• I Heart Huckabee

    This is fairly interesting. Via advertiser AltWeeklies, the Arkansas Times has an article on Mike Huckabee. It's a dirty laundry piece, but some of it seems well able to stick, particularly the Dumond story, which strikes as Willie Horton but with an element of Clinton paranoia: Another issue sure to come up if Huckabee contends for national office is his involvement in the 1999 parole of rapist Wayne Dumond, who went on to murder a woman in Missouri. A 2002 cover story in the Arkansas Times detailed Huckabee’s personal intervention in the Post Prison Transfer Board’s deliberations about Dumond’s release. Huckabee supported Dumond after being influenced by conservative activists who said Dumond got a raw deal because his victim was a distant cousin of Bill Clinton. I always knew they'd pin a killing on Clinton, I just didn't know the causal factor would be that their hatred for him had become so great they'd begun pardoning rapists whose victims were connected to the family. Huckabee'...
  • Big Media Me

    Over at Tapped, my first post is up. I probably won't be linking to many of these as about half my output is going to move over there, but the inaugural is a special occasion -- I want fruit baskets. Anyway, the piece is on the Hispanic electorate's resistance to tokenism, and since I know you're all salivating over that subject, off you go .
  • I Want Ignatius to Write My Biography

    David Ignatius has a totally bizarre op-ed today on why Americans have to stop desiring love from the rest of the planet because they just hate us no matter what we do -- counterintuitive, no? Unfortunately, in order to get there, Ignatius had to pen the type of op-ed in which the world warps and events are excised and the whole messy history of the five years gets distilled into a nice, clean, " America, FUCK YEAH! ", arc: For a people who want to be loved as much as Americans do, these are trying times. People around the world see our troubles in Iraq and say we had it coming. They hear us talk about Arab democracy and think we're trying to steal their oil. Some even take a kind of perverse satisfaction in seeing us battered by monster hurricanes. [...] An uncharitable world expects America to act in its own interests, and so we should. We promote democracy and anti-terrorism not because these are universal ideals, but because they serve America's need for a more stable world. We...
  • I Know, I Know

    I have approximately a million e-mails sitting in my inbox, so to all of you who sent me something and haven't gotten a reply, rest assured I'm trudging through the backlog. Finals/moving/life had the impudence to intrude till now.
  • A Vast, America-Transcending Conspiracy?

    I want Jeff Session to elaborate on this : “I think it is shocking that Democrats would treat [Soros] as a mainstream force of Democratic politics,” said Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.). “He has an agenda that transcends American interests.” Is Sessions picking back up on Hastert's implication that Soros is a drug dealer? Is he calling the world's most generous and committed financier of democracy projects in post-Soviet states a Communist? Is he calling him a Nazi, a one-worlder, a fascist, a founding member of the Bilderberg Group , an Annunaki lizard from the fourth-dimension? What does "transcends American interests" even mean? I'm giving Sessions' office a call to find out. When they give me an answer, I'll let you know.
  • Bleeding-Heart Bush

    Some days, you look at our government run by plutocrats, our media populated by faux-centrist hacks, and our agencies led by college-era cronies of campaign contributors and liberalism really does look dead. And then, some days you hear the President's animatronic press secretary justifying union-busting on grounds of affirmative action and you realize, no, it's not dead, it just went to a Republican kegger and ended up really, really, cracked out: MR. McCLELLAN: The Davis-Bacon. Well, what -- Q Which is a wage cut. MR. McCLELLAN: We suspended that act for the reasons that we stated previously. This will open up access to more business -- small businesses, including women-owned and minority-owned businesses. It cuts through the red tape and helps us move forward quickly to address the needs of the people in the region and to provide substantial savings. We're talking about savings here in terms of spending. That's an important part of that, too. Q But how does lowering people's wages...
  • Silly Rabbit, Growth is for Kids!

    To extend on this bit of Germany vs. India idiocy; rapid economic growth is quite a bit easier in very poor countries than in highly developed nations. Think of it in terms of human growth: a baby grows faster than you do, as does a tot, a child, and a teen. But they don't keep growing faster than you . At a point, easy growth gets tapped out and continued enlargement becomes markedly harder. In nations like India and China, where hundreds of millions live in abject poverty and the technologies that improve productivity have barely penetrated, there are a lot of easy gains to be made -- the poor work for cheap and improving their output is trivial. But once India or China or Singapore or Ireland hit Germany's standard of living, growth will slow to more earthbound rates. That's not to say Germany couldn't grow quicker, but it is to say that comparing it to India or China is like raging at your five year old for having more momentum on the height-chart than you.
  • Now How'd That Happen?

    This is pretty funny. From Operation Offset, the Republican attempt to solve Katrina by cutting government waste: The recently passed FY06 Highway Bill, also known as TEA-LU, contained more than 6,000 earmarks, worth nearly $25 billion. Some of the most egregious examples include $200 million for the “bridge to nowhere,” a bridge in Alaska that would serve an island with 50 residents, $75 million for metro extension in Washington, D.C., $15 million to purchase three ferries and establish a ferry system from Rockaway Peninsula to Manhattan, New York, and $2.5 million for the Blue Ridge Music Center. For comparison, the 1998 transportation bill was considered a major budget buster at the time with 1,850 earmarks and a veto threat from President Clinton. In just seven years, Congress has added over 4,000 earmarks to the bill. Savings: $25 billion over ten years. And since the 1998 transportation bill, we've had a Republican take control of the executive branch, increased Republican...
  • Redefining Waste

    Matt notes that an absurdly large proportion of the Republican Conference's waste-cutting ideas involve slicing big chunks out of Medicaid because, apparently, health care for the needy is waste. Yeah, yeah, par for the course. Unfortunately, the Republican majority clearly hasn't checked with Health and Human Services to figure out how they're providing the displaced with medical care. Hint: It's Medicaid: The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has acted to assure that the Medicare, Medicaid and State Children’s Health Insurance Programs will flex to accommodate the emergency health care needs of beneficiaries and medical providers in the Hurricane Katrina devastated states. Many of the programs’ normal operating procedures will be relaxed to speed provision of health care services to the elderly, children and persons with disabilities who depend upon them. Because of hurricane damage to local health care facilities, many beneficiaries have been evacuated to neighboring...
  • Hurricane Burger King -- Have It Your Way, Louisiana!

    Over at HuffPo , Josh writes: With Rita barreling towards Galveston and the likely potential for Stan, Tammy, Vince and Wilma to materialize out of the Atlantic, the National Hurricane Center is preparing to resort to Greek letters in case of a fifth storm. It would be the first Hurricane Alpha, and at this pace, Alpha may be followed by Hurricanes Beta, Gamma, and so on. But doesn't that seem like a waste when you think of all the money that could be made opening up the process to corporate sponsorships? That's right: let's bring the market to the final frontier and start selling weather. If nature hands us a few meteorological lemons, I say let's make some corporate lemonade! It'd be great exposure; just attach your company name, new product, or catchy slogan to a budding storm for a week-long blitz of name recognition. Boeing needs to promote a brand new plane? Just think how many people will hear about Tropical Storm Boeing 797 as it picks up windspeed, threatens the eastern...