December 2008

…made it through another one. Wow, and right on.

May you all do better in ’09 than the median.

Been a long time.

But this is a beautiful description of what myself and many other people in the country have gone through for 8 years. And like about 90% of other Americans, Bush had control of all my political capital on September 12, 2001.

And like all other types of capital in this country, BushCo. eventually blew it on the political speedball of fear, emotion, and greed.

Update: No one ever, period, end of story, has “all” my political capital. But I sure did want him to be a good President on September 12, 2001. He just wasn’t up to the job.

I live near Chicago, and there are a few things that need to be noted here.

One, probably the most important, is that Burris has gotten through a career in IL politics pretty darned clean and that’s no small feat.

Two, he is not Rod Blagojevich, who may in fact be using Burris as a tool, but doesn’t anyone consider the idea that Burris might think Burris would be a good sensible public servant, you know, like he always has been?

Three, why would he, or you, say “no?” Particularly if your conscience was clean? To me, that’s a strong man who can do that.

The optics are obviously bad. But the optics for “Mission Accomplished” with Commander Codpiece were great.

I didn’t vote for Blagojevich. And I’m proud of it. But I’m not going to lay Rod on Roland, anymore than I would expect other people to lay on me the morality and judgment of one of my professional colleagues.

Yet another silly media construction, this one enabled by the “liberal” blogs, and Rachel Maddow, and on and on. The folks who empathize with people, and put themselves in the person’s economic or sexual shoes and understands their pain. And are immune to cheering on the conventional political wisdom. *yawn*

I wasn’t picking on Steve, Hilzoy, Rachel or anyone else, either, not in the least because I agree with most of these folks a wildly high percentage of the time and think are really, really, smart, nice people besides being terrific writers. It’s just that the shit Roland had to put up with was widespread on the left side of the ‘sphere (even among good contrarians, like John Cole), and you know what?

Methinks these people are not doing a good job of putting themselves in Burris’ shoes.

And I watched the press conference and Steve is right on. It was a circus. Press conferences are often circuses, this one almost a sure bet given the prologue and announcement, and, like any large media droolathon, are not subject to any individual’s substantive control. (Pssstt…the media actually LOVES this kind of thing!)

Finally, $14K over 4-5 years? Sounds about like “legal contribution limit” to me, and Roland, above all in his career, has been a good party guy to the end. There is simply no serious evidence that he’s any more corrupt than most pretty straight, clean, and moral people.

Poor guy. I don’t think he’s the greatest choice ever, but he’s a friggin’ light-year or two ahead of most other choices, and farther away from your average, oh, Oklahoma Senator.

Update: Shorter: I understand Blago’s offer, and I understand Burris’ acceptance. Motive, in this case, actually can be mutually exclusive. And both are entirely understandable, and neither are automatically evil, stupid, or criminal. Democrats sure do good opposition when it is against Democrats.

I’ve long argued that the State should stay out of the marriage business, mostly by joking that if I can get Jennifer Aniston AND Angelina Jolie to marry me, well, shouldn’t I get a prize or something? (Neither of them are particularly appealing to me beyond their public sexuality; a better, more honest example for me would be the happily, long time married Meryl Streep and the endlessly enchanting Emma Thompson, but those two don’t work as well in the joke.)

I don’t care who consenting adults marry, nor how many of either gender. It has no impact on my life as a straight, perpetually single dude. I simply don’t get why anyone would give a shit about someone else’s personal decisions to the point of publicly ridiculing them. I personally think Mona, somewhere in her deep dark heart, wants her some pussy. If there’s anything the last 8 years should have taught us, it’s that those who screech loudest about Teh Gay are more likely to have the disease.

Mona C. is a moron of the first order; a scold of the worst type. “Marriage matters?” To whom? Near half of heterosexual couples wind up in bitter, children-defiling, hate-filled divorce. I just don’t get it.

I’m with IOZ, as usual.

Everyone should have IOZ on their daily read list.

Update: Mona’s funniest paragraph:

Where do you draw a line? Once traditional marriage — supported by centuries of civilization and the major Western religions — is undermined in the name of love, there is no logical or principled reason to forbid polygamy, polyandry, or even incest. Gay activists recoil from incest. But on what grounds exactly? Suppose, after we formalize gay marriage, two 25-year-old sterile (to remove the health of offspring argument) twins wish to marry? Let’s suppose they are loving and committed. What is the objection? That it offends custom and tradition? That it offends God? Isn’t that just bigotry?”

Just taking these senselesstences one at a time, “centuries?” Old Testament stuff, and indeed much of civilized society since time immemorial has more or less expected, much less accepted, polygamy or at minimum infidelity for the Kings. My goodness, until 300 or 400 years ago, marriage was a property arrangement, and the woman was the property. I’m no gay activist nor incest proponent, but in Mona’s example above, in which children are impossible, I personally have no objection. So yeah, it’s just bigotry, combined with a good deal of cultural, historical (see, Royal Family, British) and political myopia.

Plus I just love the phrase, “undermined in the name of love.” The horror! Jesus must surely be weeping.

I’m a little late to the party, but the renewed killing in Gaza and Israel mostly sort of bores me at this point, so except for all the dead innocents I can’t get too worked up about it anymore. I hope Secretary of State Clinton and Obama can turn the ship around.

As best I can tell, Hamas needed more support, so successfully provoked a disproportionate Israeli counter-strike.

And round and round we go. Why does it seem to me that Hamas has smarter political figures than Israel? That they’re doing better winning those hearts and minds? I don’t think any regional power is going to overrun Israel in a traditional, symmetrical way any time soon. So the little guys fight asymmetrically, being their only choice, and just a whole bunch of human nature out there in the world pulls for the little guy. And asymmetric warfare is often won because the people doing it, by very definition, “want it more.”

Israel’s strategic policy of shooting their way out of a terrorist problem, which is really more a property, religious, and sovereignty problem run riot, sure does seem to this casual observer to be moving along rather slowly in terms of accomplishment.

Me, I’d try something else. I guess that’s why I’m not smart enough to be a world leader.

Ezra has a more intelligent take, of course. And several others if you go to his main page.

Too bad Ezra is Jewish. Taking a stand against Israel in any way, no matter how solid that stand may be, is awfully tough here in the ol’ USofA for a Jew.

My only dog in the hunt is peace and some shared prosperity for all who live in the region. It’s pretty easy for me to see both sides of this particular debate, and all I can say for sure is that whatever has been done thus far is not working. Time to stop digging, as they say.

You get a nice simple little $189 TV for Christmas, to put in front of your treadmill, so you don’t have to compound the infinite boredom of tedious and otherwise pointless exercise (since you’re going to die of some bullshit thing sooner or later no matter what), with staring at a mother fucking goddamn blank wall.

After mounting it on the wall with little hassle, you plug it all in and get nada. Oh, you have power, and you can even “search automatically” for mother fucking channels. You just can’t find a single goddamn one.

You go through the trouble shooting menu, you go so far as to disconnect a functional TV to mimic the connection (which creates an equally mother fucking goddamn nightmare trying to hook the previously working TV back up), and you get zip. A fucking null set of viewable shit.

You muscle a 300 lb. desk around, you are connecting, disconnecting and reconnecting a seemingly endless series of wires and cables, and what do you have at the end? Fucking shit. Nothing. Fucking video snow.

You have wasted three hours of your fucking meaningless life.

On a goddamn 13″ TV.

So you finally give up, understanding you’re going to have to PAY some mother fucker to figure it out for you, and all you can think is that AT&T Man is fucking you up the ass.

Merry Christmas.

The end.

He, like most Popes, says some good, smart, decent things.

He also, like most Popes, says some things that make me want to compare him to Nosferatu.

You be the judge.



Jesus, these people talk a lot of Jesus for how much Jesus (at least the one I know) would hate them.

May you all be blessed with the real joy of good family, good friends, good food and drink, health, laughter, and love throughout the holiday season and beyond.

And if your preference is for unworldly sentiment, say hi to Jesus for me. Tell Him things are tough, and we could use Him to show up soon and spread some love and tolerance and forgiveness around before the wacky Right jails him and crucifies him again for being a DFH.

I know, nothing new there, but the reason I’m so bearish on the future of this country is that what she says is so transparently obvious, yet Media Man along with our “leaders” in Washington DC have managed to shift the debate to the Little People who build cars and organize workers, and all you hear (with a few exceptions) from the collective pair of gasbags named above is about the auto industry bailout, while there is sadly little taking to the streets and setting banks on fire outside of the voices in the blogosphere doing it, and not literally, as we’re a peaceful bunch.

2009 is going to make 2008 look like a workers’ paradise.

I was in an all-employee meeting within the past year or so, held to deliver bad news in an “open and honest” dialogue, town-hall meeting style. Maybe 300-400 attendees. We’re told several things, among them that we’re closing a line of business, and increasing our outsourcing. There was a microphone passed around so people could ask questions.

I had my hand up for a long time, patiently waiting for my turn. But as other questions were answered while I was waiting, the rationalizations for doing what we were doing started to pile up, and the hypocrisy started to grate, and by the time I got the microphone, I was really mad.

So, when the HR dude handed to me, I asked, “It is well known that our European and Japanese counterparts pay their executives far less than we do here in America. Are we looking to outsource any of our senior leadership? Oh, and can you share with us the last year that your bonus was ‘0?'” (One of the things that got me mad was an answer from this guy that included the line, “My bonus could be 0.”)

You could feel a breeze with the amount of air sucked out of the room by the audience gasp. I knew I’d stepped in it again.

And sure enough, I was pretty badly abused by all the management for a good coupla-three weeks. But, getting back around to the point, for those same three weeks people I didn’t even KNOW were coming up to me and thanking me, and high-fiving me, and generally just saying, “Right on.”

Are “we” so intimidated and discouraged and beaten down by The Man that we can’t even voice public agreement when The Man is challeged? Is Media Man so far in the tank for The Man they can’t even bring this stuff up as a central point in the country’s anger?

It sure seems like it to me. It is incredibly disturbing and discouraging.

Update: Right on cue, Barnicle and Cramer address it on Hardball. Too bad nobody watches the show.

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