Archive for January 30th, 2008

They Write Letters

A couple of interesting letters to the NYT in response to Monday’s State Of The Union address:

Of the many vexing comments in President Bush’s final State of the Union address, the one I find particularly off-putting is this: “Others have said they would personally be happy to pay higher taxes. I welcome their enthusiasm. I’m pleased to report that the I.R.S. accepts both checks and money orders.”

I am one of those citizens who are happy to pay taxes to support the functioning of our country and aid my fellow Americans, and am deeply offended by the president’s mockery of these sentiments.

Apparently the Bushies believe that paying taxes should be a matter of “personal virtue,” just like energy conservation.

And then there’s this”

In “The Bush Who Got Away” (Op-Ed, Jan. 28), Jacob Weisberg describes the compassionate conservative George W. Bush might have been as president.

Aside from the obvious issues of 9/11 and the subsequent Iraq war, one of the main reasons this compassionate conservatism never came to fruition is that President Bush served for six years with a very conservative Republican-controlled Congress that had only a passing interest in his compassionate conservative initiatives.

By the time the Democrats regained control of Congress, the war and its attendant huge yearly deficits and partisan acrimony dominated the political discourse.

One can only imagine how the Bush presidency might have differed had he served the first six years with a Democratic Congress.


Bush really truly wanted to be a moderate, but those mean nasty Republicans in Congress forced him to be an asshole! Good thing he can show his true compassionate conservative colors now that Congress is in Democratic hands, right? Right?

Oh, and Bernie Sanders writes letters too:

Over the last seven years, nearly five million Americans slipped out of the middle class and into poverty; median household income for working-age Americans declined by nearly $2,500; 8.6 million Americans lost their health insurance; three million manufacturing jobs disappeared; and more than three million workers lost their pensions.

True, some of the richest Americans have not had it so good since the Roaring Twenties. But while the wealthiest .01 percent realized an average one-year increase in their income of $4.4 million from 2004-5, the bottom 90 percent of Americans saw their average income decline by $172.

Funny how the .01% have so much more influence on government than the 90% – I coulda sworn that we all just get the one vote…

5 comments January 30th, 2008 at 10:06pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Bush

This Site Could Save Your Life

If your world has been spinning out of control, this site here can help you to feel like yourself again. I promise, you’ll thank me.

This has been a Multi Medium public service announcement.

(h/t MSN/PC World)

10 comments January 30th, 2008 at 07:10pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Weirdness

John McCain Knows What Americans Want

Because Americans hate their jobs and crave excitement:

“What does he say? The jobs are never coming back, the illegals are never going home, but we’re gonna have a lot more wars,” Buchanan said of McCain. Scarborough remarked that McCain’s “inviting” presidential platform for the fall consists of “less jobs and more wars” :

BUCHANAN: Here’s a guy, basically, what does he say? The jobs are never coming back, the illegals are never going home, but we’re gonna have a lot more wars.

SCARBOROUGH: We’re gonna start a lot of wars! He has promised, for the record Keith, John McCain’s platform – and it certainly looks inviting for the fall – he has promised less jobs and more wars. Now that’s something we can all rally behind.


While campaigning in Michigan earlier this month, McCain said some Michigan industries cannot be resurrected. “I’ve got to give you some straight talk: Some of the jobs that have left the state of Michigan are not coming back,” he said.

And just this weekend, McCain told a crowd of supporters, “There’s going to be other wars. … I’m sorry to tell you, there’s going to be other wars. We will never surrender but there will be other wars.”

Hooray for war and unemployment! Of course, if you have enough war, you don’t have to worry about unemployment so much. Maybe that’s McCain’s genius economic plan: if a huge chunk of the population is in the military, that means more civilian jobs left over for everyone else! Not to mention all the new jobs opening up at the munitions plant and Lockheed and Halliburton and Blackwater! Everybody wins!

25 comments January 30th, 2008 at 11:17am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Elections,Iran,Iraq,McCain,Media,Politics,Republicans,War

Racism Is Dead! Hooray!

So, apparently we’re in a “post-racial” era now. That whole racism thing just up and went away. Who knew?

I am so sick of hearing “post-racial” bleated in the MSM over and over, seemingly in a desperate attempt to see Barack Obama’s successes so far in garnering diverse support as a sign that somehow, voters are looking beyond race. If you listen to NPR’s Daniel Schorr’s “A New, ‘Post-Racial’ Political Era in America,” you’ll sit there with your jaw on the table. There’s no transcript up yet, but trust me, Mr. Schorr makes some broad assumptions from the results in Iowa and South Carolina.

The short version: “post-racial” means 1) the rejection/diminution of traditional civil rights leadership; 2) the younger generation drawn to Obama is if not color-blind, color-blurred; 3) this election cycle will see less of a focus on race.

Awesome. So how’s that working out, then?

Alec Baldwin shared this bit of business being published in his local (East Hampton, NY) right-leaning paper, The Independent.

On the heels of Barack Obama being endorsed for the presidency by the normally close-to-the-vest Caroline Kennedy, whose invocation of her father’s enduring legacy carries, in some people’s hearts and minds, more weight than any ten such endorsements by others, please read what the local Republicans in my home town are thinking, and publishing, about Senator Obama. This is, quite clearly, not to be believed.

This is what passes off as satire:

“The truth is, I don’t know many black people, but my advisers have drafted a strategy to reel in the black vote:
1) Call everyone ‘Brother.’ Blacks, I am told, do this even if most of their real brothers are in jail.
2) Talk Jive. Brothers want to hear jive. During my speech I told the crowd, ‘We be, you know, sick of whitey supressin’ and congestin’ so, you know, we won’t denigrate or sophisticate but emulate and populate, you know, the system is, like, broken, y’all!'”And, in reference to Hillary Clinton:
“Ultimately, if she gets too close, one of my New york advisors has advised me to ‘Bitch slap that ho.’ White women, I am told, like that.”


What I am saying is that the underlying reason for promoting “post-racial” (note you don’t see many blacks tossing that around) is more about wanting it to be true so badly so that race doesn’t have to be dealt with. It cuts both ways.

Note you will see folks on the right (and the Clinton camp) complaining that they “cannot talk about race” in regards to Obama. No, they feel they cannot successfully use the familiar political dog-whistles that evoke fear without getting called on it.

It all goes back to the fear of being labeled “racist.” It’s almost as if we need to come up with another term that doesn’t conjure up visions of Klan Night Riders, lest whites recoil at the mere thought that they can hold ingrained biases through no fault of their own by growing up in this culture.

You know, the Glorious Post-Racial Golden Age sure is looking an awful lot like the Pre-Post-Racial Era that preceded it. Hillary and her surrogates may be using dog whistles, but the right is still using air horns. If Obama wins, get ready for A Thousand Points Of Macaca. (And if Hillary wins, get ready for A Thousand Points Of Bitch.) It will not be subtle, but it will be laundered through surrogates to preserve the Republican nominee’s deniability. I’m hopeful that the sheer volume and shamelessness of it will generate a massive backlash among decent, non-racist voters, but they could just as easily stay home in disgust.

Pam’s assessment of the underlying reason for the “post-racial” meme is spot-on, I think. If you declare victory over racism, then you don’t have to fight it anymore. One of the cruel ironies in this country is that, as far as I can tell (and I am admittedly not an expert), racism has been almost completely eradicated… on paper. Jim Crow and miscegenation laws have been struck down, there are equal opportunity and desegregation and anti-discrimination laws, there’s even affirmative action. (Even in the case of immigration, the laws themselves are technically focused on country of origin rather than race or color; it’s the enforcement and rhetoric that are saturated with anti-Latino hatred.)

And yet, somehow, incredibly, actual not-on-paper, in-the-flesh racism is still alive and well. But the fact that it’s been wiped out on paper means that the white powers-that-be can say, “Hey, we outlawed racism; what more do you want from us? We’ve gone as far as the law will allow, so we’re done now. Mission accomplished.” But of course it’s not accomplished, because laws can’t touch the heart or the mind or the soul, and laws are worthless when they’re ignored, or enforced with malicious intent.

So that’s where we are now. Racism is over because we say it’s over. Next we’ll declare that sexism is over, homophobia is over, poverty is over, and the Iraqupation is over, and we’ll all live happily ever after.

Welcome to the Potemkin Post-Racial Era.

3 comments January 30th, 2008 at 07:07am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Elections,Media,Politics,Racism,Republicans,Wankers

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