Archive for December, 2008

links for 2008-12-31
December 31, 2008

Happy New Year
December 31, 2008

This song is dedicated to Alberto Gonzalez:

2009 through 2017 will suck less. I think.

Summon the Whaaaaambulance
December 31, 2008

Paul Krugman wracks his brain for the noun that best sums up a person would drag the Justice Department into the mud and then pretend to be a martyr and say crap like this:

I consider myself a casualty, one of the many casualties of the war on terror.

I have to say, my extensive vocabulary of profanity is failing me here. I think this is the sort of challenge that might stump George Carlin. What it comes down to is this: Gonzalez should be in prison right now, but instead he’s making tens of thousands of dollars per speaking engagement. Asshole doesn’t get the right to complain.

What the Hell Burris is Thinking
December 31, 2008

In response to my last post, in which I speculated that Burris would probably win a special election, Daniel comments:

Actually given Burris’s track record (lost races for the governor, senate, and mayor), I’m not surprised he doesn’t think he has a chance in any election…ever.

Daniel, of course, is an actual resident of Illinois, unlike myself.

In that light, Burris’s calculus makes a little more sense; but not that much sense. Seriously, dude, WTF?

What the Hell is Burris Thinking?
December 31, 2008

Nobody wants Blagojevich’s last act before getting sent to the stocks to be picking a US Senator. Illinois voters want a special election. Harry Reid says he won’t seat a tainted appointee. And the guy who used to hold that seat, who in three weeks will be President of the United States, agrees with him.

So why is Burris, who by all accounts is relatively untainted and well-liked, demanding that his appointment go through? Dude, just say you want to go through with the damn election. I’d be surprised if you didn’t win anyway, and even if you didn’t, do you really want to be Senator for two years when your president, your caucus and your electorate all wish you would go away? If you want it that bad, I wouldn’t plan on sticking around past 2010.

links for 2008-12-30
December 30, 2008

Seek the Six
December 30, 2008

Okay, so I just went from barely knowing that The Prisoner was being remade to being ridiculously excited about said remake. That’s thanks to the last item on the AV Club’s annual year of swag roundup, which pointed me towards the show’s promotional website. The Flash puzzle is kind of frustrating even after you get what you’re supposed to do, but at the same time, the atmosphere it sets is fantastic. In order to win, you’re supposed to find an unnatural pattern in a series of seemingly unrelated images. And isn’t that what paranoia’s all about?

Ever since I got hooked on The X-Files in elementary school, I’ve adored paranoid fiction, and if this website is any indication, than the makers of the Prisoner remake know exactly how to evoke the right mixture of the mundane and the foreboding without descending into camp. Plus: Holy shit, is that Ian McKellen?

Get Your Story Straight
December 30, 2008

So within a couple of weeks, Ben Smith decides that:

A) Hillary Clinton is so intent on making sure Kennedy gets her old seat that she’s been going around squashing criticism from her old supporters.

B) Hillary Clinton is so angry at the Kennedys that she refuses to take their money.

Separately, these are fun, gossipy little chapters in the ongoing Clinton psychodrama. Together, they make absolutely no sense.

Reid’s Right on This One
December 30, 2008

Contra Daniel, I think Reid’s actually making the right decision in trying to block Burris’s appointment to the Senate. Regardless of his his qualifications–which I’ll admit I know next to nothing about–he’s being appointed by a dude who tried to auction off that seat to the highest bidder. Non-democratic appointments like this are a stupid idea anyway, but in this specific case, the whole process has been irrevocably tainted.

Burris may very well be clean, but he has to realize that if he lets himself get appointed by a corrupt machine politico, then questions of legitimacy are going to haunt him for the rest of his career. If he wants to go to the Senate, he should be sent there by a majority of Illinois voters.

Everyone’s Favorite Kind of Crazy
December 29, 2008

On the topic of that AmCon essay, Jamelle says:

Until realism – or some other school of thought – makes a serious comeback in the GOP, I don’t see neoconservatives taking the chance to duke it out with liberal internationalists and realists in the Democratic Party; not only would they not have much success, but the Democratic rank-and-file are deeply suspicious of neoconservatives, and would probably punish any Democrat who seemed even sympathetic to their cause.

I’m a little less sure of that than he is. A weird quirk of American political culture is that you can hold completely batshit neocon views, but as long as you’re a plain vanilla liberal on domestic policy, then you’re a “moderate.” So while neoconservatism may be inextricably tied to the far right, a lot of their thinking has permeated the center; for example, the overwhelming left-right consensus I mentioned earlier that we should pretty much endorse any military action Israel takes without even thinking twice about it. That’s insane, and yet but showing even a moment’s hesitation in going along with it, Obama inhabits the leftward fringe on that particular issue.
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