Bush's Brain on Books

Karl Rove embarrassed himself yesterday by publishing an Op-Ed claiming that George W Bush reads about 95 books a year:

There is a myth perpetuated by Bush critics that he would rather burn a book than read one. Like so many caricatures of the past eight years, this one is not only wrong, but also the opposite of the truth and evidence that bitterness can devour a small-minded critic. Mr. Bush loves books, learns from them, and is intellectually engaged by them.
Many people have noted the mathematical improbability of Rove's claim, while Richard Cohen keeps his journalistic reputation unspoiled by believing every single word of it. For me, however, it's not the claim's mathematical unlikelihood or the fact that Bush can't seem to remember anything he's read that inspires incredulity here. I don't think I'm misunderestimating our President when I say that it's simply impossible for him to both be a serious reader and have such a foul understanding of the English language. What?...is he reading his books in their original French and Latin? Even so, he would have a better grasp of simple sentence structure than he has now. Categorically. Impossible.

But what really interests me about Rove's Op-Ed is that it confirms a feeling I've had about Rove for some time now: he, himself, desperately needs to feel intellectually superior. Just the fact that it's so important for him to try to resurrect this White House's intellectual image rouses suspicion but that he chooses to show off his own (probably exaggerated) literary habits in order to juxtapose them with his boss' really makes the case. Every time I see Karl Rove, he immediately calls to mind a particular PG Wodehouse character named Jeeves, the butler. The two are quite similar: each getting a gleeful look in his eye whenever he has the opportunity to use his intellectual abilities in the service of his master, all the while making sure to retain a certain amount of superiority and control. Their bosses both maintaining a cartoonish level of ivy league ignorance while sporadically displaying rare, impracticable glimpses of hazy insight. And in that respect, Karl Rove's tragedy is Jeeves' tragedy. To both of them, appearances matter a great deal, but sadly, their fortunes are always inextricably linked to their bosses' inevitable buffoonery. Furthermore, it's painfully obvious to the even the most casual of observers that neither Rove nor Jeeves would ever seem so smart if the people he worked for didn't always seem so...less smart.

Nothing New byslag at 9:43 AM 1 dispenses karmic justice! (or just comments here)

Minimalist Maximus

Well, the minimalist holiday was a smashing success. MFP and I spent an inordinate amount of time playing board games, reading books, hanging out with friends we hadn't seen in forever, and taking long walks through various inches of snow. But a lot has been going on in the world, so catching up with the news today is no easy task. For instance, while MFP and I were busy practicing our downward-facing dog yoga positions last week, the Middle East was apparently once again melting down. While we were spontaneously scoring deep-tissue massages at a local spa, Joe Biden was discussing ways to revive the anemic middle-class. And while MFP and I were exchanging our gifts of wool socks, the retail industry was totally tanking. Not to mention the fact that I have absolutely no idea what I've been doing while the Arctic sea ice has been melting (probably sitting in front of the fireplace because I love irony).

Micro to macro in one day...not recommended.

Nothing New byslag at 3:02 PM 0 dispense karmic justice! (or just comment here)

Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc?

1. The streets are covered in snow.
2. The word on the street is that Obama yard signs make great sleds.
3. Yards that were sporting Obama signs last week are now bare.

Nothing New byslag at 8:24 PM 2 dispense karmic justice! (or just comment here)

Holidays Unplugged

MFP took this week off work, so he and I are going to try a new holiday-appreciation tactic: minimal use of computers/dvds/other electronic media, minimal partaking of unhealthy foods and sweets, minimal buying of unneccessary consumer goods. Key word: minimal.

Have a happy holiday and will hopefully see you next week.

Nothing New byslag at 10:23 AM 3 dispense karmic justice! (or just comment here)


Based on the information about him presented in this video from The Rachel Maddow Show (via Pam's House Blend), it sounds to me like Reverend Judgey McJudgeypants is really in no place to be judging anybody:

Rick Warren: I'm naturally inclined to have sex with every beautiful woman I see...
There's one commonality among serious social conservatives that has always struck me as troubling: They seem to lead way more interesting lives than the one I lead. For instance, when Mike Huckabee told Jon Stewart that being gay is a choice, I felt a pang of envy. Unlike Mike, I've never willfully chosen to be not gay (it just sort of turned out that way), so I have no way of knowing what it's like to really have to think about it for a while. Is it like deciding on your favorite flavor of ice cream: "Do I want the Strawberry or the Chunky Monkey?" Or is it more like trying to answer an, "If I were a tree, what kind of tree would I be," kind of question? And for people like Rick Warren who are so bursting with passion that they must struggle to control themselves every minute of the day, I just think: "Damn...if we could harness that untapped energy, we could use him to power an entire city block...he must be some sort of super hero! I wish I were a super hero..." But sadly for me, I don't know what it's like to make these kinds of choices or to be a super hero. Envy...I hear it's one of the seven deadliest sins.

Nothing New byslag at 10:08 AM 3 dispense karmic justice! (or just comment here)

Seeking Karmic Justice Opportunities

So, instead of celebrating the presidential inauguration in the company of Rick Warren and friends, I'll be looking to dispense some serious karmic justice on that day. Specifically, I want to do something to forward the cause of equality--preferably, equality for LGBT folks since they really got the shaft this year (no inappropriate puns, please). If anyone has any novel suggestions to that end, bring 'em on.

Also, if you want citizen-funded elections, vote asap for ChangeCongress.org here.

Finally, CREW is suing Dick Cheney (again):

"Dick Cheney's lawyers are asserting that the vice president alone has the authority to determine which records, if any, from his tenure will be handed over to the National Archives when he leaves office in January. (...)

"The vice president alone may determine what constitutes vice presidential records or personal records, how his records will be created, maintained, managed and disposed, and are all actions that are committed to his discretion by law," according to a court filing by Cheney's office with the U.S. District Court on Dec. 8.

Cheney is being sued by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a government watchdog group that is trying to ensure that no presidential records are destroyed or handled in a way that makes them unavailable to the public.
They should get a little something extra in their Christmas stocking for that.

Nothing New byslag at 10:38 PM 1 dispenses karmic justice! (or just comments here)

People Who Need People...

sometimes look like orangutans.

Nothing New byslag at 3:09 PM 0 dispense karmic justice! (or just comment here)

This aggression will not stand, man

I know I said I wasn't going to say much about the Rick Warren inauguration, but really, I can't seem to help myself. After thinking about it some more, MFP and I removed our Obama bumper sticker (not to sound all melodramatic since it was just a magnet, but still...). And we will also no longer be attending any local inauguration festivities, which is too bad because we worked hard to make this happen. But so did our gay and lesbian friends, and quite frankly, they deserve better treatment than this. The passage of Proposition 8 on election day was shameful enough, but for Obama to amplify its exclusionary statement by giving one of its proponents a place on his stage is simply too much. So, we figure that one bad symbolic turn deserves another (or two...or three...we're not sure yet).

Weirdly enough, I have no problem with Obama being friends with Rick Warren. In fact, I think it's a good thing to be friendly with people you disagree with and try to do it myself when I have the patience. But this issue isn't about friendship or even about policy. It's about understanding that intentionally refusing a group of people their basic rights doesn't deserve symbolic validation. It deserves symbolic condemnation. Or, at least, symbolic disregard.

I hate to sound all naive and hopey, but truth be told, I actually had quite a bit of respect for Obama's sense of decency and class before this incident. It's amazing how quickly that respect can evaporate. I still think he'll be a pretty good president. But I'm much less impressed with him as a human being. And even as a politician since the tonedeafness of this act hearkens back to the Donnie McClurkin days. Nonetheless, every time I attempt to justify Obama's decision to overtly legitimize Rick Warren at the expense of the gays and lesbians who worked so hard to elect him, I keep coming back to the same childish conclusion: You just don't treat people this way; it's wrong. Can't seem to get around that.

Nothing New byslag at 10:45 PM 2 dispense karmic justice! (or just comment here)

Across this line, you do not

Barack Obama really knows how to piss off some liberals:

Obama picks homophobe pro-'Prop 8' evangelical preacher to give the invocation at inaugural
There's a lot I could say here, but really, what's the point? The gay community worked to elect Obama. And this is how he's decided to treat them in return. No paeans to Experience or Pragmatism or Bipartisanship can wash this one away. It's just a giant F-you to those who helped bring him.

Hardly leadership I can believe in...

UPDATE: What Greg Sargent said.

UPDATE 2: And while we're on the subject can we get rid of preachers being involved in presidential inaugurations altogether? The practice is divisive and...tacky.

Nothing New byslag at 1:13 PM 1 dispenses karmic justice! (or just comments here)

All about the Grades

Check out your state's educational effectiveness grade. (via Ezra Klein)

Interestingly, my adopted state gets an A while my home state gets an F. That's what we call a birthplace FAIL.

On an unrelated note, Malcolm Gladwell writes a bit more about the role luck plays in building success.

Nothing New byslag at 11:14 AM 0 dispense karmic justice! (or just comment here)

My Morality

It's depicted on this chart in green. The average liberal and average conservative scores are depicted in blue and red, respectively.

Note the emphasis on Fairness, because I'm pretty sure that's why I find Andrew Sullivan's take-down of the Torture Right today so thrilling. Eric Martin, at Obsidian Wings, offers an abridged and annotated version of Sullivan's masterpiece.

For the record, Andrew Sullivan is a conservative; I am a liberal. And while I find Sullivan's sporadic fixation on "symbolic issues" fairly WTF?-worthy, it's nice to see that we have something in common...an interest in karmic justice.

Also, here's Jonathan Haidt discussing his study of morality differences between liberals and conservatives:

(from TED)

And here's Haidt's website where you too can take the Morality test. Personally, I find Haidt's analysis intriguing. But as the grown progeny of two conservative-cum-neoconservative parents, I have noticed that my desire for intellectual honesty and self-awareness has played a foundational role in the evolution of my ideological identity. Whether that desire stems from one or more of the five traits that Haidt lays out or whether it is a separate trait, I'm not quite sure. But I think it at least deserves a mention. In other words, I've determined through careful, independent observation and analysis that a non-trivial amount of conservatism (especially social conservatism)--as expressed outwardly by conservatives themselves--is complete bullshit*.

*Sorry for the profanity...kind of.

Nothing New byslag at 11:03 AM 2 dispense karmic justice! (or just comment here)

Short-Form Snark

Observant readers may have noticed an addition to the Some of Nothing sidebar (somewhere over there -->). Pursuant to some sage advice, I'm working diligently to overcome my skepticism of Twitter, Facebook, other social networking sites, the phrase "social networking sites", and the United States Postal Service (which is a whole other story). In that spirit, I'm starting with Twitter, wherein I will periodically post "tweets"--or "twits" as I (and probably many, many others) prefer to call them. If you want to follow my twits real-time, party on. Otherwise, you can simply enjoy the latest one somewhere over there -->.

To give you a sense of what you may be missing, here are some of my introductory twits:

The media's Blago-Obama guilt-by-association mission...accomplished!: http://tinyurl.com/blagoobama. Heckuva job, MSNBC!
Dear Steve Jobs, Itunes already sucks enough. No need to update it any further. Thanks, slag "That's it!?!? Come back, smart man!" (MFP's reaction to the end of Glenn Greenwald's interview with Moyers: http://tinyurl.com/greenwld.) Catapulting the propaganda: http://tinyurl.com/obamaadress (HUD chief pick). Less loan talk, more urban development talk next time, k? My hotmail account is suddenly speaking to me in French. Je ne sais pas pourquoi. ...
Fascinating, isn't it?

Also, some links that may interest others:
Oh. And then, there's more about that torture stuff that nobody cares about.

Nothing New byslag at 1:58 PM 2 dispense karmic justice! (or just comment here)

This One's for You, Iraq

Honestly, I was tempted to let the Iraqi shoe-throwing go without much comment because...well...there will always be at least one.

But then Bush goes and says this:

BUSH: One of the major theaters against al Qaeda turns out to have been Iraq. This is where al Qaeda said they were going to take their stand. This is where al Qaeda was hoping to take–

RADDATZ: But not until after the U.S. invaded.

BUSH: Yeah, that’s right. So what? The point is that al Qaeda said they’re going to take a stand. Well, first of all in the post-9/11 environment Saddam Hussein posed a threat. And then upon removal, al Qaeda decides to take a stand.
Somebody bring me a frickin shoe already! Or at least create a Flash game of it so the rest of us can work on our aim.

Thanks for the memories, you bastard:

Nothing New byslag at 12:04 PM 0 dispense karmic justice! (or just comment here)

It's a Small Snowy World

Skipping church of pugilism today because of snow. Instead, I've spent the morning surfing the interwebs and meditating on the smallness of the world. In that spirit, here are some videos that make the world seem even smaller to me (submitted without further comment):

Hip Hip Violin And DJ - video powered by Metacafe

(via Arize)

(excerpted from this video)

(via Monkeys for Helping)

Nothing New byslag at 9:44 AM 0 dispense karmic justice! (or just comment here)

McCain's Information Security Fail

Apparently, the McCain campaign sold a reporter a loaded Blackberry:

This fantastic McCain Campaign fire sale doesn’t just provide gadgets and office supplies on the cheap — you can also buy enough Republican VIP personal information and incriminating emails to run your own failed presidential run! Local teevee station Fox 5 sent somebody over to the Everything Must Go sale, and while most of the good stuff was gone, there were still 10 Blackberry fancy-phones selling for $20 each. The teevee reporter bought as many as she could afford (two?) and raced back to the newsroom...
You can guess what happens next (or you can click on the link).

The information security fail demonstrated in this incident reminded me of a moment in one of the debates when McCain said that, in order to streamline our health care system, we needed to put everyone's medical records "online". As soon as MFP and I heard that, we cringed and looked at each other. MFP shook his head and said, "He really shouldn't have said it that way." I nodded and pictured McCain sitting up there on that dinosaur with GW.

McCain may have invented the Blackberry, but during the campaign, he certainly failed to show that he knew how to use one. And while Obama talks about HealthIT as being an essential component to streamlining healthcare (which, I'm guessing, is what McCain meant to say in that debate), he does it in a way that inspires confidence instead of fear. Whether it's an age or a competence difference I don't know, but from an information perspective, McCain failed to give any indication that he would keep us safe. I'm hoping that's one of the many reasons why he lost.

Also, I hope that Obama picks his CTO soon so that person can start working to assuage concerns like these.

Nothing New byslag at 2:36 PM 2 dispense karmic justice! (or just comment here)

Why Joss Whedon is My Hero

Not only does he give an interview to an online crochet magazine (who does that?), he says stuff like this in it:

I mean, let's face it, in the media there are now eight companies. In any mall you walk into, there are now eight stores: there's gonna be a Gap, there's gonna be a Banana Republic. Everything is becoming consolidated, so where there used to be lots of variety, there are now, like, ten giants and tons of tiny little villagers. And yeah, the villagers are going to start making their own stuff because the materials will be available to all of them, and we can't all just do things the way the giants want, because it does seep something out of your soul. I think it's absolutely true on every level of art that this is the worst of times and, like some guy might have said once, the best of times.
Well, you know, at the end of the day right now, you can create something; what you can't usually do is make a fortune off of it. But if we're talking about the sort of people who are actually checking a crocheting website, we're talking about the sort of people who understand that part of what we're doing is in the process. That it's not about, "I'm going to crochet the most hats! I'm going to be the fastest! I'm going to be the most [mumbled] millionaire without enjoying the process and the product." Ultimately, the artistic expression can't be squelched; it's just they'll try to cut off any avenues for that expression to be, shall we say, monetized in a realistic fashion. Like I'm saying, the sort of people who understand the DIY mentality are more about the doing than the having. So I think that ultimately, my advice is what my advice always is: Make stuff. You know. Right now, because of digital technology, you can make crafty little movies, you can make crafty little things that go up for millions of people to see. You can sort of combine the two ethos-ethoses-ethosees... And grab a video camera, tell a story. Be stupid, be something, just ... It is no longer the time of sitting around and thinking about doing something. If you're going to do that, you can, you know, crochet, and you're already doing it.
I know nothing about crochet. But that doesn't even matter.

Speaking of heroes, MFP's illness prompted a multi-day DVD-a-thon of Heroes. It was great to see the X-men premise explored in live-action. And the action scenes and mini character dramas were extremely compelling. Nonetheless, I couldn't help thinking that the dialog would have been so much better had Joss Whedon written it. Also, the beginning of season 2 possessed all the warmed-over appeal of season 2 of Felicity (poor Greg Gunberg!), complete with the main character getting an unfortunate hair cut. As often happens when the writing isn't there, instead of going deeper into the complexities of the central drama, the show scatters--filling the empty spaces with lifeless characters and banal storylines. Buffy suffered a similar problem after season 3, but Angel crossovers and musical interludes interjected some sporadic zest, which kept the show marginally watchable. Sadly, however, MFP and I have neither the time nor the inclination to suffer tedious television, so Heroes is now over for us. Time of death: season 2, disk one.


Nothing New byslag at 9:37 AM 6 dispense karmic justice! (or just comment here)

Sprinkles v. Fitzmas

Steve Benen rightly smacks Liz "Sprinkles" Sidoti for push-reporting a Blag-Obama scandal:

THE INEVITABLE PUSH.... It's only been 24 hours, and it's pretty obvious that reports like this one, from the AP's Liz Sidoti, are going to quickly become mind-numbing.
President-elect Barack Obama hasn't even stepped into office and already a scandal is threatening to dog him.

Obama isn't accused of anything. But the fact that Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, a fellow Democrat, has been charged with trying to sell Obama's now-vacant Senate post gives political opponents an opening to try to link him to the scandal.

There's just no reason for reporting like this. Is Obama connected to Blagojevich's scandal? No, but the scandal is "threatening to dog him." Has Obama done anything wrong? No, but Republicans are going to "try to link him to the scandal."

Personally, I'm not in a place to determine whether or not Obama has done anything wrong here. But Patrick "Fitzmas" Fitzgerald (you know--the guy actually investigating the Illinois governor) might be, and he says:
“I’m not going to speak for what the President elect was aware of," he said. "We make no allegations that he’s aware of anything and that’s as simply as I can put it."

Later when asked if Obama had been briefed on this case, Fitzgerald again answered, “I’m not going to down anything that’s not on the complaint... I have enough trouble speaking for myself, I’m never going to go try to speak in the voice of a President or a President-elect so I simply pointed out that if you look at the complaint there’s no allegation that the President-elect, there’s no reference in the complaint to any conversations involving the President-elect or indicating that the President–elect was aware of it and that’s all I can say.”
Reporters are starting to make lawyers look good by comparison. I'm pretty sure that's one of the seven signs of the apocalypse.

PS MFP has the stomach flu, and I choose taking care of him over taking care of blogger today (and yesterday). Too bad.

Nothing New byslag at 10:46 AM 1 dispenses karmic justice! (or just comments here)


What atrios said.

And what Obama said:

Nothing New byslag at 10:39 AM 0 dispense karmic justice! (or just comment here)

Meh Christmas

If I had to identify one tension underlying the relationship between MFP and myself, it would be that he enjoys having lots of stuff and I enjoy not having lots of stuff. The good news about this tension is that, most of the time, I get my way. Neither one of us goes out of our way to go shopping, so by default, we have less stuff. But as you can probably guess, holidays--especially holidays that involve gift-giving--have a tendency to bring out MFP's inner Santa and my inner Scrooge. Which makes for some interesting negotiations around this time of the year.

Me: Guess what Santa left us!
MFP: What?
Me (showing him a pair of worn men's white socks): I found these on the floor of the living room this morning.
MFP: Oh. Those aren't gifts from Santa. Those are what we hang up for Santa to leave gifts in.
Me: Hmmm...they're kind of small to fit much stuff into...Works for me! I'll go hang these by the chimney with care.
MFP: You win...I have a confession...

On an average day, I tend to object to having dirty socks strewn about the house. But I would have been more than happy to have a pair of them dangling by the fireplace for the rest of the month as long as it meant having to get and give less stuff this holiday. Time for Santa to retool.

Nothing New byslag at 8:47 AM 1 dispenses karmic justice! (or just comments here)


I always enjoy cultural mashups because they inspire questions. For instance...

What if Jack Black were really Jesus?

How might one dance dance evolution?

Is looking for the bare necessities really that simple?

Nothing New byslag at 3:12 PM 0 dispense karmic justice! (or just comment here)

This One's for You, Blue Shoes

Just because I can.

Nothing New byslag at 11:49 AM 0 dispense karmic justice! (or just comment here)

Odetta and Creative Commons

I was filling out this Creative Commons survey while I was listening to the video embedded in this NYT article about recently deceased folk singer, Odetta, and suddenly (somewhere about 75% of the way through the survey) my worlds converged.
Likely flouting all manner of copyright, I've embedded the portion of the New York Times video in which Odetta explains that members of the folk singing community in the 60s weren't "stealing" from each other; they were "passing on the folk tradition". I like that this distinction was an important one for her to make. She was unashamed of her role as both culture consumer and culture generator and seemed to understand quite well that you can't be one without the other. I guess the fact that artwork serves this dual role is what makes copyright such a b-tch to figure out.

Methinks that Shakespeare, given his propensity for "passing on the dramatic tradition", never would have survived in our copyright climate.

Nothing New byslag at 10:33 AM 0 dispense karmic justice! (or just comment here)

Catapulting the Propaganda: Change.gov Unplugged

Change.gov is fast becoming a socially-conscious geek's paradise. It's now rockin' the Creative Commons license (possibly in response to some karmic justice effectively dispensed by Lawrence Lessig et al). It's got a swank blog that sporadically allows comments. Lots of video, including a recent one about health care, which is embedded in a post sporting over a thousand comments and even a health care Wordle (nerrrrds!). And if they ditched the cheesy, wedding album-esque frames around these pictures:
And this shady-looking avatar portraying their unidentified commenters as members of the witness protection program:And the white type on yellow background (cross-browser compatibility issue?):I think the site's design sensibility would be near unimpeachable. Modern, yet classic. Simple, yet informative. And above all, it doesn't try too hard. Nothing's flashing; there are no cartoons or frivolous artwork; the language is appropriately friendly and casual (ie, no LOLs or OMGs) yet not at all pretentious. The navigation tools are fairly standard and straightforward. In other words, it's all professional. And if you find nothing remarkable in all this, then you haven't visited as many government websites as I have.

Nothing New byslag at 4:33 PM 2 dispense karmic justice! (or just comment here)

Why Fight Twilight?

In the last week or so, MFP and I have taken to educating the youngsters in the evening. Specifically, one youngster, aged 12, female, who is a first-generation and whose parents own a Mexican restaurant we sometimes patronize. All in all, a cool kid who is quite smart but--in a typical pre-teen manner--doesn't really apply herself. So, her mom asked if I would help, and I agreed as long as I could sometimes drag MFP along for the food and frivolity. Long story short, I'm amazed at how well I remember my fractions.

Last night, as we were working, she brought up the book Twilight for like the fiftieth time, and we started talking about it. I said that I'd read a review (thank you, Defective Yeti) and, consequently, have no interest at all in the book. MFP said that I shouldn't judge a book by its cover and that he's glad she's reading this book because he couldn't remember reading over 500 pages of anything at her age. I responded that 500 pages of bad writing can't be good for anybody, and the conversation moved on.

From then on, I've been wondering: Is it worse to have read and loathed than never to have read at all? Since reading and writing are well-known BFFs, does reading 500 pages of bad writing diminish a one's own ability to write well? Sadly, my Google skills are failing to help me on this one, so I've been struggling to recall my own dalliances with young adult literature to determine how much damage they may have inflicted on me. But there also, I'm at a loss. I can't remember a single young adult novel I read as a young adult. No Sweet Valley High, no Babysitter's Club, nothing. So, either my pre-teen books were so bad that I simply blocked them out, or I went straight from Shoeshine Girl to The Godfather with nary a Judy Blume detour along the way. Anything's possible, I guess.

But what about bad books I've read as an adult? I can't remember its name but I'm pretty sure I read a book about horses recently. Or maybe it wasn't about horses, but it had horses in it....I think. Truth is, I don't recall exactly, but the book was a gift, and I had to read it. And then there was one about a female detective who, quite unpredictably, was just competent enough to need her hunky male on-again/off-again sidekick to get her out of danger right in the nick of time, which made for a handy pretext for them to have sex. Another gift. While I'm sure I've read other bad books recently, those are the only two I can recall. Which I guess helps answer my question.

If nothing else, at least the bad books I've read have been incredibly forgettable. And, on the plus side, they may have even served as periodic reminders of what to avoid in my own writing (such as it is). But the complicating factor remains: When I read those books as an adult, I knew that they were replete with cliche and hyperbole. All error, no comedy. But what about the bad books that creep in unnoticed? Especially for those youngsters whose writing styles are still being formed? I still don't know. But one thing's for sure...if my young friend starts engaging in dazzle-speak in a chagrined fashion while meditating on the redolence of freesia, she and I are going to have a little chat.

Nothing New byslag at 2:28 PM 4 dispense karmic justice! (or just comment here)

The New Moderator of Meet the Press

He's the white guy to Karl Rove's right:

No surprise, but I believe a "WTF?!?" is still in order here. Just to keep up appearances.

File under: why I will never watch television again.

Nothing New byslag at 1:02 PM 0 dispense karmic justice! (or just comment here)

Disastrous Obama Presidency Predicted on Chris Matthews' Show

Via Crooks and Liars, the Chris Matthews cadre of cretins predicts that President Obama's political problems are going to come from the "angry" left, such as "working people":

MATTHEWS: If we try to put up the trade walls, are we going to have a fight on labor issues like this card check thing, about being able to organize individual decision making rather than a big voting election kind of thing. Those kind of issues can really, as you say, could divide the Democrats, right?

CONNOLLY: Absolutely but here's the key to this: Rahm Emanuel, Chief of Staff. What did he do when he was in the House Democratic Caucus? He often was the person who had to break it to the liberals in that caucuses that things were not going to go their way.

MATTHEWS: Who's going to break it to the blogosphere? They don't like anything that looks like a give to the right. Where are they doing to be on this thing? Are they going to give him a break if he doesn't go hard left and doesn't do what they want?

WHITAKER: I think that Obama has to worry as much about the far left as he does about the far right. But look, you know I think that it could be a plus for him in some ways because I think they are going to give him what you might call a “Sista Soulja moment” when he can stand up to them.


WHITAKER: And talking to some veterans in those early Clinton wars who think that particularly this issue of the card check push by the labor unions to change the rules on organizing could be a moment for him either by delaying that, standing up to the unions, of positioning himself more in the middle and making it harder for the far right to position him the way they tried to during the campaign.

MATTHEWS: You see that, David?

IGNATIUS: This is where the economic crisis, you know, ends up being crucial because people are angry. The country's furious and a lot of these really divisive issues I think will come from the left, not from the right and they'll come from unions, from working people who are enraged at bailouts for big banks and wealthy executives and the pressure on Obama to check some what he'd like to do on the economy I think is going to be very strong from angry people.

MATTHEWS: And you say the left is going to fight anything that looks too conciliatory?

IGNATIUS: You can, it's been obvious now for the past few weeks that the anger in the country is working its way through Congress and it's, the bailouts might make sense in a macro-economic sense but they're increasingly tough politics.

Let's pause for a moment to think about the last eight years and what exactly has made the left so darned angry. Could it be a disastrous, unnecessary war (the one that Obama seemed pretty angry about at the time)? Could it be the recurring transference of public goods to private hands? Could it be the willful ignorance and manipulation of climate science (or science of any kind)? Could it be government secrecy, illegal wiretapping, blatant disregard for the Geneva Conventions? Could it be a skyrocketing debt, persistent deregulation of business leading to a $700 billion economic crisis, or a constant inability to appreciate risks and take responsibility for actions? Could it be the breaching of the levies that "nobody could have predicted" or the uninhabitable FEMA trailers or the eating of cake while entire cities drowned? Could it be the decision to disregard the "historical document" titled "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US"? Could it be the outing of a CIA agent working to secure America from weapons of mass destruction, the sentence commutation for one of the culprits, the politicization of the Justice Department? Or maybe it's the fact that, when you object to any of those things either before, during, or after they happen, you are ignored--marginalized as a member of the "angry left"?

To my recollection it was not the the angry left, working people who spent the last three months ironically calling Obama an elitist (or a terrorist fist-jabber, for that matter). And consequently, I'm fairly dubious of the notion that we're the ones that President Obama has to worry about the most. But if I'm wrong and Obama does any of the things that have made the left so darned angry over the years, then he's looking to become the next president with a high-60s disapproval rating. Because we're all angry left now.

UPDATE to include video: Oh the inanity!

Bonus video:

Don't make me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry.

UPDATE 2: More prescient ramblings from the angry left.

Nothing New byslag at 1:32 PM 0 dispense karmic justice! (or just comment here)

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