Archive for December 19th, 2008

Friday Quote & Lizard Blogging

This week’s quote is from Topsy-Turvy, about Gilbert & Sullivan’s production of The Mikado:

The builder was much bemused.  “What’s the point of having a bathroom to every bedroom?  Who’s going to be staying there?  Amphibians?”

And, of course, there’ll be other people’s… reptiles.

* WPG2 Plugin Not Validated *

1 comment December 19th, 2008 at 11:13pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Friday Quote & Cat Blogging,La Jolla/San Diego,Photoblogging

Liberals Gain A Powerful New Ally In The War Against Christmas


Bat Boy Card

1 comment December 19th, 2008 at 10:10pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Coolness,Religion,Republicans,Weekly World News,Weirdness

Wanker Of The Day

John McCain:

John McCain is leading the way, saying it is “unacceptable that we would leave the American taxpayer with a tab of tens of billions of dollars while failing to receive any serious concessions from the industry.”

I guess that kind of blank check is only acceptable when the tab is hundreds of billions.

December 19th, 2008 at 09:19pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Uncategorized

Best. Baseball Card. Ever.

Glenn Hubbard’s 1984 Fleer card:

Hubbard Snake
That is just all kinds of awesome.

Mickey Hatcher’s 1986 Fleer probably deserves at least an honorable mention:

Hatcher Glove
That’s a mighty big glove right there.

(h/t Jesse Spector and Oldy Foldy)

2 comments December 19th, 2008 at 06:22pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Coolness,Sports,Weirdness

Kiss Right, Kick Left

You’ve heard the phrase “Kiss up, kick down” used to describe someone who sucks up to those above them and abuses those below?  Well, turn that on its side, and you’ve got Obama and the Democratic Party:

Embracing someone like Warren is no more “inclusive” than inviting a White Supremacist or, for that matter, a Christian-hater to deliver the invocation.  People like that espouse views that are shared by many Americans; why not include them, too, or have Pat Robertson deliver a nice prayer?  Obama’s “inclusiveness” mantra always seems to head only in one direction — an excuse to scorn progressives and embrace the Right. Not even Bill Clinton’s most extreme Dick-Morris-led “triangulation” tactics involved an attempt to court Jerry Falwell.

In fact, as Chris Bowers suggests, this may actually be a calculated political strategy:

This morning, First Read argues that there are clear benefits for Democrats who are able to generate public, left-wing outrage against their actions:

When liberals attack: Axelrod and Gibbs have to be smiling this morning with the news that gay-rights groups are angry that Obama has announced that conservative evangelical Rick Warren will give the invocation at Obama’s inauguration. Why are they smiling? Because it never hurts — at least when it comes to governing or running for re-election — when you sometimes disappoint/anger your party’s interest groups (in this case, People for the American Way and the Human Rights Campaign).

This is a widely held view, and is openly shared by Democrats as high ranking as Rahm Emanuel. As long as the generation of public, left-wing outrage toward their actions is understood to be politically beneficial to Democrats, then many Democrats will continue to undertake actions that have the direct or indirect goal of generating public, left-wing outrage at their actions. This is pretty straightforward. As long as the cost of annoying progressives is not only zero, but actually a net positive, then Democrats will continue to annoy progressives ad infinitum.

In other words, however screwed-up their reasoning (I think it basically boils down to “Everyone hates liberals!”) Democrats have convinced themselves that repeatedly pissing off their base is a brilliant idea.  The fact that most of them hate our guts probably makes it much easier for them to believe this.  Bowers goes on to argue, and I agree with him, that the only way to stop them is to change the perceived outcome of progressive-poking from a net positive to a net negative, primarily by primarying the progressive-pokers.

Bowers focuses on the negative-reinforcement aspect of primarying anti-progressive Democrats, but an equally important aspect is our need to show political muscle and brains.  Democrats fold again and again because they crave the money and clout of the business interests, and they believe that we’re such suckers, and so afraid of Republicans, that we’ll continue to vote for them and give them our time and money no matter what they do.  They believe they have impunity, and when that replaces accountability, representative democracy dies.

Progressives need to demonstrate, again and again until the Democrats get the message, that we are electorally indispensable – that we can push candidates over the top, and shoot them back down.  Look at how the Republicans defer to the religious right.   They depend on them for boots on the ground, and they’ll stay home if they consider a candidate… unsuitable.  That’s why Mitt Romney had to give his “I’m just as intolerant as you are!” speech.  That’s why McCain got saddled with Sarah Palin.  Did Obama choose a progressive darling for his running mate?  No, his campaign floated names like Hillary, Evan Bayh, and Tim Kaine, and finally settled on Joe Biden – mostly not a bad guy (*cough cough Bankruptcy Bill! cough cough cough*), but certainly not a progressive.

Our party simply does not take us seriously, and they never will they until they believe that they can’t win elections without our enthusiastic support.  Of course, that’s easy enough to say – the challenge is figuring out how to get there.

11 comments December 19th, 2008 at 11:39am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Obama,Politics,Religion,Teh Gay,Wankers

Wanker Of The Day

Shorter Rick Hertzberg: Democracy is boring.

Governor David Paterson… has been pondering whom to appoint to replace Senator Hillary Clinton… According to press reports, the list of possibilities under consideration is as strikingly unimaginative as if the choice were being made in the usual way—i.e., by the people, as mediated through and manipulated by party primaries, fundraising prowess, non-stop polling, ethnic entitlement, and regional balancing. “Among the governor’s inner circle, there is a desire to pick someone from upstate New York, since the region has no representation in statewide office,” the Times reports. “A woman or a Latino would also be desirable.” The current roster (with accompanying parochial concerns) includes at least three members of Congress (one female and upstate, one female and Hispanic, one just upstate), two city executives (one upstate, one Hispanic), one labor leader (the teachers’ union), and two dynasts (one Cuomo, one Kennedy). The Cuomo is Andrew, the state’s elected attorney general. The Kennedy—and the only choice on the list that qualifies as even marginally adventurous—is Caroline, a reticent and intelligent woman who made a splashy political début this year as a campaigner for Obama.

What if Governor Paterson, prompted by the squalor of his Illinois colleague’s maneuverings, were to put aside mundane calculations and take full advantage of his theoretically unfettered freedom of choice? The Senate was originally conceived as a sort of chamber of notables, but most of its members, over the years, have been notable mainly for their mediocrity.

He then goes on to present a (hopefully) tongue-in-cheek list of personages he considers more interesting, most of whom are even less qualified to be Senators than Caroline Kennedy.  Kareem Abdul-Jabbar?  Lou Reed?  Joe Torre?

Perhaps I’ve missed the point, but I always thought that Senators should be chosen based on their competence rather than their Q Rating.  Sure, appointing another elected official to replace Hillary is an uninspired choice, but it sure beats most of the alternatives.  Also, bear in mind that Paterson presumably wants to appoint someone who can get re-elected, so all of those electability calculations are still in play – it’s just that Paterson has to project them out for 2010 because the voters can’t make their choice today.

(An alternate possibility is that Hertzberg is making a sly and accurate commentary on the shallowness of the media rather than embodying it, but I’m just not seeing it.)

1 comment December 19th, 2008 at 07:14am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Media,Politics,Wankers

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