Archive for February, 2009

Rats, Chris Matthews wins me over

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

I wrote the SOB off once and for all, really I did. As I said 36 months ago: “Chris Matthews — still a skunk after all these years.” 

I liked writing him off. I wanted to keep it that way.

Still, in my book, anyone who gives a Republican hell for using the misnomer of “the Democrat Party” ipso facto deserves a measure of redemption. I’m sure I’ll detest you again, Chris, but for the moment — nice going, buddy.

Democrats are clearly slow learners

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

Like most Democrats, I find myself astonished at the stupidity of today’s GOP. The nation is in the worst economic crisis since (hopefully) the Great Depression. People are looking desperately to their government for leadership. And what’s the Republican response? To become, as so many have noted, the party of “no” — no ideas, no vision and no willingness to look outside that narrow and totally discredited ideological box they live in.

And somehow they just can’t lose that hopelessly out of place snarky quality that has defined right wing discourse for decades. As Paul Krugman brilliantly said, the GOP has become party of Bevis and Butthead.

And we Democrats look at each other, shrug and ask: “How can they be so stupid?”

Ah . . . people . . . ah, were we asleep for the last eight years?

I mean, really, what were we expecting?

Forget it Norm, it ain’t happening

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

With his chances of overturning Al Franken’s lead through litigation looking ever bleaker, Norm Coleman, as expected, is starting to push the do-over button. There is some precedent for this: back in 1974 a contentious post-election battle was resolved through holding a new election.

But it ain’t happening this time — no way, no how. How can I be so sure?

Elections cost money — fairly big money. I’m not from Minnesota so I can’t claim any special expertise on its local politics, but with the state facing the same budget disaster as every other state in the union, I can see no way the legislature would fork over the bucks for an unnecessary second vote. It won’t happen.

The most self-destructive presidential rebuttal ever?

Wednesday, February 25th, 2009

Yes, Bobby Jindal did give one awful GOP rebuttal last night. But then (Jim Webb to the contrary), minority party rebuttals to presidential speeches tend to suck: Kathleen Sebelius anyone? It’s a tough gig.

But watching the still unfolding orgy of Jindal bashing, I can’t help but feel that this is becoming something much more significant, in terms of Jindal’s future, than the usual rumblings in response to an uninspired political speech. It’s a pop culture phenomenon — a defining moment.

Scratch one GOP up and comer. He’s Dan Quail now.

36th my ass

Sunday, February 15th, 2009

It seems that a recent survey of 65 historians ranks George W. Bush as the 36th best president out of a total of 42. A fairly pitiful performance I’ll give you, but still . . . we’re supposed to believe that six presidents were worse than him?

I’m not buying it.

The daily doom: worse than we thought edition

Sunday, February 15th, 2009

To repeat myself, yet again: Does a day ever go by anymore without another terrifying revelation about global warming?

(Washington Post) Scientists: Pace of Climate Change Exceeds Estimates

CHICAGO, Feb. 14 — The pace of global warming is likely to be much faster than recent predictions, because industrial greenhouse gas emissions have increased more quickly than expected and higher temperatures are triggering self-reinforcing feedback mechanisms in global ecosystems, scientists said Saturday.

“We are basically looking now at a future climate that’s beyond anything we’ve considered seriously in climate model simulations,” Christopher Field, founding director of the Carnegie Institution’s Department of Global Ecology at Stanford University, said at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Field, a member of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, said emissions from burning fossil fuels since 2000 have largely outpaced the estimates used in the U.N. panel’s 2007 reports. The higher emissions are largely the result of the increased burning of coal in developing countries, he said.

Unexpectedly large amounts of carbon dioxide are being released into the atmosphere as the result of “feedback loops” that are speeding up natural processes. Prominent among these, evidence indicates, is a cycle in which higher temperatures are beginning to melt the arctic permafrost, which could release hundreds of billions of tons of carbon dioxide and methane into the atmosphere, said several scientists on a panel at the meeting.

John McCain: liar or fool?

Friday, February 13th, 2009

I find myself wondering what John McCain would be doing right now if, God forbid, he’d won in November. Would he really be leading the country down the drain with his current economically illiterate tax cut only approach to — his word not mine — stimulus?

To put it another way: is McCain’s current grandstanding against stimulus spending the product of despicable dishonesty at a time of national crisis or just profound ignorance?

Who knew?

Friday, February 13th, 2009

It seems that getting caught deliberately sending peanut products contaminated with deadly salmonella to market can be bad for business. Who knew?

My God, insider pundits are idiots

Friday, February 13th, 2009

Driving in to work today, with my radio dutifully tuned to NPR, I suddenly found myself swearing up a storm: and not a single driver had cut me off, given me the finger or splashed muddy water onto my windshield. No, it was the voice on the radio that set me off.

They were talking about Judd Gregg — you know, the guy who just made an absolute fool of himself — withdrawing his name for commerce secretary. And insider conventional wisdom was flowing through my radio thicker (and in an even more disgusting fashion) than filth streaming from an open sewer. It seems, according to the official media talking points, that this has been — “yet another” — tremendous blow to Barack Obama. His attempts at bipartisanship are failing miserably — and because of this the Republicans are resurgent, having, in all their tiny minority glory, found their voice again.

All of which raises an interesting question: is finding one’s voice a good thing when you sound worse than, say, Tiny Tim?

I mean, give me a break. The vast majority of the American electorate, at least at this moment, can’t stand Republicans — and nonsense like this, whatever the major media thinks to the contrary, just makes it that much worse. Although, like most liberals, I’m less than enamored with Obama’s “post partisan” crusade, I do have enough sense to know that “winning” or “losing” on this subject has to do with public perception, not with how successful Obama is in actually winning over the collection of nuts who we euphemistically refer to as congressional Republicans.

And what again is the public’s perception of today’s GOP? Well, to be honest, I really can’t use that kind of language on a family oriented blog like this.

It’s getting to the point where I can barely stand tuning into conventional news sources, even comparatively worthy ones like NPR. It just does too much damage to my soul to listen to these overpaid and over-pampered talking heads mindlessly repeated vacant talking points — conventional “wisdom” that even the average goldfish would realize is nothing more than pure BS (I mean, really, how much Cokie Roberts is one mortal supposed to take?).

It puts me in mind of a song from long ago (and of a mind to change the words a little). Here’s the original version:

Little Boxes

Little boxes on the hillside,
Little boxes made of ticky-tacky,
Little boxes, little boxes,
Little boxes, all the same.

There’s a green one and a pink one
There’s a green one and a pink one
And a blue one and a yellow one
And they’re all made out of ticky-tacky
And they all look just the same.

Except for present purposes, let’s modify the lyrics like this:

Little Pundits

Little pundits on the boob tube
Little pundits made of ticky-tacky,
Little pundits, little pundits,
Little pundits, all the same.

They all blather out the same blow
Not a new thought in the bunch though
Baseless rumors at their hands grow
And they’re all made out of ticky-tacky
And they all sound just the same.

You know, the more I think about it, the more I hope the revolution isn’t televised. I don’t think I could stand the color commentary.

Bipartisanship at last: thanks to Rush

Thursday, February 12th, 2009

True, bipartisanship has proven to be a bit of a bust when it comes to the stimulus package. On at least one other subject, however, Democrats and Republicans seem not only to be singing the exact same song, but singing it in perfect harmony. Both are thrilled to death to see Rush Limbaugh becoming the public face of the GOP.

Now, before we liberal Democrat types snicker too much, we need to remember that Rush really did play a large role in leading the GOP out of the wilderness (if never into the light) and onto the road to congressional dominance during the early Clinton years. Who knows? Maybe he can do it again.

As for myself, though, I ain’t betting the farm (or the small vegetable garden, which, metaphorically speaking, is all I have left after Bush destroyed the economy) on that happening.

Rush is just so 1993.