to have people who don't believe in government at all running (gutting) the government.

I think these fellas are a little off. I've always found Warren Ellis' oft-cited definition of Libertarians to be quite illustrative, to wit, "people who think roads and schools and sewer systems just happen on their own." However, I am not about to blame our sinking economy, and the lurching, cancer-ridden body of our government squarely on libertarian theory of government, or even conservatism in the real meaning of the term (if it carries such a meaning anymore).

We need to give credit where credit is due, fellas. I realize that it appears to be The Conservative Machine that has been in control of our government since... 1980? But it's not really conservative, and even conservatives know that. It's perhaps enabled by playing to conservative notions, but there's nothing conservative or even libertarian about the way these guys operate, and I think it's important to see that when deciding, "okay what the fuck do we do now to clean up this mess."

The Economy

This is not libertarian or even conservative market principals at work destroying our economy right now, or even a real Free Market, with Zed's strong rule of law, applied consistently. It's a boy's club, and they set their club house on fire, and unfortunately we live in that house, actually it's our house and we live with psychopaths and we never ever seem to get the good sense together to kick them out. Our economic laws are not strong, and they're not applied consistently; the people with their hand in the till are the people who are supposedly going to do the regulating, and that's not how you achieve law enforcement, even from a conservative or libertarian perspective. This is greed and gamesmanship, it's not government, or libertarianism.

The Government

Now this you can blame on the conservatives, sorta. And it's not truly Libertarian ideas they've pursued here. Bush 44 is the most hated of recent presidents by all "real" conservatives because he isn't one. It's just a game where they push money to their friends (who are themselves as charlie-brown-inept at doing anything as Bush) and away from any projects and ideals that they sneer at ideologically because they think it doesn't really matter. That's not thoughtfully cutting down the size of the government to avoid largesse, a la conservativism or libertarianism. That's just straight up political knife fighting, done dirtier than ever before. It has nothing to do with real concern for conservative or libertarian principles.

So, while I'm not about to become a member of the John Birch society, I would submit that you can't blame this mess squarely on them, oh no. There are real criminals here, and they are anything but conservatives.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

They're not lazy, they're jackals

From Glenzilla today:

Meanwhile, the only person to pay any price from this rampant lawbreaking -- Tom Tamm -- is the one with infinitely less power than all of them, the one who risked his job security and even freedom to bring to the nation's attention the fact that our highest government officials were deliberately committing felonies in how they spied on us. Those who broke the law and those who actively enabled it -- the Cheneys and Haydens and Rockefellers and Pelosis and Harmans -- all protect one another, and have virtually every political and media elite righteously demand that nothing be done to them.

But there is not a peep of protest over the ongoing, life-destroying persecution of the former DOJ lawyer whose conscience compelled him to do what those cowardly Democratic leaders would not do: take action to uncover rampant criminality at the highest levels of our government. Harry Reid is a real tough guy when it comes to the momentous goal of preventing Roland Burris from entering the Senate. Dianne Feinstein is enraged over the grave injustice that she was not told in advance about the new CIA Director. Is it even possible to envision a Democratic Congressional leader -- many of whom eagerly enabled most of the abuses of the last eight years undertaken by the Bush administration -- objecting to the ongoing persecution of this whistle-blower, someone who did the job they were all either afraid or unwilling to do?

That's America's justice system in a nutshell: the President who deliberately and knowingly violated our 30-year-old law making it a felony offense to eavesdrop on Americans without warrants has the entire political and media class eagerly defend him against prosecution. Those who enabled him -- in both parties -- block investigations into what was done. Ruth Marcus and Cass Sunstein and friends offer one excuse after the next to justify this immunity. But the powerless and defenseless -- though definitively courageous -- public servant who blew the whistle on this lawbreaking is harassed, investigated, and pursued by the DOJ's Criminal Division to the point of bankruptcy and depression, while the lawbreakers and their enablers stand by mute and satisfied

Sunday, January 04, 2009

"I don't care how long it takes"


“I’m pushing that around because I’m a homeless man who became fed up with the way people are treated in this country. After Katrina, I was pushed outta the place where I was staying and I decided that instead of just going quietly, I would do something about the injustices I witnessed taking place all around me. I wanted to tell Americans that the world doesn’t have to be controlled by people who care more about themselves than the good of mankind. I decided to walk as a form of protest with the hopes of one day generating publicity, mobilizing the masses, and starting a third political party to overthrow the electoral college and help put a leader in office who will really care about the majority of Americans—which is folks like you and me, you know? I’m pushing this cart until I see a change. I don’t care how long it takes—this is what I’ve been called on by the Lord to do.”

That's pretty moving, even if it's a tad crazy.

Apparently this really impressed these fellas:

This is one of the problems you have to work thru when you are in a group. Having Trust and loyality to our group will be very important. Our lifes depend on it.Being a good guy can get you killed. It is a little hard to hide your preps when your house is full with supplies. The UPS guy, my neighbors watching me build stuff,and my wife who complaints about my guns to her sisters.I then have my brother inlaw who is a bleeding heart liberal and thinks I'm loosing it.