Archive for January, 2010
Imagine sitting in a seat in a theater for an hour or two while wearing this.
It’s beyond me. I can’t even stand the thought of wearing a shoe with a heel.
Bought and paid for New York politicians think you do — and I’m talkin’ — get this — Democrats.
From Peter Daou:
Answer: There aren’t any. (And to all you righties out there, I know Keith Olbermann immediately comes to mind but no, he isn’t someone I’d call an “extreme” leftie).
Roger Ailes was on ABC’s “This Week” this morning “defending fair and balanced Fox News.”
Excuse me but Roger Ailes is the CEO of Fox. Doesn’t the guy have enough of a platform already for God’s sake?
Woo hoo! That brings to 100 the number of companies that have stopped advertising on Beck’s show. But Honda went a step farther — it dropped its ads from Fox as a whole.
Way to go Honda!
OK, here we go. The Tea Partiers have come out with a proposed “Contract From America,” the final version of which will be released on April 15. It delineates the various issues they are concerned about and what they want done about them. For example, they want the government to cut the deficit by 70% without raising taxes and to do it within two years.
That would be a fairly complicated thing to do which is, ahem, addressed, so to speak, in their contract this way:
The contract can do more than just offering pieces of legislation, it can “bind” a representative to a pledge. I would suggest that every representative that signs this document has to support cutting the deficit by a substantial amount without any new taxes or tax increases. We can change the percentage if we want, but at the end of the day, this idea is central to the preamble’s principles, without offering any wiggle room. Cut the deficit by making tough cost-cutting decisions or you’re out!
Now read the post below to get a taste, just a little taste, of the potential ramifications of doing that. Then go back to having fun perusing the other crazy things they want to do (like abolish the Department of Energy, the EPA and the Department of Education).
This is the kind of world we will live in if the get-the-government-out-of-my-life types start running the show:
COLORADO SPRINGS — This tax-averse city is about to learn what it looks and feels like when budget cuts slash services most Americans consider part of the urban fabric.
More than a third of the streetlights in Colorado Springs will go dark Monday. The police helicopters are for sale on the Internet. The city is dumping firefighting jobs, a vice team, burglary investigators, beat cops — dozens of police and fire positions will go unfilled.
The parks department removed trash cans last week, replacing them with signs urging users to pack out their own litter.
Neighbors are encouraged to bring their own lawn mowers to local green spaces, because parks workers will mow them only once every two weeks. If that.
Water cutbacks mean most parks will be dead, brown turf by July; the flower and fertilizer budget is zero.
City recreation centers, indoor and outdoor pools, and a handful of museums will close for good March 31 unless they find private funding to stay open. Buses no longer run on evenings and weekends. The city won’t pay for any street paving, relying instead on a regional authority that can meet only about 10 percent of the need.
The MSM is apparently, ahem, too busy with other things to follow up (as usual), but he’s alive and doing well.
My name isn’t on the list but I can’t wait to look around to see whose is.
From the Borowitz Report (but this is no joke):
I just got a Tweet from someone I don’t want to give attention to (i.e. a link) saying that wannabe boy “journalist” James O’Keefe will give his first interview to — drum roll please — two-bit shock jock Sean Hannity on Monday.
This is so typical. Whenever a winger gets in trouble they head straight to Fox for rehab.
On March 26 at 9:00 p.m., ABC will launch a new series titled, “Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution.” The show is about Oliver, a British chef and foodie, who goes to the unhealthiest city in the United States, Huntington, West Virginia, to teach them how to eat healthy food.
Here is the trailer. In it, the narrator explains that the population of Huntington is roughly 50,000 and half of the adults there are obese. It shows clips of children being fed breakfast at school; a breakfast that consists of pizza. It shows Oliver holding up a bunch of tomatoes and asking one of the kids to tell him what they are, and the kid says they’re potatoes — that’s how removed they are from what they’re eating.
As you can imagine, Oliver meets with plenty of skepticism. But, in the end, he seems to have the support of the parents of the school kids after he shows them how much fat their children eat in one year, hunks of which are brought in via a dump truck.
Should be interesting but you know the righties are going to have a fit about a foreigner coming here telling us what to do. After all, this is Amerrrrrrca.
It’s beginning to trickle in. Check this out from Quin Hillyer at The American Spectator. A taste:
I am watching him act like a haughty, angry, self-righteous, self-reverential (insert appropriate noun) in his meeting with House Republicans right now, and he is lecturing them like they are teenagers. What an arrogant so-and-so.
It did come off a bit like Obama was lecturing them like they were teenagers, because they were acting like teenagers.
Again, C-SPAN is going to rebroadcast the event at 8:00 p.m. ET tonight.
TPM has put together a timeline of how the Democrats botched health care reform. Think amateur hour meets bad luck. Such an unfortunate series of events.
From Luke Russert.
I think this is probably an understatement:
Charlie Brooker of the BBC’s “PM Now!” put together this video explaining how and why the average television “news” report is so formulaic and boring.
President Obama met in Baltimore with House GOP members this morning. He spoke* and then took questions, even volunteering to stay past the allotted time because he was “having fun.” He did a great job. So great, in fact, that though all three cable news outlets aired the event, Fox dropped out roughly 45 minutes before it ended. Obama was looking too good and the GOP was looking too bad. And besides, their viewers might actually start liking the guy and they wouldn’t want that.
Anyway, now Fox is in crisis mode trying to undo the “damage.” Karl Rove was on a few minutes ago (the chyron read: “GOP Leadership Speaks After President Obama’s Remarks”) as was John Boehner Boner. Gotta make sure any warm fuzzy feelings about Obama or Democrats are stomped to death, pronto!
* Here are Obama’s opening remarks in case you’re interested and also, CSPAN is going to replay the session at 8:00 p.m. ET tonight. Catch it if you can. Best TV I’ve seen in a long, long time.
JoezJny is the Dutch equivalent of Jon Stewart. He appears on Dutch Comedy Central every Friday. Recently he aired a spoof video depicting George W. and Bill Clinton taping an appeal for donations to their Haiti aid campaign. That’s all I’ll say, other than it is hilarious.
President Obama is, at this moment, meeting with GOP House members in Baltimore. It is being, or was being, televised by all three cable news networks — Fox, CNN and MSNBC. Obama is doing a great job. He’s being firm, coherent, direct, but very nice and even funny at times. Very compelling. He’s coming off very, very well.
Too well apparently, because Fox just stopped covering it.
In mid-January we learned that Defense Secretary Robert Gates met with
top executives from major defense contracting firms to reiterate the importance of fulfilling contracts on time and on budget, while assuring the relationship between the federal government and defense contractors will continue to be mutually beneficial moving forward.
In attendance were leaders from major companies Northrup Grumman, Lockheed Martin and BAE, along with General Dynamics, Raytheon, L-3 Communications, Harris Corporation and Boeing.
This week we hear that,
The Barack Obama administration is preparing to notify the United States Congress of an arms sale package to Taiwan, including a submarine design study and two mine-hunter patrol boats, according to the Jan. 26 issue of “Defense News.”
Earlier this week, some U.S. media reported the White House was about to announce its decision on a new weapons sale to Taiwan, involving 60 UH-60M Black Hawk utility helicopters, two Patriot Advanced Capability-3 missiles systems and phase two of the C4I/Link 16 “Po Sheng” program. However, the sale of eight diesel submarines approved by the Bush Administration in 2001 was reportedly not mentioned in the recent list of arms sales to Taiwan.
You know, as a country we’ve just got to stop arming the world.
Good news: After deliberating for just 37 minutes, the jury in the trial of Scott Roeder found him guilty of first degree murder in the death of Dr. George Tiller last year.
And thank goodness the trial, “never became the referendum on abortion that some abortion foes wanted…”
Abortion is legal in Kansas. Period. If you have a problem with that and you want to have a “referendum” on it, you work to change the law. You don’t go around killing people.
Hey, let’s send Politico an anonymous email telling them that John Boehner Boner has decided that he’s not going to go to tanning booths anymore. Maybe they’ll report it.
It’s hard to know whether it was utter arrogance, laziness, a total breakdown in communication or what, but the White House admits it was totally unprepared for the loss of Ted Kennedy’s seat in Massachusetts. Didn’t even cross their mind.
Kinda makes you wonder what else they might be oblivious about.
Why is my local “news” channel airing a story about how Subway restaurants are now accepting orders via Twitter?
Is that news? Really?
Yeah, right. They’ve been telling us that for years but look at what those shameless hypocritical liars did today (screen shot from TPM):
Don’t believe me? See for yourself. Here’s the roll call.
From Oliver Willis:
Absolutely, and John O’Keefe is the most recent example of a crime being committed due in part to the carrot of fame and fortune Fox dangled in front of his nose.
I just watched Chip Reid deliver a report on the CBS Evening News about President Obama’s State of the Union speech last night. Reid repeatedly brought up something Obama said and followed it up with “but critics say,” as if what “critics say” is the truth. (This is what’s known as “fair and balanced news” these days.)
Has Chip Reid ever heard of something called fact checking? Why can’t he take what Obama said and fact check it instead of telling us what “critics say”? Or, at the very least, include the facts somewhere in his report?
And could Chip Reid change his rhetoric to: “…but critics Republicans say,” so we have a bit more context already?
Glenn Greenwald, my favorite lawyer on the web:
There’s a reason that Supreme Court Justices — along with the Joint Chiefs of Staff — never applaud or otherwise express any reaction at a State of the Union address. It’s vital — both as a matter of perception and reality — that those institutions remain apolitical, separate and detached from partisan wars. The Court’s pronouncements on (and resolutions of) the most inflammatory and passionate political disputes retain legitimacy only if they possess a credible claim to being objectively grounded in law and the Constitution, not political considerations. The Court’s credibility in this regard has — justifiably — declined substantially over the past decade, beginning with Bush v. Gore (where 5 conservative Justices issued a ruling ensuring the election of a Republican President), followed by countless 5-4 decisions in which conservative Justices rule in a way that promotes GOP political beliefs, while the more “liberal” Justices do to the reverse (Citizens United is but the latest example). Beyond that, the endless, deceitful sloganeering by right-wing lawyers about “judicial restraint” and “activism” – all while the judges they most revere cavalierly violate those “principles” over and over — exacerbates that problem further (the unnecessarily broad scope of Citizens United is the latest example of that, too, and John “balls and strikes” Roberts may be the greatest hypocrite ever to sit on the Supreme Court). All of that is destroying the ability of the judicial branch to be perceived — and to act — as one of the few truly apolitical and objective institutions.
Justice Alito’s flamboyantly insinuating himself into a pure political event, in a highly politicized manner, will only hasten that decline. On a night when both tradition and the Court’s role dictate that he sit silent and inexpressive, he instead turned himself into a partisan sideshow — a conservative Republican judge departing from protocol to openly criticize a Democratic President — with Republicans predictably defending him and Democrats doing the opposite. Alito is now a political (rather than judicial) hero to Republicans and a political enemy of Democrats, which is exactly the role a Supreme Court Justice should not occupy.
The Justices are seated at the very front of the chamber, and it was predictable in the extreme that the cameras would focus on them as Obama condemned their ruling. Seriously: what kind of an adult is incapable of restraining himself from visible gestures and verbal outbursts in the middle of someone’s speech, no matter how strongly one disagrees — let alone a robe-wearing Supreme Court Justice sitting in the U.S. Congress in the middle of a President’s State of the Union address? Recall all of the lip-pursing worrying from The New Republic‘s Jeffrey Rosen and his secret, nameless friends over the so-called “judicial temperament” of Sonia Sotomayor. Alito’s conduct is the precise antithesis of what “judicial temperament” is supposed to produce.
It was clear from Sam Alito’s confirmation hearing and his record of appellate opinions that he is a dogmatic, state-revering, right-wing judge. But last night, he unmasked himself as a politicized and intemperate Republican as well.
And then there’s this from earlier today from the right, about how Alito might retaliate against Obama. Now that would show real “judicial temperament” wouldn’t it?
I must say, the depth to which our society is collapsing is really stunning, and it’s appalling that the people in power are leading the way.
From The Hill:
A day after bashing lobbyists, President Barack Obama’s administration has invited K Street insiders to join private briefings on a range of topics addressed in Wednesday’s State of the Union.
What was the administration doing? Saying, we didn’t mean it?