Archive

  • Get Any Sleep?

    Not only is Bush a cold-hearted, callous dolt whose idealistic fog can't even be penetrated by a woman working three jobs , he's also wrong. He calls that uniquely American? Bullshit. I live in California and can assure you it's at least partially Mexican. By the way, I like Greg's game : choose your own answer to Bush's snappy parting remark, "get any sleep?" "Not really. Do you also find it weird that you run the entire country yet have time to read in the evenings and exercise in the mornings, while I work three jobs and can't even see my kids? Put yours in comments.
  • Being The Great Satan

    Early in Bush's first term, a friend of a friend had, through family connections, gotten a few minutes in the Oval Office with the guy. Bush, he said, was exactly as you'd expect. When he found that his guest was Californian, he leaned back in his chair and sighed, "You know, i just don't get that state. Everything I touch there turns to shit." True enough. But Bush's observation is more relevant to Iran than to the Golden State. Which is why the attention he's paying the country should strike fear into the heart of any dissident. Iranians don't much like their government, but they have a habit of rallying round it when foreigners judge it time to get involved. The government realizes both these things and so has made it common practice to redirect anger at Iran's high unemployment, poor economy, and choked-off cultural life towards the Great Satan and Evil Zionists who anchor them with sanctions and isolate them internationally. Publicly promising support for their dissidents simply...
  • Hillary And Deeaan, Sitting in a Tree...

    Via Steve Clemons , Marty Sieff's analysis of what Dean means for Hillary Clinton is quite good. His basic point is that Hillary will stroll to reelection in 2006 (adding evidence to the theory is her tremendous approval numbers and her easy lead in head-to-head match-ups with Giuliani) while Dems across the country fight it out. Dean, for his part, will run a hard-edged national strategy with more than a few pages coming from the Gingrich playbook. If his progressive bomb-throwing works, Hillary can easily adopt it. If Dean fails (and considering how tough the '06 map is [see Dayton's retirement below], he might be assuming an impossible task), Hillary can run as the heir of Third-Way liberalism. Good, even counterintuitive, stuff. But what surprises me if how little I've seen on the most obvious benefit Dean's DNC ascension confers on Hillary -- no Dean. Barring a Democratic revolution that reshapes the nation and wins both houses of Congress, he can't run in 2008. The absence of a...
  • One More For Privatization

    Dude, seeing surveillance photos of your kids at school is a pretty convincing rationale , if you ask me.
  • Draft David! And Garrison!

    In Minnesota, Mark Dayton has decided not to run for another seat, making the 2006 map considerably harder than it was yesterday. On the other hand, I've long heard rumors that Paul Wellstone's son David wants to run for the Senate. The word on him is good and his father's legacy would make him a formidable challenger. Maybe it's time to dust off the green bus? Or register http://www.draftdavid.com ? In addition, Garrison Keiller rumblings have begun, and anybody who's read his excellent book, Homegrown Democrat , knows he's a genius with framing and more than able to offhandedly ridicule and marginalize his hapless opponents. For instance, have any of your non-Obama candidates sounded this good lately? Medicare says that even though you're not working and may need special help with the ordinary business of life, you have value in this society. This is a Democratic idea. Be a howling right-winger if it gives you pleasure, but nonetheless milk comes from cows and Medicare comes from...
  • Kiss My Ass -- No New Taxes

    Brad Plumer's noticed a problem : I'm a bit confused as to what Congressional Republicans think would make for a better budget. It seems that the two primary objections from President Bush's own party are: cuts to particular programs, and the yawning federal budget deficit, which the budget doesn't really cure. Okay. But then a sizeable majority of Congressional Republicans have also signed a pledge not to increase taxes. So that solution's out. Meanwhile, cutting discretionary spending even further will only yield very tiny reductions in the deficit. And Bush's two big entitlement "reforms"—including last year's Medicare bill, which will cost $400 billion over the next five years alone, and his vague hints at a proposed Social Security plan, which will cost $4.5 trillion over the next 25 years—will only expand the deficit by huge amounts. So where is fiscal sanity supposed to fit come from? Fairy-land? There was a time when that question had an answer. Republicans who'd been cornered...
  • Sentences That Reveal My Dearth of Artistic Knowledge

    Damn, that's a cool painting .
  • High-Risk Blogging

    Wow. This LA Times op-ed is quite brave. It's from an Iranian blogger who spent 36 days in jail for criticizing the regime on her website. Having confessed to her sins, she's now awaiting trial, which probably won't go well for her either. With all that swirling around her, publishing this critique in a major American newspaper (which the American-obsessed Iranians surely keep tabs on) seems like a bad idea, but no one can doubt its courage. Make it worth her while and read the piece .
  • Second Term Econ

    Remember that time when the Bush administration silenced an actuary and lied $100 billion off the cost of Medicare reform so Congress would pass it? That was fun, even quaint. But this is a brave new second term world, baby! And $100 billion bucks ain't shit to these guys, so now they're saying they lowballed by $670 billion. Yowza! That's second term economics for ya! Bam! But second term dynamics shouldn't be forgotten, either. Because right now the Bushies are doggedly trying to ram Social Security privatization through, and having little luck with it. As you followers of Josh Marshall know, the most effective, and common, Republican beg-off has been "y'know, yeah, good idea, but a bit later when the deficit looks smaller". Looks like a bit later just got a lot later, and the Conscience Caucus has found itself a rallying cry. What's that Rahm Emanuel? You want to close this one out? Do it, buddy: "If you're looking for a crisis, I would suggest you look at a crisis that was self-...
  • Opposite Day

    Sam Rosenfeld, talking about Republicans playing the race card, says : I’ve yet to hear any conservative offer a principled defense of a tactic that Republican politicians and right-wing pundits have come to use more and more over the years. Nor have I seen enough attention paid, by anybody, to a development that extends beyond the conserve-race card: In a whole array of arenas, conservatives are now the ones most likely to employ a politics of victimhood and grievance -- the persecuted Christian! the intolerant academy! the oppressive elite of blue America! -- to try to foreclose substantive debate over issues and subsume political disputes into zero-sum battles of culture and identity. The conservo-race card is only the most obvious (and obviously cynical) manifestation of this kind of right-wing identity politics. If it wasn't so corrosive, it'd be really funny. More and more, Republicans have come to embody everything they project onto others. They call liberals big-spenders then...

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