Archive for November, 2006

November 30, 2006

As a general rule I’m extremely suspicious of any attempts to express ideology numerically. Ideology is a very complex thing – more complex than a simple left-to-right scale could ever show. It reminds me a bit of the light side/dark side system in the game Knights of the Old Republic – apparently, Darth Lieberman gets +4 conservative points whenever he votes with the Republicans, which he can reimburse for some totally sweet powers.

Still, this post is at least interesting, and makes sense in a very general way. I’m skeptical that Ethics has actually moved all that far to the left, though it would be nice. Shame about that Science Committee.

The argument that House Republicans have moved even further to the right makes sense too, since it seems like the only places Republicans could retain in the last election were extremely conservative anyway. That doesn’t necessarily mean that things will be nastier than ever – I’m sure the Republicans will put up a huge fight over the next couple of years, but hopefully Speaker Pelosi will resist the urge to shut them out as aggressively as they did to the Democrats. If one-party debate in congress becomes the new norm, it’s going to be bad news for everyone.


November 29, 2006

Matt Taibbi, besides being one of the sharpest journalists writing today and the greatest gonzo since Hunter S. himself, is also a former writer for an underground Russian newspaper. So when he writes about Russian political assassination, I suggest you all listen.

This is a situation that deserves some close attention anyway, and not just because, as Taibbi points out, it’s “the world’s first act of nuclear terrorism.” Check out Taibbi’s previous column on the assassination for a pretty scary wakeup call about the Russian president who Bush likes enough to give an incredibly silly nickname.

Time to party like it’s 1988.
November 29, 2006

I try to avoid putting too much thought into the 2008 presidential election – the dust has barely just settled from the 2006 midterms, and we’ve got some, you know, important governing stuff to do between now and gearing up for the next big campaign. But that doesn’t stop the fact that the media is already jumping ahead to 2008, like an ADHD sports commentator on crack. So it should come as no surprise to anyone that now is when Joe Biden decides to announce that he’s running for president.

Okay, this isn’t really big news. Biden’s been running for president for a while now – he started with the 1988 campaign, which didn’t go too well, but he’s been gearing up for 2008 for a while. How he’s been doing it should tell you a little about what kind of guy he is – as a prominent Democratic voice on national security, he’s taken every available opportunity to show some kind of token disagreement with other Democrats on the issue, while holding onto his liberal street cred by echoing hollow, bloodless criticism of Rumsfeld.

More recently, he pulled off a particularly difficult political manuever in the CT Senate race. During the Democratic primary, Biden agreed to campaign for Joe Lieberman, but when it started to look like things were swinging Ned Lamont’s way, Biden mysteriously “missed his train” to the campaign rally. After the primary, Biden said that he supported Ned Lamont, the Democratic nominee, but refused to campaign for him.

I fully expect Biden’s presidential campaign to tank yet again. God help the Democratic Party, and the United States, if it doesn’t.

November 29, 2006

It got lost in the midst of the Rumsfeld resignation, but a senior advisor in the State Department – Philip Zelikow – also resigned recently. And no, I had never heard of him before either. But this post sounds credible, given what I know about the tense relationship between the Rumsfeld-Cheney faction of the administration and the serious policy experts in the State Department. Although I can’t say that I think this guy’s resignation will have too much of an impact – listening to the rhetoric coming out of the administration, it seems pretty clearly that even though they’re pretending to extend the olive branch in the spirit of bipartisanship after a devastating election for them, they still essentially live in a different dimension when it comes to Iraq. Maybe Zelikow was a member of the reality based community, and if so then I’m sad to see him go, but those people have never had a real role in decision making for the administration anyway. That right there is one of the problems.

November 28, 2006

So much for the party of fiscal responsibility. First the Republicans bring us what is now almost a $9 trillion deficit, and then they run their own Senate campaign committee into massive debt. Oops.

This isn’t just a good thing because it throws a large cog in the Republican campaign machine, although there is that. It’s also good because it means as long as the Republicans can’t get the funding to run the sort of large-scale attacks they did before, there will be less pressure on the Democratic Party to match or exceed those obscene amounts of money. Which means maybe more money to fund Howard Dean’s 50 state strategy. And hopefully less pressure on the party from people like Rahm Emanuel to turn towards the corporate donors and lobbyists who have recently fled the Republican Party.

But that sounds an awful lot like wishful thinking. Still, the fact that the NRSC is broke is at least kind of funny.

November 28, 2006

Hey, look everyone, I have a blog.

This isn’t my first blog, by any means. This is just the latest in a long series of aborted attempts to be a blogger, but I’m feeling pretty confident about this one.

Anyway, welcome to Veritosity, which is kind of like truthiness, but in Latin so it automatically sounds more impressive. This is going to be primarily a political blog, but really I’m just going to post pretty much whatever strikes my interest on there. That just happens to mainly be politics – I was a fairly active volunteer for Ned Lamont for Senate, and a big part of why I made this blog was so that I’d have something to focus my political energy on now that the campaign’s over.

Anyway, a little bit about me: I’m a high school senior, editor in chief of Blue Prints, the school newspaper and co-president and co-founder of a political action (but mostly inaction) group inside the school called ThinkLeft. As I mentioned earlier, I was a volunteer for the Ned Lamont campaign. My other big thing besides politics is writing, which I tend to do a lot – I do both fiction and journalism, but rarely both at the same time. I have a guitar, and I often play what some extremely generous or hard of hearing person might call music.

Now reading: The Wizard, by Gene Wolfe

Now listening to: The Crane Wife, by The Decemberists

Movie I most recently saw in theaters: Tenacious D: The Pick of Destiny

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