Category Archives: Political

Thinking Thursday (hilariously updated postscript)

Looking for a Hero by George Oswalt

You will find me at the JRB Gallery on the Paseo tomorrow evening. I can’t wait for this opening.

Tonight, I’ll be on lower Bricktown in front of the Harkins Theater from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. watching Cami Stinson. Watch this and you’ll know why I’ll be out tonight.

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Daily Kos on Oklahoma’s 2d Congressional District election in wake of Rep. Dan Boren announcing he won’t seek re-election:

Yesterday morning, ex-Rep. Brad Carson emailed me to let me know that his plans have changed and he will not be seeking his old seat back in the wake of Dan Boren’s retirement. Fortunately, Democrats have a strong bench here despite the red hue of the district, and there are several other possible candidates, including ex-state Sen. Ken Corn (who previously said he’s “very likely” to run) and state Rep. Ben Sherrer. The Hotline also mentions state Sen. Josh Breechen as a possible GOP candidate.

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When Ezra Klein at Washington Post looked at the deficit negotiations, he found the GOP rejected their own proposals and walked out. Who’s the dick?

So when the GOP’s economic policy team sat down to make the strongest case they could for growth-inducing deficit reduction, they recommended a mix (of) 85:15 (blogblah’s note: of spending cuts to tax increases), not a 100:0 mix. And then, when the Obama administration agreed to an 83:17 mix, the Republican leadership walked out of the room and demanded that taxes be excluded from the deal altogether. How do you negotiate with that?

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Here’s a novel way to get past the debt ceiling crisis: rely on the 14th Amendment and just ignore it. According to CNN Money, it’s one of the answers to the puzzle proposed by the Treasury Secretary, Tim Geithner.

The 14th Amendment states: “The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned.”

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The chairman of the state legislative ethics committee in Indiana may have a slight problem, according to local reports.

a very attractive 26 year old woman who has connections to a strip club in Lawrenceburg, Indiana was in the car with 59 year old Republican State Representative Robert Mechlenborg at 12:08AM when he was pulled over by the Indiana State Police and subsequently tested positive for alcohol and Viagra.

Blogblah note: enjoy the schadenfreude my droogies.

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Time magazine editor and MSNBC political analyst for the Morning Joe show Mark Halperin gets suspended and apologized for saying President Obama was “kind of a dick” during last night’s press conference. Obama should consider the source.

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If you do nothing else today, please watch THIS VIDEO. Please, please please. DO IT! It’s the most inspiring thing I’ve seen in an age. It will change your attitude.

Blogblah!

Post Script:
I haven’t really had much to say about the New York legislature passing gay marriage equality legislation because, well, I don’t know much about it. However, I couldn’t resist the video below. In it, Howard Zinn, a counter-historian (my formulation), introduces part of an oral history of the so-called Stonewall Rebellion and actor Tim Robbins reads (with such wonderful verve) the eyewitness testimony of Martin Duberman. This is just so good, it’s awesome sauce!

Tim Robbins reads Martin Duberman, “Stonewall” from Voices of a People's History on Vimeo.

July 19, 2010

I know it isn’t as sexy as Sarah Palin making up the word “refudiate”, but Eli Lake, a respected foreign policy commentator, takes note of the possibility that Egypt’s president, Mubarak, will soon die of cancer at age 82 and what that will mean to U.S. interests in the MidEast.

A little sexy, if not as sexy as Blogblah’s convertible driving image, is the Washington Post’s opening of a series on America’s intelligence community, the billions spent in waste and redundancy and the hundreds of thousands of wankers shuffling papers in Top Secret.

Since I’m talking politics again today despite my realization of the total impossibility of it having any practical effect, there’s a smart look at the hard right turn of the GOP into the Tea Party by Jonathon Chait at The New Republic; it turns out there’s a downside to playing to the radicalized angry white south. More than that, it turns out that there’s a limit beyond which the public Tea Party leadership is unwilling to go — it won’t let talk radio host Mark Williams of the Tea Party Express express his “satiric” letter to Abe Lincoln from the NAACP’s “colored people”. The Tea Party umbrella organization kicked out Williams and his organization from their organization as the big tent gets smaller.

My review of “Inception”:
Freud goes into the Matrix, plot gets muddled but Escher climbs his stairs until Keanu…er…Leo DiCaprio goes “Whoa!”

The oilspill in perspective (updated)

hat tip to The Duty

A strategic perspective on the oil spill and outrage HERE.

A representative quote:

We Americans have been abused again and again by those we trusted. First it was the banks. Now it’s the oil companies. It’s not that we had some wide-eyed innocence about how moral and ethical they were – this is business after all.

But we expected them to have a clue how to do their jobs. We expected the banks to be smart enough to know not to put the entire world’s financial system at risk just for a few extra winnings at the gambling table. We expected the oil companies, who were engaging in acts of simply astounding engineering prowess, to have worked out contingency plans to mitigate the obvious risks of drilling holes in the ocean floor 5,000 feet down.

It’s not even that mistakes were made or things went wrong. What’s enraging Americans is the completely cavalier attitude these ultra-rich executives have shown in the face of their utter stupidity. Watching these executives give testimony, it feels like we’re watching teenagers claim “I dunno” after they wrecked the family car in a joyride.

In today’s news, the spew goes unchecked as capping failed and nine miles of beach in Pensacola was covered in sludge, per Anderson Cooper.

A Meme Too Far

Just want to make a short observation about political reporting. For weeks, the “meme” (a sort of made up word I don’t particularly like, but which is serviceable for this purpose) has been that it’s an anti-incumbent year and that the Dems, being the incumbents, will have more than the normal share of problems for a White House in an off-year election. A Deepwater Horizon of digital ink has been spilled about this idea.

Vintage RayBans

I respectfully dissent.

Look at last night’s election results without any coloring.

On the East Coast in So. Car., Mrs. Nikki Haley is cruising towards being elected the first woman governor of that state.

In Arkansas, Sen. Blanche Lincoln fought off a stiff male challenge from the left (yes, I intended that).

In Nevada, Sue Lowden and Sharron Angles vied for the right to challenge Majority Leader Harry Reid.

In California, the Republican Party nominated Meg Whitman for Governor and Carley Fiorina to face incumbent U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer.

I’m not inclined to make too much of this, except to say I think too little has been made of an election in which so many women have played such a prominent role and been so successful at such a high level. I’ll also note that Oklahoma is very likely to have its first woman governor. With the exception of Sen. Lincoln, all those women are Republicans, which seems counterintuitive on several levels considering the policy stances of that party vis the Democratic Party.

Something is going on that has little to do with incumbency, it seems to me, but it also seems that it may be too difficult for political writers to think and write about.

I’m going to leave it there and let you guys draw your own conclusions.

Blogblah

October 12, 2009

shut up, he explained

shut up, he explained


The Dow Jones Industrial Ave. “flirted with” 10,000 on the New York Stock Exchange today. Isn’t that just like fickle lady luck. One day, you’ve got 14,000 on your arm, the next thing you know and you’re slumming with some 7000s and the best you can do after months and months is to just flirt with five figures. A few trillion here and few trillion there adds up and there’s nothing like a trillion in the wallet to make you handsome.
Blogblah

October 11, 2009

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Harry Truman integrated the armed forces with a stroke of the pen and Obama could do the same for gays in the military. Instead, he gave his 2007 campaign speech to the Human Rights Campaign dinner last night, once more promising he would do something great, but just not now, just not yet, wait some more.
The fierce urgency of the end of my projected second term, you might say.

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In a column in today’s New York Times, Frank Rich writes about a topic that’s been really bothering me lately: why the hell are the discredited neocons — who have been consistently wrong for more than a decade about everything foreign policy — still on the Sunday talk shows?
When does Stephanopolous look William Kristol right in the eye and say: is this like when you said the Iraq war would be over in 6 weeks? Is this the same as when you told us we’d be greeted as liberators in Baghdad? Is there any part of the “robust” assertion of American military power you advocate that has actually succeeded in doing good for us?
And, yes, I would include Sen. McCain, who has a foreign policy that is based on nationalistic fighter pilot chutzpah and not any serious and in-depth study of global issues, and who, I will remind you, lost the presidential elections rather badly.
They aren’t foreign policy experts, they just play one on TV. Continue reading

July 8, 2009

Andrew Sullivan won’t give up the Palin story and I’m such a political junkie, I’m rivited. I wonder if the transplanted Brit knows the US has seen this before in the 30s?

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aimee_Semple_McPherson

Because I’m posting remotely the above is the best I can do. Cut n paste for yourself thi time.

Anyway, Sarah Palin seems a direct analog to the early 20th century Sister Aimee. I think the explanation that covers the most facts presently known about the AK Gov.’s resignation is that she has come to believe she is the Joan of Arc of the anti-abortion movement.

Or, you could just say she’s a nutter

Blogblah

July 4, 2009

BECAUSE I SAID SO

BECAUSE I SAID SO


A local Twitter meme has it that l’Sarah is quitting in AK to come here and be Rep. Sally Kern’s lover. A meanspirited if darkly funny remark. Of course Gretta Van Sustern has been kissing that flag-draped ass for so long and so wetly that the inevitable happened and what’s a snowmobile hero like Todd to do but get a woody watching and join in?
The gov’s announcement statement was almost incomprehensible and her susserant breath intakes sounded like she was asthmatic. As hard as it is to believe, the statement was on a TelePrompTer repleat with ALLCAPS phrases like bad blog comments.
Since she is a fighter and a winner, she is of course quitting because she’s no quitter. Huh? Nevermind. Mary Matalin says it’s a “brilliant” move and William Kristol agrees. In the Internet vernacular: O Rly?
Silly sexual references aside, she’s at that place where governors have to decide to cut the budget and raise revenue and her populist fantasy must give way to governing in tandem with legislators who insist on compromises and that’s not our Sarah.
That disaster of a Wasilla sports complex appears to be coming back to haunt her and who wants to explain why your lake house has the same windows and railings provided by the same builder as the yummy $13 million contract that was soo completely bungled? The same contractor that sponsors Todd’s pro snowmobile racing.
The media, self-centered as it is, gives too much credit to Vanity Fair’s recent 10,000 word profile (vanity thy name is pundit). A run against Obama in 2012? Farfetched, IMHO.
The girl is a nutter with narcisstic personality disorder and with luck will be safely on some obscure Christionist radio talk show in short order.

In other news …

Have a safe and happy holiday weekend.

Blogblah

June 13, 2009

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On the DOJ’s gay-hostile brief filed in a Defense of Marriage Act case, Andrew Sullivan and his readers/cohorts seem baffled. What was Obama Thinking? Is it a Bush-era holdover brief? Is he playing some game with eliminating “don’t ask, don’t tell”?
I want to suggest an alternative to those I’ve read. When I look at the brief and it’s very nearly absurdist anti-gay arguments, I’m thinking this is one big softball for some court to create a new 14th Amendment gay equality right.
I don’t deny that the arguments are offensive to many gay people, especially in their use of vivid language. However, as legal reasonng, they are a hoot and a knee slapper. Nevertheless, they also state the legislative record behind the statute, IIRC the Senate “debates.” Remember the now-gone GOP senators who voted for the beast?
Not even a conservative court would have an easy time accepting these arguments. At the least, these arguments will be judicially rejected in whatever decision comes from the Courts. In the case, I think this one is headed for the 9th Circuit, the most unpredictably left wing of those appeals courts. These arguments are tailor made to a response of “disparate treatment” under the 5th and 14th Amendments. A refusal of a right of marriage sounds also to me like one of the “badges” of slavery, which would be an interesting argument to make. (Cf. Lawrence, Loving)
Obama wouldn’t be the first president to hide behind the courts, oh so reluctantly as it will turn out.
Blogblah