Posts filed under 'Blogosphere'

Greatest Test Post Ever.

Yet another reason why my girlfriend is awesome:

I’m not a real post. I’m just a placeholder post so that the lovely girl who made this blog can test various templates with content. Someday my usefulness will come to an end, and I will be deleted. Relegated to the void from which there is no return. Alas. I should meditate on the transitory nature of the universe, and then maybe I’ll feel better about just being a test post. And really, I shouldn’t refer to myself as “just” a test post. Test posts serve an important and valuable purpose! Without me, the wickedly intelligent and beautiful blog author wouldn’t have a clear idea of how the finished product will look. I’m useful! Vital, even! But still temporary. Ah, impermanence, the essential truth of all things. Sigh. I’ll stop moping about it now. You don’t care about the test post. Nobody cares about the test post.

It seemed a shame to let it just vanish into the ether with no one to remember it or mourn its passing.  So…

That’ll do, test post.  That’ll do.

3 comments January 15th, 2011 at 05:50pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Blogosphere,Coolness,Quotes

Melanie Sloan Calls Glenn Greenwald A Big Poopyhead

Boy, that CREW crew just gets uglier and uglier every day.  Last week this supposedly pro-transparency organization denounced WikiLeaks, comparing it unfavorably to Pentagon Papers leaker Daniel “Elsberg” (which even Ellsberg himself disagrees with), prompting Glenn Greenwald to resign from its board of directors, like so:

[T]he recent condemnation of WikiLeaks by Anne Weismann, purporting to speak on behalf of CREW, is both baffling and unacceptable to me. It is baffling because I cannot fathom how a group purportedly devoted to greater transparency in government could condemn an entity that has brought more transparency to governments and corporations around the world than any single other organization by far. And it is unacceptable to me because I believe defense of WikiLeaks has become one of the greatest and most important political causes that exists — certainly one to which I intend to devote myself — and I do not want to be affiliated with any group which works to undermine it.

I remain supportive of much of the work done by CREW and wish the organization nothing but the best.

In other words, “I can’t be party to this because it goes against everything I believe in, but CREW does good work and I wish them well,” which shows both integrity and class.  By contrast, CREW’s snippy good-riddance response sounds like something one of the Palins might post on Facebook:

CREW executive director Melanie Sloan responds that Greenwald’s resignation is “quite welcome.”

“Glenn is using CREW merely as a foil for his own press ambitions rather than to make any real policy points,” she said, adding that she learned of his resignation from the press.  ”This is the second time recently Glenn has chosen to take his disputes with CREW public without discussing them with us.”

She accused Greenwald and other progressives of “demonizing us for disagreeing” on WikiLeaks.

“I guess the current position du jour is ‘You’re supposed to be on WikiLeaks side no matter what, and if you are varying from that, you’re terrible, you’re awful, you’re evil,’” she said.

Wow.  She actually accuses Glenn Greenwald of being a self-promoting famewhore for standing up for his convictions, and then plays the victim card for being demonized for… demonizing WikiLeaks.

Stay classy, Melanie!  Uncle Lanny has taught you well!

(Crossposted at My FDL)

1 comment December 13th, 2010 at 07:36pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Blogosphere,Constitution,Politics,Wankers

Andrew Sullivan Sort Of Makes My Day

On the one hand, it’s gratifying that so many of us on the left have refused to abandon our principles and mindlessly support our party right or wrong like conservatives do.

On the other hand, it’s depressing that we find ourselves opposed to our president and party on a near-constant basis.  I think Digby and especially Balkin are a little bit off about the prospects of the Democrats ever showing any kind of backbone or unity in support of their own supposed ideals.  The fundamental problem is that as long as our campaign finance system (and the revolving door to the lucrative corporate/lobbying world) is thoroughly corrupt, both parties will be pressured to move to the right, especially on economic issues (social and military issues always seem to find a way to tag along for the ride).  Which is great for a party that’s supposed to be conservative, and incredibly destructive for a party that’s supposed to be progressive.

Put the two together, and you have progressive bloggers like Jane begging Obama and the rest of the ineffectual Democrats to show some guts and leadership for a change, and why their pleas will continue to fall on deaf ears.

4 comments December 2nd, 2010 at 07:38am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Blogosphere,Democrats,Obama,Politics,Wankers

It’s Hard Out Here For A Messenger

What Kos said:

Obama supporters, be pissed off… that Republicans are making a joke out of Obama, and that he’s enabling that. Don’t get pissed at those who point out what is painfully obvious. Us growing cadre of critics want Obama to succeed, and are screaming at him to quit this current path, because it leads to nothing but pain and suffering — otherwise known as President Palin.

Getting angry at progressives who point out that Obama sucks instead of at Obama for sucking is like, well, giving the Bush administration a free pass for torture and war crimes and then trying to prosecute Wikileaks.

December 1st, 2010 at 07:06am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Blogosphere,Democrats,Obama,Politics,Wankers

Wikileaks: Just Exactly Like Gawker

Just when I think Sarah Palin can’t possibly get any dumber…

“Inexplicable: I recently won in court to stop my book ‘America by Heart’ from being leaked, but US Govt can’t stop Wikileaks’ treasonous act?” Palin wrote on Twitter Monday morning, following the whistleblower site’s explosive publication of 250,000 classified documents.

Palin was referring to her own battle earlier this month against Gawker, which posted pages of her book online before its publication date.

Ah yes, of course.  Because a website located in America and subject to American laws is just exactly the same as a website which is, y’know, not.  Not to mention the fact that she didn’t prevent Gawker from leaking her book, she merely got them to take the excerpts down after they had already been posted for anyone to copy.

And my favorite part: Accusing a foreign website and a foreign national of treason.  Brilliant.

1 comment November 30th, 2010 at 07:39am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Blogosphere,Palin,Republicans,Wankers

Wanker Of The Day

Pennsylvania AG and Republican Gubernatorial candidate Tom Corbett:

Tom Corbett, current Attorney General of the state of Pennsylvania and Gubernatorial Candidate, has subpoenaed Twitter to appear as a Grand Jury witness to “testify and give evidence regarding alleged violations of the laws of Pennsylvania”.

The subpoena orders Twitter to provide “any and all subscriber information” of the person(s) behind two accounts – @bfbarbie and @CasaBlancaPA – who have been anonymously criticizing the man on the popular micro-sharing service.

According to the subpoena (embedded below), the information that Twitter is ordered to provide includes “name, address, contact information, creation date, creation Internet Protocol address and any and all log in Internet Protocol address”.

Because using your government office to prosecute and harass your political critics isn’t an abuse of power at all…

I hope this wanker goes down hard in November.

May 20th, 2010 at 11:27am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Blogosphere,Corruption/Cronyism,Elections,Pittsburgh/PA,Politics,Republicans,Wankers

Now They Tell Us…

As much as I would like to join Teddy in making fun of the conservative movement for relentlessly cheerleading the Bush administration when it was in power and now complaining that it wasn’t truly conservative, I can’t help but see parallels in all the progressives who are rationalizing and cheerleading Obama’s Republican healthcare bill, energy policies, and pretty much everything else.  Which is especially embarrassing because Obama is far more conservative than Bush was ever progressive.

I wonder, when they’re surveying the wreckage of the Obama administration 3-7 years from now, will his progressive apologists choose that moment to finally tell us that he failed because wasn’t really much of a progressive after all?

April 5th, 2010 at 07:16am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Blogosphere,Bush,Democrats,Media,Obama,Politics,Republicans,Rove,Wankers

Wait… What?

Marc Ambinder explains why Evan Bayh quit:

Bayh is an anomaly of sorts; he really grew to dislike the influence of liberal activists on his Senate colleagues. To him, these activists increased the cost of doing business. Reaching out to the other side became more risky than rallying around an ideological pole, even though that rallying around contributed to stasis. When it became clear to Bayh that the White House wasn’t going to play his game — wasn’t going to sell out liberals at every turn — Bayh decided he had had enough.

What on Earth is he talking about?  In what universe do liberal activists have influence on the Senate?  In what universe is Obama not selling us out at every turn?

This is a great time to be a conservative Democrat: You have a President and a Majority Leader who will bend over backwards to give you whatever you want, even if it means gutting the President’s signature objectives and campaign promises, and you’re quitting? It’s like Ben Nelson or Joe Lieberman walking away because they don’t think they have enough influence.

February 17th, 2010 at 11:24am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Blogosphere,Democrats,Media,Obama,Politics

Epic Analogy Fail

So Tucker Carlson’s conservative answer to the Huffington Post kicked off today, because if there’s the net doesn’t have enough of, it’s aggregations of right-wing wankers.  Exhibit A:

Legalized rape. What’s that you say? Rape isn’t sanctioned in this country? Then you must not live in a city with red-light or speed cameras, where it happens every day. Forget for a second that in one-fourth of all automated ticket cases, the ticketed  car owner wasn’t the one actually driving the vehicle at the time of the infraction (what other crime-fighting technology do we consider reliable that nabs the wrong person 25 percent of the time?) Just as heinous is that every year, more and more municipal governments pretend that they plant these all-seeing menaces in the interest of “safety.” Yet every year, their revenues tend to  increase from the very same technology. Meaning that the only deterrent effect the technology has is deterring your government from being honest about raping its own citizenry. If you’re going to slide me a roofie, Government, at least take me to dinner and a movie first.

Of course, this is both ridiculous and offensive.  Automated ticketing is nothing at all like rape – it’s more like the Holocaust.

Also, isn’t the GOP supposed to be the Law And Order “civil rights and due process are for pussies” party, or does that only apply to offenses committed by minorities and poor people?  Maybe these automated ticketing systems simply need to use some kind of cross-reference database so that they don’t send any tickets to rich white people, who were probably in a very legitimate hurry to do important rich white people things.  Or drunk.

January 11th, 2010 at 06:43pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Blogosphere,Media,Republicans,Sexism,Wankers

A Day Without Bitching Is Like A Day Without Sunshine

YouTube Preview Image

Hey, you know what would be the awfullest thing ever?  If we got single-payer healthcare, EFCA, ENDA, gay marriage, strong financial and environmental regulations, an end to the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, and prosecutions for all of BushCo’s criminals.  Why, us backseat bitchers wouldn’t know what to do with ourselves and would all become very sad.

So, to sum up Tweety’s argument:

o The netroots don’t really have anything substantive to complain about, we just complain for the sheer joy of complaining.

o The netroots never actually take any kind of action, just sit around and complain.  (Now, if he wanted to argue that we’re not nearly as effective at moving Congress or Obama than multimillion-dollar corporate donors and Fox News, I would probably have to concede that point.)

o The netroots know nothing about governance or campaigning, even though many of its members have run for office and/or worked in government for years.

o The people who actually do run our country have an abundance of both the desire and the knowledge to govern it, and are not just facilitating its continued looting by the aforementioned multimillion-dollar corporate donors.

o As usual, the Village and our professional political class are Serious; the netroots are Not.

That about cover it?

December 17th, 2009 at 06:54pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Blogosphere,Healthcare,Media,Politics,Wankers

Come To Think Of It, I’ve Never Seen Them Together…

The resemblance is uncanny!

If only I had the juice (and cash) of sick, bloviating, untethered-from-reality-and-the truth Glenn Beck! The New York Times Opinionator Tobin Harshaw compares my call to shut down the gAyTM to the radical, racist, bigoted diatribes of Glenn Beck. His reasoning?

We know that hard-line conservatives are riled up. But so are hard-left Democrats and their gay allies.”

Who knew my statement was equivalent to the nut-teabaggers and a radical call to arms:

(…)

She offers a call to arms along the lines of MoveOn’s:

I don’t know about you, but at the very least, it’s a peek at the kind the two-timing that goes on in national politics with constituencies they find “troublesome” or a perceived “liability” (save the $$$, of course). The difference is that the peek inside makes you realize how easily you’ve been had …Shut the gAyTM down; only give directly to candidates and organizations you believe are truly working in your best interest. Not a penny to the DNC; it’s the only leverage you have as an average citizen. The big donors in our community have to take a stand on this kind of nonsense, otherwise, they are enabling this kind of treatment of our community. It’s party-building at our expense each and every time …

Pam, you may not like to hear it, but that last line could just as easily have come from Glenn Beck. Just goes to show: it may be entertaining to watch your enemies rip themselves apart, but you might just want to keep an eye on the guy to your left.

What.

Apparently, saying “Let’s stop giving money to people who repeatedly take advantage of us” is exactly the same as saying that the president hates white people, organizing hate rallies, and rolling out a new insane black-UN-helicopters-are-trying-to-fluoridate-our-water-for-one-world-government conspiracy theory every night.  Who knew?

November 9th, 2009 at 09:01pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Blogosphere,Media,Republicans,Teh Gay,Wankers

Wanker Of The Day

Anonymous White House “adviser” (and probably Obama, if this is an accurate reflection).

So does this mean that President Obama thinks Candidate Obama is part of the “internet left fringe”?

UPDATE: Well, at least the White House is saying the right thing now – I guess they’ve decided that maybe they shouldn’t go out of their way to antagonize the netroots any more than they already have.  That’s nice.

October 12th, 2009 at 10:06am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Blogosphere,Media,Obama,Politics,Teh Gay,Wankers

Refreshing!

Chris Bowers has a somewhat different, but equally positive, take from mine on Alan Grayson kicking the Republicans’ ass:

Usually when Republicans and conservative media join together to throw a coordinated hissy fit against something “outrageous” a Democrat has said, it resulted in apologies (John Kerry in 2006), resignations (Van Jones) and public condemnations in Congress (MoveOn.org). Yesterday, however, Republicans actually backed down from their hissy fit when Rep. Alan Grayson stood up to them. Even as Grayson intensified his rhetoric, Republicans withdrew their resolution to condemn him on the House floor.

That just does not happen often enough.  Grayson laughed in their faces instead of cringing and begging for forgiveness, and it worked out pretty well.  Bowers goes on to point out Grayson’s specific tactics, which are very shrewd and, in fact, rather similar to those used very effectively by the Republicans themselves, i.e., use the firestorm of attention to your advantage, and rely on your outside messaging help in the media and the blogosphere.

It is a landmark moment for a freshman Democrat from a marginal, R+2 district to win a rhetorical fight with the Republican smear machine like this. Hopefully, it will become a teachable moment for other Democrats in Congress.

God, I hope so.  Imagine a world where all Democrats understand that the only way to make Republicans stop beating them up is to stand their ground and hit back.  I wonder if it’s too late to train Harry Reid…

2 comments October 1st, 2009 at 06:42pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Blogosphere,Democrats,Politics,Republicans

Who Watches The Watchmen?

In the process of taking Joe Klein to the woodshed for being a tool and impugning his patriotism, Glenn Greenwald sums up in a few paragraphs what I’ve been trying to say for the past few years:

Establishment journalists have a very significant impact on the world.  They enthusiastically believe that to be true when it comes time to building their egos and establishing their own importance, but they instantly and emphatically deny it when it comes time to holding them accountable for what they do (don’t you have anything better to do than criticize the media?).  Their influence, thankfully, has eroded and continues to erode by the minute, but it’s still substantial.  That’s why entire industries exist, and vast resources are expended by the powerful and wealthy, to manage, manipulate and control what they say.

What they do and how they think matters.  They’re the filters through which the citizenry hears about and understands the actions of the government.  They can illuminate or deceive, disrupt or enable wrongdoing by the powerful, refute or amplify propaganda, expand or narrow the scope of accepted ideas.  They play a major role in whether we start wars, torture people, live under lawless leaders, maintain massive wealth disparities, allow a tiny group of corporations to own and control government. They constantly go on TV.  Their claims are aired to millions.  They’re given access to the most powerful people.  They’re the public face and voice of the largest and most powerful corporations in the world. They’re paid a lot of money.

It’s every bit as legitimate — and as vital — to hold them accountable as it is political officials themselves.  Far more than they are “outsiders,” they are now appendages of — spokespeople for — the political and financial establishment itself, as much as a Cabinet Secretary or White House Chief of Staff or an official in a large corporation.  I don’t see “political officials” and “establishment journalists” as two separate groups; I view them as merged, with the latter being important facilitators of (servants to) the former (which is why they’re able so easily to switch from one to the other).  That’s why I write as much as I do about media behavior.  What I learned from the very first political controversy on which I worked intensely as a blogger (the warrantless eavesdropping scandal) — when establishment pundits (including Klein) rushed forward virtually in unison to insist that Bush had done nothing wrong by breaking the law — media behavior can’t be extricated from any issue.  It shapes and determines all of them.

The media are supposed to be one of the critical mechanisms of accountability in this country, explaining and exposing the activities of corporations and government.  But they have become their willing agents instead (although they generally only protect the government so long as the government is acting to preserve corporate interests).  So now we are in the rather absurd position of requiring an accountability mechanism for our accountability mechanism.  Awesome.

(Parenthetical thought: In a sane and just world with a straight-shooting media, would George W. Bush be an even remotely electable presidential candidate?)

September 1st, 2009 at 10:00pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Blogosphere,Corruption/Cronyism,Media

Fun Times At Netroots Nation

It was a pretty eventful evening tonight.  First I rescued El Medico Dean, whose handler called Marcy Wheeler in a panic because they got lost on the way to Democracy For America Happy Hour, and I was able to successfully direct them where they had to go.  Not as easy as it sounds – I’m not a native Pittsburgher, and downtown by the river isn’t an area I’m real familiar with.  (Gregg recommended that I embellish the story, so I considered saying that Dean called me personally, in tears, but decided against it.)

After that, it was on to PNC Park for batting practice and shagging fly balls, which was AWESOME.  My batting was Epic Fail (only made weak contact with one pitch), but I always need a lot of tuning before I can hit worth a damn.  After shaking the fielding rust off, I was able to return to my usual softball form, which is, well, still pretty awful.  The highlight was falling over backward and hitting my head on the warning track catching a fly ball, but I did catch it.  I shagged for about two hours, and now my feet are very stinky… and I’m still fishing outfield dirt out of my hair.

Also, I’ve been on C-Span twice now, once taking pictures at the Clinton keynote, and once packing up and leaving Christy’s panel as they showing everything winding down.  I can also be seen walking away in this photo here – that’s me in my favorite green bowling shirt walking away, upper middle.

Oh, and I made my hotel reservations for my baby sister’s wedding.  W00t!!!

6 comments August 14th, 2009 at 11:13pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Blogosphere

Sara Robinson Wants The Right-Wing To Declare Themselves

She appears to be a teensy bit irritated with their nudge-nudge-wink-wink game of inciting hatred and then indignantly denying all responsibility when that hatred turns into violence.

Dear Conservatives:

Your fellow Americans demand an answer — and we want it now. Just one simple question:

Are you deliberately trying to start a civil war?

Just answer the question. Yes or no. Don’t insult us with elisions, evasions, dithering, qualifications, or conditional answers. We need to know what your intentions are — and we need to know NOW. People are being shot dead in the streets of America at the rate of several per month now. You may not want responsibility for this — but the whackadoodles pulling the triggers make no bones about who put them up to this.

You did.

(…)

If your answer is yes, then stop this cowardly half-assed screwing around. You speak the language of war and honor; but the honor code of the warriors you pretend to revere demands that you declare your intentions. If you really believe that the only way to get the America you want is to negate a fair election, shred the Constitution, and violently cleanse the country of everyone who doesn’t agree with you, then man up and get on with it. If it’s a shooting war you want, do not doubt that there are plenty of progressives who will oblige you. If this goal is so important that you’re really willing to kill for it, please don’t forget that you will also need to be willing to die for it. Because, like martyrs Greg McKendry and Steven Johns proved, we are willing to do whatever is necessary to stop you.

If your answer is no, then you have just one other choice. Knock off the tantrums, grow up, rebuild your party, come back to the table, and sit down and govern with us. (We know this will be a stretch, but we think some of you are capable of it.) You will need to learn, many of you for the first time, to get your way as adults do — without fear-based politics, polarizing rhetoric, on-air threats against those who disagree with you, and repeating outrageous lies in the face of stone facts and irrefutable evidence.

And most of all: you need to stop feeding the crazies. You need to disavow them in every way possible — sincerely, emphatically, and with full awareness that every time one of these people acts, it destroys the credibility of “conservatives,” “Republicans,” and “the right wing” in the eyes of the country. You cannot assassinate your way back to power. And don’t doubt for a moment that the majority of Americans — even those who agree with your ideas — will abandon your cause forever once it realizes that’s what you’re trying to do.

Since you’re the ones funding the violent radicals on your flank, you need to stop sending them money. Since you know far more about their activities than any one else, you need to be the ones who turn them in. Since you’re the ones who make heroes and martyrs out of them, you need to be the ones who call them out as criminals. Until you do this — consistently, wholeheartedly, and responsibly — we can only conclude that these assassins are operating with your support and approval, and that you are intentionally trying to start an armed revolution in America.

There’s a lot more great stuff in the middle, so read the whole thing.  It’s very hard to believe the right wing’s protestations of innocence when they do so little to dampen or repudiate the crazies.

June 12th, 2009 at 09:13pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Blogosphere,Politics,Racism,Republicans,Sexism,Teh Gay

Website Of The Month

pregnant-trashy-couple

Awkward Family Photos.com.

Wow.

(h/t Wonkette by way of WT)

May 12th, 2009 at 07:43am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Blogosphere,Coolness,Weirdness

We Don’t Get French Benefits

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Mark Penn is always wrong:

Mark Penn has commentary up at the Wall Street Journal. Good heavens. For 1250 words, it sure is an intellectually lazy piece of crap.

Penn attempts to assert this:

In America today, there are almost as many people making their living as bloggers as there are lawyers. Already more Americans are making their primary income from posting their opinions than Americans working as computer programmers or firefighters.

The way he arrives at this assertion is the craziest math I’ve seen come from Penn since he thought the Democratic Presidential Primaries were winner take all. I’m beginning to think his strategy skills and math skills are on par with each other.

Here is his stream of numbers:

The best studies we can find say we are a nation of over 20 million bloggers, with 1.7 million profiting from the work, and 452,000 of those using blogging as their primary source of income. That’s almost 2 million Americans getting paid by the word, the post, or the click — whether on their site or someone else’s.

Lane then goes on to explain why the idea that hundreds of thousands of people are making a living off their blogs is complete bullshit, but really, most people who follow the blogosphere already know that – Lane’s pretty much just trying to figure out how Penn arrived at his bullshit numbers.

I just can’t understand what Penn’s angle is here.  Is he just trying to show off his Deep Understanding Of The Online World, or is this some kind of elaborate ratfuck of the blogosphere?  Making the case that we’re paid corporate shills?  That we don’t need any additional support?  What?

For what it’s worth, I have no plans or expectations to make money off of my blog.  I’d be pretty screwed if I did…

4 comments April 21st, 2009 at 10:28pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Blogosphere,Wankers

Integrity

Glennzilla points out that unlike conservatives, progressive bloggers have stayed true to their principles by attacking Obama’s screwups instead of rationalizing them.  Critics, not apologists or sycophants.

I wish we weren’t given so many opportunities, but I’m proud to be on the team that didn’t sell out its core values.

March 25th, 2009 at 07:32am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Blogosphere,Bush,Democrats,Obama,Politics,Republicans

How Bill O’Reilly Stands Up For Rape Victims

…By harassing bloggers who repeat terrible, hurtful things… that Bill O’Reilly said about them:

On March 1, ThinkProgress picked up on a story by News Hounds, which noted that Fox News host Bill O’Reilly — who has made controversial comments about rape victims in the past — was slated to speak at a March 19 fundraiser for the Alexa Foundation. The group is committed to supporting rape survivors.

Our post — which never criticized the Alexa Foundation — highlighted the fact that in the past, O’Reilly has implied that women who dress in a certain way or consume too much alcohol should perhaps expect to be raped. Here is what he said on his radio show on Aug. 2 about Jennifer Moore, an 18-year-old woman who was raped and murdered:

Now Moore, Jennifer Moore, 18, on her way to college. She was 5-foot-2, 105 pounds, wearing a miniskirt and a halter top with a bare midriff. Now, again, there you go. So every predator in the world is gonna pick that up at two in the morning. She’s walking by herself on the West Side Highway, and she gets picked up by a thug. All right. Now she’s out of her mind, drunk.

(…)

This weekend, while on vacation, I was ambushed by O’Reilly’s top hit man, producer Jesse Watters, who accosted me on the street and told me that because I highlighted O’Reilly’s comments, I was causing “pain and suffering” to rape victims and their families. He of course offered no proof to back up this claim, instead choosing to shout questions at me.

All those rape victims were just starting to put their lives back together, mercifully unaware of what BillO said about them, until those horrible woman-hating women at Think Progress blew the whistle.  Such compassion BillO has, that he feels their pain so acutely that he has to send his goons out to attack more women!

That is some seriously ballsy spin, right up there with when the administration claimed it was suppressing the second wave of Abu Ghraib photos to protect the torture victims from embarrassment.

And that’s without even delving into the fact that Watters and his cameraman actually staked out Amanda Terkel’s house and followed her car for two hours before ambushing her and her friend.  No, that’s not creepy or stalkerish at all.  And also not at all in complete violation of O’Reilly’s own policies, which are worth less than the airwaves they’re insincerely bloviated on.

2 comments March 23rd, 2009 at 07:37pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Blogosphere,Media,Republicans,Sexism,Wankers

Wanker Of The Day

Mat Bai just radiates smugness.  And contempt for bloggers.

Hindman’s data backs up what should be obvious about the political blogs, for instance–that they are populated by a small and fairly homogenous group of people who constitute their own kind of political elite. The founder of Daily Kos, Markos Moulitsas Zuniga, is a law school graduate who lives in Berkeley; the lead blogger on FireDogLake, Jane Hamsher, used to be the Hollywood producer of such family films as “Natural Born Killers”; Chris Bowers, the signature voice of Open Left, is (or at least was when I first met him) a graduate student in sociology. To suggest that the voices of 100 or so prominent bloggers of similar pedigree represent some new, more inclusive voice of the American everyman–which is what the bloggers themselves like to profess–is just fantasy.

And Jon Stewart is a wealthy TV personality… who channeled Everyman’s frustrated rage to utterly demolish the insidery, self-dealing, stock market cheerleaders at CNBC.  The problem with the Village isn’t so much who they are or what kinds of backgrounds they have – it’s who and what they care about, which is themselves and the establishment status quo.  When the supposedly elitist liberal bloggers start writing about how valuable corporations and rich people and the military-intelligence complex are, and how we can’t afford to hold them back, then I’ll start tuning them out.

March 16th, 2009 at 06:50am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Blogosphere,Media,Politics,Wankers

The Republicans’ Alternate Reality

Everyone should read the whole thing, but here’s the money part:

For going on seventy years the National Republican Party has consoled itself, sustained itself, and kept itself alive by telling itself and anyone who will listen an alternative history of the United States.  In this alternative history the New Deal didn’t do any good at all, the Cold War was fought and won entirely by super-patriotic Republicans, welfare not racism or systemic poverty destroyed the African-American family, anyway racism ended when Martin Luther King’s birthday became a national holiday (alternative to the alternative: racism ended with the election of Barack Obama), the 1960s are the root of all evil, the hippies and the liberals lost the War in Vietnam, 9/11 was Bill Clinton’s fault, the financial crisis was Bill Clinton’s fault, Barack Obama is turning America into a socialist dictatorship.

….The Party was taken over by the most retrograde and selfish members of its Big Business wing, which is to say by its would-be aristocrats who had to make common cause with Right Wing extremists, religious fundamentalists, and Southern racists in order to put together enough votes to win elections.  These groups had and have only one thing in common, a belief that they are the only rightful inhabitants of America and inheritors of its blessings and that everybody else is out to take away their privileges and wealth.  They are the people who self-identify as conservative, although there is nothing they want to conserve.  They are reactionaries who want to turn back time to a mythical golden age in which they ran things to their liking without any complaint or criticism from “the others.”    And as reactionaries, as people at war with progress and enlightenment, they have been on the wrong side of history since the first shots were fired at Lexington and Concord.  They need there to have been an alternative history of the United States in order for there to be a history in which they are not the villains and losers.

They need a history in which they would not have supported King George’s right to treat the Colonies however he wished, a history in which they would not have defended slavery, a history in which they would not have pursued their own selfish business interests at the expense of the nation’s interests and caused the Great Depression, in which they would not have argued that Hitler and Mussolini were doing some great things and maybe we could use some of their efficiency here, a history in which they would not have been cheering for a drunken demagogue as he terrified the nation and ruined countless lives with his lies, a history in which they would not have opposed the Civil Rights movement, a history in which they did not vote for a feckless and incompetent swaggering bully for President and cheer him on as he bankrupted the treasury, took us to war unnecessarily and then lost the war, let Osama bin-Laden get away, broke the Government’s regulatory system, allowed the banksters to loot and wreck the country, and, incidentally, played air guitar and went to birthday parties while a great American city sank into the poisoned water and people died waiting for him to help.

They need an American history in which their selfishness and resentments are justified and in which they, as the inheritors of an anti-democratic philosophy of government and economics that preaches that the single-minded pursuit of individual power and wealth leads to heaven on earth, are the true heirs of Washington and Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin.

They need an alternative history in which being angry, selfish, resentful, greedy, and defensive of nothing but their own right to be angry, selfish, resentful, and greedy is the definition of patriotism and in which instead of standing in the way of progress it’s the way to bring it about.

They need an alternative history in which acting as though the equation whatever I want = what’s best for America is true is not like insisting 2 + 2= 5.

(…)

[W]hat Jindal really did the other night was go before the American people and promise that the next time the Republicans get control of the government they will do they same stupid and evil things they did the last time.

They will let the nation drown and rot the way they let New Orleans drown and rot and then blame it on the Liberals.

Not much I can add to that.  Turning selfishness and hate into patriotic virtues is pretty much the hallmark of modern conservatism.

(h/t Julia)

March 1st, 2009 at 09:23pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Blogosphere,Bush,Corruption/Cronyism,Democrats,Katrina,Media,Photoblogging,Politics,Republicans

Stimulus Perspective

Michael Bérubé offers a spot-on analogy for the difference between the Republican and Democratic approaches to dealing with the economic crisis.

Fighting fire with fire, indeed.

February 17th, 2009 at 07:04am Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Blogosphere,Coolness,Economy,Obama,Politics,Republicans

Wingnut Welfare Reform

World's Smallest Violin

Oh, what a terrible depressing shame:

As the end of the first quarter approaches and we near the production phase of Pajamas TV, we will continue to build our emphasis in this area. As a result we have decided to wind down the Pajamas Media Blogger and advertising network effective March 31, 2009. The PJM portal and the XPressBlogs will continue as is.

Since our ad relationship continues for the time being, you should note that in order to be paid for the 1st quarter of 2009, you must leave the current Pajamas ads up until 12:01AM April 1. We will be sending you information in mid-March on removing the ads. As of April 1, 2009, you will be free to arrange syndication or re-sale deals.

We thank you very much for participating during the formative years of Pajamas Media and we look forward to working with you in other ways. One of those is, of course, Pajamas TV. If you have any ideas in that regard, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Our best wishes in the new year and again our deepest gratitude for your participation in Pajamas Media.

Sincerely,

Roger L. Simon

CEO, Pajamas Media

What this means is that as of April 1, I am officially out of work. So save going to a pay model, this site will likely have to shut down.

Small price to pay for helping PJM pick up an audience and credibility during its “formative years.”

It’s so unfair!  All those bloggers who shilled for the party of self-reliance and personal responsibility now have to go out and find actual jobs!  Oh, the indignity!

If only they had a sugardaddy like Soros who would support them through thick and thin like us lucky ducky liberals do.  (Yes, they actually believe that.)

5 comments January 31st, 2009 at 02:28pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Blogosphere,Corruption/Cronyism,Economy,Republicans,Wankers

Ian Welsh States The Depressingly Obvious

Every year, it gets increasingly more difficult to believe that our government really gives a damn about ordinary people as anything other than a source of contributions and votes.  Maybe a Democratic president and heavily Democratic Congress will start to change that, but I’m not super-optimistic.

So, let’s summarize: in exchange for 7 billion and some warrants that may never pay back, the government put itself on the hook for 250 billion dollars.  For 20 billion dollars or maybe a bit more, the government could have simply bought out Citigroup.

Now, it would make no sense for a private investor to buy Citi, but if the government has decided that it will never let Citi fail, and it’s hard to read the Citi bailout any other way, then it’s already on the hook for all of Citi’s debts anyway.  And if it is, then there is no downside to owning Citi: it gets all the upside if it turns Citigroup around, after all—not just a few warrants, but the ability to issue stock and pay dividends when it chooses, to itself.  There’s no taxpayer protection like that.

Add that to the fact that the current management of Citigroup is clearly incompetent, and there’s no reason not to take over Citi.  And with Citi under control, one of the world’s largest banks, the government could have used it as a policy instrument, having it lend in the overnight market at the rates the government determines, having it give out credit directly to consumers and businesses at government rates and so on.

So, Citi should have been taken over.  There was no reason not to, and every reason to do so, unless the first concern was to make sure executives kept their jobs rather than that Citi be viable, taxpayers be protected and the credit logjam be broken.

I’m sure that couldn’t possibly be it…

GM’s market cap as of this writing is slightly under 3 billion dollars.  Having GM go under would very likely bring down both Chrysler and Ford, because shared suppliers would go under at the same time.  Job losses would be in the 2 million to 3 million range.  GM going under could quite possibly turn a very bad recession into an actual depression.

Which is to say, in real economic terms, GM is just as much “too big to fail” as Citigroup is.  The question here is not “how much is it going to cost”, the question is “are we willing to let it fail?”  If the government really is, after throwing trillions at the financial industry, and the travesty of Citigroup, then the government is so captured by the financial interests who donate to it that it is no longer capable of looking after the interests of all Americans, but only key donors.

We have seen this again and again, where both parties go along with absolutely terrible, unjustifiable policies solely because their big donors demand it.  This is why telecom immunity was shoved into the FISA update virtually unopposed, why we got draconian “bankruptcy reform,” why we don’t have universal healthcare or a green economy or safe air, water, food, drugs, or workplaces.  Because a few corporations with a lot of money speak far louder than hundreds of thousands, even millions, of ordinary citizens screaming at the top of their lungs.

The number 1 rule of the financial crisis so far has been that the people who caused it must be left in charge of everything.

That about sums it up.

Maybe Obama and the Democrats are willing to buck their big corporate donors for the sake of the country, but I haven’t really seen a whole lot of evidence of it so far.  They have been far too accommodating to Bush’s wishes over the last eight years, even well after public opinion turned overwhelmingly against him.

Prove me wrong.  Show me something.  Please.

3 comments December 3rd, 2008 at 10:36pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Blogosphere,Corruption/Cronyism,Economy,Politics,Wankers

Wait… What?

He can NOT be serious:

Check this post out by John Hinderaker. I know he adores President Bush and thinks he’s a genius and all, but this is a remarkable post.

The Importance of Being Careful

Obama thinks he is a good talker, but he is often undisciplined when he speaks. He needs to understand that as President, his words will be scrutinized and will have impact whether he intends it or not. In this regard, President Bush is an excellent model; Obama should take a lesson from his example. Bush never gets sloppy when he is speaking publicly.

He chooses his words with care and precision, which is why his style sometimes seems halting. In the eight years he has been President, it is remarkable how few gaffes or verbal blunders he has committed. If Obama doesn’t raise his standards, he will exceed Bush’s total before he is inaugurated.

Hinderaker actually believes this. It’s weird because most Conservatives do believe that Obama’s communication skills served him quite well during the election process. I guess he also missed this latest polling data that says Bush is leaving office more unpopular than Richard Nixon.

What presidency was Hinderaker watching???

5 comments November 11th, 2008 at 07:14pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Blogosphere,Bush,Obama,Politics,Republicans,Wankers

What Bob Geiger Said.

You do not get to posture about how you support the troops and Democrats don’t, when you turn around and stab troops and veterans in the back every single chance you get.

Wankers.

November 11th, 2008 at 12:42pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Blogosphere,Bush,Politics,Republicans,Wankers,War

This Just In

Barack Obama not actually a socialist.

Try to contain your amazement.

9 comments November 9th, 2008 at 10:09pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Blogosphere,Economy,Obama,Politics,Republicans

Obama And The Arab Blogosphere

The NYT op-ed page has a fascinating selection of Arab blog reactions to Obama’s victory, ranging from Hooray for America to Big deal, America will still treat us like dirt:

Tamem, Egypt (tamem.wordpress.com)

The victory of Barack Hussein Obama that we, along with the rest of the world, are witnessing today is another historic moment, not just for America but for the whole world by virtue of America’s huge influence, whether we like it or not. Personally I, like others, doubted Americans’ ability to overcome racism, but in electing “Abu Hussein,” they created a historic moment by accepting the first black president to govern not just America but the white West as a whole. With this, they removed all such doubts and the impossible dream of Martin Luther King became possible.

Syrian Dream, Syria (syriandream.com)

The world arose today to welcome Barack Obama as the first black president of the United States, and Africa danced with joy.

The whole world is optimistic about what he offers but doubts remain about him, a great question mark.

What will Syria’s fate be under him? Will he give the green light to bombing us?

(…)

Esra’a, Bahrain (mideastyouth.com)

I can honestly say that we can finally wave goodbye to the overwhelming anti-Muslim and anti-Arab bigotry that we have suffered with for the past eight years under the Bush administration. We can expect less wars, less corruption, less political abuse. It won’t be perfect, but it will get better. I am so happy and proud of all the Americans who worked extremely hard for Obama, understanding fully well the importance of change in every sense of the word. This moment is not just historical but crucial to us here in the Middle East.

This is a win for all of us, not just America.

This is a win for civil rights and justice.

For all the pessimists out there, allow us to enjoy this moment. If you learned anything from this campaign, you would learn that it starts with hope — not cynicism. And hope is what I have right now, for America and the Middle East.

We can do it, and this time, we can be sure that we can do it together.

I haven’t said this in a really long time, but I am loving America right now.

(…)

Mashrabeya, Egypt (mashrabeya.blogspot.com)

Only time would tell if Obama is real, or just too good to be true!

Sometimes, it is not enough to have a Big Dream. What matters is to have enough strength to resist the pressures to give up a Big Dream!

Land and People, Lebanon (landandpeople.blogspot.com)

My take on this is that he is the president of the United States, and not Barack Obama. That said, I would really like to hope for change. After all, Obama showed that change was possible: he himself changed from a supporter of Palestinian rights into a man who believes that Jerusalem is the historic capital of Israel. He also changed during his campaign from “No Iraq war for me please, I’m trying to quit” into “All right I’ll have some, but a tiny piece please.”

(…)

But the question that really interests me is about the relationship between Obama and the true center of world power, Kapital. There was an awful lot of money in Obama’s campaign … A great chunk must have come from carefully planned investments by C.E.O.’s and multinationals. Will Obama be able to confront the mega-corporations? Does he want to? The poor and the colored population of the world, including that of the U.S., is the one that suffers most from malnutrition and hunger and food insecurity. We know now that mega-corporations, pushing for more profit at any cost, are responsible for most of the damage. Will Obama do something about that? Does he want to? Can he?

An Arab Woman Blues, Iraq (arabwomanblues.blogspot.com)

(…)

I also said that Obama will strike a deal with Ahmadinejad on Iraq and in particular southern Iraq.

And lo and behold, the vice president for the booma Obama is none other than J. Biden. J. Biden, the Zionist, is an ardent supporter of the partition of Iraq into three statelets. No wonder Maliki & Co. were also backing the booma along with Iran. I also know that Iran had generously contributed to the Obama campaign.

… I shall not congratulate you on your 44th president. He will simply finish off what the other Zionists had started — the final partition of my country.

To hell with all of you and all of your presidents.

Neurotic Iraqi Wife, Iraq (neurotic-iraqi-wife.blogspot.com)

For me, this is not just about history, this is about someone who was able to bring down the very people that broke my country. It’s a great punch to the very people that destroyed the individual Iraqi. And that to me is an enough victory.

I will only have to say to Mr. Obama, don’t let us down.

There’s a lot of hope, but also a lot of well-earned bitterness and cynicism.  I think the reality is probably going to be somewhere in the middle.  I don’t think Obama will stray outside the bounds of our historical Middle East foreign policy, but he also won’t be nearly as callous or malevolent towards Arabs and Muslims as his predecessor.

It won’t be The Dawning Of A Brand New Day in American foreign policy, but at least we won’t be trying to rule by fear and gratuitous violence.  Who knows, we might even stop bombing weddings.

November 8th, 2008 at 09:10pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Blogosphere,Elections,Foreign Policy,Iran,Iraq,Obama,War

I Was Wondering About That…

Namely, why is Lieberman so keen to hold onto a committee chair that he never actually did anything with?

Reid offered Lieberman a chance to stay in the Democratic caucus, keep his seniority, and become the chairman of some other committee. Lieberman thinks that’s “unacceptable” and reportedly “begged” to stay on as chairman of Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

(…)

This seems to be routinely overlooked, but take a moment to consider what the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs actually does: it’s the committee principally responsible for oversight of the executive branch. It’s an accountability committee, charged with investigating the conduct of the White House and the president’s administration.

As chairman of this committee for the last two years, Lieberman decided not to pursue any accusations of wrongdoing against the Bush administration. Lieberman’s House counterpart — Rep. Henry Waxman’s Oversight Committee — was a vigilant watchdog, holding hearings, issuing subpoenas, and launching multiple investigations. Lieberman preferred to let his committee do no real work at all. It was arguably the most pathetic display of this Congress.

And yet, now Lieberman acts as if keeping this chairmanship is the single most important part of his public life. Why would he be so desperate to keep the gavel of a committee he hasn’t used? I’ll let you in on a secret: he wants to start using the power of this committee against Obama.

Lieberman didn’t want to hold Bush accountable, but he seems exceedingly anxious to keep the committee that would go after Obama with a vengeance, effectively becoming a Waxman-like figure — holding hearings, issuing subpoenas, and launching investigations against the Democratic president.

Lieberman doesn’t care about “reconciliation,” he cares about going after a Democratic administration. Why else would he fight diligently to be chairman of one committee instead of another?

This sounds exactly right, and exactly in character for a self-righteous, vindictive little prick like Lieberman.  I would love to see Obama magnanimously “reach out” to Lieberman to offer him a non-critical cabinet position.  Governor Rell would appoint a Republican, but consider:

1) We would get Lieberman out the Senate, out of the Democratic caucus, and out of his committee assignments (where he counts against the Democratic allotment of seats) four years early.

2) We would get a real Democrat into that seat two years early, as I doubt that Lieberman’s Republican replacement could get re-elected in CT.

…Or the Democrats could just kick him out of their caucus and let him scrounge a committee seat from the Republicans.

(h/t Phoenix Woman)

2 comments November 7th, 2008 at 10:40pm Posted by Eli

Entry Filed under: Blogosphere,Corruption/Cronyism,Democrats,Lieberman,Obama,Politics,Republicans,Wankers

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