Monthly Archives: September 2010

Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – Red-eye edition

Sitting here at 4:00AM trying to make synapses fire in some kind of order. This’ll freaking teach me to procrastinate..

Let’s just suit up and jump in – maybe something will come to me.

Well, let’s start with –Hammer that Kraut!

Krauthammer: Palin endorsing O’Donnell is destructive
therightscoop ^ | 09/13/2010 | therightscoop

Posted onMonday, September 13, 2010 8:46:54 PM byRational Thought

Actually, he said it was capricious and destructive and he called Demint’s endorsement of O’Donnell irresponsible. Wow!

Video @ link.

Krauthammer has never liked Gov. Palin, but now also criticizing Jim DeMint?

Krauthammer is making the argument that a Liberal Republican is better than no Republican. Well, Krauthammer seems to have forgotten two Senators named Specter and Jeffords. They certainly worked out well.

The foregone conclusion that Castle is a “shoe-in” in the general is flawed. After the offensive smear campaign run against O’Donnell, I can’t imagine Tea Party supporters rushing to the polls to support Castle in the General Election, meaning, he would have to rely upon large support from Democrat voters.

On the other hand, O’Donnell could very well win the General Election with a highly motivated base in a smaller population state.

It certainly seems the battle lines have been drawn; The Tea Party versus The Establishment.

1 posted on Monday, September 13, 2010 8:46:59 PM byRational Thought
.
To: Rational Thought

Krauthammer supported Moslem Obama (the undocumented one)
in the last election.

He falls in love with sociopaths who blind him, it seems.

5 posted on Monday, September 13, 2010 8:50:53 PM byDiogenesis(‘Freedom is the light of all sentient beings.’ – Optimus Prime)

They rewrite history at the drop of a hat, don’t they? Of course, what do you expect from someone who takes his philosophical point of view from an animated cartoon robot?
To: Rational Thought

Krauthammer is a Democrat.

9 posted on Monday, September 13, 2010 8:51:43 PM byNovember 2010
.
Of course he is. Now you just go have a little lie-down.
To: pissant
Krauthammer’s error is that he’s a rich, crippled guy riding around in a motorized wheelchair

I thought that was a disability, not an error. Plus, he gets all the good parking spaces. Bastard!
~ while she’s a young single woman with problems with student debt, federal income taxes and a mortgage.

She’s not rich. But she has a current life experience that relates well to the current life experience of the rapidly growing class of former working or middle class people who have been driven to unemployment, bankruptcy and out of their homes.

The Kraut cannot relate to this at all.

I do believe the voters can and will understand that she, not the Democrat candidate, shares their concerns!

15 posted on Monday, September 13, 2010 8:54:24 PM bymuawiyah
To: Diogenesis

He prefers sociopathic body servants to push his wheelchairs. They do their jobs in silence and don’t bother him.

18 posted on Monday, September 13, 2010 8:55:58 PM bymuawiyah
.
Sociopaths are seldom silent. Take you, for example. You hate cripples, and they’re not really people anyway, so screw ’em.
To: School of Rational Thought

Anyone who mentions Krauthammer’s disability is way off base. What does his being in a wheelchair have to do with his judgment? Geez…

58 posted on Monday, September 13, 2010 9:39:11 PM byMountain Mary (Ryan/Bachmann 2012)
,
Cripple-lover.
To: muawiyah
Yes, I do trust Bill Kristol, both personally and professionally.

Read the article. The facts are undeniable… and now even O’Donnell does not deny them.

Read the article.

51 posted on Monday, September 13, 2010 9:35:13 PM byMindBender26 (Fighting the “con” in Conservatism on FR, since 1998.)
.
Uh oh.
To: bwc2221
Read the article.

She is a scammer.

Ariana Huffington was once the most darling of all Conservatives… until she got where she could do some damage.

Read the article.

She is a scammer.

How do we know she is a Conservative? Because she says she is. How do we know Obama is a Christian, because he and the Rev. Wright say he is… and they are willing to swear to it on a stack of Bibles.

Read the article.

67 posted on Monday, September 13, 2010 9:49:11 PM byMindBender26 (Fighting the “con” in Conservatism on FR, since 1998.)
.
EEK!
More under the fold..

Continue reading

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First Draft Fundraising Week Begins

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This past year we’ve not only chronicled the best in Republican stupidity, we’ve helped out classroom teachers and rescued pelicans in the Gulf, crack-vanned the big news and kept up with the small stuff. I’ve got a book coming out next year that includes some pretty great stories your support helped me to tell, too. Your contributions matter and make this site what it is.

So considerdonating to keep it going, and know your contribution is appreciated by all. Thanks.

Shaming Marty Peretz

Yes. Yes, enough has been done to poor Marty Peretz. Let’s leave him alone:

No matter what anyone says at the Harvard observances today, Martin Peretz has been undeniably shamed. And lastingly shamed, unless he sets about building a new reputation. A month ago, he was an editor-in-chief who had many devoted proteges, some persistent critics (to name two, Matt Duss andEric Alterman, plusthis), but a general position of respectability. Now the reaction to his writings is such that even the president of Harvard had tohold him at arm’s length in saying that she still would accept the scholarship money; and he has been criticized eloquently inhis own magazine (by Todd Gitlin: “The life of the mind is not the life of the spleen”) and, inter alia, in the Tablet (by Marc Tracy: “This is not the first time he has written something racist, and it isn’t the fifteenth time, either”).

Peretz — and everyone else — must know that if his legacy were to be settled as of today, it would be mixed at best. Beloved by many students and respected by some magazine colleagues, but broadly considered in his 70s to be a bigot.

In the first place, the point of Peretz’s longtime critics is that he has pretty much always been a bigot, only this time enough people noticed to make his colleagues step back a bit in fear of getting any of his bigot cooties on them. The fear of being associated with his assier remarks finally overcame their desire to defend one of their own, in that bizarre media calculus that lets you get away with vile reprehensible shit for years and then all of a sudden it becomes randomly Not Okay.

In the second place (working backwards here), can we please stop talking about damage to the man’s legacy as if it was an actual, you know, thing? So some people think he’s a jerk now. Does he have less money because of it? Is he going to be hurt in any actual, material way? Maybe only Regenery publishes his next book. Bummer. To act like Peretz not getting invited to some parties for a few weeks is on par with the devastation caused by the people his columns propped up for years is shockingly callous.

I also really like “lastingly shamed, unless he decides to build a new reputation.” Which would happen all by virtue of his hard work, and not at all by his friends in the press writing wankeriffic columns about how enough has happened to him and we should all forgive him now.

And by the way, Harvard should use that money for a Muslim scholarship! That’ll show him! HAH!

Matthew Yglesiashas argued strongly that people shouldn’t give money to rich private universities in any circumstances, since the money will make a much bigger difference at a cash-poor public college. OK. But in reality, Peretz’s friends and proteges were not going to give that $650,000 for fellowships at Cal State San Bernardino. Harvard can presumably put the fellowship to some beneficial use — and, as I’ve suggested several times earlier, if they’re queasy about Peretz’s anti-Muslim diatribes, they could use the occasion to raise more money for new scholarship favoring Muslims.

Right. I’m sure they’re falling all over themselves to do that. I like how of course the money would be better spent elsewhere, but that’s just silly. Rich douchebags only donate to other rich douchebags, and not only should we not speak out about that in any way because it’s unrealistic to think they’d do otherwise, we should suggest they magically stop being douchebags once they have their hands on the cash.

A.

More Hippie Shit, Man

How can we talk about hippies of all sub-species without posting a bit of the Grateful Dead from Halloween 1980? The ultimate hippie band played Radio Music Music and it went out via closed circuit teevee as well. Al Franken was the co-host along with his creative partner, Tom Davis.

I recall seeing it at a theatre in San Francisco and being in costume but that’s all I remember. Guess I did have a good time that night, man…

Here’s some good hippie shit. man:

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Weekend Question Thread

Are you allergic to anything?

I have no food allergies, but right now either something’s blooming or shedding or pollinating like crazy because I’ve been sneezing like crazy for about a week. It’s most likely something I can’t avoid, like “grass” or “dust,” so I’m taking OTC drugs and hoping for a hard frost to kill whatever it is off.

A.

Dead End Angel

Tonight on Adrastos’ Obsession with the Jayhawks:

A genu-wine, bona fide alt-country tune featuring the keyboard stylings of Ms. Karen Grotberg. It’s a song that also reminds us that “all the po-leese carry guns.”

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Holy crap. These guys were hippies then. Please don’t punch them.

Quitting Time Booster Shot

Welcome to the Booster where we don’t think you’re happy enough.

– I don’t know what the deal is with the ages between 30 and
45, but for some reason I’ve been reading a lot about guys in my area who are
in this age range who can’t seem to keep their hands off the bodies of teenage
girls.This guy is the latest in a line of teachers out by us who have
attempted to place their alleged junk in an underage person’s alleged trunk.

Yes, I’ve said before that people should be viewed as innocent until proven guilty,
but in cases like this one, what the police have found is really clear.We need
to get very “Liar, Liar” on them.

– From the “Scumbag is as scumbag does” file: When a
15-year-old boy dies after a giant slab of a PARKING STRUCTURE falls on him
while he’s waiting to go to Summerfest, some people see tragedy. Others see an
opportunity to win an election! Is it any wonder I hate politics?


– From the “Scumbag is as scumbag does Part 2” file: When a
woman is abused by her boyfriend and seeks help from the law, apparently all it
means is that she wants some dirty talk from a real man. At least that’s Ken
Kratz’s version of reality, it seems. The Calumet County District Attorney is
in the process of being removed in Wisconsin for his role in “sexting” women
who sought his help, including one domestic abuse victim. Making things worse,
an earlier investigation cleared him of any wrongdoing in this before the shit
hit the fan in the media.


– Verizon is looking into tiered data plans to help control
costs brought about by people who use their cell phone the way I do: Like a
giant lifeline in which I get everything including food, water, shelter and
love. The announcement is like getting back the graded version of that bio-chem
test you didn’t study for. You know you’re about to get fucked but it doesn’t
seem to feel any better just because you’re expecting it.


– From the “Goddamit you fuckin’ guys” Department: I got
Betsy back from the shop good as new about two weeks ago. The guys did a full
rebuild on her engine for a pricy sum of about $3,000. On my end, I repainted
and resanded parts of the quarters, replaced all the gauge bezels and lenses
and reconfigured the heating controls. However, all was not good. In putting
the new package tray in the back, I almost cut my finger through to the bone,
had to get three stitches and bled all over the interior. Upon fixing my hand,
I went back to the car and managed to punch holes in both speakers,
necessitating new speakers. I finally got this all done, got her out on the
road and she flat out died on me. She surged twice, coughed and died on this
two-lane highway out near a farm field in the middle of nowhere. Thank God for
Triple A, but what the hell? Between the blood and the dead car, I’m not happy.
And of course, I could hear the Missus screaming in my head “Go to the fucking
hospital! You’re bleeding everywhere!”

– Things I would doto get my own copy of this include:

Letting Roman Polanski babysit my kid.

Letting Eagles Coach Andy Reid sit on my face after an all-you-can-eat
Mexican buffet.

Cuddling with Glenn Beck while he read to me out of his
latest book.

Giving up Diet Coke for ayearmonth week.

Cleaning Tommy T’s biohazard Freeper suits with my tongue.


– And finally, from the “Let’s see how that pans out
Department: Justin Bieber is somehow (either through is own words or through
some Twitter meltdown) comparing himself to Kurt Cobain as a voice of his
generation. Time to put in a call to the Bieber Headquarters: Hey, are you guys
really behind this Bieber is the new Cobain thing? (Pause.) He means the
Nirvana lead singer right? Not some convenience-store bag boy he knows who was
conceived in 1992? (Pause. Laugh suppression.) Really? You sure? (Pause. Harder
suppression.) And this is the Justin Bieber who there’s a whole site dedicated
to him called “Lesbians who look like Justin Bieber” right? (Pause. Ear starts
to bleed. Stitches in my hand pop out.) OK, cool. Can you let me know when he
plans to blow his head off with a shotgun? (Pause). Hello?

Thanks for letting me share your air. Be back next week.

Doc

No More Hippie Punching

I was a genuine hippie at one point in my life. I saw the Grateful Dead more times than I can remember <insert joke> had long hair when it was still possible for me to grow it and wore the same jeans jacket for 7 years. (A friend called it my “drug coat” and she wasn’t far wrong.) I drew the line, however, at hackey sack, patchouli oil and incense. Feh.

This post is NOT about literal hippies but about the virtual hippies of the so-called professional left. I’m somewhat jealous of them, actually, since I am merely one of the amateur left. Does that make me a beatnik or something else? I’m not sure…

Anyway, some high profile virtual hippies had a conference call with White House spinmeister David Axelrod and his well-manscaped eyebrows. It’s all over the inteweb now but I stumbled on to the exchangeat Greg Sargent’s blog so I’ll cut and paste his post:

blockquote>

Top Obama adviser David Axelrod got an earful of the liberal
blogosphere’s anger at the White House moments ago, when a blogger on a
conference call directly called out Axelrod over White House criticism
of the left, accusing the administration of “hippie punching.”

“We’re the girl you’ll take under the bleachers but you won’t be
seen with in the light of day,” the blogger, Susan Madrak of Crooks and
Liars, pointedly told Axelrod on the call, which was organzied for
liberal bloggers and progressive media.

The call seemed to perfectly capture the tense dynamic that exists
between the White House and the online and organized left: Though White
House advisers in the past have dumped on the left, anonymously and
even on the record, Axelrod repeatedly pleaded with the bloggers on the
call for help in pumping up the flagging enthusiasm of rank and file
Dems.

“You play a great role in informing people about the stakes of
elections,” Axelrod told the bloggers. “One of the reasons I was eager
to expend time was to enlist you.”

But hovering over the call was the obvious disconnect between this
plea for help and statements like those of Robert Gibbs, who recently
pilloried the “professional left” for being overly critical of the
White House.

That tension burst out into the open when Madrak directly asked
Axelrod: “Have you ever heard of hippie punching?” That prompted a long
silence from Axelrod.

“You want us to help you, the first thing I would suggest is enough
of the hippie punching,” Madrak added. “We’re the girl you’ll take
under the bleachers but you won’t be seen with in the light of day.”

Axelrod didn’t engage on “hippie punching,” but he said he agreed
with the blogger. “To the extent that we shouldn’t get involved in
intramural skirmishing, I couldn’t agree more,” Axelrod said. “We just
can’t afford that. There are big things at stake here.”

Madrak replied that Axelrod was missing the point — that the
criticism of the left made it tougher for bloggers like herself to
motivate the base. “Don’t make our jobs harder,” she said.

“Right back at’cha. Right back at’cha,” Axelrod replied, a bit
testily, an apparent reference to blogospheric criticism of the
administration.

At any rate, for Axelrod to plead with liberal bloggers for their
help turning out the base, only to get accused of “hippie punching,” is
an iconic moment in Campaign 2010.

Hey, at least she didn’t suggest that Axe drink bong juice. I only have one more thing to add to this:bummer man.

For Susie Madrak’s account get thee to Crooks and Liars. I now officially have a crush on her.

“A tattoo with her name right through my soul…”

On Tuesday, The Missus and I will celebrate our wedding anniversary.
It’s been eight years, although it feels like a lifetime. Someone once explained
to me that when you have kids, you think about how your life is going to
change. Once you get there, you can’t remember what life was like without them.
It’s been similar for us in our marriage. Life without each other would be too
much to bear.

I’m the first person to admit that I am not the easiest
person on Earth to get along with. I can count on one hand my really good
friends. If sarcasm could be bottled and burned, I could solve the energy
crisis.

My moods seem to border on bipolar, I set unrealistic
expectations for everyone and I’m not exactly easy on the eyes. If you were to
lay out all of my pros and cons on a sheet of paper, you’d likely never pick
me.

And yet, she did and I’m grateful.

Asking me to explain how and why we work together is like asking
a third-grader trying to explain credit default swaps. A friend asked me once
about why I love my wife and I couldn’t tell him. He was a bit taken aback.

“How can you be married if you don’t know why you love her?”
he asked.

“That’s exactly why,” I explained. “I know all the things
she does that make me happy, all the things I do that make her happy and how
miserable we’d be without each other. However, those aren’t the reasons I love
her. I just love her.”

A conversation at a convention that in some way ended up
involving a shrink helped me understand this. The shrink said instead of
thinking about why you love someone, think about the things you do that
personify that love. If it’s big, grandiose gestures, it means one thing. If
it’s all about what you buy for that person, it means something else. If you
can’t think of things you do, that can mean something else entirely.

So, I started reflecting on this as the anniversary drew
near. I made the list, not to brag, but to see what it means. Hope you enjoy
it.

I love you so I make coffee for you, first thing in the
morning, even before I pee. I don’t drink the stuff, but I know you do, so I
want you to have some when you pry yourself out of bed.

I love you so I take the first shower in the morning so you
can sleep longer.

I love you so I snuggle you in bed until my arms go numb and
then I stay there anyway.

I love you so I try to cook. I suck at it and you eat a lot
of spaghetti, but I do it so you don’t have to when you’re tired.

I love you so I iron your shirts, even that weird linen one
you love that shrinks to the size of a used Kleenex in the dryer.

I love you so I tell you to buy yarn.

I love you so I don’t care if you’re laughing at me or
laughing with me.

I love you so I ask, “What’s wrong?” until you tell me. Even
if it’s not me or even if I can’t fix it, I know you’ll feel better saying
something about it.

I love you so I say “I love you, too” no matter who is in
the office when you call me.

I love you so I laugh when you fart.

I love you so I go to the story 10 miles away, late at
night, and buy you potato chips, vodka and tampons. I love you so I don’t care
about the strange look the woman at the checkout counter gives me.

I love you so I can’t sleep the first night you’re gone and
I’m at home alone.

I love you so I recite movie lines with you.

I love you so I hear your voice in my head yelling at me
when I’m about to do something stupid.

I love you so that after I do something stupid, I still hear
you, chiding me to go to the hospital even though I don’t want to.

I love you so I till and weed the garden.

I love you so I push you as hard as you push me so we can be
better together.

I love you so I chase the hell out of perfection, knowing
I’ll never catch it, but also knowing that I’ll get as close as possible and
that’ll be more than good enough.

I love you so I bug you to sit down, take your inhaler and
use your nebulizer when you can’t breathe, even though you don’t want to use
that stuff.

I love you so I buy you chili dogs and tell you you’re
pretty.

I love you so I do whatever I can to see that special smile
that makes you look like Frances the Badger.

I love you so I can’t remember all the things we do for each
other because they just come naturally.

I love you so.

Doc

And Then, McMegan?

Megan McArdle thinks your choices were stupid:

The woman highlighted in the article, after all, is not going to be saved by Social Security; she’s 57. Without massive changes in spending, she’s headed for bankruptcy long before she’s eligible to collect benefits. That’s not to say that she’s a profligate spendthrift who deserves the pain she’s suffering; rather, the errors she’s made are incredibly common. That’s why it’s worth running through some of the most common mistakes that land people in these kinds of messes …

I still can’t think too hard about 2007 without a shudder: Both wage-earners in the house unemployed, me just out of the hospital after major surgery, the housing market just beginning to bottom out. Three months of this, during which I daydreamed about selling all our shit and moving us to Europe. All the pets got sick and died. The car’s transmission needed to be rebuilt (either that or buy a new one, which we would totally get a loan for given that neither of us had jobs). We racked up credit card debt that we just now, just in May, finished paying off.

Had we made all the choices up until that point that we could have made in order to best prepare ourselves for what was happening? Of course not. Looking back, I wished like hell we had eloped. I wish we’d never bought a place. I wish we hadn’t done surgery on Stripe (Joey and Fox I was okay with, but seriously, Stripe, I was around the fucking bend about that animal). I thought of all the stupid shit I owned and how much of a loss I’d take if I sold it all. Who could pass a test like the one above, in which all your choices are viewed through the lens of being insufficiently ready for the apocalypse? I mean, by that logic, if the zombies take over tomorrow, I will have been a failure as a human being for not having gotten an Olympic medal in marksmanship and for not owning a collection of shovels.

(Which reminds me, it’s payday, I should stock up on flour. The squirrels are really fat and it’s going to be a long cold winter. When we’re all out of food I will not give you any bread, but will lecture you self-importantly about how you should have done likewise.)

Which is the point of stupid glibertarian bullshit like this anyway. It’s not to actually give advice, it’s to excuse the reader from giving a damn about the story being told, and cast the writer as a better person for having wound up on the winning side. God, in a discussion about the presently superfucked economy, do I ever NOT want to debate how many vacations you should have taken or not taken. The whole thing … she may not deserve her pain, but let’s talk about how you can avoid it by being a good girl. Save for retirement starting at 13 and sacrifice your unemployment for part-time work that pays less (bzuh?) and do everything RIGHT, and you won’t be fucked by the universe. It’s so easy!

Trouble is, I get to the end of a piece like this and say, “So what now?” What now? We’ve delineated all the choices Good and Virtuous People should make, which helps the people currently screwed … how? How does this WORK? It is generally good advice not to smoke so as not to get cancer; if I’m coughing up a lung does telling me I should have quit years ago cure me? Our economy is screwed, and this has fuck-all to do with how much people have saved for retirement, or how much Social Security costs, or how high the taxes on the Go Galt Dancers are. It has to do with meeting structural changes with U RAH RAH tax cuts for 40 fucking years, pretending aggressively that lots of things that aren’t the problem are, and picking through the trash of anybody who dares speak up to find a suspiciously high electric bill.

Which I’ve got zero time for. Gotta go buy some shovels.

Via Roy.

A.

Friday Ferretblogging: Postal Edition

Be sure to prepare your Claire for shipping with plenty of padding:

Claire.shipping

And make sure your Bucky is adequately wrapped:

Bucky.shipping

A.

Friday Catblogging: Oscar and the Fuzzy Slipper

I don’t know what it is with male cats and their desire to stick their heads inside shoes and slippers. But all the males we’ve had have been shoe fetishists. Paging Dr. Freud. Dr. Freud to the white courtesyslipper telephone:

294280145_5390211cc6

Take It All

This is an odd earworm. I came to it by a circuitous route. Mean girl Ivy was voted offProject Runway.Badfinger’s original name was the Iveys. This song is from the criminally underratedStraight Up album:

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Sweeping the Nation

Why the hell don’t we stand up like that?

I have heard this question a hundred times and all the answers for it are silly and wrong: That we’re just too inherently disorganized, that we’re busy doing other stuff, that my generation or the one after it or the one after that one are just too dumb/lazy/entraced by iPods/shallow to actually rally in support of anything other than American Idol, etc. We look at the teawads and people ask: Why the hell don’t we stand up like that? Well, it’s not about us standing up, because it’s not a fair comparison. The teawads standing up isn’t about the teawads, either.

I keep flashing back to the Ned Lamont primary win over Joe Lieberman, and thinking about how eagerly everybody jumped all over this opportunity to take our country back and kick some ass and become a new movement, complete with breathless coverage of every single thing anybody involved with anti-war activism said on their Facebook pages and how newsworthy it all was, and how nobody in the party dared express any contempt at all for these new passionate activists, who after all have a point, and we ignore their anger at our peril. Remember that?

Yeah, me either:

But the Obama White House, sure of its fundraising ability and organizing genius, has consistently sent the signal to Democratic donors to not support outside efforts. They did it after they won the primary in 2008; they did it when they set up OFA to operate solely inside the DNC in 2009; they did it during the health care fight when they felt HCAN was being a little too independent in pushing for a public option, sending a clear signal to donors not to give to them at crucial times during the fight; they did it when ACORN had some bad publicity, very quickly making the decision to distance themselves and let them die even though no group has registered more voters or turned out more people in the last 10 years than ACORN.

It’s more than just the Obama White House. I’m not defending their getthefuckawayfromme attitude, but this isn’t new. How many members of Congress marched with anti-war protesters in 2003 or otherwise? How many prominent Democratic politicians went down to San Francisco and stood on the steps throwing rice (or birdseed or butterflies or whatever the fuck we throw now) for gay couples being married? How hard did Democrats push to rebuild New Orleans and the entire Gulf Coast after Katrina? How loudly have they fought for the rule of law? How hard did they push on any one of a dozen things that could have been the impetus for a “revolution?”

And for all the lauding of outside progressive organizations in that post above, where’s the money to fund such a revolution? People should just do it all themselves, I suppose, like the tea parties, sprung from a kind of spontaneous rage our people lack?I’m sorry, the tea parties are a fucking joke as far as grassroots go. You don’t get people to show up to parties like this without serious coin and massive infrastructure support.

And where are the progressives? Sulking is not an alternative to organizing, and weary resignation is the first step toward capitulation. The Tea Party may be pulling a fast one on the country and the media. But if it has more audacity than everyone else, it will, I am sorry to say, deserve to get away with it.

I plan events semi-professionally and everybody thinks they just happen by magic. The only way you get people to your party is to spend fucking money (and yes, Glenn Beck’s show counts as spending money; fucker don’t pay for his own meals, that’s for sure). Marketing, logistics, publicity, all these things COST. The teawads’ backers understand that. Democrats’ don’t. They just want to sit back and blame the American people for a lack of outrage, talk about how nobody protests anymore like we did MAN, and why are these hippies showing up in rude shirts instead of suits and ties? Don’t stand next to ACORN, you might get some of their idealism on you! Somebody said something about Cuba, run away as fast as you can!

All this also takes a credible media cowed not so much by politics as by sheer audacity and the dearth of party members to demonize one another. Every time Alan Grayson opens his mouth he’s right about everything, but there’s always some concern-trolling dick with a D after his name ready to denounce him, so the press can marginalize him as a crazy and talk about Democratic infighting some more. Ditto Kucinich. Sarah Palin says stuff, and the next call isn’t to Newt Gingrich to talk about how she’s nuts, it’s to Newt Gingrich to talk about what Real America thinks and how her power is huge and immense, which by the time he’s done it’s on to the next batshit thing for her. A huge part of this is media strategy and this, too, is a problem at least 20 years old. This, too, isn’t free. Again, an army of publicists and money, money, money.

Conviction, too, I mean, that helps. It sure would have in Connecticut, San Francisco, Chicago, New York, Portland, and every other place where something could have started, and didn’t. We have stood up like that. We’ve done it over and over again. It’s just that nobody our politicians consider worth listening to paid any attention.

First post via Atrios.

A.

Nollywood

One of things I love about the internets is discovering things I wouldn’t have otherwise heard of. The Guardian is often my go to source for odds and sods (or is that bits and bobs?) of info. For example, I had no idea thatNigeria has a flourishing film industry that’s come to be called Nollywood:

Die-hard fans have known for some time that the Nigerianfilm industry is truly unique, but even they may be surprised to discover just how big – and lucrative – it has become.

A new festival, Nollywood Now,
takes place in London from 6-12 October and is the first major event to
celebrate the second largest film industry in the world. Its chief aim
is to draw wider attention to the success and popularity the films
enjoy across Europe, and particularly the UK.

Nollywood makes about 2,400 films per year, putting it ahead of the US, but behind India, according to a Unesco report last year.
Nigerian film-makers tend to operate in a fast and furious manner;
shoots rarely last longer than two weeks, cheap digital equipment is
almost always used and the average budget is about $15,000 (£9,664).
The finished products often bypass cinemas altogether and are instead
sold directly to the “man on the street” for about $1.50 (£1). Most
films shift between 25,000 and 50,000 copies globally – although a
blockbuster can easily sell up to 200,000.

So, what exactly is it
about the films that resonates so much with their audience? For all of
their populist appeal, Nigerian films are very rooted in local
concerns, according to Nollywood Now’s creative director, Phoenix Fry:
“Many of the films have looked at how traditional beliefs co-exist with
Islam and Christianity, Nigeria‘s
main religions,” he says. “There are some superb sequences using quite
simple video effects to transform aunties into demons, or show evil
animal spirits being driven out from the possessed.”

Rip ‘n Read Creates Zombie Lies

THIS. Christ on sale, this:

2. Compare and contrast.

The originalTribune story: “Plans for a Muslim cultural center in southeast DuPage County were sent back to square one today as the county’s Zoning Board of Appeals chose to restart the public hearing process.”

The CBS2 rip-and-read: “Plans to build a Muslim center in southeastern DuPage County are back at square one. The DuPage Zoning Board of Appeals has voted to restart the public hearing process.”

And some folks think Google steals content.

*

This is one of the ways in which the public becomes so misinformed. For example, if theTribune falsely reported that, say, Al Gore claimed he invented the Internet, CBS2 and every other radio and TV station in town would repeat the false claim. Then the columnists would weigh in making fun of Al Gore. Then the politicians would would blast Gore for his claim, and those blasts would be featured in television, newspaper and Internet news reports. Then the columnists and pundits and editorial writers would make hay. And nobody would bother to check for themselves whether that first report was accurate. And then people like me would point out that it wasn’t, and then I would be attacked becauseeveryone knows Al Gore said it. It was in theTribune. They wouldn’t get something like that wrong. I’m just stirring up trouble. People like me must have agendas, even though – irony alert! – we’re the only ones acting like journalists.

Way back in the infancy of the political internet when I was doing the Feith book, people would ask how I knew such-and-such blog post was credible. It was a reasonable question, but the answer was simple: There were links. You could go to the links, check the sources, see if the conclusions the poster had drawn were supported by the facts in the articles, journals, statistics reports, etc that were cited.

As opposed to just yoinking something and repeating it because hey, somebody else did all the work.

A.

Spineless

I’m not surprised by the fact thatCongressional Democrats won’t be voting to rescind the Bush tax cuts for people with polo ponies BUT I’m still horrified. They’ve raised spinelessness to dizzying new heights: they refuse to do something popular out of fear of the Tea Party.

There are some times that you should bring something to a vote on the floor knowing that you’ll lose that vote but gain politically. Instead, the House has allowed its fear and loathing of the Senate to trump political common sense. Yes, the House does the heavy-lifting on many bills that the Senate either kills or allows to languish BUT this should have been a no-brainer.

Living in formerly purple, now red, Louisiana, I’ve been less critical of the Blue Dogs than many. Not this time: they’re driving the bus in the House and their strategy is duck and cower. They’re convinced that the mean old teabaggers will leave them be if they assume the fetal position. Fat fucking chance.

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Pledge for America to Pledge America’s American Pledges

And stuff. It’s the Big Font, Small Ideas plan to take America back to the glorious days of the first Bush administration, with the fearmongering of the second thrown in just, you know, for fun.

Not surprisingly, written by total aholes.

The Democrats, natch, have absorbed the dominant narrative (Time magazine, which arrives at my house despite my best efforts to convince Mr. A it is trash, features a big cover headline: IT’S TEA PARTY TIME) that Republicans are going to sweep and there’s nothing to be doneso fuck it, let’s barricade the doors and drink because that meteorite is heading right for earth.

Democrats are worried that the enthusiasm gap among voters in the two states could be exacerbated if it appears by Election Day that Republicans are headed for blowout victories in the marquee races.

“There’s no question it’s a problem. When the top of the ticket is hurting, it absolutely makes it more difficult for a Democrat in a swing district to win,” said a Democratic strategist who has worked in both states. “Voters will be looking at the gubernatorial race and going, ‘If [Ohio Gov. Ted] Strickland is down 10 points, why the heck am I going to go out and vote?'”

You know what else dampens the fuck out of my enthusiasm? Talking all the goddamn time about how insufficiently enthusiastic I am. I mean, quit bitching about how I’m not excited and go fucking do some stuff to get me excited. God. I know political blogs are wonk-city and strategy is all we talk about, but so far, as a voter I haven’t seen anything but strategy talk either. And that strategy talk sucks. Meanwhile, you have a Republican-dominated media determined to push the agenda that Republicans are resurgent and on a comeback and such, supported by these awesome Tea Party folks and their fantastic new party that is sweeping the nation. There’s no pushback. There’s no answer.

There’s no saying look, have we done everything we could do? Fuck no, it’s only been two years since we had a president who wasn’t a mad boy king, plus his friends all wrecked the economy, not that it was ever that awesome anyway. In response, Republicans want to take away the few ways we all still take care of each other. If you get sick, there will be no health care for you. If you lose your job, you won’t be able to collect unemployment for more than ten minutes. When you get old, your pension and your social security will be unaffordable because we have wars to fight instead. And if you should get injured fighting one of those wars, just move somewhere warm where being homeless is fun. We’re all pissed off everything’s not fixed yet, but when a plumber’s only half-done repairing the plumbing he told you would be done by now, you don’t fire him and hire an alchemist.

Is it the midterms, is that what this is? In 2002 it was Timid City, please don’t hurt us Mr. Republican, I’ll be very very good. It was hunker down in the face of the horror, and give people a choice between gutless and senseless, which is how we ended up with Norm Coleman and Saxby Fucking Chambliss and other stuff that got elected just because it had an R after its name.

But then in 2006, after, natch, Bush was so fucked there was no turning back anyway, Democrats grew a pair and started presenting a solid Not This message, and people responded to being able to vote for real live grown-ups who had something to say by doing so. One would think the party would take a goddamn lesson, but they seem to have stopped listening to their instincts and have gone back to listening to Chris Matthews’ racist uncles and stuff people say on the Sunday shows.

I know this is all I seem to say these days, but: Schmucks.

A.