Monday, November 30, 2009

Oh I'm On Fire

JMM, who I'm coming to feel is more and more in the camp of the Rahm Emmanuel's of the world, whether he will admit to it or not, has posted this:

As you can see in our new feature post, a group of conservative and not-so-conservative Democrats in the senate pushing to use the upcoming need to up the national debt ceiling to insist that a commission be formed -- perhaps on the model of the old base closing commission -- to rein in spending and get the national finances under control. Anyone who looks at the national budget knows that if you start with the assumption that deficits are a critical problem right now that there are two big levers to get them under control -- cutting social insurance programs like Social Security, Medicare and so on or raising taxes. You can make a dent on discretionary spending. But there's just not enough money there. And it's awfully hard to see how you make significant cuts in defense while you're expanding one of two wars the country is fighting.

Amazing how even smart people swallow this bullshit hook, line, and sinker. You could start by killing Blackwater contracts. You could start by cutting back on payouts, welfare, and subsidies to the aerospace and defense industries that run Congress. Or you could take "entitlements" away from poor people who have payed into those programs their whole God-damned lives. The give-aways to defense contractors are simply that, you don't need to cut back on our troops in the field. And that's just your options if you want consider never-ending war and endless freedom bombs.

Fuck the bunch of you. When you get rolled in 2010 or 2012 or whenever it finally comes, you'll know why. Where is the outrage that we're even considering this, never mind letting yet more Capital-C conservatives go even further into the dismantling of the liberal state that is already very-nearly dead and gone?

Even the Tech Pundits are Like the Village (idiots)

It’s not easy to take tech pundits seriously. Aside from the frequent inaccuracy of their various predictions and the bilious snark of their analyses, you often find yourself trying to reckon with some truly stupid people.

Take for instance a review of the Motorla Droid by professional bloviator Stewart Alsop, linked to this morning without any irony by the much-respected John Gruber, emphasis mine:

The process management in the OS stinks. Press on an app icon; maybe it will come up and maybe the phone will just not respond. Who’s to know why? Try pressing on the phone icon at 70 mph and have it not respond. Then try pressing again. And then get a message something like: “Activity Home (in process android.process.acore) is not responding.” Force Quit or Wait. Oops! I just drove into the guy in front of me when he slowed down and now I’m dead!

He goes on to add, “I’m not actually joking,” just so you really get his point.

Seriously? This is about as blindingly brilliant as … as … words fail, really. The OS running on Droid may in fact be very slow to respond, but it’s hard to take advice from someone so stupid as to complain that he isn’t able to use the thing to his diverted satisfaction while driving a 2000 lb bomb some seventy miles an hour around other human beings. I know as well as anybody else that phones tempt one to use them while driving, but last I checked it was something that almost all public policy pundits, wonks and politicians agreed was a very bad, highly fatal idea.

Maybe you accidently turned on the Social Darwinism app, Stewart? It speaks to a level of cluelessness and indifferent contempt for the real world and other people that ought to be damning but is extremely common in all of our public discourse.
From the Boston Globe endorsement of Khazei for Senate, via Daily Kos, comes a ringing endorsement of something I think we ought to become more and more skeptical of, that mythical "progressive" politician who is skillful at building coalitions with "private interest groups" and therefore can get things done by compromising everything in the expediency of business:

It moves away from Reagan-era skepticism about government without relying on traditional government programs to provide all the answers.

How then, pray tell, does it move away from Reagan-era skepticism? Give me a fucking break. These so-called "change" candidates that marry the interests of activists and business are about as real as the mythical single girl sought by straight couples whom they don't actually want to know, but wants to be treated like a prostitute for free.