Archive for April 2nd, 2007

Monday Media Blogging – Supplemental

I’m sure you’re all familiar with the terribly witty and sophisticated “My Humps”, by the Black-Eyed Peas, yes?

Well, the shadowy and mysterious Codename V. has tipped me off to an alternative version by Alanis Morissette (yes, for real), that simply must be experienced:

(Note: Do not grab Alanis’s ass. She Will Hurt You.)

And then there’s this:

None of this is my fault.

4 comments April 2nd, 2007 at 10:25pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Monday Media Blogging


I don’t have any point to make here, other than that Katie Couric officially scares the hell out of me now, in a Joker-meets-Medusa kind of way…

9 comments April 2nd, 2007 at 07:01pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Media,TV,Wankers

Rudy Giuliani, Crack Prosecutor

Please tell me there are pictures of this…

[Then-U.S. Attorney] Giuliani in 1986 donned a Hells Angels vest and sunglasses and traveled with the similarly disguised Senator Alfonse M. D’Amato to Washington Heights to buy crack.

Better yet – is there video? Rudy and Al trying to score crack would be one of the funniest YouTubes ever.

3 comments April 2nd, 2007 at 05:54pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Republicans,Wankers,Weirdness

The Grand Old Party’s Over

Krugman thinks the Republicans have boxed themselves into a corner. I sure hope he’s right.

In 1980, when Ronald Reagan won the White House, conservative ideas appealed to many, even most, Americans. At the time, we were truly a middle-class nation. To white voters, at least, the vast inequalities and social injustices of the past, which were what originally gave liberalism its appeal, seemed like ancient history. It was easy, in that nation, to convince many voters that Big Government was their enemy, that they were being taxed to provide social programs for other people.

Since then, however, we have once again become a deeply unequal society. Median income has risen only 17 percent since 1980, while the income of the richest 0.1 percent of the population has quadrupled. The gap between the rich and the middle class is as wide now as it was in the 1920s, when the political coalition that would eventually become the New Deal was taking shape.

And voters realize that society has changed. They may not pore over income distribution tables, but they do know that today’s rich are building themselves mansions bigger than those of the robber barons. They may not read labor statistics, but they know that wages aren’t going anywhere: according to the Pew Research Center, 59 percent of workers believe that it’s harder to earn a decent living today than it was 20 or 30 years ago.


But today’s Republicans can’t respond in any meaningful way to rising inequality, because their activists won’t let them. You could see the dilemma just this past Friday and Saturday, when almost all the G.O.P. presidential hopefuls traveled to Palm Beach to make obeisance to the Club for Growth, a supply-side pressure group dedicated to tax cuts and privatization.

The Republican Party’s adherence to an outdated ideology leaves it with big problems. It can’t offer domestic policies that respond to the public’s real needs. So how can it win elections?

The answer, for a while, was a combination of distraction and disenfranchisement.

[Insert 9/11 Terra Terra Terra and Republican efforts to suppress minority votes via state and DoJ action here]

The good news is that all the G.O.P.’s abuses of power weren’t enough to win the 2006 elections. And 2008 may be even harder for the Republicans, because the Democrats — who spent most of the Clinton years trying to reassure rich people and corporations that they weren’t really populists — seem to be realizing that times have changed.

A week before the Republican candidates trooped to Palm Beach to declare their allegiance to tax cuts, the Democrats met to declare their commitment to universal health care. And it’s hard to see what the G.O.P. can offer in response.

I think the Republicans are likely to try one (or two) of two things: Either try to water down and co-opt Democratic ideas in a form that will benefit their corporate and religious constituencies (i.e., something like the Medicare Bill on steroids, where the government pays some of the bill, but there’s no attempt to leverage the government’s bargaining power, and any family planning other than abstinence education is excluded)…

Or they simply continue to do what they always do, and turn the volume up to 11. Terrorists will be THE GREATEST EXISTENTIAL THREAT OUR NATION HAS EVER KNOWN OMG, and Democrats will personally escort them into our country and offer them complimentary flying lessons. Gay marriage will be THE GREATEST EXISTENTIAL THREAT THE INSTITUTION OF MARRIAGE HAS EVER KNOWN OMG… and so on.

And, of course, while they’re whipping their own base into a voting frenzy, they’ll be accusing the Democratic candidates of cannibalism, bestiality, and devil worship, and deploying barbed wire in front of minority-district polling places (for protection against terrorist attacks that they have a terribly reliable secret tip about), and doing everything else they can think of to suppress or steal the Democratic vote.

I’m not sure how much of the co-optation strategy the Republicans will employ, but I will be genuinely shocked if they don’t go all-out with the fear, smear, and suppress strategy. It’s difficult to imagine anything worse than 2004, but it will be. The difference will be that the Democrats should see it coming this time, the Republicans will have far less crediblity and public support, and there will be a much more developed blogger and activist network on our side. Better yet, the Republicans won’t have a lapdog Congress willing to look the other way if there’s evidence of election shenanigans.

I think the Republicans’ choice in 2008 really will be whether they want to brand themselves as the party of cheaters and frothing madmen, or risk getting eaten alive by their own frothing madman pundits. Either way, I think they’re going to be in a very deep hole, and their best hope is if the Democrats voluntarily assume partial ownership of the Iraqupation, or any of Dubya’s other misbegotten popular ideas. (Note to Dems: Please do not worry about investigative overreach – the only way you’re going to piss off the majority of voters is if you pull your punches and let the Bushies off with an inconclusive slap on the wrist.)

4 comments April 2nd, 2007 at 05:42pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush,Constitution,Corruption/Cronyism,Elections,Media,Politics,Republicans,Rove

Electoral College Dropouts

E.J. Dionne has an interesting column in today’s WaPo about a strategy to short-circuit the Electoral College:

As someone who lives in Maryland, I am proud that my state may pioneer a process that could lead to popular election of the president. The state Senate passed a bill last Wednesday that would commit Maryland’s 10 electors to voting for the winner of the nationwide popular vote. The bill is expected to pass in the House of Delegates this week, and Gov. Martin O’Malley has said he would sign it.

The law would not take effect unless states representing a 270-vote electoral college majority pass similar laws. The idea is to create a compact among states genuinely committed to popular rule.

Yes, this is an effort to circumvent the cumbersome process of amending the Constitution. That’s the only practical way of moving toward a more democratic system. Because three-quarters of the states have to approve an amendment to the Constitution, only 13 sparsely populated states — overrepresented in the electoral college — could block popular election.

Remember, states get one electoral vote for each member of the House of Representatives plus both senators. No matter how small, every state has at least three electoral votes. The three electors from Wyoming, with an estimated 2006 population of 515,004, represent 171,668 people each. California, with a population of 36,457,549, gets 55 electors, each representing 662,865 people. A presidential vote cast in Wyoming thus has nearly four times the value of a vote in California.

The democratic solution is for legislatures to agree to use their electoral votes to support the winner nationally. Devised by John R. Koza, a consulting professor at Stanford University — he also invented the scratch-off lottery ticket — the idea has been advanced by the National Popular Vote campaign and, in Maryland, by state Sen. Jamie Raskin, a longtime champion of more democratic election and campaign finance laws. Comparable bills have been approved by one legislative chamber in Arkansas, Hawaii and Colorado.

I really like this idea. Not only does it break the power of the Electoral College, but it also breaks the veto power of the small-population states who benefit disproportionately from the Electoral College, and would therefore block any reform.

Yes, I know it could potentially result in candidates simply playing to maximize their vote totals in states like NY, CA or TX, but even if so (which I doubt), is that really any worse than the situation that we have now, where voters in those states (and other solidly red or blue ones) have absolutely no say at all in who gets to be president? I think this would improve turnout, especially in non-swing states, and allow voters across the country to really participate in the presidential election process, rather than simply going through the expected motions.

3 comments April 2nd, 2007 at 12:24pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Constitution,Elections,Politics

Monday Media Blogging – Bad Taste Edition

Two very different attempts to explain what Hitler’s problem was:
One of my all-time favorite fake commercials:

April 2nd, 2007 at 07:29am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Monday Media Blogging

More Wisdom


Ballard St. is a veritable font of it.

April 2nd, 2007 at 12:45am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Comics

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