The independently minded political animal always wrestles with times of transition, and the changeover from the Bush to Obama regimes has been worse than most. During the Dubya years it was easy to identify the enemy and to hate him with a blinding passion. Sweet Jesus, George II and his sidekick, The Dick Cheney, played their roles with less nuance than the bad guy in Rambo 12: Return of Ming the Merciless (directed by Roland Emmerich), making it easy to identify with the loyal opposition just on principle.
But it’s important to remember that the enemy of my enemy isn’t necessarily my friend. They might just be fighting over which one gets to eat my tender bits. Continue reading Shootout at the DC Corral
It’s been maddening over the last few years listening to the “debate” over torture. On the one side you have your basic horde of patchouli-soaked dirty fucking hippie liberals wringing their hands and screeching over anything that damages a terrorist’s self-esteem, while on the other side you have a well-dressed cadre of chicken-hawks who think that Jack Bauer is a real person.
Seriously, can I get a bipartisan “amen”?
The closest we’ve ever gotten to a conservative breaking ranks on the issue is John McCain, who has paid a lot of lip-service to how torture is bad. Continue reading Finally, a reasonable argument in favor of torture
You have to love the headline: GOP set to launch rebranding effort
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Coming soon to a battleground state near you: a new effort to revive the image of the Republican Party and to counter President Obama’s characterization of Republicans as “the party of ‘no.'”
CNN has learned that the new initiative, called the National Council for a New America, will be announced Thursday.
It will involve an outreach by an interesting mix of GOP officials, ranging from 2008 Republican presidential nominee John McCain to Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor and the younger brother of the man many Republicans blame for the party’s battered brand: former President George W. Bush. Continue reading Republicans are “rebranding”: round up the usual suspects
A couple of weeks ago author and NYU media theory lecturer Douglas Rushkoff penned a provocative essay for Arthur Magazine. Entitled “Let It Die,” the essay explains why we should stop trying to save the economy.
In a perfect world, the stock market would decline another 70 or 80 percent along with the shuttering of about that fraction of our nation’s banks. Yes, unemployment would rise as hundreds of thousands of formerly well-paid brokers and bankers lost their jobs; but at least they would no longer be extracting wealth at our expense. They would need to be fed, but that would be a lot cheaper than keeping them in the luxurious conditions they’re enjoying now. Even Bernie Madoff costs us less in jail than he does on Park Avenue.
Alas, I’m not being sarcastic. Continue reading Let the economy die?! Rushkoff’s goals are noble but his plan needs work
About three weeks ago, Jim Moss over at The Seminal laid the 2008 electoral results map over maps of poverty and income inequality. The visual comparison was illuminating, and Jim’s post got me to thinking – what if you did the same thing with a wider range of measures and rankings? What kind of picture would emerge? (Jim has himself expanded on the exercise in a couple follow-up postings here and here.)
So I spent some time digging, looking for data that may tell us something about how America is constructed at our current moment in time. Continue reading Mapping American progress
A few nights ago John McCain treated us all to a masterful concession speech. He was gracious, articulate, noble – he said all the right things and struck all the right chords as the nation and his party look toward the future in the wake of an epic statement on the part of the American electorate.
If you’re like me, you’re probably wondering: where the hell was this guy for the last several months?
I always marvel at the civility of concession speeches. Your opponent spends months degrading your character, questioning the legitimacy of your parentage, slandering you, your momma, your horse and everyone you ever passed in the street, fabricating the most staggering and colorful lies imaginable, and then when the votes are in he extends his hand like you’d been trading good-natured barbs over the monthly potluck in the church fellowship hall. Continue reading Concession speeches, mandates and the post-partisan reach-around
Trusting is one thing I don’t know
When it comes to the campaigning men
But I’ll meet you at the election
When I vote for the hope of this land
– Sean Kelly
You may have noticed, if you’ve been paying attention, that the music industry has gone to hell of late. It isn’t that nobody is making good music anymore – on the contrary, there are legions of fantastic bands and artists out there. It’s just that the best ones rarely get played on the radio; the recording industry cranks out nothing but imitation, prefabricated product – the musical equivalent of Cheez-Whiz (Now With Zero Intellectual Calories!); the RIAA – the body that’s allegedly working on behalf of artists – never misses a chance to kneecap young, developing musicians; and if an artist is making a living, it’s probably at a day job and not with his or her music. Continue reading ElecTunesDay: ending the War on Music
In a smoke-filled back room in an elite, moneyed private club on the East Coast, the following scenario is being discussed between two of the power elite’s more powerful elites. Let’s call them Dick Toole and Harry Johnson.
As Dick and Harry see it: